What is a Christian Church?

By LeRoy Lawson

One thing is certain – there is no shortage of churches. You can take your pick among the hundreds of different kinds.

In the midst of such diversity, what is special about our church? What kind of a church is it, anyway?

We answer paradoxically. The distinctive about this Christian church is that it has no distinctives. In fact we deliberately seek not to be different, because our goal is unity, not division. Christianity has suffered long enough from deep divisions separating denomination from denomination, Christian from Christian. When Jesus prayed “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us” (John 17:21), He had us in mind. In the spirit of His prayer we seek unity with all others in Christ.

Obviously that desire is difficult to achieve. Human nature resists oneness. We seem to believe with Robert Frost that “good fences make good neighbors,” even though something within us “doesn’t love a wall, [but] wants it down.” God desires unity, however, so it must be possible.

Christian churches and churches of Christ trace their modern origins to the early 19th-century American frontier, a period of militancy among denominations. America’s pioneers brought their deeply rooted religious convictions to the new land and perpetuated their old animosities. Presbyterian squared off against Anglican who defended himself against Baptist who had no toleration for Lutheran. A reaction to this mutual animosity was inevitable.

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Our Community Values

We believe that God wants to bring about a new humanity by redeeming every part of us. We embrace the salvation Jesus offers as the only hope for a relationship with God. We believe that brokenness can be restored and failures do not define who are. We believe that those seeking to become a Christ follower should seek and desire baptism. Scripture passages such as Acts 2:38; 8:26-40; 22:16, Matt. 28:19, Romans 6:1-6, 1 Peter 3:21, Col. 2:12, Gal. 3:26-27 and Mark 16:15-16 indicate the importance, the spiritual formation and tranformation that baptism brings. Baptism (submerged in water) is not a work of man but a grace of God.

We value the image of God in all people, everywhere. We believe that we were created to live deeply with one another, carrying each other’s burdens, sharing our possessions, to pray for and confess our sins to each other, to suffer and celebrate together. It’s in these honest, loving relationships that God transforms us and truth becomes a reality. The way of Jesus cannot be lived alone.

We believe that Jesus is God in human form and that the Church is God’s ongoing presence in the world. Led by the Spirit of God, we are passionate about joining the God of the oppressed in living out the transforming message of the resurrected Jesus. Jesus calls his Church to be a compelling force for good in the world, and we believe that the Church is at its best when it serves, sacrifices, and loves, caring about the things God cares about. We were created to live for something larger than ourselves.

We take great joy in partnering with God to change the world, embracing the truth that all of life is sacred, hope is real, and tomorrow can be better than today. We celebrate the divine in daily pursuing lives of hope, gratitude, and worship. God invites everyone everywhere into this way of life, and we believe it is the best possible way to live.

We affirm the central truths of historic orthodox Christian faith, seeing ourselves in a long line of generations taking part in the endless conversation between God and people. We believe the Bible is God’s Word about God and his grand plan to restore, renew, save and establish a real relationship with his creation. The Bible is full of voices that are inspired by God to pass along their poems, stories, accounts, and letters of response and relationship with each other and the living God. To know where we’re going, we have to know where we’ve been.

Ministers and Staff

Senior Minister: Brian Sturtz

I am Brian Sturtz the Sr. Minister at Harmony. I came to Harmony as the Associate Minister in 1998.  I have two great boys Caleb and Austin. My sons are a blessing and keep me laughing. My family likes to spend time together by going to the movies, playing at the park or playing a game of UNO. I completed a Master of Divinity degree from Oklahoma Christian University in the spring of 2011. My family looks forward to meeting you and your family on a Sunday soon!.

Secretary: Gwen Green

Gwen and her husband Scott have been members at HCC for a few years. Gwen and Scott both enjoy going to baseball games, and are big time St. Louis Cardinals fans. Gwen, not only serves as HCC's secretary, she and Scott also serve as Sunday School teachers in the Children's Ministry.  

Youth Minister: Zarick Long

We are the Longs! We have been active members at Harmony for about a year and a half. Gretchen has been a member for almost 15 years. We have always had a desire to serve with the youth and are very excited about the opportunity God has provided for us to step into the position of youth minister here at Harmony! We have a beautiful 2-year-old daughter named Kimberee and will soon be welcoming a son named Zekiel to our family. We love outdoor activities like hiking and disk golf.We also enjoy movies, board games, and card games. Zarick works at Integris Baptist Medical Center and the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, while Gretchen stays at home. We believe that God can use anyone to further His kingdom, and though we have never been to school for any sort of ministry degree, God is the provider of all knowledge and can do great things through anyone willing to listen to Him.