The Baptist Messenger
In late 1909, Clarence P. Stealey, of West Virginia moved to Oklahoma to start a Baptist paper. It became one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the entire Oklahoma territory. When the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in May of 1912, copies of the first edition of the Baptist Messenger were distributed.
The inaugural edition on May 15, 1912, contained stories about the work of the Foreign and Home Mission Boards, Christian education, teaching about Christian doctrine and theology, and the Oklahoma Baptist Orphans’ Home.
Within five years, the 16-page, weekly publication had a statewide circulation of approximately 5,000. By 1919, the convention’s board determined that the Baptist Messenger should become its official news journal and purchased the newspaper from Stealey for $5,000 under the condition that he would continue to serve as editor. Since Stealey’s era, nine others have served as editor of the newspaper.
Today, the Baptist Messenger is mailed to approximately 40,000 households, making it one of the largest newspapers in the state of Oklahoma. In 2010, the Insight Podcast, a weekly news and information podcast, was launched. November 2011, Messenger Digital was launched, a full online edition of The Baptist Messenger, along with the Messenger Mobile companion app.
On May 15, 2022, The Messenger celebrated its 110th year. In November of 2022, the Baptist Messenger introduced a new print format. Instead of a twice-per-month tabloid newsprint, the Baptist Messenger became a full-color monthly magazine. The Baptist Messenger continues to inform, inspire and connect Oklahoma Baptists and others, in the advance of the Gospel.
Baptist Messenger Staff
- Brian Hobbs – Editor
- Chris Doyle – Managing Editor
- Lori Coats – Subscriptions / Advertising / Ministry Assistant
- Kali Daniells – Graphic Designer
- Bob Nigh – Contributing Writer