By Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- A new steeple will go up next year in downtown Tulsa - marking a major expansion and renovation of First Presbyterian Church. It's one of the most substantial construction jobs going on downtown right now.
There's a massive hole in the ground at 7th and Cincinnati. It's just the beginning of a $33 million construction project to build another sanctuary, new offices, classrooms and a courtyard.
The work at First Presbyterian Church changed from digging to building - with concrete being poured now for piers that will support two new large buildings.
On the north side of block - a new classroom and office building will go up here. On the south side - a new 500 seat worship center will go here. In the middle is a courtyard big enough for large outdoor weddings.
"It's in the form of a Celtic cross, which is important to us, for our history," said Pastor Jim Miller of First Presbyterian Church.
Pastor Jim Miller says the project will ensure the church has the buildings it needs to support all it's ministry needs.
'We're not really interested in bringing people together to just sit here," he said. "It's a base camp, but the base camp needs to be maintained, and a building that's 1920's vintage, really needs a lot of serious renovation and restoration."
These renderings show what First Presbyterian is building. The new worship center is on the left - the courtyard in the middle - and the office and classroom building on the right.
All of it is being built with limestone to match the exterior of the existing church.
"We opted to go with limestone to make a statement that we plan to be here a long time to come as we make our way into the future," said First Presbyterian Pastor Jim Miller.
The interior space will match as well and connect all the buildings on the block.
The new worship center, for a contemporary service, will have a very traditional style. Miller says the $33 million project is fully funded - and scheduled to be done in another 16 months.
"The view of this will have an integrity about it that I believe will serve Tulsa very well," the pastor said.
The church has just celebrated 125 years in Tulsa.