Tulsa’s First Baptist Church opened a prayer room Monday dedicated to sharing the tragic history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
"Use your mind to travel back one full century," narrator Phil Armstrong said.
As visitors step into the prayer room, they are guided through six stops, with Armstrong's voice leading the way through their headphones. He is the project director for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
"This is a significant way for our community to move forward together," said Armstrong.
He and First Baptist Pastor Deron Spoo worked together to make the room a reality and a place to visit for the next 121 days leading up to the Race Massacre centennial. The Red Cross report and newspaper articles reveal that in 1921, First Baptist church opened at least one room to help massacre victims seeking refuge.
“Now, 100 years later, this one room is dedicated with the prayer that God would heal the hearts of all people," Armstrong said.
“The idea occurred to us, and to some of our leadership, that if our church opened a room for healing a century ago, why don't we open another room for healing in 2021," said Pastor Spoo.
Armstrong told News On 6 his first visit to the room was overwhelming.
"The words that I would describe for this room would be spiritual, reflective, empowering and heavy. This is very heavy, heavy, history," Armstrong said.
Armstrong also believes it can be "transformational," and encourages everyone, religious or not, to visit. The prayer room is open to the public through June 1.
Any donations made will be given to the Greenwood Rising History Center. First Baptist will match any donations, up to $5,000.