Retired clergyman fondly recalls community’s caring as youth at Wickline
From left are retired clergymen Larry Jacobson, Don Combs, Bob Carlisle, and Leroy Thompson, at Canyon Camp in October.
My parents were the first members of OKC-Wickline United Methodist Church, and of course we were very active throughout the years. I am a retired UM minister now, living in Spring Hill, Tennessee, just south of Nashville.
My wife, Judy, and I were invited to attend the Oklahoma Conference retired ministers retreat at Camp Canyon early in October. What a pleasure it was for us to renew old friendships after 40 years away from the Oklahoma Conference.
While at the retreat we reconnected with several former members of Wickline who are all now retired ministers of the Conference.
We all grew up in Wickline during the 1940s and ’50s. We were so blessed to have the full support of the Wickline community. We had a great youth group, always taking the largest number of youth to summer church camp at Turner Falls.
Several of us, along with my Dad, found ourselves giving support to Mrs. Wickline on Saturday mornings. We collected her newspapers and rags and took them to recycle so she could collect a few more dollars for her beloved Wickline church.
Eight youth from that same time period all went into ministry. The list includes: Don Combs, Larry Jacobson, Leroy Thompson, Don Fielding, Sam Fox, Richard Hedger, Vancell Garouk, and myself.
The church staff was so patient with several of us each summer. Because the church was one of only a few places air-conditioned, we spent much of our days hanging out there. We went to church and Sunday School on Sunday mornings; Methodist Youth Fellowship, choir, and worship on Sunday evenings; Boy Scouts (Troop 74) during the week; and Wednesday night worship.
You could say that Wickline Church was one of the focal points of our lives growing up.
— From the OKC-Wickline newsletter,
Nov. 7, 2017