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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wesley's "Mr. History" : Dr. N.L. George

Dr. Norvil L. GEORGE – Norvil L. George (N.L. George) was a “school man, a capable and experienced writer and a faithful and loyal member of Wesley Methodist Church.”[1]  George  was born in Manchester and moved to Oklahoma City in 1941 becoming Business Manager of Oklahoma City Schools and in 1948 he became Assistant Superintendent of the Oklahoma City Schools. He had previously served as superintendent for Geary and Duncan schools.   
He attended the University of Oklahoma, Peabody University and received his doctorate  from Columbia University in 1948.  He wrote numerous articles for school publications, became a nationally recognized expert in his specialized field of schools and grounds. A 43 year member of the Rotarians, he wrote a history of the Rotary Club in Oklahoma.
He retired from the Oklahoma City Schools in 1968 and died suddenly of a heart attack on February 14, 1979. Norvil, his wife Ida and daughter Elaine joined Wesley and became active in the affairs of the church.  George served as Sunday School teacher, chair of the Administrative Board, member of the Board of Trustees and the Perpetual Trust Fund Board, and chair of the History and Policy Committee.

In this latter role he spearheaded the 1976 history of the church contained in a 40 page book, "The Dynamic History of a Forceful Church."

[1] Dr. Norvil L. George. Obituaries and Memorials file. Wesley UMC Archives.  His obituary appeared in the Oklahoman on February 15, 1979.  Marion R. Baker described him in a eulogy of September 27, 1990 that may have been intended for a church history column of the church newsletter.  It was encapsulated in plastic with a copy of the newspaper obituary.

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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.

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