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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about giving.