Perkins School of Theology names 2016 Distinguished Alumni

Perkins School of Theology to honor 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients Feb. 1.

 John McKellar and Linda Roby

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityDALLAS (SMU) – Two exemplary United Methodist clergy have been selected as the 2016 Perkins School of Theology Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

Rev. John McKellar, Pastor of White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake, Texas, and Rev. Linda Roby, Associate Minister of Local and Global Missions at First United Methodist Church Dallas, will be honored at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, during the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet taking place in conjunction with Ministers Week.

The recipients were chosen by members of the Perkins Alumni/ae Council for their 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.

“Through their respective ministries, Linda Roby and John McKellar have impacted untold lives not only in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex but also throughout the world,” said Perkins School of Theology Dean William B. Lawrence. “Their faithfulness to the ministries to which they have been called and their effectiveness in communicating the transformational love of Jesus Christ has garnered the respect of peers and colleagues alike. We look forward to honoring them both as the 2016 Distinguished Alumni of Perkins School of Theology.”

John McKellar
John McKellar

Rev. McKellar received his Master of Divinity from Perkins in 1990. After serving churches in Grandview, Haslet and Fort Worth, Texas, he began his appointment at White’s Chapel in 1992. During his tenure, Rev. McKellar has helped increase church membership there from 490 members to more than 13,000.

In addition to regularly teaching Bible study groups, Rev. McKellar also serves on the Central Texas Conference Committee on Finance, the Committee on the Episcopacy and is one of the conference’s delegates to both the 2016 General Conference and South Central Jurisdictional Conference. He also received his Doctor of Ministry degree in Applied Ministries at The Graduate Theological Foundation in 2004.

“John is an incredible model for what it is to live the Christian life in the community,” said Rev. Todd Renner, co-pastor at White’s Chapel UMC. “In every way, he exemplifies the grace that forms the foundation of Wesleyan theology and defends it with humility and passion.”

Linda Roby
Linda Roby

Rev. Roby received her Master of Divinity from Perkins in 2000. Since her appointment to First UMC Dallas in 2009, Rev. Roby has directed the UrbanLife Ministry, congregational care, and the church’s Mission and Outreach efforts. Previously, she served at Highland Park UMC overseeing adult education, Sunday school, and local and global mission outreach opportunities. At both churches, Rev. Roby was instrumental in cultivating relationships and identifying global partners – notably in Latin America – that led to significant growth in outreach participation.

An ordained Deacon in the North Texas Conference, Rev. Roby graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She also serves on the board of directors of Golden Cross Academic Clinic in Dallas and is a member of the Perkins School of Theology Executive Board.

“Linda fully exemplifies the mission of Perkins and its interpretation in the local church and community context,” said Rev. Andy Stoker, senior minister at First UMC Dallas. “She has sought to connect the church and the world in profound ways both locally and globally and embodies the very best of the Perkins spirit through vital piety and social witness.”

The awards banquet will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, 5901 Bishop Blvd. For more information and to purchase tickets:


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music (June 2016) as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.