Recently, two churches in Owasso agreed to do what some may describe as a miracle. Simultaneously, Pastor Jack Voss of Crossroads Christian Center and Glenn Shaffer of DestinyLife Church announced a merger on the same Sunday in each of their congregations. On April 25, 2010, Crossroads Christian Church, on Highway 169 and Highway 20 East will become DestinyLife Church Owasso. Glenn and his wife Ami will serve as the lead pastors with a pastoral team along with the Voss’ in a supportive role. Pastor Jack and Janice Voss will remain as part of the pastoral team, but see a change in their focus that will include more traveling ministry and missions.
Glenn Shaffer of DestinyLife Church explained how Jack Voss of Crossroads Christian Church walked into his office a few months back to propose the merger. “My first thoughts were, are we connected in the divine scheme of things and how does a relationship like this develop?” explained Glenn Shaffer. “I was totally surprised and nervous on one hand and completely comfortable on the other. I had heard about things like this but had never participated in a merger.”
Pastor Voss told how he and Pastor Shaffer began to meet regularly to pray and discuss the idea. It became more and more apparent to them both that this could actually work and work very well. Both churches are interdenominational congregations that have come out of two different denominations but each pastor has a similar background. “Though we have known each other as pastors in the same community we were not close, but in the last few months we have really connected,” explained Voss. “We just keep looking at each other and smiling saying, ‘This is a God thing.’” Crystal Pricket, member of Crossroads works in the children’s ministry described the first merger meeting as unbelievable. “I felt like I was watching history and purpose be unfolded,” explained Crystal. “I went away just overwhelmed with a sense of being part of a great miracle.”
When listening to each pastor it becomes apparent they realize how serious such a move is and how difficult it can be. “Even though there is a great amount of excitement in both congregations we both realize,” said Shaffer, “that change will take place. Even though it is good, it is also a loss. You can’t merge two churches without change, but we know the end result is great and is all about the community and the future.” Pastor Voss presented to his congregation that this move would put both congregations ahead ten years. It will double the attendance, finances, and give a larger influence of ministry in the city. “The Shaffers and DestinyLife bring a long history of stability and strength with their leadership team and we have a solid group of folks ready to go to another level. We have been blessed with a nice facility that has a great future for the community of Owasso,” explained Voss. “We think people will drive by and say, ‘That is a God thing.’”
Crossroads Christian Center moved to the present location on Highway 169 and Highway 20 East in Easter 1998. Three years later the youth and children’s facility was erected. Today the two facilities set on 13 acres and provide space for worship, children, and youth ministry. “Through a series of events that one would describe as several miracles we were able to obtain the property, build the facilities, and see them paid for in an unusual way,” said Pastor Voss.
DestinyLife Church launched as a new church in Owasso in the fall of 2008. “DestinyLife Church is an interdenominational congregation made up of folks from all walks of life. We represent real people desiring to be fully functioning followers of Christ,” explained Pastor Glenn. “We emphasize spiritual growth and discipleship making room for every person to be involved in ministry of some kind. We want it easy for folks to connect and come in, but we also want to offer a discipleship track for those who desire to grow in their spiritual journey.”
Glenn and Ami Shaffer have pastored DestinyLife Church in Claremore for the past 30 years. For two decades they have believed that one day they would also oversee a church in the Owasso area as well. Launching the new church was a dream fulfilled. DestinyLife has been meeting in the Sixth Grade Center for the past year, but started out at the Mid-High School building. “The Owasso schools, principals, and administration have been so warm and welcoming,” described Shaffer. “We knew that we had about two years to find a facility. We have been looking for a facility from day one. Our time in the school was coming up in the fall. When our people asked, ‘is there anything working toward a building or property? We could only say, ‘keep praying.’ We always knew what ever happened would be a miracle. We just never thought of a merger.”
The merger is in process now. DestinyLife Church will join Crossroads Christian Center for worship this Sunday, April 11. On Sunday on April 18, the two churches will have a union ceremony called, Two Shall Be One. The two congregations will participate in communion and make proclamations of being one church. April 25 is launch Sunday as DestinyLife Church Owasso. The sign on Highway 20 East will be changed to DestinyLifeChurch.tv to reflect the merger and to announce the church’s website. “We are excited about the future of the greater Owasso/Collinsville area and believe that this merger and DestinyLife Church will play a significant role,” exclaimed Shaffer.
About the Author:
Glenn Shaffer is the author of Apostolic Government in the 21st Century, Christianity 101 and Discipleship 201. He has a Masters of Ministry degree in leadership studies from Southwestern Christian University and is working toward a Doctorate in Ministry at ORU in Tulsa.
Glenn and his wife, Ami have been married for 40 years with two sons, Matt and Daniel. Together, they co-see the elder pastoral care of Destiny Life Church, one church in two locations (Owasso and Claremore, Oklahoma) where they have been serving for almost 4 decades. It is a non-denominational church, based on a New Testament Apostolic form of church government. Together, they also serve as the directors of ATI- Apostolic Teams International, an emerging network of churches and ministers.