Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

1993 to 2002

Child Care, Adult Care Split into Separate Agencies

by Dave Parker, Messenger Assistant Editor

First printed in the 'Baptist Messenger' September 23, 1993

A new day has dawned for family care ministries in Oklahoma, after the Baptist General Convention's Board of Directors approved splitting adult care and child care into separate entities.

Papers are being filed with the State of Oklahoma to incorporate Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children Inc. and Baptist Retirement Centers of Oklahoma Inc. Each organization will have its own board of directors, although they must be approved by the BGCO.

After the meeting, directors met in executive session to discuss confidential aspects of the meeting. Executive sessions are not open to the public.

In addition, the organizations cannot create any debt or launch any major expansion projects without approval of the BGCO.

Division of the family care ministries came about after an independent firm offered to buy the retirement centers from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The retirement centers are the source of $20 million indebtedness.

A retirement center study committee was appointed at the December 1992 meeting of the Board of Directors. After looking into several options and studying the entire Department of Family Care ministries, the committee recommended that the BGCO keep its retirement centers. That recommendation was approved at the May 1993 board meeting.

The board also approved allowing the study committee to look into several options related to family care ministries, one of which was to divide the ministries.

Study committee chairman Russell Cook, pastor of Broken Arrow, Clearview, said the key reason for dividing the ministries was financial: People donating money and trust funds to child care wanted to ensure their money was going to child care.

In addition, he said the separate boards will be focused on the individual areas, giving "more hands-on help than is presently possible."

Cook also noted that Oklahoma and New Mexico were the only two state conventions that still handled child care as a department within the convention. In addition, to unanimously approving the separate corporations, directors also approved transferring the custodial funds from the sale of the Oklahoma Baptist Children's Home property at N.W. 63rd and Pennsylvania permanently to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children Inc.

Frank Evans, pastor of Claremore Memorial Heights, said he had a problem with the notion of a "permanent" transfer, and wanted that word deleted, but former BGCO president Anthony Jordan, pastor of Oklahoma City, Northwest, disagreed.

"In my travels across the state, if I have ever heard anything that's been a major point of hurt, a point of contention, it's been this money," Jordan said. "I think we should settle this once and for all." Without the word "permanent," Jordan said there would always be a question as to whether that money could be used for anything other than child care.

The board voted (52-2) against amending the motion, then approved the motion itself (53-1).

The board also unanimously approved interim directors for both corporations. Baptist Homes for Children trustees are Anthony Jordan, pastor of Oklahoma City, Northwest; David Flick, pastor of Dewey, First; Joan Butcher, member of Elk City, First; Jarene Robison, member of Tulsa, First and Loyd Hall, pastor of Burns Flat, First.

Baptist Retirement Centers of Oklahoma directors are Robert Bayles, pastor of Tulsa, Ranch Acres; Doug McClure, pastor of Hugo, First; Robert Griffin, pastor of Oklahoma City, Brookwood; Bill Brown, member of Sand Springs, Broadway, and Bobbie Shoemake, member of Henryetta, First.

The interim directors will be replaced by permanent directors presented to the BGCO nominating committee.


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