By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — For the last 50 years, the men at McFarlin United Methodist church have been gathering weekly for breakfast. This week, the men will mark that milestone by offering up a daily breakfast that will feature various speakers.
The McFarlin Men’s Prayer Breakfast began on Easter week of 1963 when male members of the congregation daily shared an early morning breakfast. The following week, staff and laymen decided to have a men’s prayer breakfast each week.
“This is a program that has continued ever since. Today the breakfast includes men from many other churches and denominations in Norman,” Joe Sanders, a member of McFarlin United Methodist Church, said.
This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of continuous meetings, a daily breakfast will be a part of Holy Week events at McFarlin and will feature a daily speaker of different faiths. Speakers include: Monday, the Honorable Bill Hetherington, judge of the Court of Appeals; Tuesday, Mark Wood, M.D.; Wednesday, the Rev Linda Harker, McFarlin United Methodist Church; Thursday, Father James Goins, St. Thomas More University Parish; and March 29, Alan T. Levenson, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Schusterman Professor of Jewish Intellectual and Religious History.
There will be no charge or collection taken during the anniversary breakfast that will be served from 6-6:30 a.m. in Fenn Hall followed by a short 15 to 20 minute program at 6:35 a.m.
“Those wishing to attend and eat breakfast will need to sign-up, indicating the days they will attend so that we can have an adequate amount of food available. Those not desiring breakfast need not sign-up,” Sanders, who has been a member of the McFarlin Men’s Prayer Breakfast for 20 years, said. “This is not restricted to the present membership of the prayer breakfast. All are invited and welcome.”
The only time that the men haven’t gathered for the weekly prayer breakfast, Sanders said, was when the meetings fall on a holiday or the when there was a possibility of inclement weather.
“Fifty years is a long time. Its really kind of an honor. Since I’ve been retired, it gives me a week time period. Every Wednesday morning, I know where I’m going to be. It’s fellowship and a chance to be with other people.” Sanders said. “This has been something that takes a lot of effort to keep going. I would love to see them still going for the 100 anniversary of the church.”
One of the founding members of the McFarlin Men’s Prayer Breakfast, Preston Preston Trimble, is pleased with the way the breakfast has evolved.
“If you live long enough you can to do a lot of things,” Trimble said.
When the McFarlin Men’s Prayer Breakfast first started, Trimble was a lay leader at McFarlin.
“When the kids started coming along I thought they should be exposed to religion. We went to McFarlin because my first wife was a Methodist. As things have evolved, I married a Catholic and I’ve been going to mass at St. Thomas More,” Trimble said. “Christianity should be a search for social justice and I believe that this group has been. We’ve got Baptist, Methodist, the Church of Christ, we have all kinds.”
And, Trimble doesn’t want the group’s name to indicate that women are not allowed to attend weekly meetings.
“It’s been very gratify. It’s like a support group,” Trimble said.
For more information or to sign up for the breakfast, call Sanders 613-0472.
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