Bethany, Oklahoma

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Bethany, Oklahoma
Motto: "In God We Trust"
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Bethany is located in USA
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°30′17″N 97°38′20″W / 35.50472°N 97.63889°W / 35.50472; -97.63889Coordinates: 35°30′17″N 97°38′20″W / 35.50472°N 97.63889°W / 35.50472; -97.63889
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Oklahoma
 • Total 5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)
 • Land 5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,309 ft (399 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 19,051
 • Estimate (2013)[2] 19,563
 • Density 3,896.7/sq mi (1,504.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73008
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-05700[3]
GNIS feature ID 1090023[4]
Website City of Bethany

Bethany is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The population was 19,051 at the 2010 census, a decline of 6.2 percent from 20,307 at the 2000 census.[1] The community was founded in 1909 by followers of the Church of the Nazarene from Oklahoma City.


Bethany was founded July 28, 1909 as a community where members of the Church of the Nazarene could express their religious beliefs without interference by non-members. The town was named after the biblical place of Bethany.[5] The community quickly established the Oklahoma Holiness College (now Southern Nazarene University, SNU). two other institutions were soon established, the Oklahoma Orphanage (now the Children's Center, a medical facility) operated by Mattie Mallory, and the Nazarene Rescue Home for unwed mothers.[6]


Bethany is located at 35°30′17″N 97°38′20″W / 35.50472°N 97.63889°W / 35.50472; -97.63889 (35.504607, -97.638818).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 485
1930 2,032 319.0%
1940 2,590 27.5%
1950 5,705 120.3%
1960 12,342 116.3%
1970 22,694 83.9%
1980 22,038 −2.9%
1990 20,075 −8.9%
2000 20,307 1.2%
2010 19,051 −6.2%
Est. 2014 19,580 [8] 2.8%

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 20,307 people, 8,161 households, and 5,280 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,896.7 people per square mile (1,504.9/km²). There were 8,874 housing units at an average density of 1,702.8 per square mile (657.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.79% White, 4.36% African American, 2.87% Native American, 1.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.80% of the population.

There were 8,161 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,073, and the median income for a family was $43,905. Males had a median income of $30,180 versus $24,747 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,793. About 6.9% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.


The city operates using a council-manager government system. The city council comprises two members elected from each of the four wards. The city manager, city attorney, and municipal judge are appointed by the council. The mayor is elected at large.

Mayor Bryan Taylor, at 28 years of age, became the youngest person to serve as mayor of Bethany.

The Bethany parks and recreation system includes many small neighborhood parks, and four large parks, Eldon Lyon Park, McFarland Park, Ripper Park, and Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

Bethany is represented in the Oklahoma Senate by David Holt. It is represented in the Oklahoma House of Representatives by Sally Kern and Elise Hall.


The largest employers in the area include: Southwestern Christian University, Wiley Post Airport, Deaconess Hospital at Bethany, the Children's Center, and Bethany public schools. Since 1975 Bethany has been the headquarters for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The Federal Aviation Administration Systems Management Office is located there. Bethany is the headquarters for the Pinto Horse Association of America.[6]


Both Bethany School District, and the Putnam City School District provided educational needs to citizens within its district borders. The chief educational providers for elementary-aged students include the Southern Nazarene University School for Children on the campus of Calvary Church of the Nazarene, about 1 mile south of Southern Nazarene University, as well as Bethany Earl Harris Elementary. Primary school goes from pre-K - 5th grade. Bethany Middle School and Western Oaks Junior High School respond to those in 6th to 8th grade. Bethany High School, home of the Bronchos (sic), is the school for grades 9–12. Putnam City schools located within Bethany include: Apollo Elementary, Lake Park Elementary, Overholser Elementary, Western Oaks Elementary, and Western Oaks Middle School.

The superintendent for Bethany Public Schools is Kent Shellenberger.[11] The website for Bethany Public Schools is

The superintendent for Putnam City Schools is Dr. Fred Rhodes. [12] The website for Putnam City Schools is

Higher Education[edit]

Bethany is home to two universities. Southern Nazarene University is located near downtown and is a private Christian college. Bethany is also home to Southwestern Christian University. Southern Nazarene University (SNU) is a four-year, private, Christian, liberal arts university. SNU offers adult degree completion and many masters programs including an MBA with evening classes. Southwestern Christian University is a Holiness–Pentecostal university specializing in Bible and Christian ministries. SWCU offers adult degree completion and master programs.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  3. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Oklahoma's Strangely Named Towns". KWTV. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Fugate, Tally D. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture."Bethany."
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Oklahoma" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Oklahoma: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bethany Public Schools". Bethany Public Schools. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  12. ^ "Meet Our Superintendent". Putnam City Schools. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 

External links[edit]