The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 23, 2013

Rich in history

Enid Mennonite Brethren has a long tradition of providing activities and assistance in region

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid Mennonite Brethren Church is one of the oldest churches in Enid, with more than 110 years in its history.

The current church at 2500 N. Van Buren is involved in a number of community programs, as well as teaching its youth about the Bible.

Forgotten Ministries is one of the groups in which the church is involved. Each month, members of the congregation are active in Forgotten Ministries’ efforts to serve meals to residents in the area around Don Haskins Park near St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. The meals and clothing giveaways at those events reach a number of low-income individuals.

The church also has adopted Monroe Elementary School, assisting with the winter carnival and pooling resources to provide coats, hats and caps to low-income students who attend the school.

Enid Mennonite Brethren church has assisted with an annual backpack giveaway at Crosslin Park along with a number of other churches in the north area of Enid. That is in conjunction with the large backpack giveaway at Government Spring Park that involves other Enid churches. The crowd at Crosslin Park totaled between 1,000 and 1,500 last year.

They also regularly offer nationally known motivational speaker Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at the church, said associate pastor Chris Regier.

The church’s AWANA program also is part of Mennonite Brethren Church. The program involves Bible training and memory work for youths through fifth grade. Those kids learn Bible verses and recite them to volunteers and teachers. It also includes games and a way to learn practical life lessons from the verses.

“It makes them familiar with God’s work,” Regier said.

There are various denominations of Mennonites, Regier said. Mennonite Brethren are not married to the conservative dress and hairstyles as are some denominations. Those are often confused with Amish, Regier said.

The church usually has between 260 and 280 in attendance on Sunday mornings, and Regier put the actual church membership at more than 300.

The Mennonite Brethren understanding of God comes from the Bible. Members believe Jesus calls the people of the church to live in community (being), to serve God and others (doing) and to communicate to the world that God reigns over everything (telling). Their Mennonite Brethren beliefs can be condensed into those three ideas, according to a Mennonite Brethren website.