Churches may not be hosting services right now, but their doors are still open.
Many congregations around the world are doing their best to serve their communities.
And one church in Oklahoma has made a huge impact already!
As many people face unemployment due to the pandemic, families are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table.
Victory Church, a congregation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knew that many individuals and families in the Tulsa area were in desperate need of help—and hope.
So, even though they could no longer hold church services, they stepped up to offer practical solutions to the problem.
“The mission of our church and every church is: love God, love people, and desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Pastor Paul Daugherty.
He and his fellow believers started brainstorming ways to encourage the Tulsa community. Their efforts began with drive-in church services and Daugherty preaching from the rooftop to thousands of people sitting in their cars.
“We started doing our drive-in services and started seeing so many unchurched people come on our parking lot in desperation and they are getting help and they’re getting hope,” Pastor Daugherty reported.
“I talked to them about the only place we can put our hope—in the Word of God and the name of Jesus Christ.”
The pastor and other church leaders were encouraged by the response to their drive-in services, but they wanted to do even more for those in need.
The church felt called to respond to physical needs as well as spiritual needs! So, partnering with several small businesses in the Tulsa area, Victory Church organized an effort to feed families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Over the last few weeks, the church has become a distribution center for groceries and meals. Community members impacted by food insecurity can drive up and receive much-needed groceries to keep their families afloat.
Inspired by the church’s witness, many of the small businesses working with the church have sacrificed greatly to help pay for the groceries and meals.
“We have small businesses who are giving up their monthly salary and their paychecks to pay for people to have food to eat right now,” Pastor Daugherty said.
The church’s efforts—and the partnership of the businesses—has paid off more than they could ever have imagined!
“[We’ve provided] 53,000 hot meals and groceries to people who are laid off from work or reduced in their hours,” Daugherty explained. “They’re saying, ‘if you guys weren’t open, we don’t know where we would go right now.’”
So far, Victory Church and its partners have fed over 50,000 families in the Tulsa area! The church has also seen a wave of revival as the community turns to God in this time of crisis.
“Thousands fed, hundreds saved, THIS IS A MOVE!” Pastor Daugherty wrote, reporting on the success of the work. “God is turning what the enemy meant for evil into something good in Tulsa.”
“So many praise reports coming in! HUGE SHOUT OUT to the DREAM TEAM that’s been rotating in serving our city during this time.”
“Thank you [to so many] for rallying people to help us save lives spiritually, physically, and in a powerful practical way! Thank you to everyone who’s donated to help these meals and groceries happen!”
Pastor Daugherty also rejoiced that Victory Church has had the opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love and mercy to the local government officials.
The church sought express permission from the City of Tulsa to continue their work, and the pastor received clear affirmation from local leaders.
“I called our mayor, chief of police and the governor and said we are helping thousands of people and I think you don’t want to stop this,” said Daugherty.
“They said, ‘you’re absolutely right…you guys are an essential business and what you’re doing for the poor in our city is what our world needs right now.’”
Daugherty and Victory Church plan to continue their outreach efforts and provide for their community in both physical and spiritual ways.
Praise God that Victory Church has been able to provide so much to those in need, and pray for the continued efforts in Tulsa! Let’s learn from this example and reach out to our own neighbors in need.