Story by Jo-Ann Jennings Found on BixbyBulletin.com
Finding The Crossing may be somewhat challenging as it’s one of four storefront churches in The Cross Creek center between 121st and 131st on Memorial, an area frequently described as “the metal buildings behind Domino’s Pizza.”
Once there, however, a sign greets the visitor with the message, “The messiness of life meets the mystery of God.” What’s that all about?
“I was in Las Vegas before I came here,” says Jeff Henson, pastor of the young church. Since he had once pastored in Glenpool, some Las Vegas friends told him he should meet someone from Bixby, and that someone turned out to be the daughter of Phil Sallee, pastor of New Beginnings Church. The rest is history. Now Henson is in Bixby.
Giving a quick summary of life before Las Vegas, Henson grew up in Owasso and graduated from Mid-American Christian College in Oklahoma City, a basketball player. He was a youth pastor in Glenpool 1999-2005 and in Las Vegas as a pastor 2005-2010. “I had a family ministry and was particularly interested in middle school and high school,” he said. The name of his ministry in Las Vegas was The Crossing, so he brought the name here. “The whole church there offered the DNA for what I’m doing here.”
Henson sees in Bixby a place filled with grace and truth. “I realized what could happen if I created a safe place.”
In Las Vegas, Henson’s ministry was made up of a great array of people, including poker players and strippers. “If we offer them a safe place, God will do his part,” Henson said. “This is like a cup of cold water in the Bible belt.” Henson said there have been times he thought church would be the last place he would invite someone, because he wasn’t sure what they would get. “I understand doubt and criticism. I would work with them and not say this place isn’t for you. We want to create a space of grace, truth and mission. That might be at home or in one of our outreach projects at John 3:16. Sometimes people get truth and grace and don’t get the mission.” His prayer is that people won’t just “go to church,” but will go out into the community and serve.
“We want people to be part of the church community, but we want them to be part of the mission.”
The Crossing has been at Cross Creek for four months. “It’s neat to see lives change and see people find God,” Henson said. “I see people find God who have never known God. We’ve had eight baptisms. People change and walk down another path.”
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