Dallas Baptist Honors Bob Burgin
[Editors Note: The text below was taken directly from the program for Commencement from Dallas Baptist University on the occasion of Graduation Services for DBU on August 9th, 2019. On that day, the University bestowed on Bob Burgin an honorary doctorate.]
“Missionary, educator, administrator, and pastor, Bob Burgin shines as an outstanding example of Christian leadership, faith in God, and service to others. Known for his kind and caring disposition, Bob is beloved by students, colleagues, and congregants. His missionary heart for the lost and needy around the world and for those in his own community of Arlington reflects the character of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bob Burgin grew up in Jewett, Texas, in Leon County. He met his wife, Tillie, at Arlington State College (now UTA), and the two were married in 1956 at Arlington’s First Baptist Church. They both graduated with degrees in education and went on to complete master’s degrees from North Texas State in Denton (now UNT).
Bob started teaching math at Carter Junior High in 1960, but after he and Tillie had their two sons, Jim and Rick, the Burgins felt called to the mission field to serve as Southern Baptist missionaries at Korea Baptist College and Korea Christian Academy. When they returned to Arlington in the 1970s, Bob became assistant principal of Hutcheson Junior High for one year, Gunn Junior High for four years, and Nichols Junior High for three years before becoming Nichols’ principal in 1982. In 1989, he was appointed as principal of Arlington High until his retirement from AISD.
Bob jointed the Dallas Baptist University faculty in 1999 as Associate Dean, Director of Secondary Education, and Assistant Professor in the College of Education. Professor Burgin is admired by his students for his kind demeanor and his genuine care for their educational success. He was honored as an Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2007-8 and was selected by his colleagues to serve for a term as President of Faculty Council.
When the Burgins returned from Korea, they also felt a burden for their city and started praying for ways to live missionally right where they were. This birthed a long season of prayer, seven years to be exact, that involved several home prayer teams across the city. First Baptist Church of Arlington also joined the Burgins in their call and appointed Tillie as their minister of missions in 1986. From there, the Burgins had a vision to start Bible studies in apartments in the Arlington community, and after only three months they were already serving 300 people.
This ministry later grew and developed into what is now Mission Arlington®. In its 33rd year of service, this Christ-centered, award winning non-profit ministry provides free health and dental care, counseling services, household donations, and a clothing and food bank for the needy of Arlington. It also hosts Bible clubs and summer camps for children, and coordinates over 350 home church Bible studies across the city each week with thousands in attendance, taking the church to the people in obedience to the Great Commission. Bob assists Tillie, who serves as the Directo of Mission Arlington®, and for over 20 years, he has pastored the apartment church that is now Parkview Church. Burgin Elementary School in Arlington was established in honor of the impact the Burgins have made on the city.
Professor Burgin continues to teach education courses at DBU as an adjunct professor while partnering with his wife in the ongoing work of Mission Arlington®. He and Tillie have been married for 63 years. Their two sons, Rick and Jim, are each married with children and have been actively involved in ministry with their parents at Mission Arlington.”