We exist to be a beacon for God offering spiritual opportunity and service to those in need.
First United Methodist Church of Chandler
Monday, October 23, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

The old woden church building
Almost unique among cities in the United States, Chandler was settled by its own land run.  On Sept. 28, 1891 five thousand would-be citizens took their starting places at various sites outside city boundaries.  At noon a gun was fired and the great land run was off.  Dusk found people camped out on their new land and starting to build the town.
 
At first it was primitive - nothing more than a collection of tents and shanties.  Even before it was settled that day the county seat of Lincoln County had been named 'Chandler' for George Chandler, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior.  He'd been responsible for setting the boundaries and mapping the city and the county.
 
Bricks began to replace canvas and soon the town had three drugstores, two bakeries, five dry good stores, three lumber yards, five doctors, ten lawyers, ten saloons and several churches.  Built in the city's main business district (10th and Steele), the Chandler Methodist Episcopal Church embarked on its journey into Chandler's history beginning December 1,1891. 
 
All of this came to an abrupt halt, however, on March 30, 1897 when most of the town was literally wiped out by a cyclone.  Many lives were lost and the only building left standing was the Presbyterian Church that became a temporary hospital.
 
The same cyclone destroyed the wooden structure of the Chandler Methodist Episcopal Church.  Faithful members rebuilt another frame building on the same site.  In 1918, construction of a large brick church with beautiful stained glass windows - some dedicated to church members who lost their lives in World War 1 - was completed.  Its generous fellowship hall has always been a welcoming place for all kinds of community events.
 
By 1907 when statehood came to Oklahoma, Chandler had rebuilt - many buildings using native stone and bricks made at a local factory.  Cotton was the county's top crop and for years the Oklahoma National Guard held their summer encampment in what is now Tighlman Park.
 
Chandler has never been a boom town and has known both depression and prosperity.  Over the years the city has shipped cotton, fruit, and cattle to points far away, been named the "pecan capitol of the world" and enjoyed nearby oil discoveries.  
 
Today Chandler is preserving its past and looking forward to its future.  Route 66 that bisects the town brings commerce and tourism from across the nation.  And the old native rock armory is now the Route 66 Interpretive Center, which opened in conjunction with the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Celebration, and is complete with history museum, gift shop and community center.
 
Chandler's storied history contributes to its current vitality and it continues to be a steady and friendly place to live, work, and worship.  And the Chandler Methodist Church will continue to be called what one of its early-day preachers had printed on its letterhead in 1918, "a friendly church on a convenient corner."
 
By: Jan and Paul Vassar, March 2007 (rev. 11/2011) 
 
 
 
1909 Sunday School
 
1922 United Methodist Women
 
1941 Wesleyan Class Party
 
1960s' Church Choir