Tulsa Church Moves Into Former Fitness Center

Monday, August 10th 2009, 4:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa church will soon get people even more pumped up about their worship service.  The church is moving into a new building, which was formerly a fitness center.  So, the church will likely be one of the only ones around with punching bags as well as pews.

Members of Christlife Church are getting their church building ready for a grand opening set for Sunday.  It isn't your ordinary church building.  They're renovating an old All American Fitness Center near 21st and Garnett.

"People probably prayed here before, when they were on the Nautilus equipment, the stair steppers and such, thinking they were going to die," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

The facility sat empty for the last couple of years until the church bought it.  The congregation has now turned an old aerobics room into an elementary classroom.

The pastor's office used to be a tanning booth.  Weight lifting equipment once filled up rooms where the worship service is now held.

"We've moved into a body building facility, but we are building people spiritually, physically and relationally," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

Pastor Jeff Anderson, who used to work out at the facility himself, never dreamed he'd one day be working there to win souls.

"Now we're working out all kinds of issues here, you know," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

While parts of the building are being renovated, Christlife Church will keep some of the other features, making it likely the only church with three racquetball courts and a swimming pool.

"People keep asking what are you going to do with the pool.  Swim in it.  Baptize people in it.  It's the world's largest, or Tulsa's largest baptistery," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

Anderson says it won't be a full-fledged workout facility, but the church will keep some of the equipment and the building's unique space.

"Let's use that to touch the hearts of people and build relationships," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

Church members believe the one-two combination of worship and workouts can help in reaching people not comfortable with a more traditional church service.

"This place made a difference in people's health, their physical well being, and now it's going to make a difference not only in their physical well being, but their spiritual well being," said Christlife Church Pastor Jeff Anderson.

The official grand opening for the church is next Sunday.  The worship service begins at 10:45 a.m.