Christ the Redeemer Dedication
January 24, 2023, 10:00 AM

On Sunday, January 22, 2023, Christ the Redeemer in Tulsa, OK hosted a Dedication Service for their newly renovated sanctuary, building, and new construction. District First Vice-President Chris Hall was invited to preach for the service, which featured musical offerings from the handbell choir, the adult choir, soloists, and organist Jacob Drengler. After the service, an hors d'oeuvre reception was held in the new Fellowship Hall off the sanctuary.


On January 10, 1954, Christ the Redeemer held their first service in a church facility near 49th and Peoria in Tulsa. CTR was first incorporated as a congregation in February of that same year. The present church on 71st Street near Lewis Avenue was built in 1967 and enlarged in 1994. Rev. Harold E. Brockhoff served the congregation as its first pastor from 1954 until his retirement in 1994. The current pastor, Rev. Scott Burmeister, was installed on June 30, 2013.


The road to this expansion was a long one. Initial plans for an expansion were discussed around 2010 but put on hold after former pastor Rev. Eric Van Scharrel took a call. Plans resumed after 2015 under Rev. Burmeister’s leadership. Christ the Redeemer had been blessed by God with continued growth in their congregational membership, participation in Youth and Education activities, and opportunities for Outreach. These blessings presented a challenge, however, as the existing building was stretched to its effective limits.


With the help of architectural firm W Design, interviews with all ministries and staff members were conducted. Surveys and other input from the congregation were collected as well. All this input helped formulate goals for a building expansion, which were developed into a site master plan. W Design’s lead architect on the project, Shane Hood, submitted this master plan to the congregation on March 26, 2017.


CTR officially broke ground on July 29, 2020 for the two phase project. Once completion of the main project was nearing an end, the congregation elected to renovate the sanctuary as well. New ceramic tile, new pew cushions, and completely new skylights replaced the worn, outdated, and dangerous originals, substantially improving the acoustics and lighting of the space. The original mid-century modern pendant lights, part of the original design of the sanctuary, were also retrofitted with new LED lights.


Now the congregation has two large fellowship spaces, dedicated Sunday School and youth rooms, a new commercial kitchen, a new music rehearsal and storage space, new offices, spacious workrooms and storage space, rooms dedicated to outreach opportunities with partner organizations, and still has room to grow. Currently, the Tulsa area Lutheran Braille Workers have two rooms dedicated to their equipment, used to make copies of books of the Bible in Braille in multiple languages for distribution around the world. Tulsa Saints, a group dedicated to serving the unhoused citizens of Tulsa, also has a room in which to store and stage supplies for their weekly dinner outreach events in downtown Tulsa. In addition, a new elevator and walkway grant a safer, more accessible route to the balcony, which could previously only be reached via a beautiful but treacherous open spiral staircase.


The sanctuary reopened for Reformation Sunday 2022, and the congregation enjoyed worshiping in the beautifully renovated sanctuary throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. In the past few months, the congregation has enjoyed use of the new facilities, hosting the annual Parish Life Christmas Party, a revamped Children’s Sunday School opening featuring the youth band, midweek meals, and more. They look forward to being able to worship God and serve their neighbors in the beautiful and expanded space as the congregation continues to live out its mission to lead people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.



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