Carroll, Scarborough awards honor generous partners
Four couples were recognized for their legacy of faith and generosity to Southwestern Seminary at a festive luncheon, March 7. Southwestern President Paige Patterson praised Patricia and Harold Mathena, Pam and Fred Gough, Julie and Hance Dilbeck, and Barbara and Dean Hancock for their deep commitment and contributions to the seminary. The Mathenas and Goughs are the 2018 recipients of the B.H. Carroll Award, named for the seminary’s founder; and the Dilbecks and Hancocks are the 2018 recipients of the L.R. Scarborough Award, named for the seminary’s second president.
Patricia and Harold Mathena are the namesake for Southwestern’s newest building, Mathena Hall. The couple announced in 2014 that they would provide the lead gift of $12 million to cover roughly half the cost of construction of this building. After much prayer, the Mathenas said they believed that the Lord wanted a new facility to prepare men and women to take the Gospel to the ends of the world, and they wanted to be part of that. Mathena Hall officially opened in 2017.
Now a full-time evangelist, Harold Mathena formerly owned a manufacturing company for the oil industry, which he sold for more than $200 million. He subsequently gave a check for $20 million to his church, Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, as his tithe. Since then, he has continued to invest in ministry efforts to further the Kingdom of God at multiple institutions, including Southwestern Seminary.
“God has blessed us, blessed us, blessed us,” Patricia Mathena said. “All the glory to God.”
Pam and Fred Gough were both influenced by the piano when growing up, and the Steinway Piano Project at Southwestern attracted their interest and support. In 2016, thanks in part to the Goughs’ contributions, Southwestern Seminary earned the designation of being an “All-Steinway School,” a title held by only 187 institutions worldwide. “Because of their generosity, current and future students can learn to play on the best of instruments,” Patterson said.
The Goughs have also supported Dressed for Service, scholarships, and other projects and needs. Furthermore, they have taken a great interest in Scarborough College. The Goughs love country life and flying, and Fred Gough is a licensed pilot. In January 2018, Fred, a former star linebacker at the University of Texas at Arlington, was inducted into UTA’s Hall of Honor.
Julie and Hance Dilbeck, recipients of the L.R. Scarborough Award, are acutely aware of Southwestern’s needs—they lived in seminary housing with their firstborn child. Hance Dilbeck, former pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church and executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, is a two-time Southwestern graduate (Master of Divinity, 1992; Doctor of Ministry, 2002).
Dilbeck expressed gratitude to Southwestern for helping him to begin a life of ministry. “I feel the benefits of my theological education more and more,” he said.
“You have always been very committed to evangelism,” Patterson said. “You have been very generous to us.”
Dean and Barbara Hancock, also recipients of the L.R. Scarborough Award, have spent decades serving In Touch Ministries, the broadcast and teaching ministry of Charles Stanley, where Dean serves on the board. In 2010, Hancock presented Southwestern with the first of five $100,000 checks on behalf of In Touch to be used to fund student scholarships at the seminary.
The Hancocks have also supported Dressed for Service, Women’s Auxiliary, the School of Church Music’s annual Gala and Christmas service, and the construction of Mathena Hall. They have a shared lifelong interest and passion for Southern Gospel music, and so they have also supported the Southern Gospel Concert at Southwestern.
“These are some of the sweetest people we know,” Patterson said of the Hancocks. “As long as you look at your award, you will always remember that through your gifts, you’ve made this an evangelistic institution again.”