Dr. Gene Garrison is retired Pastor Emeritus of the First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City. He and his wife, Martha Bailey of Amarillo, Texas, have two children. Their son, Stephen, received a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in English from Baylor University where he was the Browning Scholar. After earning a Ph.D. in English at the University of South Carolina he returned to Oklahoma to Chair the English Department at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Their daughter, Christy, received a Bachelors degree in Music from Baylor University where she won the 1971 Word scholarship for Baylor singer of the year. She earned her Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina and now works as a computer scientist at the S.A.S. Institute in Cary, N.C.
Gene has served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Phillips, Texas (1953-56), Memorial Baptist Church of Grapevine, Texas (1956-60), First Baptist Church of Hobart, Oklahoma (1960-63), First Baptist Church of Altus, Oklahoma (1963-68), First Baptist Church of El Paso, Texas (1968-1973), and First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City (1973-1996).
For years, Dr. Garrison's worship services were broadcast on television. While he pastored in El Paso his Sunday Morning worship services were telecast live on the CBS affiliate station. While pastoring at First Baptist in Oklahoma City, his morning worship services were broadcast live for seventeen years on the CBS affiliate station. From 1992-96 Gene's Bible studies and devotional teachings were broadcast in a studio program called, "In the First Place." Since his retirement, he has been host of "Religious Talk," a weekly radio show.
"Religious Talk is broadcast each Sunday morning from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM on WWLS 640am and 104.9fm in Norman, KTRT 1270am in Tulsa, KLCI 1320am in Clinton, and KSIW 1450am in Woodward. He invites you to call him while he is on the air at 1-888-339-1049. For those in the Oklahoma City area the number is 640-1049. For those calling from mobile phones within the state of Oklahoma the number is *1049. For those with Southwestern Bell mobile phone service the call is toll free.
Dr. Garrison graduated from Pampa High School in Pampa, Texas. He received a Bachelor's degree from West Texas State University, a Bachelor of Divinity and a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was honored with Doctor of Divinity degrees from Dallas Baptist University and Oklahoma City University.
Before entering the ministry, Gene worked in radio and newspaper journalism and taught English and Journalism in west Texas. He wrote a weekly column for the Altus Times Democrat for five years and authored a weekly column in the Oklahoma Journal for four years.
Gene was named one of "The Five Outstanding Young Pastors in America" by the American Minister's Association meeting in Augusta, Georgia (1968). He was a member of the Urban Strategy Committee in Texas and was on the Board of Trustees for Hardin Simmons University. Dr. Garrison served as a member of the Home Mission Board of the SBC (1973-78) and chaired the Board's Executive Search Committee in 1976. He served two terms on the board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University, chaired the Committee on Nominations for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 1982, and was Moderator of the Southern Baptist Forum (1984-88). Gene served as Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention (1982-83) and as a member of the Coordinating Council of the Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma (1992-1996).
Recognized as an outstanding Bible teacher and preacher, Dr. Garrison was a frequent teacher and preacher at Glorieta and Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Centers. He was Baccalaureate speaker at Dallas Baptist University in 1972 and Commencement Speaker at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973. In 1975 Gene was the preacher for the Spiritual Emphasis Week at the Baptist Sunday School Board. He preached seminary revivals at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (1972), at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1974), and at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (1975). Dr. Garrison also taught a doctoral seminar on preaching for the Graduate Seminary of Phillips University (Spring 1988).
Involved in community affairs, Gene was appointed Chairman of the Oklahoma State Ethics Commission (1973-77) by then Governor David Boren. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Baptist Medical Center (1976-96), a member of the Mayor's Advisory Committee of Oklahoma City, a member and Chair of the board of Governors for Day Care of Oklahoma County, a member of the Child Welfare Advisory Committee for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, a member of Governor Henry Bellmon's Economic Task Force (1987-88), as chairman of the Neighborhood Initiative Commission for Oklahoma City (1992-96), a member of the Board of Directors of Oklahoma City Hospice (1992-95), a member of the Board of Directors of the Ambassador Concert Choir (1993-96), a member and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Thomas N. Lynn Institute for Healthcare Research since 1993, and as a member of the Board of Directors for The Educational and Employment Ministry since 1996.
Dr. Garrison was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Oklahoma County Historical Society in 1996.
Mainstream Messenger articles by Dr. Garrison:
Other Articles and Letters
Online since April 7, 1999
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