Baylor Nursing Prof, Baptist Leader to Receive Annual Commencement Awards

  • News Photo 3679
    Charles Kemp
  • News Photo 3678
    Charles Wade
Aug. 3, 2006

by Judy Prather, Baylor Alumni Association, (254) 710-6431

The Baylor Alumni Association will honor the humanitarian service of a Baylor University nursing school professor and the leadership of a well-known Texas Baptist leader, during summer commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, in the Ferrell Center.

Charles E. Kemp Jr., a senior lecturer at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing and clinical director of Agape Clinic in Dallas, will receive the Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award, presented annually to Baylor alumni who have exhibited a Christian response to those situations and persons around them in ways exemplified by the late Baylor President Abner V. McCall.

Dr. Charles Wade, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will receive the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award, presented annually to individuals who exemplify the life and career of the late George W. Truett and reflect the meaning of Baylor's motto, "Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana."

Before graduating magna cum laude from Baylor in 1975, Kemp served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, receiving the Purple Heart. He was the founding program director of the first hospice in Texas before joining the faculty of Texas Women's University, where he taught community health for seven years. During that time, he also co-founded the East Dallas Health Coalition, a community-oriented primary care facility, and started the TWU Refugee Health Project, an early model for service-learning.

In 1989, Kemp joined the faculty of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, where he also has planned and developed the Baylor Community Care Program, a district health service-learning project and primary care clinic that uses volunteers and nursing students. Community Care and its partner, Agape Clinic, provide primary care or home care services to more than 6,000 patients and families each year.

A prodigious researcher, Kemp focuses on indigent and refugee health care. He has published three books and more than 60 book chapters or journal articles, maintains four websites, and has written numerous successful grant proposals for services to the medically indigent. He and his wife, Leslie, have one son, David.

Wade has served as the executive director of the BGCT for the past six years. During his tenure, he has led the convention in facilitating more than 800 new churches. Also under Wade, the BGCT became one of the first two Baptist state conventions to join the Baptist World Alliance.

A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, Wade earned his master of divinity degree and doctorate in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served as pastor of churches in Enid, Okla., and Italy, Texas. As pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington from 1976-2005, Wade helped establish Mission Arlington, a pioneering community outreach ministry, in 1986, and helped start Arlington's first women's shelter in 1981. The church has had an International Friends Ministry for more than 30 years and has sponsored Hispanic, Chinese, Korean and Thai missions.

Wade was president of the BGCT from 1995-97 and is a former trustee of the Hispanic Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1996.

Wade and his wife, Rosemary, have four children, who all attended Baylor.

For more information about alumni association awards, contact the Baylor Alumni Association at (254) 710-1121 or go

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