The Wynnewood Church of Christ
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN WYNNEWOOD
Sunday May 28, 1950, Paul Nichols of California began a tent meeting just west of the railroad on Highway 77. As a result of that meeting, the Wynnewood congregation was started.
Some of the people who attended in those days remember meeting in an upstairs room in downtown Wynnewood at first, but before long George Jones and Dr. James Stevens signed a contract to purchase the property on which the present meeting house stands. Filing of deeds in August, 1950 transferred the property into control of the congregation.
Soon the brethren began to build a frame building to replace a part-log structure on the lot. Although the Shipley family continued to worship at Oak Grove, John remembers helping on the building.
Members and their families in those early days included: Dr. James W. and Delia Stevens and their niece, Shirley; Virgil, Ada, and Evelyn Lancaster; George H. and Eula Jones; D. M. Lancaster; Ethel Walker and her mother, Delia Hawkins; Loss and Laura Meridth; J. L. and Cricket Johnson and their children; and John and Irene Vaughan. Luther and Margie Shipley, John, Bobby Joe, Martha, Luther, Jr., and Carolyn continued to worship at Oak Grove on Lord’s Day morning until they moved to Wynnewood later that year, but met with the Wynnewood congregation on Sunday night. Jasper and Suzzane Davis came to live with the Shipley family in 1958.
Excerpt from a letter written by Paul Nichols, November 7, 1997:
“May 28-June 13, 1950, we held a tent meeting. There was only one night during this time we didn’t have services, due to the rains we had. This mission effort was supported by the following congregations: Sulphur, Davis, Oklahoma City, and Oak Grove. Ada owned the tent we used for the meeting. The results were five confessions of faults and 8 restorations from the digressives and the congregaton at Wynnewood started.
“In 1954 I was in a meeting with the congregation.
“In 1986 I held my last meeting with the church at Wynnewood.”
Excerpt from a letter written by Jack Cutter August 30,
“I worked with the church for a short period of time in the early 50’s. As you know, I was single. I graduated from H.S. in 1951. After graduation from H.S., I worked in OKC for a year and a half. I married in Oct. of 1956. As I recall, I was in the Wynnewood area (considerably) in the years ‘53-’54 &’55. During this time, I preached at Dougherty and Wynnewood a lot. When I was at Dougherty, I stayed with Bro. and Sis. Cummings at Davis. When at Wynnewood, I mainly stayed with old Bro. Lancaster. He lived in the eastern part of Wynnewood. His wife was deceased. his son & wife lived in Wynnewood too. (At that time, they were probably in their 50s.) The members I remember were Sis. Walker, the Lancasters and Shipleys. I can’t recall baptizing anyone at Wynnewood. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t. Either the church built a new building or remodeled the old building. It’s not the same building then as now.”
Some of the members during the 1950s and 1960s named George and Olenia Guinn, their son, and three little girls; Dee and Maudie Worthy; and Mae Peery. Harvey and Mary Frizzell moved to Wynnewood in 1965.
In 1960 the congregation meeting at Oak Grove moved their entire membership to Wynnewood. Members and families included Yual and Lorean Hammons and their children, Donald and Linda; Arthur and Juanice Cross; Cleo and Ivy Cross; and Jasper and Eola Hawkins.
Preachers who worked with the congregation in the 50s and 60s included L. G. Butler, Jack Cutter, and several others who held meetings or filled the pulpit on Sundays. Roy Lee Criswell often spoke at Wynnewood on Sunday morning, then preached at Garr Comer in the afternoon at a borrowed Baptist building.
Improvements to the building progressed during this time. Paul and June remember that the little white meeting house had no running water or porch. In 1961 a building program added rest rooms, baptistry, and a sheltered entrance. At that time, the structure was enclosed in brick. Earlier the church furniture–seats, pulpit, and communion table installed about 1955–had been paid out monthly.
Excerpt from a letter written by Billy Dickinson September 16, 1997:
“It’s been a long time since I worked with the congregation there and I wish I had kept some records, because time has fogged up my memory somewhat with reference to names and specific events.
“I worked with the church at Wynnewood for about a year–from 1972 to 1973. In fact, Judy and I were married in Sept. of ‘73 and Wynnewood is where we first lived together as husband and wife. Since moving away, I’ve held 2 meetings at Wynnewood-in 1975 and 1989 (when there was a big snow storm).
“I recall an elderly couple taking their stand for the truth in worship with us. I think their name was Weems. Also an elderly lady took a stand with us, but I can’t remember her name.”
Randy Tidmore also worked with this congregation in the 70s, from August 1978 through July 1980. At the time they moved here, he and Cynthia already had Jessica. Lydia was born at Pauls Valley.
During the 1970s, (in addition to those already mentioned) members and their families worshipping with the Wynnewood congregation included Bill and Glenna Howard, their twins, Martin and Michael, and daughter, Joanna; Hollis Ray and Christine Allen and their boys, Hollis and Joey; Joseph Fields; Raymond and Mary Lamb; Gary and Helen Coberly and Sherri; Leonard Dilbeck, and James and Sharon Hawkins and Jamie.
Improvements to the building during this period included drapes and a new furnace.
Numbers fluctuated as children were born, grew up, married and had their own families. Many moved away to find work. Some came back in the late seventies and throughout the eighties. Some of the ones worshipping at Wynnewood at that time, in addition to those akeady mentioned, included Ray and Barbara Johnson, Ray’s sisters, Barbara and Brenda; Laurie and Dana Pope; Judy and Harold Green; Danny Jones; Bobby and Elva Jones, Bobby Lee and Timothy; and Wilma Wood and her sons, Mike Pope and Tommy Wood.
The decade of the nineteen eighties saw the largest increase in the size of the Wynnewood congregation and later a great decline. As the decade began, the oil boom in this section of the country combined with a recession in other parts of the United States accounted for several families moving here. Later, when the oil bust occurred, it caused families to leave to find work.
At that time, ten local brethren took turns giving lessons. Occasionally, young preachers spoke on a monthly basis. Some of them were Stan Elmore, Jimmy Cutter, Doug Edwards, and Doug Hawkins.
In 1980, Johnny Elmore conducted a meeting in Pauls Valley sponsored by the Wynnewood congregation.
1983 Directory: Curtis and Martha Arms; Gary and Helen Coberly, Sherri and Ricky; Maude Coberly; Arthur and Juanice Cross; Harvey and Mary Frizzell; Lloyd and Faye Green; Yual and Lorean Hammons; Jasper Hawkins; Carroll and Emlie Johnson; Randy and Linda Johnson, Amanda and Rachel; Eula Jones; Raymond and Mary Lamb; Mae Peery; Dr. E. M “Buddy” and Gloria Perkins, Rod and Craig; Paul and June Pope and Allison; Jodie and Myrtle Parks; John and Voncille Shipley; Luther and Margie Shipley; Luther and Laura Shipley, Lana, Luther, and Lisa; and Ethel Walker.
1984 through 1991 saw many changes in the lives of the members due to deaths and families moving to find jobs elsewhere. However, additions filled part of the empty pews and some families moved back. Jon Mackey obeyed the gospel and he and Sherri Coberly married and added Jennifer and Jordan. Randy and Angela Coberly moved here. Their sons, Dalon and Kacee were born in Pauls Valley. Luther Wayne Shipley and Lee Ann Bird married and had their daughter, Leslie, before they moved to Colorado. Raleigh and Inez Perkins moved here from Texas and made a substantial contribution to the work and fellowship of the church before moving back to Texas.
Bobby Joe and Dorothy Shipley moved here in 1985 with their children Christopher, Julie, and Melissa. Hillary was born here.
Sadly, many deaths occurred as well. Following is a partial roster of deaths which we include in loving memory:
Bob Orear and Bruce Roebuck lived here and did personal work in the 1990s.
Besides the ones listed, members and their families attending Wynnewood congregation at various times during the late 1980s and 1990s included: Randy Coberly, Dalon, Kacee, and Cayla; Cleo Cross; Faye Green and her grandchildren, April, Suprina and Daleena; Ira and Ida Hale; Lila Mae Jones and Zona Ann Jones; Maurice Jones; Fred and Denise Lamb, Audra and Aaron; Bob and Betty Orear; Evert and Oletta Roddy; Bruce and Tanya Roebuck and Caitlan (Sam was born about the time they left.); Robert and June Salter; and Wilbum and Myrtle West.
Excerpt from a letter from Bruce Roebuck written November 11, 1997:
“My time of service to the Wynnewood, OK congregation was February 1995 through January 1997. Brother Luther and John Shipley approached me about working there in the fall of ’94. As I recall, the arrangement was for two years. I spoke three Sundays a month and held six(6) meetings a year.
“While there we were able to baptize Aaron Lamb, Julie Shipley, and Ronny Harper. There had been some controversy over the confession. Maurice Jones said that Ervin Waters never even asked her for a confession when he baptized her so I baptized her as well. These are all that come to mind right now. We initiated a radio program that ran for several months as well as a newspaper article that ran while we were there. In addition we had regular studies with several members and nonmembers during our time there.
“We enjoyed meetings with Joe Hisle and Wayne McKamie. In the fall of ’96 Kevin Presley and I conducted a mission meeting in the Prairie View community. Kevin lost his voice just before the meeting began but was able to preach later on in the meeting. The first night alone we had 10 visitors. During the week several others came as well. I suppose the highlight of my tenure was seeing Aaron Lamb obey the gospel and go on to give lessons. I would have liked more time to work with Aaron, but I suppose progress made on his own will be more appreciated.”
In late 2002, repairs and redecoration of the building had just been completed. Refurbishing all the furniture, adding upholstery to the pews, and replacing the carpet updated the nearly 50-year old look, A sound system for the hearing-impaired was installed this year, also.
Following is a list of those who attend Wynnewood Church of Christ in October, 2002. Their families are also listed as well as those shut-ins who are no longer able to attend: Mary Amos; Maurice Jones; Zona Ann Jones; Fred and Denise Lamb and Aaron; Jon and Jennifer Mackey, and children, Shawna, Janae, and Crystal Klassen; Renee Newell; Oletta Roddy; June Salter; James and Audra Scott; Bobby Joe and Dorothy Shipley, Melissa and Hillary; John and Voncille Shipley; Luther Shipley; and Wilbum and Myrtle West.
[This historical account of the Wynnwood congrgation was researched and compiled thanks to our dear belated sister Voncille Shipley.]