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Brief History of
First Christian Church - Ponca City, OK

On August 19, 1893, president Grover Cleveland issued the long-awaited proclamation which opened the  Cherokee Outlet for settlement.  On September 16, 1893 the official run for free land was on.

 

The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ponca City, Oklahoma, had its beginning in October 1893, when a small group began to meet in a store building.  However, early in 1894, they made arrangements to meet regularly in the school building on Grand and Sixth.  It was there that the first organization was formed with a charter membership of less than twenty members.

April 6 1924.jpg

Early in 1895, a church building, 32 X 40 feet, was purchased from the Congregationalist in Cross (two miles north of Ponca City) and moved to Third and Central where it remained until 1905 and was known as the Central Avenue Christian Church. In October of 1905 the members decided to move the little frame church to Fifth and Grand.  (The Third and Central location was sold to church member John Kroller to build his hardware store.) The church was enlarged, redecorated and a spire was added. In 1912 a basement was added.

 

In 1920 the church has grown to = over 300. A Unique Plan was organized by Judge William  H. England, to raise money for a new church.  1922 the site of Fifth and Grand was sold to E. W. Marland for $28,000.00 and lots at Fifth and Cleveland purchased for $17,000.00 from Mr. Waring.  Mr. Clyde Woodruff, Ft. Worth, Texas ad D. C. Bass and sons, Enid, Oklahoma, were engaged as the architect and contractors, respectively.

 

On April 9, 1923 the groundbreaking services were held.  On July 8, 1923 the cornerstone to the new $100,000.00 church was held with Judge England digging the first shovel full of dirt.  The church had grown to 800 and had the largest Bible school in the city.  Membership grew to 1200 in April of 1923.

 

The following year plans were made for the church to be dedicated on April 6, 1924. 

 

One thousand people filled the sanctuary to overflowing for the three services Sunday. Rev. I. V. McCash, president of Phillips University, delivered the first sermon and delivered the dedication address at the evening service.  Twenty new mew members were baptized.  Mrs. Paddock being the first to be baptized in the new building.

Ground breaking for a new education building was held July 22, 1951.  Cornerstone laid December 2, 1951.  Dedication of building June 29, 1952. On April 22, 1979 remodeling of the building and its new facilities were dedicated.

 

Placed on National Register of Historic Places 3/21/11

First Christian Church, 210 N 5th. 1923. Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival. Van Slyke and Woodruff, architects. Two story with basement buff brick building with a tile roof. Originally cruciform in plan, the building has an addition on the north side making it irregular in shape. The roof has flat and gabled sections. The building has a cast stone belt line and cast stone coping. The original church was dominated by a two story sanctuary with south facing curvilinear parapet. On the east side of the sanctuary, was a single story arcaded portico with an elaborate, three story bell tower with dome located on the northeast corner. To the north of the bell tower, is an additional curvilinear parapet that serves as the cross gable and short leg of the t-shaped original church. The windows in the original church feature elaborate stained glass and contrasting brick was used for window surrounds. The addition was sympathetically done, with similar materials in terms of brick and tile roofing, and in a similar style. The only obvious difference is the use of aluminum windows. The addition includes an educational center, a three story rectangular building built in 1952. In 1995, new copper shingles were installed on the dome of the church.

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