Kentucky resident honored during Wayland homecoming chapel

The Association of Former Students at Wayland Baptist University presented the Distinguished Alumni award to Dr. James McKinley, Jr. of Kentucky during homecoming chapel on Nov. 22.

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. Other honorees for 2002 included seminary professor Dr. Robert Mathis of Fort Worth, Judge Roland Saul of Hereford, pastor Kyle Reese of San Angelo and Lucian Morehead, a retired attorney from Plainview.

A native of Kentucky, McKinley transferred to Wayland from Campbellsville College, where he earned an associate's degree while pasturing the Central Grove Baptist Church in Albany. He graduated from Wayland in 1954.

He then moved to Louisville to earn a bachelor of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, pastoring at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Mount Eden during his time there. In 1958, 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 his first, "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.