OUR NATIVE AMERICANS
The influence of those brave Native Americans who settled our area remains a part of our history.
Mrs. Elizabeth Sapulpa, who was married to Chief Sapulpa's son, James, was converted to Methodism early and devoted her life to home mission work. In 1894 she opened the doors of her double log cabin on the northeastern corner of her tribal allotment to all her friends for worship. When the circuit minister arrived, Elizabeth always had one room cleared of all furniture so her guests could meet and worship in comfort. Meeting day was a big day for all, with basket dinners served after services.
But Elizabeth wanted a church building, so she sold 30 acres of her tribal allotment and with those funds built a small white church. The church was Elizabeth's first love. She could see it from the window of her home. The door of the church was always open to any person, as was her home, and it is in this manner that early Sapulpans came to know the church—known locally as the Rock Creek Indian Methodist Church.
After her death in 1955, the church members felt that the church should be a shrine to the little Indian lady who gave of her wealth and herself so that her friends might have a place to worship. However, the church had fallen into a state of disrepair and was in great need of attention. Sapulpa Historical Society was granted a lease on the building and some of the area by the heirs of Mrs. Sapulpa and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Our dream was to restore it to its original condition as close as possible and maintain it as an historical site open to the public. However, provisions of the lease were too expensive for a new Society to handle, and the land was sold at auction. Unfortunately,
vandals burned the church and this very important piece of our local history was lost.