- Bethany First Church of the Nazarene began on October 14, 1909. Rev. C. B. Jernigan and 33 charter members organized the church and met in the girl’s dormitory of Oklahoma Holiness College.
- In 1910 BFC hosted the first Oklahoma District Assembly in a makeshift tabernacle built at 36th and Asbury.
- “The Stone Tabernacle” was built in 1914 on the west side of College Avenue, between old McConnell Hall and the present Cantrell Hall. The church seated 600 people—more than twice the population of Bethany.
- In 1925 a new church building was erected on the northeast corner of 39th and Asbury. This building served BFC until 1969. Today, known as Herrick Auditorium, it is still used by Southern Nazarene University.
- In 1945 the men of Bethany built a youth center two blocks west of the church at a cost of $25,000. We know it today as BFC's Fred Floyd Center.
- In 1946 the church embarked on a major building program. The sanctuary was enlarged and a three-story educational unit was built.
- In 1957 another youth activity building was built.
- In 1960 the church was enlarged again and completely remodeled. At this time, the church began developing property for athletic fields.
- In 1966 plans were made for the construction of a new sanctuary that would seat 2,500. The building project was completed in June 1969. The dedication and first worship service was held on June 15, 1969. Dr. M. Harold Daniels was pastor.
- That sanctuary is still in use today. The striking architecture, with its towering arches, has become an Oklahoma landmark along Route 66.
- Nineteen pastors have served Bethany First Church.
Many are recognized throughout the denomination as outstanding leaders who helped build the General Church of the Nazarene. Each one played an important role in the life and ministry of BFC.
Pastors Who Have Served Bethany First Church
H. H. Miller 1909-1911
Will Lynn 1911-1912
E. J. Lord 1912-1915
F. W. Johnson 1915
C. B. Widmeyer 1915-1916
J. A. Ludlam 1916-1918
J. B. Chapman 1918-1919
B. F. Neely 1919-1921
S. H. Owens 1921-1922
S. S. White 1922-1923
A. L. Parrott 1923-1930
H. B. Macrory 1930-1940
C. B. Strang 1940-1949
E. S. Phillips 1949-1964
M. Harold Daniels 1964-1970
Ponder W. Gilliland 1970-1985
Mel McCullough 1985-2004
David Busic 2004 - 2011
Rick Harvey 2012 - present