Monthly Archives: September2019

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The next Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) immersion experience will be held March 11-15, 2020.

The event features site visits to important historical locations within the OIMC as well as interaction with Native leaders and panels on critical issues facing Indian Country.

Registration will be open on November 1, 2019 through the OIMC web site at www. oimc-umc.org. A block of rooms will be available at the Best Western Saddleback Hotel and Conference Center.
The cost for the event is $225.00 per person, which includes meals and the transportation and materials. For more information, contact the Rev. David Wilson at Dwilson@oimc.org.

IMG_1449“The Giving of Ourselves” was the theme for the 175th session of The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, held June 6-8 at the Northeast Region Center at Preston, Oklahoma.  The conference on the importance of hospitality among Indigenous peoples around the world and how OIMC has worked to provide that hospitality to many.

As a part of the recognition of 175 years as an Indian Methodist Conference, delegates recognized the  200th anniversary of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. According to the General Commission on Archives and History, the Methodist quarterly conference licensed John Stewart a “missionary pioneer” in 1818 on lands “allotted to” the Wyandotte by the US government. The following year, the Ohio Conference established an official mission to the Wyandotte. Stewart’s work and example inspired the formation of The Methodist Missionary Society in 1820.

Wyandotte Chief Billy Friend was present to bring greetings and share that history and connection with the United Methodist Church.

The conference brought attention to two areas where Native Americans have been impacted including the recognition of the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women in this country.  The conference heard of young women connected to OIMC who are still missing.

The conference was asked to form a task force to look into the recent news that Ft. Sill Military Base may be housing immigrant children who are unaccompanied.

Bethel Hill, one of the oldest churches in OIMC received the One Matters Award from Discipleship Ministries which recognizes churches that are making movement in professions of faith in growth.

Delegates elected two clergy delegates to represent OIMC at General and Jurisdiction Conferences in 2020. David Wilson and Eli McHenry were elected as clergy and Anne Marshall and Josephine Deere were elected as laity representatives.

One Elder was ordained at the conference and two were received as licensed local pastors.


Perkins-squareLocal pastors and Lay Missioners in Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) will have an opportunity to experience a satellite Course of Study School that will be held in the boundaries of OIMC.

Through collaboration with Perkins School of Theology and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, OIMC will offer a satellite Course of Study class beginning in March of 2020.

The Satellite school is one of the ways that OIMC is working to interest part-time and full-time local pastors in ministry.unnamed

Two courses will be offered each year and OIMC clergy and lay persons will teach the courses. The courses are offered for one Saturday for three months in the spring and in the fall.

“This is one of the ways that we are working to be creative to help our local pastors to obtain the classes necessary for the eventual ordination process in OIMC,“ said the Rev. David Wilson, OIMC superintendent.

“These classes will help our bi-vocational pastors take care of classes when they have limited time off work.”

Wilson says the satellite courses give indigenous context of tribal culture and leverages the vast knowledge of the OIMC Native American faculty.




OIMC19_SaveTheDate logoPreparations are being made for the 2019 Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Gala, scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 2019 at the Reed Center in Midwest City. The Gala and silent auction is in its fifth year; proceeds from the event support Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) permanent endowment for pastoral leadership.

“The Gala is important because it celebrates the heritage and lives of Native Americans and proclaims a future filled with hope for the churches and people of the OIMC,” Bishop Jimmy Nunn, episcopal leader of the Oklahoma Conference and the OIMC.

“We have made great progress over the past eight years,” said the Rev. David Wilson, OIMC superintendent. The Gala averages about $90,000, which includes table sales, sponsors and the silent auction. The endowment has grown to approximately $2.3 million which is generating permanent funds for the yearly OIMC budget, according to Wilson.

“We remain so thankful to the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma who provides the seed money to pay for the venue and meal. Everything we make is clear profit for the endowment.”  In addition, the Chickasaw Nation donated $100,000 to the endowment.

“The OIMC does much ministry with little, and this is a way to be a part of healing the world,” said Craig Stinson, OIMC supporter and donor. “It’s about more than giving, but the Gala makes it fun to give.”

Brent Greenwood, Chickasaw Artist and member of the OIMC will do a live painting during the Gala which will be auctioned off at the end of the program. Former Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr. will be the auctioneer. Silent auction items include original artwork, sports memorabilia, hotel stays and more.

“In the long run, the additional revenue will enable the conference to raise the base salary of full-time OIMC pastors,” Wilson said. Full-time clergy in OIMC are the lowest paid in The United Methodist Church in this country. The base salary for a full time Elder in OIMC is $32,460.

Sponsorships for the event are available. Tables are $1,000 for eight persons and individual seats are $125.00. Invitations to the fifth OIMC Gala will be mailed out in September.

The Rev. David Wilson, OIMC superintendent, provides a check to Dixie Swearingen, superintendent of Webber Falls Public Schools on August 29, 2019.

The Rev. David Wilson, OIMC superintendent, provides a check to Dixie Swearingen, superintendent of Webber Falls Public Schools on August 29, 2019.

The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) contributed $5,000 from its disaster response fund on Aug. 29, 2019 to Webbers Falls Public Schools. The school, serving 300 students in grades K-12, was submerged in water after historic floods in May. The water destroyed classroom materials, books, desks, chairs and other teaching materials.

“While visiting family nearby Webber Falls, I learned in a news report that the insurance for the school would only cover about half of what they needed,” said the Rev. David Wilson, OIMC conference superintendent. He says the Webber Falls School enrollment is about 55 percent Cherokee students and in the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. Officials had to pushed back the school start date to Sept. 9 due to the clean-up efforts.

“It is such a joy to be able to share the resources of The United Methodist Church with persons and places who need support,” said Wilson.

Webbers Falls is an historic Cherokee community and is located right by the Arkansas river which engulfed almost the entire town. In addition to the financial donation, the United Methodist Committee on Relief shipped hundreds of school kits to the Webber Falls schools earlier this summer.