Bethany - A Small City with a Big History!
Established on July 28, 1909, by cofounder Rev. C. B. Jernigan, Bethany prospered as the new home for Oklahoma Holiness College (now Southern Nazarene University, or SNU). Bethany’s pioneers envisioned a community in which they could express their religious beliefs without outside interference. Incorporated on August 8, 1910, Bethany continued as a small, rural town dependent upon support from surrounding farmlands. With a population of 2,032 in 1930 the city of Bethany was almost obliterated on November 19th, 1930, when a tornado killed twenty-three residents and destroyed 652 buildings, leaving hundreds homeless and unemployed. Recovery was slow, but with the advent of World War II the town developed into a prosperous Oklahoma City residential suburb and is now called home by over 19,000 residents.
What Bethany Homeowners Say About Their City
Its a Great Place to Live, Work and Play!
Bethany residents are drawn to the “small town” feel the city embodies however also enjoy all the “big city” amenities. Bethany is home to 16 public parks, unique galleries and museums, 25 churches, multiple hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, a university and an abundance of locally owned and operated businesses. Situated just west of Oklahoma City proper and on the shoreline of Lake Overholser, residents have easy access to both scenic routes, highways and the Kilpatrick Turnpike.
Discover Oklahoma – Featuring Bethany’s Rink Gallery
A Town with History
- The Thirty-ninth Street Expressway, a part of Historic Route 66, runs through downtown Bethany;
- Astronaut Shannon Lucid and baseball player Allie Reynolds both hail from Bethany;
- The Overholser Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004;
- The community was founded in 1909 by followers of the Church of the Nazarene from Oklahoma City;
- Bethany is home to the Wiley Post Airport. Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world, died in the same 1935 crash as the namesake of Oklahoma City’s other airport – The Will Rogers World Airport.