Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


The Gladys Smith Society

Charles SutterCharles Sutter

When the Board of Trustees for The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma met on April 28, Charles Sutter was recognized for his volunteer service to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Charles had served as a trustee for The Baptist Foundation for a number of years and OBHC used this occasion to honor him with induction into the Gladys Smith Society. The OBHC Board of Trustees voted on March 28 to honor Sutter with membership in the society for his many years of service to OBHC.

Gladys Smith was the first child admitted to the Oklahoma Baptist Orphan’s Home in 1903. OBHC recognizes individuals who have made outstanding efforts on behalf of children with membership in the Gladys Smith Society.

In 1995, Mr. Sutter became the volunteer State Rebuilding Coordinator for Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Having retired after 34 years of service with Southwestern Bell, Sutter was willing to tackle the huge task of overseeing the rebuilding and remodeling of the Baptist Children’s Homes in Oklahoma City, Madill, Owasso, and Boys Ranch Town in Edmond as part of OBHC’s Building for a Brighter Tomorrow campaign.

Mr. Sutter and his wife, Ina, had been members of First Baptist Church, Edmond, for 20 years; they are now members of Lake Center Baptist Church at Monkey Island, Oklahoma.

When Mr. Sutter began his work he said, “The goal is to repair and upgrade the facilities and reduce long-term maintenance costs and repairs so that the houseparents can spend more time caring for the children, not the facilities.” He saw his job in three parts. Part One was rebuilding and remodeling the cottages where the children live. Part Two was upgrading and rebuilding the administrative facilities, including the swimming pools, gyms, offices, and administrative housing. Part Three was new construction.

Mr. Sutter worked with local teams to encourage the highest quality work. As the state coordinator, he secured local coordinators for each campus, followed up on the projects and oversaw new construction. Statewide purchasing and standardization of appliances helped lower and costs and long-term maintenance.

The goal of getting the most work done for the least cost was realized as Mr. Sutter was able to get $2 or $3 of value for every dollar spent. This happened through donations of labor and discounts or gifts of materials from local merchants. Several Baptist Builder groups such as the Nail Benders from Bartlesville were a tremendous help.

When he began his work of rebuilding the campuses in 1995, Mr. Sutter said, “If you want to do something significant for others, then volunteer.” Mr. Sutter has done something significant and his work will make a difference for children for many years to come. 12-07-99

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