Good Samaritan Dinner Honors Rev. Oscar Epps, Jonathan Fechner

Jonathan Fechner and Rev. Oscar Epps
The 2021 Good Samaritan Award recipients, Jonathan Fechner and Rev. Oscar Epps

DBU recently honored two outstanding individuals as a part of the 33rd Annual Dinner. Held on May 10 on the DBU campus, this year's dinner celebrated the 2021 Good Samaritan Award recipients Reverend Oscar Epps and Mr. Jonathan Fechner. Dr. Ryan Jespersen, Executive Director of the Dallas Baptist Association served as this year's chair of the event.

After a welcome by Bobby Soto, Assistant Vice President for Advancement at DBU, and an invocation led by Mr. Ryan Hefton, Vice President for Advancement, introductory remarks were given by Dr. Adam C. Wright, DBU President. Mrs. Leigh Gettman-Allen, adjunct professor of Communication, read the Good Samaritan Story from Luke 10:25-37 prior to the presentations of the awards to the two honorees. Dr. Rodney Garrett, Professor of Higher Education in the DBU Gary Cook School of Leadership, and member of Rev. Epps' congregation, introduced Rev. Epps. Dr. Sheila Bailey, Founder and President of Sheila B. Ministries, and a long-time friend of the Fechner Family, introduced Jonathan Fechner.

Along with serving on the DBU Board of Trustees, Rev. Oscar Epps is the founding Senior Pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church in DeSoto, Texas. He has also served as President of the Texas Baptist African American Fellowship comprised of over 800 churches, as well as Moderator of the Dallas Baptist Association. He is the first African American to serve as Chaplain for the DeSoto Police Department.

Oscar and his wife, Belenthia, have three children, Destany, Oscar II, and Aderius, and are proud Grandparents.

Mr. Jonathan Fechner has been serving since September 2018 as the Executive Director of Bridgebuilders, a Christian non-profit in South Dallas that seeks to restore relationships by engaging, equipping, and empowering individuals, families, and communities. Under his leadership, Bridgebuilders has added new programming, brought on additional staff, and increased donor giving and engagement in the ministry.

Jonathan received his B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship from DBU in May 2018 and his M.A. in International Studies in December 2020, and is married to his wife, Casea.

Established in 1988, the DBU-Oak Cliff Partnership Dinner continues to benefit the Oak Cliff area and highlight DBU's special relationship with the community. All proceeds from this event provide scholarships for DBU students who are from this area.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.