Planting a Church in Edmond, OK
On December 23, 1959 Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Henderson presented a deed for 4 acres of land located on 33rd and Boulevard to the First Baptist Church of Edmond for the purpose of building a Baptist Mission. Edmond, Oklahoma was growing at the time and had reached a population of 8,000 and the church saw a great opportunity to serve the Edmond community while sharing the gospel. In 1962 the Mission broke ground and within two years it was completed.
The first worship service was held in May of 1964 and the church was crowded with 134 people. A willingness to be inconvenienced really began on that first Sunday and has continued to be the heart of the church for more than 30 years. On November 25, 1965, the mission members voted to organize the mission into a church that would carry the name of the people who first donated the land it sat on. Thus, Henderson Hills Baptist Church was born.
A Growing City and a Growing Church
Soon, Henderson Hills Baptist Church was welcoming much more then 134 people, and as Edmond continued to grow, church leadership knew that they were going to need more space. In 1967 they doubled the space at the original property. In 1974 it became clear that it was time to expand again and a new worship center was built. The next three years specifically were a time of tremendous growth for Henderson Hills and this trend continued as new land was purchased and an entire new building built in 1992. Then finally, in 2004 Henderson Hills Baptist Church moved to its current location on I-35 and 15th street in Edmond, OK. These moves are not mentioned here to celebrate anything that HHBC did, but instead the lives that were changed as God spread the gospel throughout Edmond.
The “Green Shag Carpet Mindset”
Henderson Hills Baptist Church has had many ups and downs over the years, but God has remained faithful through it all. While walking the halls, you might hear some long time members joke about the green shag carpet. This is referring to the decorating style in HHBC’s very first worship center. When the need to move to the facility on I-35 became apparent by an overflowing worship center and parking lot, church members volunteered to watch service on a screen on that shag carpet in order to make room for new people visiting the new church building. In order to make room in the parking lot, members would park at a nearby location and then be shuttled onto the church property. HHBC members serve in a variety of ways that are even bigger than that, but this became a beautiful picture of people’s willingness to put other people before themselves in hopes that they would hear the gospel. So the “green shag carpet mindset” continues even though the carpet has long since been replaced.
Other Milestones in the Life of Henderson Hills Baptist Church
- No God But God: In the summer of 1995, in the recent shadow of the Oklahoma City Bombing, our students traveled to Silver Cliff, Colorado. HHBC’s pastor at the time preached a message that began a revival and it forever became known as the “Silver Cliff Covenant”. The revival began at camp, continued throughout the week, resulting in prayer groups, people being saved, many desired to be baptized, and followed the students back to Edmond, OK. When they returned, the church walked through a series of sermons entitled “No God but God” and the Worship Pastor at the time wrote a song by the same name. Many were saved and miraculously healing in relationships took place. Henderson Hills no longer went about worship in a “business as usual” fashion.
Establishment of Elder Council: In November of 1995, the “Vision Implementation Group” was formed. Their task was to carefully compare the standards of the New Testament to the practices of Henderson Hills. One of their most important conclusions was that the New Testament commands that the church be led by a group of leaders (Elders), rather than a single pastor. This raised many questions that this team had to reconcile, but on August 4, 1996, new by-laws were adopted by the church. And in April 1997, the first Elders were installed. The first Henderson Hills Elder Council consisted of these five men: Dennis Newkirk, Harold McGlamery, Les Miller, Ken Surritte, and Wally Weaver.
- The Birth of Ministries of Jesus: While the 1990’s held many challenging times and tragedies in the life of our church and community, there was a growth and a dedication to reaching out to people. In 1998, after focusing on Luke 4:18 where Jesus proclaims, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be release, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors” (NLT) the church learned about the ‘Ministries of Jesus’ and the biblical concept that ‘Man is a Three part Being’. Spirit, Soul and Body.
In 1999, a new group was formed called ‘The Ministries of Jesus Steering Committee (MOJ Team for short), whose job it was to explore the possibilities of establishing a free medical clinic. After many obstacles and delays, The MOJ Team began mapping out a plan, when suddenly in October a doctor’s office became available. As a result of many generous people, MOJ officially opened its doors, in a shopping center at 33rd & Boulevard on January 2, 2002 with only one full-time staff member. In August, the First Full-time Director was hired. Ministries of Jesus was able to move to their new home on the HHBC campus in 2008. In 2020, MOJ had 40 Medical and Dental Providers representing nine specialties. They were able to see 1,847 patients and 1,296 counseling sessions were held. 158 volunteers gave of their time, while $1,780,388 in medications and services were donated. As always, prayer was offered and the gospel shared.
- Henderson Hills Day Camp: In 2018, Edmond Public School teachers went on strike leaving many families scrambling to find a safe place for their kids so they could continue to go to work. The members of Henderson Hills Baptist Church saw this as a great opportunity to love on the Edmond and Oklahoma City community and opened its doors for what was lovingly called “Day Camp”. Hundreds of elementary students came onto our campus from 9-3 each day for two weeks until the teacher strike ended. They had a day full of fun activities, snacks, and worship as we shared the gospel with many families that had never been in our doors before.
Coronavirus: When the coronavirus pandemic forced churches in Edmond and around the world to close their doors, Henderson Hills Baptist Church members sprung into action yet again. Services were moved online and plans were made to safely care for high-risk church members. When schools first opened up again but only part time, HHBC members and staff provided tutoring and a safe place for school aged children to do their homework and hear the gospel for several months.
A Place For Refugees: In November of 2021, 1,000 Afghan refugees were resettled in Oklahoma City seeking asylum. Henderson Hills began housing two Christian Afghan families and provided for their needs. After two years, these families are now beginning an Afghan church here in the metro to help countless other refugees know Christ. In the meantime HHBC also helped many local refugees with government paperwork, medical/dental, shopping for food, long-term housing, transportation, English classes, education, and jobs.
Living Sent: Henderson Hills is commited to planting and revitalizing churches all throughout the US and beyond. If you would like more information about these churches or how you can help, email us here!
These are just a few stories that can be told about what God has done in the life of our church. Come visit Henderson Hills Baptist Church and ask our members to tell their stories and you will hear time after time of God’s faithfulness. If you are interested in meeting with someone to find out more, please fill out the form below.