History of St. Paul Church, Eagletown, Oklahoma

Elijah Butler
Elijah Butler

In 1877, Parson Charles W. Stewart of Doaksville began to hold occasional religious services in the colored settlement at Eagletown, and Saint Paul Presbyterian Church was organized in 1878.

Rev. Charles Copling, a missionary to the Choctaws also conducted an occasional service among the colored people, during the year preceding the organization of the Church.

The elders ordained at the time of organization were Elijah Butler, Primas Richards and Solomon Pitchlyn. In 1885 William Butler was ordained to supply the vacancy, occasioned by the removal of Elijah Butler, and Primas Richards to Lukfata, where they became that year two of the first elders of the Mount Gilead Church. William Butler continued to serve as an elder until 1897, when, as a licentiate of the Presbytery, he became the stated supply of St. Paul and Forest Presbyterian Churches. Shepherd Riley served a number of years as an elder of this Church. Those serving as elders in 1913 are Calvin Burris, Monroe Lewis, George Burris and Adam Lewis.

The ministers serving Saint Paul have been:

Parson Charles W. Stewart 1877 to 1889.
William G. Ogburn 1890 to 1891.
John H. Sleeper 1894 to 1897.
William Butler 1897 to date, 1914.

Rev. William Butler
Rev. William Butler

William Butler, a favorite son and elder of this Church, continuing to serve it acceptably in the pastorate ever since he was made a licentiate in connection with Forest has made a very noble record. He is a pastor who has acquired the art of emphasizing in a very pleasant way the word “come.”

“Oh, come to the Church in the wildwood,
To the trees where the wild flowers bloom;
Where the parting hymn will be chanted,
We will weep by the side of the tomb.
“From the Church in the valley by the wildwood,
When day fades away into night;
I would fain from this spot of my childhood,
Wing my way to the mansions of light.
“Come to the Church in the wildwood,
Oh, come to the Church in the vale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown Church in the vale.”

Flickinger, Robert Elliott. Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, Oklahoma. Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Pittsburgh. 1914

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