The first church I was a member of, after becoming a Christian, was a small church in Moore. I enjoyed the people, the preaching, and growing in my faith. The church ordained me to be a deacon after I had been a Christian for about seven years. I learned the Bible would guide me and instruct me, and even show me when I didn’t have the correct motive or actions. My social skills improved, as did my involvement with others.
My sister once commented to me that I took on Christianity as a lifestyle. I think that is what Jesus would call someone who is his disciple.
Matt. 16:24-26 “Then Jesus told his disciples, ” if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow after me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
That is how I understood my life should be lived. My wife and I were happy there, doing what we knew to do with the capacities and maturity that we had.
But things and people changed and we had a strong urge that we were to move to a different church. That was a scary thought for us. This was our first church. The place we knew and loved and we didn’t know what it was like at other churches.
We resigned our positions and turned in our keys after the Wednesday night service. In my mind/heart, there was not going to be any church “shopping”. I was already impressed as to where we were to move our membership. We knew little about the church except the doctrine was the same as what we had previously been taught. We knew the pastor and almost no one else.
As with many other things in my life, I / we committed totally by joining the next Sunday. That was in August 1991. At the time, the name of the church was Briarwood Baptist Church. A couple of years later, the name was changed to Graceway Baptist Church.
So why would someone still be at the same church after 28 years? I was at our first church for 14 years, so why stay? Why not look for something “hip” or “relevant” or “trendy”? It was not because I am lazy. There are a number of things I like about our church and I will describe some of them later, but the main reason is this is where God wants be to serve Him. These are the people I am to love and help to be an example of living for Jesus. These are people who love me and have prayed for me and who have watched me go through some serious health issues and the death of my wife.
I have a purpose and a sphere of influence (we all have influence, some have more than others, but all of us influence someone). I have roots there. I have watched children who used to TP (toilet paper) my house, now serving in our church, doing what they can do far better, than what I could do. That blesses me.
I am blessed to be able to use my spiritual gifts (serving & teaching) weekly. I am delighted to see others with different spiritual gifts using their gifts effectively.
Here are some of the things that Graceway does that I think is done well and you would enjoy as well:
Doctrine – In each of our three weekly services and in our Sunday school, we get solid Biblical doctrine. Preaching and our lessons are based on chapter and verse of the Bible. I hope you understand the importance of that statement. It is God’s Word that makes a difference in our lives.
Missions / Outreach – We have a desire to reach people with the Gospel and the Love of Jesus Christ. In our neighborhoods, in our city, in our state, in our nation, and around the world. We do this physically, financially, and in prayer. We operate Mission 405, which is a food pantry to low income people and to the homeless.
Giving – We are a giving church. We enjoy meeting the needs of people in our community, or Mexico, or India, or China. We love to support evangelist as they come to us, hoping to bless and encourage them.
Hope and Encouragement – If you have been hurt, you can find rest and healing at Graceway. We will do our best to help you.
Children’s Ministry – Wow! In addition to Sunday school programs, we have VBS, children’s camp, AWANA programs, and other activities through the year. All done, giving our best, to honor the Lord and to encourage these precious children.
Student Ministry – Are you concerned about what your student is being taught? Our students are lead to learn the Bible, to apply the Bible by serving and interacting with others. One on one, in-depth disciplining.
Men’s Ministry / Ladies Ministry – Bible studies, praying for one another, sharing in the lives of our people.
Sunday school for all ages. Great material written by our Pastor.
Music – We have wonderful music from our choir and orchestra. Songs are a blend of praise and hymns. If you enjoy singing, you will enjoy worshiping in our song service.
Staff – Whatever I say about our staff will be inadequate. Our staff loves the Lord and His people. They continually go the extra mile to faithfully serve and to present their best in every service. They are kind and loving. They have long term, wide views of how we, as a church, can be our best and how we can grow.
Is Graceway a perfect church? No, as imperfect people, we form an imperfect church, but our desire would be to reach people, to help people, to teach people, to engage with people, and most importantly to love people.
Perhaps you need a place to serve, to develop roots, to be used in the capacity God has equipped you. Is Graceway that place for you? Perhaps you need someone to share the good news of Jesus Christ with you? We can help you. If you are looking to be entertained, you may be disappointed. Loving, we can do.
Graceway Baptist Church is located at 1100 SW 104th, Oklahoma City, OK 73139. Sunday school starts at 9:00 am, Morning service at 10:15 am. Evening service at 5:30 pm. Wednesday service is at 6:45 pm.
DISCLAIMER: The above is solely my opinions and was not solicited by the church.