Friday, June 1, 2018

Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian History


This is a history in the making.  It was written in short segments over almost 2 decades, some parts having more life to them than others.  At some point, a historian needs to put everything into coherent form up to a certain date, perhaps 2025 or 2030, applying all the rules of historical writing that are included here--in what are truly first and second drafts of history.  Their context is short-term.

A second point here is that the pastor should not normally be the historian.  Someone who will transcend the terms of multiple pastors, knows the history of the denomination and the local community, is exceptionally literate, and has a heart for history is the preferred choice.  Some congregations may be blessed to have this person.  Others may find the search long and arduous, but note, the return on investment is fantastic. 
Elmo Guthrie

Elmo Guthrie was that person for the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church for much of this church body’s life.  Tom Spence has been the historian since early this century.  There are gaps in coverage and recording, but a genuine effort to present the character of this local group of believers has prevailed.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Burns Flat, Oklahoma 73624

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.    Matthew 5:14-16

History is the recording of past events and experiences.  This history was originally compiled by Elmo Guthrie in the early 1990's.  While there may be a few gaps in this history and some accounts less precise than desired, the story it tells is clearly one of faithfulness.  This is a church with humble beginnings that grew to its present size based on faith alone and one that believes that we are just getting started to do God's work in our community and beyond.

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