Alumni association to honor five during Homecoming Chapel

The Association of Former Students at Wayland Baptist University will present Distinguished Alumni awards to five individuals during homecoming chapel, slated for 11 a.m. Nov. 22 in Harral Auditorium.

Honorees are recognized for their service and support of the university, accomplishments in their chosen fields and for dedication to Christian principles, according to Director of Alumni Services Joe Provence. Honorees for 2002 include Dr. James McKinley Jr. of Kentucky, Dr. Robert Mathis of Fort Worth, Roland Saul of Hereford, Kyle Reese of San Angelo and Lucian Morehead of Plainview.

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to McKinley. A native of Kentucky, McKinley transferred to Wayland and graduated in 1954. After earning a divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, McKinley and his wife Betty were appointed as missionaries to East Pakistan, where they served for 34 years as church planters, administrators and development workers. He has written four books about his missionary experiences, including "Death to Life: Bangladesh," which was printed in English, Bengali and Japanese and sold 100,000 copies.

After returning from the mission field in 1992, McKinley served as a consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has been an organizer of Kentucky International Missions Fellowship, leader of Church Growth Strategy Team for the International Mission Board, and member and chairperson of the Fred Tucker Offering Committee for the Long Run Baptist Association. He has made 12 trips for the International Mission Board since his retirement in 1992 and in the past year has traveled to Tanzania, Indonesia and Bangladesh. He served as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention for 2000-01. He and Betty have five children.

The Distinguished Service Alumni award will be presented to Mathis. A native of Eunice, N.M., Mathis earned his bachelor's degree from Wayland in 1969. He served in the U.S. Army shortly thereafter, he began pastoring churches while continuing his education at the University of Texas at El Paso and later at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a master's degree and his PhD. He worked at New Orleans Seminary while pursuing a second doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi, and he began serving as the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment and Professor of Administration at Southwestern Seminary in 1998.

Mathis is called upon often to serve as a denominational consultant, and he serves as vice president of the Southern Baptist Research Fellowship and is a member of the Baptist Religious Education Association of the Southwest and Religious Research Association. He has written for several denominational publications as well. He and wife Odene have a daughter, Karissa.

Saul will receive the Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award. A basketball player from Plainview, Saul earned his Wayland degree in 1970 and continued his education at Texas Tech University, earning his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1973. He worked as a private practice attorney for several years before serving for 24 years as criminal district attorney for Deaf Smith County. He was named Texas' Prosecutor of the Year in 1998.

He was appointed judge of the 222nd Judicial District Court in August 2002 by Governor Rick Perry, serving Deaf Smith and Oldham counties. He is a member of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, the National District Attorneys Association and the State Bar of Texas. He and wife Sandra have three children - Kevin, Scott and Dusty - and five grandchildren.

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award will be given to Reese. A 1993 graduate of Wayland, he earned his graduate degree from Truett Seminary and began his pastoral career during study there, serving at Mertens and at Valley Mills. He began his tenure as pastor of First Baptist Church in San Angelo in January 2002 and is one of the respected young leaders in Baptist denominational life.

Reese is secretary of the Board of Advisors for Truett and is secretary/treasurer of the Alumni Association of which he is a charter member. He is a member of the Committee to Nominate Institutional Board Members for the BGCT, the Ministerial Alliance in San Angelo and the Downtown Kiwanis Club. He also serves on the Goodfellow Air Force Base Chapel Task Force. He and wife Amy have three children: Peyton, 5, Hannah, 4, and Wyatt, 1.

Morehead will receive the Distinguished Benefactor Alumni Award. After receiving his associate's degree from Wayland in 1928, he attended Baylor University, earning an A.B. there. He worked for his parents for two years before moving to Austin and earning his law degree from the University of Texas in 1935. He returned to Plainview and established a private law practice where he has worked since.

He has been a devoted financial supporter of Wayland for 75 years, establishing two endowed scholarships, contributing to the Wilder Field grandstand construction and leading in the Spanning the Centuries Campaign. He was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997. Morehead and his late wife, Audrey, have two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.