Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Comedy reigns at Pawhuska’s anniversary celebration


By Kathryn Swan

The Sisters Three topped the lineup of entertainment as Pawhuska-First United Methodist Church spent two days celebrating its 125th anniversary.

This comical male trio was charged with engaging the attendees in the 1928 song "Methodist Pie." Although the songwriter is unknown, "Methodist Pie" has been recorded by artists including Red Foley, Gene Autry, and Grandpa Jones.

A long-standing Pawhuska favorite, this lively song tells of a camp meeting, good grub, and a "great big Methodist pie."

Merriment continued throughout the two-day gala, Sept. 20-21.

CarMac the Magnificent and his dummy assistant, aptly portrayed by Terry Thorne and 11-year-old daughter Jentry, conjured laughter with secret questions and silly responses.

Photo ops abounded, with a Model T Ford Truck and horse-drawn surrey on display.

Clips of church activities spanning 30 years were shown. One comment overheard: "It doesn’t pay to miss a Methodist family night dinner, ‘cause too much fun goes on without you!"

Commemorating the anniversary, Pawhuska-First purchased 125 Bibles for the Gideon Society, collected 1,250 diapers for the Department of Human Services, and donated 375 cans of vegetables to Christ’s Cupboard. In addition, $125 was donated for seminary scholarships in Chile.

History shows this was the first Protestant church in Pawhuska. According to reports, the first assigned pastor was gone before anyone met him. The second absconded when confronted with unpaid hotel bills.

When Mrs. F.T. Gaddis, through the Women’s Home Mission Society, arrived in town and opened a school, she became the church’s first appointed pastor.

In 1926 Pawhuska-First hosted the 35th Oklahoma Annual Conference.

Rev. Kathy Morris now leads First UMC. Worship attendance averaged 95 and 11 people were baptized in 2013.

(Swan is First UMC historian.)


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Photo by Kathryn Swan

Richard Morris stands with Taylor and Laura Reed in front of a 1923 Model T Ford Truck. In background is historic Pawhuska-First UMC.



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