Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

1933 to 1942

Name Change and New Buildings

The name of the Orphans’ Home was changed to The Oklahoma Baptist Children’s Home in 1937 by a vote of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Aerial view of 63rd & N. Penn. property

The Home had expanded over its 40 acres and enjoyed some conveniences, like a city water supply, natural gas, electric lights, and telephones. On-campus features included a gymnasium, laundry, dining room, and dormitories. The children attended a nearby school within the Oklahoma City public school system. The Good News offering of 1936 allowed for new bathrooms, roofs, and repaired heating equipment.

dairy cow at the Home
A dairy provided nutritious food for growing children.

The Home had expanded over its 40 acres and enjoyed some conveniences, like a city water supply, natural gas, electric lights, and telephones. On-campus features included a gymnasium, laundry, dining room, and dormitories. The children attended a nearby school within the Oklahoma City public school system. The Good News offering of 1936 allowed for new bathrooms, roofs, and repaired heating equipment.

The children’s physical, mental, and emotional needs were being met as well. Improved diets provided for the health of the children, and personal textbooks with nightly tutoring furthered their academic success.

The Children’s Home grew after the Great Depression through increased giving by churches and the Home being listed as the beneficiary of individual’s wills. In 1938 alone, two large bequests were activated, providing two farms as well as oil, gas, and mineral rights on 202 acres.

In 1939, overcrowding became a significant issue when the Old North building was condemned and declared unsafe as a dormitory for children.

Twenty-nine young boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 10 were sleeping in a space not much larger than a living room. In the girls’ dormitory basement, 16 girls lived in tight quarters, and in the basement of another building, 24 boys crowded together.

To combat this overcrowding, the Children’s Home began an urgent campaign for capital improvements in 1941.

Boys at the Orphans' home
Young boys in crowded conditions of Old North in the 1930s.
crowded temporary living quarters
A thin partition separated the boys from the girls in the temporary living quarters.

A new, modern Children’s City began being built in 1941. The new buildings housed 21 children each. It provided a safe place to play, firesides for Bible story time, and child-sized tables and chairs. No longer would children have to sleep on beds jammed together row after row; they now had their own beds. The Children’s City also provided shiny new bathtubs with hot water, new kitchens and dining rooms, well-designed fireproof houses, library facilities, and conference rooms.



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