On May 21, members of Oklahoma Baptists’ Board of Directors gathered for their regularly scheduled meeting to receive reports about ministry, pray, fellowship and consider key business.

This meeting was unique in the fact that it is expected to be the last board meeting to be held at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City, with the pending move to the Sonic Building in Bricktown.

During the morning session, board members spent time in a work session with Todd Fisher, Oklahoma Baptists executive director-treasurer, followed by committee meetings and regional ministry meetings.

In the afternoon plenary session, board members heard several ministry reports. Bill Pierce, president of Baptist Village Communities, shared how the ministry continues to grow. Pierce noted how, amid inflation pressures that are affecting all churches and ministries, that BVC is thriving, noting how the new Baptist Village Community in Enid is growing.

Oklahoma Baptists Homes for Children (OBHC) President James Swain provided updates for the organization, emphasizing their deep commitment to Romans 1:16, “for I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Recently, the OBHC celebrated all their high school graduates. Swain highlighted one student who is going to military basic training and plans to serve God while enlisted.

WatersEdge Advisors & Ministry Services CEO Robert Kellogg spoke about the pending move to the Sonic building, then gave a ministry update on WatersEdge. Then Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) President Dr. Heath Thomas updated the board members on the progress of renewal on campus, following the April 19, 2023 tornado. Thomas emphasized the importance of campus reconstruction and how the Gospel remains the center of focus for OBU.

Board members heard from Todd Fisher about the convention’s strategic priorities. This included the Oklahoma Baptists’ move to a new building, serving churches, serving pastors, establishing Gospel ministries and, most importantly, advancing the Gospel.

Fisher noted that the advancing of the Gospel is still going strong, with total baptisms increased by 20.7% over last year, according to the Annual Church Profile (ACP). In-person weekly church worship average attended increased by 13.1% and in-person Sunday School/Small Group attendance increased by 12.8%.

Board members also heard about Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief’s (DR) ministry impact, in the wake of the deadly spring tornadoes. Fisher recognized Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief Director Jason Yarbrough for his work, along with the many DR volunteer team members helping.

Andy Taylor talks about regional ministry opportunities

Fisher shared updates regarding recent tornado damage around the state. After an EF3 tornado devastated Sulphur, OG&E workers were called to the scene to repair down powerlines.  However, they needed housing. After a few calls were made, Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center opened 200 rooms to the workers. Falls Creek staff also left for the workers an assortment of snacks with the verse Genesis 1:3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,” and there was light,” printed on a piece of paper. This gesture shows appreciation for OG&E’s work, especially in storm season.

Earlier this month, another series of tornados spawned a deadly EF4 tornado which tore through Barnsdall. In the devastation, two lives were lost, and massive damage was done to Barnsdall. DR is working in these impacted communities.

Fisher continues to speak in churches and associations around the state. He is encouraging pastors, some of whom have stated that they felt “ordinary or nothing.”

“None of our pastors are ordinary or nothing or nobody,” he said. “All of our pastors are playing an important role in the Kingdom of God.”

Oklahoma Baptists President and Pastor of Chickasha, First Michael Butler led the meetings and helped conduct business. The next scheduled board meeting is September 10 at Falls Creek Conference Center.