, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 27, 2014

Haskell church celebrates 75 years

As the Pentecostal revival began to sweep across America in the first decades of the 20th century, a group of believers in Haskell began meeting in private homes for church services. The Martin, Criner and Bolding families took turns in hosting services and prayer meetings for these Christians who were part of the holiness movement. At one time, a tent was set up for revival services in a field across from the Jack Martin home.

By 1937, this group of Pentecostals had grown enough to rent a storefront space in Haskell and called the Rev. and Mrs. Fortenberry to become their first pastors. Under the Fortenberrys, the congregation dedicated its first church building in October 1938. It was located at the corner of West Commercial and North Chickasaw streets.

Their first church building was a simple white clapboard structure with a sanctuary, six small classrooms, a single restroom and a larger meeting space behind the sanctuary. For many years, the WM’s (Women’s Ministry) met every Thursday for devotions and quilting in this meeting room.

In April 1939, the congregation had grown, and many members felt they should enter the Assemblies of God fellowship. A vote was taken and the congregation chose to join the Oklahoma District of the Assemblies of God. The Haskell Assembly of God church was set in order on April 11, 1939.

During the 1940s, the church had several pastors, but in 1953, Lester Black was elected pastor and served for several years, continuing the growth of the church. During these years, the congregation began to outgrow its space in the little white clapboard building.

In 1967, the Rev. Lloyd Winkle with his wife Jolene became pastors of Haskell Assembly of God. The Winkles served the church for 18 years. Under their leadership the church began plans to build a bigger facility. The location at Chickasaw and Commercial would not provide enough land, so Raymond Criner donated a small acreage at the junction of U.S. 64 and Oklahoma 72.

The church raised funds for the new building with bean dinners at the Community Building as well as other efforts. The building at this site was completed in 1969 and was dedicated with a revival meeting. This facility included a sanctuary that seated 120 as well as classrooms, a baptismal, a nursery, kitchen and fellowship hall.  Within a few years, an addition doubled the size of the fellowship hall and added classrooms. The WMs raised the funds for this addition through their quilting and serving dinner for community organizations.

Donald and Cathy Hogue were elected pastors in January 1989. Soon the congregation began plans for an additional expansion of the church as the sanctuary and classrooms reached capacity. The church broke ground for the new sanctuary in the fall of 1996 and dedicated it the following year.

Reach Jonita Mullins at

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.