The history of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) goes all the way back to the Oklahoma Land Run. On Sunday, April 28, 1889, people of all different faiths united for Oklahoma City’s first worship service. Some of those present would soon form First Christian Church of Oklahoma City. From its inception onward, the goal has always been to be, ‘A church with a heart, and a message of sharing God’s love.’
By 1902 the congregation had moved to a building at 3rd and Robinson. 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.
In the 1940’s, Pastor Bill Alexander envisioned spaciousness for the church activities. In 1946 the school land commission announced that a 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. 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. Sunday evening worship services known as “Edgemere Under the Stars” were held for the community. Friday evenings were devoted to “Twilight Time” featuring musical entertainment in the light operatic tradition with guest artists and local talent. Finally, in December 1956, the “Church of Tomorrow” welcomed an overflow crowd to Sunday morning worship. Thus began the years of fellowship and service “Under the Dome!” In 1957, the Jewel Box Players, a drama troupe that began back at 10th and Robinson, became the Jewel Box Theatre when they began performing a six play season each year.
In 2013, Rev. John Malget came to us from Houston to become our new Senior Minister. With him, we have moved forward with outreach ministry into the community. In late 2013, we formed Chain Reaction Ministries, a bicycle ministry that helps give bicycles to the homeless and working poor so that they have transportation for employment. You cannot keep a job if you cannot get to a job. To date, we have given away over 3,300 bicycles.
In the summer of 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we moved one more time to our current home at 321 NW 36th Street, rebranding ourselves as “Disciples First! Followers in the Way of Jesus.” Though we had to worship online for over a year, we were able to come back together to worship in person on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021! We are excited to invite you into our NEW worship space and to the NEW Jewel Box Theatre, now in its 63rd season.
Many generations have worshipped with us, appreciating the Spirit of God’s Love that has been shared since the days of the land run. As a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we welcome you as we continue today to “Love ALL the People” here in Oklahoma City and beyond!
We are a Congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).