- Southwest Baptist Church, Oklahoma City
"Southwest Baptist Church" is an
Independent Baptist megachurchin Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They use the King James Version of the Biblein all Sunday school classes and from the pulpit. They do not condone contemporary Christian music, but instead use traditional hymnsand southern gospelmusic in their worship services.
Outreach is the focus of Southwest Baptist. The members believe in one-on-one soul winning and are equipped through a Soul Winning training course called "Fishers of Men."Another important aspect of the church's outreach is the bus ministry. Southwest has a bus ministry that brings in approximately 500 children each week. There they are given the gospel through Sunday school and Junior Church.
Southwest Baptist Church believes that tomorrow's future begins with the teaching and training of today's youth. The "Champions For Christ" youth ministry has a fervent desire to see young people give their hearts to Christ and to surrender to God's will in every aspect of their lives.The church's weekly services are filled with soul-stirring music which prepares the heart for the preaching of God's Word. The pastor is a fervent Bible preacher. The church believes that the Bible is the standard for conduct in a sin-filled world and takes seriously its command to come out of the world and live a separated life. It is the work of the church to strive to practice a godly walk and not compromise with the ecumenical movement or any other organization which seeks to take down the foundations of the faith. God left the church as His organization for propagating the gospel to a lost world.
Sam Davison, president of Heartland Baptist Bible College(HBBC) is the pastor. The graduation ceremony for HBBC is held there each May.
History of Southwest Baptist Church
In 1950, a small group of people, with a desire to begin an independent Bible-preaching and teaching Baptist church, began meeting in an Oklahoma City home. This tiny assembly of believers called as pastor J. Oscar Wells, a missionary home in the States due to political unrest in his field of China. Dr. Wells and his six-year-old daughter Shannon began knocking doors in south Oklahoma City to invite people to attend services.
The meeting place soon moved from a living room to a rented storefront and, in November 1951, with a handful of charter members, the Southwest Baptist Church was organized and incorporated. Most of the charter members remained active in the church until their deaths. J.O. Mills was such a member. Bro. Mills, whose son later served as music director, enabled the church to acquire property at 5521 S. Blackwelder, and a small block building was soon erected. In the summer of 1953, services began to be held there.
In April 1955, O.E. Matthews was called as pastor. A Sunday school annex was soon added to the building in the fall of the same year. In a little more than two years, the membership grew to over 350.
The church called Bert Harrison as pastor in October 1961. Under his leadership, the church experienced tremendous growth. The church acquired additional surrounding property, and in 1964, a new auditorium was completed. Four years later, upstairs Sunday school space was added to the original structure.
"He Hath Placed the World in Our Heart" was the theme of Southwest Baptist Church for many years under the pastorate of Bro. Bert Harrison. It reflected the heart of the church for missions according to the Great Commission of Christ to the church to "go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Faith Promise giving was implemented under Bro. Harrison’s leadership and the church’s missions commitment grew steadily year-by-year.
As the Lord continued to add to the church, it became obvious that new space would soon be needed for growth to continue. A plan for a new auditorium was born. In 1971, work began on the 17,000 square foot basement below the present day auditorium. Most of the labor for the project was provided by the pastor and members of the church. With church attendance running over 800, the new auditorium was completed and dedicated in the fall of 1974.
The church continued to grow and more building improvements and additions were made. Parking lots were added and the present gymnasium, which also provides much Sunday school space, was built in 1979.
When Brother Harrison retired in the spring of 1990, the church called Sam Davison as pastor. Davison began his pastorate in May 1990, and the Lord blessed the church with a seamless transition in leadership.
The Southwest Baptist Church foundations of sound Bible preaching, soul-winning emphasis, worldwide missions support and Christ-honoring music continue today under the leadership of Pastor Sam Davison. Mission monies are used to support over 140 missionary families (8 of which are sent out of Southwest Baptist) in approximately 56 countries around the world. The church is also very involved in church planting here in the U.S., supporting new works through the Home Missions program.
In the summer of 1998, Oklahoma City became home to
Heartland Baptist Bible College(formerly Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College of San Dimas, California). The campus was renovated in large part through the labor and contributions of the members of Southwest Baptist Church. Now in its eighth year of operation in Oklahoma City, Heartland has an enrollment of students from all across the United States and several foreign countries, and operates under the supervision of twenty-four pastors who serve as directors of the college. Most of the students attend Southwest Baptist Church and contribute uniquely to its ministry. Pastor Davison currently serves as President of the college.
Pastor Davison also served as President of the
Baptist Bible Fellowship Internationalfrom 1994-1998. Today, he continues to preach extensively throughout the country at revivals, missions conferences, youth camps, and pastor’s fellowship meetings. Assisting the pastor is a talented ministerial staff, most of whom have served at the church for 10-25 years."A Neighborhood Church with A Metro Vision", "Church As It Once Was", and "Moving Ahead" are themes of Southwest Baptist Church. It reflects the recognition of the church's responsibility to the community and surrounding areas. Southwest Baptist Church currently has an average attendance of 1,800 in the Sunday church services. Nineteen buses are sent out through south and northwest Oklahoma City, Moore, and Del City, bringing in an average of 450 children every Sunday. A strong youth department, a Spanish ministry with 3 Spanish-speaking services each week, a nursing home ministry, children’s churches, and annual Vacation Bible School averaging 1,000 children a day, a missions-oriented ladies ministry, a deaf ministry and an extensive outreach all characterize the life of Southwest Baptist Church today.
In 2005, the church completed a four-phase building program for new nursery, office, and Sunday school facilities. These new facilities have added over 100,000 square feet to meet current needs and future growth.
On November 5, 2006, Southwest Baptist Church celebrated its 55th Anniversary.
References & Related links
* [http://www.southwestbaptistchurch.com Southwest Baptist Church website]
* [http://www.heartlandbaptist.edu Heartland Baptist Bible College website]
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