In the weeks before the May 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma, members of Destiny Christian Center watched in anticipation as their new church building was being constructed.
Then the tornadoes wreaked havoc on several communities, and the Oklahoma City congregation offered its unfinished building at 3801 SE 29 as a tornado relief site. The 42,000-square-foot metal building became one of two main relief distribution centers for goods going to the city of Moore and others affected by the storms.
Sunday, Destiny Christian Center finally celebrated the completion of a new worship center. The church, led by the Rev. Lawrence Neisent, held a grand opening event that included several baptisms in the new sanctuary. After that, church members ate food purchased from various food trucks and a church youth group fundraiser. The evening culminated with a fireworks show.
Neisent praised the congregation for giving up its building and for other tornado relief efforts church members made in the aftermath of the tornadoes.
“We as a church are able to say that we have been the hands and feet of Jesus for this community and the surrounding community,” he told the crowd.
“It’s important to know that when the church gets involved, it’s more than just meeting physical needs. We introduce God’s strength. We introduce God’s presence. We introduce God’s supernatural work.”
He said in the six months that the church served as a relief site, 1,343 families were affected, and $2 million worth of goods were distributed through the building.
“We paused everything when the tornado hit,” he said.
Neisent said the church, which also operates Destiny Christian School, needed a new worship center because of increased attendance. He said the church has about 1,200 members, and an average of 550 people attend Sunday services.
He said the church had to hold three worship services in its old sanctuary, which seated 400. The new sanctuary seats 1,200, and the church now holds two services each Sunday, Neisent said.
The nondenominational church’s former building will now serve as the children’s ministry area, he said.
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Destiny Christian Center
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