Marietta's First United Methodist Church History


Marietta, Oklahoma was established in 1887 when the Santa Fe railroad was built through the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory and made the present site of Marietta a stop for water. At statehood on November 16, 1907, Marietta became the County seat Love County Oklahoma.
As the town grew Union services were held in a 30 by 30 foot frame building located on the south side of East Main Street. Soon after, the Methodist Church in Marietta was established. The church was part of the red River circuit of the Methodist Indian Mission. Circuit preachers had ministered to the people living in the older area communities and had set up churches there.
In 1892 the first Methodist Church and a parsonage were built by George Fraer and his brother, Jimmy, under the supervision of the church trustees, R. H. Walker, A. G. M. Lay, N. G. Decherd, J. A. White, J.W. Holland and C. H. Knight.  The lots were bought from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations at a cost of $101.25. These were Lots 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Block 9 on the N.W. corner of N. W. 2nd and West Broadway. The parsonage, built after the church was completed, faced Front Street.
The Indian Mission of the Methodist Church was abolished in 1906 and the church became a part of the Oklahoma Methodist Episcopal Church South.
In April of that year, lots 7and 8 of Block 9 were sold to the Smith Fraley Lumber Co. for $1500 and the church building was moved to the 400 block of S. W. third  on the East side of the street at the corner of W. Creek Street. A parsonage was built south of the church and at this writing still stands as a private residence.
On Sunday, August 18, 1950, ground was broken at a ceremony in the 600 block of West Main Street for a new church building. L. C. Summers, Pastor, began the ceremony which was attended by two former pastors. The next pastor to serve, Sanford Wylie Sr. helped member tear down the old church building and the lumber was used in the new church. A brick building was erected with in a few months.  The old pews were used until new ones were purchased as memorials, with inscribed plates. The old pews were donated to a county church. The new chu4rch was built on Lots 2 and 3 of Block 30.
In 1956 the north 90 feet of Lot 1 Block 30 was purchased from the R. E. Cartwright  family. Also in 1956, Lot 2 and part of Lot 1 of Block 4, at 506 W. Mill Street was purchased from V. J. and Meda Bonner. The old parsonage was sold to W. F. Mauldin after the new brick parsonage was completed.  The parsonage was built by Walon Holt, a church member who also was the carpenter on the new church building.
In 1960 the south 50 feet of Lot1, adjoining the church was purchased from the Ralph Tullio family.  In the 60’s rooms and a chapel were built onto the west end of the building. The chapel was dedicated to Walter Gilliam, long time Methodist minister and Love County native.
In recent years the eastern lots on the block were purchased by the church. Improvements made in recent years have been new windows in the western part of the building and stained glass added to the original windows in the sanctuary and fellowship hall, these were done as memorials or in honor of members, by embers of the church and others.
The Methodist Episcopal Church South became the Methodist Church in 1939 and was changed to the United Methodist Church in 1968 when it was joined by tow other denominations.
Laquitta  Ladner , Historian
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