Downtown Tulsa Church Celebrates $33 Million In Renovations

Sunday, September 9th 2012, 6:53 pm
By: Tess Maune

Tulsa's First Presbyterian Church celebrated its multimillion-dollar renovation protect with a dedication.

It was the sound of a Sunday morning at Seventh Street and Boston Avenue in downtown Tulsa – bells were ringing and history was being made.

"This tower will serve for generations to come," pastor Jim Miller said.

It is a celebration of a new beginning: The dedication of its second steeple, a mirror image to its 87-year-old counterpart to the north.

"It looks like to me like it's been here forever," parishioner Patricia Hall said. "Christ is the cornerstone and we're finishing off this block. We just pray that it will bring glory to God."

The tower was carefully crafted to mimic its original English-Gothic style.

Each piece of limestone was lovingly cut and numbered, then placed strategically to build the gleaming tower.

"I could probably preach a month of sermons on that -- the importance of us being connected and fit together properly and fittingly," Miller said.

The $33-million expansion will allow better access to the church.

The new tower houses an elevator that makes a stop on each floor and stained-glass windows breathe magnificent light in the new Stephenson Hall.

"I think we're going to meet a need down here," Hall said. "I think that the beauty of architecture is gonna draw people in."

What was once an alleyway is now the atrium, a gathering place for fellowship.

And outside, the new courtyard is complete with the sculpture of Jesus.

It's all a vision, five years in the making, which leaves Hall, a lifelong church member, full of hope.

"It's just beyond anything I could have imagined for our church and to see how God's going to use this space and to draw people to him and I'm thrilled," Hall said.

Miller said the church has come a long way.

Its rich history dates back before statehood and it is the oldest church in the city.

"First church, was the first organized Christian community in Tulsa," Hall said. "Back in 1883, a sermon was preached at JM Hall's General Store at Fourth and Boston or so and from there a little congregation gathered and the congregation was established in 1885."

From a humble beginning to a glorious new chapter, the congregation is grateful and ready to serve its beloved city and far beyond for generations to come.