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Oklahoma City church is using giftcards to fuel giving

Oklahoma City's Faith Church, led by the Rev. Terry Bates, is observing March by giving away $5,000 in fuel gift cards during the month.
by Carla Hinton Published: March 16, 2013

An Oklahoma City church is observing a different type of contest this basketball season.

March is typically associated with a bevy of basketball tournaments, but Faith Church is using it to give away $5,000 in fuel gift cards.

The Rev. Terry Bates, the church's senior pastor, said a church member who wishes to remain anonymous gave the church, 800 S Portland, the funds to randomly distribute fuel gift cards in increments of $100 to $250. Bates, 53, said the church is giving away several of the cards at each of its Sunday services.

He said church leaders were aware that many people were negatively affected by the increase in payroll taxes at the beginning of the year. Bates said the tax increase came about the same time that fuel prices began to rise so the fuel gift cards are the church's way to help community residents offset these challenges.

Bates said the congregation has embraced the contest and have been inviting their friends and neighbors to church for an opportunity to win one of the cards in random drawings. He said he teased church members that they were reducing their chances of winning when they told other people about the giveaway.

“Our people could have said ‘keep this a secret — we have a better chance of winning ourselves,' but they didn't do that,” the preacher said.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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Our people could have said ‘keep this a secret — we have a better chance of winning ourselves,' but they didn't do that. They said it's OK because they were getting so much joy watching others win.”

The Rev. Terry Bates,

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