First Christian Church
“Good News” Newsletter
Winny and Tristan Crouch during Children's Moment on Pentecost
Celebrating Pentecost and Looking Forward
On May 23rd, our congregation, like thousands of Christian churches around the world, celebrated “Pentecost” Sunday. As recorded in the book of Acts, the day of Pentecost marks the birthday and beginning of the Christian church. On this day over 2,000 years ago, the Church began.
As has been the tradition at First Christian Church, many who attended the worship service wore red to symbolize how “Fire came down from heaven” and the Apostles and 120 Disciples were anointed with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
So many of our members in the congregation have commented that they are elated that the church building is now open for services and events, and everybody is ready to get back to some sense of “normal” activity.
We are still urging our members to get vaccinated, and we are still taking precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.
As was noted in our last newsletter, Vacation Bible School is planned to start on July 19. After not having VBS last year, our young people (and the young at heart) are ready to enjoy our big event of the summer. If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Lindsay Crouch and let her know you are interested.
Also, this fall we will be celebrating 106 years in Tahlequah. Like Pentecost Sunday, there’s a lot to celebrate.
From the Pastor's Desk
by Pastor Darell Christopher
“Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
The Month of May has been designated National Mental Health Awareness month. During this pandemic, many are isolated and without a strong social network to depend on. I want to encourage everyone to check on loved ones and be available to support those who might be suffering with mental health issues.
Mental health is important, because it affects our whole being The Bible does not explicitly speak on the topic of mental health; however, it does have a lot to say about the heart and mind, spiritual brokenness, and the condition of the soul.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5 percent—experiences mental illness in a given year. And although many of these individuals turn to their church and their faith for spiritual guidance, there is a stigma attached to mental illness in many Christian churches, causing many Christ-centered people to suffer alone in silence.
Suicide, depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse are just some of the mental illness-related topics many Christians find it hard to talk about. With the recent pandemic crisis, statistics are showing an increase in reported cases of mental illness.
Romans 15:1 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak.”. The truth is few churches have plans to assist families affected by mental illness and few churches are staffed with counselors skilled in mental illness. I am hoping that we can be supportive of one another here at First Christian.
GOING DOWN THE ROAD WITH JUDY:
Exploring Oklahoma’s Historic Churches
By Judy Shade
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Today’s journey keeps us close to home, this time in Park Hill, Oklahoma.
Because Tahlequah is a community dating back nearly 200 years, it has plenty of historic structures. In decades past, no town was worth the name if it didn’t have a church, and the Tahlequah area had many. Even in the 21st century, counting small “house” churches, Cherokee County has around 130. Some of today’s congregations have gathered since the 19th century and lay claim to old places of worship.
The area’s oldest church is Park Hill Presbyterian, dating to 1835, before the Trail of tears began. It was begun by the Congregational Rev. Samuel Newton, who moved to Park Hill from the other side of the Illinois River. The church conducted mission work and served as a school.
“It has been there so long,” said local historian Beth Harrington. “It dates back to the beginning of Park Hill and has a relationship to the Murrells and all the prominent families that lived there.”
In 1836, Rev. Samuel Worcester was named mission superintendent. The church building was purchased through donations-Principal Chief John Ross and George Murrell were thought to be major donors-ordered by Worcester, and delivered in 1847. With assistance from Rev. Stephen Foreman, the church’s first Presbyterian clergyman, and newspaper editor Elias Boudinot, Worcester printed Cherokee language Bibles, almanacs, and hymn books at the church. The church disbanded in 1859 with Worcester’s death and was dormant through the Civil War. At the onset of the Civil War, Foreman absconded with the bell, presumably to keep it from becoming war material, and returned it after the hostilities.
Foreman returned to Park Hill after the war and revived mission work and services. He received assistance from the southern Presbyterian Church through 1876, but a local church was never organized. Foreman died in 1881.
The Park Hill Presbyterian Church of today is the legacy of the 1885 reorganization by Rev. G.T. Thompson, which included a mission school that was open into the first years of the 20th century. Rev. Arthur Grant Evans served as the first resident pastor. He later moved to Muskogee to become president of Henry Kendall College, which later relocated to become the University of Tulsa.
The church was first sited a few hundred yards north of Park Hill Cemetery, then called Foreman Cemetery. It was rebuilt on its current site in 1915.
In 1886, a student inadvertently overfilled a stove in the church’s new schoolroom and the building caught fire. The bell plunged into the flames and was melted beyond recognition. The scrap was collected and returned to the casters, the Andrew McNeely Bell Co. of West Troy, NY. The bell was recast with its original inscription, “Rev. S.A. Worcester, DD, Park Hill Mission, 1847” and “Holiness to the Lord”.
Taken from an article by Sean Rowley, Tahlequah Daily Press
June 19th at 10:00 a.m., we will have an in-service on ADVANCE DIRECTIVES at First Christian Church.
Light refreshments provided.
Online Giving Now Available
Those who wish may now give to First Christian Church, Tahlequah online!
You may give through our website by clicking here.
If you wish to give using your Smartphone, you will need the app. Here are the instructions:
Tithe.ly Giving App:
Since this is your first time giving with Tithe.ly you will be prompted to create an account that you can use for all future gifts.
The first time you will also need to add your credit/debit card or ACH/banking info.
Once your account has been created you won’t need to enter your personal or payment information. Just enter your PIN and give!
A reminder you have the ability to set your gift up as recurring.