In 1905, Oklahoma was still Indian Territory when First Presbyterian Church was born. The original 29 members, organized by Rev. Ralph J. Lamb, met in the Opera House before purchasing the land at the corner of 5th and Dewey. The first church building was actually completed in 1907, which was the same year Oklahoma became a state. Since that time, First Presbyterian Church has been active in the wider community by fulfilling the critical needs of the time.
Examples of the membership of First Presbyterian Church serving include:
- During World War I, sixty-nine members served, while the women became active in Red Cross work, sending boxes of supplies to the troops in France.
- During the influenza rage of 1918, the Presbyterian Church served as a hospital.
- During the bleak times of the early 1930’s, members provided help to each other. In addition, the women served supper at the church on Wednesday nights for 25 cents, often serving 200 people.
- During World War II, eighty-seven men served, while the activity of the church again focused on the Red Cross and other types of relief efforts.
- During the post-war period, the church helped a steady stream of displaced persons from Germany, Indonesia, Cuba, and other nations.
- During the mid-1950s, the church received a six-acre tract along Highway 75, where 130 members colonized a new church, which has become Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church.
- During the 1960’s, the church became one of the founders of the Concern Center. A less formal worship service was initiated, and church concerns were directed toward civil rights issues in Bartlesville and elsewhere.
Toward the end of the 1960’s, the congregation decided to raze its crumbling original structure and build a new church on the original site so that they could remain a downtown church. The present church was dedicated in the fall of 1970.
From this new building, the membership of First Presbyterian Church continued to serve the community. In the 1970’s, it helped establish the Samaritan Counseling and Growth Center, plus the Green Country Retirement Village. In the 1980’s, it participated in programs such as Women and Children in Crisis, Habitat for Humanity, and Eldercare.
We are now embracing our “New Beginning” programs all designed to fulfill our mission: Making God’s love our way of life by seeking, sharing, and serving.
Our membership continues to serve the community through local and global missions, such as Meals-on-Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Agape Mission, Family Healthcare Clinic, Green Country Free Clinic, and Lighthouse Outreach Center. It also continues a revitalization of the ministry to adults, as well as children and young people.