I will admit that when I came across the headline above, that appeared in The Oklahoman for August 22, 1909, I wasn’t completely sure what peripatetic meant. But after reading the story I understood the defintion from Merriam-Webster Online: “movement or journeys hither and thither.”
“When a man named Jackson built a little frame chapel at the corner of Broadway and Noble avenue (now SW 3rd street) in 1899, he little dreamed what its influence was to be on the religious history and development of Oklahoma City.
“The little chapel was built originally for the use of the Salvation Army, but was later acquired by the Baptists of the city and in 1902 was removed to Washington avenue (now SW 2nd street) and Walker avenue. Here it was used by the Washington avenue Baptist Church for about six months, that now flourishing congregation being organized there. In 1903 it was removed to Capitol Hll. In it the Capitol Hill Baptist Church was organized and it was the only home of that organization for the next two years. Then, in 1905, the First Baptist Church bought the building and placed it on the corner of East Fifth and Phillips streets. It was used for a mission Sunday school in the Maywood district, under the supervision of Dr. H. Coulter Todd for the next year. In 1906 it was again removed to East Ninth and Phillips streets, where it was again used for a mission Sunday school under the supervision of G.N. Longfellow.
“On October 24, 1907, the little chapel was acquired by the Immanuel Baptist church, which was the third and last Baptist congregation to be organized within its walls. The Immanuel Baptist church then had but twenty members, but they were “game” and bought the building and lots for $1,367. That night the Rev. Forrest Maddox was called from the Portland Avenue Baptist church at Louisville, Ky., to the pastorate for the little new church in Oklahoma City. The Rev. Maddox proved to be a hustler. He got the Baptist state board interested and it helped out financially. The little chapel was torn down and a new temple built last year with a seating capacity of 700. The church has grown from twenty persons to a congregation of 169. The Immanuel Baptist church also owns a mission at the corner of Kelham avenue and East Fourteenth street, and its total property is worth over $7,500.
“The little church was moved about so often during the days of its existence that among the church people of the city it came to be known as “the peripatetic meeting house.”
Of the churches mentioned, the Salvation Army is still a force in Oklahoma City as is the First Baptist and Capitol Hill Baptist churches. Immanuel Baptist and the Washington Avenue Baptist Church which became the Second Baptist Church are no longer in existence.