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Downtown Tulsa Business Development Good For Historic Churches

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Downtown Tulsa has seen its ups and its downs, and the churches that call the area home have watched it all.

Now with more businesses, restaurants and living spaces going in, things are changing once again.

At least six churches call a small part of downtown home. And with more and more development downtown, church leaders say they've seen an increase in attendance and membership.

First Presbyterian Church has called downtown Tulsa home since it was established back in 1885, before Oklahoma's statehood.

The church has since moved locations to where it stands today at Seventh and Boston, but the congregation has remained strong.

"So when downtown has shrunk, we've stayed here and we're really excited about the possibilities of it coming back and revitalizing, it's kind of an exciting time,” co-pastor Ryan Moore said.

Church members and leaders said since an influx of development in the area, things definitely are starting to change around them.

“And now that the rest of downtown Tulsa is picking up in terms of business and entertainment, it's a nice compliment to what we've been hoping to see," Moore said.

First Presbyterian and the other six churches in the so-called "Cathedral District" have typically been considered "commuter churches.”

“More and more so I think we're seeing the pull of our congregation be more geographically centralized in Midtown and closer to the city,” Moore said.

It’s something he hopes continues, and he said he's not alone.

“So we see ourselves, yes, in partnership with Boston Avenue Methodist, First Methodist, Holy Trinity, First Baptist, we're one church, one body and we're all interested in loving the city as best as we can,” he said.

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