page First Christian Church


Our story

The Church of Christ of Panora was organized in 1854 under the evangelistic labors of Clayborn Wright, Benjamin Mitchell and Alexander Wasson chosen elders and William C. Jones, a deacon. Later, J. Culbertson was added to the eldership and William Miller to the deaconate. During the early years, meetings were held in various homes in the Panora area. The original members were: Benjamin Mitchell, William Jones, Margaret Jones, William and Mrs. Miller, Samuel and Mrs. McClaran, Horatio Shaw, Ozias Shaw, and others.

After the Civil War, Henry Mobley determined that the work of the church must be resumed and a period of strong evangelism occurred in Panora. Meetings were held in school houses and the Court House for a number of years. In 1874 Joseph and Nancy Garlow gave a quit claim deed to lots 1 and 2 in Block N to the Church of Christ. With this land and $1,500, a wooden building was constructed on this site.

In 1899, a new church edifice was built just where the wooden one stood. The old building was given to the Disciples at Guthrie Center. It is said that the old building was sawed into several sections and transported on wagons to Guthrie Center. The road between Panora and Guthrie had to be planked with large boards to keep the heavy loads from sinking into the dirt roads.

The present structure was dedicated on December 17, 1899. The cost of this brick building and its stained glass windows was $6,500 which was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Harvuot. The congregation raised another $1,500 for furnishings. The original pulpit, Communion table, and pews are still in use today. In 1906, the pipe organ was purchased. It was restored and rededicated in 2006 within two days of 100 years from the original dedication service, and is still used in Sunday worship.

Many changes have occurred over the years, including a complete refurbishing of the sanctuary in 1998. This project involved bringing all electrical wiring up to code, removing paneling, removing a lowered ceiling and all of the original plaster and replacing it with drywall. During this restoration project, the congregation held Sunday service in the basement.

In 2008 the church purchased the "old parsonage," the house next to the church to the East.  It was torn down and the lot leveled.  Then in 2009 the congregation added on to the building to the South including an elevator.  A parking area was graveled around the south and east of the church as well.  Praise God as we rejoice in his guidance and everlasting love. ~

Our beliefs

I pray that you will feel God's presence at your side.

the team

Church Board Officers:
Diane Watts, Chairperson
Dave Olson, Vice Chairperson
Treasurer, Sheila Wooldridge
Ellen Campbell and Pat Meacham, Co-Secretaries

Mary Morgan, Organist

If you have information for the newsletter, please contact Pastor Gary Freeland at or Deb Louk, Church Secretary at


  • Worship Service held Sundays at 10:00 am
  • Sunday School Classes are held at 9:00am
  • Youth Group held Wednesdays at 6:00 pm - K-5 AWANA, and 5-12 God's Squad