Rev. Dr. OA McBrayer
A Good and Just man who was faithful to God.
Born in a parsonage in Whitt, TX to Rev. Marvin and Nina Lee on March 20, 1925. Being a Methodist preacher’s son, he moved frequently during his youth. During the 30’s, the nation had hard times and ministers were paid, not with money, but with eggs, milk and veggies from the gardens. But, best of all, they were paid with love. So, OA grew up knowing the love of God and his people. As a teenager, he rode his bike to school early to light the furnace so that the classrooms would be warm when the students arrived. Afternoons and Saturdays were spent stocking the grocery store. At the age of 17, he dedicated his life to Christian service and was licensed to preach. Upon graduation his father drove him to McMurry College, Abilene, hugged him and gave him $5, saying, “This is all I have. I wish it were more.” So, OA started classes with $5 in his pocket and a dream in his heart. First item on his agenda was to get a job and he landed a job working at the commissary at Dyess AFB. He took classes year-round so that he could become a chaplain for the soldiers fighting in WWII. Besides going to school full time, he ministered to a 5 church “circuit”, sold shoes, worked in a drugstore, and formed lifelong friendships.
He met an outgoing and beautiful girl, Ida Belle Sherrod. Having no car and little money, they frequently walked to the drugstore for limeaides. They were married August 29, 1943. They made a great team as they served the churches. Daughter Linda Kay was born in 1945 and he studied with her in his lap or climbing over his shoulder.
Following the end of the war, he continued his education AT Perkins School of Theology, SMU. After graduating, he pastored churches in Wylie and Wolfforth, where daughter Cynthia Ann was born in 1952. That year he started directing junior high church camps, which he continued to do for the next 20 years.
He, then, served churches in Wheeler, Paducah, Borger, Amarillo, Midland, Lubbock and Ft. Stockton.
While in Borger, he saw a need with the “at risk” youth and spent many hours working with them, even taking them on his vacations. He received the Altrusa Man of the Year Award in 1959 for his work there.
He studied Mass Communication at Garrett, Northwestern University and then organized and produced “Word and Music, “a radio program for which he received the TRAFCO Word and Music Award.
Moving to Midland he saw a need and dreamed a dream. Taking his “raise” in salary, he and the good people of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church bought a property and “Casa de Amigos” began a great service to the community, to which it continues to serve, 45 years later. He credited its’ success to the wonderful leadership and the love of the people of Midland.
After moving to Lubbock, he produced “Word and Music” radio show there and hosted a TV show called “Ask the Minister.” For his work with the Boy Scouts in Lubbock, he received the Boy Scout Appreciation Award. During this time, he, also, studied in England and New York. He served as District Superintendent of the Big Spring and the Lubbock Districts. He received his Doctorate Degree from McMurry University in 1975.
While living in Ft. Stockton, he saw a need for an ambulance in Presidio County. He studied “grant writing,” and received a grant to buy and ambulance.
During the years, he served as President of Ministers Associations, Kiwanis Club, Lions Clubs, And Community Planning Councils. He instructed Training Schools and labs. He was Chairman of Television and Radio Film Commission, of Board of Ministry, and of Commission on Higher Education. He was on the Board of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech. He served as Trustee for St. Paul School of Theology in Missouri, for McMurry University in Abilene, for Sears Center in Abilene, and for Methodist Hospital in Lubbock. He was a member of the Advisory Board of Butman Camp, of the Council of Ministries, of the UMC, which produced the Protestant Radio Hour. For 33 years, he taught at Perkins, SMU, during the summer and a scholarship in his name is awarded to new preachers every summer.
Retiring in 1988, he and Ida Belle moved to Lake Palo Pinto. His daughter asked him what he would do to keep him busy in retirement. He replied, “I don’t know. But, I do know that God isn’t through with me yet.”
So… he saw a need for an ambulance in Palo Pinto County and he wrote a grant and they had a new ambulance. He saw a need for good water and he had a dream. Using his own money and time, he organized a water company. He walked with engineers as they surveyed every lot and he worked with lawyers and with the state regulators in Austin. The water company building was named in his honor. Many people, today, continue to have good drinking water because he had a dream.
This man made a “Difference” for many people during his lifetime.
What a great legacy OA leaves for us: “God isn’t finished with us yet.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a gift be given to the OA McBrayer Endowment Fund #0228 Texas Methodist Foundation, 11709 Boulder Lane, Suite 100, Austin, TX. 78726-1808. This fund was established to give scholarships to ministerial student.
Graveside Services will be at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 6, 2018 at Johnson Cemetery in Munday, TX with Reverend Dr. Starr Bowen officiating.
Memorial Service will be at 4:00 PM, Friday, July 6, 2018 at First United Methodist Church in Gordon, TX.
Arrangements are entrusted to Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Odessa, TX. To send family condolences please sign his guestbook at www.sunsetodessa.com.
OA was my dad’s (Hardy Cole) roommate at McMurry. They stayed lifelong friends. I met OA & Ida Belle as a child and fell in love with them. OA held a revival for us at Anson. He stayed with us and slept in the the other twin bed in my room. I was so excited that now he was my roommate too! Loved him dearly, OA was a great man of God. My condolences to all.
Earnest ColeEastland, TX
The McMurry University family extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Rev McBrayer. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Nancy SmithAbilene, TX
O.A. was our pastor in Fort Stockton and we loved him and Ida Belle. Among other things, he enlisted me (as editor of the local newspaper) to be the editor of the church's local edition of The United Methodist Reporter, which led to other opportunities and enriched my life. When people refer to this world's "better angels", they are talking about OA and Ida Belle McBrayer. God blessed us with their presence in our lives.
Glen & Pat LarumMidland, TX
I am so sorry for your loss. Rev McBrayer was such a special man, in reading his obituary, I found out just how special. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Former Activity Director
Kari BaxterMidland, TX