Hendrick ‘Losing History’ With Lampert Retirement


A decision to introduce himself to the president and chief executive officer of Hendrick Health System back in 1985 led to a long and distinguished career for Bruce Lampert, which is ending with his retirement in a few days. 

Lampert was serving as pastor of First Baptist Church in Stamford in 1985 when he visited one of his members who was a patient at Hendrick Medical Center. Before he left, he stopped by the office of Mike Waters to introduce himself. That introduction impressed Waters enough that he remembered Lampert when an opportunity arose, Brad Holland, current president and CEO, said during a retirement party at the hospital on Friday, May 5.

“That visit changed the trajectory of his life,” Holland said.

A few months after that visit, Lampert got a call from Waters asking him to serve on the Hendrick Medical Center Board of Trustees. He accepted and was a board member from 1985 to 1991. He also served on the Hendrick Medical Center Foundation Board from 1989 to 1991.

Bruce and Barbara Lampert with their family at Lampert’s retirement party May 5 at Hendrick Medical Center. Photo by Loretta Fulton

In 1991, Lampert was called as pastor of First Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Two years later, he got another call from Waters, this time offering him the job of head chaplain, which Lampert accepted in June 1993.

Lampert’s legacies at Hendrick include the addition of short devotionals at board meetings and Management Council meetings, overseeing a pastoral education program and guiding the updating of Hendrick Health System’s mission statement to what it is today:

“To deliver high quality healthcare emphasizing excellence and compassion consistent with the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Lampert also oversaw the hiring of chaplains at two new hospitals that Hendrick acquired in October 2020–Hendrick Medical Center South in Abilene and Hendrick Medical Center in Brownwood.  

Lampert is only the third person to serve as Director of Pastoral Care at Hendrick Health System. The first two were Charles Myers and Ken Thornton. 

“We’re losing history that we’ll never get back,” Holland, current President and CEO, said at the retirement party. 

Lampert said he had never heard of Hendrick Health System until the 1980s and now he is a part of its history. He will be interviewed for an upcoming book celebrating Hendrick’s 100th anniversary. 

Lampert recalled that when he first started working at Hendrick, men were required to wear a suit and tie. That requirement shifted to a sport coat and open neck shirt and then went a step further.

“Now we can wear a golf shirt,” he said.

Bruce Lampert

Lampert won’t be completely retired when he leaves Hendrick. He will soon begin teaching a chaplaincy course in the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University.

A native of Waco, Lampert earned a bachelor’s degree in 1973 from what is now the University of North Texas. He earned a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1978 and a doctor of ministry from SBTS in 1988. He served as head of Baptist Student Ministry at Sul Ross State University from 1977 to 1979, when he was called as minister of First Baptist Church in Alpine. He served there until being called to pastor FBC in Stamford in 1982. 

Lampert’s retirement party ended with a prayer by the Rev. Richard Darden, senior pastor of Shining Star Fellowship Church. His prayer was shared by everyone present:

“Thank you, Lord, for Bruce.”

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene


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