Oklahoma Baptists and Affiliates to relocate to building in OKC purchased by WatersEdge

On February 8, the board of directors for Oklahoma Baptists unanimously approved a plan for the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, now known as WatersEdge, to purchase an office building near downtown Oklahoma City.

WatersEdge purchased what was the Sonic Drive-In Corporate headquarters in Bricktown. The approximately 100,000-square-foot, four-story office building is owned by WatersEdge, whose board of directors also approved the move.

The new WatersEdge location will house the fast-expanding WatersEdge Ministries and will serve as the future offices for the staff currently officing at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City, which includes Oklahoma Baptists, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and Baptist Village Communities.

“This convention gave birth to our organization, and that’s a privilege we never want to forget,” WatersEdge President and CEO Robert Kellogg said. “Since our founding, we have benefited from being the sole incorporated trust agency for Southern Baptist work in Oklahoma. With that privilege comes a responsibility to steward well what has been entrusted to us and to make wise financial decisions. The Lord has blessed us to be in a position to step forward and expand our facilities, and it’s now our privilege to provide the affiliates an opportunity to come with us.”

Previously, each of these ministries officed out of the Baptist Building on North May Avenue in Oklahoma City, a building that Oklahoma Baptists have owned, occupied and operated since 1990.

“The move to a new building is a significant opportunity for Oklahoma Baptists,” Todd Fisher, Oklahoma Baptists executive director-treasurer, said. “The decision did not come lightly, but rather came through a long period of prayer, due diligence, collaboration among our ministry affiliate leadership and our joint affirmation to put us all in the best position possible to accomplish our common goal of advancing the Gospel and serving Oklahoma Baptist churches.

“The current Baptist Building, as is, can no longer accommodate the growth of WatersEdge, and remodeling the Baptist Building is cost prohibitive,” Fisher continued. “It was vitally important for the convention and affiliates to office together in the same building under the umbrella of Oklahoma Baptists, enhancing the unity we enjoy and appreciate. In short, this move will enable our state convention to invest more resources into churches and pastors instead of using those resources toward the upkeep of an aging building.”

During the Feb. 8 meeting, board members heard details of how the move to a new building owned and operated by WatersEdge will save the state convention a projected $500,000 annually. The savings will enable Oklahoma Baptists to continue its current ministries and commitment to expand its investment in churches and pastors. Michael Butler, pastor of Chickasha, First who serves as Oklahoma Baptists president, called the move a good decision for stewardship and ministry.

“The opportunity for WatersEdge to bring its staff together in one centralized location presents a win-win scenario for Oklahoma Baptists,” Butler said. “This move addresses WatersEdge’s needs while also allowing Oklahoma Baptists to preserve our own operational needs without sacrificing our mission to serve and support churches through stewarding our shared resources toward advancing the Gospel.

“I have great confidence in Dr. Fisher and the staff of Oklahoma Baptists,” Butler continued. “They are working diligently to adjust operations that will make the most of our Cooperative Program dollars and grow our capacity to encourage and equip pastors and churches to fulfill God’s calling. I see God preparing the way for Oklahoma Baptists to maximize our partnership potential as we leverage our combined resources to reach Oklahoma and beyond with the Gospel.”

WatersEdge will begin the process of relocating to the new building location, with Oklahoma Baptists and the other affiliates making the move in coming months. The Baptist Building has been listed for sale.

For more information about the WatersEdge building, visit oklahomabaptists.org/watersedge.