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Church building for sale

Mary Phillips Published: December 18, 2010

Another grand old downtown building is on the market.

On the northeast corner of NW 10 and Robinson, the First Christian Church building sits as it has since 1911.

A solid building, the cornerstone was laid Sunday, May 28, 1911. The building was “to be built of gray pressed brick and white stone on reinforced concrete and steel frame” according to The Sunday Oklahoman of the day.

On Aug. 7, 1921, 10 years after the construction of the building, The Oklahoman published a story about the church.

“Twenty-one years of persistent work on the part of the members of the First Christian Church are represented in the $350,000 building they now own at Tenth Street and Robinson Avenue.

“Organization dates back to April 23, 1889, and the names of Otto C. Durlan, George Newery, R.W. Wells and C.H. Kellar stand out prominently in the history.

“Their efforts made possible the organization of the members in a new city, where countless obstacles presented themselves. On a vacant lot near Broadway on Main Street, the first service was held. There was no building, no minister. The Holy Communion could not be observed because of a lack of the emblems.

“But every Sunday since that time, without one break in the long chain of years, this church has held its services.”

The church building has had its share of hard times. When First Christian moved to its new location on NW 36 and its futuristic-style “Church of Tomorrow,” the old building went vacant.

Plans were announced in 1982 to convert the building into offices. Nothing happened.

Then a Dec. 6, 1992, article from The Oklahoman shared information from Richard Hogue, pastor of Citychurch, who discussed his church’s purchase of the First Christian Church building at 1104 N Robinson.

“The restoration message pastor Richard Hogue has preached since he returned to Oklahoma City two years ago takes on added meaning today as his congregation begins meeting downtown in an 82-year-old church building that was vacant almost 30 years.

“The congregation is in the process of remodeling the lower 10,000 square feet of the 58,000-square-foot building.

“Hogue said the congregation’s goal is to restore the entire church building over a five-year period.”

The April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building damaged many buildings downtown, and the First Christian Church building sustained about $700,000 of damage. The insurance money and a low-interest loan helped Citychurch restore the building.

In 2006, Hogue bought a defunct golf club with the intention of remodeling it into MetroChurch, his former church. He told a reporter at the time that he would conduct morning services north and evening services at Citychurch.

Now, Citychurch has listed for sale its downtown building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

An Internet search shows the asking price for the building is $1,850,345.

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