By: Dr. Lola Denise Jefferson
FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Sisters who pray together, stay together. Ten Nurses from the Fort Bend County Black Nurses Association Chapter have proudly earned their Doctor of Theology degrees from the Texas Accredited Family Life Bible College. It was a moment they will never forget.
“My desire is to achieve goals recommended by The Institute of Medicine. I asked my sister Vanessa Auguillard, Nephrology Manager; Ida Massie, Case Manager; and Bessie Trammell, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Charge Nurse to join me in obtaining the Master’s Degree,” said Dr. Lola Denise Jeffereson. “Apart from attending all classes, our requirement was to write a 10,000-word Thesis. The four of us completed the classwork and graduated June 2018 from the Family Life Bible College with a Master of Theology Degree in Religious Education!”
Jefferson said she was excited to learn that Family Life Bible College had an accelerated Doctorate Program. The College Dean is Bishop Michael Forney, of Lifestyle of Christ Church. This new professional adventure prompted her to encourage nine of her talented mastered Prepared Nurses and her Mastered Prepared niece to join her on the exciting educational journey. They too became excited and eager to enroll.
The 10 nurses are from all different areas of nursing, but religion is their common thread. Jovonna Auguillard, Jefferson’s niece, has a master’s in Health and Kinesiology. The other nurses are Vanessa Auguillard, Nephrology Manager; Ardis Bush , Medical Surgical Hospital Director; Glenda Jackson Clement, Utilization Management Coordinator; Mary Haynes, Intermediate Unit Cardiology Staff Nurse; Delois J. Holloman, a retired 70-year-old Director of Nursing.
The dean proudly announced Holloman’s age at the graduation because he wanted everyone to know it’s never too late to return to school. Others included Marilyn Johnson, retired military colonel and current operating room nurse; Janice Gooden Sanders, retired house supervisor; Bessie Trammell, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit charge nurse; Theresa Ann Wilson, clinical resource nurse and Jefferson, who is a house supervisor.
“Religion was a topic that all of us had a strong common interest. When our patients and family members become ill or have a health crisis, they turn to nurses for information, education, and healing,” Jefferson said.
In Gallup 2019 poll assessing ethics and honesty, nurses were ranked the most trusted profession in the United States for the 20th year. In 2019, 84% of respondents said they rated nurses “very high” for honesty and ethical standards leading the pack by a wide margin. People come to nurses for answers and spiritual guidance. Of ultimate value is prayer. Many patients and family members want a prayer from a nurse who is in sync with the Father.
Some of the topics that were studied in the doctorate course included Blood of Jesus, Christian Character, Life of Christ, Revelation, Understanding Praise & Worship, Book of Hebrews, etc. The Completion requirement was a 30,000-word dissertation.
Texas State Representative Ronald Reynolds served as master of Ceremony and U. S. Congressman Al Green was keynote speaker at the Hooding Ceremony, which was standing room only.
A few extra special moments were Vanessa Auguillard and her daughter Jovonna Auguillard completing the doctorate program together, and Janice Sanders was hooded by her daughter, Dr. Kimberley Sanders Hebert.
After the ceremony, the graduates and their families celebrated at a private party with a catered dinner of delicious Texas Bar-B-Q with all the trimmings.
Jefferson said, “The Doctorate degree will continue to enable us to educate and reach a spiritual connection to our patients, families and the community for a healthy, sustaining, lasting healing. To God Be The Glory!”