Our  Story

How it all Began...

     Willow View 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 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 Courtroom with 30 people in attendance.
     On Sept. 21, 1902, the cornerstone was laid for the First 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 the church grew to 872 members by 1937.

thriving, overcoming tragedy

     In 1946, the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren Church merged. This new denomination was called the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
     On Feb. 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 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.

A new willow view

     In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church merged creating the United Methodist Church. This placed First EUB, renamed Central United Methodist Church in 1968, just one block from Enid First United Methodist Church.  In 1982 plans, were made to relocate the Central congregation to the present location.
     On Feb. 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 United Methodist Church.
     For 18 years, the congregation met in the gymnasium of the new church building 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 time to build the sanctuary that was part of the original plans for the church.
     Construction was completed on the worship center in August 2003 and on the children’s area and new restrooms on Oct. 8, 2004. The new addition included almost 13,000 square feet. It also included state-of-the-art audio, visual and lighting equipment, a 470-seat worship center, a family room, a choir room, six new restrooms, a nursery and children’s department area, a baptistry, a sacristy, and other numerous amenities. This $1.5 million addition was just the latest in Willow View’s quest to make disciples for Jesus.

changing times

       As the years and needs of Willow View members changed, the church diversified its worship styles. In 2005, a second Sunday morning worship service was added, with the Sunday school hour between services. The first service, The Blend, featured a mix of traditional and contemporary music with a choir or praise singers and piano accompaniment. The second service, Oasis, featured contemporary music led by a praise band.
     With gradual but significant growth in the number of families, children and youth attending Willow View, the church facilities were expanded with addition of a two-room portable building for youth, a parking lot expansion, and acquisition of adjacent land along Purdue Avenue.
    When the global Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 prohibited large indoor gatherings for several months, Willow View UMC moved its worship services outside into the church parking lot. Worshippers remained socially distanced in vehicles while music and the message were amplified from a trailer bed.
    In 2022, as the United Methodist Church worldwide began to split over social and theological issues, Willow View members voted to disaffiliate from the UMC.  Willow View then joined the Global Methodist Church in September 2023.
    Willow View Church today holds firm to unchanging biblical truth and holds dear the traditional values of its United Brethren, Methodist and Wesleyan roots.

Be part of our story

     Throughout the more than 100 years of ministry, this church has had more than 1,500 different members. The lives of thousands have been changed, and the Kingdom of God has been strengthened.
     Willow View 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 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. May we be a blessing to future generations as the former generations have been to us.