First Baptist OKC Drops Out of SBC

The First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, the city’s original Baptist congregation founded the year of the Oklahoma land run in 1889, voted 300-69 on Sunday, September 23, 2001 to terminate its 87-year affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The vote is an extension of the dissatisfaction voiced by many Baptists over recent actions by the Convention.

“The First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City has always stood for time-honored Baptist beliefs, by which each individual answers directly to God,” Dr. Jeff Zurheide, pastor, said.

“We regret that the Southern Baptist Convention, under its present leadership, is trying to impose dogma on separate and independent Baptist churches.”

“What’s more, it’s dogma we don’t agree with,” he said.

Among other things, the Convention’s 2000 Baptist Faith and Message restricts the office of pastor to men only, and requires wives to “submit graciously” to their husbands.

In 1983 First Baptist Church became one of the state’s first Southern Baptist congregations to ordain women as deacons.

In a report approved by the board of deacons, a study group expressed the view that, “Considering the need for qualified ministers capable of taking the Gospel to a broken and needy world, we believe excluding women from the role of pastor inhibits the time-honored Baptist mission of taking the message of Christ to the world.”

A complete copy of the church’s extensively researched and documented denominational relations committee report can be viewed online at  Press releases, statements of faith and declarations of conscience from other churches that have recently left the SBC can be found at



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