A new identity for an old structure

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
The old-fashioned red-brick structure stood empty, an eye-sore in the neighborhood. After years of being revered as a symbol of God’s love and mercy, the church doors closed. Padlocks and boarded windows kept squatters out. Mice and various critters roamed without fear above the ceiling tiles. Cement peered through the tattered maroon carpet. Obsolete lights swayed overhead as spiders weaved their webs. Archaic electrical outlets hung from their sockets. After years of service, the baptismal pool stood empty; tears of corrosion ran down its sides.
As we toured the building with our son for the first time, we envisioned the potential without regard to the obvious.
The remodel required hard work and long hours. Days of frustration mixed with sheer joy as God worked behind the scenes to accomplish the impossible.
As construction began, the house of prayer took on a contemporary look. A fresh coat of paint covered the walls, stained concrete replaced the old floor covering and modern light fixtures lit up the once dismal auditorium. Classrooms furnished with brightly colored toys and colorful mats welcomed children. The church of bygone days was given a new birth.
People now enter the refurbished house of worship and experience a new life because of the salvation and forgiveness message shared from the pulpit. Children sit in circles and discover the heroes of faith because a small hand of believers grabbed hold of the vision and created a visible difference.
Our church is constructed on a foundation established almost 50 years ago in the city of Tulsa, Okla. — a ministry centered on Jesus as the cornerstone.
God has a definite plan and a positive future for an energetic group of Christians as they unite together, resurrect and give new life into an old abandoned church.
Neither God nor our church are finished, as work continues and additional projects are completed. The best years are yet to come.
In the Book of Ezra, the Bible tells a similar story. God instructed the children of Israel to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple on the same location where the original temple once stood, the place God preordained.
“Take these utensils, go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem and let the house of God be rebuilt in its place.” — Ezra 5:15.
Because Jesus Lives, the church remains the cornerstone of new beginnings.
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

This story was posted on August 22, 2019.