The First English Lutheran Church

A Message from the Current Members of the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City  

God’s blessings of grace and peace to you,

A new territory, a new beginning, and a new vision were the reasons given for starting a Lutheran mission church in Indian Territory during a meeting of the Kansas Synod in October, 1900. A young pastor, R.H. Williams, canvassed the area in the fall of 1901, with the result of there being enough interest to form First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City on January 12, 1902. The members began by meeting in the Oklahoma City Courthouse. Ten years later, June 30, 1912, First Lutheran Church was built.

To enhance the worship within the new church, a Moller pipe organ was delivered. The financial agreement included that the Carnegie Institute would pay half of the $3200 debt for the instrument, while the other half was to be covered by the church. The idea of creating a Century Chest to pay for the remaining amount was born. The members raised the money by renting space in a copper lined Century Chest that was sealed and buried in the middle of the basement on the 24th Oklahoma Land Run Anniversary, April 22, 1913. The chest includes:

“900 names of leading men of the city, all state officers, members of the legislature, over 200 histories of cities, business firms, clubs and families, also a forecast of Oklahoma in 2013 by leading professional men, daily newspapers, church papers, dress, hat, shoes, pictures, paintings, phonograph record, telephone, wheat, coffee…” 

In 1913, as the Century Chest was being prepared for burial, Dr. Royer, the church pastor wrote, “The Lutheran church out here in the middle west is not strong because few Lutherans are inclined to rush into new territory just as they are slow to run after new doctrines and methods. We are the only conservative church or denomination in the city, except the Episcopal Church…We still preach the old Gospel…as we believe that nothing holds the attention and interest of people as the truth of the Bible.”

Today, we continue the preaching and teaching of the truth of the Bible along with sharing God’s love to those in need through our mission statement: “First Lutheran is Biblically committed as a humble servant of Christ to carry on His work within our congregation, community, nation and world.”  We have been faithful to our Lord throughout the years by sponsoring displaced families from oppressive governments, providing funds to missions in India, supporting ministries that provide Bibles to other countries and giving food to the homeless in Oklahoma City. We minister to the spiritual needs by developing small group ministries that strengthen relationships with God, family and others; teach people to be financially responsible and encourage ways for people to become actively involved in our community, state, and national affairs.

Just like 100 years ago, we too have a new territory, a new beginning, and a new vision. We believe that God is expanding our congregation by reaching out not only to our city, state, and nation, but also the world through the use of technology. Our vision is not only to enhance worship, but also make the Gospel more relevant to all ages by glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ in creative ways.  As stewards of the Century Chest, we are reminded of how God has blessed our city and state with people who have diverse backgrounds, gifts, and talents. Through the use of technology we have the opportunity to share the excitement of the opening of this historical chest and its contents with the whole world.   

Please consider giving towards the celebration, which includes the cost of multimedia, so that today and future generations can learn how Oklahoma Christians have and continue to be a blessing to others.


Members of First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City