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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wesley UMC : OKC's Forgotten Jewel

Wesley Methodist Church was founded in 1910 in a simple wooden church at NW 32 and Military. In 1911, the structure was dismantled and moved to NW 25 and Douglas (its current location).   Today, Wesley United Methodist Church sits within blocks of Oklahoma City University, at the edge of the Asian District, along the old Route 66 City Loop, and one of the busiest streets in the metro area.
In 1928, with a congregation over 1,000 members, the new gothic style brick sanctuary was dedicated. It featured numerous memorial stained glass windows, the use of many Christian symbols and mirrored the classic sacred architecture dating to the middle ages.  A tall Celtic cross adorns the pinnacle of the east facing front of the sanctuary.
The new church featured an organ and an impressive emphasis on the finest of classical and Christian music through the years.    Numerous community leaders, authors, scholars, and visionaries attended or gave their support to the ongoing work and ministry of Wesley Methodist Church. These included several presidents of OCU and one pastor who went on to become an OKC Mayor. Over the years the church grew, reaching its zenith in the 1960's with over 3,000 members. It was at that time the largest church in OKC. In the 1980's it pioneered a broadcast television program from the sanctuary that reached into literally millions of homes in the state.
In 2006, with the establishment of the new Asian Cultural District, Wesley became a link from the areas dynamic Route 66 history to a vital future enlarged by the addition of many, many cultures in the community.

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