The Capital “C” Church
The Church was founded by Jesus at Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago when He poured out His Spirit on those early believers gathered to pray in an upper room in Jerusalem. A former country hick fisherman named Peter preached the first sermon in church history and some 3,000 people responded and were baptized into Christ. Christ’s body has continued to grow ever since. It has survived and thrived through a variety of challenges from both within and without. The history of the church has been far from perfect. We are merely a sinful and selfish people loved and forgiven by a perfect Savior.
The Restoration Movement
First Christian Church grew from the rich, fertile soil of a spiritual heritage known as the Restoration Movement. This was a grassroots revival that swept across the American frontier during the 19th Century as a part of what was known as the 2nd Great Awakening. It was Christians from a variety of traditions and denominations seeking to unite and worship together on the basis of God’s Word alone. They wanted to “Restore” New Testament Christianity (thus the restoration in the movement’s name), and free the faith from the centuries of traditions and interpretations that had hardened the arteries of this once living, breathing, and dynamic community of Christ followers. A contentious and divisive spirit had splintered the body of Christ into a thousand different groups organized around different man-made ideas and opinions. These Christians sought to be known as Christians only and let the Bible be their only test of faith. It might seem a bit simplistic and idealistic, but it was a needed corrective. It remains a necessary reminder today.
The distinguishing characteristics of the Restoration Movement have always been unity and biblical authority. This is why in our church today you will find strong teaching of the Scriptures and Christians from all backgrounds and viewpoints who manage to worship and work together.
First Christian Church
First Christian Church of Grove traces her roots to gatherings held in a public school building in 1900 when Grove was still Indian Territory. The first formal weekly meetings of FCC took place on February 3, 1903, and her first minister, J. Edmondson, of Evansville, Indiana was called to preach for the princely sum of $35 per month.
The first building was started in 1904 and by 1911 membership had grown to 79. The present Fellowship Hall was built in 1936 and a new chapel, classrooms, and offices were added in 1956. Celebration Hall was added in 1995 as a multipurpose facility. It was later upgraded to add a kitchen, classrooms, and remodeled to host a contemporary worship service. Inspiration Hall was built in 2008 adding classrooms and a playground for children. The latest remodeling projects were completed in 2015 and includes a new space for our youth groups in Inspiration Hall.
First Christian Church has been served by 25 senior ministers and a host of staff and youth ministers over the years.