From a century past,
to a renewed place of worship
Preserving what is priceless; renewing what is worn and broken
Honoring God with excellence in the worship experience
Accommodating multiple styles of worship Participating in renewal together
Bethany First Church was organized with 33 charter members on October 14, 1909. They gathered in the girl’s dormitory of Oklahoma Holiness College. In those days, Bethany was known as Bethany Station, Rural Fire Department, Oklahoma City. Three institutions were foundational to the development
of the city — the church, Oklahoma Holiness College, and Mattie Mallory’s orphanage. Today, those three institutions remain strong as Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, Southern Nazarene University, and The Children’s Center. From the girl’s dormitory, the church moved into a temporary meeting place and in 1914, built a stone-block tabernacle. The structure had a seating capacity of 600 people, although the whole town of Bethany had less than 300 residents.
Fast forward to 1967, when plans were laid to build a new sanctuary uniquely designed to be a beacon to the metro area, and to serve as the gathering place for BFC for decades to come. For its time, the cost
of $1,750,000 was a remarkably ambitious effort. Members sacrificed and gave to this bold endeavor; it was the first time a Nazarene church had raised and invested more than $1 million for a sanctuary.
One of the church’s landmark characteristics is 12 stained glass windows cast in a semi-circular vaulted system on the front of the Sanctuary.
In each arch, the stained glass depicts a high point
in the life of Christ, beginning with the Nativity. They follow His life through His ascension and the great commission, ending with the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. The artist provided a key to the theme of each window by placing familiar Christian symbols at the apex of each window.
The side windows in the Sanctuary reflect two images important to the Christian faith — the second coming of Jesus on the east window and the sermon on the mount on the west.
The circular design of the Sanctuary was intended to draw everyone who entered to a circular altar and a cross suspended in the center of the circle.
God has met us in this place. Its design has reflected our faith and inspired us. We have worshiped together, knelt at the altar, received the preaching of the Word, experienced God’s call, been taught and equipped, and we’ve been sent out from this room to our world — a cycle of love and community.
Now after 50 years, the room is in need of renewal. We have set out to preserve what is priceless, renew what is worn and broken, accommodate multiple styles of worship, and honor God with excellence in the worship experience.
All Church Dinner
On Sunday, November 17, we will celebrate how God has blessed us and provided abundantly beyond what we have asked or imagined.