Worship is at 11 a.m. Sundays, at 2301 NE 23rd, Oklahoma City: Here!

SERMONS BY PASTOR RICHARD MIZE

A WELCOME FROM PASTOR MIZE

Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Oklahoma City has a rich legacy, especially in the area of race relations and in the work for racial justice.
The church building at 2301 NE 23rd was built in 1945 as Creston Hills Presbyterian Church. By the late 1950s, white flight, as a reaction to school desegregation, had decimated the congregation.
Meanwhile, an all-black church, Bethany Presbyterian at NE 3 and Geary Avenue — land now under the on-ramp to Interstate 235 just east of Deep Deuce — was struggling because African-Americans were moving north. Bethany had recently merged with Mt. Moriah Presbyterian Church.
Both Bethany and Creston Hills were struggling amid upheaval in their neighborhoods. Creston Hills wanted to move or disband. The Washita Presbytery, precursor to the present Indian Nations Presbytery, considered it but ultimately rejected the idea.
In 1960, under the close hand of the presbytery, the churches came together in a merger to become the first formally integrated church in Oklahoma, Bethany-Creston Hills Presbyterian Church. The next year, it took a new name, Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Trinity pastors and lay people have always been active in race relations and efforts, formal and informal, to bring people together in the name of Jesus Christ.
Like so many congregations, Trinity is a lot smaller than it used to be. It is now largely African-American but still integrated. I think that Trinity’s legacy in bringing races together is also its exciting potential and future.
It was in 1960, the year of Trinity Presbyterian’s birth, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said something that, incredibly, is still true today:
“I think it is one of the tragedies of our nation, one of the shameful tragedies, that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hours, in Christian America. I definitely think the Christian church should be integrated, and any church that stands against integration and that has a segregated body is standing against the spirit and the teachings of Jesus Christ, and it fails to be a true witness.”
Amen. If you go to church, keep going. If not, you’re welcome at Trinity. We’d love to see you.
If you’ve quit church for some reason, we can give you some reasons to come back. Trinity Presbyterian’s integrated light still burns bright after 56 years.
–Rev. Richard Mize
ABOUT THE PASTOR

Rev. Richard Mize, is a bivocational minister ordained in the United Church of Christ and serves as half-time pastor of Trinity Presbyterian as a Temporary Member of the Indian Nations Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), under the Formula of Agreement.

He has standing in the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the UCC and also is an Ordained Ministerial Partner in the Oklahoma Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is a former pastor (half-time) of Carrier Congregational Church in Carrier, Okla., from August 2013 to March 2015. He has supplied pulpits in UCC, DOC and PCUSA churches.

He has edited The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com’s weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked for the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas, as a crime reporter, then general assignment reporter, farm-ranch-agribusiness editor, regional editor and city editor.

Mize grew up on a farm and cow-calf ranch in Sequoyah County and attended Muldrow public schools. He holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism (news-editorial), a bachelor of science degree in political science (state and local government) with a minor in economics, all from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

He holds a master of arts degree in history from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, and a master of divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa. He has made numerous history presentations and had several scholarly history articles published. He lives in Edmond with his wife, Dolores Mize.