By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- North Tulsa churches are doing their best to keep kids off the streets.
Several held events Sunday, August 15, hoping to encourage children to get involved with their community. Church leaders say they believe the events are a step in the right direction.
The Greenwood Christian Center staged an elaborate musical production. Kids from a number of Tulsa area churches spent weeks rehearsing. It's time organizers say was well spent.
"This is a Godly, positive, good, nurturing, professional way to develop," said Pastor Mike Hill, Greenwood Christian Center.
Pastor Hill says this has probably been the worst summer ever when it comes to resources available for teenagers. Budget cuts forced the closure of community centers earlier this year, and Hill says the recent heat wave has not helped either. But he believes events like Sunday's show what can happen when kids participate in positive activities.
"When you're doing it with excellence and giving people an opportunity to do something good with their gifts, it's just an amazing thing," said Hill.
A more low-key event was held nearby at the First Baptist Church. It was organized by the church's youth pastor in response to what he sees as an escalation in violence.
"Everything's bad, what are we going to do? Just constant complaining; we need to get out there, and we need to do something," said Youth Pastor Byron Dixon.
"We really need to reach these young people because they seem to have no appreciation for life, no hope for a future," said Pastor Anthony Scott, First Baptist Church.
Church leaders feel that hope was restored, at least for an afternoon, in the middle of a very difficult summer.
"You have to start somewhere. I believe that if we can change one person, we can start a chain reaction," said Dixon.
Both the Greenwood Christian Center and First Baptist Church hope to build off the momentum from Sunday evening and hold similar events in the near future.