Josh Attaway looked out Nov. 8 on the people ready to sign names and prayers on a steel plate at the Edmond construction site for St. Luke’s newest satellite campus.
He recognized those who that very morning had joined the church in Edmond, as well as St. Luke’s members of more than 60 years.
He knew God was present in their common mission. "It was a special feeling," said the Edmond campus pastor for St. Luke’s.
The Beam Signing event proceeded just as Methodists did 126 years ago when planting the church on Eighth Street in Oklahoma City. On the first Sunday after the great land run of 1889, a white flag was raised, a trumpet sounded, and the people sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
"We had such a beautiful day to honor our past and recognize we are part of a bigger story," said Rev. Attaway.
"We’re not writing a new book but simply the chapter of a story that begins before us and goes on way after us."
The signed steel plate will be attached to an overhead beam in the Worship Center. On Nov. 8 people also wrote prayers and Bible verses on cards that will be placed inside the walls of the new building.
On property that abuts Interstate 35 and Sooner Road, a half-mile south of Danforth, the church facility of about 40,000 square feet is taking shape. Occupancy is expected in Fall 2016.
How appropriate that St. Luke’s overarching 2015 theme is "Something for the First Time."
"It is just the beginning," said St. Luke’s Senior Pastor Bob Long in a December video.
He prayed, "We thank You that … we have heard the call, and we pray that You pour out your Holy Spirit upon us so that what we do truly can come to fruition to bless life."
The new Worship Center’s seating will accommodate about 550 people. A large indoor playground will be a highlight, Attaway said. The facility will have a big lobby, child care center, classrooms, and full-service kitchen.
Design features throughout will pay tribute to St. Luke’s heritage.
The church’s triquetra logo will be used in door handles, on the building exterior, and more. Flooring in the lobby will repeat the diamond shapes with small crosses that anchor the narthex of St. Luke’s main campus, 222 NW 15th St., Oklahoma City.
Attaway said, "We know that every time we walk through the doors into the Worship Center, that beam is always going to be there for us to know about and for everybody to be walking under our prayers and our names."
For the Beam Signing, children’s games and activities also were held, and food trucks served up good tastes in fellowship. The estimated crowd was 250.
Attaway grew up attending St. Luke’s and in college served there as a youth intern. "This has always been my family of faith," said the Local Pastor.
After earning a bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma City University, he entered seminary and is in his final year of study at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.
"I knew in high school that I was called into the ministry," Attaway said.
St. Luke’s is his first appointment and "was a homecoming for me in many ways, to get to come back to my family and yet at the same time do something new."
About 260 people currently worship as St. Luke’s-Edmond, 11 a.m. Sundays at Sequoyah Middle School, 1125 E. Danforth. From the main campus, Rev. Dr. Long preaches live via streaming video. On site, Attaway and five more staff lead all other aspects of the service.
During the week in Edmond, community groups for all ages meet at various places and times. The Edmond campus team coordinates those as well as missions and other ministries.
The church and middle school collaborate well, Attaway said. A volunteer mentoring project with students is seeing great results, teachers reported.
Capital campaign theme for the Edmond building was "The Next Chapter." Some financial support also is being provided by the Oklahoma Conference New Faith Communities Ministry Team, according to Attaway.
— Holly McCray
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