405.525.3521 info@wesleyokc.org

History

The church was founded in 1910 in a simple wooden building at NW 32 and Military. In 1911, the structure was dismantled and moved to NW 25 and Douglas (its current location).   Early church documents state the purpose of the church in those days: “This church exists not for itself, but the community in the midst of which God has placed it. We trust that all persons finding their way here will come to know it as a house of worship, a school for learners, a field for workers, a shelter for the weak, a citadel for the strong —where Jesus reigns alone. ”  (Sunday Bulletin, January 2, 1927)

  • Wesley started reunions in the summer of 1910 in the Tabernacle located at 32nd and Military. The 1910 Journal of Methodist Episcopal Church Conference, which was held at Alva, Oklahoma on October 19-23 announces that Frank A. Colwell was appointed pastor for a new church in North Oklahoma City. D. G. Murray was District Superintendent of this district.
  • The first church, a neat wooden structure called the little cow shed, located at 32nd and Military, was dedicated by Bishop Win. A. Quayle on December 25, 1910.
  • The Oklahoma City Division of the Boy Scouts of America started in early summer of 1910. On June 7, 1933, Mr. Wright reported for a committee of Mr. Mathis, Clyde Reneau, H. J. Scott and L. J. Holt, that 32 boys reporting for Wesley’s Troop 23 meeting. This information indicates that the BSA were thriving during the depression.
  • The first Sunday School session was held in the home of Judge and Mrs. A. H. Tyler on December 29, 1910. The first Sunday School service was held January 1, 1911 at 9:45 a.m. with forty pupils, teachers, and officers present.
  • Early in 1911, District Superintendent D. G. Murray transferred 29 Methodists out of the discontinued Federated Organizational Church to Wesley. The trustees of Wesley were highly encouraged and found a new location on Northwest 25th and Classen Boulevard where a site was purchased for $600, and a new church was built: the sheep shed. The first church service held there was in August 13, 1911.
  • Also, in early 1911, officers were elected and the name “Wesley” was adopted at the suggestion of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Bradshaw.
  • Wesley legally organized on January 27, 1911 under the name of Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with the signees: R. E. Bradshaw, J. M. Smith, Edwin Stephenson, H. B. Turner and A. H. Tyler. Wesley had 136 members at that time.
  • On February 6, 1922 Dean C. Dutton, Minister, reported that building facilities were to be planned for a Sunday School
  • On October 12, 1924 , Folsom Jackson was employed as the first formal choir director.
  • In 1927 and 1928 a new building was erected with a total cost of $128,447:
  • We broke ground for a new educational unit on June 7, 1926. It was completed and went into use on January 9, 1927.
  • We broke ground on the Sanctuary on July 10, 1927 and dedicated it on May 20, 1928.

In May of 1928, with a congregation over 1,000 members, the new Gothic style sanctuary was dedicated. It featured many memorial stained glass windows, used many Christian symbols, and mirrored classic sacred architecture dating to the middle ages. A tall Celtic cross adorns east facing pinnacle of the sanctuary.

The new church included a beautiful organ and worship had an impressive emphasis on the finest of classical and Christian music through the years. Over the years, many community leaders, authors, scholars, and visionaries attended or gave their support to the ongoing work and ministry of Wesley Methodist Church. Among them are several Presidents of Oklahoma City University, members of the faculty there, and one pastor who became Mayor of Oklahoma City.

In the 1930’s a loop of Route 66 opened on Classen, right past the church and Wesley joined the noted Milk Bottle Building and the Gold Dome as sights along the loop.

In 2006, with the establishment of the new Asian Cultural District, Wesley became a link from the areas dynamic historical past to a vital future enlarged by the addition of many cultures in the community.

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