One Nightclub and a Mule Barn
Marilyn A. Hudson
On a mild summer day in 1946, on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, a small group of people that included C.H. Williams, R. O. Corvin, and Oral Roberts, eyed some property for sale. The men were searching for a possible site for a new Bible school for the Pentecostal Holiness Church. The 'Abe Hale Nightclub,' an old barn and a few buildings, sat on over seven acres might have seemed an unlikely choice, but men with vision saw it had possibilities. 'Southwestern Bible College' was being born. For the first time the story of the pre-statehood roots, the 1946 birth, development, challenges, and rebirth of Oklahoma's first Pentecostal junior college, one of the states largest at one time, is shared in 'One Nightclub and A Mule Barn.' The history of the school known over the years as 'Southwestern Bible College,' 'Oklahoma City Southwestern College,' 'Southwestern College of Christian Ministries,' and now 'Southwestern Christian University' is one profoundly intermingled with Oklahoma history. Pentecostalism in Oklahoma is also virtually unexplored territory among histories. 'One Nightclub' provide a fascinating glimpse into the nature and character of a large segment of Oklahomans who share ties to the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition. 'One Nightclub and a Mule Barn' provides an introduction to not only a school, but to an overlooked, yet rich aspect of Oklahoma history.