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Rebekah Ann Naylor Promotes Medical Missions During Mississippi College Visit

President Blake Thompson welcomes Dr. Rebekah Naylor to the Clinton campus. He joins with PA students and leaders for a group picture.
President Blake Thompson welcomes Dr. Rebekah Naylor to the Clinton campus. He joins with PA students and leaders for a group picture.

In India, Dr. Rebekah Ann Naylor began her activism in medical missions and ministry in the early 1970s.

During a visit to Mississippi College, the founder of India’s Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing encouraged students to share her passion.

Dr. Naylor serves as the global healthcare consultant for the International Mission Board following 36 years as a missionary in India.

Students with MC’s physician assistant program and the School of Nursing were given a glimpse into her ministry during lectures on the Clinton campus.

“We pray that the Lord will use these opportunities for conversations with Dr. Naylor to plant seeds that will grow and allow us to be receptive to how the Lord can use us to support His work,” said School of Nursing Dean Kimberly Sharp.

The Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing is located adjacent to India’s Bangalore Baptist Hospital. The facility in Karnataka has trained more than 350 nurses. Dr. Naylor speaks from decades of experience.

“Dr. Naylor has been an incredible force to challenge students and faculty to consider the role that they may have in health and mission outreach,” Dean Sharp said. “Dr. Naylor challenges us all to look at the ministry side of health care in new ways.”

During more than three decades of medical and spiritual ministry in India, she helped plant more than 90 churches.

Returning to the United States in 2002, Dr. Naylor retired after nearly 10 years as the clinical associate professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She helped found a free medical clinic the next year, Mercy Clinic, in Fort Worth. The American College of Surgeons presented her with the 2016 Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award.

On September 30, President Blake Thompson joined leaders of the physician assistant program, including director Steve Martin, and students to welcome Dr. Naylor to the Baptist-affiliated university. On Sunday evening, she spoke at an event in the capital city sponsored by First Baptist Church Jackson.

Dr. Margaret Davis, medical director of MC’s physician assistant program, says Dr. Naylor shared her insights with students and encouraged them to enter the mission field.

“She is teaching about cultural humility, professionalism, missions and how to get involved in medical missions,” Davis said. “Dr. Naylor is a wonderful role model for our students.”

Mississippi College students with the physician assistant program and the School of Nursing are familiar with medical missions taking them around the globe. Physician assistant students have joined mission teams in Peru, Haiti, Honduras, East Asia, Kenya and Moldova, among other spots. In 2017, nineteen School of Nursing students and two professors traveled to South America to offer medical screenings to people in villages along the Amazon River.

At the time, it marked the 25th year the MC School of Nursing sponsored summer mission trips. The journey is part of the “Spirituality in Nursing” program taught to students in Cockroft Hall. They also shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in rural villages, said nursing professor Rick Lewis.

PA students bring excellent skills on their overseas medical mission trips, Dr. Davis says. “Our goal is to encourage giving back through short term missions.”

A 1964 graduate of Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Dr. Naylor received her M.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1968. She entered the mission field at age 30.

“Total submission to Him is essential,” Dr. Naylor said in a January 2018 “Baptist Press” story, while nearing her 74th birthday. “Then the promise is that He will direct our paths. I have experienced that over and over.”