Mouzon Biggs, Jr. has been named recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Alumni/ae Council of Perkins School of Theology. The annual award recognizes one graduate of Perkins who has demonstrated effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support and involvement in the goals of Perkins School of Theology and SMU, distinguished service in the wider community, and exemplary character.
The Rev. Dr. Mouzon Biggs, Jr. has been Senior Minister at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, since September 1980. A graduate of Centenary College in Louisiana, he earned the Master of Theology degree from Perkins School of Theology in 1965. Biggs subsequently was awarded two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Divinity from Texas Wesleyan University; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Oklahoma City University. The Dr. Mouzon Biggs, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund was established at SMU in 1975 by Mr. and Mrs. Morris Cloninger of Beaumont, Texas. In 2008, the Mouzon Biggs, Jr. Chair of United Methodist Studies was established at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa.
In Biggs’ 32 years at Boston Avenue UMC, the church has received more than 8,300 new members, with endowments growing from $200,000 to more than $26 million. The 11:00 a.m. worship service, broadcast live on Tulsa’s Channel 8, is the most highly-watched program in its time slot.
Biggs has addressed churches, colleges, conventions, and Chambers of Commerce across a 30-state area and has traveled in 41 countries. He is author of “Moments to Hold Close,” and co-author of the best-selling book “When you Graduate” with Dr. Charles Allen of Houston.
In addition to his responsibilities at the Boston Avenue Church, Biggs’ interfaith and interracial work have resulted in numerous awards and honors, including the Tulsa Interfaith Award; National Conference of Community and Justice Award; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Keeping the Dream Alive Award”; the Tulsa Jewish Community’s “Righteous Gentile” Award; and Tulsa Rotary’s “Spirit of Will Rogers Award.” He is past president of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and past president of Tulsa’s Downtown Rotary Club.
His service to Perkins School of Theology and SMU includes mentoring 20 Perkins students in one-year internships and representing Perkins School of Theology and the Oklahoma Annual Conference on SMU’s “Time to Lead” Capital Campaign Executive Steering Committee for five years. Additionally, Biggs has been elected by the Oklahoma Annual Conference to serve The United Methodist Church as a delegate to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference every four years for 28 years.
He and his wife, Gayle, have two sons, Trey and Jason, and six young grandchildren.
The award was presented Monday, February 6, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. during a dinner in Biggs’ honor as part of Perkins School of Theology’s Ministers Week.