Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


1903 to 1912

William McKinney

William McKinney - Superintendent: 1907-1915

William McKinney served as superintendent from 1907-1915. He faced the challenges of operating the Orphans’ Home in the state’s poor economy. The Home survived because Oklahoma Baptists generously gave to the ministry.

A milk cow was donated to the Home in 1909. Mr. A. Nunnery, editor of the circular, “The Baptist Worker,” made the long trip from Mangum early one morning to give the cow to McKinney and the orphans. After the long train ride to El Reno and an overnight stay, Nunnery and the cow finally arrived in Oklahoma City, where he was greeted with “big eyes and sweet smiles” from 49 children and McKinney. The children named the cow Buttercup.

A blind girl donated her watch after McKinney preached in Bartlesville. “I have no money to give, but take my watch, sell it, and use the money to help the orphans,” she said. McKinney used the watch and its story as an object lesson, and many were inspired to give.

“You won’t get anything,” is what McKinney was told by the pastor of a Tulsa church. “Don’t even take an offering,” he said. McKinney preached and prayed. He took an offering and to everyone’s surprise, $500 was given.

McKinney later announced the Home needed a piano. He asked each person to give a dollar a week. Within one year, the Home had collected enough dollars to buy a piano.

William McKinney standing between horses
Prince and Bill were horses the children rode and loved. This photograph was taken during McKinney's administration. William McKinney can be seen standing between the two horses.

From the book, "The Two Became One" (2005) by Robert L. Ross:

In 1908, William McKinney became the home’s third superintendent and served until 1915. By the time he came to office, the number of children had grown to forty-nine, which exceeded the capacity of the home’s facilities. Mounting debt only complicated these crowded conditions. Some creditors threatened suit unless the obligations of the home were met. Outstanding bills reached $16,000, which seemed insurmountable in Oklahoma ‘s depressed economy. The collapse of the Baptist Orphan’s Home XE "Baptist Orphan’s Home" appeared imminent unless someone intervened. Leaders appealed to BGCO corresponding secretary J. C. Stalcup to come to the rescue.12

In 1915, the convention voted to take over the operations of the Baptist Orphan’s Home XE "Baptist Orphan’s Home" and to assume its indebtedness. The convention’s resources were pledged to back the home, and money was borrowed to satisfy the creditors only three days before legal actions were to be taken. Two years later, in 1917, a deed was prepared and filed in Oklahoma County officially transferring the ownership of the Orphan’s Home property to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. At the same time, the corporate name, the Oklahoma and Indian Territory XE "Indian Territory" Baptist Orphan’s Home, also known as the Baptist Orphan’s Home, was officially changed to the Oklahoma Baptist Orphan’s Home.13

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