By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Rev Dr Don Alexander has been the Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Oklahoma City for 30 years. He will be the guest preacher for a special worship service on Sunday April 19 at 10:30 a.m. The service will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Building on April 19, 1995.
Dr. Alexander initiated the effort to use First Christian Church as a resource center for the families of those killed or injured in the bombing. All rooms in the church were used by various agencies and groups to provide help and support for the families affected by the event.
The Rev John Malget, FCC-OKC Senior Minister said, “I stand in awe of what real community looks like, and it looks like First Christian Church of Oklahoma City. This congregation has a history of opening its doors for those in need.
“This was never more true than during the aftermath of the Murrah Bombing in 1995 when First Christian opened its doors for families and loved ones of those whose lives were changed forever on April 19,” added Malget.
“I am overrun with emotion as we come together on Sunday, April 19, 2015 to remember and to celebrate the lives that were lost, and those who spent countless hours ministering to families.”
Jeff Hamilton, Associate Minister at First Christian Church said, “We are pleased that Rev. Don Alexander will be with our congregation and the community on the 20th Anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing, April 19, 1995.
“Rev. Alexander was deeply involved in the ministries at the church and other community memorials at the time. He met with Governor Frank Keating as well as with President Bill Clinton.”
“The living experiences of the tragic bombing, as well as the legacy of hope seen in the Oklahoma Standard, richly come together in Rev. Alexander,” Hamilton added. “The public is invited to attend”
At the time of the bombing, Alexander and his food services director, Chris Whitney worked to bring relief to those involved during the arduous task of recovery.
Located at NW 36th and Walker, FCC-OKC seemed to be a good option as the Family Assistance Center, since it was only two miles north of where the Murrah building stood.
Some 130 members of First Christian Church were involved in various roles of ministry to families. The church’s kitchen and dining room were used, almost nonstop, to provide food and rest for the families.
It was in the church’s Jewel Box Theatre that the Medical Examiner’s Office gathered to provide information to the media after conferring with the families.
The church received financial gifts from Oklahoma and from around the world. The funds received allowed for the church to give $1,000 to each family to help with their expenses.
The remaining funds, after some refurbishing of the church, due to wear and tear from the hundreds who used the building, were deposited with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
The current FCCOKC facilities were the dream of Rev. Bill Alexander, Don’s father. He believed in a vision of a futuristic sanctuary, a youth center, a theatre, a new educational building, and an amphitheater for programs “under the stars,” that could be an iconic landmark for the city. The church was dubbed “The First Christian Church of Tomorrow” by the media during its dedication ceremony in 1956.
During this year’s commemoration, First Christian Church will honor all of those killed and injured and acknowledge with appreciation those who selflessly served families and the community during the aftermath of that tragic event 20 years ago.
For more information contact Rev Malget at 405-525-6551 or visit www.fccokc.org.