One Hope Tulsa
Rex & Vicki Blankenship, Joe & Rosa Blankenship
Springs of Grace Bible Church ministers to inner city Tulsa where poverty, racism, abuse, and violence affect nearly every aspect of daily life. And now, the gospel is flourishing there as Springs of Grace Bible Church steps out in love.
The second-largest city in Oklahoma, Tulsa has a population of just under 400,000 people, but about 1 million people live in the metropolitan area. Rich in oil and historically poor in race relations, this city in northeastern Oklahoma features a diverse community for athletes, artists, and academics. Located in the heart of Tornado Alley, Tulsa suffers from severe weather and frequent tornadoes.
Springs of Grace Bible Church in Tulsa grew from seeds planted by Springs of Grace Baptist Church in Shreveport, and their church life looks “normal” in many ways, with regular corporate worship and youth group, but they also reach out to their neighbors with varied ministries specific to inner-city Tulsa.
Their One Hope Ministry began as Project 61, a short-term summer sports camp held at a large public apartment complex. The getAHEAD tutoring ministry grew out of this as a way to continue developing long-term relationships with inner-city children, and the One Hope Academy opened to serve middle-school and high-school students who could not, for various reasons, continue in the public school system. Recently, One Hope has begun Hope 918, a ministry that raises awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially as such evils affect women and girls in inner-city Tulsa. In the fall of 2012, the School for Young Men will open and focus on leadership training for inner-city youth.
The “manpower” for these ministries comes in a steady supply of interns from all over the country as well as men called to the ministry who study under the church staff in a rigorous preacher’s school.
Springs of Grace Oceanside, CA
Diversity, transience, and leisure mark this southern California city. Neighborhoods feature a broad range of ethnicities, and since Camp Pendleton is located just north of the city, Marines regularly move in and out of the community. Oceanside houses many tourist attractions, not least of which is the beach, which offers great surfing and hosts an annual beach soccer tournament.
Springs of Grace Oceanside operates as a grassroots neighborhood ministry: Jeff Miller and his family share the gospel door-to-door, in a local park, and wherever God gives them opportunity in the marketplace of life. They then offer many opportunities for fellowship, especially by studying the Scriptures together. This young ministry aims to share with Oceanside residents a high view of God, a practical understanding of the Scripture, and a great love for people.