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Historic church needs help with costly renovations

St. Thomas Primitive Baptist Church
Posted at 3:53 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 08:08:10-05

SUMMIT, Okla. — A nearly 100-year-old church in Muskogee county is looking for help to renovate their sanctuary.

Contractors say the work at Saint Thomas Primitive Baptist Church in Summit, Oklahoma will cost between $75,000 and $100,000.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before the church reaches its 100 year anniversary, but the pastor and church members say they have faith the work will get finished.

“Growing up in the church I could not sing,” said Pastor Earl Baker. “Believe it or not I could not sing. But I did a lot of solos right there in that choir stand but I was lip syncing,” he said.

Earl Baker fondly remembers his years at Saint Thomas Primitive Baptist Church. Since early childhood Baker’s been a member. He’s served as head pastor since 1998.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the church,” said Pastor Baker.

The church is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a long history in the All-Black-Town of Summit, Oklahoma.

“We want to see it go forward for the next 100 years,” said Pastor Baker.

Pastor Baker says it’s the oldest church in town and will take a lot of work to fix up.

The foundation shifted during the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2016, and that’s just one of the problems.

“The roof and the rafters are starting to slide out, said Deacon Rudy Judkins. “Everything above us has to come out,” he said.

Deacon Ryan Judkins has been a member of the church for 5 years. He’s a contractor by trade and has stepped in to help.

“It’s kind of my calling,” said Deacon Judkins.

Along with the roof work, the floor needs to be finished, and there’s rotten wood and termite damage to fix.

Volunteers spend a few hours every Saturday fixing up the place.

“It’s a labor of love. I enjoy helping people and this church needs to be restored for the community,” said Deacon Judkins.

You can donate online here.

You can also donate through PayPal using the email address

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