Conference News

Dick Honaker — Lifetime Achievement Award

Dick and Benita HonakerDr. Dick Honaker, MD, ordained in July 1970 as a Heartland Conference minister and as an IPHC medical missionary to South Africa. He is the recipient of the Heartland Conference Lifetime Achievement
Award for 2012.

Dr. Honaker (born 1935) grew up in Clinton, OK. The family later moved to Bethany, OK. Dick gave his heart to the Lord at age 16. "My sole commitment " he said, "was to follow the leading of the Lord for my life." What an eventful journey it has been!

  • He was accepted at age 19 to train as an Air Force pilot, and graduated as a second lieutenant and fighter pilot in May 1956.
  • He attended Southwestern Christian University and graduated from Southern Nazarene University where he earned his B.S. degree in 1960 in biology and chemistry.
  • Four days later, June 3, he married Marilyn Pierce, a union that produced six children.
  • The Lord called Dr. Honaker to be a medical missionary in February 1958. He completed medical school at the University of Oklahoma in 1964 as a cardiothoracic surgeon, and was awarded the "Dedication to the Goal" award.
  • The call from God came true in 1970 when he and Marilyn moved their family to White River, South Africa where he was a surgeon at the Swedish Missionary Alliance Hospital for five years. He says those years were highlights in his medical career as he witnessed the power of God healing patients. During that tenure he also served as a heart surgeon in 1976 alongside Professor Christiaan Barnard, the famed professor and surgeon who performed the world's first human heart transplant in 1967. He gave five years on the teaching staff of the Medical University in South Africa in the department of cardiothoracic surgery. During that time he also taught at our own World Harvest Theological College in Germiston, South Africa.
  • In April 1976 Dick felt led back to the US Air Force where he served as a cardiothoracic surgeon. When he retired from the Air Force he had given almost 40 years to his country. Dr. Honaker lost his beloved wife, Marilyn, in December 1983. Six years later the Lord brought a lovely nurse, Benita Brothers, into his life and they married on July 1, 1989. Benita has been by his side since then.
  • Dr. Honaker and Benita returned to Africa in Nov. 1995. Together they currently serve at the Africa School of Missions Medical Clinic and as a surgical mentor at Themba Hospital in White River and at the Medical University of South Africa.
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