History, Part 12 - The Westminster Fellowship
During the early days of our Church, the young people's group was very small but active. They were organized as the "Christian Endeavor", and held regular meetings and took part in Sunday School programs and projects.
No written records as to the officers of the organization exist prior to 1931. In October of that year the Intermediate Christian Endeavor of "Tri-C's" was established. The first Tri-C's consisted of seven members. Before the year was over the membership had grown to sixteen with an average attendance of about thirteen. Officers were: president, Trimble Latting; vice-president, Alice Cary; and secretary, Alta Mae Cowling.
Records tell us that the 1935-36 Christian Endeavor was very active in church work. At this time the Chickasha Christian Endeavor was the only group in the El Reno-Hobart Presbytery that was using the Board's suggestion about a Youth Budget Plan. They took great pride in this accomplishment.
From 1940 to 1943, two societies known as the Pioneers (junior high) and the Tuxes (high school) were very active. Mrs. Arthur Nunnery and Miss Nellie Waterman, respectively, were sponsors of these groups. Mission programs, and inspirational camps and conference were all a part of the youth program.
In 1943, Westminster Fellowship was established as the official organization of all Presbyterian young people from 12 through 23 years of age.
A member of the local Fellowship, Gene Huff, Jr., was one of the Presbyterian representatives from the United States to the World Christian Youth Conference at Oslo, Norway, in 1947. The same summer Lila May Pittenger was the delegate from Chickasha to the Westminster Fellowship National Assembly held at Grinnell, Iowa. In 1948, she represented Oklahoma Synod at the Westminster Fellowship National Council meeting in Hanover, Indiana.
By 1947-48, the group had grown to over thirty members. The group sponsored projects, such as a box supper, to help raise money for material to redecorate an old basement room. They remodeled the room themselves with the help of their sponsor, Reverend William Mitchell.
The present officers for the Westminster Fellowship are senior high: Erma Jean Kees, Moderator; and Lewis Flagler, Vice Moderator; junior high: Carol Ann Jones and Barney Lowe. During the past year, these groups have been active in presenting special worship programs; attending Presbytery and Synod rallies, camps and conferences; conducting a visitation program and Youth Budget canvass; producing a play; and finishing the Westminster Fellowship room. This summer the group has elected Johnny Clement to be their delegate to the National Assembly to be held in Grinnell, Iowa.
The idea of Westminster Fellowship is that a living fellowship can be established among all the young people of the Church. It is a point of view which includes all phases of the church's work with young people--worship, study, work, and friendship--. The purpose behind the idea is to help all young people to discover God's will for their lives and to do it.