FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern honored Gil and Ann Stricklin and Dale and Linda Behan as recipients of the L.R. Scarborough and B.H. Carroll awards, respectively, March 5. President Paige Patterson praised both couples for their commitment to the Lord and support of the seminary during a luncheon in their honor.
In 1984, Gil Stricklin started Marketplace Ministries, which provides chaplains for secular businesses and care for their employees. Over the past 30 years, the ministry has expanded across the United States and around the world.
“He saw a rising need that nobody had ever thought of,” said Patterson. “Who would ever guess that industry would need a chaplain?”
Stricklin expressed his gratitude for the award, sharing his own experience as a student at Southwestern in the 1960s, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity, and then his return to the seminary in the 1980s to study biblical languages and earn his master’s degree.
After serving in the Air Force as a military chaplain, Stricklin served in the public relations with Southwestern and then with Billy Graham and as youth evangelism director with the Baptist General Convention of Texas before starting Marketplace Ministries.
“Ann and I have been grateful to be a part of the history of the school, and also we pray to be part of the future of it, as this seminary shares the Gospel with the whole world,” Stricklin said.
“I cannot express the difficulty it was to come here with a family and with children to earn a degree from the seminary, it was not easy. And at that time, we had a desire placed in our heart that one day we were going to financially help other students that came to this seminary to get their degrees and to serve God.”
For Dale and Linda Behan, the pattern of the right person at the right place at the right time defines not only their business success but also their connection with the seminary. Despite experiencing all the highs and lows of business in the contracting and oil industries, they recognize God’s faithfulness along the way.
Dale Behan shared the story of going from a bankruptcy in the contracting business through the lean years of starting over in water transfer services for the oil industry to selling his company for several million dollars in 2011. Each step of the way, God placed the right people in their lives just at the right time.
Eventually, the Behans became the right people at the right time for Southwestern Seminary. When the seminary was in need of new pianos for the music school, the Behans stepped in and funded the purchase of eight new Steinway pianos.
“While it is true that today myself and my wife are center stage along with Gil and Ann and the attention is on, the truth is that it’s not at all about us. It’s actually all about you. God shines on our lives by the people He places in our lives.”
Both couples gave glory to God for their awards, noting that they are simply vessels used by Him to accomplish His purposes. Southwestern is grateful for their rich generosity in training future ministers and leaders in local churches and mission fields around the world.