OKC Church Receives $50K Donation To Restore 'God's Tepee' - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OKC Church Receives $50K Donation To Restore 'God's Tepee'

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It's been a long and emotional road for Ward. But he just couldn't tear down God's tepee, formally Hopewell Baptist Church, which was assembled by the hands of Oklahoma over 60 years ago. It's been a long and emotional road for Ward. But he just couldn't tear down God's tepee, formally Hopewell Baptist Church, which was assembled by the hands of Oklahoma over 60 years ago.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The official name is God's Tepee. But most may know it as just the tepee church.

Designed in the late 1940's by world famous architect Bruce Goff, the tepee has been falling apart for years.

Hope for the tepee is something Pastor Terry Ward always had, but could never exemplify. Now, for the first time in years, Ward and the people God's tepee can tell Oklahoma, "hey, we're doing it."

News 9 stopped by the tepee church on Monday. What we saw was not just the inside of a tarnished and mangled mess. It's the past, present, and future of Terry Ward.

"My grandparents were original members, my brother was the pastor for 30 years," said Pastor Terry Ward. "I am now the pastor."

"I've been telling people we are going to restore this tepee for about 20 years, and that's what we're going to do," Ward said.

It's been a long and emotional road for Ward. But he just couldn't tear down God's tepee, formally Hopewell Baptist Church, which was assembled by the hands of Oklahoma over 60 years ago.

"Built by farmers, the community, oil workers, members of the church," Ward said.

The tepee is no longer a functional temple, but more of a hopeless burden. Until now, thanks to a $50,000 anonymous donation.

"I'm very grateful, very grateful to see this happen," Ward said.

But the donations aren't just financial. Jenco Roofing has given up their services for a job that's about three times the effort. Every single day for the next month, they will climb about 75 feet.

"We're going to start tearing off the roof tomorrow and hopefully we can have this thing done by Christmas, put another cross up here with lights on it," said Jenco Owner Thad Jennings.

It is a sight Ward saw as a kid and will see again as the pastor.

"I did not know whether in my life time this would happen or it would be my children," Ward said.

Ward said the overall renovation cost is tough to estimate. After the roofing is complete, the church will work on the inside as the funds become available.

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