Story by Jo-Ann Jennings found on BixbyBulletin.com
If the word Lutheran causes you to think “black suit, white shirt, and polished shoes,” banish the thought. Vicar Jonathan Schultz has brought Lord of Life Lutheran Church to Bixby with praise and song. The once well-known liturgy books have been tucked away, and any reading or singing which needs to be done is on the wall in front of the congregation. “We want people with their heads up, worshipping Christ!” Schultz says with a huge smile. Not only that, but during the week, the church, in Cross Creek Shopping Center behind Bill and Ruth’s, is a coffee shop. One of Schultz biggest dreams-in-progress would be the ability to pick up a bus load of kids from a nearby trailer park and take them to the church in summer where they would be cool and have supervision.
Schultz came to Bixby because of a vision of a Lutheran synod president who wanted to reach 100 million people by the year 2017. He looked at the globe to determine where to start. The US was to have 2,000 new Lutheran churches; Oklahoma, 12; Tulsa, six. “I am the second one,” Schultz said.
“I want the church to be part of the community,” he said. “I didn’t want to just start a church but to be part of a church that is the hands of Christ.” The church, which started in Broken Arrow, was financed for two years. The start was challenging as a truck filled with equipment was stolen. Six or eight months later Schultz was watching the news and recognized the church lights in the home of some people who had just been busted for running a methamphetamine house. “The police found our business card among the things, so we got our project, lights, and speaker back.”
After leaving the B.A. location, the church members met at Schultz’ home for awhile, and then he moved to a location on Memorial to a little building which had been any number of other things. “We fixed it up,” Schultz said of the building. “To show you what we were dealing with, a little girl sold me a candy bar which I left on my desk. The rats got it.” With help from Larry’s Pest Control and a call to the city to see what needed to be done to bring the church up to code, sprinklers were put in, and services began.
“I thought it would be a good idea to start a coffee house,” Schultz said further. “Five people who came in for coffee came to Christ.” He set the coffee shop up like a living room and tried to be available 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Now he feels blessed by a move to what was once Jimmy Lee Miley’s Total Fitness gymnasium. (Total Fitness has moved to SouthPark Shopping Center behind Carl’s Coney’s.) One of the Total Fitness tanning booths is now the coffee house.
“We have become…”
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