A New Beginning at Tahlequah Church

June 30, 2023

TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. – Last August, the Tahlequah Seventh-day Adventist Church was set to close its doors. As the Native women’s ministry director, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing! I sent an email to James Shires, Oklahoma Conference president and Oklahoma Native Ministries Director Robert Burnette, asking if Native ministries could be a part of a rescue plan for the church. It was agreed that we would attempt a rescue. I was sent there as a Bible worker to coordinate the rebuilding of a congregation and the needed repairs and cleanup of the building, which had been vandalized.

I am pleased to say that we currently have six attending members and several others attending church services or prayer meetings or both. There are some potential new members as well, as more formerly-attending members are warming up to the idea of coming back to help grow a community of disciples. We can see the Lord leading in even the smallest details. We are planning on using local talent and resources for classes. The building has a new roof, and the plan includes new exterior paint, a new sign and paving the parking lot. Inside updates include a complete kitchen and bathroom remodel, interior repainting and new carpet.

Everything about this project is about a new beginning, not only for the building but for the people and for our spiritual walk with the Lord as well. As we enter into the beginning of the new year, our focus will be on discipleship and training. We are currently going through the “Equip” series to determine the spiritual gifts of each person, so we can serve in the areas that complement our strengths and gifts, helping us to function more smoothly. Each position comes with a full job description and available training, and new members will receive this training throughout the year as they join. Our goal is to become a total-member-involvement church. Stay tuned, and keep Tahlequah in your prayers.

By Deborah Warden