Our History
Meeting in a frame school house on the 25th of November, 1892, a small group of Baptists organized the first Baptist church in Stillwater, Oklahoma Territory, with Rev. Samuel Huntsberry as organizing moderator. Nine charter members formed the congregation. Stillwater Baptist Church built its first building at 9th and Duncan in 1898.
In January, 1902, the church was incorporated as the First Baptist Church of Stillwater, and in 1914 the congregation voted to cooperate with the Southern Baptist convention. By 1906 the original building could not accommodate the congregation. Two lots were purchased at the corner of 7th and Duncan, and a stone church was built at our present location for a cost of about $5,000. The new building was dedicated in June, 1909.
The next two decades brought great growth to the congregation, resulting in the need for more space. A three-story education building and a new auditorium were completed by October, 1929. Continued growth warranted the purchase of adjoining property and the building of a new auditorium, dedicated in September, 1952.
The buildings of 1929 were remodeled for education space and still serve the congregation today. As the membership continued to grow, in 1983 the church purchased the International Tours Building (now the Eighth Street Annex) and three houses west of the auditorium to be used for Sunday School space and parking. In 1993 the church purchased the Postal Plaza to help provide space for our growing Sunday School.
As the church grew, its primary focus became a commitment to missions.
The first Woman’s Missionary Union was formed in 1910 or 1911 from what had been known as the Ladies’ Aid Society. In the late 1920’s the church organized a Baptist Student Union, built a Student Center, and organized a Brotherhood. The first Vacation Bible School in Stillwater was held in June, 1941.
First Baptist Church has been active in starting new churches. In 1947 the Southside Baptist Mission was organized and became an independent church in 1949. That same year the church adopted Paradise Mission southwest of Stillwater and gave it support until 1984 when it became an independent church. In 1954 our church established the College Heights Church, which is now know as University Heights Baptist Church. Also in 1954 the church established Hillcrest Chapel, which became an independent church nineteen months later in December, 1955. The church voted in 1968 to purchase fifteen acres at the corner of Lakeview and Jardot Streets as a future mission project site. In April, 1985, the Korean Language Mission began meeting in our facilities and became an autonomous congregation in April, 1991, dedicating their own building in the summer of that year.
The church’s mission commitment extends throughout our nation and world. Since 1897 about thirty former members have served, or are still serving, on the foreign and home mission fields.