's church construction near Broadway Extension draws curiosity

Construction of a new “campus” near Britton Road and the Broadway Extension has drawn avid curiosity just as it has ignited the hope for new partnerships in the area.
by Carla Hinton Published: November 24, 2013

Construction of a new campus near Britton Road and the Broadway Extension has drawn avid curiosity just as it has ignited the hope for new partnerships in the area.

Bobby Gruenewald, the church's pastor-innovation leader, said he thinks the project's visibility on the west side Broadway Extension service road has spurred people's interest in the megachurch's latest development plans.

He said the campus will be the church's eighth metro area location when it opens in summer 2014. currently has 17 campuses in Oklahoma and four other states. A Moore campus set to open in December will be the 18th satellite and the Britton and Broadway campus will be number 19. Gruenewald said total average weekend attendance of all the churches is 50,000.

The Edmond-based megachurch, with founder and senior pastor Craig Groeschel at the helm, has drawn the public's interest because of its multisite approach almost as much as its popular YouVersion Bible app.

Gruenewald said church leaders chose the new campus site in northwest Oklahoma City after about a year of searching for a metro area location, finally setting their sights on several pieces of property along the Broadway Extension.

“This part of the city is an area that we felt we had not yet connected with,” he said.

He said church leaders looked at the neighborhood and the accessibility of the current site and decided to move forward for plans for a new 37,000 square-foot church building west of Broadway and south of Britton Road.

“We really viewed that as a positive,” he said of the nearby neighborhood and highway access.

Gruenewald said satellite campuses are in various places, with some near poorer areas while others are adjacent to more affluent areas. He said routinely partners with organizations and businesses near its many campuses so the Britton-Broadway campus will be no different.

“There's nothing about this area that is any different from any of our other areas,” he said. “We look to make a positive impact wherever we are.”

Potential partners await church

As dirt work continues at the Britton-Broadway church site, leaders of several nearby organizations said they hope to partner with to help the children and families living in the neighborhood.

One of those leaders is Anita Jones, the new principal at North Highlands Elementary, 8400 N Robinson.

Jones said she is not familiar with, but she thinks the idea of having a church as next door neighbor to the school is great.

“We need more community partners,” she said emphatically.

The school recently received an “F” grade for the 2012-13 school year under the state Board of Education's A-F evaluation system, falling from a “C” grade received for 2011-12.

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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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