Lasting Good: The Story of Morris Oldham (by the Oldham Little Church Foundation)

Every generation births a precious few entrepreneur-philanthropists whose groundbreaking ideas, determination, and character outlive them to do lasting good. Lasting Good: The Story of Morris Oldham and the Oldham Little Church Foundation traces the life and career of a young Midwestern dairyman who arrived in Houston, Texas in the heyday following Spindletop, made a personal fortune, and then invested it all in future lives. This book offers keen insight from leaders in education, faith, non-profit management, and business, giving you the keys to building a career—and a life—that will engage and bless others in perpetuity. The principles that guided Morris Calvin Oldham’s life—faith, focus, stewardship, relationships, contextual awareness, and legacy-building—can guide yours, too, as you seek to make a positive impact on our world. Allow Morris Calvin Oldham’s life and legacy to inspire you to make your own contribution of lasting good. *This book is a volume of the Houston Baptist University Center for Christianity in Business' "Biblical Worldview and the Marketplace" Book Series.

Every generation births a precious few entrepreneur-philanthropists whose groundbreaking ideas, determination, and character outlive them to do lasting good.

Lasting Good: The Story of Morris Oldham and the Oldham Little Church Foundation traces the life and career of a young Midwestern dairyman who arrived in Houston, Texas in the heyday following Spindletop, made a personal fortune, and then invested it all in future lives.

This book offers keen insight from leaders in education, faith, non-profit management, and business, giving you the keys to building a career—and a life—that will engage and bless others in perpetuity. The principles that guided Morris Calvin Oldham’s life—faith, focus, stewardship, relationships, contextual awareness, and legacy-building—can guide yours, too, as you seek to make a positive impact on our world.

Allow Morris Calvin Oldham’s life and legacy to inspire you to make your own contribution of lasting good.

*This book is a volume of the Houston Baptist University Center for Christianity in Business' "Biblical Worldview and the Marketplace" Book Series.


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<strong>Lasting</strong> <strong>Good</strong>.<br />

O L D H A M<br />

L I T T L E C H U R C H<br />




E S T . 1 9 4 9<br />


R<br />


R<br />

Foreword 4<br />

Beginnings 7<br />

Faith 15<br />

Focus 23<br />

Context 31<br />

Stewardship 39<br />

Relationships 47<br />

Legacy 55<br />

Milestones 61<br />

R<br />

R<br />

M O R R I S C A LV I N O L D H A M<br />

1 8 8 6 - 1 9 5 5<br />

2 3

F O R E W O R D<br />

My fa<strong>the</strong>r, William Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr., and <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> were friends. I’m<br />

not certain how or when <strong>the</strong>y met, although both were Baptist churchmen who<br />

attended different congregations, at least after 1927.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ranch Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> owned in New Mexico had title problems once, and<br />

<strong>the</strong> two <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m went up toge<strong>the</strong>r from Houston to set things straight. My fa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

said <strong>the</strong>y drove all <strong>the</strong> way home from New Mexico in an open air jeep — a sure<br />

fire way to get to know a man if you didn’t already.<br />

My first memories <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> were <strong>of</strong> him delivering milk to our<br />

house when I was a boy. When I was older he invited me along with him to look at<br />

a piece <strong>of</strong> property in Texas City, Texas. We got in his two-door gray Plymouth —<br />

one seat, no heat — and I sat on my hands <strong>the</strong> whole way to keep <strong>the</strong>m warm.<br />

I don’t remember looking at <strong>the</strong> property that day, but I do remember him<br />

asking me a lot <strong>of</strong> questions about myself. He was <strong>the</strong> kind <strong>of</strong> man who wanted to<br />

know who you were — even if you were a young, know-nothing kid. He was also<br />

<strong>the</strong> kind <strong>of</strong> man who knew what he wanted and how to achieve it. He built a business<br />

that became <strong>the</strong> foundation for lasting good — <strong>the</strong> kind <strong>of</strong> good that would<br />

outlive him. And it surely has.<br />

My bro<strong>the</strong>r Carloss was <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s lawyer and in 1949 drew up <strong>the</strong><br />

papers that established <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. Carloss served on<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s first board <strong>of</strong> directors, and me after him. My son Stewart Jr.<br />

and I still serve on that board toge<strong>the</strong>r and are proud to do so.<br />

Some men make fortunes and become famous. Some men are wise enough<br />

to turn <strong>the</strong> fortunes <strong>the</strong>y make into something that will bless o<strong>the</strong>r people for generations.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> wasn’t famous. You probably don’t know much about<br />

him; not many people do. But his legacy is rich.<br />

<strong>The</strong> world needs more men like him.<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr.<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. at his<br />

carriage house in Houston<br />

December 2018.<br />

4<br />


R<br />

R<br />

B E G I N N I N G S<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: <strong>Oldham</strong> Chapel – <strong>The</strong> little<br />

church that became <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

Memorial Chapel was on a piece <strong>of</strong><br />

land purchased <strong>by</strong> Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> in<br />

1<br />

Cypress, Texas. Later that land was<br />

donated to Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission,<br />

but <strong>the</strong> church no longer exists.<br />

6 7<br />

C H<br />

A<br />


<strong>Morris</strong> Calvin <strong>Oldham</strong> loved <strong>the</strong> <strong>Church</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> established and managed a thriving<br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>ast Texas dairy business for almost four<br />

decades but created lasting good <strong>by</strong> aiding<br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> small churches — most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m<br />

long after his death and far from his home —<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> saw in Houston <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1920s and 1930s a small but powerful fraternity <strong>of</strong><br />

men who built business empires with integrity and skill, and whose philanthropic energies<br />

matched <strong>the</strong>ir business acumen. Jesse H. Jones made a fortune in banking, building<br />

and media before putting his considerable resources to work for <strong>the</strong> city’s good with <strong>the</strong><br />

establishment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Houston Endowment. Life-long bachelor, banker and cotton trader<br />

Munroe Dunaway (MD) Anderson also leveraged his self-made fortune for <strong>the</strong> benefit <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston and its citizens, creating <strong>the</strong> charitable MD Anderson <strong>Foundation</strong> three years<br />

one intentional gift at a time.<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong><br />

prior to his death in 1939.<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> would follow <strong>the</strong> example <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

founded <strong>the</strong> Houston-based Phenix Dairy in<br />

1914 as a young, Cornell University-educated<br />

entrepreneur, delivering his product doorto-door<br />

in <strong>the</strong> company’s earliest days. In his own words, “I hitched up a horse to a dairy<br />

Houston giants as a pioneering businessman, but his philanthropic sights were always fixed<br />

on a higher goal. <strong>The</strong> good he sought to multiply was eternal, not temporal. He strove to<br />

bring <strong>the</strong> teachings <strong>of</strong> Christ and <strong>the</strong> precepts <strong>of</strong> Christianity to his fellow man — both<br />

during his lifetime and well beyond it. And he managed his resources to do just that. “I save<br />

wagon, went out and sold my first bottle <strong>of</strong> milk.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Phenix Dairy was <strong>the</strong> first in<br />

to serve and save to give,” he liked to say.<br />

Houston to pasteurize milk properly, to produce homogenized milk and buttermilk, to deliver<br />

refrigerated milk directly to <strong>the</strong> customer and to make daytime deliveries. Under <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

leadership <strong>the</strong> business grew rapidly, establishing branches<br />

in Baytown, Cleveland, Edna, Wharton, El Campo and Bay<br />

City, Texas. In time it would become <strong>the</strong> largest retail milk<br />

delivery trade south <strong>of</strong> St. Louis, Missouri.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Houston<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s earliest days was quickly being established as <strong>the</strong><br />

commerce capital <strong>of</strong> Texas. <strong>The</strong> completion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Houston<br />

Ship Channel in 1914 made Houston a thriving port city, some<br />

50 miles inland from <strong>the</strong> Gulf <strong>of</strong> Mexico. Seventeen railroads<br />

converged at <strong>the</strong> Port <strong>of</strong> Houston, and <strong>the</strong> discovery <strong>of</strong> oil at<br />

“We lived on Stuart Street<br />

when I was nine years old-<br />

-a shell covered street south<br />

and west <strong>of</strong> downtown. Mr.<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> delivered milk to<br />

our house in a white wagon<br />

with 100-pound blocks <strong>of</strong> ice<br />

in <strong>the</strong> back. He’d carry <strong>the</strong><br />

milk in, put it in our icebox<br />

and collect <strong>the</strong> empties — all<br />

without speaking. <strong>The</strong>n he’d<br />

go to <strong>the</strong> next house on his<br />

route and do it again. That<br />

horse <strong>of</strong> his knew <strong>the</strong> way to<br />

every house on <strong>the</strong> route. ”<br />

When <strong>the</strong> first Phenix Dairy delivery horse purchased <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> died,<br />

all <strong>the</strong> horses in service at that time wore black mourning gear for two weeks.<br />

near<strong>by</strong> Spindletop at <strong>the</strong> turn <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> century spawned a string <strong>of</strong><br />

petroleum production facilities along <strong>the</strong> ship channel’s banks,<br />




feeding <strong>the</strong> nation’s growing appetite for gas and oil.<br />

8 9


<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was born in Springfield, Ohio,<br />

in 1886 to Josephine <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> and John<br />

Calvin <strong>Oldham</strong>. John <strong>Oldham</strong> fought in <strong>the</strong><br />

Union Army as an 18-year-old Ohio infantryman,<br />

studied to become a dental surgeon upon<br />

his return to his home state and married<br />

Josephine <strong>Morris</strong> in 1877. <strong>The</strong> couple also<br />

had a daughter, Ka<strong>the</strong>rine, born in 1883.<br />

Very little is known <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

earliest years. He attended elementary and<br />

secondary schools in Springfield and studied<br />

briefly at Wittenberg College — a private university<br />

established in Springfield in 1845 <strong>by</strong> a group<br />

<strong>of</strong> Evangelical Lu<strong>the</strong>ran Synod <strong>of</strong> Ohio pastors.<br />

He graduated in 1910 from Cornell University in<br />

Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Science in<br />

Agriculture, including studies in dairying. While<br />

at Cornell he played football and participated in a<br />

men’s glee club — early evidence <strong>of</strong> lifelong interests<br />

in sports and music. After two years <strong>of</strong> what<br />

he once described as “odd jobs,” <strong>Oldham</strong> headed<br />

south to Houston in 1912 and apprenticed for<br />

two more years with a local dairy supply company,<br />

gaining valuable, hands-on experience in <strong>the</strong><br />

business at which he would ultimately excel.<br />

When <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> arrived in<br />

Houston in 1912, <strong>the</strong> Carnegie-funded<br />

Houston Public Library was eight years<br />

old, <strong>the</strong> Rice Hotel was already under<br />

construction and <strong>the</strong> Rice Institute<br />

(now Rice University) had just opened<br />

its doors. Downtown Houston was<br />

home to 16 “tall” buildings <strong>of</strong> six<br />

stories or more, including three banks,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Houston Chronicle building and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Southwestern Telephone Company<br />

building. Passenger trains ran to<br />

and from Houston’s Grand Central<br />

Station and Union Station (now <strong>the</strong><br />

site <strong>of</strong> Minute Maid Park, home <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Houston Astros), and <strong>the</strong> Humble Oil<br />

and Refining Co. was barely a year old.<br />

Florence Cummings <strong>Oldham</strong>, wife <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>.<br />


Soon after his arrival in Houston <strong>Oldham</strong> joined<br />

his adopted city’s First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, already a<br />

thriving congregation <strong>of</strong> nearly 1,000 members.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re he married Allene K. Grauman, also from<br />

Springfield, in June <strong>of</strong> 1920. (She would die<br />

unexpectedly in early 1928 at <strong>the</strong> age <strong>of</strong> 27; <strong>the</strong><br />

couple had no children). In 1927 <strong>Oldham</strong> joined<br />

400 departing members <strong>of</strong> First Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

to establish Houston’s Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

where he would worship and serve for nearly<br />

three decades. <strong>Oldham</strong> was a deacon, a Sunday<br />

School superintendent, a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> finance<br />

committee, <strong>the</strong> Forum Bible Class and <strong>the</strong> adult<br />

choir. He is said to have personally covered<br />

operating deficits incurred <strong>by</strong> his church more<br />

than once during his term as finance chairman,<br />

bringing his church “into <strong>the</strong> black” <strong>by</strong> year-end.<br />

It was at Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong> that <strong>the</strong><br />

widower met and married his second wife,<br />

Florence Miller Cummings, in 1937. Florence<br />

was a long-time Houstonian and a widow with<br />

no children, well-established in civic and church<br />

service. Florence and <strong>Morris</strong> had no children toge<strong>the</strong>r,<br />

but she would come to play an active role<br />

in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> following his death in 1955.<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s well-known love for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

gained him a reputation as “God’s man doing<br />

God’s work.” <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

founding trustee Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. recalled his<br />

friend’s passion for winning souls: “He and my<br />

dad had come to <strong>the</strong> conclusion that proportionally,<br />

more people were saved in small churches<br />

than in larger ones, and [Mr. OIdham] wanted<br />

to get <strong>the</strong> most souls won to Christ.”<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s fellow churchmen would<br />

become his trusted colleagues and advisors in this<br />

effort after <strong>the</strong> formation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> in<br />

1949. Second Baptist Pastor Dr. Kyle M. Yates<br />

became a founding board member along with<br />

Dr. Ross E. Dillon, Executive Director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Union Baptist Association; T. C. Gardner, head<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Baptist Convention Training<br />

Union program for Texas; and Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s acting attorney <strong>by</strong> that time. This<br />

nucleus <strong>of</strong> “Baptist brethren” set a steady course<br />

for helping small evangelical Protestant churches<br />

near and far to survive and thrive in winning<br />

souls for Christ.<br />


<strong>The</strong> one-man, one-wagon, one-horse operation<br />

that began as Phenix Dairy grew to become a<br />

multi-site dairy production and delivery company<br />

serving Houston and its surrounding areas.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s “fleet” <strong>of</strong> delivery wagons grew<br />

exponentially in <strong>the</strong> company’s first decade, and<br />

trucks soon began replacing horse-drawn wagons.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company championed traditional<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> might have been<br />

generous towards <strong>the</strong> Lord’s work, but<br />

he wasn’t wasteful in anything. Jane<br />

Elder, financial secretary at Second<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> from 1933-1945,<br />

recalled a meeting between herself,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> and <strong>the</strong>n-pastor F. B. Thorn<br />

about a financial matter. <strong>The</strong> three<br />

met at <strong>Oldham</strong>’s <strong>of</strong>fice, <strong>the</strong>n afterward<br />

walked to <strong>the</strong> ice cream counter adjacent<br />

to <strong>the</strong> dairy for a treat. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

himself served his pastor and Miss<br />

Elder ice cream <strong>the</strong>n announced,“That<br />

will be 20 cents.” When Miss Elder<br />

expressed surprise at <strong>the</strong> charge,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> told her “You know I give<br />

away money — but I sell ice cream!”<br />

values <strong>of</strong> quality and service but was quite<br />

progressive in its operations. <strong>Oldham</strong> named<br />

his company after <strong>the</strong> bird that symbolized<br />

immortality to <strong>the</strong> ancient Egyptians, making<br />

sure his employees were able to have a stake in its<br />

rising success. While he maintained controlling<br />

interest, he also encouraged employee ownership<br />

in Phenix <strong>by</strong> reducing <strong>the</strong> price <strong>of</strong> stock so that<br />

workers might purchase as many shares as possible.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dairy sponsored competitive baseball<br />

teams for employees and operated retail ice<br />

cream counters in its production facilities.<br />

Early Phenix Dairy advertising featured<br />

“Phenix Phil,” a cheerful, cartoon-like mascot<br />

whose likeness appeared on milk bottles, paper<br />

bottle caps, delivery crates, trucks, recipe booklets<br />

and all manner <strong>of</strong> branded collectibles. A<br />

contest was even held to recruit a “real” Phenix<br />

Phil to make promotional appearances for <strong>the</strong><br />

company. <strong>The</strong> dairy’s main facility in <strong>the</strong><br />

Houston Heights featured a neon sign on its ro<strong>of</strong><br />

shaped like a milk bottle toge<strong>the</strong>r with Phil, and<br />

a local radio station <strong>of</strong>fered a children’s program<br />

on Saturday with Phenix Phil as its host.<br />

While Phenix Phil became a recognizable<br />

celebrity, <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> preferred to remain<br />

out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spotlight. Many Houstonians knew his<br />

name, but few would have recognized him had<br />

<strong>the</strong>y met him on <strong>the</strong>ir city’s streets. He drove<br />

an old Plymouth, not an expensive, late-model<br />

luxury Cadillac. He lived quietly in a four-bedroom,<br />

Spanish-styled home on Pelham Drive in<br />

River Oaks where he liked to practice chip shots<br />

A Phenix Dairy deliveryman’s cap. Phenix Phil<br />

was <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> company’s cartoon mascot.<br />

10 11

in his backyard. He enjoyed golfing but was frugal<br />

even in his favorite hobbies. <strong>Oldham</strong>’s widow gave<br />

his golf bag, boots and Bible to his friend Carloss<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, who reportedly wore <strong>the</strong> boots but didn’t<br />

find much life left in <strong>the</strong> golf bag. Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Sr., Carloss’s younger bro<strong>the</strong>r, confirms its considerable<br />

wear and tear: “I’ve seen that golf bag.<br />

Not much <strong>the</strong>re.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> bible he received from <strong>Oldham</strong>, Carloss<br />

kept open on a table in his library, underneath a<br />

portrait <strong>of</strong> his fa<strong>the</strong>r. “Written in <strong>the</strong> back <strong>of</strong> it,”<br />

said Carloss, “was a scripture Pastor Kyle Yates<br />

gave him…I John 5:11-13: ‘And this is <strong>the</strong> record,<br />

that God hath given to us eternal life, and this<br />

life is in his Son. He that hath <strong>the</strong> Son hath life;<br />

and he that hath not <strong>the</strong> Son <strong>of</strong> God hath not life.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se things I have written to you that you believe<br />

on <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Son <strong>of</strong> God; that ye may know<br />

that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on<br />

<strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Son <strong>of</strong> God.’” <strong>The</strong>y were words<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> cherished and lived <strong>by</strong>.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> merged Phenix Dairy with<br />

Foremost Dairies through an exchange <strong>of</strong> stock in<br />

1952 and began to focus his energies entirely on<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> he had created in 1949.<br />

Every morning like clockwork, a fresh supply <strong>of</strong> Phenix milk<br />

would magically appear at a customer’s back door<br />

in exchange for ano<strong>the</strong>r day’s empties.<br />


<strong>The</strong> original Trust document establishing <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> was executed<br />

on February 23, 1949, <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> Calvin<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, W. Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Dr. Kyle M. Yates,<br />

Ross E. Dillon, and Dr. T. C. Gardner. All<br />

five men were designated as Trustees, charged<br />

equally “with <strong>the</strong> powers, rights, authority and<br />

duties…necessary…in order to execute and administer<br />

this Trust, toge<strong>the</strong>r with <strong>the</strong> properties<br />

and funds <strong>the</strong>re<strong>of</strong>, and to carry out and perform<br />

<strong>the</strong> terms <strong>of</strong> this indenture according to <strong>the</strong><br />

true intent <strong>the</strong>re<strong>of</strong>.”<br />

“<strong>The</strong> properties” included a tract <strong>of</strong> land in<br />

Harris County’s “Hadley and Franklin Additon,”<br />

known as “Block Twenty-Two (22),” purchased<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> in 1929 and in 1949 occupied<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> Earle North Buick Company;<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r tract <strong>of</strong> Harris County land known as<br />

“Block Four (4)” <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> subdivision “Ten Acre<br />

Lot Twenty-One (21)” comprised <strong>of</strong> three lots<br />

purchased <strong>by</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> in 1929 and 1937; and<br />

a 1,765.74-acre ranch located in Texas’ Lavaca<br />

and Colorado Counties, portions <strong>of</strong> which were<br />

purchased <strong>by</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> from 1928 - 1930.<br />

<strong>The</strong> value <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> “properties and funds<br />

<strong>the</strong>re<strong>of</strong>” totaled $3 million at <strong>the</strong> Trust’s inception.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> served as President <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Trust until his death in 1955, and retained sole<br />

borrowing power against its assets while he<br />

lived. <strong>The</strong> Trustees were appointed for life or as<br />

long as <strong>the</strong>y were willing and capable <strong>of</strong> serving,<br />

and Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> replaced <strong>the</strong>m when necessary<br />

at his discretion. <strong>The</strong> Trust’s provisions for<br />

leadership and <strong>the</strong> leveraging <strong>of</strong> assets beyond<br />

his lifetime were carefully spelled out in its<br />

founding documents.<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> was also careful to stipulate what<br />

<strong>the</strong> Trust was for, and not for. He aimed that his<br />

assets be used “for religious and charitable purposes,”<br />

but never “to carry on propaganda or to<br />

influence legislation.” He desired that it be used<br />

“for <strong>the</strong> aiding and helping <strong>of</strong> small Protestant<br />

churches…spreading <strong>the</strong> doctrine <strong>of</strong> Christianity”<br />

excepting <strong>the</strong> Catholic <strong>Church</strong>, stipulating<br />

that <strong>the</strong> churches must be “non-pr<strong>of</strong>it organizations<br />

organized for <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> spreading<br />

Christianity.” <strong>Oldham</strong> left <strong>the</strong> definition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

word “small” to <strong>the</strong> discretion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Trustees<br />

but initially suggested that a church “in excess <strong>of</strong><br />

three hundred (300) members is not considered<br />

a small <strong>Church</strong>.” Fur<strong>the</strong>r, he did not believe<br />

at that time that “a <strong>Church</strong> which is paying its<br />

pastor a salary in excess <strong>of</strong> $200.00 a month is<br />

a small <strong>Church</strong>.” <strong>The</strong>se, he said, were merely<br />

“grantor’s present thoughts on <strong>the</strong> matter”;<br />

he left final interpretation <strong>of</strong> “small” to “<strong>the</strong><br />

discretion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Trustees.”<br />

In <strong>the</strong> years that ensued, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> and its Trustees have honored<br />

<strong>the</strong> intentions <strong>of</strong> its founder. Considering<br />

“what <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> would do,” <strong>the</strong>y have<br />

operated under an evident — though unstated —<br />

set <strong>of</strong> core values:<br />

• Faith. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> consistently voiced a passion for what he called “soul winning” and<br />

demonstrated a desire to fur<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> small <strong>Church</strong> and <strong>the</strong> training <strong>of</strong> pastors as<br />

evangelists.<br />

• Focus. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> and its board have consistently evaluated requests for funds against<br />

<strong>the</strong> Founder’s original stated intent <strong>of</strong> aiding small churches in reaching <strong>the</strong>ir communities<br />

for Christ.<br />

• Contextual Awareness. Throughout its history <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has demonstrated awareness<br />

<strong>of</strong> current cultural trends and movements, market and investing trends and variations,<br />

and even movements within evangelicalism.<br />

• Stewardship. Growth <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> from a $3 million Trust that awarded one $2,000<br />

gift in 1949 to a <strong>Foundation</strong> that has generated over $44 million in grants to date has relied<br />

upon sound principles <strong>of</strong> investment and management <strong>by</strong> its Directors.<br />

• Relationships. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> forged solid relationships during his lifetime with friends,<br />

fellow church members, employees and colleagues. <strong>The</strong> relational aspect <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

work reflects his love and care for persons from all walks <strong>of</strong> life.<br />

• Results. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> aimed for results. He began his charitable work with <strong>the</strong> same eye<br />

to outcomes that he had long valued in business. For decades, each Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> included a current report on outcomes and a letter <strong>of</strong> thanks from a<br />

grantee —evidence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> effectiveness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> work being done.<br />

• Legacy. <strong>Oldham</strong> left no heirs, but untold thousands have “inherited” lasting good <strong>by</strong> his<br />

hand. Since its inception, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has provided grants worth more than 14 times his<br />

original investment and is solidly established to continue this good work in perpetuity.<br />

12 13

R<br />

R<br />

F A I T H<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: Greenville Baptist, Burton,<br />

TX - A $5,000 grant was<br />

awarded in September, 2017<br />

for drainage repair.<br />

C H<br />

2<br />

A<br />

P T E R<br />

14 15


<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> lived in an era when <strong>the</strong> open<br />

expression <strong>of</strong> Christian faith in <strong>the</strong> public square<br />

was not uncommon — but his passion for living<br />

out <strong>the</strong> gospel would be considered exceptional<br />

in any age.<br />

While <strong>the</strong> story <strong>of</strong> how he came to a settled<br />

belief in Christ as Savior is not known, <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

Christian faith powerfully shaped both his public<br />

and private life. His contemporaries knew him<br />

as a frugal, ruggedly individualistic business<br />

pioneer with an abiding faith in <strong>the</strong> Lord and a<br />

strong and steady devotion to <strong>the</strong> church. As a<br />

charter member, deacon, finance chairman and<br />

director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Forum Bible Class at Houston’s<br />

Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was<br />

integrally involved in local congregational life.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> his first wife, <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

met widow and fellow church member Florence<br />

Cummings. Both served on <strong>the</strong> church’s finance<br />

committee and sang in <strong>the</strong> sanctuary choir.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> found in Florence a partner in<br />

faith as well as an able ally in matters <strong>of</strong> investment<br />

and philanthropy. <strong>The</strong> two were married<br />

<strong>by</strong> Second Baptist Pastor F. B. Thorn in January<br />

<strong>of</strong> 1937. Dr. Thorn’s assistant, Jane Elder, stood<br />

up with <strong>Oldham</strong> and Florence at <strong>the</strong>ir wedding<br />

ceremony. “At <strong>the</strong> wedding he kissed me, but he<br />

married Florence,” Elder quipped. Elder forged<br />

a lifelong friendship with <strong>the</strong> couple, becoming<br />

especially close to Florence after <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s death. Miss Jane would become <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>’s third full-time employee in 1972,<br />

assisting Florence in her service as its director.<br />

Houston’s First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, 1920s<br />

As a businessman, <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> maintained<br />

a solid reputation for unswerving ethics<br />

and an almost fa<strong>the</strong>rly concern for those in his<br />

employ. Phenix Dairy workers were also shareholders,<br />

something <strong>of</strong> an unusual arrangement at<br />

that time. <strong>The</strong> company was generous to those in<br />

need, partnering with local charity organizations<br />

to supply milk to <strong>the</strong> poor, regardless <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

ability to pay. 1 Although he amassed a considerable<br />

fortune in <strong>the</strong> dairy business, <strong>Oldham</strong> was<br />

never wasteful, ra<strong>the</strong>r he was always mindful <strong>of</strong><br />

his responsibility to steward well what he had<br />

earned. He gave “freely but wisely and drove a<br />

Plymouth instead <strong>of</strong> a Cadillac,” <strong>The</strong> Houston Press<br />

reported at <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> his death.<br />

A story told <strong>by</strong> many recalls a well-known<br />

evangelist who telephoned <strong>Oldham</strong> to ask for<br />

a contribution to his radio program. When he<br />

was promised a generous sum, <strong>the</strong> evangelist<br />

said he would hail a taxi and come straightaway<br />

to <strong>Oldham</strong>’s <strong>of</strong>fice to collect <strong>the</strong> check. “Nothing<br />

doing,” <strong>Oldham</strong> replied. “We’ll save <strong>the</strong> taxi<br />

fare if we both walk and meet halfway.” And so,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y did.<br />


<strong>Oldham</strong>’s strong desire to wins souls to Christ<br />

and his conviction that <strong>the</strong> small, local church<br />

was best suited for that mission led him in<br />

1949 to commit <strong>the</strong> fruits <strong>of</strong> his labor to <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> bearing his name. But long before<br />

<strong>the</strong>n <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was engaged in <strong>the</strong> Lord’s<br />

work, operating with a quiet “back pocket<br />

generosity” and <strong>of</strong>ten partnering with his good<br />

friend Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. to aid those faithbased<br />

organizations in his sphere <strong>of</strong> influence.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. and <strong>Oldham</strong> were key benefactors<br />

from <strong>the</strong> earliest days <strong>of</strong> both <strong>Good</strong>will<br />

Industries and Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission, where<br />

both men served as directors. Although he had<br />

no children himself, <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

also served as president <strong>of</strong> Boy<br />

and Girl Builders <strong>of</strong> Houston,<br />

and under his guidance<br />

countless young boys and girls<br />

became followers <strong>of</strong> Christ. It<br />

was not unusual for Sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

Baptists or o<strong>the</strong>r evangelistic<br />

groups to seek his assistance,<br />

and he was consistently willing<br />

to give it. When <strong>the</strong> Texas<br />

Baptist Encampment in<br />

Palacios, Texas, experienced<br />

serious financial challenges,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> and several <strong>of</strong> his associates<br />

stepped up to assume <strong>the</strong><br />

immediate burden <strong>the</strong>mselves.<br />

Never one to hold back when new ideas<br />

or programs for <strong>the</strong> Lord’s work were proposed,<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> responded with typical<br />

enthusiasm when called upon to assist with specific<br />

projects, contributing both his time and<br />

his money. <strong>Oldham</strong>’s spiritual leadership and<br />

financial support helped make <strong>the</strong> 1952 Billy<br />

Graham Crusade in Houston’s Rice Stadium an<br />

overwhelming success; <strong>the</strong> evangelist spent five<br />

weeks in <strong>the</strong> Bayou City between May and June<br />

<strong>of</strong> that year, preaching <strong>the</strong> gospel to more than<br />

462,000 people. 2<br />

Billy Graham, Rice Stadium 1952<br />

2 “Billy Graham’s crusades fi lled stadiums in Houston,” <strong>by</strong> Alyson Ward.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Houston Chronicle, February 21, 2018.<br />

A Resolution <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Trustees <strong>of</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission issued upon <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s death in 1955 stated: “…it is very rare when in <strong>the</strong> course <strong>of</strong> this life one is<br />

privileged to associate with and know such a fine, born again Christian who gave <strong>of</strong> all<br />

<strong>of</strong> his lifetime substance to <strong>the</strong> Lords’ work, who spent endless hours to encourage small<br />

churches, who spent time and effort to see more souls making decisions for Christ, and<br />

we observe that here truly was a man who lived <strong>the</strong> scripture set forth in Mat<strong>the</strong>w: ‘Lay<br />

not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where<br />

thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where<br />

nei<strong>the</strong>r moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:<br />

For where you treasure is <strong>the</strong>re will you heart be also.’ We realize that it is very seldom<br />

that you find a man who will turn over his all to <strong>the</strong> Lord and live in a modest manner so<br />

that his money might be used for <strong>the</strong> ongoing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lord’s Kingdom. <strong>Morris</strong> C. <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

is indeed a rare jewel in <strong>the</strong> Lord’s crown.”<br />

1 “Historically Houston: <strong>The</strong> Days <strong>of</strong> Dairy at Your Doorstep,” Houston<br />

Remembered, accessed at http://www.sloanegallery.com/historically_houston_2005.htm<br />

16 17

When Graham’s World Wide Pictures<br />

announced plans for a new religious film,<br />

Oiltown, U.S.A., Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. convened<br />

a luncheon to raise funds for <strong>the</strong> movie<br />

and invited some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city’s most prominent<br />

Christian businessmen, including <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, to join him. Upon hearing<br />

Graham’s plans for <strong>the</strong> evangelistic film and<br />

<strong>the</strong> need for immediate underwriting, <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

told <strong>Morris</strong> and <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r attendees that he<br />

would personally guarantee any portion <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> needed $75,000 not raised that very day.<br />

His spontaneous generosity prompted on-<strong>the</strong>spot<br />

commitments from o<strong>the</strong>rs, too, and <strong>the</strong><br />

full amount was quickly raised.<br />

In addition to his personal contributions<br />

as a lay leader to Houston’s First Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> and <strong>the</strong> Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston, through his <strong>Foundation</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

aided o<strong>the</strong>r Houston-area churches still in<br />

operation today. Sagemont Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

received funds from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> at a critical stage <strong>of</strong> its growth<br />

in 1966; Be<strong>the</strong>l Independent Pres<strong>by</strong>terian<br />

<strong>Church</strong> was <strong>the</strong> recipient <strong>of</strong> generous loans<br />

from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> in 1964 and 1969 that<br />

allowed <strong>the</strong> church to retain and improve its<br />

property. <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> funds were also<br />

critical to <strong>the</strong> start-up <strong>of</strong> Sugar Creek Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> (sponsored <strong>by</strong> South Main Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>), paying one-half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pastor’s annual<br />

salary for two full years, beginning in 1974.<br />

Oiltown, U.S.A. was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first<br />

movies produced <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> Billy Graham<br />

Evangelistic Association’s World Wide<br />

Pictures. <strong>The</strong> film debuted in 1954<br />

and was filmed in Houston — partly in<br />

<strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> Raymond E. Hankamer,<br />

who served <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> as a director and director<br />

emeritus from 1956 - 2005.<br />

Oiltown, U.S.A. album cover, 1953<br />

From <strong>the</strong> first days <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, men <strong>of</strong> faith partnered<br />

with <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> to lead <strong>the</strong> work. Directors<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten convened in <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> Second<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> pastor and founding trustee<br />

Kyle M. Yates, and without fail, board meetings<br />

began with prayer. <strong>Oldham</strong> frequently<br />

emphasized <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> “soul winning”<br />

or evangelism and it was common for churches<br />

receiving grants from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> to report<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir baptisms to <strong>the</strong> board; at one such meeting<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> opined that “all churches should<br />

place more emphasis on soul-winning and<br />

should have soul-winning classes and…classes<br />

<strong>of</strong> instruction for new converts training <strong>the</strong>m<br />

in soul-winning.” 3<br />

<strong>The</strong> subject <strong>of</strong> soul winning was raised<br />

again nearly a year later, when “it was decided<br />

that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> should assist small churches<br />

<strong>by</strong> helping <strong>the</strong>m set up and organize Soulwinning<br />

Classes and methods…to streng<strong>the</strong>n<br />

Also in 1959, <strong>the</strong> trustees granted<br />

$1,000 to <strong>the</strong> Institute <strong>of</strong> Religion in<br />

Houston’s Texas Medical Center for<br />

<strong>the</strong> “training <strong>of</strong> pastors in bedside<br />

manners and as a go-between between<br />

<strong>the</strong> family and <strong>the</strong> patient and between<br />

<strong>the</strong> bereaved patient and <strong>the</strong> doctor.”<br />

Thirty-three <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 36 pastors funded<br />

completed <strong>the</strong> six-week training<br />

regimen. 6<br />

new-born Christians in <strong>the</strong> faith,” and that<br />

“<strong>Morris</strong> C. <strong>Oldham</strong> be authorized to do such<br />

things as may be necessary or convenient to<br />

implement this program.” 4 Shortly before<br />

his death in 1955, <strong>Oldham</strong> hired a “religious<br />

specialist” to conduct soul-winning classes<br />

for small churches, serving as long as such<br />

assistance was needed at each church. 5<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s influential love for <strong>the</strong> teaching<br />

and preaching <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gospel in order to win<br />

souls to Christ would shape <strong>the</strong> decisions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

many <strong>Foundation</strong> trustees who followed him.<br />

Asking, “What would our Founder do?” <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

helped trustees determine which <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> many<br />

funding requests <strong>the</strong>y received to approve.<br />

Aware that many smaller churches employed<br />

bi-vocational pastors or depended upon<br />

visiting pastors or pastors-in-training for<br />

weekly pulpit supply, in 1959 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

granted funds to cover <strong>the</strong> traveling expenses<br />

<strong>of</strong> Southwestern Baptist <strong>The</strong>ological Seminary<br />

students to churches where <strong>the</strong>y preached on<br />

weekends. It was unanimously agreed <strong>by</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

trustees “that this would be a wonderful<br />

opportunity to aid small churches across <strong>the</strong><br />

country.” 6 <strong>The</strong> small church and its need for<br />

support was never far from <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

mind. Because <strong>of</strong> his strong faith, he and his<br />

successors would focus <strong>the</strong>ir energies on its<br />

health and productivity for <strong>the</strong> good <strong>of</strong><br />

God’s kingdom.<br />

3 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting<br />

Minutes, May 5, 1953.<br />

4 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting<br />

Minutes, May 27, 1954.<br />

5 Encyclopedia <strong>of</strong> American Biography, New Series; OLDHAM,<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> Calvin, p. 80<br />

6 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

September 29, 1959.<br />

18 19


ALL OF LIFE…”<br />

Gregg Matte, Pastor,<br />

Houston’s First Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> joined Houston’s First<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> not long after his arrival in<br />

<strong>the</strong> city in 1914. <strong>The</strong> church was already 73<br />

years old. Thirteen years later he would join<br />

nearly 400 members leaving First Baptist to<br />

found <strong>the</strong> Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong> <strong>of</strong> Houston.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

has maintained significant ties to both<br />

congregations throughout its history. Gregg<br />

Matte, <strong>the</strong> 35th pastor <strong>of</strong> Houston’s First<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, challenges <strong>the</strong> sacred/secular<br />

dichotomy <strong>of</strong> work and encourages all believers<br />

in Christ to be difference makers, regardless<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir vocation: “You were made for<br />

more than watching,” says Matte. “You have a<br />

history-changing, difference-making, lifegiving,<br />

Spirit-empowered legacy to leave. As<br />

Jesus works deeply in you and clearly through<br />

you, you will be a difference maker.” 7<br />

Q: <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was a successful businessman<br />

who loved <strong>the</strong> <strong>Church</strong> and used his secular<br />

gifts to support its “soul winning” efforts. Does<br />

<strong>the</strong> church need those same gifts today?<br />

A: <strong>The</strong> ‘your work is secular/mine is sacred’<br />

dichotomy is a false one. I’m a Christian who<br />

happens to be a pastor. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was a<br />

Christian who happened to be a dairyman. But<br />

for every believer our primary identity is who<br />

we are in Christ. Whose we are. I John 4:9 says<br />

that God’s love was revealed to us in this way:<br />

that God sent his one and only Son into <strong>the</strong><br />

world so that we might live through him.<br />

Whatever we do for a living, we want to live<br />

through Jesus in our work — and let Jesus live<br />

through us — so that we might make a difference<br />

in this world.<br />

If every one <strong>of</strong> us was a pastor, we’d be<br />

missing out on touching a lot <strong>of</strong> lives for<br />

Christ. Not everyone is going to come to<br />

church, or hear a pastor preach. But <strong>the</strong>y may<br />

still hear <strong>the</strong> gospel through <strong>the</strong> Christians<br />

<strong>the</strong>y come in contact with every day. For<br />

every businessman or woman who practices<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir vocation with integrity and faith, <strong>the</strong>re’s<br />

a winsomeness in your retail establishment,<br />

your downtown <strong>of</strong>fice or your Energy Corridor<br />

cubicle. You are <strong>the</strong> embedded light <strong>of</strong> Christ,<br />

<strong>the</strong> aroma <strong>of</strong> Christ, in <strong>the</strong> world! <strong>The</strong> average<br />

person spends far more time at work than he<br />

or she does in church, yet our faith is <strong>the</strong><br />

foundation for all <strong>of</strong> life.<br />

Q: Megachurches like Houston’s First are more<br />

common today than ever before, yet a recent<br />

study notes that more than half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> churches<br />

in America fall below triple digits in weekly<br />

worship attendance. 8 Is <strong>the</strong> small church still<br />

significant today?<br />

A: It is. Typically, preachers like church “big.”<br />

We want to preach to a big room and reach as<br />

many folks as we can. But people do still love<br />

<strong>the</strong> intimacy <strong>of</strong> smaller settings. Small churches<br />

have mattered throughout history and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

will continue to matter in <strong>the</strong> future. <strong>The</strong>y’re<br />

<strong>the</strong> fabric <strong>of</strong> Christianity. God was using small<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>rings from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Church</strong>’s very beginning.<br />

In Acts 2 Peter preached and thousands were<br />

saved, but <strong>the</strong>y went home from Jerusalem to<br />

form small house churches in <strong>the</strong> towns where<br />

<strong>the</strong>y lived and worked. <strong>The</strong>re’s no way <strong>the</strong><br />

small church is ever going away. It’s too established,<br />

too core. It will always be <strong>the</strong>re. And<br />

<strong>the</strong> resourcing <strong>of</strong> it — which <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> does so faithfully — will<br />

always be necessary. A small church still has<br />

facilities that need upkeep in order to continue<br />

reaching out to its community — and it has a<br />

limited base <strong>of</strong> supply to pay for those things.<br />

So when <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> is able to come in and<br />

say, “We can help you with that new ro<strong>of</strong>, help<br />

you with that project,” that little jump start<br />

can become a powerful thing.<br />

Q: You were a business major in college, and<br />

essentially a young entrepreneur in founding a<br />

successful college ministry, Breakaway, at Texas<br />

Gregg Matte<br />

in his study Feburary 5, 2019<br />

A&M University. If you had become a business<br />

executive and not a pastor, how would you<br />

imagine serving <strong>the</strong> church?<br />

A: Well, first, I’d be giving. And encouraging.<br />

After being a pastor for 15 years, I know<br />

first-hand what a gift encouragement from <strong>the</strong><br />

laity is to those <strong>of</strong> us in vocational ministry.<br />

I’m overwhelmed with <strong>the</strong> encouragement and<br />

prayers I receive on a daily basis. I need <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

I know people are praying, and <strong>the</strong> prayers <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> people mean so much. And I hope I’d be<br />

<strong>of</strong>fering my knowledge and expertise to <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong>, too. <strong>The</strong> encouragement and advice I<br />

receive from those in <strong>the</strong> business community<br />

is invaluable. We have a staff <strong>of</strong> 200. Some <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> executives in our church manage companies<br />

<strong>of</strong> 2,000 or more. <strong>The</strong>y get it. <strong>The</strong>y know it’s<br />

not easy to engage so many with a single focus,<br />

a single goal. Every once in a while I’ll see a<br />

kind <strong>of</strong> “holy jealousy” when someone says,<br />

“You get to do this God-thing all <strong>the</strong> time and<br />

I have to think about pipelines or product life<br />

cycles or personnel challenges, <strong>the</strong>n try to<br />

minister to someone.” But if I were a business<br />

person in <strong>the</strong> community I hope I’d do what so<br />

many that I know do — live out my faith boldly<br />

in my daily environment and also leverage<br />

my strengths and my wisdom on behalf <strong>of</strong> my<br />

church. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was a fantastic example<br />

<strong>of</strong> that.<br />

Q: Are <strong>the</strong>re significant gifts or givers that stand<br />

out in your mind as Pastor <strong>of</strong> Houston’s First?<br />

A: Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> greatest ones have been secret.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’re people that no one could name, or<br />

gifts that hardly anyone knows <strong>of</strong>. I’m thinking<br />

<strong>of</strong> one family that has consistently given<br />

amounts that would not be considered large<br />

— but <strong>the</strong>y’ve done it so faithfully over such a<br />

long time that <strong>the</strong> cumulative impact has been<br />

unbelievable. This man and his family…you’d<br />

just never know <strong>the</strong> contribution <strong>the</strong>y’ve made<br />

over time. Sometimes we lift up <strong>the</strong> big gifts<br />

really high, and we honor that because a big<br />

gift can make a real difference — and quickly.<br />

We can only be obedient with what we have,<br />

and God does <strong>the</strong> rest.<br />

I look at Breakaway now, about to celebrate<br />

30 years. I was around for <strong>the</strong> first 15, and<br />

yes, I planted a seed. I tended it and worked<br />

hard to water it. But it has continued to grow<br />

far beyond that. I get a lot <strong>of</strong> credit for things<br />

I didn’t do! Something was begun that was an<br />

organic idea <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lord. That’s what I think has<br />

happened with <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. What<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> began o<strong>the</strong>rs have sustained,<br />

and God has blessed many, many churches because<br />

<strong>of</strong> it. It’s not, “<strong>Little</strong> church, you’re going<br />

to get $10,000 a year every year from now on.”<br />

It’s “We’re going to take this one-time gift, this<br />

specific amount, and light a fuse. But it’s God<br />

who’s going to ignite <strong>the</strong> spark, pop <strong>the</strong> firecracker.<br />

He’s <strong>the</strong> one who creates lasting good<br />

from our simple obedience.”<br />

7 Matte, Gregg. Difference Makers: How to Live a Life <strong>of</strong> Impact and<br />

Purpose, B&H Books, Nashville, TN, 2019.<br />

8 https://factsandtrends.net/2016/02/24/majority-<strong>of</strong>-americanchurches-fall-below-100-in-worship-attendance/<br />

20 21

R<br />

R<br />

F O C U S<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: Pageville Missionary Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>, Richmond, TX - A<br />

$7,000 grant was awarded in<br />

March, 2010 for <strong>the</strong> purchase <strong>of</strong><br />

3<br />

pews, tables and chairs following<br />

a fire that rendered <strong>the</strong> church a<br />

total loss.<br />

22 23<br />

C H<br />

A<br />



Nei<strong>the</strong>r Houston church attended <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> could be considered a small church <strong>by</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> mid-20th century. Both Houston’s First<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> and Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

boasted thousands <strong>of</strong> members and were among<br />

<strong>the</strong> largest houses <strong>of</strong> worship in <strong>the</strong> city when<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> belonged to <strong>the</strong>m. Never<strong>the</strong>less,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> felt <strong>the</strong> small church was integral to<br />

<strong>the</strong> spread <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gospel and it was <strong>the</strong> small<br />

church he labored to support.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was no equivocation about this;<br />

<strong>the</strong> documents that established <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> Trust (incorporated as <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> in 1995) made <strong>the</strong><br />

founder’s intent crystal clear.<br />

<strong>The</strong> assets transferred <strong>by</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> into <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> Trust at its inception were to be<br />

“toge<strong>the</strong>r with all additions and accretions<br />

<strong>the</strong>reto <strong>by</strong> all o<strong>the</strong>r and fur<strong>the</strong>r gifts or additions<br />

to said Trust, and all rents, revenues, dividends,<br />

income and pr<strong>of</strong>it …held, used, managed and<br />

administered for religious and charitable purposes<br />

in <strong>the</strong> manner and according to <strong>the</strong><br />

provisions herein set forth.”<br />

Those provisions specifically instructed<br />

that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> trustees “in <strong>the</strong>ir absolute<br />

discretion as to amounts, shall use and apply <strong>the</strong><br />

income <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Trust property, as defined <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Texas Trust Act and all amendments <strong>the</strong>reto…<br />

for <strong>the</strong> aiding and helping <strong>of</strong> small Protestant<br />

<strong>Church</strong>es. By Protestant is meant all <strong>Church</strong>es<br />

spreading <strong>the</strong> doctrine <strong>of</strong> Christianity except<br />

<strong>the</strong> Catholic <strong>Church</strong>.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> delineation <strong>of</strong> Protestant from Catholic<br />

churches was not prejudicial; <strong>Oldham</strong> intended<br />

no disrespect to any Catholic believer. He simply<br />

observed Protestant churches to be centered on<br />

“soul winning,” and noted also that <strong>the</strong> small<br />

Catholic church, <strong>by</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> its centralized polity,<br />

tended to be much more consistently funded<br />

that <strong>the</strong> typical small Protestant church.<br />

With this general dictum, <strong>Oldham</strong> empowered<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> trustees to aid and help small<br />

churches “<strong>by</strong> lending <strong>the</strong>m money, making<br />

donations to <strong>the</strong>m or in such o<strong>the</strong>r manner as<br />

<strong>the</strong> Trustees shall see fit.” As for <strong>the</strong> definition<br />

<strong>of</strong> a “small” church, <strong>Oldham</strong> gave initial guidelines,<br />

but he <strong>of</strong>fered <strong>the</strong>m as suggestions only.<br />

In his view, a small church in 1949 would have<br />

fewer than 300 members and pay its pastor no<br />

more than $200 a month. In <strong>the</strong> ensuing years,<br />

trustees would continue to adjust and refine<br />

those guidelines while maintaining <strong>the</strong> founder’s<br />

focus on <strong>the</strong> “small” church.<br />

What would those gifts, in <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong><br />

grants, be used for? Trustees did not fund<br />

requests toward any work or goods already<br />

contracted or ordered, as <strong>the</strong>y did not fund debt<br />

<strong>of</strong> any kind. Likewise, <strong>the</strong>y did not assist in <strong>the</strong><br />

purchase <strong>of</strong> property, or <strong>the</strong> building <strong>of</strong> parsonages.<br />

But in truth, each grant has been as unique<br />

as <strong>the</strong> church requesting it. In 2008, one small<br />

Tennessee church requested funds for indoor<br />

restrooms “due to elders in attendance”;<br />

<strong>the</strong> request was granted. While <strong>the</strong> church’s<br />

membership fell slightly below <strong>the</strong> desired<br />

threshold, <strong>the</strong> trustees voted to fund construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bathrooms, perhaps compelled <strong>by</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> color photographs <strong>of</strong> men’s and women’s<br />

outhouses attached to <strong>the</strong> request!<br />

During its first year <strong>of</strong> operation, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> made a single grant for $2,000. <strong>The</strong><br />

next year (1950), 37 grants were made for a total<br />

<strong>of</strong> $24,309; in 1955 (<strong>the</strong> year <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

death) 64 grants were made for $21,655.<br />

By its 10th year, 1959, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> had<br />

made a cumulative total <strong>of</strong> 981 grants for<br />

$622,224 — generosity that represented more<br />

than 20% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s original investment.<br />

As requests continued to grow, <strong>the</strong> trustees<br />

continued to invest and manage <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

assets <strong>of</strong> cash, stocks and bonds, lands and<br />

buildings wisely for maximum kingdom impact.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> would have no doubt been<br />

quite pleased with <strong>the</strong>ir work.<br />

<strong>The</strong> funding request for indoor plumbing for <strong>the</strong> Unicoi Chapel Baptist <strong>Church</strong> read in<br />

part, “We are a country church with no inside bathrooms. Along with <strong>the</strong> congregation<br />

<strong>of</strong> older and younger members, we <strong>of</strong>ten have visitors who have to go outside to use <strong>the</strong><br />

restrooms. Not only in <strong>the</strong> cold where <strong>the</strong>y could fall on snow or ice…[but] mo<strong>the</strong>rs with<br />

babies who have no feel <strong>of</strong> cleanliness for <strong>the</strong>ir babies. We would like to <strong>of</strong>fer our church<br />

and its visitors, from babies to older, inside restrooms. I have enclosed some pictures<br />

<strong>of</strong> our church. It is a very old church filled with <strong>the</strong> Holy Spirit and love. Thank you,<br />

Unicoi Chapel Baptist <strong>Church</strong>.” <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> President and CEO<br />

Ed Finlay traveled to Tennessee to deliver <strong>the</strong> grant check <strong>of</strong> $5,000 in person.<br />

Phenix Dairy<br />

workers were <strong>of</strong>fered<br />

stock options in <strong>the</strong><br />

company for reduced<br />

sums to encourage<br />

employee ownership.<br />

24 25



Beginning in its second decade, <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

trustees began to consider new ways to help small<br />

churches in addition to direct grants. In 1959,<br />

Carloss <strong>Morris</strong> moved that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> give<br />

Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU) a sum<br />

<strong>of</strong> $1,000 a year for three years to “send teams<br />

to little churches…for <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> evangelism<br />

and training church members in personal soul<br />

winning.” 1 <strong>The</strong> motion unanimously carried.<br />

This creative way <strong>of</strong> assisting small churches<br />

in evangelistic outreach was characteristic <strong>of</strong><br />

similar efforts to come, but each request made<br />

<strong>by</strong> an organization o<strong>the</strong>r than a small church was<br />

considered critically, and on its own merits. For<br />

example, later that same year a request <strong>by</strong> ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

evangelistic organization, Youth for Christ<br />

Greater Houston, was denied because “it perhaps<br />

does not lie within <strong>the</strong> scope <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>…<br />

unless fur<strong>the</strong>r information [be] given establishing<br />

direct connection with small churches.” 2<br />

In 1961 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> decided to assist<br />

<strong>the</strong> Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with<br />

a sum <strong>of</strong> $350 a month to put a full-time pastor<br />

to work with smaller churches on <strong>the</strong> Hawaiian<br />

Islands, with a Honolulu radio station, KAIM,<br />

paying <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r half <strong>of</strong> his compensation. 3<br />

Also in 1961 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> granted a sum <strong>of</strong><br />

$30,000 to Peach Creek Encampment “to build<br />

dormitories to house delegates <strong>of</strong> small churches<br />

sent to <strong>the</strong> encampment, which churches could<br />

not afford to establish <strong>the</strong>ir own housing on <strong>the</strong><br />

encampment.” 4 Ano<strong>the</strong>r grant was made to <strong>the</strong><br />

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1965<br />

to support <strong>the</strong> training <strong>of</strong> Greater Houston<br />

Crusade counsellors from small churches, as<br />

well as sending BGEA associate evangelists to<br />

speak at small churches. 5<br />

It was not uncommon for <strong>the</strong> Trustees<br />

to support <strong>the</strong> preaching efforts <strong>of</strong> individual<br />

evangelists, including men like Cliff Brannon<br />

<strong>of</strong> Longview, Texas, who was compensated for<br />

conducting revival services in small, East Texas<br />

churches in 1963. 6 Again and again, <strong>the</strong> Trustees<br />

measured grant requests against <strong>the</strong> proposed<br />

project’s ability to aid <strong>the</strong> small church in its<br />

important ministry <strong>of</strong> winning souls to Christ.<br />


Given <strong>the</strong> growing trend toward evangelical,<br />

multi-site megachurches — do small churches<br />

still exist — and do <strong>the</strong>y still need help to fulfill<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir role? A National Congregation Study<br />

overseen <strong>by</strong> Duke Divinity School and funded <strong>by</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Lily Endowment indicates <strong>the</strong> answer to both<br />

questions is an emphatic“yes.” While <strong>the</strong> study<br />

suggests that most American churchgoers attend<br />

a church with a median attendance <strong>of</strong> 400 and<br />

an annual budget <strong>of</strong> $479,000 — <strong>the</strong>re are still<br />

more smaller churches than large ones, and those<br />

numbers are growing. “<strong>The</strong> typical American<br />

congregation is small,” according to <strong>the</strong> study,<br />

“with a median weekend attendance <strong>of</strong> about 76<br />

people.” Among those small churches <strong>the</strong> average<br />

annual budget is about $85,000 and most <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se churches (84%) own <strong>the</strong>ir own building.<br />

About half have one full-time minister and about<br />

a third have no full-time staff at all. Sixty percent<br />

<strong>of</strong> small church congregants are women.<br />

Given <strong>the</strong>se challenging demographics,<br />

it appears <strong>the</strong> need for help for <strong>the</strong>se small<br />

churches is still a pressing one. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

decades-old focus on <strong>the</strong> small church — and<br />

his visionary provision for it — have proven as<br />

critical as ever.<br />

1 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, April 20, 1959.<br />

2 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, September 29, 1959.<br />

3 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, May 22, 1961.<br />

4 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, June 19, 1961.<br />

5 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, June 3, 1965.<br />

6 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, Board <strong>of</strong> Directors meeting<br />

minutes, October 15, 1963.<br />



Hank Rush, President & CEO, Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission<br />

<strong>The</strong> histories <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> and Houston’s Star <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

Mission have intertwined for many years.<br />

Both nonpr<strong>of</strong>it organizations were born <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> vision <strong>of</strong> a deeply committed Christian<br />

founder who saw a pressing need and conceived<br />

a way to meet it. <strong>The</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

was only five years old when <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

arrived in Houston — and although <strong>the</strong>re is<br />

no record <strong>of</strong> it, Star <strong>of</strong> Hope founder Rev.<br />

Dennis Peveto and <strong>Oldham</strong> almost surely<br />

met one ano<strong>the</strong>r. Both Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr.<br />

and <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> served on <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong><br />

Hope’s Board <strong>of</strong> Directors, with <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Sr. serving until his death in 1950. Carloss<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Jr., who drafted <strong>the</strong> legal documents<br />

establishing <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>, served as a Star <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

Director for decades after his fa<strong>the</strong>r. In<br />

1956 OLCF deeded a 50-acre farm property<br />

near Hockley, Texas, to Star <strong>of</strong> Hope and <strong>the</strong><br />

mission operated it for a number <strong>of</strong> years. In<br />

1969 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> voted<br />

to give <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission a grant to<br />

purchase and move a church on to <strong>the</strong> farm<br />

to be used <strong>by</strong> small churches wishing to hold<br />

services <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Q: Both <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

and Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission were begun through<br />

<strong>the</strong> efforts <strong>of</strong> entrepreneurial founders with a<br />

singular focus. What significance has that focus<br />

had through Star <strong>of</strong> Hope’s history?<br />

A: Star <strong>of</strong> Hope’s goal is simple: to end homelessness<br />

one life, one family at a time. This<br />

has been our focus since our founding in<br />

1907. Very early on, we observed that “change<br />

typically starts with a warm meal and a place to<br />

sleep.” We’ve found that statement still holds<br />

1 Peveto, Dennis Rupert, From Plow to Pulpit, An Autobiography <strong>of</strong><br />

Dennis Rupert Peveto, ii. Unpublished.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> served faithfully on <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Board<br />

<strong>of</strong> Directors, as did OLCF Trustees Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr., and<br />

Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.<br />

26 27

true today.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> beginning, <strong>the</strong> homeless population<br />

<strong>of</strong> Houston was almost exclusively male. Star <strong>of</strong><br />

Hope was born when evangelist Mordecai Ham<br />

(whose preaching Billy Graham says led to his<br />

conversion) came to Houston in <strong>the</strong> Fall and<br />

Winter <strong>of</strong> 1906 and 1907 to lead a revival. All<br />

<strong>the</strong> major churches <strong>of</strong> Houston were involved —<br />

First Methodist <strong>Church</strong>, First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

First Pres<strong>by</strong>terian <strong>Church</strong>, <strong>the</strong> Episcopal<br />

Diocese… <strong>the</strong> revival was going on up and down<br />

Main Street. One night after a revival service a<br />

group <strong>of</strong> church men hit <strong>the</strong> streets to meet <strong>the</strong><br />

people and found a dozen homeless men living<br />

under <strong>the</strong> two bridges near Allen’s Landing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> church men were shocked that someone’s<br />

life could have fallen so far as to be living under<br />

a bridge and vowed to do something about it.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> those men was our Founder, Rev.<br />

Dennis Peveto, an assistant pastor at First<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong>. Later, on a steamer traveling<br />

from New Orleans to Richmond, Virginia<br />

and <strong>the</strong>n New York, Peveto had a dream about<br />

founding a mission in his home city, envisioning<br />

“<strong>the</strong> name, <strong>the</strong> chapel, <strong>the</strong> dormitory, <strong>the</strong><br />

lunch counter, <strong>the</strong> rest and reading room,<br />

<strong>the</strong> employment bureau,” and when he returned<br />

to Houston, he did. 1<br />

Today <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> homelessness has<br />

changed, but our focus has not. We now serve<br />

men, women and children — because families,<br />

single mo<strong>the</strong>rs with children, experience<br />

homelessness, too. Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> men we see are<br />

street homeless. Seventy percent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> adults<br />

we serve have addiction issues, and almost all <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> children have suffered some kind <strong>of</strong> abuse,<br />

ei<strong>the</strong>r physical or emotional. Our goal is to end<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir homelessness, helping <strong>the</strong>m to find new<br />

life in Jesus Christ — and to achieve successful<br />

independent living.<br />

Hank Rush<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope <strong>of</strong>fices<br />

January 28, 2019<br />

Q: How important has Star <strong>of</strong> Hope’s faith<br />

focus been to its continued success?<br />

A: Star <strong>of</strong> Hope is part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> body <strong>of</strong> Christ.<br />

Christians from all over <strong>the</strong> city participate<br />

in our work — we have 5,000 to 6,000 volunteers<br />

a year. Over 60 churches and affiliate<br />

groups provide evening worship services at our<br />

Men’s Center week in and week out, and 200<br />

churches that are involved with Star <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

in some way in any given year. Toge<strong>the</strong>r, we all<br />

do this amazing ministry. We’re one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> top<br />

10 largest non-pr<strong>of</strong>it ministries in <strong>the</strong> city <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston, and we’ve always been thoroughly<br />

evangelical. People know what we stand for;<br />

<strong>the</strong>re’s no question.<br />

We are housing and serving 1,400 individuals<br />

every day. We have 400 women and<br />

children in permanent housing and extended<br />

services. <strong>The</strong>y are coming in crisis: homeless<br />

men, men coming out <strong>of</strong> prison on parole,<br />

single women, single moms and <strong>the</strong>ir children.<br />

Almost all government funding today is toward<br />

permanent housing, but housing without rehabilitation,<br />

without recovery, without addressing<br />

<strong>the</strong> issues <strong>of</strong> addiction — is basically a revolving<br />

door. <strong>The</strong> gains are temporary, not permanent.<br />

We’re a member <strong>of</strong> a group <strong>of</strong> associated gospel<br />

rescue missions called City Gate whose aim is to<br />

address <strong>the</strong> issues that keep people from moving<br />

forward to establish <strong>the</strong>mselves and achieve<br />

successful, independent living. We do that <strong>by</strong><br />

helping <strong>the</strong>m find new life in Christ, new faith.<br />

At our Men’s Development Center we hold<br />

18 preaching services a week — three times a<br />

day, six days a week. At every Board <strong>of</strong> Directors<br />

meeting we address <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong> men,<br />

women and children who have pr<strong>of</strong>essed faith<br />

in Jesus Christ. We’ve always done it. We still<br />

do it. In that way, we’re keeping <strong>the</strong> main thing,<br />

<strong>the</strong> main thing.<br />

Q: Are <strong>the</strong>re any more Dennis Pevetos today?<br />

Any more <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>s?<br />

A: Absolutely. <strong>The</strong>re are folks very much like<br />

<strong>the</strong>m in today’s world — deep, sustaining,<br />

ministry-minded givers who quietly support<br />

and who know how to help. <strong>The</strong>y’re here in<br />

our city: pr<strong>of</strong>essionals well into <strong>the</strong>ir careers<br />

seeking to lift o<strong>the</strong>rs up. Executives in early<br />

retirement with tremendous gifts <strong>of</strong> leadership<br />

and expertise. I pray that <strong>the</strong> next generation<br />

coming behind <strong>the</strong>m will have <strong>the</strong> same focus,<br />

because that’s what it takes. <strong>Church</strong>es that give<br />

through <strong>the</strong>ir budgets and deploy thousands<br />

<strong>of</strong> volunteers from <strong>the</strong>ir membership; family<br />

foundations that love this kind <strong>of</strong> work. Many<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se folks are “quiet philanthropists” like<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was. <strong>The</strong>y’re not well-known<br />

in social circles, perhaps, but when God moves<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir heart, <strong>the</strong>y get moving and things get<br />

done. Dennis Peveto’s grandchildren still come<br />

to our annual Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Banquet every year,<br />

so our founder’s legacy <strong>of</strong> faithful presence<br />

among those in need continues to this day.<br />

28 29

R<br />

R<br />

C O N T E X T<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: <strong>The</strong> Living Rock Missionary<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, New Orleans,<br />

Louisiana – 2012-2016 multiple 4<br />

grants for electrical, HVAC, plumbing<br />

and paving following Hurricane<br />

Isaac. Total $37,000.<br />

30 31<br />

C H<br />

A<br />




Small churches. Soul winning. <strong>The</strong>se were <strong>the</strong><br />

stated focus <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> in establishing<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. For <strong>the</strong><br />

next six years, <strong>the</strong>se two priorities continued to<br />

guide <strong>Oldham</strong>’s decision making and after his<br />

passing, that <strong>of</strong> Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> Weaver and<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> trustees.<br />

In 1965 for example, <strong>the</strong> trustees unanimously<br />

granted “$1,000 to Maize Road Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>, Columbus, Ohio, to apply to a part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> salary <strong>of</strong> a man to work for <strong>the</strong> church whose<br />

responsibility would be to train each member<br />

to be a soul winner, and to stress <strong>the</strong> fact that all<br />

members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> church let Christ work through<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir lives.” 1<br />

A year later in 1966, “It was unanimously<br />

decided that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> spend $10,000 a<br />

year sending ministers to small churches to help<br />

<strong>the</strong>m in evangelistic and soul winning programs.”<br />

2 While this annual sum did not represent<br />

a grant to a specific small church, it represented<br />

a means to aid numerous small churches in <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

ongoing evangelistic efforts.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early 1970s <strong>the</strong> trustees helped<br />

fund evangelistic outreaches on behalf <strong>of</strong> small<br />

churches through <strong>the</strong> ministries <strong>of</strong> speakers like<br />

Billy Hanks, Jr., a former intern with <strong>the</strong> Billy<br />

Graham Evangelistic Association, and o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

<strong>The</strong> support <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se itinerant evangelists coin-<br />

cided with <strong>the</strong> rise <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Jesus Movement — a<br />

youth revival groundswell that began on <strong>the</strong> West<br />

Coast and spread through <strong>the</strong> United States and<br />

Europe, causing many young “hippies” to abandon<br />

drugs and turn to Christ. Funds granted to<br />

Hanks and o<strong>the</strong>r young evangelists supported<br />

revival meetings “in <strong>the</strong> smaller communities<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> United States.” 3<br />

In a 1972 Board meeting, trustee Raymond<br />

Hankamer read a thank you letter sent in connection<br />

with one <strong>of</strong> Billy Hanks’ crusades in<br />

Colorado City. John McIntyre also read a thank<br />

you letter from a crusade in Brazil, and Florence<br />

Weaver read ano<strong>the</strong>r. “<strong>The</strong>se letters never cease<br />

to give us inspiration and satisfaction at being in<br />

this work,” minutes from that meeting reflected.<br />

Holding firmly to its founding precepts, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> continues to translate those precepts<br />

year after year in response to <strong>the</strong> prevailing<br />

social, financial and spiritual environment.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> “Jesus<br />

Movement” <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

early to mid-70s, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> supported<br />

several large youth<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>rings, and<br />

provided scholarships<br />

for students to attend<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs on behalf<br />

<strong>of</strong> small congregations.<br />


Harry Truman was President in 1949. <strong>The</strong> U.S.<br />

flag sported 48 stars and <strong>the</strong> economy was in an<br />

11-month, post-war downturn. Mao Tse Tung<br />

proclaimed <strong>the</strong> communist People’s Republic <strong>of</strong><br />

China that year, <strong>the</strong> Geneva Convention was ratified,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Cold War had begun. A man could<br />

fill his Ford or Studebaker or Plymouth with gas<br />

for 17 cents a gallon and a typical family’s average<br />

annual income was less than $3,000. This was<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s world when he sold <strong>the</strong> Phenix<br />

Dairy and created his Trust.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 1950s launched an era <strong>of</strong> tremendous<br />

social change — nationwide and also in<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>’s adopted home city. As <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

ended its first full decade <strong>of</strong> operation<br />

with <strong>Oldham</strong>’s widow Florence at <strong>the</strong> helm,<br />

Houston was home to <strong>the</strong> largest African<br />

American population <strong>of</strong> any city in <strong>the</strong> South.<br />

With its churches solidly segregated and <strong>the</strong><br />

Civil Rights Act five years away, <strong>the</strong> all-<br />

In early 1972 a motion carried for “ten black students to<br />

be financed at <strong>the</strong> rate <strong>of</strong> $75 each to go to Explo ’72…<br />

to create a training for <strong>the</strong>se in soul-winning so that<br />

<strong>the</strong>y would go back into <strong>the</strong>ir own small churches with<br />

this knowledge and ability.” Explo ’72 was an evangelistic<br />

conference sponsored <strong>by</strong> Campus Crusade for Christ.<br />

Caucasian board <strong>of</strong> trustees in 1959 approved<br />

a grant for “Providence Baptist <strong>Church</strong> (colored),<br />

Houston, TX” for $300, 5 and ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

three years later to Greater Mt. Pilgrim Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> in Houston’s historic 5th Ward for 50<br />

folding chairs for approximately $4.25 each. 6<br />

Both grants were in line with <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

stated values: Providence and Mt. Pilgrim were<br />

small churches winning souls to Christ. <strong>The</strong><br />

consideration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> current social context did<br />

not always lead trustees to go with <strong>the</strong> flow, but<br />

in at least a few instances, to challenge prevailing<br />

norms and anticipate positive change.<br />

Trustees also responded to environmental<br />

needs when natural disasters threatened <strong>the</strong><br />

viability <strong>of</strong> small churches. In 1969 <strong>the</strong> Board<br />

deliberated on how best to aid those churches<br />

devastated <strong>by</strong> Hurricane Camille — a Category 5<br />

storm causing more than $1.4 billion in damages<br />

along <strong>the</strong> Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana<br />

coasts. In 1982 trustees made <strong>the</strong> unprecedented<br />

decision to grant $15,500 to rebuild <strong>the</strong> Victory<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> in Paris, Texas, six months after<br />

a deadly F4 tornado completely destroyed it. 7<br />

As <strong>the</strong> race to space captivated America<br />

in <strong>the</strong> 1960s and early 70s, <strong>the</strong> Board “heard<br />

from Dr. Bill Rittenhouse <strong>of</strong> Nassau Bay Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> about [<strong>the</strong>] potential for astronaut Jim<br />

Irwin’s ‘High Flight <strong>Foundation</strong>’ for presenting<br />

<strong>the</strong> gospel <strong>of</strong> Jesus Christ to <strong>the</strong> small churches<br />

around <strong>the</strong> world.” 8 Irwin was <strong>the</strong> lunar module<br />

pilot <strong>of</strong> Apollo 15, <strong>the</strong> fourth lunar landing,<br />

and was <strong>the</strong> eighth and last person to walk on<br />

<strong>the</strong> moon.<br />

5 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

January 27, 1959.<br />

6 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

May 22, 1962.<br />

7 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

September 14, 1982.<br />

8 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

August 24, 1972.<br />

1 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

November 9, 1965.<br />

2 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

June 16, 1966.<br />

3 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

February 18, 1971.<br />

4 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

May 18, 1972.<br />

32 33


<strong>The</strong> original Trust, which was denominated <strong>the</strong><br />

“<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>” dedicated<br />

“certain real and personal property to public<br />

usefulness” <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>, “to provide a<br />

means and instrumentality which may be used <strong>by</strong><br />

him in applying additional property to similar<br />

[religious and charitable] purposes.” <strong>The</strong> assets<br />

conveyed were all <strong>Oldham</strong>’s; <strong>the</strong> Trust granted<br />

and conveyed <strong>the</strong>se to <strong>the</strong> original five trustees<br />

and <strong>the</strong>ir successors “TO HAVE AND TO<br />

HOLD…forever.” 9<br />

<strong>The</strong> intent, <strong>of</strong> course, was that <strong>the</strong>y would<br />

be managed and grown in perpetuity, so that <strong>the</strong><br />

trustees might “invest and reinvest any funds<br />

from time to time arising or accruing through<br />

<strong>the</strong> receipt or collection <strong>of</strong> investments, income,<br />

revenues, pr<strong>of</strong>its, proceeds from <strong>the</strong> sale<br />

<strong>of</strong> properties, or o<strong>the</strong>rwise, using <strong>the</strong>ir best<br />

judgment in such investing and re-investing.” 10<br />

Until his death, <strong>Oldham</strong> as grantor gave “express<br />

approval in writing to <strong>the</strong> borrowing <strong>of</strong> any…<br />

funds.” 11<br />

With a generation scarred <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> market<br />

crash <strong>of</strong> 1929 and <strong>the</strong> Great Depression <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

1930s, most people in <strong>the</strong> 1940s and early 50s<br />

were leery <strong>of</strong> investing in stocks. In fact, it was<br />

only in 1954 that <strong>the</strong> Dow Jones Average surpassed<br />

its 1929 peak, a full 25 years after <strong>the</strong><br />

crash. Investment choices in <strong>the</strong> 1950s were also<br />

somewhat limited. <strong>The</strong> great mutual fund boom<br />

was still years away, and <strong>the</strong> concept <strong>of</strong> overseas<br />

investing was non-existent.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first stock purchases <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

were noted in Board minutes <strong>of</strong> March 12,<br />

1954, when stocks reached <strong>the</strong>ir highest point<br />

post-Depression. All were all made <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>: American Barge; Consolidated General<br />

Products; Continental Fidelity Investment,<br />

Inc.; Dallas Railway and Terminal; Empire<br />

Petroleum; Foremost Dairies (<strong>by</strong> far <strong>the</strong> largest<br />

purchase at $665,526.00); Gulf Federated Feed<br />

Assoc.; Jack & Heintz, Inc.; Madings Drug;<br />

National Tank; Pan American Sulphur; Peden<br />

Iron & Steel; Punta Alegre Sugar; River Brand<br />

Rice; Textiles Incorporated; Trinity Petroleum<br />

Trust; West Indies Sugar. 12<br />

That <strong>the</strong> original Trust granted investment<br />

powers to its trustees and <strong>the</strong>ir successors was<br />

important; it gave <strong>the</strong> trustees leverage and<br />

relieved <strong>the</strong>m <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pressure to raise funds.<br />

It also assigned <strong>the</strong>m significant responsibility to<br />

remain constantly abreast <strong>of</strong> financial trends and<br />

engaged in <strong>the</strong> investing and managing process.<br />

In early 1975, Board meeting minutes reflect<br />

a lengthy discussion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> general economy,<br />

including an earlier drop in <strong>the</strong> stock market in<br />

1974, and <strong>the</strong> effect <strong>of</strong> high interest rates, <strong>the</strong><br />

general recession and a drop in new housing<br />

starts on <strong>the</strong> real estate market.<br />

By using <strong>the</strong>ir collective acumen, <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> trustees have continued<br />

to grow <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s assets with an<br />

entrepreneurial spirit not unlike that <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> himself, and in more recent years, to<br />

utilize <strong>the</strong> assistance <strong>of</strong> three active investment<br />

advisors and measure ongoing investment performance<br />

against current market benchmarks.<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s granting over <strong>the</strong> decades has<br />

also reflected <strong>the</strong> movements <strong>of</strong> evangelicalism<br />

— both at home, and abroad. Although always<br />

focused on ways to aid <strong>the</strong> small church, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> also recognized <strong>the</strong> contributions <strong>of</strong><br />

campus ministries like <strong>the</strong> Navigators, Campus<br />

Crusade for Christ (now CRU) and Young Life<br />

in evangelizing young people.<br />

In 1954 trustees authorized a loan <strong>of</strong><br />

$170,000 to <strong>the</strong> Navigators secured <strong>by</strong> a lien<br />

against Glen Eyrie, <strong>the</strong> ministry’s Colorado<br />

Springs headquarters. Thirteen months later<br />

<strong>the</strong>y agreed to <strong>the</strong> sale <strong>of</strong> $150,000 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> note<br />

to Navigators to three Colorado Springs banks.<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was quite supportive <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Navigators and <strong>the</strong>ir founder, Dawson Trotman.<br />

Trotman’s daughter Ruth was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

first employees.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early 1960s Houston’s religious<br />

landscape was enhanced with <strong>the</strong> addition <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston Baptist College — a new university<br />

whose providential beginnings provided new<br />

opportunities for educating those in vocational<br />

service. In 1963 “It was decided that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

should expend up to $10,000 in grants<br />

to small churches to be used for <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir pastors, music directors, organists, pianists,<br />

church missionaries and o<strong>the</strong>r Christian<br />

workers in small churches to attend <strong>the</strong> Houston<br />

Baptist College for additional training,” and “it<br />

was envisioned that this would greatly streng<strong>the</strong>n<br />

<strong>the</strong> small churches whose pastors and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

workers do not have sufficient training to properly<br />

carry on for <strong>the</strong> Lord in <strong>the</strong>ir churches.” 13<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Spring <strong>of</strong> 1963 when <strong>the</strong> Baptist<br />

General Convention <strong>of</strong> Texas and <strong>the</strong> First Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>of</strong> Dallas, Texas, launched <strong>the</strong> Japan<br />

New Life Crusade, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> arranged<br />

to send persons to aid small churches in Tokyo<br />

during <strong>the</strong> crusade. 14 Florence Weaver reported<br />

that year that “over 5,000 souls had been won<br />

to Christ in <strong>the</strong> Japanese crusade.” 15<br />

In July 1974, over 2,400 participants from<br />

150 nations ga<strong>the</strong>red in Lausanne, Switzerland,<br />

for <strong>the</strong> First International Congress on World<br />

Evangelization. TIME magazine described it as<br />

‘a formidable forum, possibly <strong>the</strong> widest-ranging<br />

meeting <strong>of</strong> Christians ever held’.<br />

Where <strong>the</strong> winds <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gospel were blowing,<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> was seeking to respond.<br />

9 Founding document, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>,<br />

February 23, 1949.<br />

10 Ibid.<br />

11 Ibid.<br />

12 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

March 12, 1954.<br />

13 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

October 15, 1963.<br />

14 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

September 25, 1962.<br />

15 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

April 17, 1963.<br />



VISION.”<br />

Robert B. Sloan, President,<br />

Houston Baptist University<br />

Shortly after <strong>the</strong> charter <strong>of</strong> Houston Baptist<br />

College in 1960, a task force <strong>of</strong> five men<br />

including “founding fa<strong>the</strong>r” Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Sr., <strong>the</strong>n a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Trustees<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>,<br />

drafted a formal statement describing <strong>the</strong> nature<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new institution. <strong>The</strong>y envisioned<br />

“a Christian liberal arts college…dedicated<br />

to <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> moral character, <strong>the</strong><br />

enrichment <strong>of</strong> spiritual lives, and perpetuation<br />

<strong>of</strong> growth in Christian ideals.” 16 <strong>The</strong>y<br />

asserted that “Founded under <strong>the</strong> providence<br />

<strong>of</strong> God…HOUSTON BAPTIST COLLEGE<br />

shall stand as a witness for Jesus Christ, expressed<br />

directly through its administration,<br />

faculty and students.” 17 Since that time HBU<br />

has flourished, in no small measure due to<br />

its ability to continually translate its original<br />

vision to its current context.<br />

Q: How important is it for any institution,<br />

business or organization to be cognizant <strong>of</strong> and<br />

responsive to <strong>the</strong> changing context or environment<br />

in which it exists?<br />

A: I can’t think <strong>of</strong> anything much more<br />

important for any organization than to be<br />

cognizant <strong>of</strong> its surroundings. On <strong>the</strong> one<br />

hand, you have <strong>the</strong> history, <strong>the</strong> tradition,<br />

<strong>the</strong> brand reputation and core values <strong>of</strong> your<br />

organization, and on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand you have<br />

<strong>the</strong> environment in which you operate. You<br />

are constantly taking those core commitments<br />

and translating <strong>the</strong>m into where you are.<br />

16 Looser, Don. An Act <strong>of</strong> Providence: A History <strong>of</strong> Houston Baptist<br />

University, 1960-2010, Halcyon Press Ltd., 2010; p. 25.<br />

17 Ibid.<br />

34 35

We’re translators. You must translate your<br />

vision, your mission, into your current setting<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r that setting is five days or five hundred<br />

years from <strong>the</strong> time you began.<br />

Q: Why are some institutions able to thrive and<br />

adapt over time and o<strong>the</strong>rs are not?<br />

Q: <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was an entrepreneur whose<br />

success enabled him to establish <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. HBU was established<br />

through <strong>the</strong> entrepreneurial drive <strong>of</strong> men like<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, whom you mentioned. Why are<br />

entrepreneurship and free enterprise so critical<br />

for a flourishing society?<br />

A: It’s a matter <strong>of</strong> keeping those two things —<br />

core values or commitments and your current<br />

context — in tension. You never give up your<br />

core values. If you do you’re doomed to failure.<br />

You might still exist as an entity, but you won’t be<br />

<strong>the</strong> same entity. And if you ever cease to translate<br />

those values to your present context, likewise,<br />

you will fail. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stages <strong>of</strong> death is that<br />

you work to survive ra<strong>the</strong>r than to fulfill your<br />

mission. It’s all about leadership. That’s why you<br />

need founders like <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>. You need<br />

that visional purpose.<br />

Q: What are some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> greatest challenges facing<br />

Christian organizations — schools, churches,<br />

non-pr<strong>of</strong>it ministries — in <strong>the</strong> next decade?<br />

A: <strong>The</strong> same forces that plague every business<br />

and organization in our culture today plague<br />

churches, charitable foundations and universities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> encroaching environment <strong>of</strong> regulation is<br />

a great challenge. Twenty or 30 years ago you<br />

would have seen no one at a university working<br />

in <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> compliance and now compliance is<br />

a business. Whe<strong>the</strong>r you’re talking about medicine,<br />

banking, insurance, energy, small businesses<br />

or universities, increased regulation presents<br />

a great danger <strong>of</strong> loss <strong>of</strong> freedom, loss <strong>of</strong> respect<br />

for entrepreneurship. When you create an environment<br />

where risk is no longer feasible you kill<br />

<strong>of</strong>f great institutions. Loss <strong>of</strong> religious freedom,<br />

restrictions on freedom <strong>of</strong> speech — <strong>the</strong>se are<br />

very damaging to institutions. <strong>The</strong> homogenizing<br />

<strong>of</strong> cultural values to <strong>the</strong> point where you’re<br />

considered <strong>of</strong>fensive if you’re not aligned with<br />

everyone else is a challenge. Financial challenges<br />

are a function <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se deeper problems. <strong>The</strong><br />

loss <strong>of</strong> freedom, a compliance environment, a<br />

highly litigious society…<strong>the</strong>se go hand in hand.<br />

Robert B. Sloan<br />

HBU campus, January 29, 2019<br />

Q: Early in your tenure <strong>of</strong> leadership at HBU<br />

you established a vision for <strong>the</strong> University’s<br />

future known as <strong>the</strong> Ten Pillars. What cultural or<br />

contextual issues did you and your team consider<br />

in drafting this visionary document?<br />

A: First, we were looking at Houston — at our<br />

city. It’s a place with great entrepreneurial spirit,<br />

thriving in energy resources, real estate, banking<br />

and technology. It has an international feel,<br />

diversity, [coastal access with] <strong>the</strong> ship channel...<br />

and it’s such a philanthropic city. It has <strong>the</strong> energy<br />

<strong>of</strong> a [place like] New York City yet with deeply<br />

faithful values. That’s why all <strong>the</strong>se entrepreneurial<br />

people like Stewart <strong>Morris</strong> and o<strong>the</strong>rs were<br />

here — and that’s fertile ground for flourishing<br />

for a university. You tend to find great Catholic<br />

schools in major cities, but you don’t typically<br />

find great Protestant colleges and universities<br />

<strong>the</strong>re. Those are more <strong>of</strong>ten located in small<br />

towns, not great cities — but HBU was here,<br />

Mrs. Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> Woltman (far right) was <strong>the</strong> first woman elected<br />

to serve on <strong>the</strong> Houston Baptist University Board in 1961. She is pictured<br />

here at <strong>the</strong> groundbreaking ceremony for HBU’s academic quadrangle in<br />

May <strong>of</strong> 1962.”<br />

in what is now <strong>the</strong> third largest city in <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States. So, we considered <strong>the</strong> city.<br />

And we considered HBU. You start with<br />

<strong>the</strong> university or <strong>the</strong> organization as it is. To<br />

get better you have to have standards, to know<br />

where you are. <strong>The</strong>n you raise <strong>the</strong> standards and<br />

develop strategies to get <strong>the</strong>re. I came to HBU<br />

in 2006 when HBU was 46. We’d made unbelievable<br />

progress for a school at that time. We<br />

had historic strengths in nursing, business and<br />

<strong>the</strong>ology. You start with what you have and get<br />

better at what you do, looking at ways to expand.<br />

You build <strong>of</strong>f your strengths to o<strong>the</strong>r mission-oriented<br />

things.<br />

A: <strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has a very<br />

distinctive mission. Not just to support<br />

Christian causes, but to support <strong>the</strong> spread <strong>of</strong><br />

Christianity through small churches and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

pastors. HBU is now home to <strong>the</strong> McNair<br />

Center for Entrepreneurship and Free<br />

Enterprise, training <strong>the</strong> next generation <strong>of</strong><br />

principled, visionary entrepreneurs. I believe<br />

<strong>the</strong>re will always be <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>s. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

will always be Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>es. I had a minister<br />

tell me years ago that he would say to his people,<br />

“Let me remind you, we’re thriving today. But<br />

<strong>the</strong>re’s not a single local church that hasn’t died<br />

or won’t 100 years, 400 years from now. This<br />

local church is going to die. But we’re here now.<br />

Let’s be faithful.” <strong>The</strong> gospel is what goes on.<br />

Not <strong>the</strong> buildings. That’s why you need entrepreneurial<br />

founders like <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>.<br />

You need that visional purpose.”<br />

36 37

R<br />

R<br />

S T E W A R D S H I P<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: Mt. Rose, Brenham, TX -<br />

A $5,300 grant was awarded in<br />

April, 2005 for <strong>the</strong> purchase <strong>of</strong><br />

plumbing fixtures, light fixtures,<br />

and chairs.<br />

C H<br />

5<br />

A<br />

P T E R<br />

38 39

From a $3 million trust making one $2,000<br />

grant in 1949 to an established, private charitable<br />

foundation generating more than $44 million<br />

in grants over 70 subsequent years, good stewardship<br />

has long been <strong>the</strong> “secret sauce” <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>.<br />

Beginning with <strong>Oldham</strong> himself, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>’s leadership has consistently drawn<br />

upon Biblical principles <strong>of</strong> stewardship to<br />

maximize assets for Kingdom gain. A continuing<br />

stream <strong>of</strong> income on <strong>Oldham</strong>’s original investment<br />

was anticipated from <strong>the</strong> outset. <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

trustees were given absolute discretion to use and<br />

apply “<strong>the</strong> income <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Trust property…for <strong>the</strong><br />

aiding and helping <strong>of</strong> small Protestant <strong>Church</strong>es.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> idea was always to secure and grow <strong>the</strong><br />

principal and generously distribute <strong>the</strong> income.<br />

As dedicated churchmen, <strong>Oldham</strong> and his<br />

founding trustees were undoubtedly familiar<br />

with Jesus’ parable <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> talents, told in Mat<strong>the</strong>w<br />

25. <strong>The</strong> story <strong>of</strong> a master entrusting financial<br />

holdings or “talents” to his servants to manage<br />

in his absence — and two <strong>of</strong> those three praised<br />

for investing with good return — illustrates that<br />

<strong>the</strong> effective steward doesn’t manage what is given<br />

only to maintain it, but to increase <strong>the</strong> master’s<br />

gain. Those servants who made more with what<br />

<strong>the</strong>y were given were entrusted with <strong>the</strong> care <strong>of</strong><br />

even greater amounts. <strong>The</strong> servant who buried<br />

his single “talent” to safeguard it was relieved <strong>of</strong><br />

Investing for Kingdom Gain<br />

“For <strong>the</strong> kingdom <strong>of</strong> heaven is like a man<br />

traveling to a far country, who called his own<br />

servants and delivered his goods to <strong>the</strong>m. And<br />

to one he gave five talents, to ano<strong>the</strong>r two, and<br />

to ano<strong>the</strong>r one, to each according to his own<br />

ability; and immediately he went on a journey.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n he who had received <strong>the</strong> five talents went<br />

and traded with <strong>the</strong>m, and made ano<strong>the</strong>r five<br />

talents. And likewise he who had received two<br />

gained two more also. But he who had received<br />

one went and dug in <strong>the</strong> ground, and hid his<br />

lord’s money. After a long time <strong>the</strong> lord <strong>of</strong><br />

those servants came and settled accounts with<br />

<strong>the</strong>m.” — Mat<strong>the</strong>w 25: 14-19, NKJV<br />

that talent — and <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> responsibility for any<br />

future stewardship. Thoughtful gain was <strong>the</strong><br />

name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> game — in <strong>the</strong> master’s name.<br />


<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> was <strong>the</strong> guiding force for <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> that bears his name for only <strong>the</strong> first<br />

six years <strong>of</strong> its existence. In those early days its<br />

assets, investments and charitable grants to small<br />

churches quite naturally reflected his character.<br />

“Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> was very careful with money,”<br />

founding director Carloss <strong>Morris</strong> recalled.<br />

“When he’d come to see me, he would always<br />

have his notes written on <strong>the</strong> back <strong>of</strong> a used<br />

envelope. He wouldn’t even waste scratch paper.”<br />

1 <strong>Morris</strong> also noted that <strong>Oldham</strong>’s frugality<br />

extended to his hobbies, as well. “If he’d break a<br />

golf tee he’d whittle it <strong>of</strong>f and use it again. He<br />

was real careful that way — and I guess what he<br />

had in mind was that that money should be<br />

used for <strong>the</strong> Lord’s work.” 2<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> President and CEO Paul<br />

Sanders concurs. “He was frugal and conservative,”<br />

says Sanders. “We remain frugal and<br />

conservative today. We give away as much as we<br />

can each year, but we are ever mindful <strong>of</strong> how<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> made and invested his money<br />

as we make financial decisions.”<br />

Soon after taking <strong>the</strong> helm <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

in 2011, Sanders discovered an early letter<br />

Grants Ledger –<br />

first entry on<br />

October 24, 1952<br />

for a matching church<br />

grant <strong>of</strong> $1,000<br />

in <strong>the</strong> files from <strong>the</strong> Baptist General Convention<br />

<strong>of</strong> Texas, proposing a merger <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

and its assets into <strong>the</strong> BGCT. “I’m thankful it<br />

never happened,” says Sanders. “He [<strong>Oldham</strong>]<br />

must have believed that with continued wise<br />

stewardship <strong>the</strong> assets would provide <strong>the</strong> ongoing<br />

help to small churches that he originally<br />

envisioned.” This visionary decision at a critical<br />

juncture would become one <strong>of</strong> many that would<br />

shape and secure <strong>the</strong> future <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> in years to come.<br />


From an endowment chiefly comprised <strong>of</strong> fixed<br />

rate assets and real estate, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

investments diversified from decade to decade.<br />

“Early on, everything was bonds and real estate,”<br />

says Sanders. “You could make good money in<br />

bonds in <strong>the</strong> 60s and 70s. Those first real estate<br />

holdings eventually sold, and [<strong>the</strong>n] <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

got into equities.” By 1982 approval was<br />

given <strong>by</strong> Board trustees to “begin <strong>the</strong> placement<br />

<strong>of</strong> a portion <strong>of</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> funds in stocks<br />

or stock funds with specific investments to be<br />

approved <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> investment committee.” 3 Six<br />

years later <strong>the</strong> Board approved an expenditure <strong>of</strong><br />

$1,250,000 in equity investments — a significant<br />

change from it is history <strong>of</strong> investing primarily<br />

in fixed income assets. Board <strong>of</strong> Trustees meeting<br />

minutes that same year (1988) also reflect a<br />

“short investment discussion” and request for<br />

recommendations “relative to mutual funds or<br />

money managers that might have <strong>the</strong> same objective<br />

as <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> — security <strong>of</strong> principal<br />

and reasonable growth and income.” 4<br />

On <strong>the</strong> real estate front <strong>the</strong> 1968 divestiture<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s 1,713-acre Garwood, Texas,<br />

ranch in Lavaca and Colorado counties netted<br />

$350,000, but more importantly retained <strong>the</strong><br />

oil and mineral rights to <strong>the</strong> property. “<strong>Oldham</strong><br />

loved that ranch,” recalled Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>. “He’d<br />

just paid about $15 or $20 an acre for it, and<br />

we sold it to some people from Galveston for a<br />

good deal more but retained all <strong>the</strong> minerals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lord really provided when we hit oil and gas<br />

because we retained all those minerals. And that<br />

was a great thing [for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>].” 5<br />

3 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

March 22, 1982.<br />

4 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

May 19, 1988.<br />

5 Transcript <strong>of</strong> oral interview <strong>of</strong> Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. <strong>by</strong> Peggy Norton;<br />

July 19, 1995.<br />

A major gas well (Hinze #1) was completed on <strong>the</strong> previously<br />

sold Garwood property in 1996 that would net $100,000<br />

per year for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> for a number <strong>of</strong> years.<br />

In 1957, attorney Searcy Bracewell, Jr., representing <strong>the</strong> interests <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, successfully appealed to <strong>the</strong> Texas State<br />

Legislature to amend earlier statutes relating to inheritance tax on bequests to charitable<br />

organizations. This effort enabled <strong>the</strong> remainder <strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s estate after his death to be<br />

transferred, <strong>by</strong> his wishes, to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> with no inheritance<br />

taxes levied <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> State before transfer. (Source: Legislative Reference Library <strong>of</strong> Texas,<br />

SB 415, 55th Regular Session, accessed at https://www.lrl.texas.gov)<br />

1 Transcript <strong>of</strong> oral interview <strong>of</strong> Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. <strong>by</strong> Peggy Norton;<br />

July 19, 1995.<br />

2 Ibid.<br />

40 41

Ano<strong>the</strong>r fortuitous real estate transaction<br />

was completed in 1972, selling a 347.6-acre<br />

tract that had been purchased at $300 an acre<br />

for more than $16,000 an acre. “At one time<br />

we got an <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>of</strong> $4,000 an acre,” said Carloss<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>. “At <strong>the</strong> time, that was above anything<br />

else around <strong>the</strong>re. I thought it was a good idea<br />

to take it…but Raymond [Hankamer] said,<br />

‘Let’s sit a while longer.’ <strong>The</strong>n Mr. [Jerold]<br />

Katz came along and bought it for four times<br />

that, so it’s a good thing that Raymond had<br />

<strong>the</strong> foresight to say, ‘wait on it.’”<br />

Through continued, careful management,<br />

<strong>the</strong> total value <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> surpassed $5<br />

million <strong>by</strong> 1971; $10 million <strong>by</strong> 1984; $15 million<br />

<strong>by</strong> 1988; $20 million <strong>by</strong> 1993; $25 million<br />

<strong>by</strong> 1998 and $40 million <strong>by</strong> 2018.<br />


Board trustees have continually examined <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>’s internal processes to increase operating<br />

efficiency and maximize value. By 1964<br />

its single bank account had been separated into<br />

two accounts — one for <strong>the</strong> principal, and one<br />

for income. 6 Operating overhead was minimal;<br />

early employees included only a chief executive,<br />

a secretary, and occasionally a financial secretary.<br />

In December <strong>of</strong> 1979 <strong>the</strong> Board agreed<br />

that all subsequent grants to churches be made<br />

on a completion basis only. Two years later<br />

<strong>the</strong> accounting year close was adjusted from<br />

September to December. 7<br />

Retiring <strong>the</strong> Typewriters. In 1988 a note regarding<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice equipment observed that <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> was<br />

currently using two typewriters, both <strong>of</strong> which were<br />

over 20 years old. <strong>The</strong> Board instructed chief executive<br />

Ed Finlay to “research <strong>the</strong> type <strong>of</strong> equipment (such as<br />

personal computers) that would be needed for <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

functions and to report back to <strong>the</strong> Trustees as to costs<br />

and specifics involved.” Not long after, <strong>the</strong> typewriters<br />

were retired and modern <strong>of</strong>fice equipment purchased.<br />

1950’s directions to <strong>the</strong> Garwood Ranch with combination to gate lock.<br />

By its fourth decade <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> had<br />

begun to draw on outside investment advisors<br />

for additional expertise while continuing to<br />

rely on <strong>the</strong> significant strengths <strong>of</strong> its trustees<br />

in <strong>the</strong> oil and gas, banking and real estate<br />

sectors. Markets were becoming more complex<br />

and <strong>the</strong> range <strong>of</strong> potential investment vehicles<br />

more sophisticated. In response, trustees<br />

sought during this period <strong>of</strong> change to codify<br />

and streamline <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s expenditure<br />

and granting policies.<br />

Periodically <strong>the</strong> Board voted on adjustments<br />

to granting amount maximums and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

granting parameters. In 1988 it was decided<br />

that grants to churches outside <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

be limited to no more than 7½% <strong>of</strong> yearly<br />

granting totals.<br />

In 1989, after a spirited discussion <strong>by</strong><br />

trustees on appropriate granting levels above IRS<br />

requirements (some directors wanted to grant<br />

a minimum above those requirements; o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

much more) Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. moved that a<br />

policy setting a goal <strong>of</strong> increasing <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

assets <strong>by</strong> 1.1 above <strong>the</strong> rate <strong>of</strong> inflation be established,<br />

calculated on <strong>the</strong> basis <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> total stocks,<br />

bonds, notes and o<strong>the</strong>r securities (excluding real<br />

estate). <strong>The</strong> precedent-setting motion passed. 8<br />

By <strong>the</strong> early 1990s, <strong>the</strong> Board had begun<br />

to explore “<strong>the</strong> potential strategy <strong>of</strong> having two<br />

grant programs — one which would be a continuation<br />

<strong>of</strong> existing policy/practice and one<br />

smaller which would be for special conditions<br />

which might [require] grants exceeding <strong>the</strong><br />

average current grant.” 9 No immediate action<br />

was taken, but <strong>the</strong> conversation would continue,<br />

eventually spurring <strong>the</strong> initiation <strong>of</strong> a Directors’<br />

Grants Program begun in 2005 <strong>by</strong> which each<br />

trustee could bring annually before <strong>the</strong> board<br />

a proposed grant lying outside <strong>the</strong> scope — but<br />

not <strong>the</strong> spirit — <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>’s granting parameters. Over <strong>the</strong><br />

next 14 years <strong>Oldham</strong> directors would grant 175<br />

additional grants totaling more than $1.4 million<br />

to small churches, Christian camps and study<br />

centers, Bible translators, evangelism initiatives,<br />

missionary endeavors, campus and prison<br />

ministries — always with <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

desire for “soul winning” in mind.<br />

6 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, 50 Year Anniversary Report, page 4.<br />

7 Ibid, page 6.<br />

8 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

May 24, 1989.<br />

9 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

February 27, 1991.<br />




LONG GAME.”<br />

Paul H. Sanders, CEO and President,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

Paul H. Sanders became <strong>the</strong> ninth chief<br />

executive <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> in February <strong>of</strong> 2011. Like<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> and each subsequent<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> executive before him, Paul is a<br />

committed Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Baptist, active as a lay<br />

leader in <strong>the</strong> local church. An architect <strong>by</strong><br />

training with a Master and Doctor <strong>of</strong> Public<br />

Health, his experience in complex project<br />

development and planning has included key<br />

roles with Rice University, <strong>the</strong> Texas Medical<br />

Center, Inc. and Texas A&M University. As<br />

president and CEO <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>,<br />

Paul’s tenure has spanned years <strong>of</strong><br />

significant change and challenge, but under<br />

his leadership <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has continued<br />

to provide trustworthy stewardship <strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s<br />

original personal investment through<br />

sound management and investing principles.<br />

Q: What did you know about <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> before you came on board<br />

in 2011?<br />

A: I had known Ed Finlay (<strong>the</strong> previous CEO)<br />

for some 20 years; I knew he traveled for<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> and provided grants to small<br />

churches across <strong>the</strong> U.S. I was aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>’s endowment, but not how it was<br />

invested. As Ed was preparing to step down<br />

from leadership he arranged an interview<br />

lunch for me with him and Stewart <strong>Morris</strong> Sr.<br />

I learned a lot that day and continued to learn<br />

when I came on board. I had assumed Ed spent<br />

more time on grants than on investments — but<br />

42 43

you can’t stoke <strong>the</strong> fire unless <strong>the</strong>re’s wood in<br />

<strong>the</strong> stove! It took nearly a year to get my hands<br />

around it all. I was surprised <strong>by</strong> a few things:<br />

operations processes were somewhat siloed, and<br />

while <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> had a number <strong>of</strong> financial<br />

advisors <strong>the</strong>re was no quarterback. A short time<br />

later one advisor customized for us a s<strong>of</strong>tware<br />

that aggregated all <strong>the</strong> different accounts. But<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was no doubt <strong>the</strong> mission — and <strong>the</strong><br />

people —were solid.<br />

Q: What are <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s key investment<br />

goals? How have <strong>the</strong>y changed?<br />

A: <strong>The</strong> IRS requires that private foundations<br />

spend or distribute a specified amount<br />

annually for charitable purposes (currently<br />

5% <strong>of</strong> fair market value over five years), so<br />

obviously that is a standard we meet or exceed<br />

through granting. To be able to do that year in<br />

and year out, we balance investing policies and<br />

spending policies, aiming to cover spending<br />

plus grow <strong>the</strong> aggregate investment portolio<br />

value <strong>by</strong> an amount equal to <strong>the</strong> inflation rate<br />

times a factor <strong>of</strong> 1.1 annually (over a five year<br />

rolling average). That metric has been in place<br />

since 1989. So, our investment goals don’t<br />

change a great deal over time, but <strong>the</strong> vehicles<br />

we employ and <strong>the</strong> percentages <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> total<br />

endowment <strong>the</strong>y represent vary somewhat with<br />

market trends.<br />

On a monthly basis each member <strong>of</strong><br />

our board receives a one-page snapshot or<br />

dashboard showing year-to-date financials,<br />

grants funded and investment performance<br />

against benchmarks (S&P 500 Index,<br />

Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ,<br />

Russell 2000, Barclays Index, MSCI-ACI<br />

and International Equities), reviewed and<br />

reconciled <strong>by</strong> our CPA. This allows all <strong>of</strong> our<br />

directors (not just <strong>the</strong> investment committee)<br />

to note any significant variances. It’s a very<br />

transparent process. All investment decisions<br />

are driven <strong>by</strong> that committee comprised <strong>of</strong><br />

2/3 or our directors and reviewed <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

entire board.<br />

Q: What decisions were made through <strong>the</strong> years<br />

that positioned <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> to continue<br />

providing for small churches and supporting<br />

local evangelistic outreach?<br />

A: In <strong>the</strong> earliest days, everything was in<br />

bonds and (<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s personal) real<br />

estate holdings. Eventually, during Ed Finlay’s<br />

tenure, all <strong>of</strong> that original real estate was<br />

sold. Ed got <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> into equities;<br />

more bonds were purchased. An investment<br />

committee was formed in 1985 with Stewart<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. as chair. After a lengthy discussion<br />

at our board planning retreat in 2013 <strong>the</strong><br />

investment committee was empowered to<br />

invest up to $2.5 million in real estate, and<br />

we’ve continued to carry 14-15 short-term,<br />

3- to 5-year real estate investments in <strong>the</strong> years<br />

since. We don’t get greedy, and <strong>the</strong> returns<br />

(typically 15-19%) are rolled into subsequent<br />

investments.<br />

Paul H. Sanders<br />

St. John <strong>Church</strong>, downtown Houston,<br />

August 6, 2019<br />

Consolidating our investment advisors<br />

from five to three in 2016 was ano<strong>the</strong>r very<br />

necessary and positive step. We kept two<br />

previous advisors and added a new one. Based<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir performance and expertise, we reallocated<br />

funds between those three, giving<br />

one fiduciary responsibility. <strong>The</strong> result has<br />

been a much more streamlined process in<br />

terms <strong>of</strong> reconciliation and reporting, and<br />

very good performance.<br />

Q: What role, if any, does <strong>the</strong> Biblical concept<br />

<strong>of</strong> stewardship play in <strong>Foundation</strong> investing<br />

and granting?<br />

A: It’s huge. We are cognizant that we are not<br />

simply stewarding a financial endowment;<br />

we are stewarding a real person’s vision and<br />

legacy. Leaving his assets in a narrowlyfocused<br />

trust that he believed would outlive<br />

him was a huge act <strong>of</strong> faith <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>.<br />

He had <strong>the</strong> vision and confidence to believe<br />

that his “five talents” could grow in perpetuity<br />

and help small churches into <strong>the</strong> next century<br />

and beyond. We don’t take that lightly. We’ve<br />

not simply guarded that original investment.<br />

We’re growing it, so it can do great, lasting<br />

good. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have<br />

a lot <strong>of</strong> wisdom and competence on <strong>the</strong> board,<br />

enabling us to get a dollar and nickel out <strong>of</strong><br />

every dollar. <strong>The</strong> expertise and foresight <strong>of</strong><br />

our directors has served us well. And yes,<br />

we still ask ourselves, “What would <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> do?” We’re mindful <strong>of</strong> how he made<br />

and invested his own money. We risk, but risk<br />

conservatively, and we give away as much as we<br />

can each year. We’re looking at <strong>the</strong> long game<br />

and looking at history. And 70 years later, I<br />

think he would be pleased.<br />

44 45

R<br />

R<br />

R E L A T I O N S H I P S<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>, Eagle<br />

Lake, TX — 2014, Accessibility<br />

remodeling, $ 10,000.<br />

C H<br />

6<br />

A<br />

P T E R<br />

46 47


New York Times bestselling author Keith<br />

Ferrazzi, whose popular books Never Eat Alone<br />

and Who’s Got Your Back champion <strong>the</strong> power<br />

<strong>of</strong> networking, asserts that “<strong>by</strong> giving your time<br />

and expertise and sharing <strong>the</strong>m freely, <strong>the</strong><br />

pie gets bigger for everyone.” <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

may have preceded <strong>the</strong> networking tsunami<br />

<strong>by</strong> several decades, but he clearly understood<br />

<strong>the</strong> value <strong>of</strong> cultivating relationships.<br />

After arriving in Houston alone as a young,<br />

midwestern transplant, <strong>Oldham</strong> began to make<br />

local connections — among his fellow church<br />

members, business colleagues, customers and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs. Several <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> men he met in his early<br />

years <strong>of</strong> enterprise would become valued advisors,<br />

and eventually, co-laborers in his mission<br />

to aid small churches through <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. W. Carloss<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Sr., <strong>the</strong> Reverend Kyle Yates, W.<br />

Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr., Dr. Ross Dillon and Dr.<br />

T. C. Gardner were integral in <strong>the</strong> establishment<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, and<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> considered <strong>the</strong>m his friends.<br />

Beyond <strong>the</strong>se primary relationships, <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

would come to know bankers, attorneys,<br />

civil servants and churchmen in <strong>the</strong> smaller<br />

communities beyond Houston in which he did<br />

business. Minus <strong>the</strong> counsel <strong>of</strong> any how-to bestseller,<br />

his network <strong>of</strong> relationships grew. Those<br />

he knew, knew one ano<strong>the</strong>r, as well — and were<br />

willing to extend <strong>the</strong>ir friendship to include still<br />

more for <strong>the</strong> good <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir common interests.<br />

After <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s death <strong>the</strong> Trustees<br />

elected his widow Florence to <strong>the</strong> Board, and<br />

soon after added Raymond Hankamer, a Baylor<br />

University graduate, independent oil and gas<br />

operator and founding member <strong>of</strong> River Oaks<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> to <strong>the</strong>ir number. Harry A.<br />

Kinney, known to Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> and Carloss<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, became <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s 10th trustee<br />

in 1969, followed <strong>by</strong> Dr. James S. Riley, Florence’s<br />

pastor at Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong>. Houston<br />

— already a regional power — was becoming<br />

a national city, but in many ways retained <strong>the</strong><br />

interconnected, personal networks <strong>of</strong> a much<br />

smaller place. People knew people — and those<br />

with similar interests worked toge<strong>the</strong>r to<br />

advance <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> 1950s <strong>Oldham</strong>’s spiritual connections<br />

included ties to several national Christian<br />

ministries as well as local ones. Dawson Trotman,<br />

founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Navigators, was well known<br />

to him, as were individuals in <strong>the</strong> Billy Graham<br />

Evangelistic Association. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> assisted<br />

both ministries in big and small ways. <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

aided Trotman’s Navigators in securing <strong>the</strong><br />

Colorado property, Glen Eyrie, as <strong>the</strong>ir national<br />

headquarters, and Trotman’s daughter Ruth<br />

became <strong>the</strong> first paid employee <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> in 1955, <strong>the</strong> year before her fa<strong>the</strong>r’s<br />

death. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s <strong>Foundation</strong> supported<br />

Billy Graham’s city-wide crusades in Houston in<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> aided<br />

Navigators founder<br />

Dawson Trotman in<br />

securing <strong>the</strong> note for<br />

that ministry’s national<br />

headquarters,<br />

Glen Eyrie Castle,<br />

built in 1871 <strong>by</strong><br />

General William<br />

Jackson Palmer,<br />

founder <strong>of</strong> Colorado<br />

Springs, Colorado.<br />

1952 and 1965 and provided a substantial sum<br />

for a film library <strong>of</strong> Graham’s New York crusades<br />

to be made available to small churches in 1958.<br />

Trotman, Graham and <strong>Oldham</strong> shared a<br />

single, overriding passion: to win souls to Christ.<br />

Although <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> began as mustard-seed<br />

small and was not nationally-known, a common<br />

purpose drew <strong>the</strong>se single-minded men into<br />

fellowship with one ano<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> grew, its original directors<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>red into <strong>the</strong>ir number men — and<br />

women — known to <strong>the</strong>m who shared <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

vision. People always mattered. People still do.<br />


From <strong>the</strong> beginning, <strong>the</strong> grant-making process<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> was uniquely personal. Early<br />

grants made in <strong>the</strong> State <strong>of</strong> New Mexico no doubt<br />

reflect <strong>the</strong> fact that <strong>Oldham</strong> operated a ranch<br />

<strong>the</strong>re. Small churches in <strong>the</strong> area — and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

needs — would have been known to him, and he<br />

to <strong>the</strong>m. While criteria for grantmaking were established<br />

at <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s inception, a formal<br />

Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> represented <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> at <strong>the</strong><br />

funeral <strong>of</strong> Navigators’ founder Dawson Trotman, who died in a drowning<br />

accident in New York State in 1956.<br />

process for executing <strong>the</strong>m was not. Grants were<br />

simply made as needs were made known, usually<br />

through a network <strong>of</strong> personal relationships<br />

among Trustees and word <strong>of</strong> mouth. (Founding<br />

directors Ross Dillon, Missons Director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Union Baptist Association, and T.C. Gardner,<br />

head <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Baptist General Convention <strong>of</strong><br />

Texas, had significant connections among <strong>the</strong><br />

State’s Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Baptist churches.)<br />

As <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> grew <strong>the</strong> grantmaking<br />

process became structured but retained its<br />

personal touch. Communication with churches<br />

through <strong>the</strong> application stage was common, and<br />

follow up was, too. Board meetings regularly<br />

included progress reports and letters <strong>of</strong> thanks<br />

from churches and organizations receiving<br />

grants. At a 1972 Board meeting, “Raymond<br />

Hankamer read a thank you letter in connection<br />

with one <strong>of</strong> Billy Hanks’ crusades in Colorado<br />

City. John McIntyre also read a letter from Brazil.<br />

Mrs. [Florence] Weaver read ano<strong>the</strong>r letter.”<br />

1 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

May 18, 1972.<br />

48 49

<strong>The</strong> minutes <strong>of</strong> this meeting reflected <strong>the</strong> impact<br />

<strong>of</strong> such responses on <strong>the</strong> Trustees: “<strong>The</strong>se letters<br />

never cease to give us inspiration and satisfaction<br />

at being in this work.” 1<br />

Today <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

grant requests are submitted electronically, but<br />

<strong>the</strong> personal touch remains. <strong>Church</strong>es learn <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s support from o<strong>the</strong>r churches,<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> personnel are available to assist and<br />

answer questions about <strong>the</strong> granting process, and<br />

in some instances, a grant check may arrive delivered<br />

in person. Regular follow up is done to ensure<br />

that grants are properly applied (a practice<br />

first modeled <strong>by</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>) and positive<br />

results — especially in terms <strong>of</strong> changed lives and<br />

“souls won” — are reported and celebrated.<br />



In 1991, discussion began among Board members<br />

regarding “<strong>the</strong> potential strategy <strong>of</strong> having<br />

two grant programs — one which would be a<br />

continuation <strong>of</strong> existing policy/practice and one<br />

smaller which would be for special conditions<br />

which might have grants exceeding <strong>the</strong> average<br />

current grant.” 2 No action was taken at that<br />

time, but <strong>the</strong> seed was planted for a program <strong>of</strong><br />

“directors’ grants” that began in 2005. Since <strong>the</strong><br />

program’s inception, <strong>Oldham</strong> trustees have made<br />

175 directors’ grants for a total <strong>of</strong> $1,414,800 3 to<br />

churches and organizations selected personally<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

<strong>The</strong> directors’ grants allowed <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

Trustees to initiate <strong>the</strong> granting process based on<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own interests, relationships and knowledge<br />

<strong>of</strong> particular needs. “I had a burning passion<br />

for missions,” remembers former director Sadie<br />

Hodo, “and all <strong>of</strong> what <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

does is missions. I requested, and <strong>the</strong> Board<br />

granted, funds for Uganda Tree <strong>of</strong> Life<br />

Ministries to build a church in Bugiri, Uganda,<br />

and we made grants to several churches around<br />

<strong>the</strong> San Antonio area where I live. One Hispanic<br />

church, Iglesia Bautista Emanuel in Boerne,<br />

needed building materials and sound equipment.<br />

We were able to do that. After visiting an<br />

orphanage in Russia and seeing <strong>the</strong>ir needs, we<br />

provided bunk beds and o<strong>the</strong>r improvements<br />

for <strong>the</strong> children <strong>the</strong>re. Directors’ grants also<br />

assisted several small churches from my home<br />

state, Mississippi, with reconstruction after<br />

terrible storms in 2004 and 2005.”<br />

Directors’ grants reflected <strong>the</strong> ministry interests<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> trustees, missions work done<br />

through <strong>the</strong>ir respective churches, and <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

personal relationships forged over decades. From<br />

scholarships and research facilities for American<br />

Friends <strong>of</strong> Tyndale House in Cambridge,<br />

England, to dormitories for formerly trafficked<br />

women in India; from support <strong>of</strong> Albanian<br />

refugee work in Greece to Bible study materials<br />

for a Texas prison unit; <strong>the</strong> reach and diversity<br />

<strong>of</strong> directors’ grants has multiplied <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> support quite literally from<br />

Houston to <strong>the</strong> far reaches <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

2 <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors Meeting Minutes,<br />

February 27, 1991.<br />

3 As <strong>of</strong> April 10, 2019.<br />




Sadie Hodo, <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> Director, 2001 to 2014<br />

Sadie Hodo became only <strong>the</strong> second woman<br />

elected as a trustee <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> 46 years after Florence<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> assumed <strong>the</strong> role following<br />

her husband’s death. Sadie served <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> faithfully from June 2001, to<br />

December 2014, adding her already-rich<br />

network <strong>of</strong> relationships to its healthy assets.<br />

A Mississippi native and former school<br />

teacher, Sadie also served as “first lady” <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston Baptist University alongside her<br />

husband Doug Hodo, HBU President<br />

from 1987 to 2006.<br />

Q: You and Doug arrived in Houston in 1987,<br />

at <strong>the</strong> height <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1980’s oil bust. What was<br />

that like?<br />

A: Well, we hit it at <strong>the</strong> wrong time that’s for<br />

sure — 1987 was a terrible year for Houston<br />

with oil prices and <strong>the</strong> recession. HBU had<br />

hired Doug as President <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> University, but<br />

we had a hard time even finding a place to live.<br />

We wanted to lease a house until we could move<br />

onto campus — but everybody wanted to sell,<br />

not lease. And we were leaving a place — San<br />

Antonio — that we’d both come to love. Doug<br />

had solidified <strong>the</strong> community in support <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

University <strong>of</strong> Texas at San Antonio, and he was<br />

well-respected. I had a ball teaching school and<br />

he taught a huge Sunday School class at Castle<br />

Hills Baptist <strong>Church</strong>. I mean, San Antonio was<br />

home. When he told me he’d been <strong>of</strong>fered <strong>the</strong><br />

job at HBU I said, “Doug, I’m not moving.”<br />

We’d already moved from Louisiana to<br />

Tennessee to San Antonio — and I only knew<br />

Houston as <strong>the</strong> place we drove through on <strong>the</strong><br />

way to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Every time we<br />

did I’d say, “This is one place I would never<br />

live.” But God moved us to Houston. Doug<br />

thought he’d have to tie me to <strong>the</strong> top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> car<br />

to get me <strong>the</strong>re, but after I prayed and prayed<br />

— God did surgery on my heart. I finally told<br />

Doug, “This is where we need to go.” And as<br />

soon as we arrived, Houston welcomed us with<br />

open arms. Martha Turner gave us a dinner<br />

party and found us a house to lease. Johnny<br />

Baker--ano<strong>the</strong>r Mississippi boy--introduced<br />

us to so many people. <strong>The</strong> HBU Guild, and<br />

Laurie Kearn, <strong>the</strong> Guild president and wife<br />

<strong>of</strong> Sherriff Buster Kearn, did too. Our son<br />

Patrick was in high school at <strong>the</strong> time, and he<br />

was invited to go on Beach Retreat with Second<br />

Baptist <strong>Church</strong> that first summer. He loved<br />

it. He came home and said, “You all can go to<br />

church anywhere, but I’m going here!” He and<br />

Ted Cruz became fast friends, and still are to<br />

this day. We could not have been more taken<br />

in, included, loved and nurtured. Houston felt<br />

very open to us.<br />

Paying It Forward. At a November, 1973 Board meeting, a letter was read from Cedar<br />

Shores Baptist <strong>Church</strong> in Morgan, Texas, thanking <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> for “<strong>the</strong> money you<br />

sent several years ago,” and repaying <strong>the</strong> original $800 grant “so that ano<strong>the</strong>r church<br />

may be helped, thus fur<strong>the</strong>ring <strong>the</strong> Lord’s work.” <strong>The</strong> minutes <strong>of</strong> that meeting note: “It<br />

is <strong>the</strong> first time, to <strong>the</strong> knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Trustees, that a church has returned a grant with<br />

<strong>the</strong> thought that it might be used to help some o<strong>the</strong>r church as indicated in <strong>the</strong>ir letter.”<br />

50 51

Q: Did you find a lot <strong>of</strong> overlap in your various<br />

networks, or were things more silo-ed between<br />

church, business, academia and social settings?<br />

A: You know in San Antonio it seemed like<br />

<strong>the</strong>re were 35 or so key players you needed to<br />

know…but in Houston <strong>the</strong>re were hundreds!<br />

Doug knew John Bisagno, <strong>the</strong> pastor at First<br />

Baptist, <strong>the</strong>n we met <strong>the</strong> Youngs — who<br />

were both from Mississippi — at Second<br />

Baptist. Edwin and JoBeth came to visit us<br />

at home. <strong>The</strong>re was a lot <strong>of</strong> overlap between<br />

First Baptist, Second Baptist, HBU, and<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. We knew Carloss<br />

[<strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.] from <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope, and<br />

Stewart [<strong>Morris</strong>, Sr.] from HBU. Dr. Riley<br />

was an HBU founder, too — as well as a trustee<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. So, when I served<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Board I had two HBU colleagues —<br />

Dr. Riley and Stewart — serving with me.<br />

Q: You served toge<strong>the</strong>r with your husband<br />

through much <strong>of</strong> his career. Florence and<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> seemed to be a strong team in<br />

service <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs, too. How would you describe<br />

that kind <strong>of</strong> experience?<br />

Sadie Hodo<br />

at her home, February 28, 2019<br />

A: If you’re not both trying to be <strong>the</strong><br />

powerhouse — both fighting for prominence<br />

— you can complement each o<strong>the</strong>r really well.<br />

Even though I was never employed <strong>by</strong> HBU,<br />

Doug always made me a part <strong>of</strong> things. He<br />

called me a “wise owl.” One evening we had a<br />

group <strong>of</strong> men, including [Memorial Hermann<br />

Hospital CEO] Dan Wilford over for dinner.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were doing <strong>the</strong> “Peter Principle” thing<br />

— talking about getting people in right spot<br />

for <strong>the</strong>ir skill set — and after dinner one <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> guys said, “Sadie, we’re meeting with all<br />

<strong>of</strong> Doug’s staff tomorrow and we want you to<br />

come.” I thought I had to, so I did. We met all<br />

morning <strong>the</strong>n stopped for lunch and I almost<br />

didn’t go back. <strong>The</strong>n after lunch we divided up<br />

and numbered <strong>of</strong>f to answer questions. Dan<br />

was facilitating <strong>the</strong> responses, and he finally<br />

said, “I want to know who number three is.”<br />

It was me. Later that day he called me from<br />

<strong>the</strong> airport and said, “Sadie, you have a special<br />

gift. You pegged it. If you ever want a job,<br />

come talk to me.”<br />

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time<br />

as a director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>?<br />

A: That’s easy. Giving money away. I never<br />

grew up with any. And <strong>the</strong> people. I loved <strong>the</strong><br />

people. When Ed [Finlay] asked me to be on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Board I knew I would love giving money<br />

away to little churches. What an opportunity!<br />

(<strong>The</strong>y didn’t tell me I’d have to sit in on<br />

finance committee meetings, too.) It’s hard for<br />

me to see someone suffer or be in need doing<br />

<strong>the</strong> Lord’s work. I want to help <strong>the</strong>m all. So,<br />

while <strong>of</strong> course, we always looked at <strong>the</strong> bottom<br />

line, I was also looking at [granting] from a<br />

different angle. I wanted to know about <strong>the</strong><br />

people…<strong>the</strong>ir communities, <strong>the</strong>ir families…<br />

and sometimes that brought a different insight<br />

to things. A “heart perspective” that might go<br />

missing o<strong>the</strong>rwise. I still keep up with some <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> near<strong>by</strong> churches we’ve helped — several in<br />

Boerne, one in Floresville. I had a missionary<br />

from India stay with me once and she told<br />

me about a need back home that I was able<br />

to help meet with a Director’s Grant <strong>the</strong> year<br />

I resigned. <strong>The</strong> Board matched that, and<br />

<strong>the</strong> group was able to build two churches in<br />

India with it, ministering to lepers. I feel like<br />

God used me for that time — and I still make<br />

a referral or two to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. What a<br />

blessing it’s been to be a part <strong>of</strong> something<br />

like <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

for <strong>the</strong> good <strong>of</strong> God’s Kingdom!<br />

52 53

R<br />

R<br />

L E G A C Y<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: Christ <strong>Church</strong>, Brenham, TX -<br />

A $9,000 grant was awarded in May,<br />

2011 for renovations to <strong>the</strong> pre-school<br />

and children’s areas.<br />

C H<br />

7<br />

A<br />

P T E R<br />

54 55

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s home and center <strong>of</strong> operation<br />

was Houston, Texas, but <strong>the</strong> driving interest<br />

<strong>of</strong> his life encompassed <strong>the</strong> world and its people--specifically<br />

he desired that as many men,<br />

women and children as possible would hear <strong>the</strong><br />

gospel and be drawn to allegiance to Jesus Christ<br />

through his <strong>Church</strong>. It was said <strong>of</strong> him that “<strong>the</strong><br />

qualities which made him a good businessman<br />

also made him one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> greatest fighters for<br />

<strong>the</strong> spiritual in man on earth.” 1<br />

In 1952, <strong>Oldham</strong> effectively retired from<br />

business, merging his Phenix Dairy with<br />

Foremost Dairies. In Foremost, <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

found a buyer who seemingly shared his business<br />

principles and his strong faith. Department store<br />

chain founder James Cash (J. C.) Penney was<br />

a Midwesterner like <strong>Oldham</strong>, and <strong>the</strong> son <strong>of</strong><br />

a preacher. An avid cattle breeder and herd<br />

developer, Penney purchased a small creamery<br />

in Jacksonsville, Florida in 1931, and named<br />

<strong>the</strong> company after his prize Guernsey bull,<br />

Langwater Foremost. 2 Initially Foremost Dairies<br />

served <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>astern United States but<br />

its market soon expanded considerably. By<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1950s Foremost was <strong>the</strong> third-largest dairy<br />

operation in <strong>the</strong> world. As his personal fortune<br />

in agriculture and retail businesses grew, Penney<br />

began donating significant amounts <strong>of</strong> money to<br />

his favorite charities, which included <strong>the</strong> Christian<br />

Herald and a home for retired clergymen. 3<br />

He, like <strong>Oldham</strong>, included his employees in <strong>the</strong><br />

ownership <strong>of</strong> his businesses, <strong>of</strong>fering a pr<strong>of</strong>it-sharing<br />

plan to his managers and eventually<br />

providing public stock options to all employees. 4<br />

Foremost Dairies began with <strong>the</strong> purchase <strong>of</strong> a small<br />

Jacksonville, Florida, creamery in 1931, and was <strong>the</strong> third<br />

largest dairy company in <strong>the</strong> world two decades later.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Foremost merger,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> was 66 years old and had steered <strong>the</strong><br />

success <strong>of</strong> Phenix for 38 years. He had already<br />

begun to focus his considerable energies on<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>n three-year-old <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong>, gradually relinquishing numerous<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r civic responsibilities and directorships in<br />

order to more closely steward its course. (<strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> served at various times as a director <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> City National Bank <strong>of</strong> Houston, <strong>the</strong> Palacios<br />

Baptist Encampment, <strong>the</strong> Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission,<br />

Houston Boy and Girl Builders, <strong>the</strong> Boy Scout<br />

Council Board for <strong>the</strong> Sam Houston Area and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Rotary Club <strong>of</strong> Downtown Houston.) 5<br />

<strong>The</strong> attention he placed upon <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

for its first six years produced significant<br />

fruit, even <strong>by</strong> earliest accounts. Upon his death<br />

from a heart attack at <strong>the</strong> age <strong>of</strong> 69, <strong>The</strong> Houston<br />

Post opined <strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>, “It was not necessarily<br />

cynicism but a sad commentary on life that led<br />

Shakespeare to put into <strong>the</strong> mouth <strong>of</strong> Marc Anthony<br />

<strong>the</strong>se words: ‘<strong>The</strong> evil men do lives after<br />

<strong>the</strong>m, <strong>the</strong> good is <strong>of</strong>t interred with <strong>the</strong>ir bones.’<br />

This fate, however, will not be reserved for<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> C. <strong>Oldham</strong>.” 6<br />

History has proved this early assessment true<br />

many times over. <strong>Oldham</strong>’s original trust has<br />

outlived him <strong>by</strong> more than six decades and continues<br />

to support and sustain “little churches” for<br />

<strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> winning souls to Christ, just as he<br />

intended. By leveraging his considerable business<br />

assets for lasting good, his investment in people<br />

and in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Church</strong> has had exponential impact.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has<br />

1 Encyclopedia <strong>of</strong> Biography, New Series; A Publication <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> American<br />

Historical Company, Inc., p. 79; New York, 1957.<br />

2 http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-09-04/news/0140310023_1_<br />

reinhold-ice-cream-cream-and-dairy<br />

3 http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/june00/past.htm<br />

4 https://www.britannica.com/biography/J-C-Penney<br />

5 Encyclopedia <strong>of</strong> Biography, New Series; A Publication <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> American<br />

Department store founder James Cash<br />

(J.C.) Penney was <strong>the</strong> owner <strong>of</strong><br />

Foremost Dairies, which acquired<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s Phenix Dairy <strong>by</strong><br />

merger in 1952.<br />

provided over $44 million in grants to small<br />

churches throughout <strong>the</strong> world and is solidly established<br />

to continue that good work in perpetuity.<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr., chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> board<br />

<strong>of</strong> trustees for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, echoes <strong>the</strong> intent<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> 70 years after its founding: “We’re<br />

trying to support <strong>the</strong> most effective vehicles to<br />

introduce Christ to o<strong>the</strong>rs…what <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

called ‘soul winning.’ In <strong>Oldham</strong>’s day, in<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1940s and 1950s, that vehicle was <strong>the</strong> small<br />

church. Small churches are still effective, and<br />

<strong>the</strong>y still need help, but <strong>the</strong>y are not <strong>the</strong> only<br />

available means to spread <strong>the</strong> gospel. We try to<br />

imagine what those tools and vehicles would<br />

be today.”<br />

Through a complementary program <strong>of</strong><br />

Directors’ grants, <strong>Morris</strong> and o<strong>the</strong>r trustees are<br />

able to proactively designate grant recipients<br />

operating in <strong>the</strong> evangelistic spirit that animated<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>. Since <strong>the</strong>ir inception in 2005,<br />

Directors’ grants have funded scholarships at<br />

Southwestern Baptist <strong>The</strong>ological Seminary in<br />

Fort Worth, Texas, and at Tyndale House in<br />

Cambridge England; an ophthalmology center<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Republic <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Congo; churches in India;<br />

hurricane recovery work in Haiti; production and<br />

airing <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Jesus Film for indigenous audiences<br />

<strong>by</strong> CRU (formerly Campus Crusade); equipped<br />

Southwestern Baptist Seminary field <strong>of</strong>fices and<br />

classrooms in several Texas Department <strong>of</strong><br />

Corrections prison facilities; assisted a start-up<br />

“cowboy church” in West Texas; supported Youth<br />

With a Mission (YWAM) missionaries in Hawaii<br />

and New Zealand and provided bunkbeds for<br />

residents <strong>of</strong> an orphanage in Siberia.<br />

“It was a challenge for <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> to see<br />

how much he could accumulate, but he didn’t care<br />

much about owning anything.”<br />

“I think he’d be pleased with <strong>the</strong> diversity <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s grants, and I only hope he’d be<br />

pleased with <strong>the</strong> directors’ grants that still follow<br />

his principles but broaden <strong>the</strong> delivery that would<br />

win souls to <strong>the</strong> Lord.”<br />

“We’ve done a good job <strong>of</strong> bringing technology<br />

online. As <strong>the</strong> ways to reach people evolve, we<br />

need to keep evolving. Our granting application<br />

process is now entirely digital, and we’re tracking<br />

investment performance online as well. All<br />

that is in place. Now technology is helping us to<br />

tell <strong>the</strong> backstory <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, too, and<br />

we’re hopeful that <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>’s story will<br />

inspire o<strong>the</strong>rs.”<br />

A letter from a grant recipient in 2019<br />

says it all: “<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>.<br />

Love that name. <strong>The</strong>re are not too many<br />

organizations that would use <strong>the</strong> world ‘little’ in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir title. Everyone wants to look big. But we<br />

believe we are a mighty force in our Community<br />

and surrounding areas. In mid-July we had<br />

26 young children commit <strong>the</strong>ir lives to Jesus<br />

during a week <strong>of</strong> Vacation Bible School. Just last<br />

week two young adults were baptized as a testimony<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir commitment to Jesus. We firmly<br />

believe that little is much when it its placed in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Master’s hands. Our parking lot looks so<br />

wonderful. <strong>The</strong> application process worked well<br />

for us. <strong>The</strong> project is paid in full without any<br />

dept and <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

helped us reach that goal. God bless your board<br />

and your organization. We thank God for you<br />

and your organization that is willing to help <strong>the</strong><br />

little churches. May God bless <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> your<br />

hands and hearts.” Larry Hale, Glenvale <strong>Church</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

God, Marysville, Pennsylvania<br />

Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, a recipient <strong>of</strong> OLCF<br />

Directors’ Grants, is an independent biblical studies library<br />

founded in 1944, providing special resources in support <strong>of</strong><br />

research into <strong>the</strong> Old Testament, New Testament and relevant<br />

historical backgrounds.<br />

56 Historical Company, Inc., p. 79; New York, 1957.<br />

57<br />

6 Ibid.






THAT LAST.”<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.<br />

Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors,<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

A member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> family has served on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> since its inception in<br />

1949. Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. is <strong>the</strong> third <strong>Morris</strong><br />

director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, appointed in<br />

2003. He follows in <strong>the</strong> footsteps <strong>of</strong> his uncle<br />

and founding trustee, W. Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.,<br />

and his fa<strong>the</strong>r, Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr., whose<br />

tenure <strong>of</strong> service began in 1955, just two days<br />

after <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>. Stewart Jr.<br />

is <strong>the</strong> President and Managing Member <strong>of</strong><br />

Stewart Security Capital, a private,<br />

family-owned investment company, and is<br />

Vice Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Stewart<br />

Information Services Company (SISCO).<br />

Q: Your family’s involvement in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> dates back to <strong>the</strong><br />

very beginning. When did you first become<br />

aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s work?<br />

A: I knew <strong>of</strong> it from <strong>the</strong> time I was cognizant.<br />

In our home we were always talking about<br />

things that my fa<strong>the</strong>r and uncle were involved<br />

in, and a number <strong>of</strong> people in our lives were<br />

helped <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, supportive <strong>of</strong> it, and<br />

serving on its board. Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> had a ranch<br />

west <strong>of</strong> Garwood on <strong>the</strong> Big Sandy, and when<br />

I was a boy we would go out to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

Ranch every Thanksgiving: my cousins, my<br />

Uncle Carloss, Malcolm, Bill, me, our fa<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ranch house sat at <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> a rough unpaved<br />

road, and we would climb into <strong>the</strong> back<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> car or truck and hold on for dear life<br />

until we got <strong>the</strong>re. <strong>The</strong> house had no electric<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.<br />

in his <strong>of</strong>fice, December 18, 2018<br />

service — but <strong>the</strong>re was a generator. We’d go<br />

deer and duck hunting back in <strong>the</strong> woods. Dad<br />

was involved in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s work for as<br />

long as I can remember, and it’s an honor for<br />

me to be serving it with him now.<br />

Q: How has <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> been able to continue<br />

its work so successfully when <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> left no heirs to carry out his directives?<br />

A: <strong>The</strong> initial Trust created <strong>by</strong> Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

was a very well-considered, well-drawn document;<br />

its intent was clearly stated from <strong>the</strong><br />

outset. And <strong>the</strong>re’s been a strong continuity<br />

<strong>of</strong> succession within <strong>the</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Directors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> founding directors were colleagues and<br />

friends; <strong>the</strong>y knew one ano<strong>the</strong>r well and<br />

brought a healthy mix <strong>of</strong> gifts and vocational<br />

experience to <strong>the</strong>ir work. Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> set<br />

<strong>the</strong> parameters for giving and modeled his<br />

priorities for six years before his death. <strong>The</strong>n<br />

Mrs. <strong>Oldham</strong> joined <strong>the</strong> Board and remained<br />

involved for ano<strong>the</strong>r two decades, so those<br />

priorities became solidly established. But at<br />

<strong>the</strong> same time, a degree <strong>of</strong> flexibility was built<br />

in. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> viewed <strong>the</strong> small church as<br />

<strong>the</strong> prime vehicle for winning souls to Christ<br />

in his day, but subsequent directors are not restricted<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir granting powers from considering<br />

requests that may be somewhat broader<br />

in scope, while still in <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> kind <strong>of</strong><br />

localized soul-winning he championed. For<br />

example, through directors’ grants we’ve supported<br />

<strong>the</strong> production and distribution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Jesus film created <strong>by</strong> CRU. It takes <strong>the</strong> gospel<br />

story to indigenous communities throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> world in <strong>the</strong>ir native languages — something<br />

I absolutely think <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> would<br />

have approved <strong>of</strong>.<br />

Q: How important was it to grant investment<br />

powers for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> to its trustees?<br />

A: It was fundamentally important to <strong>the</strong><br />

future growth <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>. While <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> was alive he invested <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

assets himself, but he ensured that subsequent<br />

directors would assume that responsibility<br />

after his death. This practice gives leverage<br />

and takes pressure <strong>of</strong>f <strong>of</strong> trustees to constantly<br />

raise funds, allowing <strong>the</strong>m to focus more fully<br />

on granting and grant recipients. It also helps<br />

us to attract good-hearted trustees who don’t<br />

want to raise money so much as give it away.<br />

Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> demonstrated <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong><br />

investing wisely. His example allows trustees to<br />

use <strong>the</strong>ir ingenuity to become business investors<br />

in a sense. By <strong>the</strong>ir acumen, <strong>the</strong>y’re able to<br />

grow <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> with an entrepreneurial<br />

spirit much like his. Collectively, we make a lot<br />

<strong>of</strong> our investing decisions. We have three active<br />

investment advisors to <strong>the</strong> Board — not playing<br />

<strong>the</strong>m against each o<strong>the</strong>r but utilizing <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

unique strengths.<br />

Q: What does it mean for an individual or an<br />

organization to build a legacy <strong>of</strong> lasting good?<br />

A: For <strong>the</strong> believer, leaving a legacy means<br />

leaving an example <strong>of</strong> how to be effective for<br />

Lord in your worldly realm <strong>of</strong> influence. I<br />

believe <strong>the</strong> teachings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible are so helpful<br />

to those <strong>of</strong> us in business. Your beliefs shape<br />

your soul, your soul shapes your principles,<br />

and your principles shape your decision-making<br />

process. Without those biblical principles<br />

you have no sure foundation — and while <strong>the</strong>y<br />

don’t guarantee worldly success, <strong>the</strong>y do impact<br />

influence. <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> left a strong legacy<br />

<strong>of</strong> influence based on biblical principles and<br />

focused on giving back. He used his wealth to<br />

share his faith. Business leaders must serve our<br />

communities, give back, or why are we doing<br />

this? Faithful service is <strong>the</strong> common golden<br />

thread that runs through institutions that last.<br />

In our board meetings, we read passages<br />

about giving back, serving o<strong>the</strong>rs. And <strong>of</strong>ten,<br />

we read letters from those small churches or<br />

organizations <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has helped,<br />

hearing first-hand <strong>the</strong> good that a specific<br />

grant has made possible. Those reports from<br />

<strong>the</strong> field inspire us to ask, “How could we do<br />

this better?” and “How could we grow this<br />

thing to reach even more?” Mr. <strong>Oldham</strong> knew<br />

how to conserve capital and not waste resources.<br />

He was very energetic and put his heart and<br />

soul into everything he did. He had a vision <strong>of</strong><br />

what he could do for <strong>the</strong> Lord — not just while<br />

he was here, but beyond his lifetime. He had<br />

no heirs, but he put this <strong>Foundation</strong> toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

and gave it legs and through its efforts, his<br />

influence lives on. <strong>The</strong> challenge for us to<br />

consider in extending his legacy is “What are<br />

we doing with what we’ve been given?” We’ve<br />

followed his example in tightening expenses,<br />

growing <strong>the</strong> corpus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> endowment and<br />

increasing grants. We continue to try and bring<br />

in <strong>the</strong> next generation, and <strong>by</strong> telling his story<br />

we hope to inspire o<strong>the</strong>rs — particularly young<br />

entrepreneurs and business leaders <strong>of</strong> faith —<br />

to “go and do likewise.”<br />

58 59

R<br />

R<br />

M I L E S T O N E S<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Left: Cornerstone Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Shel<strong>by</strong>ville, Tennessee — 2011<br />

Electrical wiring, $ 7,500.<br />

60 61


Top Row: Ralph Hull, Garry Blackmon, Lee Hsia, Kris Peters, Paul Sanders, David Stutts<br />

Front Row: David Taylor, Kay Parker, Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr., Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr.<br />

BOARD OF DIRECTORS — 1949-2019<br />

President / CEO, Dr. Paul Sanders<br />

Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Board,<br />

Mr. Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr.<br />

Secretary,<br />

Mr. Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr.<br />

Assistant Secretary,<br />

Mr. Garry Blackmon<br />

Treasurer, Dr. Paul Sanders<br />

Director, Mr. Lee Hsia<br />

Director, Mr. Ralph Hull<br />

Director, Mrs. Kay Parker<br />

Director, Mr. David Stutts<br />

Director, Mr. David Taylor<br />

Director, Advisory, Mrs. Kris Peters<br />

Director, Emeritus, Mr. Ed Finlay<br />

Date Elected Name Term <strong>of</strong> Service Yrs. <strong>of</strong> Service<br />

(as <strong>of</strong> 12/1/19)<br />

1. February 23, 1949 <strong>Morris</strong>. C. <strong>Oldham</strong> ** 1949 - 1955 6+<br />

2. February 23, 1949 Dr. Ross E. Dillon ** 1949 - 1975 27+<br />

3. February 23, 1949 Dr. T.C. Gardner ** 1949 - 1968 18+<br />

4. February 23, 1949 W. Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. ** 1949 - 2005 56+<br />

5. February 23, 1949 Dr. Kyle M. Yates ** 1949 - 1956 7+<br />

6. March 12, 1954 John F. McIntyre ** 1954 - 1990 36+<br />

7. July 21, 1955 Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Sr. 1955 - present 64+<br />

8. September 13, 1955 Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> Weaver ** 1955 - 1977 22+<br />

9. May 26, 1956 Raymond E. Hankamer ** 1956 - 2005 49+<br />

10. October 29, 1969 Harry A. Kinney ** 1969 - 1991 22+<br />

11. October 6, 1975 Dr. James S. Riley ** 1975 - 2005 30+<br />

12. September 27, 1989 Louis E. (Ed) Finlay*** 1989 – present 30+<br />

13. September 30, 1998 David Chavanne** 1998 - 2010 12<br />

14. June 6, 2001 Linda Dunham**** 2001 - 2011 10+<br />

15. June 6, 2001 Sadie Hodo**** 2001 - 2014 13+<br />

16. November 17, 2003 Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>, Jr. 2003 - present 16+<br />

17. November 2, 2005 David Taylor 2005 - present 14+<br />

18. February 22, 2006 David Stutts 2006 - present 13+<br />

19. February 9, 2011 Ralph Hull 2011 - present 8+<br />

20. December 5, 2012 Kay Parker 2012 – present 7<br />

21. May 19, 2013 Paul H. Sanders 2013 – present 6+<br />

22. February 12, 2014 Garry Blackmon 2014 – present 5+<br />

23. February 14, 2018 Lee Hsia 2018 – present 1+<br />

24. May 15, 2019 Kris Peters 2019 – present 6 mos.<br />

* Operated as Board <strong>of</strong> Trustees prior to February 1995.<br />

** Deceased<br />

*** Emeritus<br />

**** Retired from Board <strong>of</strong> Trustees<br />

Executive <strong>of</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Term <strong>of</strong> Service Years and Months<br />

Name Beginning Ending <strong>of</strong> Service<br />

1. <strong>Morris</strong> Calvin <strong>Oldham</strong> * February 23, 1949 July 19, 1955 6 / 5<br />

2. Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> Weaver * September 13, 1955 June 1, 1963 7/ 10<br />

3. Ross Dillon * July 1, 1963 July 1, 1964 1 / 0<br />

4. Harry Chavanne* July 1, 1964 June 15, 1968 4 / 0<br />

5. Florence <strong>Oldham</strong> Weaver * June 15, 1968 October 1, 1968 0 / 4<br />

6. Ross Dillon * October 1, 1968 July 1, 1970 1 / 9<br />

7. Harry Kinney * July 1, 1970 December 31, 1986 16 / 6<br />

8. Louis E. (Ed) Finlay January 1, 1987 January 31, 2011 25 / 1<br />

9. Paul H. Sanders, Jr. February 1, 2011 Present 8+<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> Support Staff Term <strong>of</strong> Service Years and Months<br />

Name Beginning Ending <strong>of</strong> Service<br />

1. Ruth Trotman * July 1955 April 1, 1956 0 / 9<br />

2. Jewel Butz * April 16, 1956 April 1, 1972 16 / 0<br />

3. Jane Elder * February 1, 1972 April 1, 1981 10 / 2<br />

4. Mary Chrisman * September 1, 1977 June 1, 1994 16 / 9<br />

5. Irona Seal * February 1, 1981 July 1, 1981 0 / 5<br />

6. Cleo (Pat) Herring * June 1, 1982 October 15, 1989 7 / 5<br />

7. Darlene Neeley September 25, 1989 December 31, 2008 21 / 11<br />

8. Peggy Norton May 1, 1994 December 31, 2004 10 / 4<br />

9. Lisa Diehl December 1, 2004 Present 15<br />

*Deceased<br />

1920’s parade in downtown Houston in front<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Phenix Dairy building.<br />

62 63


$3M FUNDED IN 1949<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> started<br />

with $3 million in 1949<br />

and today has grown<br />

to $28.1 million after<br />

providing $46 million in<br />

grants over 70 years.<br />

$4.7M VALUE IN 1970<br />

$18.2M VALUE IN 1990<br />

$25.5M IN GRANTS<br />

SINCE 1949<br />


$24.8M VALUE IN 2010<br />

$28.1M IN 2019<br />

Grant Summary <strong>by</strong> Decade:<br />

1949 - 1959 $622,234<br />

1960 - 1969 $1,442,163<br />

1970 - 1979 $5,437,126<br />

1980 - 1989 $7,869,291<br />

1990 - 1999 $11,039,557<br />

2000 - 2009 $11,018,090<br />

2010 - 2019 $7,911,763<br />

$988,970 Average per year<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> has made grants in every state <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> US as well as in <strong>the</strong>se<br />

foreign countries.<br />

Africa<br />

Alberta, Canada<br />

Argentina<br />

Australia<br />

Australia (Western)<br />

Bahamas<br />

Bahia<br />

Belgium<br />

Bolivia<br />

Brazil<br />

British Columbia<br />

British Guiana<br />

Cambodia<br />

Canada<br />

Canary Islands<br />

Cayman Islands<br />

China<br />

Colombia<br />

Congo<br />

Costa Rica<br />

50 States<br />

89 Countries<br />

Cuba<br />

Denmark<br />

Dominican Republic<br />

Ecuador<br />

England<br />

France<br />

Germany<br />

Ghana<br />

Guam<br />

Guatemala<br />

Haiti<br />

Haiti, West Indies<br />

Honduras<br />

Hong Kong<br />

India<br />

Indonesia<br />

Italy<br />

Jamaica, West Indies<br />

Japan<br />

Jordan<br />

Kenya<br />

Korea<br />

Latvia<br />

Lebanon<br />

Lithuania<br />

Malaysia<br />

Mexico<br />

New Zealand<br />

Nicaragua<br />

Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Ireland<br />

Pakistan<br />

Panama<br />

Peru<br />

Philippines<br />

Portugal<br />

Puerto Rico<br />

Republic <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Africa<br />

Republic <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Congo<br />

Romania<br />

Russia<br />

San Blas Islands<br />

Saskatchewan,<br />

Canada<br />

Siberia<br />

South Africa<br />

South Korea<br />

Spain<br />

Swaziland<br />

Sweden<br />

Switzerland<br />

Taiwan<br />

Thailand<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ne<strong>the</strong>rlands<br />

TOGO<br />

Trinidad, West Indies<br />

Turk Isle<br />

Uganda<br />

Ukraine<br />

Uruguay<br />

Uzbekistan<br />

Venezuela<br />

Vietnam<br />

West Africa<br />

West Germany<br />

West Indies<br />

Yugoslavia<br />

Zimbabwe<br />

$2,000 GRANT FUNDED IN 1949<br />



Above: 1930’s Trolley Car advertisement sign<br />

Left: 1940’s Phenix Dairy Ice Cream parlor in<br />

downtown Houston<br />

General Ledger – first journal entry is May 2, 1949.<br />

64 65


1949 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1960<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

established with<br />

$3 million and<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong>,<br />

Dr. Ross Dillon,<br />

Dr. T.C.<br />

Gardner, W.<br />

Carloss <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Jr. and Dr.<br />

Kyle M. Yates<br />

appointed as<br />

Trustees<br />

First Board<br />

meeting <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

new <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

held<br />

First grant made<br />

for $2,000<br />

1972 1973 1975 1976 1977 1979 1980<br />

347.6 acres<br />

near I-45 sold<br />

for $5 million<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants since<br />

inception reach<br />

$173,598<br />

Suniland<br />

Furniture<br />

Building owned<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

granted to<br />

Home Mission<br />

Board <strong>of</strong><br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

Baptist<br />

Convention;<br />

proceeds after<br />

sale aid 500<br />

small churches<br />

John F.<br />

McIntyre<br />

elected as<br />

Trustee<br />

Dr. James<br />

Riley elected<br />

as Trustee<br />

following <strong>the</strong><br />

death <strong>of</strong> Dr.<br />

Kyle Yates<br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

dies at age 69<br />

Ruth Trotman<br />

hired as first<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

employee<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Sr. elected as<br />

Trustee<br />

Florence<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, widow<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, elected<br />

as Trustee<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$5 million<br />

First formal<br />

granting guidelines,<br />

screening<br />

committee<br />

established<br />

First <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fice opened at<br />

2217 Milam<br />

Raymond<br />

Hankamer<br />

elected as<br />

Trustee<br />

Florence<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> Weaver,<br />

widow <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, dies<br />

595-acre ranch<br />

in Lubbock<br />

County sold<br />

Board rules all<br />

future grants<br />

to be made on<br />

completion<br />

basis (no funding<br />

<strong>of</strong> debt)<br />

Remainder <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> estate<br />

awarded to<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

Maximum<br />

grant amount<br />

established at<br />

$6,000 per<br />

church<br />

1962 1963 1964 1966 1968 1969 1970<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$1 million<br />

1982 1984 1987 1988 1991 1994 1995<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$10 million<br />

Dr. Ross Dillon<br />

elected as<br />

Executive Vice<br />

President<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fice moves<br />

to 5177<br />

Richmond Ave.,<br />

Houston<br />

Harry J.<br />

Chavanne elected<br />

as Executive<br />

Secretary<br />

Ed Finlay hired<br />

as Executive<br />

Director upon<br />

retirement <strong>of</strong><br />

Harry Kinney<br />

First real<br />

estate property<br />

purchased for<br />

development/<br />

investment<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s<br />

first<br />

computer is put<br />

into service<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

approves its<br />

first equity<br />

investments for<br />

$1.25 million<br />

1,713-acre<br />

Lavaca/Colorado<br />

County ranch<br />

sold; mineral<br />

rights retained<br />

Ross Dillon<br />

elected as<br />

Executive<br />

Director<br />

Glass bottles for orange<br />

juice, chocolate milk and<br />

cottage cheese.<br />

Pension plan<br />

adopted for<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

employees<br />

Harry Kinney<br />

elected as<br />

Trustee<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

Chapel is<br />

relocated from<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> Ranch<br />

and gifted to<br />

Star <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

Mission Farm<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$20 million<br />

Cookbook promoting receipts using<br />

Phenix Dairy products.<br />

Harry Kinney<br />

elected Executive<br />

Director<br />

upon resignation<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ross<br />

Dillon<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

is formally<br />

incorporated<br />

after operating<br />

as a Trust for<br />

46 years<br />

1930’s church hand fan.<br />

66 67


1998 1999 2001 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016<br />

David Chavanne<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

celebrates 50<br />

years <strong>of</strong><br />

operation<br />

Linda Dunham<br />

and Sadie Hodo<br />

elected as first<br />

female Directors<br />

Milk bottles<br />

from 1939, 1950<br />

and 1948.<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$30 million<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Jr. elected as<br />

Director<br />

Directors’ Grant<br />

Program established<br />

allotting<br />

each Director<br />

$20,000<br />

discretionary<br />

granting authority<br />

annually<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fice moves to<br />

14090 Southwest<br />

Freeway<br />

in Sugar Land,<br />

Texas<br />

David Taylor<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

David Stutts<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

Lavaca/Colorado<br />

County mineral<br />

rights produce<br />

$1.4 million<br />

in oil & gas<br />

revenues in<br />

one year<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$35 million<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

sees greatest<br />

one-year asset<br />

increase in<br />

history at<br />

21.4%<br />

Ed Finlay<br />

announces<br />

retirement;<br />

Paul Sanders<br />

elected<br />

President &<br />

CEO<br />

Ralph Hull<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fices relocate<br />

to Houston from<br />

Sugar Land,<br />

Texas<br />

First website<br />

launched<br />

Kay Parker<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

Online grant<br />

application<br />

system is<br />

established<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$40 million<br />

Paul Sanders<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

16,000th grant<br />

is made<br />

Garry<br />

Blackmon elected<br />

as Director<br />

Lee Hsia<br />

elected as<br />

Director<br />

2018 2019<br />

Cumulative<br />

grants exceed<br />

$45 million<br />

Emeritus<br />

Director and<br />

former<br />

President &<br />

CEO Ed Finlay<br />

turns 90<br />

Kris Peters<br />

elected as<br />

Advisory<br />

Director<br />

Stewart <strong>Morris</strong>,<br />

Sr., Director<br />

since 1955,<br />

turns 100<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong><br />

<strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong><br />

<strong>Foundation</strong><br />

celebrates<br />

70 years <strong>of</strong><br />

operation<br />

Ed Finlay served <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> as President<br />

and Chief Executive for 25 years (1987 - 2011) — longer than any o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

<strong>Foundation</strong> executive. He was elected a Trustee in September, 1989.<br />

During Ed’s tenure as Chief Executive <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> was incorporated<br />

(1995), having formerly operated as a Trust. He oversaw <strong>the</strong> awarding<br />

<strong>of</strong> $25.5 million in grants to more than 6,500 small, evangelical churches<br />

and supporting organizations, with grants conferred in every state in<br />

<strong>the</strong> United States and in 49 foreign countries.<br />

In 2009, under Ed’s leadership <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>’s assets increased <strong>by</strong><br />

21.4% — <strong>the</strong> largest single-year increase in assets in <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong><br />

<strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> history. <strong>The</strong> total value <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> increased<br />

<strong>by</strong> $9,000,000 under his guidance and seven new Directors, including<br />

two women, were elected to service.<br />

1940’s school<br />

textbook cover.<br />

1950’s Phenix<br />

68<br />

Phil, <strong>the</strong> mascot for<br />

<strong>the</strong> Phenix Dairy.<br />


INDEX<br />

American Barge 36<br />

American Friends <strong>of</strong> Tyndale<br />

House, Cambridge, UK 52<br />

Anderson, Monroe Dunaway<br />

(M.D.) 11<br />

Apollo 15 35<br />

Baptist General<br />

Convention <strong>of</strong> Texas<br />

(BGCT) 37, 43, 51<br />

Be<strong>the</strong>l Independent<br />

Pres<strong>by</strong>terian <strong>Church</strong> 20<br />

Billy Graham Crusade 19<br />

Billy Graham Evangelistic<br />

Association 28, 50<br />

Bisagno, Rev. John 53<br />

Blackmon, Garry 64<br />

Boy and Girl Builders <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston 19, 58<br />

Boy Scouts <strong>of</strong> America,<br />

Sam Houston Area<br />

Council 58<br />

Bracewell, Searcy Jr. 43<br />

Brannon, Cliff 28<br />

Breakaway Ministries<br />

22, 23<br />

Butz, Jewel 65<br />

Campus Crusade for Christ<br />

(CRU) 28, 35, 36, 61<br />

Cedar Shores Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>, Morgan TX 52<br />

Chavanne, David 64, 65<br />

Chrisman, Mary 65<br />

Christ <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Brenham TX 57<br />

Christian Herald, <strong>The</strong> 58<br />

City National Bank,<br />

Houston TX 58<br />

Consolidated General<br />

Products 36<br />

Continental Fidelity<br />

Investment, Inc. 36<br />

Cornell University 10, 12<br />

Cruz, Sen. Ted 53<br />

Dallas Railway and<br />

Terminal 36<br />

Diehl, Lisa 65<br />

Dillon, Ross E. 13, 14, 50,<br />

51, 64, 65<br />

Duke Divinity School 28<br />

Dunham, Linda 64<br />

Elder, Jane 13, 18, 65<br />

Empire Petroleum 36<br />

Episcopal Diocese <strong>of</strong><br />

Houston 29<br />

Explo ‘72 35<br />

Ferrazzii, Keith 50<br />

Finlay, Ed 27, 45, 46, 55,<br />

64, 65<br />

First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Dallas TX 37<br />

Ferrazzi, Keith 49<br />

First International Congress<br />

on World Evangelization,<br />

Lausanne, Switzerland 37<br />

First Methodist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Houston TX 29<br />

First Pres<strong>by</strong>terian <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Houston TX 29<br />

Foremost Dairies 14, 36,<br />

58<br />

Forum Bible Class 18<br />

Gardner, T. C. 13, 14, 50,<br />

51, 64<br />

Glen Eyrie 36, 50<br />

Glenvale <strong>Church</strong> <strong>of</strong> God,<br />

Marysville PA 59<br />

<strong>Good</strong>will Industries 19<br />

Graham, Billy 29, 50, 51<br />

Grauman, Allene K. 12<br />

Greater Mt. Pilgrim Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>, Houston TX 35<br />

Greenville Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Burton TX 17<br />

Ham, Mordecai 29<br />

Gulf Federated Feed<br />

Association 36<br />

Hankamer, Raymond 34,<br />

44, 51, 64<br />

Hanks, Billy 34, 51<br />

Herring, Cleo (Pat) 65<br />

High Flight <strong>Foundation</strong> 35<br />

Hodo, Douglas 52 - 54<br />

Hodo, Sadie 52 - 55, 64<br />

Houston Baptist College 37<br />

Houston Baptist University<br />

39, 53, 54<br />

Houston Endowment 11<br />

Houston Press, <strong>The</strong> 18<br />

Houston Ship Channel 10<br />

Houston’s First Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> 12, 20, 22, 23,<br />

26, 29, 53<br />

Hsia, Rev. Lee 64<br />

Hull, Ralph T. 64<br />

Hurricane Camille 35<br />

Inglesia Bautista Emanuel,<br />

Boerne TX 52<br />

Irwin, Jim 35<br />

Jack & Heintz Inc. 36<br />

Japan New Life Crusade 37<br />

Jesus Film, <strong>The</strong> 59, 61<br />

Jesus Movement, <strong>The</strong> 34<br />

Jones, Jesse H. 11<br />

Katz, Jerold 44<br />

Kearn, Laurie 53<br />

Kearn, Sherriff Buster 53<br />

Kinney, Harry A. 50, 64, 65<br />

Lily Endowment 28<br />

Madings Drug 36<br />

Maize Road Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Columbus, OH 34<br />

Mao Tse Tung 35<br />

Matte, Gregg 22, 23<br />

McIntyre, John 34, 51, 64<br />

McNair Center for<br />

Entrepreneurship and<br />

Freedom 39<br />

MD Anderson <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

11<br />

Memorial Hermann<br />

Hospital 54<br />

Monroe Dunaway (MD)<br />

Anderson 11<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Stewart Jr. 6, 46,<br />

59 - 61, 64<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, Stewart Sr. 6, 38,<br />

39, 45, 54, 64<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, William Carloss Jr.<br />

6, 12 - 14, 29, 30,<br />

42 - 44, 50, 53, 60, 64<br />

<strong>Morris</strong>, William Carloss Sr.<br />

6, 19, 20, 29, 30, 50<br />

Mt. Rose <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Brenham, TX 41<br />

Nassau Bay Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

35<br />

National Tank 36<br />

Navigators, <strong>The</strong> 36, 50<br />

Neeley, Darlene 65<br />

Norton, Peggy 65<br />

Oiltown, USA 20<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> Memorial Chapel 9<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>, <strong>Morris</strong> Calvin 4, 6,<br />

10 - 15, 18 - 23, 26 - 31,<br />

34, 36, 37, 39, 42, 43,<br />

46, 47, 50 - 52, 54, 58 -<br />

61, 64 - 66<br />

Pageville Missionary Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong>, Richmond, TX 25<br />

Palacios Baptist<br />

Encampment 58<br />

Pan American Sulphur 36<br />

Parker, Kay 64<br />

Peach Creek Encampment<br />

28<br />

Peden Iron & Steel 36<br />

Penney, James Cash (J.C.)<br />

58<br />

Peveto, Rev. Dennis 29 - 31<br />

Phenix Dairy 10, 13, 14,<br />

18, 27, 35, 58<br />

Phenix Phil 13<br />

Port <strong>of</strong> Houston 10<br />

Providence Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Houston TX 35<br />

Punta Alegre Sugar 36<br />

Rice Stadium 19<br />

Rice University 47<br />

Riley, Rev. James S. 50,<br />

53, 64<br />

Rittenhouse, Bill 35<br />

River Brand Rice 36<br />

River Oaks Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Houston TX 50<br />

Rotary Club <strong>of</strong> Downtown<br />

Houston 58<br />

Rush, Hank 29 - 31<br />

Sagemont Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

20<br />

Sanders, Paul H. 42,<br />

45- 47, 64, 65<br />

Seal, Irona 65<br />

Second Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Houston TX 12, 13, 18,<br />

20, 23, 26, 53<br />

Sloan, Robert B. 37 - 39<br />

South Main Baptist <strong>Church</strong><br />

20<br />

Southwestern Baptist<br />

<strong>The</strong>ological Seminary 59<br />

Spindletop 10<br />

Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission 9, 19,<br />

29- 31, 53, 58<br />

Stewart Information<br />

Services Company 60<br />

Stewart Security Capital 60<br />

Stutts, David 64<br />

Sugar Creek Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> 20<br />

Taylor, David 64<br />

Texas A&M University 22<br />

Texas Baptist Encampment<br />

19<br />

Texas Department <strong>of</strong><br />

Corrections 59<br />

Texas Medical Center<br />

21, 47<br />

Textiles Incorporated 36<br />

Thorn, Rev. F. B. 18<br />

TIME Magazine 37<br />

Trinity Petroleum Trust 36<br />

Trotman, Dawson 37, 50,<br />

51<br />

Trotman, Ruth 37, 50, 65<br />

Truman, Harry 35<br />

Tyndale House, Cambridge,<br />

UK 59<br />

Uganda Tree <strong>of</strong> Life<br />

Ministries 52<br />

Unicoi Chapel Baptist<br />

<strong>Church</strong> 27<br />

Union Baptist Association<br />

51<br />

Victory Baptist <strong>Church</strong>,<br />

Paris, TX 35<br />

Weaver, Florence Cummings<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> 12, 18, 34, 39,<br />

50, 51, 54, 64, 65<br />

West Indies Sugar 36<br />

Wilford, Dan 54<br />

Wittenburg College 12<br />

World Wide Pictures 20<br />

Yates, Rev. Kyle M. 13, 14,<br />

20, 50, 64<br />

Young Life 36<br />

Young, JoBeth 53<br />

Young, Rev. Ed 53<br />

Youth for Christ Greater<br />

Houston 28<br />

Youth With a Mission<br />

(YWAM) 59<br />


E S T . 1 9 4 9<br />

70 71


A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S<br />

This book would not be possible without <strong>the</strong> guidance, support and help<br />

from several people so I’d like to <strong>of</strong>fer a big Thank You to each one.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> Directors for <strong>the</strong>ir vision to tell <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> story and preserve his legacy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> staff <strong>of</strong> Lisa Diehl, Grant Coordinator, for collecting<br />

historical data and updating grants reports; and Kathy Weaver, Accountant,<br />

who helped validate investment and financial information.<br />

Steven Murray, for his introduction to Leigh McLeroy, and providing<br />

historical documentation from Houston’s First Baptist <strong>Church</strong>.<br />

Leigh McLeroy for her creative approach to writing this book plus<br />

Bill Carson who is responsible for photography and book design.<br />

Larry Sigka for his introduction to William Loocke, who shared his collection<br />

<strong>of</strong> historic photographs and memorabilia from <strong>the</strong> Phenix Dairy.<br />

Bebe Parker, for providing family photographs <strong>of</strong> <strong>Morris</strong> and Florence<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong>.<br />

Darren Shearer for his counsel and expertise on publishing this book.<br />

Sadie Hodo, former Director at <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong>, for telling <strong>the</strong><br />

rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> story.<br />

Gregg Matte for his insightful observations regarding <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong><br />

as a Difference Maker.<br />

Hank Rush for connecting <strong>the</strong> histories <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong> and<br />

Star <strong>of</strong> Hope Mission.<br />

Robert Sloan for highlighting <strong>the</strong> common thread <strong>of</strong> entrepreneurship<br />

in <strong>Morris</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> and HBU.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> Directors, staff and family members who pro<strong>of</strong>ed this book<br />

and made insightful revisions.<br />

Paul Sanders<br />

<strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

December, 2019

M o r r i s C a lv i n O l d h a m<br />

1 8 8 6 - 1 9 5 5<br />

$15.00<br />

Library <strong>of</strong> Congress Control Number: 2019920465<br />

ISBN: 978-1-946615-46-6<br />

©2019 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Oldham</strong> <strong>Little</strong> <strong>Church</strong> <strong>Foundation</strong><br />

All rights reserved<br />

Available on our web site: www.oldhamlcf.org

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