Rebekah Naylor named first female distinguished professor at SWBTS

Rebekah Ann Naylor, a longtime medical missionary to India, has been appointed distinguished professor of missions in the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the first woman ever to hold such a position at the seminary.

In 1973, Naylor was appointed by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) and was deployed to Bangalore, India, as a general surgeon, evangelist and church planter. She served at Bangalore Baptist Hospital from 1974-2002, during which time the hospital experienced significant growth. While Naylor’s initial appointment was as a clinical surgeon, she eventually took on the roles of chief of medical staff, administrator, and medical superintendent. She also supervised the construction in Bangalore of the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing in 1996 and later became the school’s professor of anatomy and physiology.

Besides serving as a missionary surgeon and professor, Naylor also worked as a strategy coordinator and church planter for the International Mission Board in the state of Karnataka, India, from 1999 to 2009. During this time, she worked with the medical ministry and Indian pastors to help plant 900 churches in Karnataka.

John Massey, dean of the Fish School, said Naylor “brings a wealth of missions experience from her 40-plus years as an IMB missionary in India and currently serving on special assignment with the IMB in the area of healthcare strategies and church planting.”

“In her lifetime, she has created an unmatched legacy of service to the Lord through reaching the lost through serving as a medical doctor in India,” Massey continued. “In a real sense, Dr. Naylor is coming home. She lived on our seminary’s campus as the daughter of our fifth president, Dr. Robert Naylor, until she left for college. Welcome home to the Dome, Dr. Naylor!”