First Church OKC began as First Methodist Episcopal Church on April 28, 1889, just six days after the land run opened the unassigned land of Oklahoma Territory for settlement. On May 5 the Sunday School was organized and on June 23 the church was chartered with 17 members. The church purchased two lots at 4th and Robinson in August and on October 27 the church building was dedicated. This structure was removed in 1903 to make way for construction of a new sanctuary. Enlargement and improvements to that facility came in 1917.
Following the merger in 1939 of The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church South and The Methodist Protestant Church, First Church was now part of The Methodist Church, and in 1968 became a part of The United Methodist Church upon the merger of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
On April 16, 1995, First Church celebrated Easter and on April 19 became a part of a much larger story with the bombing of the A. P. Murrah Federal Building across Robinson. Many of its historic stained glass windows were blown out, and the church met first at Oklahoma City University on April 23 and then shared the facilities at Trinity Baptist Church following Trinity's gracious invitation. In 1998 the congregation returned to the property at the corner of 4th and Robinson where a new sanctuary was dedicated and the former sanctuary, now rebuilt, was established as a fellowship hall. The stained glass windows were replicated and can be seen today. A prayer chapel was added and the focal point is a stained glass window commissioned to use pieces of original windows, including the head of Jesus from the Good Shepherd window, which was found unscathed in the rubble following the bombing. The new window includes the words, which so aptly describe the history of First Church and every believer there: "The Lord takes broken pieces, and by His Love makes us whole." A state of the art sanctuary, narthex, family room, and other rooms were the focal area of the new facility. The sanctuary blends both traditional and modern design elements to create a beautiful balance of our rich history and our vibrant spirit.
First Church OKC recently celebrated 130 years in downtown Oklahoma City in the same location where it began!
No matter the age of the church, it continues to be a place where all are welcomed in the name of Jesus, the Gospel is boldly proclaimed, and the Holy Spirit is invited to move in powerful ways each time people gather there.