First Christian Church in Tonkawa, Oklahoma had its first message preached in the little Richland Schoolhouse northwest of Tonkawa in 1896. In August of that same year, the congregation reorganized in a tent at the site of the North Main Street water tower. From the tent on North Main, the congregation moved into a tabernacle on the northwest corner at Main and Grand.
1900 – 1923
In early 1900, the church moved into a frame building located at 10th and Grand Avenue. In 1921, plans were made to build a new brick church home at the current location at 115 West Grand. The original brick building/sanctuary was constructed in 1923, and the east Education Building in 1926. The Three Sands oil boom and the enthusiastic work of devoted church members increased the average attendance of Sunday School at First Christian Church to a record of 515 in 1935, and a record attendance of 835 on Easter Sunday, 1939.
2005 – Present
The fascia of the brick church stood unchanged until 2005 when improvements brought new offices, stairs, an elevator, and a new look to the front of the building. These changes also brought a new name, changing from First Christian Church to Christian
Life Church. During this restoration process, the cornerstone of the church, which had sat undisturbed for eighty-two years, was carefully removed to reveal a time capsule placed there when the building was originally built in 1923. The contents included a
New Testament, the Church Covenant, a Tonkawa newspaper called The Salt Fork Valley News dated February 3, 1900, names of the church officers, building committee, and membership roll beautifully penned by Mr. George Boehme.