The old black cart in a church’s maintenance closet didn’t look particularly special, but a few details caught the eye of the preacher viewing it for the first time.
The Rev. Lesly Broadbent discovered the vintage cart during one of his recent strolls around First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City, 131 NW 4.
By reading a plaque on the front of the ornate cart, Broadbent learned that it had been used for the church’s Sunday school for disabled children, which was an outreach of the church’s “Crippled Children’s Hospital,” a forerunner of what is now The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.
As the downtown church’s new senior pastor, Broadbent said he has unearthed such tidbits of history on a daily basis since he arrived in June.
He loves it.
“The first thing I did, I just started opening doors. Those kind of hidden treasures are found all throughout this church,” Broadbent said during a recent interview.
The former Enid pastor and the Rev. Matthew Mitchell were each assigned by Bishop Jimmy Nunn to lead two of the metro area’s more prominent Methodist churches. Nunn is leader of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Broadbent took the helm of the church informally called “First Church,” known for its proximity to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and having sustained significant damage in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. The church is known for outreach programs for the homeless and activities held in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
Mitchell is the new senior pastor of United Methodist Church of the Servant, 14343 N MacArthur, one of the largest United Methodist churches in Oklahoma known for its large complex at 14343 in far northwest Oklahoma City with contemporary flourishes, several worship services and numerous outreach programs.
Both ministers already have immersed themselves into the life of their respective churches.