For over 85 years, The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma has created stories and memories that will last a life-time. Our Diocesan Archivist, Pam Bell shares with us stories that shaped our community. Check here for regularly updated stories and memories!
St. Margaret’s Bells
Margaret’s of Scotland Episcopal Church, Lawton had unique southwestern
architectural elements with exterior stucco walls and red roof tiles.
They are also remembered for their front entrance brass bells suspended
on wood crosses. These bells were hand forged by a South Vietnamese ally
Kim Nguyen Soung and American serviceman Hal Sharpe. Hal was a member
of St. Margaret’s serving overseas during the Vietnam conflict and
Purple Heart recipient. He collected artillery shells to fashion into
church bells and recruited Kim, who was an experienced metalsmith, to
cast the bells. The wood crosses were specifically crafted to hold the
three bells and hung outside of St. Margaret’s from 1970 to 1992.
Transferred to the Diocesan Archive in 1992, the bells have been
awaiting a new permanent home.
Twenty-nine years later…
passed away in 2020 and his wife requested the bells be relocated to
the new Broken Arrow Veteran’s Center. With the approval of Bishop
Poulson, Mitch Reed, the Director of the center, and Purple Heart of
Oklahoma drove to Oklahoma City in late 2021 to transport the bells back
to Broken Arrow. The new Veteran’s Center will house the Bluestar
Mothers, Vietnam Veterans, Purple Heart Oklahoma, VFW, and the American
Legion. I am sure Hal would be proud to have his bells residing in such a
respected place honoring veterans.
Thank you, Hal, for what you did for St. Margaret’s of Scotland, and for honoring your fellow veterans.
Diocese of Oklahoma Archivist