The Indian Missionary Conference was organized and established in 1844 at Riley’s Chapel near Tahlequah in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. The membership was composed of a few white Missionaries and Indian Preachers. Membership in local congregations was greatest among the Cherokees, followed in number by the Choctaws and Creeks.
At the time of the Louisville Conference the Indian Mission Conference became identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and continued to function as an Annual Conference for the next 62 years.
In 1906, at Tulsa, Indian Territory, the Indian Mission Conference ceased to exist, and become a part of the Annual Conference of Oklahoma.
The Indian Mission (not a conference) was re-established in 1918 to serve “distinctly Indian congregations” in Oklahoma and, since union, was known as the Indian Mission of Oklahoma. Until the General Conference o 1972 at Atlanta, Georgia, the Oklahoma Indian Mission had the status of a District Conference with the structure of an Annual Conference, and was under the guidance of the Oklahoma Conference.
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, in 1972, made it possible for the Indian Mission to become a “Missionary Conference”, because of its: “… particular mission opportunities, its limited membership and resources, its unique leadership requirements, its … language considerations, and ministerial needs.” (¶659, Book of Discipline)
This move enabled the newly established Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference to license and ordain its own ministers and officially function as an Annual Conference.
The boundaries of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference have extended to include six congregations in Kansas and Texas.