NSO celebrates designation as a UMC historical site
Neighborhood Services Organization has been recognized as United Methodist Historic 567. NSO is one of eight ministries in Oklahoma and the second non-church organization in the state to receive the designation.
“The historical recognition has been a huge accomplishment for NSO, and a wonderful way to connect with our founders through our 100-year celebration,” said Stacey Ninness, president and CEO of NSO. “Through this history project we were able to connect with many of our supporters as well as honor the deaconesses who were so mission minded 100 years ago.”
“We did a great deal of research into many archival issues before our centennial year, but it was not until we began to document and assemble the materials for the celebration that we seriously considered pursuing the honor of becoming a UMC Historic site,” said Linda Brinkworth, past board chair for NSO. “Recognition of the longevity and impact of NSO over the last 100 years helps churches understand that their impact extends many generations into the lives of current and future clients and donors.”
The planning for NSO’s Centennial Anniversary, 2020, began in 2018 and included forming the Historical Committee, chaired by Brian Bakeman, NSO board member. This committee was tasked with researching and uncovering details about NSO’s rich history of serving those in need in the Oklahoma City Community.
“The national recognition that is being given to NSO shows not only the support of the ministry that takes place here, but how significant this ministry has been benefiting and changing the lives of so many people in this city the past 100 years and the work of the deaconesses,” Bakeman said.
NSO was started by deaconesses in 1920, and it is the only National Mission Institution of the United Women in Faith, formerly UMW, in Oklahoma. The ministry has a covenant agreement with the United Women in Faith that states a third of the ministry’s board members must be United Methodists, four of NSO’s ex-officio members must be United Women in Faith by virtue of their position held in the conference, and a district superintendent representing the area must be on the board. NSO also receives an apportionment from the Oklahoma Conference.
“I feel blessed to be a small part of such a wonderful agency with an amazing history of serving our community,” Ninness said. “The national recognition given to NSO shows not only the support of the ministry that takes place here, but how significant this ministry has been benefitting and changing the lives of so many people in this city for the past 100 years.”