Rebekah Ann Naylor graduated from Baylor University in 1964 with a B.A. degree in chemistry. Named the outstanding premed student of the year, Rebekah was also active in Phi Beta Mu and the Laurel Society. She studied piano all four years and performed a solo recital in her senior year.
After graduation, Rebekah entered Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, receiving the M. D. degree in 1968. She then became the first female resident in general surgery at Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Her surgical training was completed in 1973. Subsequently she was certified by the American Board of Surgery and became a fellow of the American College Surgeons.
In 1973, Rebekah was appointed by the Foreign (now International) Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a missionary to India. Arriving at the new Bangalore Baptist Hospital in early 1974, she launched a missionary career that included busy clinical practice, administrative responsibility, and teaching. She led the development of the hospital from 80 beds to 160 beds with accompanying expansion of services. In the 1990s she organized training program in four allied health disciplines, set up accredited residency training programs for doctors, initiated a training program for chaplains, and established the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing in 1996. Hundreds have been trained including 140 nurses most of whom came from a very poor socioeconomic background.
During all the years, Rebekah was involved in church planting and development through the hospital and worked alongside Indian pastors and church planters. Since 1999, she has been responsible for church planting efforts in the state of Karnataka which has a population of 53 million. Through the medical ministry, approximately 900 churches have been started.
On leave of absence since 2002 for family reasons, Rebekah is now Clinical Assistant professor of Surgery at UT Southwestern Medial Center. She also is adjunct professor of missions and special Missionary in Residence at Southwestern Baptist Seminar. She continues to make frequent trips to India to guide church planting work and to participate in the ministry of Bangalore Baptist Hospital.