Oklahoma churches are encouraged to come together for a night of fellowship prayer and song at a first-ever event in Bricktown.
The As One Network, a collaboration of churches that came together to help victims of the May tornadoes, will host an ecumenical gathering Oct. 10 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Leaders organizing the event said it is designed to strengthen bonds of unity created in the storms' aftermath.
The Rev. Tom Ogburn, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, said state churches came together swiftly to respond to the needs of tornado victims.
He said the enthusiastic response was free of the clashes over doctrinal difference and other dissimilarities that sometimes hinder unity.
“We began all these projects, and all the old boundaries began to fade away,” Ogburn said.
“We want to celebrate how we came together, but we're also hoping to call the church to speak into the lives of those whose lives are broken. We came together before, so there's really no reason for us not to be able to do that again and again.”
Clergy leaders involved in the project said numerous churches across the metro area have expressed interest and are making plans to attend the event.
Ogburn said the event is not about any one pastor, and no pastor will make a presentation. He said several worship leaders will lead the crowd in praise and worship. Also, representatives of a wide variety of faith-based and social service agencies will share volunteer opportunities and other ways to aid those in need.
The Rev. Major Jemison, senior pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, said the evening's activities will offer the Christian faith community a chance to get to know one another and find ways to help others.
“It's a great opportunity for us to really see the depth of our faith and our commitment to our city,” Jemison said.
The Rev. Trevor Williams, campus pastor of LifeChurch.tv Edmond, said he was encouraged by how churches came together to help tornado victims.
“There was so much love and so much help that was poured out,” he said.
Ogburn and Williams emphasized the network event will not promote a specific church or pastor.
“What a beautiful thing to see so many churches and denominations come together,” Williams said. “We're just trying to lift up the name of our savior Jesus Christ.”
ABOUT THE COST: The Rev. Tom Ogburn said the $5 admission to “As One Network: Some Assembly Required” will help pay costs related to securing the venue. He said Feed The Children gave a large donation toward the costs, and funds left after expenses will be funneled into future community projects.