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Friday, May 8, 2015

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.

1 comment:

  1. I understand Eufaula has the oldest "continuing" congregation in Oklahoma. The church was founded in 1879 by Rev. Theodore Brewer. Prior to that date the Asbury Manual Labor School that was located near present day Eufaula (the site of which is now under Lake Eufaula) began in 1848 and was both church and school in the Creek Nation. Rev. Brewer found the "Rock Church", aka Bethel M.E. Church, South in Muskogee, the year before he founded the Eufaula church. However, after their building burned in 1903, the church was divided into two congregations - present day FUMC and St. Paul.

    I hope to have my "Prelude to Muskogee Methodism" as a draft ready for review soon, which will tell the story of Methodism among the Creeks in IT from 1830 to 1904. I'll be glad to share the whole manuscript here when it's ready if you like.

    I've always understood understood that Riley Chapel in the Cherokee Nation was the first church organized in IT.