The Seminole Baptist Churches of Oklahoma: Maintaining a Traditional Community
Observers often assume that American Indians identifying themselves as Christian have assimilated into the larger Anglo world. The Oklahoma Seminole Baptists have actively adapted non-native structures to accommodate their community needs. They gather several times weekly in steepled churches for prayers, hymn singing, and sermons based on biblical texts. But they conduct services primarily in the Mvskoke language and practice Native customs, such as fasting in the woods and constructing grave houses to shelter the spirit as it returns to visit the body.
Schultz traces the history of the Seminoles to the present day. He then discusses Seminole Baptist beliefs and practices, leadership roles, and the church's organizational structure, illustrating his observations with a detailed account of the social life of a single congregation.