Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


1973 to 1982

Property Sale, Ministry Expansion Approved

Historical marker on former property
A historical marker erected on the former property
as a memorial of the original location of the
Oklahoma Baptist Orphans' Home.

First printed by the 'Baptist Messenger' August 27, 1981.

Expansion of Oklahoma Baptist’s child care ministry to care for as many as 500 children by 1985 was voted last week by the state convention Board of Directors in a called meeting in Oklahoma City. The move will be made possible partly though funds from the sale of the Baptist Children’s Home property at N.W. 63rd and Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City. Funds from the sale will also result in future operation of child care facilities scattered across Oklahoma. These will be smaller group homes near Duncan, Clinton, Woodward and McAlester.

The directors voted unanimously to sell the 37.5-acre property to Irish Realty Corporation, a partnership, for a total of $12 million. The group includes John Kilpatrick, longtime Oklahoma City lumberman and real estate developer: John Kennedy Jr. and Michael Samis, also of Oklahoma City. They plan to construct an integrated business complex interconnected with residential complexes and small support-type retail areas.

Funds Designated

All of the funds from the sale will be designated for the child care ministry. Up to $3.5 million will be used to relocate the children’s home to a site west of Moore. The remainder of the money will be put into endowment funds held by the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. Eighty percent of the endowment income will be used for operations of the child care ministry and 20 percent will be reinvested into the corpus.

Sale of the property is contingent upon the buyers’ success in changing zoning, soil tests indicating the land’s suitability to the construction and other conditions. The deal is to be consummated within one year with a 150,000 non-refundable fee to be paid to the BGCO.

Cottage Names Remain

Joe L. Ingram, state convention executive director-treasurer, said the names on the present cottages at the Oklahoma City home will be carried over and used on the new units at the Moore campus.

Occupancy of the property by the children’s home will be reserved by the convention until a new campus is built on the Moore site. Lowell Milburn, child care department director, pointed out that if problems should arise, the children at the home could be moved to child care facilities in Madill and Owasso and into foster homes.

Ingram pointed out to the directors that much of the cost of the replacement of the replacement home at Moore could be recovered through wise investment of the remaining $8.5 million. "During the first year we could probably earn money in interest faster than we spend the funds," he said.

How the Baptists Acquired Site

How Oklahoma Southern Baptists acquired the property at N.W. 63rd and Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, was detailed for the joint committee of directors considering its sale by Joe L. Ingram, state convention executive director-treasurer, in a meeting earlier this summer.

The following is a summary of his report gleaned from a study of the abstract of the property.

The property was a part of a 160-acre tract that has the signature of President Theodore Roosevelt consigning that property to Mr. & Mrs. William Wagner. The Wagners kept it for just a few days and sold it to I.M. Putnam for $10,000. Putnam then organized the Military Park Development Company of which he was president and sold the land to the company for $250,000. He then sold the land to the Oklahoma and Indian Territory Baptist Orphans Home of Oklahoma County for $2,000 with the stipulation that 40 acres be used for a children’s home.

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