Willow View United Methodist Church has a long and storied history. From the beginning days before statehood, to a devastating fire, through two denominational mergers, and to a relocation Willow View United Methodist Church is a dynamic church, seeking to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
In 1902 the United Brethren Church began its work in Oklahoma centering on Oklahoma City and Enid. C.E. Heisel was the first pastor appointed to Enid and he later became the Conference Superintendent. The first meeting of the Enid United Brethren Church occurred on June 1, 1902 in the Garfield County Court Room with 30 people in attendance.
On September 21, 1902 the cornerstone was laid for the First Evangelical United Brethren Church located at Maple and Boulevard Streets. After only 3 1/2 years those first 30 people had grown to over 150.
In 1924 the first church building was sold and a new church building, located at the corner of Maple and Jefferson, was dedicated. After the new church was built enormous growth took place. In 1923 the membership stood at 248 but grew to 872 members by 1937.
In 1946 the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren Church merged. This new denomination was called the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
On February 23, 1951 tragedy struck. The church was almost completely destroyed by fire. Plans soon were underway to repair and rebuild the destroyed structure and in October of 1953 the new church building was dedicated. The former church was converted to an education wing. The church continued to thrive and in fact was the largest and most successful EUB church in Oklahoma.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century First United Brethren and later First Evangelical United Brethren was two times larger than the next largest church in Oklahoma of the same denomination. Annual Conference was held a number of times in this church’s facilities. This church was the hallmark church of the conference.
In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church merged creating the United Methodist Church. This placed First EUB, renamed Central UMC in 1968, just one block from Enid First UMC. This and other factors caused a serious decline in attendance and membership of Central UMC. In 1982 plans were made to relocate to the present location.
On February 24, 1985 just less than 100 people proceeded in caravan to the new church. First United Brethren, First Evangelical United Brethren, and Central UMC had now become Willow View UMC.
For eighteen years the church met in the gymnasium of the church using a portable stage and portable pews. After years of taking down the stage, pews, and other elements used in worship the church decided it was now time to build the sanctuary, which was part of the original plans for the church.
Construction began in March of 2002. The construction was completed on the worship center in August of 2003 and on the children’s area and new restrooms on October 8, 2004. The new addition includes almost 13,000 square feet. It also includes a state of the art audio, visual, and lighting control room, a 470-seat worship center, a cry room, a choir room, six new restrooms, a nursery and children’s department area, a baptistery, a sacristy, and other numerous amenities. This $1.5 million addition is just the latest in Willow View’s quest for making disciples for Jesus.
Throughout the more than 100 years of ministry there have been over 1,500 different members. The lives of thousands have been changed and the Kingdom of God has been strengthened.
Willow View United Methodist Church is certainly more than a building as it has been throughout its history, but the various buildings are a symbol of the various ministries, the importance of this church, and the number of souls saved.
Today we stand on the shoulders of those first 30 people of Enid First United Brethren Church who met in the Garfield County Courtroom in 1902. Today we stand on the shoulders of those over 1,500 former members. Today we stand on the shoulders of those faithful disciples of Jesus as we strive to be and make disciples for Jesus in the next 100 years of ministry at Willow View United Methodist Church. May we be a blessing to future generations as the former generations have been to us