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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.

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