Jerry Ward Perryman was born September 22, 1936, on the Perryman Ranch in Duke, Oklahoma, to Perry Ward and Golda Mae Perryman and was raised with his older sister, (Perry) Jane Perryman Clark whom he shared birthdays a year apart. He attended the Duke schools, active in the FFA program, having received the highest award of Junior Master Farmer.
Jerry was a member of Duke Methodist Church and participated in the local Methodist youth group where he felt the call of full-time Christian ministry at the age of 16 and attained his local preacher’s license on November 18, 1953. He cared for many small rural churches until high school graduation in 1954 when he left for college at Oklahoma City University (OCU).
As a pre-ministerial student at OCU, Jerry worked part-time as a custodian at Wesley Methodist Church, belonged to the Sky Pilots organization, and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. During his college years, he served the Methodist churches in Ninnekah and Cement, OK.
Jerry graduated from OCU in 1958 taking an appointment at Cushing First Methodist Church as the youth minister. In the summer of 1959, he attended Perkins Seminary at Southern Methodist University, enrolling at Phillips Theological Seminary that fall, serving as youth minister at First Methodist Church, Enid, and earning a Master of Divinity degree; returning later during his appointment at Enid’s Trinity United Methodist Church earning a Doctor of Ministry degree. A lifelong learner, he studied at Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the American Institute of Church Growth in Pasadena, California. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from OCU and was presented with the Phillips Theological Seminary Distinguished Alumni Award.
While serving in Cushing, he met the love of his life, Charlette Ruth Godfrey, and they were married on July 1, 1960. Their family grew with the birth of their daughter, Angela, and their son, Tad. Jerry’s pastoral service included United Methodist Churches across Oklahoma including Lucien, Jones, Afton, Bartlesville First, Enid Trinity, Oklahoma City Epworth, Oklahoma City Capitol Hill, and Broken Arrow First. During Jerry’s service, Broken Arrow First United Methodist Church doubled in size to 2300 members; and he helped establish the church plant of Heritage United Methodist in Broken Arrow. He also worked closely with the chamber of commerce and Broken Arrow Rotary International chapter where he served as President 1984-85.
Jerry continued his service to the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference as the District Superintendent of the Clinton District, Chairman of the Board of Managers of Methodist Canyon Camp, Chairman of the United Methodist Retirement, and the Health Care Center in Clinton. He served as the Oklahoma Conference Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Administrative Services, and Assistant to the Bishop, including the boards of Global Ministries, Education, Evangelism, Social Concerns, Ordained Ministry, and Camps and Conferences. He served in leadership roles with the Frances Willard Home-Tulsa, Boy’s Ranch-Gore, Oklahoma Methodist Manor-Tulsa, Dunaway Manor Nursing Home-Guymon, Methodist Home-Enid, United Methodist Retirement and Health Care Center-Clinton, Epworth Villa-Oklahoma City, Prison Ministry, and as a trustee of Oklahoma City University for 18 years. He spent over 30 years on the Circle of Care board. As the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference Treasurer, he was elected President of the National Association of Annual Conference Treasurers of the United Methodist Church from 1999-2001. Jerry retired from full-time ministry in 2003 and continued to teach Sunday school at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church until 2017.
Throughout his time serving the community and churches, he sponsored and managed mission trips and tours to the Holy Lands, Africa, and Greece. He felt a part of his giving was to teach the younger generation of ministers and served as a professor and speaker at Oral Roberts University, Phillips Seminary, and Oklahoma City University.
Raised on a ranch and holding true to the saying “you can’t take the farm out of the boy”, he spent many hours building, planting, cultivating, and tending small farms (Gardens) in the backyard of every parsonage and house he lived, sharing his harvest with neighbors and friends. Throughout his life, he returned home to the +IU Perryman Ranch as a time of retreat and communing with God (sitting on a tractor). Jerry was raised to Master Mason and was a lifelong member of Mangum Lodge #61 and rose in rank to 32nd degree Scottish rite of the Oklahoma Grand Lodge.
Jerry went to his heavenly home on November 4, 2022, and was preceded in death by his parents, his older sister Jane Clark and infant brother Douglas Wayne Perryman. Left to cherish his legacy is his wife of 62 years Charlette; his two children and their spouses: Angela & Kyle Parks (Owasso, OK) and Tad & Cinnamon Perryman (Farmers Branch, TX), as well as his four grandchildren: Kelsey Parks; Emily (Parks) West & husband Taylor West; Skyler Perryman; Lila Perryman; and his great-grandson, Winston West. He also is survived by six nieces and nephews.
Jerry will be dearly missed for his mentoring and sweet sarcastic spirit shared with so many of us.
Jerry will find his final resting place at the Rock cemetery located outside Duke, Oklahoma with two other generations of the Perryman family that settled the land in Greer County, Texas in the late 1800s, now Jackson county, Oklahoma.
Donation options to memorialize Jerry are:
Oklahoma City University - Scholarship Endowment for the Jerry W and Charlette R Perryman Scholarship at https://www.okcu.edu/.../scholarships/endowed-scholarships
Methodist Circle of Care, https://circleofcare.org/