Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Shawnee church to mark milestone


In 1965, the people of Shawnee-Wesley United Methodist Church moved from their downtown location of 47 years into the current building at 302 E. Independence.

On Dec. 13, they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that move.

The pastor in 1965, Burrel McNaught, will return for the program, along with another former pastor, Jeff Burress, and current pastor Ben Williams.

Worship begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by a reservation-only catered meal.

Shared memories will include the laying of individual floor tiles by church members and building sets for Nativity, "Living Last Supper," and Vacation Bible School productions.

There have been many mission trips, creation of a handbell choir, collections to "turn the tables," and teamwork to gut and remodel the sanctuary.

The fellowship of so many people has kept Wesley UMC thriving and reaching out with Christian hearts to serve and to welcome for nearly a century, member Sue Dyke said.

Wesley UMC began 97 years ago in Shawnee. First Methodist Episcopal and Grace Methodist Episcopal churches combined in 1918 to build the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church at Ninth and Philadelphia. In the 1965 move, many of the stained glass memorial windows also were moved. An education wing and fellowship hall also were built that year; a sanctuary was added in 1979.

The orange color scheme popular in that era and an elevated pulpit and choir platform were updated in 2001.

A bus barn, storage and clothes-closet building also were constructed in 2001.


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Photos by Sue Dyke

Kent and Sydney Casey Ellwanger share a hot dog during the Block Party in September on the lawn at Shawnee-Wesley UMC.

A juggler entertains all ages during the party.



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