G. Lee Phelps
G. Lee Phelps
“Knowing what I know now, if I had a hundred lives to live I would want to give them all to Baptist Indian Missions.”
General Lee Phelps was born in 1864 in a two-room log cabin in Missouri. The 9th of 15 children, he came to Indian Territory at the young age of 12 after setting out on his own following the death of his mother in 1876. After several years of working in the Indian Territory with a freight hauling company, he returned to his homestead in 1888, where he met and married Susie Branson in 1889. They made their home near Timber Hill in Miami and, the following year, he became a Christian and served as a missionary to Native Americans through the Baptist Church. His work spanned 36 years as he worked with many different tribes including the Creek, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. In 1912, he was sent to Stroud, Oklahoma, to work with the Sac and Fox Tribes where a Mission was built. In 1917, Phelps became the General Missionary of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma to all the Native Americans of the state. In 1933, he worked for the Southern Baptist Convention with the Five Civilized Tribes and continued in the role until his death.
It is believed that General Lee Phelps witnessed over 4,000 Native American conversions and baptisms.
After his mother died when he was 12 years old, he came to Indian Territory and took a job hauling freight from Kansas to Oklahoma in 1876.