Doug's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Doug Samples

While restoration is underway at the 8th Street Church, we are sharing the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Doug first shared his 8th Street Dreams during our service on July 23, 2017.

Hi, my name is Doug and I’m part of Midtown Church of the Nazarene because, left to myself, I am very selfish and self-centered. Being a part of this congregation challenges me to give myself away and dream dreams that are bigger than me!

“Anything I can dream… God can do!” This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite pastors, my friend, Amadeu Teixeira, who pastors a church of 3000 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What a crazy statement! Do we dare to believe in a God who can answer all our dreams? Do we dare to believe that verse in Ephesians 3 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly… abundantly… above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge dreamer! With my strengths of Positivity and Woo, I can dream and imagine a LOT of things! For instance, as we have participated in all the recent baby dedications, my pastoral prayer for all our little ones is that God will make all their dreams come true! And God’s Word tells us that He is able to DO all our DREAMS!

But seriously folks, have you been listening to the kind of ridiculous things we are dreaming around here?

  • We are dreaming of raising 1.7 Million dollars! That’s the kind of money that only happens to churches 5 times our size!
  • We are dreaming of a congregation designed for those who have given up on the church actually being the church!
  • We are dreaming of a congregation that crosses all barriers; a church that welcomes people from every race, economic status, political persuasion or sexual preference.
  • We are dreaming of a place where the captives find freedom, the blind can see, the deaf can hear… where the lonely are called by name, the rich can do the impossible and discover the joy of giving their belongings away… where children are valued and nurtured, and the poor are empowered to lead.
  • We are dreaming of the restoration of an old building that will serve as a proclamation of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ to our city… and more specifically, to our nearby neighbors.
  • We are dreaming of an “outdoor kitchen with aromas drifting throughout the neighborhood”… that attracts homeless people from miles around. Is that really okay with us?
  • We are dreaming of a sanctuary that is aesthetically beautiful enough to attract the weddings (and funerals) of our neighbors in the ultra-modern homes just to the west of us.
  • We are dreaming of an outdoor, twinkle-lighted rooftop (with misters) where we can hold summertime, Thursday night karaoke parties for our homeless friends as well as our ultra-modern home friends.
  • We are dreaming of an outdoor prayer labyrinth that would be a sacred place for contemplative prayer for our friends from St. Anthony’s… or the County Jail… or our neighbors… or for us!
  • We are dreaming of networking with neighborhood ministries, both secular and faith-based, to be the best neighbors to those who live and work close by.
  • We are dreaming of a church not defined by walls… an open space for the outcast, and a resource for the marginalized.
  • We are dreaming of being a congregation who generously gives love, flexibility, intimacy, connectedness, and grace to our neighbors… instead of sitting in church pews gazing at our spiritual navels and judging everyone who doesn’t look and act just like us!
  • We dream of being a church that the founder of our Church of the Nazarene, Phineas Bresee, would be proud of: “a place in the heart of the city, which could be made a center of holy fire, and where the gospel could be preached to the poor.”
  • And as if all this is not enough, we are dreaming of being a “church that plants churches.” How crazy is it to think that God could use our congregation to inspire and resource 6 to 8 new churches throughout our city over the next decade? That might even make it interesting enough for Cheryl and me to retire in OKC!

C’mon now! We don’t really think we can do all of that, do we? I mean, we’re good… but we’re not that good! No we’re not!

But God loves us… individually and collectively! And I believe our dreams excite Him, especially when we get beyond our selfish, individual, “Bless me!” prayers and open our hearts to dreams that are bigger than us! When we dream dreams for the Kingdom that go far beyond our abilities and resources, God invites us to “be strong and take courage” (Joshua 1:9) and trust Him to answer prayers and dreams that may seem ridiculous to us.

My therapist often tells me that I live in a dream world! I know… and I love it! I don’t know if we can do all this or not, but I plan on hanging around for a while to see what God wants to do in and through our Midtown congregation! I love believing and living as if “Anything I can dream… God can do!”

And I love sharing life with my Midtown (8th Street) Church family!


It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Jeana's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Jeana Gering

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. We are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Jeana first shared her 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 28, 2017.

Hello, my name is Jeana Gering, I am a part of the Fitch parish group, and I’m here because this congregation truly strives to live the way of Jesus.

I want to share with you my dreams for the 8th Street Church, but first, because this is a place where I can be vulnerable, I have to make a confession. When we began this whole “8th Street Dreams” series, I didn’t really get it. I just don’t relish thinking in intangibles. “But Jeana, you’re an artist. You’re creative. You’ve devoted your life to abstract concepts.” No – I’ve devoted my life to representing abstract concepts through physical, visual, and auditory elements. I make something out of them, put them into context. What’s the point in just dreaming for dreaming's sake? Why state these lofty, intangible aspirations if we have no way of truly knowing if we’ll ever have the tools and means to get there? So I resolved to listen politely while the rest of you shared your 8th Street dreams.

And then Michaele called. She needed someone in a pinch to publically and vulnerably share their desires. Because she’s quite clever, she called the person who publically shares her vulnerability all the time. She knew I could do the public speaking thing in a pinch without getting overwhelmed – it’s my spiritual gift. Dadgummit, she caught me. Or rather, God went searching for his lost sheep. Not that I felt like I was lost – I was just refusing to sit down and think. Like a good millennial, I am a master at filling my head with distractions. Choosing to focus on the inconsequential trivialities of life that keep me from having to make any real personal decisions or declarations – work, Netflix, Candy Crush. But now I’m forced to start dreaming, frustrated the entire time because I feel like the exercise is frivolous. Sure, I want these grandiose ideals of community and acceptance, of inclusion and selflessness. But how does wanting these things actually affect anything? Now I really do feel like a lost sheep.

But I have to write something, and I can’t just wing it on Sunday because Michaele wants to publish this on the blog. Foiled again. Okay. What do I want 8th Street church to look like in 2022?

Well, I know Danny and I want to have kids, and I’d like that to be around 2022. What do I want the 8th Street Church to be for them? Well I know what I don’t want it to be – I don’t want it to be “safe”. Okay, I know I just rattled several of you, so let’s unpack that statement. I don’t want to use the guise of safety in order to surround my kids with people who look just like them, who come from similar backgrounds or family modules, who are in the same socioeconomic status. I don’t want them to be afraid of or uncomfortable around people who are different. When they see something they aren’t familiar with or don’t understand, I want them to run toward it rather than cowering in fear or walling themselves off. I want them to learn this from me, but I know that on my own I am going to fall short of this aspiration time and time again. I know this because I don’t have the greatest track record. While my parents did instill these values in me in theory, my human instinct for self preservation flocks to what is known, what is comfortable, what isn’t challenging. So my dream for the 8th Street Church is that it would be a safe place for people to abandon safety. A community that pushes one another to run toward what’s uncomfortable, what’s different, what we don’t understand. That we would trust in God to guide us to love His people – all His people. To embrace new, odd, unfamiliar ways of worship. To send us to places that make us uneasy. To embrace feeling uncomfortable until the sensation of uncomfortableness becomes a feeling that is simply familiar. And I hope that this example set for my children would so deeply engrain the practice in them that they would never know this mentality to be an anomaly, but a way – no – the way of life.

Dagnabbit, Michaele, your exercise worked. This is something meaningful. This is actually something I can start working on right now! What’s more, I’ve learned something in the process. This wasn’t ever about intangible concepts that make us seem lofty and enlightened. This was about defining a destination. After all, a sheep really is lost if it doesn’t know where it’s going. Therefore, to those of you who joined me as a “dream-skeptic”, I’m going to challenge you to take some time to write out your dreams. Pause Netflix, leave the dishes in the sink, put down the cell phone, open a Word document or an old-fashioned journal, and just start writing stream of consciousness. It doesn’t have to be good, or revolutionary, or even cohesive – yours isn’t going on a blog. Because I’ll be honest, even though I had several ideas floating around in my head, what I’ve shared today wasn’t truly fleshed out so that I could connect the dots until I had to start typing. Please join me in dreaming so that together we can flesh out our idea of our 8th Street Church destination. So that we know what we’re investing our time and money into and why we’re doing it. It’s a lot easier to know which path to take when we have an idea of where we’re going.


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Leigha's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Leigha Day

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Leigha first shared her 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 21, 2017.

My name is Leigha, and I am part of the Day-LaVigne Parish Group. I am here because I am an imperfect person, and I want to commit to love and be loved by a group of imperfect people through a perfect, redemptive, just, and merciful God.

What is my 8th Street Dream for our church? To begin to answer this question I had to first face the fact that I don’t really know what church is.

I found church as a barefooted child running through the blue-carpeted floors of the sanctuary.
I found church in a Nicaraguan barrio while playing the tambourine.
I found church through a warm cup of coffee and controversial conversation with a stranger.
I found church in the Philippines under a bridge that housed many children.
I found church through music and silence created by a classroom full of children on the Autism Spectrum.

I don’t know what church is- I’m just not sure. But I do know that I have found it here at Midtown church, with you, and I have dreams for us to become a church that embodies and embraces people and experiences such as these. I dream of a place where love is not defined by fear. A place where solidarity overrides preference. A place and space thoughtfully created for you, me, and the least of these.

My dream is that we are a church not defined by walls. That we are a people that choose to overcome language barriers, socioeconomic barriers, racial and gender barriers, barriers due to mental health. That the repurposing and construction of the physical walls of the 8th Street Church are not symbolic of a barrier—but as a construct of peace and a safe haven for vulnerability. My prayer is that the 8th Street Church becomes our home, and that we not only show hospitality to the people that walk in, but that our home is always open—an open space for the outcast, and a resource for the marginalized.

There are two dictionary definitions to define the word “neighbor”. The first, “noun, a person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred”. The second, “verb, to be situated next to or very near (another)”. I want to become both definitions of a neighbor. I want to care for, love on, and show Jesus to our physical neighbors. But I REALLY want to choose to the verb, the action—“to be situated next to or very near (another)” with our neighbors even when it feels difficult and uncomfortable, just as Jesus does and shows us through his teachings.

Oh, Jesus, may you give us love to show our neighbors, desire to learn from our neighbors, grace to embrace our neighbors, strength to support our neighbors, and healthy resources to provide our neighbors. To God be all the glory.

I hope that in 2022 that we are a family of people that can look back and say: “I found church in a hopeless place.”


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Ben's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Ben Busic

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Ben first shared his 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 14, 2017.

Hello, my name is Ben Busic. I’m here because I want to continue the calling of our Nazarene roots to bring lost and broken people to Christ. I would like to share with you the dreams I have for the 8th Street Church.

I have been a part of the Nazarene Church my entire life. Not a day goes by that I am not impacted because of the Church of the Nazarene. I was born here in Oklahoma City into the welcoming arms of Williams Memorial Church of the Nazarene. Since then, my family has been involved in a total of 6 Nazarene Churches as full time members, all of them having a significant part of my upbringing. I have had the opportunity to meet thousands upon thousands of Nazarenes from literally all across the World. We are a part of a Church that truly has global outreach! In fact, of all the millions of Nazarenes in the world, more than 70% of them are outside of North America. With many of this 70% being located in 3rd world countries, we are a part of a Church that truly understands what it means to be out of our comfort zones to show God’s love to every tribe and nation.

I would like to share with you a little history of our Nazarene roots.

Phineas F. Bresee was the founder of the Church of the Nazarene. He left a comfortable position in the Methodist church to work with the inner city poor in Los Angeles. One of his journal entries wrote, “It had been my long-cherished desire to have a place in the heart of the city, which could be made a center of holy fire, and where the gospel could be preached to the poor.”

Bethany First Church of the Nazarene was planted over 100 years ago. C.B. Jernigan was the District Superintendent at the time. Just like we have been in this process to plant a church, so was Jernigan. Within a year of planting BFC, he also planted 35 additional churches! Johnny Jernigan, the wife a C.B. Jernigan opened a Nazarene Rescue Home whose mission statement was “for penitent, homeless and friendless girls.” This was a home for the unwanted, unwed girls to feel safe. Within a few years time, 147 babies had been born there. Think about this: A hundred years ago… scandalous! Mattie Mallory, another Nazarene around this same time, used her inheritance in 1897 to open Oklahoma City’s first orphanage. This later became the Children’s Center in Bethany.

We are a Church that began courageously. We reached out to the scandalous, to the unwanted, to the lost and broken people. What does all this history mean to us at 8th Street Church? We still have this mission to reach the lost and forgotten people all across the world! That is why we want to give to this Nazarene Church in urban Oklahoma City. There are so many people that need the message of Holiness right in our own neighborhoods.

This is not only a building; it is a place for everyone in the city to come together worship our living God. Alicia and I ask that you join us in giving to this new church building project. We are giving in addition to our regular 10% tithe not because we feel like we have to, but because we want to be a part of what God has planned for his people.

Let’s continue the good work of our roots, together.


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It take work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Sherri Pat's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Sherri Pat Rothwell

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Sherri Pat first shared his 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 7, 2017.

My name is Sherri Pat Rothwell, I’m here because there is a knowing deep within my being that resonates “this is home”.

Let me begin by reading from my journal in 2011. It is July 25th, on motorcycles, on a journey.

“We are on a road trip. We pass a lot of the same things
over and over, churches and a lot of them. Church of the Servant,
Jehovah Witness, Church of Jesus Christ and on and on.
I think if I were to start a church, it would be like a
restaurant, really good food and an abundance of it.
My church would only say “church” on the building.
I would offer grace and love and humility, you know,
the Corinthians kind of things and lots of it.”

It was in 2013 when Chris Pollock allowed me to read his prospectus of the church plant in the Midtown area. I poured over the pages and as I read, I found myself captivated by the possibilities.

A few days later, I called and said, “I’m In.” Then we prayed and waited to see what God had for Paul, my husband, and me together. So....here we are, together, “Home”.

This is the part of our journey where we gather together and collectively tell “our” truth. When I was growing up in school, we played “red rover”. This is a game where we would form two opposing lines. Each line would link arms and hands to form the most solid link. Then, one person would yell out, “red rover red rover let Patti come over.” Patti would run as fast and hard as possible and hit the opposing line between what she perceived as the weakest link.

The point of that story for now is, please don’t let me be the weakest link. My dreams for this church are that there would be conversations that would draw us each into being more than we are, creating moments that have the potential to forever change the trajectory and direction from here forward!

We each create part of the foundation of this church.This is a sacred journey, a space in which I intend to know the true intent of my own heart. I want to see this from God”s perspective. The big picture is made up of sacred moments, and we are all part of these moments.It’s not the “big moment” of a dedication of a building that defines us. We are living in the vacuum of moments that have the potential to tell an amazing story.

I don’t intend to be swept away with the newest trend or new attraction of the day. I am listening for my own calling and purpose. When we listen and love without terms or conditions, there is a freedom that flows forth.

I have a vision beyond the beauty of the stained glass stories. It’s an outdoor kitchen with blenders and griddles and a coffee barista and grills with the deep breath aromas drifting throughout the neighborhood. It’s a drawing to us; 8th street church, to dine, to dance to a rhythm that feels different, yet familiar...Home. Oh Father, give us wisdom that allows us to care for this sacred place in our city.

Our most amazing parish group, hosted by Mark and Cheryl Pollock met at the 8th & Lee church on a Thursday evening a couple of weeks ago. We had pizza. We had opened the front doors of the church and two men from the area came in those doors and we had the opportunity to share our meal with them. We would like to call this “the first dinner on the grounds”. This is a place of gathering that causes us to drink in the deep disciplines of walking in relationship with our Father.

Excerpts from Psalms 119

“Give me clear direction.

Barricade the road that goes nowhere.
Grace me with your clear direction.

God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.

Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Affirm your promise to me - promises to all who fear you.

See how hungry I am for your council, preserve my life
through all your righteous ways.

With your very own hands you formed me, now breathe
your wisdom over me so I can understand you.

Keep my mind fixed on your council.

And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can
always walk with my head held high.”

The corner stone and the building blocks are each of us. I’m in. I’m on board. I’m leaning in so that I may see and hear the visions and sounds of the moment.

Are we saving this small corner on 8th & Lee....or is our participation in this journey saving us?


Are you dreaming with us? Share your 8th Street Dreams by posting to Facebook or Instagram using #8thStreetDreams, or email Pastor Michaele at michaelelavigneokc@gmail.com or Pastor Chris at chrispollockokc@gmail.com.

While we are dreaming, we are also getting to work. The $1.7 million dollar project will begin mid-June, and our congregation members will be making their faith commitment to the project by the end of May. Our goal is to do this project debt-free, so that we can truly give this building as a gift to our city. We have already received $830,000 toward the project, and have a goal of $170,000 to come from the faith commitments of the congregation. The remainder will be raised from outside sources.

You can give online; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.