OKLAHOMA CITY – It seems there are still questions about the fate of a well-known church in Oklahoma City.
In 2016, a 32-acre property went up for sale near N.W. 36th and Walker in Oklahoma City. The property includes the First Christian Church, which is known for its shape and history.
“This building is definitely one of the architectural icons of Oklahoma City. It gives us the distinctive architectural look that we have,” said Lynn Rostochil.
The congregation made the difficult decision to put the massive property up for sale in 2016, and many said they hoped that a buyer would love the place as much as they did.
Several months ago, Okie Mod Squad created a petition to ask the city council to declare the First Christian Church a landmark.
“We would not have initiated this had we not heard these buildings were going to come down,” Rostochil said.
Since then, there has been a battle raging over the balance between a property owner’s rights and the rights of city leaders regarding historic structures.
Despite the disagreements, it seemed like the First Christian Church would still be standing after Crossings Community Church announced that it was considering buying the property. The initial agreement stated that neither church would demolish the building as long as they owned it.
However, it seems the situation has changed.
On Thursday, Crossings Community Church announced that it is no longer interested in buying the First Christian Church property.
“Today, Senior Pastor Marty Grubbs announced to the Crossings congregation the decision not to pursue the First Christian Church property at NW 36th & Walker. In April, we came to an agreement to pursue the acquisition of the First Christian Church building and entered a due diligence period. This period was spent evaluating the feasibility of this opportunity to make it suitable for our purposes as a satellite campus. After months of prayer, research, and inspection, we have determined it best not to proceed.
Unfortunately, the overall cost was much higher than we anticipated. The total cost of this endeavor would exceed $20 million. It became far more than what our leadership and elders were willing to invest; particularly in light of our 60-year commitment not to incur any long-term debt. Though this is not the outcome that we had hoped for, we are confident that we have diligently pursued and carefully considered all aspects of this opportunity. We are especially thankful for the great friendship we have developed with First Christian Church during this process, and pray for them as they move forward,” a statement from the church read.