Church Under The Bridge in Oklahoma City draws crowds every Sunday

Church Under the Bridge is a ministry that literally holds church services under an Interstate 40 bridge near downtown Oklahoma City.
by Carla Hinton Modified: July 18, 2014 at 11:54 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” — Matthew 18: 20

A homeless man tucks his belongings into a shelf-like area at the top of an overpass then shuffles to the ground as gospel music blares from a loudspeaker.

The rumble of a car driving overhead doesn’t seem to faze the man or the people who gather around him as they bow their heads in prayer.

Welcome to Church Under the Bridge near downtown Oklahoma City.

It’s an unconventional house of worship, for sure — a church literally under a bridge.

But the lack of tradition is what makes Church Under the Bridge work, its leader said on a recent Sunday afternoon.

“We label ourselves as a church without walls. Can’t you see our ‘cathedral ceilings?,’” said Skye Ransom of Edmond, who founded the ministry four years ago.

Ransom, 37, said she started the ministry thinking it was a one-time deal. Acting on divine inspiration, she and her husband, children and several friends stood under an Interstate 40 bridge near City Rescue Mission to offer free hot dogs to homeless men and women.

Ransom said she was surprised when the Lord asked her to do the same thing every Sunday, but she has obeyed His request.

Since then, the ministry has grown in terms of the number of volunteers and the diversity of the local ministries that offer aid. Ransom said the Church Under the Bridge also grew in terms of attendance, particularly when it was located closer to City Rescue Mission and several other homeless shelter ministries.

Attendance swelled from a handful of people to more than 250, she said.

She said the church draws fewer people now that it has moved from the bridge of origin, so to speak, to an I-40 bridge on Virginia Avenue, between Reno and Lindley avenues. This bridge, farther away from the homeless shelters, is near HIS Coatings, a business at 1801 N Reno, which allows Church Under the Bridge participants and volunteers to park in its parking lot.

Still, Ransom and other ministry leaders said the church draws between 40 and 100 people these days, which they consider a nice-size crowd.

Ransom said the relocation was not by design.

She said the ministry lost its original bridge site to progress.

How do you lose a bridge?

Well, Ransom said the bridge was removed as part of the I-40 Crosstown Expressway realignment project. She said the ministry’s leaders had hoped to save their unique church location but the realignment project, a high profile multimillion city, state and federal effort, was a done deal.

Meeting the needs

The ministry’s volunteers gather at the bridge “rain, sleet, snow or shine” each Sunday at 3 p.m., armed with food for a free meal, free clothing to give away, tables and chairs and a sound system operated by a generator.

Continue reading this story on the...

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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Church Under the Bridge

When: 3 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Interstate 40 bridge on Virginia Avenue, between Reno and Lindley avenues; near HIS Coatings, 1801 W Reno.

Information: www.cutbokc.com.

Online: See a related video online at

NewsOK.com.

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