Worship Spaces: First United Bretheren Church, Tulsa OK

Saturday, I attended an Earth Day festival at Garden Deva Sculpture here in Tulsa with Arianna. We attended under the auspices of her employer, Tulsa Hub (which is really cool, you should check it out.)

While there, I noticed an old (and seemingly abandoned) church across the street. I crossed and took the pictures seen here with my phone. They are the first in a series of posts featuring photography of the many beautiful churches here in Tulsa, and beyond.

But in doing a little research about the old church to share here, I found it has quite a magical history. Originally built as the First Evangelical United Brethren Church, at some point it was repurposed as a recording studio. In the early 70s, during the heydey of the Tulsa music scene, rock star and Tulsa native Leon Russell bought the building. During his five year stint as owner, the place became the center of music in Tulsa, attracting world-famous musicians such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Peter Tosh and George Harrison to record there.

Since the 70s, it has been used on and off as a studio, at times sitting empty and unused. Five years ago there was a plan to revitalize the building and reopen it, but it doesn’t seem much came of it. The building’s Facebook page has posts from last fall about plans to renovate, but nothing new has been posted since October.

You never know what you’ll find wandering about. I feel this is an auspicious start to this series. I hope you enjoy.


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