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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Early Methodist Churches of Okmulgee

The Methodist work at Okmulgee can be traced back to the 24th Session of the Indian Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The meeting was in the National Council House of the Creek Nation there, September 1, October 1-2 of 1869.  The Bishop was George F. Pierce and Chief Samuel Checote was the presiding Elder (what we would term a District Superintendent today) and they appointed James McHenry as the first of pastor of the Methodist tradition in Okmulgee.
From1869 to 1896, the Indian and white pastors appointed by the same conference, continued to hold church services in the chamber of the House of Kings in the Council House.
In 1896, the First Methodist Episcopal Church South of Okmulgee was officially organized. It was in a one room frame building believed to have been the first church building in Okmulgee county (located the southwest corner of Morton Ave and Third Street).   In 1902, the M.E. Church South built the stone church at Seminole and Fourth (which later when to the Episcopal Church). Outgrowing the smaller building a new church and parsonage was constructed at Fifth and Seminole in 1910.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of the community organized in 1909 building a frame church at the northeast corner of Seminole and Seventh. They went on to build in 1924 the structure currently used by the First UMC in Okmulgee.

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