History

History informs us about ' who we are' and reminds us of what our primary mission in the community and the world should be.  Our current church Historian is Karen Anderson.





The Methodist Church in Holdenville: A Brief History


In the softly rolling hills of what would become known as Hughes County a small settlement emerged in the Creek Nation known as “Echo” (“Acho”), a word in the Creek language meaning “deer.”   The small hamlet’s name was changed to “Fentress” when it first established a post office on May 24, 1895. Then, as was often the case, the name changed again with the spread of the rail lines and honored a rail road company worker, J. F. Holden, an employee of the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad. On November 15, 1895 the community was christened “Holdenville”. The current church can trace its roots to 1896 in Holdenville. Today's building was built in the 1920's and honors the family of Ida Barnard McFarlin, wife of Robert McFarlin.

Methodism had been in “Indian Territory”, the eastern half of the present day state of Oklahoma, since the early 1800’s but were solidly in place as an effective work by the 1880’s.  The first efforts were missionary activities with the various tribal groups in the area of Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The three arms of Methodism: Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, South, and the Methodist Protestants all established work in the region to differing levels of success. Some of the earliest advocacy of a union of all the branches of Methodism emerged from this Indian Territory work. 


According to Turner’s History of the Methodist Church in Holdenville, 1897-1952, the first church organized in Holdenville was the Methodist Episcopal *1896-1910.  A retrospective article in the Holdenville Times of Jan.23,1903 indicated that in March of 1896 they first met in the Choctaw Depot in service with a Rev. King or Fling.  They were formally organized in the same place a year later with a Rev. Woodson. Charter members were listed as the family (wife and daughter) of J. Smith, Mrs. Joe Northrup, Mrs. Frank Lowe, and Mrs. D. Lowe. 

A wooden frame building on East 8th Street was dedicated in February of 1897.  In 1913 the building was sold to the Episcopal Church as the Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew its work in Holdenville due to a larger retrenchment in the region.  The so-called Methodist Episcopal North would come back into the area in 1921. In1923, however, the two Methodist groups proactively united, reflecting groundswell desires not to be reflected in denominational structures until 1939. At that time, the three largest Methodist groups in America were the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.), the Methodist Episcopal, South (M.E.,S) and the  Protestant (M.P.). These three would form the nucleus of the new Methodist Episcopal Church (M.E.C.).





Pastors (in Progress List)

Year(s)
Name
M.E., South
M.E.
1897
A.S.J. Haygood
x

1898
S.M. Bryce (Supply)


1899
T.O. Shanks
x

1899
H.L. Cloud (Supply)

x
1900
T.O. Shanks
x

1901
A.C. Pickens


1902
J.H. Glanville


1903
J.L. Bray
x

1904
Robt Hodgson
x

1905
C.F. Mitchell
x

1906
E.L. Massey


1907
M.N. Powers

x
1907
T.L. Mellen (d1908)
x

1908



1909
Marvin Bell


1910
C.S. Walker
x

1910
A.G. Lockwood

x
1911
R.K. Triplett
x

1912
R.K. Triplett
x

1913
E.J. Campbell
x

1914
Luther Roberts

x
1915



1916
P.H. Aston
x

1917
P.H. Aston


1918
P.H. Aston


1919
S.H. Babcock


1920
S.H. Babcock


1921
S.H. Babcock


1922
J.E. McConnell
x

1923
R.A. Brighton

x
1924
J.C. Curry( 1882-1951)
x

1925



1926
Vanderpool


1927
Vanderpool


1928
H.E.Kelso d.1930
x

1929
H.E. Kelso


1930
Morehead


1931



1932



1933



1934



1935
S.H. Babcock
x

1935
Satterfield
x

1936
Salter


1937
Salter


1938
Salter


1939



1940



1941



1942
John A. Callon


1943



1944
C.L. Crippen





1945
C.H. Cody


1946



1947



1948



1949



1950



1951



1952



1953
J.C. Harris


1954



1955



1956



1957



1958
N. Ross Grady


1959
Clayton Johnson


1960



1961



1962



1963



1964
Bill Smith


1965



1966



1967



1968



1969



1970



1971



1972



1973



1974



1975



1976


































































































Some Valuable Sources:
Oklahoma Conference Archives Collections. Oklahoma City University.

Clegg and Oden. History of the Oklahoma Conference. 
Cook."ACHO" FLOWER OF THE PRAIRIE:History Of Holdenville, Oklahoma And Hughes County (1998)
Journals. Oklahoma Conference, United Methodist Church.

From Teepees to Towers: The History of Methodism in Oklahoma (1936) compiled by Paul Mitchell. 
Shirk. Oklahoma Place Names (1987)

Turner. History of the Methodist Church in Holdenville, 1897-1952.

Websites:

Album of Oklahoma History (http://www.albumofhistory.blogspot.com/)


Oklahoma United Methodist Historical Society

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