"Alabaster" is the name given to the Church of the Nazarene's international building fund [ more on Alabaster ]
Early in 2001 I walked through a dimly lit, abandoned warehouse on NW 10th in Oklahoma City. The inside of the building was a mess. They told me that aircraft parts had been made there during World War II.
A few blocks away, in a sea of apartment buildings, stood Greenvale Elementary School. For 20 years, a teacher there had prayed that the Church of the Nazarene would come to the blighted area and make a difference for her students who came from families often referred to as "the working poor."
On Easter Sunday of 2000 God answered the teacher's prayer. "New Life Community" Nazarene church began holding services in that very school where she had often silently cried out to the Lord on behalf on the children and young people living in all those apartments.
From the start, the dream for the Greenvale church plant was not limited to Sunday church services. Like any affective church, its vision included a wide range of ministries specifically aimed at its neighborhood which includes Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and Asians. Making that dream come true would require more than the use of a school cafeteria on Sunday mornings. That's when the fledgling church began dreaming about buying the abandoned warehouse.
Alabaster funds were a key part of the financing package. Then, the loving hands of volunteer craftsmen from Nazarene churches in the area began transforming that warehouse into a ministry center. Even the woman who runs the tavern across the street has been impressed. Her grandson became active in the youth group.
"Giving up a want to meet a need" was an early Alabaster offering slogan. It's certainly met a need on 10th St.
Until renovation of a large area for worship can be completed and occupancy permits issued, worshipers will still gather at the school for Sunday morning worship services, but on Sunday afternoons and evenings and all through the week, the ministry center hums with activity.
Thanks, Alabaster, for helping answer a teacher's prayer.
Published in the September 2002 issue of "Holiness Today"
Howard Culbertson, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-491-6693 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2002 - Last Updated: June 26, 2012 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/10thst.htm
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