Each year, deep in the heart of Texas, Texas Baptists meet on the first Sunday in June at the historic Independence Baptist Church to honor individuals who have represented Texas Baptists exceedingly well.
This year, on June 3, Texas Baptists will present the Legacy Award to Dr. Ken Coffee, former associate director of the BGCT State Mission Commission, and Dr. Virginia Connally, one of Hardin-Simmons University’s most celebrated graduates and the first female doctor in Abilene.
Dr. Coffee received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wayland Baptist College (Now Wayland Baptist University) in Biblical Studies in 1956. He also has graduate level studies from The Institute for American Church Growth and accumulated 155 hours of alternate dispute resolution with various entities, including the Institute of Christian Conciliation. He has received training and certification for Intentional Interim Ministry, Mediation and Arbitration, and United We Build.
During his ministry, Dr. Coffee pastored three churches and was the associate pastor of four others. He served as Director of Education and Promotion, Associate Director of Missions and Executive Director for San Antonio Baptist Association.
Dr. Coffee also served as Coordinator of Area and Associational Missions and Associate Director of the State Missions Commission for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He retired from the BGCT in 1999, after which he created K/B Consultations, doing church consultations in growth and conflict resolution, as well as fund raising and Intentional Interim Pastorates. He has had an immeasurable impact on Texas Baptists life throughout this ministry and career.
Dr. Connally attended Simmons University (now Hardin-Simmon University) where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1933. Afterward, she courageously set out to pursue a career in medicine. She entered Louisiana State University Medical School and graduated in 1937 with the M.D. degree. Upon completion, she returned to Abilene as its first woman physician and began practicing as an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. She was soon recognized in West Texas as one of the leading physicians in her field.
Dr. Connally served as chief of staff at both St. Ann's Hospital and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, and upon the death of her husband in 1975, she became president of Connally Oil Company. She was also the physician for Hendrick Home for Children for many years, touching the live of countless numbers of children.
She has been an active member of Abilene's First Baptist Church since 1933, and is one of its first female deacons.
No one has more of a heart for missions than Dr. Connally. That love of missions led her to help start the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation in 1984 and be a charter member of the Board of Advisors. Her wisdom and encouragement have helped the Foundation become a multi-million dollar provider of funds for missions for more than 30 years. She now serves as an Emeritus member of the Board, continuing to support missions across Texas and around the world.
These two outstanding individuals will be honored on Sunday, June 3, at 10:00 a.m., with lunch to follow. To RSVP for the ceremony and lunch, contact Becky Brown at 214-828-5301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.