First Christian Church, Wichita Falls, celebrated our 130th Anniversary in 2020. When the church was founded in 1890, there were forty-two charter members. The first church building, the “little white church,” was constructed in 1891 at the corner of Ninth and Lamar through the labor and love of early church members.
By 1910, it was apparent that the growing congregation had outgrown the confines of the 30’ by 65’ sanctuary. The corner lot of Tenth and Travis was purchased, and the groundbreaking ceremony was held in early 1913. The first services were held on Sunday, December 7, 1914, in the sanctuary which could seat more than one thousand worshipers.
By 1955 the church membership grew to nearly 1,300. Problems with space, the need for building repairs and refurbishing, and the city’s demographic shift to the south and the west of the central business district led to the purchase of fifteen acres at the intersection of Taft and Kirk, across the street from Midwestern State University (formerly Hardin College). Ground was broken on July 27, 1958. Construction lasted over one year with the highlight occurring as the steeple was hoisted by crane and placed atop the colonial-style sanctuary. Two large expansions were made during the next two decades which included the Fellowship Hall, the Chapel, and the gym.
Over the years, two new Disciples of Christ churches were created to meet needs of the growing city and membership. Members of the Board of First Christian agreed to sponsor a new congregation, Highland Heights Christian Church, in 1925. By 1960, leaders of both First Christian and Highland Heights saw the need to form a new mission church and established Park Place Christian Church.
We are also happy to report that almost 30 members of First Christian have answered the call to ministry over the last century, making them “Timothys” of our congregation. We are grateful for their faithful ministry and honored that God called them from our pews to serve the greater church.
Today, First Christian Church continues to be an active and growing congregation that supports the needs of our community and global family.
Historical information taken from the book, Inherit the Joy – Continue the Quest, 1890-1990, A History of First Christian Church, Wichita Falls, Texas, Joyce Hinds, Editor, completed in 1990 in celebration of our Centennial Anniversary.