Tulsa Church Conducts Multicultural Easter Service

Sunday, April 12th 2009, 5:41 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- One Tulsa church celebrated Easter with a special service that joined people from around the world.

Despite language barriers, hundreds of worshippers sat together for a common purpose.

The sanctuary at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was packed with worshippers from the farthest reaches of the globe.

The congregation says no matter the language, it's the faith that counts.

Listening to a Spanish hymn were worshippers from Southeast Asia, following along in the Hmong language, and African families emigrated from Liberia, rubbing arms with native Oklahomans.

"All the cultures, all the ethnicities from around the world, just with the purpose to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ," said Bernardo Rangel, pastor of the Hispanic congregation.

White, black, Hispanic and Asian congregations were in one service. The languages are different, but on the holiest of days, the purpose is the same.

"I am excited," worshipper Benjamin Toh said. "This is how it should be. All Christians should be one.

Toh is a native Liberian who says Easter is a time to embrace everybody.

"What makes it special is because all creeds are together praising the one God," Toh said. "That makes it special."

The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church pastor points out the story of Babel. He says the lesson is for all Christian faces to join together.

"Maybe this is a precursor of that, a foretaste of that, a preview of that moment, where all the confusion of language and culture will be moved out of the way," Pastor Leonard Busch said.

No matter the tongue, there was room for a friendly smile and a warm handshake.

"There's going to come a day when people from every nation, culture, language and tongue will come together singing in one voice," Busch said.

More than 200 people attended the Easter service, the first that incorporated Hmong, Liberian, Hispanic and Anglo-American prayers.

Busch says it's something the church will do more often in the future.