The summer heat of 2017 came and went in the small Independence Spanish SDA Church of Tulsa. All of us, 65 members, were praying for God to provide us with a temple. We knew God had answered our prayers when we went to see a beautiful building that had just gone on the market. The same day we saw it, I told the seller, “Take it off the market; we'll buy it from you.” Then the arduous task of negotiation started, because although our offer was finally accepted, the person in charge of signing the documents passed away and we had to wait over six months for the son's signature to be made official and valid.
We closed on the building in the spring of 2018, and from that moment on we dedicated four months to the remodeling work. Our members began to donate their time, their work, their talents, and their resources to the completion of this great work. On August 26, 2018, we were able to inaugurate our beautiful temple; it was a day of joy, a holy convocation, a solemn moment. The Independence Spanish church—the first Hispanic Adventist church in the city of Tulsa—had a new building with capacity for 300 people, a sanctuary that allowed for growth.
Facing a 20-year loan, the church launched the project Faithful Steward, so that through generous offerings, we could finish paying it off sooner. We made great sacrifices to offer to God: some gave every week or every month, while others, like the widow of Mark 12, gave their two mites, all with a grateful heart. However, all without exception, received approval of God and the great blessings He had in store for them.
Finally, in July 2023, the final loan payment was sent, and the church prepared for the celebration by beautifying the building for heaven's victory, this fulfillment of the Faithful Steward promise. On October 21, 2023, the Oklahoma Conference administrators and Pastor Luis Prieto, Pastor Leo Figueroa, and Pastor Leo Castillo officiated the ceremony of burning of the mortgage and we all celebrated the release from debt, giving the honor and glory to our God from whom we had asked a miracle. In five years and three months, He helped us to make the dream come true.
By Pr. Luis Prieto, Hispanic Coordinator