Cherokee church celebrates 183 years
The Long Prairie Baptist Church sits along Highway 412 in Kansas, Okla. Members of the church celebrated the 183rd anniversary of the Cherokee church on March 25. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A young boy and girl play marbles at the Long Prairie Baptist Church in Kansas, Okla. The church is a charter church in the Cherokee Baptist Association. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
KANSAS, Okla. – Long Prairie Baptist Church, one of the oldest Cherokee churches within the Cherokee Nation, celebrated its 183rd anniversary on March 25.
“There was a storage building that had all the records, but it burned down some time ago. But from what we can determine it’s about that old,” said Pastor Jesse Glass. “They say it’s older than that, but this is the best they can do to determine that.”
Church officials said the church was established between 1824 and 1829 when Baptist missionary Issac Watt and four teachers came to Oklahoma to build a church. The building was also used as a school for Cherokees. Children attending were taught to read and write in Cherokee and English, using the Bible for reference.
“They (Cherokees parents) wanted to get their children educated and keep them educated,” said Rocky Carroll, a CN citizen who helps with the church’s functions. “So the church was a good place to gather, not just on Sunday or Saturday but during the week.”
In the 1940s, church members placed the one-room church on skids and moved it to its current location along Highway 412 West, on the south end of Daytown Road in Delaware County. The structure of the building remains the same, along with the steeple and the bell.
“I remember how the old folks used to tell me how they got it up there,” church member George Cochran said. “It used to be higher. They made it lower and the ceiling used to be higher, but they made the roof a lot lower here. They used mules to put that bell up there, a team of mules. They were almost lying down, what they used to tell me, when they put that bell up there because it’s so heavy.”
Cochran said his family has been attending the Long Prairie Baptist Church for several years.
A lot of the members who attend today are ancestors of those who originally attended the church when it was first built, including the Glasses, Snells, Mouses and Drywaters.
“It seems that there’s always somebody in the family, a direct member,” Carroll said.
In the 1970s a small room was added to the church so children could attend Sunday school. Approximately a year ago, the inside of the church was vandalized along with the church’s original podium, which the members were able to fix. While most of the inside is new, the original wooden beams and window frames still show and the structure remains the same.
“There’s been a lot of improvements that’s been done here within the last few years,” Cochran said. “The graveyard has gotten bigger and the road has been fixed, before it was just like a wagon trail. So it’s gotten bigger.”
The church also has the original communion goblets that were brought along on the Trail of Tears. An elder member of the church keeps the goblets at home, but members still use the goblets for different occasions.
“They use them at their quarter meetings. They are always here for communion, before baptizings, things such as that,” Carroll said. “It’s not just an artifact they put on display.
“So many of the families never forget the roots of it, the heritage of it,” Carroll added.
Long Prairie Baptist Church has quarterly meetings on the fourth Sunday in January, April, July and October. The church is also a charter member of the Cherokee Baptist Association, and the Constitution of the Cherokee Baptist Sunday School was adopted in 1898 at Long Prairie Baptist Church.
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ᎢᎪᏓ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ.– ᎢᎪᏓ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏩᎦᏴᎵᏴᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎤᎾᎵᎮᎵᏨᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏅᏱ ᎧᎸ ᎯᏍᎩᏦᏁᏏᏁᎢ.
“ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏔᏅᎲᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏕ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᏃᏪᎳᏅ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᎪᏁᎢ. ᎢᎦᏃ ᎬᏩᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᎾᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏴ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗᎢ.” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏗᎦᏘᏯ Jesse Glass. “ᎢᎦᏓᏃ Ꮟ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎪ, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏓ ᎣᎩᏩᏛᎲᎢ.
ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᏅ ᎠᏂᏩᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪᏅᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏁᎳᏚᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪᏐᏁᎳ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᎸᏢ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏠ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᎦᏅᏏᏓ Issac Watt ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎷᏤ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏁᎢᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩᏍᏊ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ. ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᏓᏁᏲᎲᏍᎪ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᏂᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ ᏲᏁᎦ ᏧᏂᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗ,ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᎭᎨᏓ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ (ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᎦᏴᎵᎨ) ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᎧᎲ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Rocky Carroll, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᏗᏓᏟᏐᏗ, ᏝᏙ ᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬᏊ ᎢᎦᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᏂᏠᏔᏅ ᏌᏊ ᎧᏅᏑᎵ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏦᏗ ᎠᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏌᎾᏫᏛᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩ ᏔᎳᏚ ᎤᏔᎾ ᎦᏅᏅᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏦᏍᎪᏦᎢ ᎪᏪᎳ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎠᏍᏛ ᎠᏠᏒ ᎢᎦᎦᏚᎲ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏅᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ. ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᎭᎸᎾ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏛᎢ.
“ᎦᏅᏓᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᎦᏴᎵ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏔᏅ ᎤᎭᎸᎾ,” ᏗᎦᎳᏫᏥᏙ George Glass ᏧᏙᎩᏓ ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎦᎸᎳᏗᏢ ᎨᏒ. ᎡᎳᏗᎨ ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ Ꮎ ᎠᏯᎦᏢ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎡᎳᏗᏝ ᏄᏅᏁᎸᎢ. ᏐᏈᎵ ᏗᏂᎴᏅᎯᏓ ᏚᏅᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎭᎸᎾ ᎤᎾᏔᏅ. ᏗᏂᏅᎬᏮ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᎾᏌᏁᏍᎬ ᎤᎭᎸᎾ ᎢᎦ ᎦᎨᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
George ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᏛᏒ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᏥᏙᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎪᏓ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ Ꮷ.ᎳᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᎪᎯᏓ. ᎤᏙᏓ ᏗᎦᏘᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏓᏁᏟ ᏃᏊ ᏗᎦᏘᏯ.
ᎤᎪᏓ ᏃᏊ ᏥᏓᏂᎳᏫᏥᏙᎰ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏧᏅᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏥᏙᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏧᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲᎢ, ᏗᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᎸᏌᏗ, Snells, ᎠᏂᏥᏍᏕᏥ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎧᏲᏓ.
“ᏅᏫᏍᏙᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏂᎥᏊ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ, ᎾᎿ ᎨᎳ ᎨᏒ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Carroll.
ᎾᏃ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᏥᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᏲᏟ ᎤᏂᏅᏑᎳᏅ ᏧᏂᎾᏫᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏙᏓᏩᏍᎬ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ. ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎩᎶ ᎤᏴᏞ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏲᏍᏔᏅᏁ ᎠᎿᎥ ᎬᏩᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᎵᏣᏙᎲᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏟᏗ ᎦᏍᎩᎳᏗᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏒᎵᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᏁᎸᎢ. ᏂᎦᏓᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏢ ᎨᏒ ᎢᏤᎢ, ᏧᎾᏁᏍᎨᎮ ᎤᏂᏒᏓᎾᎳᏕ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏦᎳᏂ ᏂᏕᎬᏂᏗᏓᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏂᏗᎦᎬᏅᏔᏅ.
“ᎤᎪᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎸᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ George. “ᏧᎾᏓᏂᏐᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏙᏏ ᏙᎦᏓᏂᏌᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᎸᎢ, ᎢᎬᏱ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᎾᏌᏁᏍᏗ ᏧᏫᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏍᏓ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ. ᏃᏊᏃ ᏧᏛᏌ.”
ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏂᎭ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎤᏤᎵ ᎠᎾᏗᏔᏍᎬ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᏈᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᏫᏛᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎨᏥᏱᎳᏫᏛᎲᎢ. ᎤᏔᎾᏯ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎨᎳ ᎤᏍᏆ.ᎪᏙ, ᎢᏳᏓᎵᎭ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎪᎢ.
“ᎩᎿᏙᏗ ᏓᏂᎳᏫᎥ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎪ, ᏱᏙᏛᎾᏓᏬᎢᎴ, ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Carroll. “ᏝᏃ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᎯᏍᏓᏊ ᏲᎩᏝᎰᎢ.
“ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒ Ꮭ ᏳᏅᎨᏫᏍᎪ ᎾᎿᏂ ᏚᏂᎾᏍᏕᏝᏛ, ᎾᎿᏂ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ
ᎢᎪᏓ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎩᏄᏙᏗ ᏓᎾᏠᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩᏁ ᏫᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᎾ, ᎧᏬᏂ, ᎫᏰᏉᏂ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏕᎧᎸᎢ. ᎾᏃ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎫᏍᏛᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏁᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏧᏁᎳ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎢᎪᏓ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ ᏗᎾᏓᏬᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗᎢ.