Cortez Stubblefield was born in 1848 into a family of Texas cattlemen. Young Cortez became a Christian at eight and was richly influenced and tutored by B. H. Carroll, the great Bible expositor and first President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
As a young man, Cortez drove huge herds of Texas longhorn cattle north, through Oklahoma Indian Territory, to the rail head in Kansas. Later he started a business building roadbed for the Santa Fe Railway between Ardmore and Oklahoma City.
In 1889, when he was forty-one, Cortez was ordained to the Gospel Ministry. He served as a missionary church-planter and pastor in Oklahoma Baptist churches in Ardmore, Durant, Ada and Miami. Records indicate that in 1899 Stubblefield coordinated the efforts of 40 other missionaries in Indian Territory, visited 57 churches, preached 363 sermons, held 71 prayer meetings, and baptized 124 people. He was instrumental in the founding of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention and later the establishment of Oklahoma Baptist University.
When Rev. Stubblefield died in 1930, thousands of Oklahoma Baptists attended his funeral at First Baptist Church in Miami where four prominent Baptist Pastors participated in his grand memorial.
In 1963, First Baptist Church’s original building was moved from its location in downtown Shawnee, Oklahoma, onto the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University where it was named Stubblefield Chapel. With its beautiful stained glass, hardwood pews, and ancient pump organ, it still stands honoring the memory of my great, great grandfather.
He’s in Heaven today. Someday I’ll meet him face-to-face.
The evangelist and deacon named Stephen was given a peek or preview into Heaven after he boldly preached before the ruling religious establishment. As he concluded his sermon, he said, “ ‘You stiff-necked people ... You are always resisting the Holy Spirit.’ ... When they heard these things, they were enraged and gnashed their teeth at him. Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God!’ ” (Acts 7:51–56, CSB).
Isaiah also viewed the divine throne room. “I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him... And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth”
(Isaiah 6:1–3, CSB).
I relish the notion of meeting that rough and tough missionary church planter and pastor, my great, great grandfather. But he is certainly not Heaven’s main attraction. Jesus is!
Stephen saw the Lord standing beside in the place of honor, at the right hand of His Father. Isaiah witnessed God’s glory and the attentiveness of the presiding worshippers. One day, just around the bend, we’ll see it too! We’ll see Jesus!