On Sunday, September 17, 1893, the day after the opening of the Cherokee Strip, the first religious services were held in Enid, Oklahoma. Among those leading services in the newly settled land were two Presbyterians, a missionary and a minister. G.V. Albertson, the Presbyterian missionary, led afternoon worship services, while Rev. H.P. Wilson, the Presbyterian minister, led evening services and taught a well-attended Sunday School.
The First Presbyterian Church was formally organized on January 28, 1894, with a membership roll of about 150 people, most of which had participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Run the previous year. Sunday services and classes were held in various buildings in Enid as the congregation grew: the Federal Building, in a one-room frame building on East Broadway, and eventually in a liquor wholesale warehouse on Randolph. While meeting in the liquor warehouse a plan was put into place to build a church facility at the corner of what is now Broadway and Jefferson; the structure was simple, with exposed rafters and muslin covering the windows.
By 1906 the simple structure at Broadway and Jefferson was outgrown and work was begun on a cream-colored brick building to replace it on the same location; the building was erected at a cost of $20,000. The new facility was dedicated on May 1, 1907 and is pictured here:
When The Rev. Dr. Dan Luther Edwards arrived in Enid to begin his pastorate in 1920, The First Presbyterian Church had been growing exponentially. With the need for more worship and education space, a committee was formed to explore expanding the current facility or building something new. After nearly six years of exploration, fundraising, and prayer, it was decided that a new facility was necessary. On Friday, October 29, 1926, in front of the entire community and a congregation from all over Oklahoma, the cornerstone was set for the building where we worship to this day.
The current church building, located one block south from the structure erected in 1907, was completed in 1927. The building is a testament to the ideals of Reformed Christianity: reverent worship, lifelong Christian education, and communal fellowship. The church building provides ample space for the preaching and teaching of God's Word and worship, classrooms of all sizes and shapes for Christian Education, and many spaces for the congregation to gather for meals and small groups. The church is not the building, but rather the people who come seeking God and a relationship with Jesus Christ and their neighbors; the church facility is a place where this happens!
The First Presbyterian Church has been a constant beacon of God's love in Enid for over 123 years. With such a central location in the downtown Enid area, The First Presbyterian Church takes advantage of many opportunities to serve the wider community. From hot meals, to after-school tutoring, to public concerts and the arts, The First Presbyterian Church is a place where all of God's people can come and experience the love and presence of God. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to form disciples of Jesus Christ who go out into the world with the message of the Gospel.