Published on April 24, 2018 by Kristen Padilla  
David Mauldin and family
David Mauldin and family

Beeson Divinity School honored two alumni with distinguished alumni awards during community worship this spring semester. 

Thomas Beavers, M.Div. ’07, D.Min. ’13, received the Master of Divinity Distinguished Alumnus award in February, and David Mauldin, D.Min. ’12, received the Doctor of Ministry Distinguished Alumnus award on April 17.

Beavers has been the pastor of New Rising Star Church in Birmingham since May 2010, following his grandfather Tommy Chappell’s retirement as its pastor that same year.

New Rising Star, which is located in a low-income section of Birmingham, is focused on developing communities in six ways: education, financial literacy, workforce development, housing, recreation and the church. Beavers has been featured on and Birmingham’s ABC and NBC television affiliates. 

Prior to earning the D.Min. and the M.Div. from Beeson Divinity School, he graduated from Kentucky State University. He and his wife, Candice, have seven children and three grandchildren. 

Robert Smith Jr., the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity, remembers having Beavers as a student more than 10 years ago. He said that Beavers had the “can’t-help-its” when it came to preaching. 

“He completed a biographical sketch for the class which asked, ‘Something about me that will help you understand me.’ He wrote, ‘Preaching is my passion. I can't see myself doing anything else,’” recalled Smith. “Thomas' preaching is biblical, relevant and refreshingly radical. When he preaches he leaves his hearers with the decision they must make— What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” 

Mauldin is the senior pastor of Palm City Presbyterian Church in Palm City, Florida, where he began serving in August 2017. Before earning the D.Min. from Beeson Divinity School, he graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky (M.Div.) and Milligan College in Tennessee.

Prior to coming to Palm City, Mauldin served as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama (2003-17), where he led the congregation’s membership from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. During his time as pastor of Westminster, he also was the chaplain for Hargrove Constructors + Engineers in Mobile (2012-17). 

Mauldin also has served as pastor of Jackson Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Georgia, and as youth director of then-Brentwood (now Brenthaven) Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. Mauldin currently serves on the board of directors for Presbyterians Pro-Life, and he has a heart for the suffering church. Mauldin and his wife, Rosalyn, have two sons. 

Doug Webster, professor of pastoral theology and Christian preaching, remembers Mauldin’s D.Min. dissertation on the Lord’s Supper as “exceptional.” 

“David Mauldin is a pastor-theologian with a heart for the church. David has consistently sought to create theology tailored to the church’s needs and
he has done this faithfully with humility and grace.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.