DBU Fall Convocation Honors Dr. Stephen Mansfield and Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Pilgrim Chapel

Dr. Stephen Mansfield is honored at Fall Convocation

At a recent Fall Convocation chapel service on the campus of Dallas Baptist University, Dr. Stephen Mansfield, Former CEO and President of Methodist Health System of Dallas, was awarded the honorary doctorate of humanities for demonstrating outstanding servant leadership in the healthcare industry at the helm of Methodist Health System of Dallas for over ten years.

Dr. Mansfield was called upon to lead the Methodist Health System as President and CEO in 2006, and he guided the organization to increasing levels of success and public recognition for exceptional service to human health throughout the North Texas region. Recognized by Modern Healthcare and the Quality Texas Foundation, the ten-hospital system has one of three Level I trauma centers in the Dallas Metro area with 36 separate medical clinics in the service area. For his executive leadership, Dr. Mansfield has received several individual distinguished awards, including from Ernst & Young, Becker's Hospital Review, D Magazine, and the Texas Association of Business.

Dr. Mansfield opened his remarks by expressing gratitude to his wife, Marilyn, for her support and encouragement in many moves across the U.S. to work with multiple hospital organizations. He then went on to thank Dr. Gary Cook, Chancellor, and Dr. Adam Wright, President, for their personal friendship and spoke fondly of his relationship with DBU, which includes serving as an adjunct professor in the College of Business. In closing, Dr. Mansfield shared recognition of the award with the 10,000 employees and 2,500 physicians who serve each day as members of Methodist Health System, providing healing and care for so many.

The special convocation service was also an opportunity to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the opening of Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel in 1999. Dr. Gary Cook, then president as the chapel was being built, shared personal reflections on the many years of patience and prayer that led to the building of this beautiful worship space in the center of campus modeled after the First Baptist Church of Rhode Island and visible for many miles from the ground and air as a beacon on a hill.

Dr. Adam Wright shared with the faculty, students, and guests gathered how Dr. Cook initially approached him as a young staff member to lead the campaign to raise the $25 million needed for the chapel and how they knelt to pray together one evening at the very site where it would be constructed years later. Although they did not know at the time where the funds would come from, they committed to "walk by faith, not by sight" and to trust in God to provide.

He also spent time thanking those who helped in the design and construction of the project, including Andy Booher and BMA Architects, who designed the chapel, and Dr. J. Blair Blackburn, who served as Executive Vice President of DBU at the time and oversaw the construction work. Dr. Blackburn currently serves as President of East Texas Baptist University.

Dr. Wright then directed his thoughts to the student body with these same words from 2 Corinthians 5:7 as they anticipate their own unknown futures, encouraging them that God will do great things through them if they will listen daily to His Holy Spirit and yield their lives to His will.

As a fitting close to the service, all those in attendance sang in unison the University hymn, "To God be the Glory," thanking the Lord for His provision of the chapel building and rededicating it to His glory as a house of prayer for all nations.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is Assistant Professor of Christian History and Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

Share this Post: