Home Lifestyle Wingate alumnae, spouses earn N.C. Baptist Heritage Awards

Wingate alumnae, spouses earn N.C. Baptist Heritage Awards

Carolyn and Rick Matthews. Contributed photo

A quarter of this year’s 16 winners of N.C. Baptist Heritage Awards for service and support of statewide Baptist causes have strong Wingate University ties.

Rick and Carolyn Matthews, members of College Park Baptist Church in Winston-Salem for more than 40 years, were nominated for the award by the University. Richard and Delores Thomas, pillars of Deep Springs Baptist Church in Anson County, were nominated by the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina.

Carolyn Matthews, who serves on the Wingate Board of Trustees, and Delores Thomas are Peachland natives and Wingate alumnae. Thomas also worked for the University as a member of the administrative staff for 36 years.

Wingate nominated the Matthewses for their untiring support of both private and public education.

Carolyn Matthews earned an associate’s degree from Wingate Junior College, her bachelor’s degree from UNC-Greensboro, and her master’s in school counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill. When their daughter was at Wingate, the couple served on the Parents’ Council. Rick subsequently served on the Board of Trustees, of which Carolyn is currently vice chair.

After earning his bachelor and doctorate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Rick worked for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He began teaching physics at Wake Forest University in 1979 and later served as associate provost and then chief information officer before his retirement in 2020.

Carolyn’s career has been in the field of public education. Her early work was as a social studies teacher, but she found her passion as a school counselor. Even after retiring from the public schools, she worked as a counselor and mentor for students in the Crosby Scholars Program, focusing primarily on college readiness.


Both Rick and Carolyn Matthews have served College Park Baptist as deacon chair and in many other capacities. He has served on the Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina.

Delores and Richard Thomas. Contributed photo

Delores “Dee” Thomas earned her bachelor’s of science degree in business and religion at Wingate. After serving in the Army, her husband Richard worked for Lance Foods for 34 years.

In addition to their volunteer work at Deep Springs Baptist, the Thomases have served the WMU locally, nationally and internationally.

They’ve volunteered countless hours at Camp Mundo Vista – cleaning, landscaping, and preparing for the installation of a zip line, and as representatives on the NC Baptist Business Services Committee. Delores served as Anson Association WMU director and missions education leader. Before being elected vice president of the National WMU Board and president of WMU NC Executive Board, she served for decades in other offices and capacities.

According to The Biblical Recorder, “Generations of youth have witnessed the Thomases’ missions lifestyle: Home repairs for local senior adults; disaster relief trips across North Carolina; missions partnerships throughout the US, Africa, Armenia and Lebanon; prayer walking, encouraging/training leaders, and sharing the gospel.”

These four and a dozen more were honored for their “exemplary service and giving,” The Biblical Recorder reported. Award recipients were presented with plaques during an April 4 ceremony at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The awards are co-sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the N.C. Baptist Foundation.

Previous articleNC By Train continues record-breaking ridership trend
Next articleSilver Alert issued for Richmond County man