|Above, youth director Amy Wosple is at center front. Stainless steel gleams in the kitchen at Duncan-First; from right are Betty Davis, Myrna Ware, and Devonna Thompson.
By Holly McCray
A musical celebration of Jesus’ birth also heralded new ministry possibilities at Duncan-First UMC, due to completion of a $3.5 million building project.
On Dec. 12, "Miracle Sunday," the refurbished sanctuary was reopened for Sunday morning worship. The offering totaled $138,191, reported Dwight Fulton, chair of the Finance Committee.
Tours of the entire building that afternoon preceded a cantata, "Night of the Father’s Love," performed for the public by the church’s Chancel Choir and an instrumental ensemble.
Senior Pastor Phil Ware valued volunteer labor at $100,000 for the building project.
"The youth really helped here," he emphasized. "They did a lot." Teens were smiling hugely as they greeted tour guests in their large new activity space, extending one educational wing of the building. The previous weekend, the youths had assisted 40 children in nine local families through their Toy Shop Project. Amy and Russell Wopsle are the youth ministry directors.
First step for the extensive project was construction of a new activity center. It can seat up to 350 for a banquet, features a stage and basketball court, and has restrooms with showers. United Methodist Women looked forward to serving 2,000 meals through the center during their annual Chicken Noodle Dinner fund-raiser on Feb. 8.
The church kitchen was upgraded and expanded. The chapel underwent a total remodeling, and the former activity center was reconfigured as multiple ministry rooms. Outdoor green space is intentional between the church’s classroom wings.
The new "Holy Word Theatre" includes a popcorn machine. Creatively painted scenes cover walls in the children’s areas. Church member Sherry Gossett chaired the interior design committee.
David Dowell, a leader on the building committee, pointed out highlights of the sanctuary work. Among them: additional lighting, sound system upgrades, multimedia screens, and redesigned altar area and choir seating.
(View more photos on the Facebook Fan Page "Oklahoma United Methodist Communications.")