“How it all began”
In 1984 we began busing children in for Saturday Sunday school at Victory Christian Center. Over the years, we have developed wonderful relationships with thousands of families in the North Tulsa region. Each year we have had a special Thanksgiving dinner for the families (3,000 people came in 1999).
Also, we have given thousands of coats, blankets, toys, and food to our bus families each Christmas (over 10,000 people were helped at Christmas 1999).
In 1989 we began conducting monthly outreach crusades in the government projects of our city, many of which are in North Tulsa. Using tents and community centers, we have faithfully ministered year after year to the children, teens and adults with evangelistic services, medical care, food and clothing.
As the needs of people have increased, those we have reached have come to our buildings for help on a regular basis. The needs vary from counseling, food, clothing, and deliverance from addiction, domestic violence intervention, housing, jobs and personal ministry.
Through this influx of more needs coming to our church site, we realized the greater significance of having an outreach on the north side. For most people it is two or three bus rides and an hour to an hour and a half one-way trip to our church site. By having a location near to the people we are reaching, more could be helped and the access would be much easier.
In 1998, I read in the paper that the 46th Street North and Cincinnati area had the highest crime rate in our city. I got Sharon and two of our children and drove out to it. I began to drive around the region. We prayed for God to give us land in this area for an outreach center to turn the tide of violence and make this a place of peace. We prayed that Jesus would be exalted in the middle of that neighborhood.
Within a few days two sisters, Mary Trotter and Martha Cobb, contacted me and said their grandfather owned an 80-acre farm at the 46th North and Cincinnati area. They had a desire to see the land used for an outreach center to the community. They could envision ministry taking place to help the people in the neighborhood.
As we walked the property, our spirits leaped with a sense of excitement that this was a special piece of ground. There was a reason it had not been developed and these two ladies were now heirs to their grandfather’s farm.
A couple from our church approached us and began to talk about an outreach center in Fresno, California that they had helped. I explained our plans and we began to see that God was bringing us together as a team to do a similar ministry in Tulsa. They began to do the research in the courthouse on the land. They were initially told that the land would never be rezoned for the purposes we desired. This began lengthy process of preparing ourselves and the documentation to present a case for a special exception.
During the interim time we looked at other sites and possibilities considering the idea of multiple locations to do this work. The research gave us valuable insights to the need and opportunities in North Tulsa.
In November 1999, we went before the Tulsa County Commission to request a special exception for the land to be used as an outreach facility. Bruce Edwards presented our case with charts and explanations of the plans. As he started to speak, one of the commissioners said, “If you had sent Sharon Daugherty to sing, this deal would already be over.” At that point we knew God had gone ahead of us.
We received the zoning we needed to do whatever we desired to do. Glory to God! The first portion of land (10.9 acres) was transferred into our ownership on December 31, 1999. The plans are to construct Phase 1 (18,000 square feet of building) to accommodate food and clothing distribution, recreation for kids, training, counseling and ministry areas.
At the Dream Center site, ministry is taking place. People are finding wholeness and healing in their lives because someone cared and prayed. The results are amazing…to God be the glory! The vision of the Tulsa Dream Center is to thousands of people restored and empowered to achieve the dream that God has for them. This dream becomes a reality as they develop healthy life skills to maintain positive lifestyles by caring for the whole person – spirit, soul and body Values The Dream Center is about people. It is a place where loving people love other people. Jesus came to demonstrate God’s love for us. He healed the sick, forgave sinners, fed the multitudes, held the little children, lifted the fallen, and mended the broken. As we empower people with love, they will rise out of despair and defeat to live victoriously. A new generation will arise to lift their families and neighborhoods from poverty to prosperity, from crime to caring, from brokenness to blessing, from sickness to soundness, from fear to freedom. This is a place to invest our money, our time, our talents and our support. Everyone who hears of the Dream Center can do something. There are many ways to help. Let’s do it TOGETHER.
We can build a dream with love! – Billy Joe Daugherty – Founder