A new church moved into the neighborhood at 1100 SW 57th St. Rev. Dale Redman served as pastor. After Dale Redman had to resign due to physical issues in his family, Rev. John Copeland served the congregation as pastor. When he resigned due to health, the church was without a pastor for a period of time. During this time, the congregation dwindled down to about 20 people.
The church called Darrell & Elizabeth Stetler, who had both just graduated from Bible College, to be the new pastor. They arrived June 24th, 2003 and were blessed to have a great core group of people who were ready to work and reach out.
On the first Sunday Darrell & Elizabeth were in OKC, there were 12 people present for worship. This picture was taken at a birthday party after worship in August of 2003. The congregation began to reach out. People started bringing neighbors. Pastor Darrell says, "I remember filling my car with kids, seniors, anyone who would come -- and I'd fill it twice every Sunday morning."
The little church began to grow. "I'll never forget the Sunday we hit 35, and I was so happy," Pastor Darrell shared. "Gradually, we inched up. But conflict wasn't far away... some people didn't appreciate the outreach we were doing, and left the church. About half the original core group left, and things looked pretty bleak. We began to pray for a miracle, and re-double our efforts to reach our neighbors."
GOd keeps blessing
The church began to reach out and see new people reached for Jesus, and new Christian discipleship. "When we moved here, there were only 3 people from THIS neighborhood who actually came to church," Darrell explains. "The thing I'm most proud of is that many people from this diverse neighborhood, actually see this as THEIR church now. Black, white, brown and every other color, worshiping and following Jesus together... it's a beautiful thing!"
Heading INTo the future
The church has continued to grow. We helped plant a church in Clovis, NM. We serve the neighborhood with love and the Gospel, and exciting things are in our future! We are in discussions to plant a Spanish Congregation. About 150 people now consider this their church home. Who knows what's next?
A Call to Prayer and Fasting
In January of 2016, Pastor Darrell felt led to call the congregation to join in a 40-day period of fasting and prayer, for:
1. God to raise up a generation of men in Oklahoma City with a heart for God.
2. God to give the church a hunger for holiness.
3. God to demonstrate his power through the Holy Spirit's presence.
In April of 2016, God sent three people in one day (who didn't know each other), to all tell him a message, "I have heard your prayer, and the days are coming where I will do mighty things in South Oklahoma City."
We are anxiously awaiting God's promise, watching and working... expecting greater things in the future.