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Left to right: Bernice Mantooth, Dolly Priest, Dorothy O’Dell and June Cermak in the sanctuary of the Mustang United Methodist Church. The four sisters, all of whom graduated from Mustang High School, have attended the church almost their whole lives. The church will celebrate its 110 year anniversary this Saturday. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)
By Jon Watje
Managing Editor 

When Dolly Priest and her family first attended Mustang United Methodist Church in the 1940s it was easy to remember just about everyone’s name there. 

“There were about 50 people who attended the church back then,” Priest said. “We knew not only everyone at church, but in the whole school and the whole town.”

Priest and her three sisters, Dorthory O’Dell, Bernice Mantooth and June Cermak, have attended the church since they were young. They will celebrate with the rest of their church family the 110 year anniversary of the church on Saturday evening.

For the occasion, the church will have a cookout with games for the children starting around 6 p.m.
“My sisters and I went to Sunday school at a little church near 15th and Morgan Road,” Priest said. “After that, our mother took us to the Mustang Methodist Church. I was about three or four-years old at the time.”

When Priest and her family joined the church, it was located near Mustang High School. The church was rebuilt after it had been destroyed by a devastating tornado on the night of April 11, 1927. The little white church had stained glass windows and its steeple pointing upward made a picturesque scene as it stood on a hill, welcoming worshipers to come.

Priest and her sisters have many fond memories of the old church. 

“One of the things I’ll always remember was Christmas Eve at the church,” Dorthory said. “They would always find the biggest Christmas tree and decorate it. Everybody would come on Christmas Eve and everyone would get a sack of apples and candy. That was a big deal back then.”

Dorthory said back in those days Mustang was just a rural community.
“It was mostly farmers and their families that attended the church back then,” she recalled. 
Dorthory also recalled cold Sunday morning rides to the church in their pickup with their mother, Lora Hushmann. 

“My mother was a very wonderful Christian lady,” Dorthory said. “There were times in the winter she didn’t have any antifreeze in her car and she would heat some water on the stove and put it in the pickup in order to get there, and we probably didn’t even want to go. Church was very important to her.”

Their mother passed in 1982. Their father, Arnold, passed way in 1979.

All four sisters attended Mustang schools and graduated from Mustang High School. June graduated in 1947, Dorthory in 1950, Bernice in 1953 and Dolly in 1956. 

In 1964, with the steady income of families moving into the Mustang community, the Methodist congregation started discussing the need for a new church and possibilities of a new location. The Official Board voted to purchase land on the north side of State Highway 152, where it now stands. 

Over the years, all four sisters stayed active in the church ever since they were young. They have all taught Bible School and also participated in the Mustang United Methodist Women’s Group.

Dorthory even had a hand in the church’s building committee to plan the construction for their new sanctuary. She served as the building chair person on the committee and the church’s new, 7,500 square foot sanctuary opened on Palm Sunday on March 27, 1994.  

Over the last 110 years, the Mustang Methodist Church has seen dozens of pastors come and go. Dorthory and her sisters have seen about half of those pastors lead the church and several generations worship there.  

“We took our pledge when we became members of this church that we would support the church,” Dorthory said. 

“This is our church family and preachers will come and go, but our church family will still be here.”

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