At this year’s Hand & Dove Scholarship Banquet, SCS is honored to present the Hand & Dove Award to Dr. Richard and Jo Ingraham. The Hand & Dove Award is bestowed upon individuals who exhibit exceptional Christian work in the church and community.

Dr. Richard Ingraham grew up in a small farming community in Yuma, Arizona. Both his father and grandfather were lawyers, but with a love of science and people, Dr. Ingraham felt called to dentistry. He found his way to Texas in 1963 at Baylor College of Dentistry. While in school, he met his wife Jo who was working as a medical technologist at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. The two were married upon his graduation in 1967, and Dr. Ingraham soon joined the Navy.

They left Texas and traveled the country during Dr. Ingraham’s time in the military. While living in Kansas City, God opened Dr. Ingraham’s eyes, and he began his walk with Christ. The Ingrahams also welcomed their daughter Heather in Kansas City making the town a very special place for the family.

After a few years, the Ingrahams made their way back to Texas. “My classmate from Baylor had started a pediatric dental practice in Corpus Christi and encouraged me to come and practice adjacent to his office in the Pediatric Center next to Driscoll Hospital,” shares Dr. Ingraham. “I came to Corpus Christi without any money and trusted God. He connected me with the right people, and I opened my Orthodontic practice in Corpus Christi in 1974.”

With a new home in Corpus Christi, the Ingrahams dove into serving the community. “The Lord convinced me that I was where I needed to be and showed me that my mission field was my practice,” Dr. Ingraham tells us. In addition to serving the community through their orthodontist practice, the Ingrahams joined First Baptist Church teaching Bible studies, singing in the choir, and participating in many mission trips to serve the Hispanic community both in Mexico and in Corpus Christi. 

The Ingrahams first came in contact with Stark following the death of their close friend, Lev Prichard. Prichard always encouraged others in their theological education, so Dr. Richard Ingraham met with Dr. Tony Celelli to find a way to honor his friend’s memory. “I wanted to enhance the advancement of Christian education since Lev and I shared that mutual interest,” Dr. Ingraham says. “I appreciated that SCS made education accessible to those called to ministry and felt called to supporting their mission. I served as a trustee and continue to support SCS today.” 

“I believe the goal of the church is to make disciples and help believers apply the truth of God’s word in their lives. Because SCS is here, ministers are being educated on how to do that more effectively,” Dr. Ingraham continues. “If you have better trained leaders, it should result in more mature believers who are growing spiritually.”

The Ingrahams continue to serve the community and the local church throughout Corpus Christi and beyond. SCS is thrilled to honor their service and praises God for their continued dedication to helping others in the name of Jesus.