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Showing posts from December, 2013

Tracking Down the History of the Circle: The Social Service Circle

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Today the term "circle" is being claimed by neopagan, social, and political groups to describe their members in a specific place or those addressing a particular topic.  One even appears to include a gifting pyramid style scam. A work dated ca. 1917, 'The Beautiful Ministry of Womanhood: A Survey of the Opportunities for Ministries of Kindness for Christian Womanhood, Including Social Service Circle programs." by Dean C. Dutton, Ph.D. was published by The Great Life Publishing Company, Kansas City, Missouri.  It sold for fifteen cents and was only 33 pages softbound. Trying to locate information on the Social Service Circle, the following was found: "In 1912, Dr. Joshua Stansfield, minister of Meridian Street Methodist Church, formed a committee to be a link between the church and social service work of the city. It was called the Social Service Circle. Aid was given in various ways - support to French war orphans, milk money to School #12, college money loa…

Will The Circle Be Unbroken? Women's Church Groups

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In the mid 19th century woman began to band together in North America in new and focused ways to achieve social and spiritual good.

Groups such as :
Ladies Aid Society
Women's Foreign Missionary Society
Women's Home Missionary Society
Women's Society if Christian Service
Wesleyan Service Guild

In the early 20th century a term appeared and was used widely: The Circle.  The Encyclopedia of Women and Religion Suggests that these groups grew out of the "sewing circle" or "social circles" and became a simple way to refer to small groups of women who gathered around a simple motive (missionary work, learning, social activism, fellowship).

Details of this use are hard to pin down.  Anyone with sources, information ,etc. is asked to add a comment.

Images Tell Story of Oklahoma City Church

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Various church published histories of this church established in 1910 always list three versions of the church: the first wooden structure, affectionately called the "Cow Shed", at NW 32 and Classen; the second, and larger, structure at NW 25th and Douglas (just off of Classen) in 1911. That structure redesigned and augmented the building materials of the first structure in order to make more room.  Not as well documented was the third incarnation of the church, what was lovingly called the "Dutton Tabernacle" improved while Dr. Dean C. Dutton was pastor (1919-1923).  Here, for perhaps the first time, is more accurate chronology of the phases of development for this Methodist Episcopal Church (north).

Classic History Book of Oklahoma City

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Story of the Oklahoma City University and Its Predecessors by H.R. Brill was published in 1938 by the University Press of OCU. At 263 pages it includes several plates of images. H.R. Brill was a retired minister who ran the printing arm of the university. It traces the roots of Oklahoma City University from its origins as Texas Wesleyan College, Fort Worth University, Epworth University (1904 in OKC), Methodist University (1912-1919 in Guthrie) and finally Oklahoma City University from 1919-1938 (the date of publication). A detailed look via records, class lists, yearbooks and other records concerning the early schools, faculties and events.
For more on modern OCU click here.

Classic Work "Christian Symbolism in the Evangelical Church"

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This book by Thomas Albert Stafford, with an introduction by Ernest Fremont Tittle is a classic work on Christian symbolism as it applied to non-Catholic churches and specifically to those in the "evangelical tradition".  It a 176 page book printed by Abingdon in 1942.
Thomas Albert Stafford was born in Ireland of English-Scottish-Irish ancestry. "Educated for teaching, he later became a minister and a student in many fields. His particular interests as a student have been New Testament Greek, theology, and Christian symbolism.  The present volume is in part the outgrowth of his interest in the Christian antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland - particularly the iconic crosses of Ireland.
Dr. Stafford holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Garrett Biblical Institute, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of England, and holds membership in various American societies of economics, statistical science and sociology. He has had more than ten years of…

Early OKlahoma Methodist Leader Honored in 1928 Window

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The district overseer of the Oklahoma City area of the Methodist Episcopal Church was David Guy Murray (1907-1913).  He was thus the first district supervisor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, North
church established in 1910 called Wesley Methodist Church. His wife and family donated funds to add a stained glass window to the English Gothic sanctuary at Wesley UMC in Oklahoma City. The new sanctuary, and its art glass, were dedicated in May 1928.

“Gethsemane" is one of four tall and narrow windows (approx. 3 x 4 feet) located behind the pews under the balcony level in the south transept. These story glass pieces of art each convey a message in light and color. This one is based on Luke 22:41-4. The company selected to provide the artistic glass designs for the windows was the Kansas City Glass Works, Inc.  located at 514-516 Wyandotte Street in Kansas City, Missouri, produced art glass products for a variety of buildings such as churches, depots, and private homes. A new hi…

The First German Methodist Church of Oklahoma City

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Rev. J.A. Ross was the first missionary from the West German Conference to Oklahoma Territory.  He organized "SALEM CHURCH" on Nov. 15, 1891 and its first building was at California and Harvey Streets in downtown Oklahoma City. The pastor from 1899-1908 was J. Buthman and he oversaw the building of the second structure of this congregation at Lee and 8th Street in 1907. 

The church became known as the GERMAN METHODIST CHURCH or the German Methodist Episcopal Church until 1925 when it became known as the Eighth Street Methodist Church.

In 1914, a funeral notice for Anton Classen, father of Anton H. Classen, president of the Oklahoma Railroad Company, was announced. It would be held at the German Methodist Church at 8th and Lee with pastor Rev. Klein officiating. (Oklahoman, July 16, 1914, pg. 7).

In 1926-27, the pastor was S.P. Gaskin, who returned to speak in 1932. Early Oklahoma City records indicate (as do state wide records) a notable community of Germans residing in t…