By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — What began as a small prayer group of four meeting in an old single-wide mobile home has now blossomed, leaving Thunderbird Baptist Church to move on to bigger and better things.
The church had modest beginnings when founders, Pastor Paul Carter and his wife Janet, began the church when that mobile home was modified to accommodate youth groups for lake ministry at Lake Thunderbird.
“In 2004, it was decided that a church was needed in the area. In March of 2005, Thunderbird Baptist Church was officially recognized and supported by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and North American Mission Board as a mission of Hilltop Baptist Church,” Janet Carter said.
From there the church began to really start taking root. In July of 2005, a double-wide trailer was donated, moved to the site and remodeled to serve as the new home for Thunderbird Baptist Church. The trailer was able to hold up to 45 people and featured four classrooms and a kitchen.
“We held our first service in this building at Christmas 2005,” Janet said.
Continuing with the desire to serve more in the community, the church’s growth wouldn’t stand idle long.
“On Sept. 10, 2010, we had the groundbreaking for the new sanctuary and on Jan. 13, 2013, we received our occupancy permit from the City of Norman. Our new building will seat about 100 and has two classrooms and an office. And it is all paid for,” Janet said.
The church will host a dedication and open house at 2 p.m. on Sunday at 1416 142nd Ave. SE, south of the Clear Bay sign on east Highway 9. A potluck dinner will be at 12:30 p.m.
“We are so grateful for all the help we have received from area churches and individuals that have supported us through the years. Everyone is welcome to come celebrate with us at our open house and dedication service,” Janet said.
Now averaging 25 on each Sunday, Thunderbird Baptist Church offers Sunday school for all age groups at 9:45 a.m. Worship service begins at 11 a.m. and adult Bible study, prayer and visitation are at 5 Sunday evenings.
“We have a women’s Bible study and lunch each Tuesday and men’s breakfast fellowship on the fourth Saturday each month. Youth group and children’s T.E.A.M kids and adult discussion group meet on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.,” Janet said.
Sunday’s dedication service also will include guest speakers Dr. Preston Collins, director of Missions for Union Baptist Association, and Bro. Richard Zimmer, Pastor of Rock Creek Baptist in Shawnee. Music will be lead by Bro. Deyrl Kastner of Noble.
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