Tulsa's Historical Churches, Tulsa

Tulsa's Historical Churches (Self Guided), Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma is home to an array of remarkable churches, cathedrals, chapels, and other religious sites collectively reflecting the city's diverse religious heritage. A good number of these sanctuaries are located downtown. By far more than just places of worship, they are also architectural marvels and cultural landmarks.

Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, with its striking Art Deco design, is a true testament to Tulsa's architectural ingenuity. The First United Methodist Church, established in the early 20th century, showcases the Perpendicular Tudor Gothic style, rendering it one of the city's most stunning buildings. First Christian Church, known for its neoclassical design, has played a vital role in fostering a sense of community and service.

Holy Family Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, stands as a symbol of faith and tradition. The First Presbyterian Church, with its stately Gothic architecture, has provided spiritual nourishment to generations of Tulsans, while Trinity Episcopal Church, with its picturesque English Gothic style, continues to inspire worshipers with its timeless beauty.

And of course, the First Baptist Church, a towering presence in downtown Tulsa, has been a beacon of hope and faith in the city since 1927.

Undoubtedly, these historical churches not only embody the spiritual heritage of Tulsa but also contribute to its cultural identity. Exploring these architectural gems offers a glimpse into Tulsa's past and present. So, do take a moment to visit these sacred sites on our self-guided tour, marvel at their beauty, and experience the rich history and faith that they represent.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Tulsa's Historical Churches Map

Guide Name: Tulsa's Historical Churches
Guide Location: USA » Tulsa (See other walking tours in Tulsa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Author: karenl
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Boston Avenue United Methodist Church
  • First United Methodist Church
  • First Christian Church
  • Holy Family Cathedral
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • First Baptist Church
Boston Avenue United Methodist Church

1) Boston Avenue United Methodist Church (must see)

The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church is often lauded for its ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture. The church was completed in 1929 after only two years of construction.

The design of the church was envisioned by Adah Robinson, a local art teacher and chair of the art department at the University of Tulsa. Architect Bruce Goff, a former student of Robinson's, used her sketches to create the architectural plans. There is some controversy over who is credited with the final plan, though the church itself credits Robinson as the primary designer

The building uses crockets and finials that are meant to represent two hands raised in prayer. It is constructed from metal, glass, limestone, granite and terracotta. This includes many terracotta sculptures created by artist Robert Garrison, another one of Robinson's students.

The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1999.
First United Methodist Church

2) First United Methodist Church

Located in downtown Tulsa, First United Methodist Church is one of Tulsa’s most beautiful churches. Established in January 1921, the church held religious services in the basement until 1928 when the current building was completed and officially opened. Designed by Charles Bolton, the church was built in the Perpendicular Tudor Gothic architectural style. The exterior consists of local sandstone and oak, except for the windows and beautiful arches, which are Indiana limestone and cement. The sanctuary is in the shape of a cruciform, and two large towers flank the front entrance.
First Christian Church

3) First Christian Church

Inaugurated in February 1920, First Christian Church is a remarkable landmark in downtown Tulsa. This church features a huge green cupola and four smaller cupolas, all made of Indiana limestone in the Greek style. The interior of the church impresses with its oak furniture, chandeliers, inner cupola, stained glass, decorative lamps and beautiful organ with 4,000 pipes. Construction on the church began in 1902 under the direction of famous architect J. Walton and was finished in 1920 with help from architect V. Slyke. The church is one of Tulsa's top architectural and historical landmarks.
Holy Family Cathedral

4) Holy Family Cathedral

Holy Family Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the mother church of the Diocese of Tulsa. Construction of the church began in 1912. It was dedicated only two years later though the church wasn't finished until 1927. It was designed in the Gothic Revival and Classic Revival architectural styles by J.P. Curtin of Curtin, Winkler and Macdonald.

Holy Family Cathedral was the tallest building in Tulsa until 1923 when it was overshadowed by the Mayo Hotel. Its height came from the single spire, which is somewhat unique in Gothic architecture. The cathedral and its buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The stained glass windows may be viewed from both inside and outside of the cathedral. These windows were replicated from stained glass created by the Royal Bavarian Art Institute in Munich. The windows are original to the building.

Those who wish to admire the interior architecture and stained glass may do so via a guided tour. These tours are available from Tuesday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
First Presbyterian Church

5) First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa was organized in 1885. It originally met in the store owned by James M. Hall and Harry C. Hall. The first permanent minister, Reverend Charles William Kerr and his wife arrived in Tulsa in 1900. Kerr remained at this church for over 40 years. Under his leadership, the church became the second largest in its denomination (the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America). This church is part of the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA (UPCUSA).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Trinity Episcopal Church

6) Trinity Episcopal Church

Built in 1926, Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest Episcopal church in town. Located at the corner of Fifth Street and Cincinnati Avenue, the church is a fine example of the English Gothic architectural style with its ecclesiastic stained glass windows and artistic wood carvings. Construction on the church began in 1921 and finished in 1926. The interior features beautiful colored floors, and these colors are matched in the ceiling. There are also stunning stained-glass windows, which depict the Apostles’ Creed.
First Baptist Church

7) First Baptist Church

Located at Fourth Street and Cincinnati Avenue, First Baptist Church dates back to Tulsa's earliest days when the town was in Indian Territory and known as “Tulsey Town”. The current church was built in 1927 and has continued to grow over the years. The church is a Gothic structure, which features one large steeple. A full renovation of the cathedral and education wing updated the look of the church. The result is a lovely facility with a footprint of more than 250,000 square feet.

Walking Tours in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Create Your Own Walk in Tulsa

Create Your Own Walk in Tulsa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tulsa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of Tulsa Walking Tour

University of Tulsa Walking Tour

Located on the historic U.S. Route 66, America's "Mother Road", the University of Tulsa campus centers on a wide, grassy, quad-like space, known as Dietler Commons. Formerly called "The U", it is found not far from the downtown area and is dominated by English Gothic architecture.

At the top of Deitler Commons sits one of the campus' most notable landmarks, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Tulsa Introduction Walking Tour

Tulsa Introduction Walking Tour

Straddling the Arkansas River in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, the city of Tulsa is deeply rooted in the Native American history and, more recently, in the oil industry too.

The area of modern Tulsa is considered an Indian Territory, and has been formally settled by Native Americans since 1836. The tribesmen named their settlement Tallasi, which means "old town" in the Creek language,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles