Southern Hills Baptist Church
Southern Hills Baptist Church aims to be a safe place of healing grace and hope for all generations!
Southern Hills Baptist Church is a deeply-rooted church located in the heart of Tulsa. We have a membership of 936, with attendance on Sunday mornings averaging 639 (pre-Covid), and 539 (including 100 online viewers) (post-Covid), and attendance in our Friday night service averaging 367 (including 60 online viewers) (post-Covid). Church demographics are wide, and SHBC has developed vibrant ministries for all age groups, from babies through senior adults. We exist to be a safe place of healing grace and hope for all generations. Surrounded by homes, businesses, schools and apartments, the church has incredible opportunities to minister to the community. When faced with the decision to move to a new location in South Tulsa years ago, the church decided to stay where we are, because God had planted us here.
Our Mission is to be a people who increasingly love God, love others and make disciples.
Our Vision is to be a compassionate, committed, courageously authentic, compelling force for God in the city of Tulsa; to be a place of healing grace, where the lives of people of all ages are being transformed daily in Christ as we turn our members into missionaries.
Being GOD-CENTERED: Having constant dependence upon God, the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and our commitment to do what Jesus would do.
Being GRACE-ORIENTED: Accepting all persons, inviting everyone to come as they are, and freely offering God’s grace and forgiveness in Christ.
Being BIBLE-BASED: Representing Scripture in every facet of our church life, including preaching, teaching, and counseling, while maintaining culturally relevant applications for living.
Being PRAYERFUL: Believing that prayer changes lives and the world.
Being A WARM FELLOWSHIP: Inviting all people into an authentic, intimate community of believers in order to meet the needs of families and individuals.
Being OUTWARDLY-FOCUSED: Committing to the Great Commission and to seeing the lost saved, the inactive reclaimed, and the poor and disenfranchised lifted up.
Being EFFECTIVE DISCIPLES: Becoming effective disciples who make disciples who are progressing towards spiritual maturity, reflected in Christ-like lifestyles.
Having SERVANT ATTITUDES: Evidenced through corporate and personal ministries carried out by members serving in Christ’s name, both in and outside the church.
Being UNIFIED: Seeking to discover, develop, and utilize the many spiritual gifts God has given our fellowship to enable innovation, creativity, and excellence as together, as one body, we seek to fulfill the work God has given us.
We embrace shared leadership and a shared vision, one that is revealed by the Holy Spirit through not only the pastor, but through key leaders and the congregation as well. We trust the staff to make daily decisions, and we empower them to do so. We take major decisions (those which affect the entire church) through the deacon council and deacon body to the church for approval.
In January of 1915, First Baptist Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma planted Bethel Baptist Church at 51st and Lewis in South Tulsa. It was the first Baptist church located in South Tulsa. The fledgling church began meeting in the Bethel Union schoolhouse, and 14 years later built its own building. In 1955, the church voted to change its name to Southern Hills Baptist Church, and in 1956, SHBC moved to its new facility located at 56th and Lewis, where it still meets today. Throughout the following decades, the church grew in membership, facilities, and reach through its many ministries and missions. The church’s attendance naturally declined during the Covid years, but its vitality did not. We hope to continue to grow in both spiritual depth and outreach in the decades to come.
We believe that God’s word is infallible, but human interpretation of it is not. Therefore, “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” Just as Jesus was full of grace and truth, so we seek to be a people who are the same. This applies to our doctrine, theology, and practices. For example, we have women deacons, women in ministry, and currently, one woman pastor. From the pulpit, we speak to biblical, moral, and justice issues, but not to political issues; unless those political issues are spilling over into the realm of morality.
We are a serving church, and we value authenticity, humility and relationships. We are a diverse people in which all ages and backgrounds are welcome. We have partnered in ministry with an African American sister church, Antioch Baptist Church, here in Tulsa. Since 2016, we have partnered with them through joint prayer and worship services, and by participating with them in the MLK Jr. parade.
We are a place that encourages the laity to be free to minister, and in which our Senior Pastor empowers others. This has resulted in the birth of major ministries and missions led by lay leaders, and financially supported by the church through allotting 10% of our overall budget to local, state and international missions. Many of our members have also joined with established ministries and mission points to serve and to share the Gospel. Others have begun long-running Bible study groups, or have offered short-term Bible study classes for our church.
We are a church that embraces Celebrate Recovery as a key ministry reaching people with brokenness of all kinds, and all who need Jesus. Through the process of recovery, we have become a more authentic and inviting fellowship of believers. We believe the church, like Jesus, is here to minister to all people. Celebrate Recovery has positively affected our church by giving it more cultural diversity.
Southern Hills Baptist Church is autonomous from any other church or organization. We choose to cooperate at the county, state, and national level with other Baptist churches by contributing to the Tulsa Baptist Association, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and the Southern Baptist Convention. While we coordinate with and resource these groups, they have no authority over us, nor do we over them.
We strive to see that every person is GROUNDED in a personal relationship with Christ and His church, GROWING toward becoming more like Christ in all aspects of life and our life together, and GIVING one’s life in service to the Body of Christ and on mission to those in need of Him.
About God: God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
About Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
About The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily.
About the Bible: The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
About Human Beings: People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
About Salvation: Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
About Eternal Security: Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
About Eternity: People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence.
About The Second Coming: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will someday personally return to this earth to reign in glory and honor. No one knows when, only that He will come and we should live each day in a state of readiness for His return.
About The Church: The Church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the Head. It includes all who have been spiritually reborn into the Kingdom of Heaven. Its mission is to love God, love others, and to serve Him faithfully by making disciples of all peoples of the world. The ordinances of the Church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered program for people struggling with any hurt, habit or hang-up. Our adult Friday night service averages an attendance of 367 (including 60 online viewers). We focus on hope and help to overcome through the power of Jesus Christ, and encourage the development of holiness in all areas, knowing it is a lifelong process. The entire family can find healing through Christ-centered recovery every Friday at Celebration Place for children and the Landing for students. This is a safe place for all to find healing, grace, and hope for life’s struggles.
Members of Southern Hills Baptist Church partner with numerous national and international Missions groups (some founded by SHBC members) to make a difference for Christ around the world.
Our local outreach involves reaching beyond the walls of the church building to be the feet and hands of Jesus by making disciples and meeting the needs of people, both physically and spiritually.
Our men’s ministry is a place where men learn to connect more effectively with our heavenly Father and with each other. Our men disciple each other, mentor each other and speak the word of God and life into each other. We create space to laugh, pray, feast, fellowship, encourage, build, and learn to live free.
Midweek Bible Studies
Southern Hills offers a variety of short-and long-term group Bible studies throughout the week, so wherever you are in your journey of life, there’s a place for you. Whether you’re a college student or a senior adult, we have excellent teachers who share God’s Word each week. If you want to become all that God would hope for you to be, this is the place for you.
Senior Adult Ministry
For anyone aged 50 or older. SHBC’s Senior Adult Ministry focuses on the unique needs of the senior members of our congregation. Among the more than 200 seniors in our congregation, there is a wide variety of levels of participation. Many are involved in one of our Sunday Morning Life Groups tailored specifically to the needs of seniors, while some serve in leadership positions in the church. Others are home-bound or in assisted living facilities. Whatever your situation, there is a place for you.
We’re passionate about partnering with parents at each phase of a child’s life to lead children towards a personal relationship with Jesus. We create opportunities for kids to grow in their faith through large group experiences, engaging activities, and meaningful small groups where they connect with leaders and friends.
We love getting to help little ones get their first view of their loving heavenly Father and His church. We teach our littlest ones three basic truths:
– God made me.
– God loves me.
– Jesus wants to be my friend forever.
Building on their first foundations of faith learned in Preschool, our Elementary kiddos continue to grow in their faith just like Jesus did; in wisdom, stature & favor with God and man. Elementary learns these three basic truths:
– I can trust God no matter what.
– I need to make the wise choice.
– I should treat others the way I want to be treated.
SHBC youth, we’re passionate about students. We desire to lead them toward a personal relationship with Jesus and help them grow in their walk of faith. We also greatly value relationships. That’s why we prioritize time together with our leaders and friends. We create opportunities for students to grow in their faith through large group worship experiences and meaningful small groups where they connect with leaders and friends. We also plan time for fun in our weekly experiences, monthly Bible studies, weekend retreats, camps, mission trips and more.
Sunday Morning Life Groups
At Southern Hills, we believe that growing in Christ means belonging to a group. The Bible calls us to learn, grow, and encourage each other together in community. You will find a wealth of opportunities in our Sunday Morning Life Groups to learn from experienced teachers and fellow believers as we fellowship, and engage with God’s Word.
The Women’s Ministry provides opportunities for women to experience community within the family of Southern Hills Baptist Church. Our goal is to create multi-generational groups where women find new friendships and a greater understanding for one another through a wide variety of short-and long-term gatherings.
The purpose of the worship ministry at Southern Hills Baptist Church is to lead others to worship and recognize the presence of God on a corporate level and in their daily lives. We express our worship to God in many ways including songs of praise and adoration, scripture, prayer, spoken word, video elements, and drama. We have three main groups that help facilitate our worship on a weekly basis: the worship team, the choir and the tech team. The worship team is an auditioned group made up of vocalists, and a rhythm section with electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, piano, synthesizer, and drums. The choir leads bi-weekly in worship and as a part of special events throughout the year, including Easter, Christmas, 4th of July, etc. The tech team uses creativity and technology to help provide an atmosphere of worship through audio, lighting, video production, and live streaming.
The young adult ministry is for those who are post-high school through young 30s. Whether attending college, working, married, or single, our goal is to foster community and to support one another as we grow in relationship with God and each other. Our group focuses on topical studies and books-of-the-Bible studies, and enjoys periodic fellowships.
Senior Pastor Position Profile
Our current Senior Pastor will soon be retiring after a long and faithful ministry leading Southern Hills Baptist Church. SHBC is looking for a well-educated and faithful Bible teacher with a passion for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ who can bring God’s Word to life both from the pulpit and through a variety of teaching opportunities within the church. Moreover, SHBC desires a pastor – a true shepherd who cares for the members and leads the staff and other ministry leaders with love and grace. The pastor must be someone our congregation finds approachable and who connects with members and families of all ages and generations.
Our Senior Pastor will help us capture a new vision for the future to build on the strong missions focus of our church. Because SHBC is a multi-generational and multi-cultural church with members of varied socio-economic backgrounds, the Senior Pastor must be humble, gentle, and patient in his approach to change.
The Senior Pastor will continue to lead SHBC to be passionate about serving our community and growing our members’ understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. The Senior Pastor will effectively communicate the church’s mission and vision, internally and externally, and fervently pray for the church. The Senior Pastor will also share our vision and passion to effectively draw young adults and families into our congregation and to develop the next generation of church leaders.
The Senior Pastor will provide spiritual and organizational leadership to the Executive Pastor, other Pastors, staff, and ministry leaders to align strategies and ministries to accomplish the church’s mission. Due to SHBC’s strong missions focus, the Senior Pastor must support and encourage church members and staff to expand their involvement in mission opportunities.
The successful candidate for this position will possess a heart for preaching, teaching, discipleship, evangelism, and missions. They will also demonstrate a passion for leading, influencing, challenging, defending, and developing. The ability to offer strategic foresight and then lead the church to execute agreed plans is important in this position.
PRIMARY EXPECTATIONS (SEE JOB DESCRIPTION FOR MORE DETAILED DUTIES)
- Establish a disciplined schedule of prayer, study, preparation and planning to develop a deep and growing level of spiritual growth and maturity.
- Provide a solid, biblically based preaching ministry to meet the spiritual needs of the congregation, reach unbelievers, and attract new members.
- Encourage and nurture the spiritual development and beliefs of the congregation and next generation of leaders through regular teaching of the Bible.
- Develop and communicate the mission, vision, and values of the church.
- Work with the Executive Pastor to develop, communicate and implement long range and annual planning.
- Coordinate with the Worship Pastor to plan and lead worship services.
- Inspire and challenge the staff to develop a well-rounded theology, philosophy, and methodology of ministry for worship, discipleship, fellowship, evangelism, missions, and ministry. Along with the Executive Pastor, lead regular staff meetings for team building, sharing, planning and communication.
- Administer the oversight of the staff, ministries, operations, policies, and procedures of the church by working with the Executive Pastor regarding the direction and supervision of staff, committees, programs, ministries, budgets, and facilities.
- Provide pastoral care to the SHBC family and extended family with the support of the Executive Pastor, ministerial staff, and deacons.
- The foremost requirements for this role are a clear calling to ministry from God and a Christ- centered life. The successful candidate will have a deep and ever-growing relationship with God as evidenced by daily habits, practices, and disciplines of spending time with Him and His Word, observable fruits of the spirit, and a commitment to maintaining healthy accountability relationships. A strong sense of God’s direction to preach and pastor at Southern Hills Baptist Church must also be evident.
- Candidates must demonstrate the ability to maintain healthy priorities; first pursuing a daily personal relationship with the Lord and then ensuring that their family comes before everything else, even before the work of the church. If married, the candidate will have a supportive spouse who has a vested interest in the marriage, the family, and the ministry, through which a healthy marriage partnership is demonstrated.
- Candidates must demonstrate evidence of being trustworthy, self-aware, and confident leaders, of upstanding character, integrity, sound judgment, and guided by a set of biblical ethical principles.
- Candidates must possess the ability to lead, confront (when necessary) and hold accountable individuals, groups, and committees to produce measurable results that align with the values, goals, and objectives of the church. This person must be a leader of leaders who commands respect and can accomplish agreed upon results through people by deeply valuing and relating well to people of all ages and levels of spiritual maturity. It is essential that candidates have well developed interpersonal relationship skills, be intrinsically people-oriented, and possess a high emotional intelligence.
- The Southern Hills Baptist Church staff is characterized by Godly and high-capacity individuals who are committed to excellence; thus, the Senior Pastor must be characterized by authenticity, humility, and a strong work ethic. Further, he must be receptive to constructive feedback, and comfortable with being mentally and spiritually challenged.
- Candidates will likely be known as gifted communicators with an exceptional track record of effective preaching in a multi-generational church.
- Candidates must possess personal warmth that brings comfort, peace, wise counsel and harmony to relationships and the church environment. A gift-based, participative, collaborative, and team-oriented culture are highly held values at Southern Hills Baptist Church and the Senior Pastor must be characterized by these same values.
Southern Hills Baptist Church
Sundays @ 10:30 a.m
5590 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa OK 74105