The Church Leon Built


Dear Friends,

The long and winding road to The Church continues and 2019 was a true testament to that. While construction on The Church Studio moves forward, our team spent 2019 working on our online presence and working closely with the community by paying tribute to our city’s rich music history while preparing a business strategy for today’s progressive music industry.

“Studio Row” is open for business and an official neighborhood of the Pearl District and thanks to you, business is kicking! We even opened our own pop-up shop (the Shelter House at 316 S. Trenton)  and hosted our first music festival in the neighborhood!  Because of YOU, our neighborhood is growing, and we are so much closer to making The Church Studio dream a reality. We are eternally grateful for your support and can’t wait to share The Church Studio with you!

See you in 2020!

Truly yours,
The Church Studio Team

Over a century ago, before Leon, there was Grace M.E. Church. We hope to give their original mission justice by being as welcoming when we open our doors.

ba3e24fb-18a7-4952-bad2-e8f7b64c41ab Updates


Church Studio Employees, circa 1974


The construction at The Church Studio continues! We are back on track for our Fall 2020 opening. The concrete has been poured, finishes selected, and vintage brass porthole windows were found on an auction that are almost identical to what Leon installed in the main entrance doors. Thank you to Shelter artist Dwight Twilley, for showing us the exact look. Each day, more progress can be seen and our excitement continues to build. Did we mention the Studio will have two sub-terrain echo chambers, multiple mixing rooms, original fir wood floors, and one of the best analog gear collections including a NEVE 8068 Recording Mixing Console? We can’t wait to show you! Stay tuned on social media for exclusive updates.


It’s been a productive year for the Church Studio Archive. Our team has been working diligently to archive over 4,500 items in our collection, with 4,000 now in our database. The collection is heavy on Leon Russell memorabilia but includes a lot of unique items pertaining to other Shelter artists and The Church’s historical significance.


Due to popular demand, The Church Studio designated one of the properties in our real estate portfolio as a retail pop-up store! Following Leon Russell’s use of the houses in the neighborhood in 1972, the store is a nod to that history and has had a complete renovation. Known internally as the “Shelter House” the store will be open for special events and occasions and will eventually be additional office space for The Church Studio operation. If you are in the neighborhood, come to say hi and take care of all of your #churchmerch needs. 316 S. Trenton Ave., South of the Church OR shop online here.


Our neighborhood is growing! Studio Row now features 8 new businesses for all your shopping and dining needs.


Welcome to the whimsical and glittery world of Adorn!  The dream-child of owner Whitney Eslicker who desired to create a shopping experience overflowing with personal touches, unique gift and home finds, and joyfully festive holiday décor. Adorn also offers holiday home design services with hand-crafted florals, garlands, trees, and wreaths and home decor installation. Next time you are in the neighborhood, stop by and buy yourself something unique and glittery!



Culture is Tulsa’s digital production, communication, and distribution authority. Culture builds online brands through expert use of YouTube, Facebook, SEO, SEM, Social Media, and any method that will get the job done new or old. We are innovative, imaginative, and cutting edge and one of the only companies that keeps all our work in house. Whether it is promoting you on our entertainment channels, creating your online brand and personality, or marketing your product or service worldwide, Culture has you covered.



Cozy and spacious, Duets is a two-suite boutique bed and breakfast sitting above High Dive available to rent per day. Guest will step back in time in the 1913 structure and enjoy upscale décor, luxury bath products, and linens.



Inspired by Leon Russell’s beautiful song “Hummingbird,” the studio is an artist cooperative featuring a rotating gallery of hand-made jewelry, metal art, vintage items, boutique clothing, paintings, and other wares for sale. When you are looking for a unique gift for your friends and family, make sure you stop by Hummingbird!


From the creators of Foolish Things Coffee, High Dive offers Korean inspired street food, specialty coffee, and fancy-ish drinks! Programming includes acoustic music sets, karaoke sets, and open mic events. Stay tuned for more info on snow-cones coming this Spring!



Created by Mary and Anthony Martinez, Mango’s will delight your palate with authentic Cuban cuisine, coffee, and desserts in an intimate environment and simple Caribbean décor. And if Latin music is your thing, Mango’s has some of the best live music in town featuring Tulsa’s greatest.



Recently voted as one of the Top Vinyl Stores in American, Tulsa’s newest vinyl record store is open 7 days per week for new, used, sell or trade! With one of the biggest inventories in town, you are sure to find your new favorite record. Stop by and tell Mike we sent you!



Under the ownership of Grammy-Award winning drummer, David Teegarden, Teegarden Studios offers fully automated mixing, mastering capabilities directly to CD or DAT as well as a large assortment of vintage microphones and outboard processing equipment. The studio space is roomy and sounds incredible!



From the mastermind behind the original Blue Rose Café on Brookside, Swamp House is your stop for good food and good music. Don’t miss out on the Cajun-inspired comfort food and a team that supports local musicians by featuring them often in the restaurant. #STUDIOROWTULSA community

Part of our foundation’s mission is to showcase the brotherhood, diversity, and evolution of “The Tulsa Sound.” People often say that The Tulsa Sound was not a specific sound but a community and what a better way to honor that spirit than to collaborate with Tulsa’s music, business and education communities. Read below about some of our memorable collaborations!

LEON RUSSELL PIANO DEDICATION The Church Studio was honored to financially sponsor and co-produce the Leon Russell Piano Dedication. The event, underwritten by the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation and held in the Art Deco-inspired auditorium of the historic Will Rogers High School, featured performances by the Queen of the Tulsa Sound, Ann Bell as well as many others under the music direction of Paul Benjaman.  The recently restored 1938 Baldwin grand piano that Leon played as a student was prominently featured in the concert and dedicated to Leon. The sold-out show was a once in a lifetime experience!

Hosted by Rodeo Cinema, The Church Studio team was invited to participate in the “The Church Studio: Shelter of Space and Time” panel. The discussion featured our president Teresa Knox, co-owner Ivan Acosta and Amber Acosta our Archivist/Researcher. Items from the Church Studio Archive were also featured at the screening.

A first for the books! In partnership with Mary and Jamie Oldaker, The Church Studio co-hosted and produced its very first festival at Studio Row. Benefiting The Church Studio Music Foundation and Tulsa Day Center, the festival featured a plethora of musical talent with Ann Bell and The Gospel Hour headlining.

Presented by The Church Studio Music Foundation and hosted at the historic Harwelden Mansion, this unique book signing experience featured the team behind “Leon Russell, In His Own Words;” Steve Todoroff and John Wooley. Beautiful piano music provided by Spencer Sutton.

For the 4th year in a row, The Church Studio has been part of this incredible event put on by local non-profit record label, Horton Records. Together, 120 coats were collected for Youth Services of Tulsa and 380 food items or 258 lbs of food for Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. We love engaging with our music community! Oh, and the team met Tommy Tutone too!


Education is at the heart of our 501c3 nonprofit, the Church Studio Music Foundation. This year we hosted three interns. Haley from Oral Roberts University, Sadie from Oklahoma State University and Bailey from the University of Arkansas. All were a delight and added much value to our programming. We also collaborated with various educational groups, industry leaders, media, and visitors through our tour program.


Teresa Knox

Teresa Knox

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1 Comment

  1. SCOTT AYCOCK Aycock on October 27, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Loved reading and catching up on what’s going on. Thank you.

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