Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commission member Don Baxter, right, opens the Commission’s March 4 meeting with Scripture and prayer. Other Commission members shown, from left, are Leona Marlon, Lee Herring, Mary Ellen Keeton and Bill Rowland. Photo by Bob Nigh

The Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commission (OBHC) welcomed new members, made committee assignments and reflected on happenings during the past year when they convened at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City, March 4.

Returning Commission members Terry Brooks, Lindsay, First (Chair); Andy Latta, Tahlequah, First (Vice-chair) Leona Marion, Oklahoma City, Trinity (Recording Secretary); Don Baxter, Oklahoma City, Quail Springs; Bill Haggard, Oklahoma City, Putnam City; and Mary Ellen Keeton, Willis, welcomed new members Mark Hamm, Moore, First; Lee Herring, Sand Springs, Broadway and Bill Rowland, Okmulgee, Calvary to their first semi-annual meeting.

Chairman Brooks announced committee assignments for the coming year: Oklahoma Baptist Hall of Fame, Brooks (Chair), Keeton and Herring; Distinguished Service Award, Latta (Chair), Brooks and Hamm; Gaskin Baptist Archives, Marion (Chair), Baxter and Rowland; and Gaskin Church History Award, Baxter (Chair), Keeton and Haggard.

During his report to the Commission, Oklahoma Baptists’ Historical Secretary Bob Nigh said activities by state churches were severely curtailed during 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Only two churches—Poteau, Double Branch and Okmulgee, Calvary—conducted celebrations for their anniversaries (100th) during the year.

The Commission held its second semi-annual meeting at the Baptist Building in late September. During that meeting, Commission members approved the induction of Victor Kaneubbe and William Tanner into the Oklahoma Baptist Hall of Fame; presentation of the 2020 Distinguished Service Award to Eli Sheldon; and presentation of the Gaskin Church History awards (2019) to Noble, Etowah and Midwest City, First.

The Historical Secretary mailed letters and response cards to 54 Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches celebrating milestone anniversaries during 2021. Thus far, response cards indicating dates of observances have been received from Ardmore, Emmanuel (100th); Bartlesville, New Harmony (100th) and Shawnee, University (100th).

The Historical Secretary has completed production the autumn 2020 issue of the Oklahoma Baptist Chronicle, which has been posted to the Oklahoma Baptists’ web site. He also is in mid-production of the spring 2021 issue.

The Commission’s next meeting will be held at 1 p.m., Sept. 16 at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.