Oklahoma Southern Baptists celebrated their centennial last week. The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma came into existance in 1906 when the Baptist conventions of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory joined together. This event occurred almost exactly a year before Oklahoma became a state. It occurred 35 years prior to my birth.
For more than half a century (1950-2001), I lived and breathed as an Oklahoma Southern Baptist. Having been alive through 65 of the first 100 years of Oklahoma Baptist life, many wonderful memories reside in my heart and soul. Most of these memories are positive. But the last decade of my experience as a Southern Baptist was less than desirableable. In this post, I want to recount a few my personal positive memories and experiences. In the next two posts, I will share another side of the story. On a positive note...
- I was born into an Oklahoma Southern Baptist family in the convention's 35th year (1941).
- I was saved and baptized in the 44th year of Oklahoma Southern Baptist life (FBC of Hammon in 1950).
- I accepted God's call to the gospel ministry and was licensed to preach in a Southern Baptist church in the 54th year of Oklahoma Baptist life (FBC of Goodwell in 1964).
- I preached my first sermon in an Oklahoma Southern Baptist church in the 54th year of Oklahoma Baptist life (Indian Baptist Church of Hammon in 1964).
- In the 55th year of Oklahoma Baptist life, I married a good Baptist girl in an Oklahoma Southern Baptist church (FBC of Leedey in 1965).
- I was ordained in an Oklahoma Southern Baptist church in the 56th year of Oklahoma Baptist life (FBC of Sharon in 1966).
- I attended Oklahoma Baptist University in parts of the 57th, 58th & 59th years of Oklahoma Baptist life (1965-67).
- I pastored four Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches and missions (Seiling Indian Baptist Mission - 1965-66; Canton Indian Baptist Mission - 1974-77; FBC of Elmore City - 1977-84, and FBC in Dewey - 1984-99).
- I served as an Oklahoma DOM for 20 months (Grady Baptist Association - 2000-01)
- I baptized all of my children of my children in an Oklahoma Southern Baptist church (FBC in Elmore City).
- I served two terms on the BGCO Board of Directors.
- I served one term on the first ever Board of Trustees for the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
- I have been to Falls Creek, both as a camper and a pastor, more than forty times (between 1954 & 2000).
Oklahoma Baptists do have a rich history. No doubt about it. I've had my share of good experiences. However, I am no longer an Oklahoma Southern Baptist. I never dreamed that I would be anything other than an Oklahoma Southern Baptist. In the 95th year of Oklahoma Baptist life (2001), I was excluded and pushed aside as persona non grata, --which is another story for another time. I am now pastoring an American Baptist church (ABC/USA) in Watonga. I am happy. I've been in my present church for three years now.