OKC Wesley celebrates 100 years


The women at OKC-Wesley sold donuts to pay off the church mortgage in 1947. Burning the note in a ritual that year are, from left, Wallace Wood, Mrs. S.D. Bennell, C.S. McCreight, and Mrs. R.J. Potts.

In Oklahoma City, Wesley UMC marked its 100th year during special moments throughout 2010.

Pastor Diana Cox Crawford wrote in the church’s newsletter:

"This year we have baptized babies and confirmed young people. We have rejoiced in our centennial with a renewal of vows, worship on the lawn, an ice cream social, reunions, and a glorious celebration on Nov. 7.

"We have gone to Kenya and Bolivia, and next we go to Mexico and Liberia. Our community outreach served over 120 families with Operation Backpack. We have served families in Project Noel. We have had great fellowship and fun trips with our seniors and served at Youth Force. We have completed the fellowship hall.

"We have performed ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Honk.’ We have had marvelous worship, with music that could make angels weep. And, each Sunday, we have worshipped in a beautiful, holy place where God is so close.

"In all of that, what is the most exciting and important task we have accomplished? We have shared the good news of the love of Jesus Christ with transformed lives, strengthened journeys, and mended broken hearts. Thanks be to God!"

Co-chairing the centennial planning were Melodie Toland and Jim Rice. More than 300 people attended the Nov. 7 event.

In 1910, the Oklahoma Conference set aside $300 for a new church in north Oklahoma City. Using the money almost exclusively for lumber, volunteers built a small tabernacle, dedicated by the bishop on Christmas Day.

The pews were rough planks, the dirt floor was covered with wood shavings and sawdust, and some chairs were reclaimed from a park pavilion after a fire. This first building was affectionately called "the cow shed," according to church history.

By 1921, in a larger structure, church membership was 815, with Sunday school attendance of about 1,200. The current building, at Northwest 25th and Classen, was constructed during that decade.

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