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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Atwood Methodist Church

Research is still going on but a brief history of the church is that it emerged around 1888 and was in the area considered by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and North as the "South Canadian Circuit".  It was organized in 1888, according to a work by Turner on the History of the Methodist Church at Holdenville (1957), as having its birth on the back porch of the home of Sloan Love.  Approximately ten became charter members and their names included families named Holman, Connalys, Cain, Carder, and the T. Whaleys. The church is closed.

According to "History of the Methodist Church in Holdenville, 1897-1957", the church at Atwood of the Methodist Episcopal, South was begun on the back porch of Sloan Love's in the summer of 1888 (pg.2). At that time there was apparently no Atwood, as a work called Oklahoma Place Names says it was not named thus until 1909 and replaced an earlier name from 1897 of Newburg. I have not found any mentions of location names prior to that. Exploring the founding individual for whom Atwood was named provides some clues. Chester Atwood settled in what was known as the Mushulatubbee District of the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. Settling in western Tobucksy County. At statehood in 1907 the lines of the Choctaw Nation were re-drawn and Newburg found itself in eastern Hughes County. Then in 1909 the name was changed to Atwood. Thus it is possible that a history of the Methodist work in or near Atwood might be traced back to 1844.
1909 Map (Note Newburg)
According to most printed history, such as Turner and Clegg,the first known pastor is believed to be a man named Whiteside.  He was followed by Wagman, Shank, D.D. Mullins, Maybry (is this F. Maybery who transferred into Oklahoma in 1872 according to the work by Clegg and Oden?), and in 1897, A.S.J. Haygood.  The area has a rich history of Methodism that goes back far earlier and to understand it one much know that the area was once part of the Choctaw Nation and that there was an early indigenous work in the region and it can be found in early records back to 1844 under that name and in a related work called "Canadian" (see related article).
The first church was a log cabin structure and the second was a 'lumber building' located some 1-2 miles southeast of the log cabin.  Later the church was named "Anderson Memorial Methodist Church" due to donations by a family of that name living in Boggy Depot.
Photos of the church, pastors or people can be shared by emailing the page (see contact).

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