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Sikhs open new Oklahoma City house of worship

The Sikh faith community recently celebrated the grand opening of their new Oklahoma City house of worship with a special ceremony and community dinner.
by Carla Hinton Modified: May 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm •  Published: May 25, 2013

Metro area Sikhs recently celebrated the grand opening of their new house of worship with a special ceremony and community dinner.

About 300 people attend the event May 19 on the faith community's property at 4525 NW 16.

The new 5,000-square-foot house of worship — called a gurdwara — is adjacent to the metro Sikh's former house of worship, which had been a Christian church.

Leaders said the new building was needed to keep up with the faith community's growth. The former gurdwara was 2,300 square feet.

The May 19 event included a special video featuring vintage pictures and interviews with longtime members of the faith community.

Also, several congregation members were each presented with a siropa, a type of scarf, in recognition of their help with the building project. The siropas are traditionally given to honor people in the Sikh community.

Sarbjit “Sabi” Singh, one of the Sikh congregation's members, said the community started in 1983 with 10 families, representing about 35 people. He said the congregation has now grown to between 150 and 200 people. He said cost of the new building is about $500,000. Also, he said most traditional gurdwaras have domes but the congregation's leaders decided against this plan for various reasons.

After the special service, the congregation and their guests dined together outdoors under a large tent, which added a festive atmosphere to the day.

The house of worship is near the corner of NW 16 and Meridian, sandwiched between a storage facility and a thrift store and across the street from the Meridian Plaza shopping center. Singh, who is president of the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, said the congregation plans to use the former house of worship on the property as a community outreach facility like a clinic or community center.

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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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