The Norman Transcript

October 18, 2013

Church celebrates 50 years of growth in Norman

By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The area of Robinson Street and Stubbman Avenue has been witness to a new high school, housing additions expanding and new ones being built. But, digging its roots deep at 1500 N. Stubbman St. for the last 50 years is Concord Missionary Baptist Church.

The church started from a group of members from the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church of Norman on Oct. 17, 1963. Concord Missionary Baptist Church was organized on Nov. 1, 1963. Brother June Godbehere preached the organizational sermon. Brother John Britton was called as the first pastor and Bart Swanson was recognized as an ordained deacon.

To celebrate this milestone, the church will host a special morning service at 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 27. The theme of the morning worship is “Glory in the Church — An Eternal Perspective.” Following the morning service will be a noon lunch. A second service will be at 2 p.m. with the theme “Glory in The Church — A Historical Perspective.

“Which will really be a reminiscing time. We will recognize former pastors, charter members, and I will speak about the future of the church,” said Senior Pastor R.L. Clark.

Ellen York Gay, a charter member of the church, feels blessed to have seen Concord grow into the church it is today.

“He (God) has supplied all the needs of the church for 50 years so I am not surprised that we made it this far. I am just amazed that He would take a handful of people to start this work,” Gay said. “I should hope if Jesus tarries His Coming that the church will continue to spread the gospel to the people in Norman, even in the state of Oklahoma, and throughout the world, and that it will be able to celebrate 100 years in His service.”

Clark, who has been the minister at the church since August 2006, also shares in Gay’s vision for the church to grow for many years.

The church owns property adjacent to its current location, Clark said. There have been discussions of eventually expanding the church. An expansion also might include space for the church’s seminary that was started in fall of 2004. The Concord Baptist Institute meets every Monday during the school year and has about 10 to 18 students a semester.

Growing up as a preacher’s son in Broken Bow, Clark knows that a church just isn’t a place to open on Sunday morning. Concord Missionary Baptist Church holds Sunday school 9:45 a.m., morning services at 10:50 a.m. and a Sunday evening service at 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, the church hosts a Bible study at 7 p.m. and a teen Bible study also at 7 p.m.

“For a church our size, we have a lot going on,” Clark said.

Concord Missionary Baptist Church isn’t the only thing to dig roots deep in Norman. Clark also has enjoyed his time in Soonerville.

For more information about Concord Missionary Baptist Church, visit