Search This Blog

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grace E. Garten (1907-1999) (part 1)

Grace E. Garten, Wesley UMC/OKC
On September 1, 1944, Wesley's program had grown so much that a new employee was decided on to head the growing groups in the church. Grace E. Garten, a public school teacher, was hired as the first full-time Director of Education.

In 1941, an article in the Oklahoman, "Parents Criticized for Books Children Read" (Nov.3,1941;5) she was reported as having spoken to a group on behalf of the Oklahoma Council of Churches as it Religious Education Director.  She urged parents to "have good books available in the home."
Church records note she re-established the 'Junior Church' in 1944 and when the Baker Chapel was built in 1954 this group met in that area.
In 1948 (that year she is listed in a city directory and gives Wesley as her place of employment).
In 1952 there is an article in the Ada Weekly News (Ada, OK) that Miss Garten would be conducting lectures there on Christian Education at the First Methodist Church of Ada.
She would remain at Wesley for many decades and in near retirement years became the official Parish Visitor. She finally retired fully in 1988.
She was well respected, at Wesley and around the state, as Education Director.  She conducted numerous workshops for churches addresses issues and methods to improve their programs.  She was affiliated with Council of Churches education program.
In 1940 she penned a lovely poem, later used in a church devotional booklet:
"What God does not do as God
He does do as man.
For it was through Jesus
That came the redemptive plan.

So God reaches out to the world through me.
Not alone through my Godlikeness
But through my humanity.

For there is a call in the human touch
That lost man understands.
And when the world is brought close to God
'Twill be through human hands."

Grace Garten, 1940.

In the late 1980's she conducted programs for senior centers and other locations bringing along her large collection of crosses.
The frame in the corner is part of a set holding the collection of Grace E.Garten's Crosses.-- Wesley UMC Library, OKC.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Become a Friend of Wesley

A special "Friends of Wesley" group is made of individuals, organizations, and businesses who wish to support the historic preservation of the century old and historically significant Wesley Methodist Church (Wesley United Methodist Church) founded in 1910.

The inspiring windows dating to 1928 honored people significant to local Oklahoma City history but also to the history of Oklahoma Methodism.

The church founding and development was guided by lay people who were leaders in Oklahoma City development in real estate, banking, business, and education.

It stands as a rare remaining example of Methodist Churches in the English Gothic style and as work by a significant early architectural firm.

Donations may be sent to:

Church Treasurer
Wesley United Methodist Church
1401 NW 25th
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma