The history of Southcliff Baptist Church reflects the foresight of the many believers who have preceded us.
It also demonstrates the strong desire to follow the will of God and a
heart for unity that exists within the church today.
The beginnings of Southcliff: 1901
The beginnings of Southcliff date back to the
early part of the twentieth century. In 1901 or
1902, Mrs. A.J. (Kate) Parks began the Seventh
Ward Mission under the care, guidance, and
support of Broadway Baptist Church.
In 1951, the church purchased an entire city block: 1951 - 1966
In 1951, the church purchased an entire city block one and one- half miles to the south at the corner of Evans and Baker Avenues.
The property at Evans and Elmwood was sold in 1957 and facili-
ties were constructed on the new property. Dedication of the
relocated Evans Avenue Baptist Church was held on September
Merging Evans Avenue and Westcliff into a single church
A casual conversation between several members of the two churches
in early 1966 launched the idea of merging Evans Avenue and Westcliff
into a single church. As the merits of such a merger became evident, the
casual discussions quickly became serious, and in late 1966 the
congregations of the two churches agreed to merge. Southcliff Baptist
Church was established on August 21, 1966. Frank Minton, who had been
the Evans Avenue pastor since February of 1964, became the pastor of
Southcliff Baptist Church and Dr. Frank Moore, the Westcliff pastor,
became co-pastor. Dr. Moore left in 1967 to teach at Oklahoma State
In 1967, the average Sunday School attendance was 465. The only
existing space was the building that is now known as the Administration
Building, the location of the present church offices. In 1967, it had an
auditorium with a capacity of less than 300.
A short-term answer to what has proved to be an ongoing problem –
insufficient space for members and growth – was to hold Sunday School in
the neighboring Westcliff Methodist Church and to hold two worship
services while a $650,000 auditorium and educational unit, now the
Children’s Building, were built. A tram, acquired from the new Six Flags
amusement park, was used to transport Sunday School members between
Westcliff Methodist Church and Southcliff. Within one year of the
completion of the new facilities, crowded conditions required a return
to simultaneous dual Sunday School and worship services.
1967 - 1983
A casual conversation between several members of the two churches in early 1966
launched the idea of merging Evans Avenue and Westcliff into a single church. As
the merits of such a merger became evident, the casual discussions quickly be-
came serious, and in late 1966 the congregations of the two churches agreed to
merge. Southcliff Baptist Church was established on August 21, 1966
1983 - 1998
In October 1976 Paul Burleson was called to pastor Southcliff Baptist Church. Southcliff ex-
perienced unprecedented and phenomenal growth through God’s leadership. Both sides
of the sanctuary were extended to add additional seating and the second floor of the Edu-
cation Building was completed for a growing Sunday School
Southcliff continued to grow
Dr. W. Hal Brooks became the fourth pastor of Southcliff in July
1983. Southcliff continued to grow and ground was broken for a preschool
education building. The church also purchased and furnished a house at
4141 Whitfield in 1983. This home continues to provide housing for
missionary families on home leave. Dr. Brooks went home to be with the
Lord, following a year battle with cancer, in April 1987. The W. Hal
Brooks Preschool Building was dedicated in May 1988.
Dr. Charles A. Stewart was called as pastor in August 1988. The
houses on the Selkirk side of the church property were torn down, a much
needed parking lot was constructed, professionally landscaped, and
dedicated in November of 1990. Dr. Stewart was called to Cana Baptist
Church in October 1996.
Dr. Carroll Marr was called to be the pastor of Southcliff in
November 1998. Under his leadership, the church has continued to grow.
In the fall of 1999, the existing auditorium was torn down and
construction began on a new 1,400 seat, 6 million dollar building. A
temporary structure was erected to house worship activities during the
construction of the new auditorium until its completion.
Southcliff celebrated its first Sunday in the new building
Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001, Southcliff celebrated its first
Sunday in the new building. In addition to the new facilities and
ministries, a renewed emphasis on evangelism and missions has
characterized Dr. Marr’s leadership.
Youth and College ministries
In 2006, Southcliff purchased additional property, now known as the
Southcliff Annex, to provide space for Youth and College ministries.
Additional upgrades were made to all facilities to provide compelling
environments for all groups to use for Worship, Grow and Serve spaces. Southcliff is positioned to build on a history of innovation and faith as she moves into the future. Her best days are ahead.