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Photo by David Gardner


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Frank Graham carries on his family’s tradition of regularly ringing the bell at Verden UMC. He lives across the street from the church. Graham said his grandmother sounded the call to Sunday worship for decades. He rings the bell at 8:30 a.m. in the town, about 500 population, halfway between Anadarko and Chickasha. Usually seven people worship weekly at Verden UMC, according to the Oklahoma Conference Journal. Pastor David Gardner said, "Big or small, church is so much more beyond the walls." Two members taught quilting to local children in the spring. The church also has provided to children a story of their town’s history, written by Rev. Gardner in a style for young readers. In "This Is My Place," a boy bikes through time in Verden to learn "it’s more about whole lines of families and how they are connected … about legacies of values and love."


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