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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

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