The former home of Guts Church Sapulpa is getting a new resident, and it’s a familiar face, to be sure: The Way Church, currently located at 811 W Taft Ave, has purchased the building from Denton Lafevers and will be moving in at some point in the near future.
Pastor Johnny Merrill called the deal “the perfect opportunity” for the church that started six years ago in a living room. “For God to give us this opportunity, it’s phenomenal,” he said during a phone conversation on Tuesday morning.
The Way Church already had plans to build a new facility—even going so far as to have an official groundbreaking ceremony last spring—but as the pandemic took hold and the price of materials skyrocketed, those plans began to look further and further from happening.
“An 18-month process was turning into a 30-month process,” Merrill said. Denton Lafevers called us and we began to have a conversation,” he said. “It just turned into a perfect opportunity for us.”
Merrill says they plan to retain the use of their original location, which also houses a preschool, and not only expand the school but also utilize that building as more of a community outreach center. “That’s the plan right now,” he said. “Plans change, but that’s the plan right now.”
One of the outreaches that Merrill says might get more traction is grocery distribution—something they started when COVID hit. “We started giving out food on Tuesdays, I think we gave away over a million pounds of food during COVID,” Merril said. Now on Saturdays, they bag the groceries and go to local apartment complexes and hand them out.
The new building has a walk-in refrigerator, which means that they may be able to do even more. “We now have an opportunity to rethink how we’re doing these outreaches,” Merrill said.
Merrill says they just informed their congregation of the purchase last weekend, but don’t know for sure when they’ll be moving in. “We’re planning to redo the outside of the building completely, and some smaller changes inside—new carpet, paint, that kind of thing. So until we get that done, we won’t have a grand opening date yet.”
Merrill says what he’s most excited about is the chance to reach more people. “We’re excited to really able to minister to more people and provide more outreach into the community. We can’t wait to do that.”