stories from the book
by James V. Browning
Compiled by James V. Browning
About the book: True stories of God at work in the lives of children and adults through Oklahoma Baptists and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children - published in 1998.
A Message from the President
Please accept on behalf of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children this gift of love. This is an attempt to bring together stories of God at work in the lives of chldren and adults.
Throughout this book, you have heard from adults who were children in our care. You heard them express appreciation and gratitude to those who made it possible for them to have a home. Today and in the future, we are committed to be a place of hope and a home for children.
If you would like to help create future success stories, please prayerfully consider ways that you can be involved with us. If you would like information about planned giving, wills and trusts, sponsorships, memorial gifts, or our pregnancy centers or children's homes, please write to us at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, 3800 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6505 or call 405-942-3800, Ext. 4625.
God bless you,
Tony Kennedy, President
Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
I think a primary responsibility any author must face is to tell you a story of human experiences. This I have attempted to do in "Great Things He Has Done." This is a collection of stories from individuals who suffered tragedies, griefs, and difficulties in childhood that many adults never experience in a lifetime. How tragic that over three million children suffer abuse and neglect in America each year. It is to this multitude of abused and neglected children I dedicate this book.
The life and ministry of Jim Browning and the ministry to children by Oklahoma Baptists have been intertwined for 44 years. In 1954 Brother Browning heard the Macedonian call to cross the Red River from Texas to become Superintendent of the Baptist Children's Home in Oklahoma City. The rest of the story is a rich history of unselfish service to children, parents, and the Baptists of Oklahoma. Indeed, few have invested more in the lives of homeless and hurting children than Jim Browning.
The story of Oklahoma Baptists' ministry to children and that of Mr. Browning is really the story of lives that have been changed. Children who came to the Home wiht little hope have been guided, loved, encouraged, and launched into the world with confidence. Childless couples have been matched with precious children to form a strong family. Unwed mothers have been loved and served and allowed to overcome their mistakes to re-enter life with hope for a brighter tomorrow.
The strongest testimony to the life-changing impact of the ministry to children is told by those children themselves. Mr. Browning has done us all a great service by editing this book so we might hear their stories. You will laugh, cry, and rejoice as you read the words of this little book. Above all you will rejoice that Oklahoma Baptists have committed themselves to touch lives like those represented on these pages.
My interest in these stories goes beyond my friendship with Jim Browning and my leadership among Oklahoma Baptists. The child care ministry has indescribably enriched my own life. In 1982 Polla and I moved to Oklahoma with Adrian, our adopted son who came to us through the Missouri Baptist Children's Home. We desperately wanted another child. Because Oklahoma Baptists love young women in crisis, an unwed mother turned to the children's home for help. She was counseled, served, and guided through a very difficult decision. She chose to place her daughter in a preacher's home. I will never forget the journey to Owasso in driving rain to pick up our beautiful daughter. Alisha is now a teenager. She loves Jesus with all her heart. She is a pretty, talented, spiritual young lady who loves her dad and mom. Alisha has brought joy and delight to our home. I cannot imagine life without her.
If it had not been for people like Mr. Browing and the ministry of Oklahoma Baptists, Polla, Adrian, and I would have missed one of the greatest blessings in life - our Sissy. She is a member of this unique alumni association of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
You will not be able to read this book without feeling a tug at your heart. When the last page is read you will breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to God for his bountiful blessings. As Oklahoma Baptists you will rejoice in playing a part, through your giving, in such an incredible ministry.
Countless more children desire a hand up in life. As we approach the new millennium - filled with dysfunctional families, broken homes, and domestic violence - the ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children is more essential than ever. We do not know their names of faces, but it is certain that in the next century many more will be waiting for another Mr. Browning and Oklahoma Baptists to scoop them up and give them homes and hope. We must commit ourselves to give generously so that future generations can one day write their own books of testimonies.
Dr. Anthony Jordan
Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
Dr. James Browning, former Assistant to the President of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and Baptist Children's Home, Oklahoma City, Administrator. Dr. Browning went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, January 31, 2007. He would have been 87 on February 14.