36th & N. Walker • Oklahoma City, OK 73118
4 Minutes from Bricktown!
"The Church Of Tomorrow...Today!"
The land run of Monday, April 22, 1889 saw Oklahoma City spring up in a day. On the following Sunday there were two church services in the morning and a union service in the afternoon. Nine of those in the afternoon service began discussing the formation of what became our congregation and began meeting. By May 18th they had placed a notice in our first newspaper and on June 2nd, 1889 held a baptismal service on the North Canadian. Oklahoma City was described in those days as "tougher than a boiled owl", and at the request of Reverend T. J. Head some 200 cavalrymen accompanied the procession down to the river and watched over the service.
By 1894 the congregation had built a church at 3rd and Harvey, and moved to a new red brick building at 3rd and Robinson during 1902. That same year saw the formation of a church orchestra, an early indication of the emphasis on the fine arts that has long been a part of the character of the congregation. The year 1911 saw the congregation in what would be its home for forty-five years, a new church building at 10th and Robinson. December 1956 saw us move into our present facilities.
In 1906 the denomination split, with some congregations becoming the Church of Christ, others, including ours, becoming the Disciples of Christ. Guidance from Christian principles and faith, best efforts of hearts and minds, and much work and charitable action have seen First Christian through the rough spots of its history. Of special note, after the Oklahoma City bombing we served as hosts to the survivors, the families and friends of the victims, and those who ministered to and counseled with them.
It was a dream of Bill Alexander to have spaciousness for the church activities. He wanted tennis courts, baseball fields, picnic areas and perhaps a bridle trail. It was the spring 1946; the school land commission announced that the golf course would be sold at auction. Bill immediately began talking to board members, deacons and other members of the congregation about a church with a forty-acre opportunity to serve the community. Bill spoke with fervor as he painted the possibilities of a property landmark, futuristic sanctuary, a youth center, a little theatre, a new educational building, an amphitheater for programs "under the stars" and an abundance of parking spaces. Board members as well as Bill Alexander attended the auction. The bids skyrocketed fast and the price ended up double what they had approved to pay for the land, but Bill Alexander promised to raise the additional money and he did just that.
In very little time, the people of First Christian Church were hiking, picnicking and playing ball on their new property. In August 1947, a 3500-seat amphitheater was dedicated; evening worship services were held for the community. Sunday evening services became known as "Edgemere Under the Stars", an inspirational outdoor service featuring the preaching of Bill Alexander and choral music under the direction of Tracy Silvester. Friday evenings were devoted to "Twilight Time" featuring musical entertainment in the light operatic tradition, with guest artists and local talent again under Sylvester's direction.
On December 27, 1953, the church held groundbreaking ceremonies for three buildings: the sanctuary, the educational building and the music and fine arts center.
Sunday, December 23, 1956 marked the opening of an eventful week of historical significance to the First Christian Church, Oklahoma City. On Sunday morning, the two thousand seats of the new sanctuary were filled with worshippers, an overflow crowd filled the aisles, and several hundred others were seated in the dining room to hear the service over the speaker system. Thus the years were begun Under the Dome!
Many generations have worshipped "Under the Dome" and appreciated what those before us began and the foundation they left us
An Archives Room is located on the first floor and may be opened by appointment. Call the church office 525-6551. Memorabilia goes back to the early years of FCCOKC.
A striking, domed house of worship seating approximately 1,200 in comfortable theater-style pews, more than half at "floor level," encouraging participation by the handicapped. Equipment includes a custom sound system, a 63-rank Austin pipe organ, and room for a symphonic orchestra, bell choir or other groups.
An intimate facility, seating 150 for weddings, funerals, or other worship-centered functions. Equipment includes custom light and sound systems, organ, and piano.
A dining and function facility seating 250+, divisible into four sections; equipped with a versatile sound system; and a complete restaurant-style kitchen.
A contemporary four-level structure adjoining the sanctuary building, chapel and administrative offices. The Dining Room occupies the ground floor. The building houses classrooms for children's, youth, and adult education groups; choir practice, equipment and robing rooms; the Pre-School, Kindergarten and "Children's Day Out" programs; and restroom facilities on each floor.
A 185-seat arena theater, offering an annual program of six dramatic or musical shows to 2,700 season ticket holders, plus the general public. The Jewel Box began as an outreach of First Christian church in 1958, and is a cultural institution in central Oklahoma.
The finest facility of its kind in Oklahoma, the Center includes a regulation gymnasium, meeting rooms, a kitchen, a dining area accommodating up to 100, offices, and a woodburning fireplace. The center is used as a polling place by the Oklahoma County Election Board, and by many other civic, neighborhood, recreational and cultural groups, as an outreach of First Christian Church.