When Pastor Jones arrived at Sunnylane Baptist Church in May of 1999, it was just three weeks after a deadly tornado had torn through the local community. Beyond the devastation, the church faced numerous hurdles to growth and success. It was residentially locked and miles from any major street. Despite its location the congregation steadily grew, reaching maximum capacity by early 2003. The church built an additional fellowship hall across the street, but parking became an issue. Sunnylane had to borrow space from a nearby school. By September 2008, a unanimous vote by the congregation began the process of building a new church through a loan from The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma.
The old church building sold immediately, but numerous construction delays followed. All told, Sunnylane was in transition for four years, worshiping at three separate locations. During that time, the church requested additional construction funding from The Foundation on three separate occasions. Reflecting on the construction, Pastor Jones said, “I’m really glad we went with The Foundation rather than a local bank because I don’t think we would have had the same service with anybody else.” In the new building, Pastor Jones sees a rejuvenated congregation. The church has added outdoor sports ministry camps, Mother’s Day Out, Grace Rescue Mission, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and a Quilting ministry that has provided hundreds of quilts to local organizations. With the faith of a congregation and a trustworthy lending partner, Sunnylane Baptist Church has transformed an entire community.
Watch the interview with Pastor Jones here.