Daniel R. Sanchez, professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, received the North American Mission Board’s “Distinguished Service Award,” July 31.
The award was presented in recognition of Sanchez’ “tireless and faithful leadership in evangelism, missiology, theological education and church planting among Southern Baptists throughout North America, as well as (his) influence for the Kingdom for reaching all people groups, especially Hispanics, for more than 35 years.”
“This was unexpected and it was very humbling to get this award,” Sanchez said. “I thought it was very gracious of them to give this award in one of the major sessions of their leadership conference.”
Geoff Hammond, Sanchez’s former student and current president of NAMB, presented the award to Sanchez during NAMB’s annual summer state leadership meeting in Atlanta, Ga. This summer’s meeting drew in a record attendance of 466 leaders from 42 state Baptist conventions, Canada and Puerto Rico.
“Daniel Sanchez is eminently deserving of the North American Mission Board’s distinguished service award,” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said. “Whether it is classroom instruction, international statesmanship, or hands-on mission involvement in places that many Americans would feel uncomfortable, Dr. Sanchez has demonstrated as few other people, the heart and the head of a missionary.  Southwestern Seminary is profoundly honored to have him as a faculty member, and we are grateful to the North American Mission Board for recognizing him.”
Along with his professorship, Sanchez is currently the associate dean for master’s degrees at Southwestern Seminary. He is also director of the Scarborough Institute for Church Planting and Growth, which he established in 1993.
Sanchez earned his bachelor’s degree at Howard Payne University in 1962 and his Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Seminary in 1966. He was then awarded his Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1979 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in 1991.
As a student, Sanchez led in planting two churches. He then educated leaders in church planting as a missionary in the Republic of Panama, as an assistant director of the Home Mission Board (currently NAMB), and as a state leader for the Baptist Convention of New York. He has also lectured and conducted church growth seminars in roughly 24 nations around the world and in over 30 states in the U.S.
Sanchez and his wife, Carmen, have three children: Danny, Vivian and David.