|Churches are always
celebrating something... an anniversary, a dedication, a new pastors
arrival, the ground-breaking for a building. Church members plan
for weeks or sometimes months in advance for the ceremonies.
This Sunday. The Big Cabin Methodist
Church Is having a celebration that has been planned for fifty years.
August 18th, 2002. The First United
Methodist Church of Big Cabin will host an unusual and historic event.
They will not only observe the anniversary of their sanctuary, but they
will open a time capsule that was placed in the building's cornerstone
50 years ago.
It is not surprising that the members
of this church had the foresight to include such an intriguing piece of
history when they build the new building. They are a history loving
group and have pride in their story.
And what a great story it is. When
this part of Oklahoma was still Indian Territory, a small group of
devout Methodists organized and held services in a small house in
downtown Big Cabin.
Later, a generous Methodist layman
named George Trout donated land for a church building. In 1909 a
lovely wood frame church was constructed.
It had decorative features that must
have been awe-inspiring to the early settlers. A bell, a spire. and
colored glass windows added to the beauty of the church.
For forty-three years this little
white church served as a meeting house for Christian fellowship. It was
also a beacon of hope and haven for the lost, as new members were always
The pastors who served during this
time were often circuit riders from Adair, Afton, or Ketchum. They rode
the train into town and spent the night at the Colonial Hotel or with
families in town.
Church records mention a glorious
revival on a spring day in May of 1922. Forty-eight new members were
baptized in Rock Creek amidst great joy and song.
Despite the beauty and history of the
old church, members decided that a new building was needed and the
church was replaced with a new brick building in 1952. The members.
aware of the historic significance of the change,
placed several items in a time capsule in the cornerstone of the new
Today, this brick church has been
serving the Methodist community for fifty years and a celebration is in
order. Following the services at 11:30 and a luncheon at 1:30. the
cornerstone will be opened to reveal the contents of the time capsule.
Big Cabin resident Sam Yeoman was a
small boy in 1952 and remembers that the men volunteered their labor to
build the new church and the women brought big dinners and served the
men on outdoor tables.
"I remember the bell in the tower
of the old church," Mr. Yeoman reminisced. "It seemed so tall,
It really made an impression on me.* The bell was moved from the old
church into the new one, along with many memories.
The Methodists of Big Cabin have a
milestone to celebrate this Sunday, A past rich in history and a
future full of hope and glory.
Notes:Thanks to Mrs. Arthie Gilmore
for her assistance in this column. Acknowledgement to Mr. O.B.
Campbell for historical records.
By Kathleen Dunchamp, Vinita Daily
Journal, Aug 12, 2002