Friday, December 2, 2016

Getting Closer...



Hopefully won't be too much longer now before we are able to move in, but we still have a lot of work to do. The more help we get, the sooner we will get there.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Giving the Building a Face Lift Before Launching as The Oasis

With the help of the Men and Women of Action from the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, we completely re-sided the church building. We are doing extensive remodeling inside which will improve the sanctuary, add two handicap accessible bathrooms on the main level, add a welcome center to the lobby and in general give the place an entirely new look.

We are hoping to officially launch as the Oasis in mid November!




Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Bathroom Almost Finished!

We still need to install all the trim  and a small amount 
of touch up painting and the new women's bathroom 
will be finished. We started today on gutting and remodeling the men's bathroom. 
All of them will now be fully handicap accessible 
which has been something we sorely needed. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Exciting News!

I'm really excited to share the news that the calvary is coming! What I mean by that is that I just got off the phone with Phil Thompson from the Church of God Men and Women of Action group in Tennessee and it is now confirmed that we will have not one, but TWO teams coming to Galesburg to help us finish our building. We have a Team from the Knoxville, Tennessee area and another from Michigan who will be here the last week of September to help us to completely reside and paint our building. This is going to be such a huge blessing to us as a church. Words cannot explain the emotions streaming through my body and mind tonight. Thank you Jesus!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Oasis Begins!

Get ready… As one chapter is closing, and a new chapter is beginning… and it's about to get exciting!

On Sunday, August 28 the Harvest Church of God will meet for our final worship service.  Harvest Church of God (formerly known as the Brown Avenue Church of God) opened in 1956 and has been active in the Galesburg community ever since. The church relocated to East Galesburg and took on the name Harvest Church in 2001.  In November of 2015 the church building was heavily damaged by a storm and the church has been out of its building, meeting in Sandburg Mall since December of last year. As the church has been in the reconstruction phase, God has been doing a "reconstruction" on the body of believers that make up Harvest Church. There has been a fresh vision, a renewed passion for the lost and a commitment, not to minister to our church body, but to impact this community for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Earlier this summer a radical proposal was presented by Pastor Darrell Garrett and was eagerly accepted and adopted by the church body. The decision was made to close Harvest Church and open a brand new church under the name The Oasis Church of God.  This is not just a name change… this is a new beginning. After sixty years of existence and ministry in the Galesburg area, Harvest Church will officially close following the August 28 service and a new church will be launched that same day. Yes, it's a little bit sad… but it is also very exciting!

Change has been in the air for several years. Throughout its 60 year history Harvest Church of God has experienced the highs and lows that often are a part of every church's history. There have been many successes as well as many setbacks along the way but through it all, Harvest Church has remained and been active in ministering to the people who attended there. But Pastor Garrett has been introducing a new model of ministry over the past several years, which is actually not "new" at all. The idea will be to reach the community where they are rather than to try to simply grow a church. Through its history, Harvest Church has been a small church.  There were moments of revival when the church ran as high as 130 and more during its history. There were seasons where the church struggled to run in the 20's and 30's. Such is the history of many churches.

Now, here we are in 2016, the church finds itself facing some major challenges. Over the past few years we have seen many of our membership move from the area due to employment. There have been others who became frustrated that "growth" was not happening fast enough and left to attend other churches. Within the mindset of those that remain there has been a desire for something new even without truly understand what the "new" would look like. When Pastor Garrett moved to Galesburg in 2004 he expressed a vision and desire to reach those that were unloved, those that were social outcasts… those that were hurting and rejected. Those who were tired and weary.  He came with a bold vision, but has never been able to see that vision unfold due to varying circumstances and situations which set up road blocks along the way. With the birth of this new church, that vision will be freshly cast and implemented.
The purpose of "The Oasis" will be to become a place where those who are tired and weary from the stress and pressures of this life can find a spiritual place of rest and refreshment without judgment of where anyone is or has been in life's journey.  The vision we have for The Oasis is to create and provide a place that is different and unique for this church in the community.

Please understand that this not about competition between churches. On the contrary, this is about working in harmony with other churches to advance the Kingdom of God together. Right here in Knox County, people are dying and going to hell daily and frankly…  there simply is no time for churches to compete with who sings the best, preaches the best, does the best youth activities or who has the largest congregation or the prettiest building.  Whether we want to admit it or not, the church (corporately) has been guilty of creating a consumer driven church arena where the churches have tried to "out do" each other. We've become so focused in building our own little "kingdoms" that we have  lost sight of the Kingdom of God as a whole.  We've had enough of that.

As we launch a new church in the area, we are still working on how to accomplish all of this, but suffice it to say that we have come to be servants and minister to the community rather than to lure sheep from other pastures. God has been very busy in changing the hearts and minds of the core group that exists in our local body to launch this new church. We are not focused on becoming anything more than a Body of believers who exist to make Jesus' name known in this community.  Again… we are not just changing names or slapping a new label on an old bottle. This church is going to be something different… radically different. We envision helping other churches to grow as we minister in this community right along with our church. At the Oasis, it is our desire to see racial lines torn down. We want to see economic lines are torn down. We are looking for places and means to touch this county in ways that Jesus would, not simply trying to grow a church. As we do the work of Jesus, of course the number of those attending will increase as lives are transformed by the power of God; but that will be the by-product which results from reaching into our community rather than simply trying to draw people into our building.
Change is a good thing. Change is necessary for life to occur and the desire for The Oasis family is to be a life giving, life-transforming church the offers love, acceptance and forgiveness to anyone and everyone, regardless of where they have been, what they have done or not done or what they can offer to the church. Our goal is not to protect what we have or are; rather our goal is to  embrace what could be if we simply make room for something new. We hope to make this a place where anyone feels more than welcome to come while in the midst of his or her sin and be accepted just as they are and experience the grace which God has offered through Jesus Christ. 
At the Oasis, our goal is to extend grace to people regardless of their struggles, sins, hurts, addictions, or issues. At The Oasis, we will preach against sin while loving the sinner. We won't sugarcoat the fact that sin will ultimately lead to eternal death in hell and even now, is resulting in the death of blessings and promises that God wants to unlock for people through a relationship with Christ.  The truth will be preached, but always in love, not condemnation. We believe we're changed by serving and giving, not by receiving and sitting, so we want to see everyone involved in service to our Lord and touching the community around us. It's our mission to create a place where love is the rule and grace is the method and holiness through sanctification is the result.

This is The Oasis Church of God. We are continuing to meet in Sandburg Mall for a few more weeks as we complete the work on our building located at 205 N. State Street in East Galesburg. The building has not simply been repaired but remodeled. The sanctuary has been completely remodeled. There have been vital changes made to the building which makes us much more accessible to those with disabilities and we made other key changes as well which will enhance your experience at The Oasis.  The outside of the building will be resided and painted in September of this year as well. So change is not only in the spiritual, but in the physical as well. We invite you out to join us for worship or to just stop by and see what we've done. We may not have the music that some other churches do, but we do believe in worshiping Christ with reckless abandon for who He is and all He's done. We are going to do a lot of things different at our church, but we do these things with the lost in mind and families in mind who are under attack by every power of hell in the world today. We will be offering free classes on budgeting, parenting, photography and many other practical things which will help you grow as a person and/or family.
If you need grace and want to be part of a community of believers where you can be loved, accepted, and forgiven and find help to help you to grow, change, and make a difference, look no further. We're not a finished product… in fact, this is only the beginning. We've got a lot more growing to do . . . a lot more to do truthfully as we continue to grow into the model of the Oasis which the Holy Spirit has planted in our hearts. We're on a journey and believing God for great things.

While we wait for the official launch date as we move into our permanent facilities, we are already in the process of setting up new social media accounts, emails, and a website. You can find us online on 
FacebookTwitter, and our website.  You can email at theoasiscog@gmail.com. Our website is under construction at  www.oasiscog.com.
If you are looking for something new, different and radical, then check us out. Come be a part of a service soon. We'd love to welcome you and get to know you. We're a community church offering God's grace to all.

My name is Darrell Garrett, and I have the distinct privilege to pastor The Oasis Church of God in East Galesburg.