Greer Funeral Home
Dr. Brodace Elkins, a retired Methodist minister, died May 23, 2017. For nineteen years he was pastor of Trinity-First United Methodist Church in El Paso, Texas, one of the leading Methodist churches in the New Mexico Conference. He served also for six years as the Superintendent of the Albuquerque District. For these twenty-five years he, described by a friend as a “slow talker and quick thinker”, was one of the strongest and most dedicated leaders in Methodism in West Texas and New Mexico. He retired in 1988 and returned to El Paso where he was named Pastor Emeritus by Trinity-First Church and remained there another fifteen years. He and his wife, Wynona, moved to Lytle, Texas in 2003 to be near family.
Dr. Elkins was born at Mangum, Oklahoma, in 1921, the son of Mr. And Mrs. Lucian Elkins, early day residents of Reed and Mangum. His siblings, Berdett, Paul, Mary, and Winona are all deceased. Carol Jean Scivally and Donna Elkins of Mangum will miss their “Uncle Brodace”. Also surviving are three great nieces and their families, Christie Miller, Holly Rogers, and Bonnie Clark.
All through high school he worked in the print shop of the Mangum Daily Star. There he learned a skill he used to finance four years of college at Oklahoma University, working at the O.U. Press, and three years of seminary at the Chicago Theological Seminary with work at the University of Chicago Press.
He married Wynona Houpe in 1945, his high school classmate, Mangum High, Class of ’39. They have a loving family of three children: a son, Howard and his wife, Nancy, of Lytle and their children, Jessica and Matthew; and a daughter, Nonette O’Donnell and her husband, James and their daughter, Ann, both now deceased, of Galveston. Brodace and Wynona’s youngest child, Nancy Wy, died from a brain tumor in 1990.
Before their appointment to El Paso, they served sixteen years in Oklahoma with successful pastorates at Cheyenne, Carnegie, Hollis, Trinity-Tulsa and Bartlesville-First. Brodace accepted his first position in conference leadership when he was elected Chairman of the Board of Missions of the Oklahoma Conference. In the New Mexico Conference, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Global Ministries and also Chairman of the Board of Global Ministries of the South Central Jurisdiction, comprising eight states. He was also a member of the General Board of Global Ministries in the National and Women’s division for 9 years. He served on the Boards of Directors of many institutions of the New Mexico Conference, including McMurry University, Landsun Retirement Home, Waco Children’s Home, the Mission Home of San Antonio, and was Chairman of the Executive Committee of Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso for twenty years.
His six years as Superintendent of the Albuquerque District gave a new dimension to his ministry and perhaps had at least two far reaching effects. He gave an impetus to a movement to bring the Navajos of the Four Corners Area into the New Mexico Conference. He believed that if the church is to grow, new churches must be started. In those 6 years he organized ten—four Anglo, one Hispanic, one Korean, and four Navajo.
He preached wonderful sermons that were inspiring and unusual. He was highly organized and always led the church in a well planned, inclusive, meaningful and creative program. And he also gave leadership beyond the local church. But it was his people, the people of his church, their faith and well-being that were the heart and soul of his ministry. He was a constant visitor to the homebound, the hospitals and prospective members. He became known for the beautiful eulogies at the 1113 funerals he conducted. Brodace always seemed to catch the spirit of the life just lived. In the 539 weddings he officiated during his ministry, he captured the joy of a shared future.
In recent years Dr. Elkins taught an adult Sunday School class at Lytle Methodist Church, the class he and Wynona had been asked to start. The class was special to him. To the end he remained faithful to his calling. He shared his loving spirit, his wonderful mind, his sense of humor, and his experiences of a lifetime.
Dr. Elkins’ life began in the small town of Mangum, Oklahoma, and it came to a close in Lytle, Texas. In the 96 years that intervened there was time for family, learning, preaching, friends, hunting and his dogs, teaching, visiting and travel. (He was Protestant Chaplain on three cruise ships and he and Wynona traveled in many parts of the world.) There was also hard work and much happiness. And Wynona, his wife of almost 70 years, was a part of it all until her death in 2015.
At his retirement a fellow minister made this statement: Some ministers are great preachers, some are strong administrators, some are loving pastors. Brodace Elkins is all three.
A graveside service will be held at the Riverside Cemetery at Mangum, OK at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30. A memorial service for Dr. Elkins at Trinity-First United Methodist Church in El Paso, Tx. will also be held. Please contact the church office for scheduling information (915-533-2674).
Memorial gifts may be made to the Elkins Heritage Center of Trinity-First United Methodist Church, El Paso, Texas; or to First United Methodist Church, Mangum; or to Lytle United Methodist Church, Lytle.