Tulsa Church Discovers Time Capsule During Renovations

Friday, July 2nd 2010, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK – A downtown Tulsa church made a historic find during its renovation project.

Every renovation project turns up something unexpected, but the surprise is rarely this good.

A hole in the wall at First Baptist Church marks the spot of what was a forgotten time capsule - inside the cornerstone of the building, built in 1952.

Artifacts Found Inside The Time Capsule

The pastor noticed the box in an old photo.

"So we kind of took a gamble, it looked like there was something here," Pastor Deron Spoo said.

A sealed copper box was inside, filled with memories; pictures of the congregation and lists of members and leaders, and what was then old photographs of older church buildings under construction.

And just in case money might have been eliminated - a sample with a note explaining what it was.

"The best part, the pastor at the time, JW Storer, his Bible, he put that in the time capsule, with a note," Spoo said.

That old Bible and the note were perfectly preserved.

"'You who may have a chance to read this may you too love the book and him who is the subject of it," he said.  "And it was really cool to open it up and read this letter for the first time."

That 1952 time capsule had another unexpected bonus - another time capsule inside - from 1915 - from the original church building that was on the same site.

"They had a sense that First Baptist was going to be around for while and eventually the space would be rearranged, changed around, and they left us something behind to find," Spoo said.

Those memories include complete church rolls, a letter from the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and other artifacts from the days of statehood - and the establishment of a church that would continue at the same spot - for more than a century.