This is the story not of the end of a life, but of a life well-lived.
Dr. Denver R. Q. Callahan kept the faith and finished his course Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Dr. Callahan was born July 7, 1926 at Sallisaw, OK, the son of William and Willie (Saylors) Callahan, who preceded him in death. Denver was the fifth child of seven children, six of whom preceded him in death: Flora Wesson, Fresno, CA; Barney Callahan, Sallisaw, OK; Aaron Callahan, Keefeton, OK; Nadine Boston, Bakersfield, CA. He has one living sister, Carol Ivey. Carol and her husband, Larry, reside in Marysville, CA.
Denver met his wife, Charlean Roberts from Peoria, AZ, when he was youth pastor in Pinedale, CA. The young couple married in Pinedale and finished their schooling together. Denver went on later to earn his Doctorate of Ministry.
Dr. Callahan has three children: Denver L. and wife, Carol, Marshfield, MO, Rodney and wife, Letitia Callahan, Muskogee, Robin Callahan, Muskogee. He also has seven grandchildren: Brandon Callahan, Darla Tate, Crystal Seabolt, Derek Callahan, Andrea Jones, Jared Callahan, and Preston Callahan. Dr. Callahan has 14 great-grandchildren.
Dr. Callahan began his pastoral ministry in Sultana, CA, while he was in his early twenties. Later, he planted a church in Sunnyslope, AZ. He also served as the Youth Director for the state of AZ with the Pentecostal Church of God. Dr. Callahan and his wife, Charlean, then moved to and pastored in Paris and Alma, AR, before accepting the pastorate of the K Street Pentecostal Church of God in Muskogee in 1962. At this church, he started a large daycare and later built a new building on D and Independence known as Grace Cathedral. It was at this location that he also founded Pentecostal Academy Center, a Christian school.
After outgrowing this facility, the church purchased property on Peak Blvd. and build Grace Cathedral which is now known as Oasis Community Church.
After 29 years of successful ministry with this congregation, Dr. Callahan spent the next five years working with the Pentecostal Church of God in the education field traveling throughout five different states. He also ministered throughout the years in South Africa, Ghana, Russia, and 27 other foreign countries building schools, putting in water wells, and starting churches. He also led many trips to the Holy Land. In addition, Dr. Callahan was a respected minister for camp meetings, minister’s retreats, youth camps, marriage retreats, men’s seminars and educational and Bible conferences in the United States.
In 1997, a need was presented to him for another ministry in Muskogee. Moving forward in that vision, Abiding Life Fellowship was birthed. He spent the next 17 years serving and ministering to this congregation. He resigned the church in the summer of 2013 with his final service at Abiding Life on Sept. 3, 2013.
Though his pastoral ministry was a vital part of his life, Dr. Callahan was also a loving and dedicated family man. He was always at the heart of family activities from trail rides to ski trips, from camp-outs to family dinners, from pontoon boat church services to cruises. Any day could be a holiday if he could share it with his family. He was the beloved heart of that family in the hearts of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Over the years, Dr. Callahan and his wife ministered to and touched the lives of many people, many of whom would consider themselves part of the Callahan family. Many people today credit his love, kindness, and personal investment in their lives with their relationship with the God he served. He was a kind and generous leader and mentor, investing consistently in the lives of those God placed in his life.
Dr. Callahan left a special mark on his community and his church. He served for over 25 years as Muskogee Police Chaplain. When the Murrell Building bombing took place in Oklahoma City, he was a first responder. Among the many honors he received, was receiving a key to the city from the city of Muskogee.
His was a life well-lived.
In his memory, funeral services for Dr. Callahan will be held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Oasis Community Church. Officiating will be Denver Lee Callahan, Clifford Waterman, Clyde Hess, and Jared Callahan. Pallbearers will be Derek Callahan, Brandon Callahan, Jared Callahan, Preston Callahan, Michael Tate, Dustin Jones, and Eddy Seabolt. Honorary pallbearers are Rev. Leon McDowell, Rev. Leo Potts, Rev. Ed Whitley, Rev. William Armstrong, Rev. Edward Cunningham, and Rev. James Burnsworth. Burial will be in Greenhill Cemetery under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home of Muskogee. There will be a family visitation time at Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home Friday, April 25, from 6 - 8 P.M.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Fincher for the excellent care he gave our father over the years and especially during his last hospital stay.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…” 2 Timothy 4:7,8.