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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Selected Biographies: Dr. Jack S. Wilkes

One time mayor of Oklahoma City, Dr. Jack S. Wilkes (April 9, 1963 - May 3, 1964)  had served as President of Oklahoma City University from 1957 to 1963. After that, for a year he served as pastor of Wesley Methodist Church at NW 25th and Classen in Oklahoma City.
Jack Wilkes was born in Honey Grove, Texas, on August 5, 1917 and later settled in Oklahoma City.   Wilkes was an ordained Methodist minister, pastoring at various churches including Wesley United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.  He also served as President of Oklahoma City University from 1957 to 1963.

Wilkes ran for Mayor with the backing of the Association for Responsible Government (ARG), an organization promoting efficiency and integrity in City government.  The election was dominated by concerns about metropolitan planning, Urban Renewal and the retention of the Mayor-Council-Manager form of government.

During Mayor Wilkes’ time in office, City government became more centralized and citizens passed a sales tax to buttress the City’s finances.   The City’s Airport Trust received a large grant for improvements at Will Rogers World Airport and over $317 million was committed toward City growth.  The City also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Land Run in 1964.

Mayor Wilkes resigned in May of 1964 to become President of Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.(City of Oklahoma City website and Historic Oklahoma County)

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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