The History of South Tulsa Baptist Church
A Rich Christian Heritage Since 1978
Men and women with vision, a heart for South Tulsa and a desire to see their neighbors hear the Good News led the drive to establish South Tulsa Baptist Church nearly a quarter of a century ago. The growth of South Tulsa Baptist Church has been nothing but dynamic since the mission-minded people of First Baptist Church, Tulsa, answered the call to establish a body of believers in south Tulsa in the 1970s.
STBC began with an air of anticipation during the spring of 1977 when the Missions Committee of the Deacon fellowship began searching for a site in south Tulsa to establish a new work. Chairman of the committee was Deacon Paul R. Henry. Others on the committee were F.H. Gilmore, Neil Layman, Lawrence Peitz, Roy Thomason and Ed Wolf. The previous October, the Tulsa Baptist Association had already stood in the gap, purchasing 10 acres of land at 103rd and Sheridan Road for $61,500.
A year after buying the property, the FBC leadership felt led by the Lord to reach out to the community and discover the needs of the people in south Tulsa. First Baptist conducted a house-to-house survey in a four-mile radius around the newly bought property. Nearly a fifth of those responding to the survey said they were interested in a church being erected south of the intersection of 101st Street and Sheridan Road.
Ten months later, in August 1978, First Baptist Church approved the purchase of the land at 10310 S. Sheridan Road by making the final payment of $23,579. First Baptist wanted to establish a “satellite” church to be called First Baptist Church South. A satellite church is one that meets in two locations with one staff, one committee system, one deacon body and one budget.
The newly organized church in south Tulsa was, in effect, a mission. But, even then it was obvious that because of the location the church had to be a first-class organization. The FBC leadership wanted a satellite instead of a mission church because the facility had to be compatible with the neighborhood.
“We did not feel we could call South a mission,” said Paul Henry, chairman of the Missions Committee. “We always expected them to become an independent church.”
Sunday School and worship services started on Nov. 5, 1978 in Thoreau Junior High School near 71st Street and Memorial Drive. Dr. Jerry Hopkins became the interim pastor and led the inaugural service that was attended by 75 people.