Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


1973 to 1982

Baptist Children's Home, Owasso

Baptist Children's Home, Owasso - 1973

Mr. and Mrs. J. Ray Smith

The Baptist Children’s Home in Owasso was begun with land and money made available by a gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Ray Smith of Tulsa.

Ground was broken on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1973. The groundbreaking and construction of cottages in the 1970s was the realization of a long-time dream of several Tulsa Baptists.

This article first appeared in "The Baptist Messenger" on March 28, 1985.

Smiths Perpetuate Baptist Missions

J. Ray Smith was born July 29, 1901 at Melbourn, Arkansas. He married Ola Clift in 1920. J. Ray and Ola moved to Tulsa and established the Commercial Lumber Company which they operated until Smith’s death August 4, 1983.

Through the years the Smiths were faithful Christian stewards, giving at least a tithe of their earnings to White City Church in Tulsa. In December 1971, they conveyed land at Owasso to The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma expressly as a retirement center. The Smiths made invaluable contributions to the development of both the children’s home and the retirement village.

Mr. And Mrs. Smith arranged between themselves that, upon Smith’s death, Mrs. Smith would convey her corporate interest in the Commercial Lumber Company to the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. As soon as the probate of Smith’s estate was completed, in which he conveyed his corporate stock in the company to Mrs. Smith, she would, in turn, give the remaining corporate interest in Commercial Lumber Company to The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma as endowment.

The probate concluded March 13 and Mrs. Smith immediately conveyed the stock to the Foundation. The trust assets of the Commercial Lumber Company of Tulsa are now owned by The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. The Foundation is directed to retain the assets as endowment, with income to be distributed 45 percent to the Tulsa Baptist Retirement Village at Owasso, 45 percent to the Baptist Children’s Home at Owasso and 10 percent to the White City Church.

"Mr. Smith was an outstanding example of a faithful Christian steward," said Foundation President C. Fred Williams. Mrs. Smith carries on that same commitment. They are a challenge to all of us that be every means available we commit our lives to the Lordship of Christ and to faithful stewardship of material possessions by means of gifts, trusts, and Last Wills and Testaments to honor the Lord with the substance he has entrusted to us."

"The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma considers it a privilege to perpetuate the memory of J. Ray Smith and to honor the commitment of Ola Smith by faithfully managing the assets entrusted to us," Willams said.

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