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Rodeo Draws in a Crowd

This year’s Boys Ranch Town (BRT) Rodeo was a success, even with a muddy arena! Rodeo-enthusiasts gathered from across the state to show their support for BRT residents Saturday, September 30 in Edmond.

Residents ride in on horses to kick off the grand entry.

The event was held on the BRT campus beginning at 10 a.m., followed by a cookout provided by Oakdale Baptist Church.

Residents proudly hold their flags during the playing of the national anthem.

A resident brings out the Oklahoma flag.

Horses and riders skillfully trotted around the arena during the grand entry.

“We had the biggest turn out of folks that we have ever had for our rodeo,” said BRT Administrator Brent Thackerson. “We had 320 people in attendance.”

Hundreds of community members showed their support for BRT on a cloudy September Saturday.

BRT residents of all ages provided entertainment for the crowd as they opened with a striking grand entry, complete with a prayer, flag salute and playing of the national anthem. Residents trotted on their horses next to the U.S. Marshall Posse, who volunteered their time at this year’s rodeo.

Members of the U.S. Marshall Posse volunteered their time to make the event one-of-a-kind!

The main event was the traditional buck-out with 17 residents trying their luck on a bucking steer. Each resident’s face lit up as their steer rushed out of the gate.

The buck-out lived up to its name as residents tried their hardest to stay on for the elusive eight seconds.

The audience intently watches as each rider tries their luck.

Residents had help getting on the steers and were supervised for safety.

The muddy arena proved to be a bit tricky for some riders.

 

The rodeo was packed with smiling faces!

“I love seeing family, friends and community come together to support the residents of Boys Ranch Town and their passion for the agriculture programs,” said Jennifer Kloeppel, director of BRT’s Equine Assisted Training Program. “Yes it was a great rodeo, one for the record books.”

 

Jennifer Kloeppel, director of BRT’s equine program and the event’s emcee, announces the next rider.

Staying on for 7.11 seconds, the first place winner received a rowdy round of applause and a personalized belt buckle.

The winner of the buck-out beams proudly as his name is called.

Aside from the thrilling buck-out, the audience was also introduced to one of BRT’s barn cats, Tigger.

Tigger the barn cat was a big hit at the rodeo this year.

Residents make their way to the cookout after a long day of steer-riding!

After the buck-out, the community moved over to the cookout. Oakdale Baptist Church generously donated their time and resources to provide a wonderful meal!

A big thank you to Oakdale Baptist!

BRT Administrator Brent Thackerson speaks with some rodeo-goers during the cookout.

These two boys found a comfy spot to rest in a golf cart!

The event was fun for the whole family!

BRT residents pose with BRT Equine Program Director Jennifer Kloeppel.

While admission was free, donations were accepted and funds raised at the event will go towards helping the residents. BRT is a ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC).  The mission of OBHC is to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ.

For more information about BRT or the rodeo, click here!

See ya next year, cowboys and cowgirls!

Photos and story by Lauren Capraro, OBHC Communications Strategist

2017 Miles4Smiles Bike Ride

Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) hosted its Annual Miles4Smiles Bike Ride Saturday, June 17, starting just north of Baptist Children’s Home (BCH) in Oklahoma City.

BCH residents and staff pose with their bicycles before the race.

Participants from all over the state chose to bike 10 miles, 27 miles, 44 miles or 56 miles, or participate in the campus walk. The starting line was located at Emmaus Baptist Church, 16001 S Western Ave. in Oklahoma City.

Brianna Gilbert gets ready to start the race on the morning of June 17.

“We were blessed with enormous support from volunteers, participants, and sponsors of our annual Miles4Smiles bike ride,” said BCH Oklahoma City Administrator Scott Conrad. “Staff and residents enjoyed cheering for the finishers, serving, and visiting with the crowd at the festive after-party.”

Joe Ripberger, Muralee Muraleetharam and Dave Sabatini throw their thumbs up in excitement at the starting line of the bike ride.

The cost was $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and younger. Lunch was provided at the BCH Recreation Center. Prize drawings and t-shirts were offered as well. Registration fees covered the event, but any additional donations will go towards BCH resident birthdays.

Riders smile for the camera as they pass by Lake Stanley Draper.

“We love hosting this ride every year and are once again pleased with the positive feedback we have received,” Conrad said.

BCH Staff Shonda Flowers and Marla Wingfield show their support for the bike riders.

The mission of OBHC is to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ. For more information on the bike ride, visit www.obhc.org/bikeride or call (405) 691-7781.

With gratitude,
Lauren Capraro

2017 ForeKids! Golf Tournaments

Baptist Children’s Home (BCH), Owasso, hosted its Annual Women’s Golf Tournament and Annual Men’s Golf Tournament at Bailey Ranch Golf Club in Owasso. Both tournaments had wonderful turnouts and beautiful weather.

The Men’s Golf Tournament was held on Monday, June 12 and consisted of 31 teams. The morning first place team was led by Larry Rampey and the afternoon first place team was led by Brian Humphrey. OBHC staff cooked and provided lunch.

Golf participants enjoyed spending time with BCH residents during the tournament.

The Women’s Golf Tournament was held on Monday, June 19 and consisted of 14 teams. The first place team was led by Peggy Rider. Children from BCH, Owasso assisted golfers by carrying their golf bags and providing beverages. Olive Garden catered lunch.

High fives between participants and residents creates excitement as the golfers head to their first holes of the day.

“The golf tournament is a great event for our campus. It helps us raise activity funds throughout the year for our cottages and summer program,” said BCH Owasso Administrator Scott Pallett. “It’s just a fun event for the whole campus. We have a lot of people participate and it really blesses us.”

A team dressed as superheroes pose next to BCH residents before the tournament.

Proceeds go toward the summer program and activity fund for the children at BCH, Owasso. Individuals and businesses were given the opportunity to sponsor a hole for $200. Hole-in-one prizes were provided by Jackie Cooper Imports and Classic Chevrolet.

“It was a great way for people to have fun and help the children have some great summer activities,” said OBHC Development Representative Donna Brooks. “That’s what we’re all here for.”

BCH residents and staff greet the women at the start of the tournament.

Baptist Children’s Home, Owasso, is a ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC).  The mission of OBHC is to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ.

For more information about the Women’s Golf Tournament or Men’s Golf Tournament, please visit www.obhc.org/golf or call Donna Brooks at (918) 640-9277.

With gratitude,
Lauren Capraro

Cups Filled with Kindness

Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children hosted its fourth annual Women of Compassion banquet at Devon Energy Center on Saturday, April 1.

“I am totally amazed each year at the generosity of our women. This year was no different with an astonishing 174 members,” said Shonda Flowers, OBHC development representative. “Women of Compassion has contributed over $575,000 in just four short years. It is simply amazing what can happen when we all come together.”

Two Women of Compassion members adorned in floral attire smile for a photograph.

The theme of the yearly event is “Cups of Kindness.” Women from across Oklahoma gathered to listen to a dynamic speaker, worship, and fellowship. Members also voted on how their funds will be invested to provide hope to children and families through the ministries of OBHC and Hope Pregnancy Centers.

OBHC President Greg McNeece speaks to Women of Compassion members about the impact of their generosity.

174 women of all ages and denominations joined Women of Compassion, with the total number of donations surpassing $174,000. Rochelle Frazier was the lunch’s keynote speaker, while Josh and Kiley Edington, worship pastors at Crossings Community Church, sang and led worship throughout the event.

Josh and Kiley Edington lead worship while women of all ages and denominations gathered in Oklahoma City.

Annual membership is $1,000 and benefits the ministries of OBHC. The event was from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Breakfast and lunch were provided and vendor tables were offered before event.

Women of Compassion members and guests stand to sing worship songs.

Author Rochelle Frazier speaks to members and guests during the gathering.

Rachael Blevins, a Women of Compassion charter member, said this year’s event was wonderful. “It’s really great to see people gather together to help others. I had a real blessed time getting to see old friends as well as make some new friends.” Blevins and her sister were both former residents of the original Baptist Children’s Home. The campus was located on NW 63rd and Pennsylvania Avenue from 1907 to 1983.

Women of Compassion members Toni Chesser, Rachael Blevins, Sue Reynolds, and Debbie Buchanan stop to pose for a photo on Devon Energy Center’s 50th floor.

The grant submission receiving the most votes for $50,000 was Baptist Children’s Home, Owasso’s request for a security fence, sidewalk, and the renovation of their transitional living apartment. The second grant submission with the most votes for $50,000 was Hope Pregnancy Centers’ request for Trophon ultrasound disinfectant machines, bibles, prenatal books, and life-like baby models. A third grant of $74,000 goes to support all campuses and ministries of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

Residents from Baptist Children’s Home, Oklahoma City sing a song while members enjoy dessert.

Barbara Bohlander from Guymon is a two-year member with a personal connection to OBHC. “My oldest daughter was adopted from the children’s home 45 years ago, so this ministry is near and dear to my heart,” she said. “What’s important is these women coming together to do projects that would otherwise take a long time to do.”

Women from across the state of Oklahoma join for a group photo in Devon Energy Center.

To join for the 2018 vote, visit www.obhc.org/women-of-compassion or call Sherry Peck at (405) 942-7917 to set up monthly installments. For more information about Women of Compassion or OBHC, please visit www.obhc.org or email Shonda Flowers at shonda.flowers@obhc.org.

 

With gratitude,

Lauren Capraro

Join us at Concert for Hope!

Join us in Southern Oklahoma for our Concert for Hope! Hope Pregnancy Center of Southern Oklahoma will host Mark Lowry and The Martins in concert on Friday, March 31. The concert will be held at CrystalRock Cathedral Assembly Church in Ardmore at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.

Lowry is well known in the gospel world and travels extensively showcasing his outrageous sense of humor and his baritone vocal skills.  The Martins are three siblings who are Dove and Grammy Award winners for their tight acapella harmonies.

 

Hope Pregnancy Center is a non-profit organization that offers free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds and free pregnancy option education to women who need guidance and support. The local center is located at 921 North Washington in Ardmore.

“We are looking forward to having Mark Lowry and The Martins’. It is our hope people will come and enjoy Concert for Hope and learn about the mission of Hope Pregnancy Center of Southern Oklahoma,” said HPC Development Specialist Laura DeHart.

To purchase tickets or make a donation, visit www.concertforhope.info. Tickets will not be sold at the door. CrystalRock Cathedral Assembly Church is located at 2005 12th Ave. NW in Ardmore.

For more information about Hope Pregnancy Center Southern Oklahoma, please visit www.obhc.org/hope-pregnancy-centers or call 580-223-7232.

Thank you for partnering with us as we work together to provide help and hope to those facing an unplanned pregnancy within our communities.

From the Kindness of a Stranger

When Cherie Harper was asked if she’d make a new flag for Boys Ranch Town, she wholeheartedly agreed – even though she’d never stepped foot on the campus.

Cherie Harper and BRT Administrator Brent Thackerson hold up the new flag during its unveiling.

Cherie attends church at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, where she goes to Sunday School with Zelda Hendley, a dear friend and volunteer of BRT’s.

Cherie stands next to Zelda’s husband, Jack Hendley.

“When Zelda asked if I’d be able to make a flag, I said I’d never done a flag before but I’d certainly try,” Cherie said. “It took me about a month. I actually made about four flags before I got to this one. I put them on sheets.. I put them on everything to practice.”

BRT Administrator Brent Thackerson admires the newly embroidered flag.

The BRT flag is used for a variety of purposes, including being on display during parades and rodeos. Unfortunately, the well-loved flag used from 1990-2003 was too fragile and had to be retired for cosmetic reasons.

Two current residents proudly hold the original BRT flag.

“If we kept using it, it was going to fall apart,” said Brent Thackerson, BRT administrator.

Cherie used the old flag as a template to make the new flag: complete with a detailed horse, bright yellow type and fringe down three of the sides.

“Just the horse has 56,642 stitches,” Cherie said, with a big smile.

During the unveiling of the new flag, Cherie got to visit BRT where she met with Brent, BRT volunteers and two current residents.

Cherie tells two BRT residents about the flag’s embroidery process.

“It’s very humbling to get to do this. It’s for a good cause,” she said. “I think it’s an awesome thing to have this campus for the boys. That boy said he thanked God every day that he had a place to live.”

Brent Thackerson stands next to Cherie Harper after she presented the flag on campus.

For more information about Boys Ranch Town or how you can help children in our care, please click here or call (405) 341-3606.

Thank you to Cherie, Jack and Zelda for their time and service to Boys Ranch Town.

#ThankYouThursday

With gratitude,

Lauren Capraro

Thank You for a Blessed Christmas!

What a blessed Christmas we had at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children this year. With your prayers and support, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ with approximately 200 children and families in our care.

Thank you for making a Christ-centered Christmas possible.

We hope you enjoy the slideshow below and know that you have been a blessing to these precious children and their families this Christmas!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Having trouble viewing slideshow? Click here to watch it on our blog!

Rejoicing in HOPE,

Sarah Edsall

Public Relations & Media Specialist


It’s not too late to make a gift in 2016 to help children and families at OBHC.

Click here to make an easy online donation.

 

Adventures in Advent: Week Five

Advent Banner W5

This weekly series is brought to you by OBHC President, Greg McNeece. Click here to learn more about Greg. From our OBHC family to yours, we are delighted to share the joy of Advent.

[Miss the first posts? We can help! Click here for Introduction to Advent. Click here for Week One: Prophecy Candle. Click here for Week Two: Bethlehem Candle. Click here for Week Three: Shepherd Candle. Click here for Week Four: Angel Candle.]

Week 5, Christmas Eve: “Christ Candle”

As a part of the Advent season, you will light all four candles on the perimeter of the wreath and then you will light the white candle at the center.

To review, the first week, we lit a purple candle which is called the Prophecy candle. It reminds us of how God spoke to His people through the prophets, offering them the hope of a Savior. The purple candle from the second week is known as the Bethlehem candle. This candle reminds us that God came to us in humbleness and simplicity. The third candle, the Shepherd candle, was lit reminding us of the importance of the Shepherds as a part of celebrating and honoring the Christ child. The third purple candle lit last week was the angel candle signifying the role angels had in announcing the birth of Jesus.

Today, Christmas Eve, is a remarkable day to celebrate. Today, the last candle is to be lit, and it is called the Christ candle. It represents the life of Christ that has come into this world and to us individually. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. The sole purpose for Jesus to be born was to pave the way for salvation and eternal life through his death, burial and resurrection. The scripture we read today comes from the gospel of John.

Today, you will light all five candles of the Advent wreath.

Scripture

Read John 3:1-8   Holman Christian Standard Version

There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”

Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Activity

Today, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, it allows us to have times of joy and happiness. Share with those gathered around you what brings joy to your life as a believer. If you are surrounded by children, this may be great time for a new tradition. Try baking a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake and making this a part of your family Christmas celebration. This will help shift the emphasis placed on gifts to what the season is really all about- Jesus’ birth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, today as we celebrate your birth, so much of what is done leading up to this day is about commercialism. While it can be fun, it also can detract from the true reason for this day. My prayer today is that I have learned from the Advent season and have slowed down, remembering that you have planned everything in life. You have a plan that involves me in helping to share the truth not only about this day, but about the eternal life found in Jesus, your Son. Amen.

Join Greg and the McNeece Family on this adventure toward a deeper understanding and reverence for the Christmas season!

Thank you for joining Greg and the McNeece Family on this adventure toward a deeper understanding and reverence for the Christmas season!

Thank you for setting out on these Adventures in Advent with us! My prayer is that you and your loved ones experience Christmas like never before, in an attitude of anticipation for the coming of Christ. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Greg-McNeece

As we journey together,

Greg McNeece

OBHC President

Adventures in Advent: Week Four

Advent Banner W4

This weekly series is brought to you by OBHC President, Greg McNeece. Click here to learn more about Greg. From our OBHC family to yours, we are delighted to share the joy of Advent.

[Miss the first posts? We can help! Click here for Introduction to Advent. Click here for Week One: Prophecy Candle. Click here for Week Two: Bethlehem Candle. Click here for Week Three: Shepherd Candle.]

Week Four: “Angel Candle”

As a part of the Advent season, you will light four candles, two purple, the one pink from last week and then you will light the remaining purple candle this week.

To review, the first week, we lit a purple candle which is called the Prophecy candle. It reminds us of how God spoke to His people through the prophets, offering them the hope of a Savior. The purple candle from the second week is known as the Bethlehem candle. This candle reminds us that God came to us in humbleness and simplicity. The third candle, the Shepherd candle, was lit last week reminding us of the importance of the Shepherds as a part of celebrating and honoring the Christ child.

As we journey into the fourth week of the Advent season, our focus today turns to the supernatural as we anticipate the actual birth of Jesus. Angels, in our culture today, hold much mystique. We have in our mind certain ideas of what angels look like. For many of us, angels are relegated to being pudgy, round-faced flying beings with harps. Angels are God’s messengers who announced the birth of Jesus. When we read today’s New Testament passage, we will see the vital role angels had in announcing to the world what was taking place.

Today, you will light the four candles on the perimeter of the advent wreath. Today, you will re-light the two purple candles, which have been lit previously, the pink candle from last week and the remaining purple candle.

 

Scripture

Read Luke 2:8-14   Holman Christian Standard Version

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”

 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!

Activity

What comes to mind when you think about angels? What do they look like? What do they do? Do angels look different from one another? There are many questions about the supernatural where we may not have the clearest answers. Talk with those gathered around you about other times in scripture where angels were messengers. If you remember, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary and Joseph that she would have a baby. We see later in scripture where the angel Michael announces the coming of Christ to John. Are there other times that you can recall God using angels as messengers in the Bible?

Prayer

Father God, today I see where you used even the supernatural to conduct your greater plan. In our society where little is understood about angels, you used them to announce the greatest gift ever given – Jesus. At his birth, you used angels to become incarnate and do the work which no man could do! May I place my life before you and be ready to be used by you. I want to be used to benefit you and others.  Amen.

Greg-McNeece

As we journey together,

Greg McNeece

OBHC President

Adventures in Advent: Week Three

Advent Banner W3This weekly series is brought to you by OBHC President, Greg McNeece. Click here to learn more about Greg. From our OBHC family to yours, we are delighted to share the joy of Advent.

{Miss the first posts? We can help! Click here for Introduction to Advent. Click here for Week One: Prophecy Candle. Click here for Week Two: Bethlehem Candle.]

Week Three: “Shepherd Candle”

As a part of the Advent season, you will light three candles, the two purple from last week and then your pink candle this week.

To review, the first week, we lit a purple candle which is called the Prophecy candle. It reminds us of how God spoke to His people through the prophets, offering them the hope of a Savior. The purple candle from week two is known as the Bethlehem candle. This candle reminds us that God came to us in humbleness and simplicity.

The third candle of the Advent season is traditionally referred to as the Shepherd candle. The shepherds sat on a quiet hilltop watching their sheep by night. They were common people like you and me. The angels announced the news of Jesus’ birth to them in the midst of their work. It was not the rich and famous who first came to the baby, it was shepherds. They responded with wonder, curiosity and faith as they sought the Savior whom the angels proclaimed. The shepherds sought their Savior in the baby Jesus.

As we share in this week’s Advent celebration, we need to spend time focusing on what took place in and around the stable. Think on the people more than the environment. The scripture for today will shift from where we have been on the Old Testament, to a very familiar passage in the New Testament.

Today, you will light the two purple candles you have previously lit (the Prophecy candle) and the Bethlehem candle). Now, light the pink candle (the Shepherd candle).

Scripture

Read Luke 2:15-20   Holman Christian Standard Version

When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.

Activity

If you think back to the time and culture of the birth of Jesus, what do you know about shepherds? Share what you know or tell what you think it was like being a shepherd during those days. Did you know that shepherds were young men predominantly in their early to mid-teenage years? Is there a job that you feel is comparable in our society to that of a shepherd? Share what you think it would be like if a “birth of Jesus” event happened in our culture to people who are comparable to the shepherds.

Prayer

Amazing Father, I stand amazed at your work through the birth of Jesus. I should never be surprised how you orchestrate things in this life. Just as you used people who society defines as “lowly and dirty,” many times I inadvertently classify people in ways I should not. I actually need to help people of all walks of life. When I do think about others, I then realize I am not only encouraging them, but I potentially am affirming your call upon their life. Thank you for calling me to salvation and helping me to remember that I and others are a part of your plan of salvation. Amen.

Greg-McNeeceAs we journey together,

Greg McNeece

OBHC President

Ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.