DALLAS (BP) — Dalia Gonzales, wife of Michael Gonzales, director of Hispanic ministries for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, was honored with the 2018 Willie Turner Dawson Award during the Ministers’ Wives Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Dallas.
Gonzales, of Hurst, Texas, is the first Hispanic minister’s wife to receive the award, which recognizes a minister’s wife for making a distinct denominational contribution beyond the local church and for her Christian character and service to others.
Kathy Litton, director of planter spouse care for the North American Mission Board, in presenting the annual award, called Gonzales “a true multiplier in the Kingdom of God” who has contributed greatly to Hispanic Southern Baptist women across Texas and beyond.
This is noteworthy, said Litton, because 17 percent of the current U.S. population is Hispanic, and the Hispanic population is expected to triple in the next 30 years.
Gonzales has supported her husband in his various roles in the pastorate, on the foreign mission field, as a GuideStone Financial Services representative, as a director of missions and as a state denominational leader.
In addition, she has ministered to women through the Texas convention’s Hispanic ministries department, specifically assisting in laying a solid foundation for the growth of the Hispanic women’s conference for the last 13 years. She has traveled extensively with the convention, contributing to equipping conferences and ministry leader training events, such as the pastor and wife retreat, church planters’ retreat and EQUIP workshops.
After serving 22 years in early childhood education in Texas, Gonzales and her husband served as missionaries to Spain for 15 years with the International Mission Board.
Gonzales said she accepted the award on behalf of all the ministers’ wives who work daily alongside their husbands to do the “good works, which God prepared beforehand” (Ephesians 2:10).
The Gonzaleses have one daughter, who serves with her husband in Spain as IMB missionaries, and two granddaughters.
The Willie Turner Dawson Award was established in 1963 when the ministers’ wives group posthumously honored Willie Turner Dawson, wife of J.M. Dawson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. Willie Turner Dawson was a teacher and lecturer who in 1930 successfully challenged the Southern Baptist Convention to give more to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.