Thanks for Visiting!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Holdenville (OK) Methodist Church Pastors

The first Methodist work in the area of Holdenville, Hughes Co., Oklahoma is thought to have begun in 1896.  That is when it is thought the first church was organized in that community. 
According to Turner’s History of the Methodist Church in Holdenville, 1897-1952, the first church organized in Holdenville was the Methodist Episcopal (1896-1910).  A retrospective article in the Holdenville Times of Jan.23,1903 indicated that in March of 1896 they first met in the Choctaw Depot (Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad)  in service with a Rev. King or Fling.  They were formally organized in the same place a year later with a Rev. Woodson. Charter members were listed as the family (wife and daughter) of J. Smith, Mrs. Joe Northrup, Mrs. Frank Lowe, and Mrs. D. Lowe.
A wooden frame building on East 8th Street was dedicated in February of 1897.  In 1913 the building was sold to the Episcopal Church (see photos here) as the Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew its work in Holdenville. The 'northern' church did so with sadness as they had desire to do so much work in the state but were hindered by lack of resources.  The so-called Methodist Episcopal North would come back into the area in 1921.
In 1923, however, the two Methodist groups proactively decided to unite with some joining the other Methodist church and some deciding to go elsewhere. This merger reflected the  groundswell desires among many Oklahoma Methodists that there should be just one church. It was a feeling not to be reflected in denominational structures until 1939 when the three largest Methodist groups in America were the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.), the Methodist Episcopal, South (M.E.,S) and the Protestant (M.P.) united to form the new Methodist Episcopal Church (M.E.C.).
Names Found for the Methodist Episcopal Church:
Founded: March 1896
1896 - Rev. King or Fling
1896 -Rev. Woodson
1897 (ca.)- Rev. Weems
1921 - J.A. Lanning
? - R.A. Bingham
Names Found for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South:
Founded: Spring 1897
1897 - A.S.J. Haygood [Charter members are believed to be: James L. Adair, L.B. Henderson and family, Mrs. Robert (Ida Barnard) McFarlin, Mrs. W.J. Red, Mrs. Thomas E. (Laura Larue) Neal, and Mrs. C.W. Polk]
1898-S.M. Bryce
1899- T.O. Shanks
1901- A.C. Pickens
1902 - J.H. Granville or Glanville
1903 - J.I. Bray [In 1903 Trustees rec'd patent for parts of lots 1-6 in Block 44 to build a church. The paperwork was filed in Muskogee, I.T. according to Turner's work. Names included James L. Adair, James B. Lusk, Harry D. Holman, Samuel Checote, and Motie (sic) Tiger]
1904- Robert Hodgson
1905 -C.F. Mitchell
1906 - E.L. Massey
1907 - T.I. Mellon
1908- C.S. Walker
1911- R.K. Triplett
1913 - E.T. Campbell
1914-Luther Roberts
1915- Luther Roberts
1915-L.B. Ellis
1916-D.H. Aston
1919-1921 - Sidney H. Babcock
1922 -J.E. McConnell
1923- J.C. Curry
1926 -W.S. Vanderpool
1928 - Hugh Kelso
1930- T.R. Morehead
1931-1934 - Sidney Babcock
1936-1939 - John D. Salter
1940-1943- John A. Callan
1944- C.L. Crippin
1945-1947 - H.H. Cody
1948- 1950- W.L. Blackburn
1951- 1954- J.C. Harris
1955 -N. Grady Ross










PARTNERS IN THE PARSONAGE: Identifying Clergy Spouses

Wesley UMC in Oklahoma City begins the project with a list of their clergy spouses as identified from church records and other sources. Like so many churches, for much of Wesley's history the spouses of the senior pastor were obscured in the customs of the day.  Through the 1970's it was still customary for a married woman to be referred to only in light of her relationship as a wife.  Thus she was "Mrs. John Doe" and her first name often lost. As customs changed the church now has also seen the addition of the clergy husband.  Some of the same issues may be found in attempting to adapt to this changing clergy spouse profile. 

Some records (conference, census newspaper, and church) simply cannot supply the names of the person who shared their live with the clergy of Wesley.  Here, however, are some of the names discovered.  They may be incorrect in spelling and other factors, but this is the best available list at this time.  Please leave a comment if you have corrections or additions.

  1. 1910/11 - Frank A. Colwell (1860-1937); Mary
  2. 1911/12 - Dr. Harry Claude Case (1873-1921)
  3. 1912/13-  Samuel E. Betts - Emma C.
  4. 1913 - Thomas Pingry (1848 - 1916) ; Nancy
  5. 1914-  E.R. Houck ; Ruth, son Matthew
  6. 1915/17 - John W. Cater
  7. 1916/18- C.C. Smith (Charles Clark?)
  8. 1919/22 - Dean C. Dutton (1871-1954); Katherine Burg; children: Helen and Adena
  9. 1923- J.C. Waldron
  10. 1924- Glenn A. Baldwin (or J.A.)
  11. 1925/28- E.V. (Edgar V.) Dubois; Gertrude P.; children: Robert K.
  12. 1925/28- Dr. William Forney Hovis; Aimee A. Parry; children, Wm F. and Keith
  13. 1929/32 - George H. Zentz; Ethel G.; children: Nellie, Franklin, George
  14. 1933/34- A.G. (Aaron G.) Williamson; Denice Anna
  15. 1935/36- Matthew L. Simpson
  16. 1937/41- Hugh B. Fouke ; Ruth
  17. 1941/43 - James A. Leach
  18. 1943/56- Nuell Crain ( - 1997); Catherine
  19. 1956/58 - John R. Webb (1906-1974) ; Marguerite K.; children: Robert, Margaret
  20. 1958/63- Earl S. Walker ; Doris
  21. 1963/64- Dr. Jack S. Wilkes (1917-  ) ; Annette
  22. 1964/67 - Charles R.Thigpen (1913-1967); Mary E.
  23. 1967-  Fisher Blanton (  );  Mary Ellen Bell
  24. 1974/77- Lonzo Battles (1922-2009) ; Barbara Nell Amdall
  25. 1977/81- J.C. (James C.) Curry Jr. (1926-2009)
  26. 1981/95- Robert L. Allen (1946-2004); Madalyn
  27. 1996/02- John T. Ogden (1935-2004) ; Jane
  28. 2002/06- T. Scott Keneda ; Angie
  29. 2007 - Bishop Bennie Warner
  30. 2007/13 - Diana Cox-Crawford (First female senior pastor); Bob
  31. 2013 - Dr. Marvin J. Hudson ; Marilyn A.
United Methodist Churches are invited to submit their own lists of pastors with accompanying names of their spouses. This is an ongoing project and will be shared with the Oklahoma UMC Historical Society and Conference archives.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Anadarko Methodist Church

This image is courtesy of the Anadarko Heritage Museum and used by permission.
"Flood in Anadarko in 1902. South side of Anadarko. The church is the First Methodist and parsonage."
In 1887, Rev. J.J. Methvin of the Methodist Church South established a mission school in 1890 and later a church in Anadarko.  According to Oklahoma Methodism in the Twentieth Century by Clegg and Oden, Methvin closed his work in Indian Territory with the "Five Civilized Tribes" and moved into west inhabited with various plains tribes often labeled at the time "the wild tribes."  Leaving his work at the Seminole Female Academy he made his headquarters at Anadarko and began to work in the community. Two years later he had 15 students and they were largely supported by various Woman's Home Missionary Society work (pg. 34). A more detailed account of his ministry is found in the history by Oklahoma Methodist history book by Babcock and Bryce and articles by Methvin in The Chronicles of Oklahoma.

Friday, May 15, 2015

History of One Church Via Its Buildings: Wesley in OKC

Various church published histories of this congregation established in 1910 always list three versions of the church: the first wooden structure, affectionately called the "Cow Shed", at NW 32 and Classen; the second, and larger, structure at NW 25th and Douglas (just off of Classen) in 1911. That structure redesigned and augmented the building materials of the first structure in order to make more room.  Not as well documented was the third incarnation of the church, what was lovingly called the "Dutton Tabernacle" improved while Dr. Dean C. Dutton was pastor (1919-1923).  Here, for the first time, is more accurate chronology of the phases of development for this Methodist Episcopal Church (north). The church was expressed in four distinct phases: a) "The Cow Shed", b) "The Sheep Shed", c) "The Dutton Tabernacle" and d) The Gothic Sanctuary.

First service here was Sunday, Dec. 25, 1910 with Bishop William Quayle preaching and Rev. Frank A. Colwell as pastor. Members were accepted that day and children baptized. Bishop Quayle also gave the first $100 to a building fund begun that day. The above building was built using a $300 mission grant from the M.E. North Oklahoma Conference in October 1910. The church formally organized on Nov. 10, 1910.
The "Sheep Shed" at NW 25 and Douglas, just off Classen Blvd.
An addition buts out on the right side for some fifteen feet (ca. 1911/15.).  They moved in the spring of 1911 to this location due to an influx of members with the closing of  Epworth University. The property was purchased for $600.00.  Members recounted tales of the way the tarpaper would whip and rustle in the high Oklahoma winds and remain cold in winter and warm in the summer. In the summer they brought in blocks of ice and set up fans to blow over the congregants to keep them cool. Pastors in these years : Frank A. Colwell (1910-1911); H.C. Betts (1913); Thomas Pingrey (1913); E.R. Houck (1914-1915); J.W. Cater (1915-1916); Charles Clark Smith (1916-1918).
"The Dutton Tabernacle" 1920; You can see the 'bones' of the other structures if you look closely. Aggressive growth, diverse program and strong membership participation saw the church grow to nearly 1,000. Dr. Dean C. Dutton (Ph.D.) was there from 1919-1922.
In 1923 the pastor was J.W. Waldron, in 1914 J.A. Baldwin (1924) and in 1925 Dr. William Forney Hovis arrived. In 1924/26, F.A. Colwell, first pastor and now a contractor was responsible for tearing down the Dutton Tabernacle to make room for the new sanctuary; a building across NW 25 was used for classes and events. In 1928 the above sanctuary was completed and dedicated. Later, the house was used as a youth and education building, Hadduck Hall. It was torn down in the 1970's.

---Appreciation to Wesley United Methodist Church for use of these photos from their archives collection

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Asbury Manual Labor School": by Linda Morgan Clark

Asbury Manual Labor School, North Fork Town, Creek Nation, Indian Territory (1848-1887)

 Three years after the formation of the Indian Mission Conference (IMC), and the division of the church into North and South Churches, in November 1847, while at Annual Conference in Doaksville, IT, the IMC made plans for re-establishing Asbury Manual Labor School in the Creek Nation, IT. Bishop William Capers (who had organized the *school with the same name in Alabama) appointed the Rev. Thomas B. Ruble to select a site and supervise the construction of the school buildings. He secured the help of Colonel Logan, the U.S. Indian Agent for the Creek Nation, and Colonel Rutherford, superintendent of the Western Territory.

The site chosen in 1848 for the school was an 80-acre farm at North Fork Town, near what is now Eufaula, OK. About 30 acres was fenced. Included on the property was a 20 square foot house with porch and kitchen, a stable, chicken house and a few fruit trees. The site and these improvements cost $300.

The first classes were held in the log house on August 8, 1848, with the Reverend W. S. Cobb as teacher. The classes continued in the log house until the new buildings were ready to use in 1850. A stone and brick building 110 feet long, 34 feet wide and three stories high was built with materials shipped by boat from Louisville, via the Arkansas River, then overland to the site by ox-drawn wagons. The cornerstone was laid July 19, 1848. The U.S. Government paid $5,000 from the funds appropriated for the Creeks under a treaty in 1845, and the balance of the total cost of $9,169 was paid by the Board of Missions of the M. E. Church, South. The building contained 21 rooms, large halls and would accommodate 100 students and the faculty. It was the largest school in the IMC. In 1848 the annual report to the IMC records that there were 30 Creek students, one local preacher, 24 white teachers and staff and a small balance of $6.75 on hand. The school continued to be maintained by the Creek’s appropriated funds.

From 1848 to the beginning of hostilities between the North and South, not much of note is recorded in the annuals of Methodism in the Creek Nation. Of course, the white missionaries changed locations, retired, or died. But the work went on primarily through education by separating many Creek children of school age from their families and sending them to Asbury Manual Labor School where they were schooled in subjects designed to “civilize” them, i.e., the boys were to work with different tools and cultivate a farm, while the girls were to learn to cook, knit, spin, sew, and do all sorts of housework.

The Civil War and Reconstruction was devastating to the Indian tribes in IT. Rev. Thomas Bertholf was appointed Superintendent of Asbury school that had been destroyed in the war. Through Creek Chief, Samuel Checote, he secured an appropriation of $6,000 from the U.S. government for the task of rebuilding and reopening the school. Bertholf did not live long enough to accomplish the task. John Harell was then appointed superintendent of the Mission. In 1868 the main building was destroyed by fire. Using his considerable influence with the Creeks and government officials, Rev. Harrell had new buildings built and the school reopened in 1870.

The school burned in 1881 and again for the final time in 1887, never to reopen. Rev. Thomas Bertholf, and Rev. John Harrell, both of whom died during their administrations, were buried on the school grounds. When the present day Lake Eufaula was built the cemetery was relocated to Eufaula’s Greenwood Cemetery and the old school site and cemetery disappeared under the waters of the new lake. A memorial stone structure created from the original hand-hewn stones of the school and saved before the clearing of the land for the lake, was erected in the cemetery. It was designed by the pastor of Eufaula’s First Methodist Church (founded by Rev. Theodore Frelinhuysen Brewer in 1879) and marked with aluminum lettering and a bronze tablet. The memorial stone was dedicated May 30, 1964. 

---Excerpted from a work by Linda Morgan Clark, "Roots and Branches of Muskogee Methodism"



All of the glass windows of Wesley UMC in Oklahoma City feature scenes from the life of Christ rather than more traditional scenes from throughout the Bible.  The exception is one small window along the south cloister.
The window, added in 1928, is called "The Tie Around the World" and was dedicated "For God, Home, and Every Land." by the Women's Christian Temperance Union, of which many members called Wesley home. 
A more correct title would be the "White Ribbon Around the World" as the white ribbon was the symbol of the WCTU. It symbolized  a pledge that members of the WCTU made to pray for members around the world each day at noon. In this way they kept their concerns always before God. The WCTU was specifically concerned about the devastation resulting from alcohol abuse in homes and society. They campaigned to educate youth, change laws, and influence their society. Their zeal stemmed from a strong conviction that the promotion of temperance was a part of their response to the Great Commission.

Is this the only window its kind?  Attempts to locate and identify similar memorial windows has been unsuccessful so far.

Early Trustees Holdenville

It is in often dry and hard to read entries in legal records that some fascinating nuggets of history can be mined. Mrs. John E.Turner in her small volume, History of the Methodist Church in Holdenville (1956), notes that a group of trustees had received a patent from the Townsite Company of Holdenville for parts of lot, 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 in Block 44 of the official town plat. On this site they would build the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The papers duly filed in Muskogee, Indian Territory in September of 1903 held the names of those representing the church. The names were: James L. Adair, James B Lusk, Harry D. Holman, Samuel Checote and Motie (sic)Tiger.
Turner's volume expressed little knowledge as to who some of these individuals were. There was a question as who Checote and Tiger were and the role they played in the process. There are two potential sources for the Checote name on the document (which has not been seen by this writer). It is surmised, however, that the Samuel Checote listed is most probably the grandson of the noted Samuel Checote based on the date of death.  Chief Samuel Checote was a noted preacher, soldier and statesman who had been born in Alabama, was licensed to preach in 1852 and commanded a regiment as Lieutenant Colonel during the Civil War. He was elected Principal Chief of the Creek Nation in 1869,1972, and 1879 ( Clegg, pg. 27-28). He died in Okmulgee in 1884. His grave is marked by a historical monument erected by the Oklahoma Methodist Historical Society and the state has set a historical marker as well. He is recognized by the State of Oklahoma as a significant individual in state history and American history.  The second possibility is his grandson, Samuel J. Checote, born 1867 and died 1950, who was reared by his grandfather and attended Carlisle Military Academy in Pennsylvania and returned to Oklahoma were the legacy of leadership and service was continued through the younger generation. He was licensed to preach and is mentioned as pastor in the Honey Creek Circuit, Holdenville District, 1903-1904. He was a member of the East Oklahoma Conference and, as was a custom, also member of the New Town Church near Okmulgee where he also served on the centennial committee (Clegg, 173-174). He may be the signer functioning in an official capacity representing the interests of the Indian Missionary Conference or the Creek Nation.
Moty Tiger was a Supreme Judge of the Creek Nation and served as Chief for many years. This may be the capacity in which his signature was added to the document. He was a Christian and so may have also played additional, yet to be identified, role in the process of founding the M.E., South work in Holdenville. He was a minister in the early days of eastern Oklahoma. His son, Johnson Tiger was a noted leader and minister, graduate of Bacone College with a B.S. and Dennison Commercial College (TX) before entering the ministry in 1903 (see Clegg, pg. 65-67).
Adair was known as a charter member, and Holman a longtime active member of the subsequent church (his wife may have been another charter member). Lusk was an area attorney and possibly an early member as well.

Monday, May 11, 2015

McCurtain County: When Oklahoma and Arkansas Were One

At one time, the area of eastern Oklahoma was part of a conference that included Missouri and Arkansas. Taking this time period into account pushes back date of a "first" Methodist work. The first Protestant Church service was held in the Pecan Point Methodist Circuit by Rev. Wm. Stevenson (see Personal Note page), a Methodist preacher in the vicinity of present Harris, McCurtain County, in 1818. (Although another source says the Methodists were present in 1816).
Two miles northwest was the well-known Harris Ferry. This area of Harris was an early white settlement on the Red River within the limits of Arkansas Territory. A marker for Pecan Point was erected in 1962 by the Oklahoma Methodist Historical Society, under the auspices of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Regular mission work among the Choctaws in this area was begun in 1831. The marker is Co-located with Harris House marker on U.S. 259 south of Harris.


Riley's Chapel 1843

Circuit Rider. Eggleston. Public Domain
In Oklahoma Methodism in the Twentieth Century by Leland Clegg and William B. Oden (1968) there is mention of the first annual Conference of Methodism in Oklahoma conducted by the Indian Mission Conference with Bishop Thomas A. Morris officiating.  The event convened at Riley's Chapel, a chapel erected by Thomas Bertholf in 1843 near Tahlequah. It was named for a famous Cherokee Methodist family. The date of the conference was October 22,1844 and the opening worship was conducted in English and the concluding worship in Cherokee and Choctaw (pg. 24). Today, a historical marker identifies the location.

Memorials in Light and Color

This begins a series  (hopefully) of lists of the individuals memorialized in stained glass in Oklahoma churches, with a special emphasis on Methodist windows.

This first installment will highlight the windows of Wesley United Memorial UMC in Oklahoma City. The church was established in 1910 and in 1928 they dedicated a new sanctuary done in the English Gothic collegiate style with numerous stained glass windows, many of which were memorials to specific people or groups. The glass was provided by the Kansas City Glass Company.

Narthex (1)
In this area, there are various donations and gifts such as plaques, furnishings, and decorations.
Cloister, North (3)
(West) “The Nativity” – Mrs. William E. Rowland
(Center) “The Boy Christ”- Mr. & Mrs. J. Edgar Strader
(East) “Christ at the Door”- Mrs. Clara Bell & Family
North Transept (3)
“The Transfiguration” (1928)-Mr. & Mrs. Hillard John Scott
(West) “The Last Supper” –Mr. & Mrs. L.R. Springer
(Center) “Jesus and His Mother”- Ladies’ Bible Class
(East) “The First Disciple” 
Chancel - West or Choir (4)
“The Beckoning Christ” (Come Unto Me) (1928) - Mr. Overstreet, father of Mrs. Campbell Russell
South Transept (5)
“The Good Shepherd” (1928)- Mrs. Jessie B. Fleming and Mrs. Virginia C. Shike
“Rich Young Man”- T.Harold and Captain W.E. Corkhill
“Gethsemane”- Mrs. D.G. Murray & Family
“Best Friend” – Mrs. Laura S. Day and Miss Olga Stokesberry
“Empty Tomb”- Mr. & Mrs. O.H. Putney

Cloister, South (or Ambulatory) (6)
(East) “Holy Women of the Tomb”- Mrs. N.A. Whittaker and Family
(Center) “World Encircled” – WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union)
(West) “The Ascension”- Mr. and Mrs. Charles Johnson and Miss Minnie Suitor
East Window (7)
“Jesus Blessing the Little Children” (1928)- Mrs. Florida Knight.

Triangular Plot (East) – Fronting east entry area between Douglas and Classen Blvd. Land donated by noted early Oklahoma City founding leader, Anton Classen (before 1928).  Mrs. Classen later donated landscaping and other improvements.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Early Female Evangelist: Alice Mather, Spencer, IA (UPDATED)

In Oklahoma City in 1904 a woman from the Methodist Episcopal Church preached a revival in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At this point, both groups were busy building and there was apparently some sharing of resources.  Oklahoma at this time was more open to the idea of the two fractured sections of Methodism working together than the general denominational structures of both. They were also, apparently, open to the idea of a woman preaching a revival as well.

The event was duly reported in the local newspaper, with numerous tidbit or pithy quotes as was the custom, and she was referred to always as "Mrs. Mather."

She was Margaret Alice Moody Mather from Spencer, Iowa. She was born 27 January 1862 in Clayton Co., Iowa. She married in 1883 Luther Pearson Mather (b. 1838, Fenner, NY).   She was mentioned in The Northwest Christian Advocate of March 17, 1897 (pg. 20) as an "evangelist" and that she assisted Pastor A.R. Cuthbert, pastor in a revival that saw many conversions. Her name would emerge in various copies of that journal as well as the Conference journals of Iowa Methodism. The 1900 Iowa census lists her as an "evangelist" and her husband as a day laborer. She was the mother of three children but as of 1900 only two remained: Leo David Mather and Alice Floy Mather.  She died 1947 in Clay Co., Iowa.

Her home conference, Northwest Iowa, had this to say about her in the Christian Advocate, volume 80 (1905)," Mrs. Alice Mather, an evangelist from Spencer, NW Iowa Conference is assisting the pastor, Rev. F.L. Buckwalter. She is a loyal Methodist, a fine preacher, a sweet singer and sympathetic in her preaching. She preaches straight to the hearts of the people, and all are delighted with her...The meetings prove that Methodist preaching and methods, directed by the spirit, will still bring about genuine conviction and conversion. The people have crowded the altar..."

It was clear, Oklahoma received a rare blessing in inviting this woman to come and preach in Oklahoma City. Who knows how many she inspired in the faith or encouraged to follow where they felt they were being led vocationally?

"Methodists Around To New Zeal By A Woman Evangelist's Discourses" "Is a Powerful Speaker", "Interest in Revival's Becoming Intense and Numbers are Nightly Becoming Converts to the Christian Faith." (Oklahoman, April 15, 1904; pg.8); U.S. Federal Census, Iowa; The NW Christian Advocate 1905; NW Iowa Conference Report, 1911; NW Christian Advocate, 1912; Spencer Clay County (IA) News (Dec.2, 1897, p.3); The Perry (IA) Daily (Dec.14,1894, pg.1); The Alton Democrate (IA) (March 14,1896,pg.8); Monmouth Daily Atlas (IL) (March 10, 1916).

Saturday, May 9, 2015


BMUMC c2015, Marilyn A. Hudson
The history of Methodism in Oklahoma is often finely intertwined with the history of the state through settlement, education, community building, or the arts.  In an era when examples such as Andrew Carnegie taught that with great wealth came great responsibility communities often benefited with new schools, churches, museums, hospitals, and orphanages when local individuals "made good."
The church name, “Barnard Memorial United Methodist Church”, stems from the supportive presence of the Robert McFarlin family as members of the Methodist work in Holdenville.   Mrs. Robert (Ida Barnard) was listed as a charter member of the congregation and her husband joined the church in 1906. 
McFarlin started in farming and ranching but as they experienced success through oil exploration they supported many enriching endeavors including the Fine Arts Auditorium at Southern Methodist University in Texas, the library at Tulsa University and the building of McFarlin Methodist Church in Norman. He is considered one of the driving forces in Oklahoma's role in the petroleum industry and thus a shaper of modern Oklahoma.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South's work in Holdenville was named as a memorial to the family of Mrs. McFarlin, specifically a brother named Benjamin Barnard who died as a young man. A brother and a sister is mentioned in her obituary in the late 1930's with a Holdenville address.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Methodist Ministers: Dr. Dean C. Dutton

Dean C. Dutton was born in about 1871/72 in Virginia, he married a woman named Katherine (b. 1875 in Iowa) and there were two daughters  Helen A. (b. 1899, IL) and Adena (b. 1901, IL).  Other sources indicate had been born in Wisconsin and reared in Seattle. He had received his education from the Upper Iowa University and took his doctor of philosophy from Kansas City University.  He pastored at Animosa, IA; Webb City, MO, and at Oakley Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri and at Wesley in Oklahoma City. While in Oklahoma City he served as president of the Ministerial Alliance and was director of the Oklahoma Epworth Institute (held at Shawnee). In 1923 he left Wesley  for the University of Oklahoma in Norman to become a "community lecturer and vocational counselor, a new department and take charge of the 'Hearthstone University', a home service department."  ["Dean C. Dutton Leaves Church." Oklahoman (Sept.16,1923):39] While there, his wife died.

Assorted records give clues as to the character and interests of Dr. Dutton.  He is mentioned as being a presenter-lecturer on the Redpath-Horner Chatauqua on the Pioneer (B) Circuit under supervision of C.M. Hirst. He was on the second day of a 1918 event. (Lyceum Magazine, Sept. 1918, p.38).

In 1929 he served as the president of the National Cigarette Law Enforcement League, Inc.  His name is on the letterhead of a letter from Alva B. Jones dated May 25, 1929.  (Dear President: Letters to the Oval Office from the Files of the National Archives, ed. Dwight Young. p.42).

An undated publication, The Beautiful Ministry of Womanhood: A Survey of Opportunities for Ministries of Kindness for Christian Womanhood, Including Social Service Circle Programs shows him as author of "The Great Life" Library.  The booklet was published by The Great Life Publishing Company, 321 N. Chelsea, Kansas City, Missouri and sold for fifteen cents.  It may be a publication of the Methodist Episcopal Church for their women's ministries.

In about 1930 he published Quests and Conquests through  The Life Service Publishing Company (19230) or Oklahoma City (presumed). Description of the Quests include "A search for the Wealth of Life, Truth and Assurances of Reality. Conquests - Building this Wealth into Personality. TWO VOLUMES IN ONE. Part One - Gems of Literature arranged in One Hundred and Twenty-one Lessons in Life Building. Part Two - The Supreme Philosophy." The work apparently included all the material of the author's two editions of Heart Throbs of Truth for Life Building. His other written work include My America and the open road : a textbook directing "The National Awakening" ... / : Bridgeport, Ill. : Thought Wealth Press, 1948.  Fellowship / Cincinnati, Ohio : International Character Education Associations, 1933.

In 1922 he addressed the O.C. Baptist's Pastors Conference on "The Ministry of the Spirit"
(Baptist Mess anger , April 5, 1922; pg. 13).

An exact date for his death is not known, however, there is a Dean C. Dutton  in the Bridgeport City Cemetery, Bridgeport, Lawrence Co., Ill, listed as born Dec. 15, 1871 and having died Oct. 16, 1954. He visited to speak at Wesley and it was noted he was living in Illinois.   He is buried with a Carrie L. born 1884 and who died 1959.  It is believed this is his second wife.

Methodist Ministers: Dr. Sidney H. Babcock

Dr. Sidney H. Babcock Born 1877- died 1957
FindaGrave (has obituary)

Notable church assignment:
  • Atoka
  • Barnard Memorial, Holdenville (The "Rose Window"- stained glass- was suggested by Dr. Babcock)
  • Lawton
  • St. Paul's, Shawnee
  • Altus
  • Elk City
  • Woodward
  • Former vice-president of OCU
  • Former president of the board of trustees of OCU
  • One of the original Trustees in the founding of SMU in Texas
  • 7 time delegate to Methodist General Conferences, representing Oklahoma
  • Served as chaplain during WW1 in France
  • Education was from Arkansas College, Batesville, Arkansas and Vanderbilt in Chicago, Illinois
  • Author of "The History of Oklahoma Methodism" (see link on this page)

Methodist Youth

The Epworth League was the youth fellowship for the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was a young adult association (ages 18–35).  It was formed in 1889 in  Ohio  for the purpose of promoting intelligent and vital piety among the young people of the Church. Although associated with pre 1939 Methodism, I t is still in existence today having been reinvigorated to meet contemporary needs.

Certificate at the Jones UMC.
After 1939, there was the M.Y.F.

The Oldest Methodist Work in Oklahoma?

In trying to determine the first Methodist church in Oklahoma there are many intriguing and fascinating stories revealing a wide range of efforts.  At this time, the oldest church still in existence is thought to be Eufaula.  They can trace efforts there back to 1831.
Prior to 1831, much of the area of far eastern Oklahoma would have been encompassed by what was called "Arkansas Territory".  The Methodist church was active in this region and had several strong ties back to Illinois and Tennessee.  They also had notable pioneering and circuit riding preachers, such as Willam Stephenson who would launch explorations into Texas.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Goodrich Memorial UMC in Norman, Oklahoma

In 1942 a new work, funded primarily by Dr. and Mrs. Hugh (Emma) Goodrich, began in what was then northwest Norman. The church had begun with 21 charter members (many from McFarlin's congregation) and was located at the southwest corner of N. Porter and Frank Street.  In 1956, the church moved to a new building at 200 West Hayes.
An arson fire destroyed the church on December 23, 1986 totaling the sanctuary, classes and offices. Along with the space went choir robes, pianos, organ, church records, and so much more. The decision was made to rebuild at the location Joe Robinson was then pastor of the 400 plus member congregation. The upcoming Christmas Eve service was accomplished through the help and support of various churches in the community.  They moved the service in to the fellowship hall - a cinder block construction - just across the street. They salvaged the altar and the candle sticks. Chairs were lent by St. Stephens UMC and despite the nearly $250,000 dollars in fire damage the service went on as planned.  
Lay Leader at the time, Clinton Wilson, was instrumental in salvaging the old metal cross from the sanctuary. Cleaned, it served as a link to the past as they worshiped in the cinder block fellowship center and during the rebuilding process.
A list of pastors includes: H. Frank Miller, T.N. Weeks, Phil Zinn, Leroy Sewell, Clyde Chestnutt, Charles Richardson, Jay Irby, Sam Fox, Richard Hedger, Keith Cupples, Gary Ritzky, Roger Wood, Joe Robinson, Marvin Ramsey, Marvin J. Hudson, Jim Shepherd.

Sources: Interviews with church members; A Priceless Heritage: McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church (1999); The Oklahoman.

Needed: Photos of the church