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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Grace Garten (1907-1999 ) part 2

Grace Garten [by V.V.H.]
On August 2, 1988 a special retirement luncheon celebrated the life and legacy of Miss Grace E. Garten in the life of Wesley UMC in Oklahoma City. It was held in the Scarab Room at Oklahoma City University.  Fittingly, the cover of the program read "Amazing Grace!" and included the lines of that well known hymn. (see list of participants in the program below).
Grace was born, according to a biography she typed for her retirement celebration, "on a farm near Piedmont, Okla. and moved to a farm east of Hennessey when I was five years old. I had an older brother and sister who were twins (Alma and Albert). I always said that I was a middle dot in the "five spot", as in dominoes/  With a pair older than me and a pair younger, I was more or less alone.
Growing up on a farm, I learned to do what other farm girls did: milk cows, wash the separator, feed calves and pigs, dress chickens, cook for harvest men and threshers, churn butter, etc.
I heard the Bible read every morning - also had Family Prayer  together each day. I must have heard the Bible read through several times before I left for college.
An old-fashioned one-room rural school called College Corner was where I received my education in grades 1-8. 
I attended a Christian Union country church near my home from early childhood through high school - was active in all youth activities - was given a license to preach while a teenager - also participated in the program of the County Sunday School Conventions which included all Protestant denominations.
I worked my way through high school and college graduating from Oklahoma City University (OCU)with a major in Religious Education and Philosophy, also a major in Education.
Following graduation, I became a teacher in the Oklahoma City School System.
became a Methodist in 1933 when I joined First Methodist Church here in Oklahoma City.
In 1939, I studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.  The remainder of my seminary training was at Garrett, a Methodist College on the campus of Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill.
My first position as Director of Christian Education in a local church was in Dallas, Texas at Tyler Street Methodist Church.
I joined the Wesley Methodist Church staff as Director of Christian Education Sept. 1, 1944 when Dr. Nuell C. Crain was pastor.
1963-1967: was Director at Travis Park Methodist Church, San Antonio
1967-1970: was Director at Crown Heights Methodist Church, Oklahoma City
In July of 1970, when Dr. Blanton was senior pastor, I accepted the invitation to return to Wesley as Christian Education Director - the last 13 years I have served as Parish Visitor.
In addition to this information she also had certifications for specialized Christian education and church work:
"1955 (?) -- Certified Director of Christian Education
1974 -- Consecrated Lay Worker
1977 --Diaconal Minister"

Opening Prayer by Rev. Robert El Parker, Assoc. minister of Wesley UMC
Greetings by Earl Hiller
Music by Rosemary Hiller and Wynema Delp
Words of Remembrance by Rev. Nuell C. Crain (pastor of Wesley from 1944-1957)
Music was "One Alone" from 'The Desert Song'(Romberg) by Wiley Walker, former Choir Director
Words of Appreciation by Martha Ellen White (she was the widow of Pastor Fisher Blanton)
Music was a handbell ensemble number by G. Kingsley called "Popcorn".  Pat Crigler directed the ensemble whose members were: Paula Lauffer, Annette McEwen, Debbie Neitzel, Charlotte Teel, Leeann Brewer, Cheryl Davis.
Music by the First Service Choir of Teel's "For Six and Forty Years". Choir members were Pam Daniel, Cheryl Davis, Peter Onema, Cathy Roberts, Mary Sheets, Dana Parker, John and Kathi Spitler, David and Wanda Hoke, Chris and Nan Radke, Charlotte Teel and David Disbrow accompanying.
Words of Love were offered by Dr. Robert L. Allen, pastor of Wesley
Words of New Beginning were offered by Grace E. garten
Closing by Earl Hiller was an invitation to stay and visit with Grace
Closing music was congregational singing of "Amazing Grace"

The committee charged with putting together the honoring event included Elliot Fenton, Tom Blundell, Dannye Newberry, Robert Ramee, Charlene Culbertson, Gleen Mears, Earl and Rosemary Hiller, Madalyne Allen, Bob McKown and Bob Sheets.

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

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1401 NW 25th
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma