BARNSDALL — Dr. Terry Goodwin explains that small-town Oklahoma wasn’t what he had in mind when he prayed for a new location for the Christian ministry his family operates. It was God who told him Barnsdall was the place, he said.
Goodwin, along with his wife, Suzette, and son, Mark, are bringing Sun Ministries to Osage County. The ministry’s primary location is in a St. Louis neighborhood known for gang violence, but Sun Ministries was planning to open a storefront coffee shop this week on the south side of Main Street in Barnsdall. Mark Goodwin is to handle day-to-day operations at the new location.
“This is a connecting space,” Terry Goodwin said of the coffee shop. If you don’t have money for coffee, you drink coffee on the house. If you can pay for coffee, you can make a donation. For now, money isn’t the issue. Making connections with people is the point.
“It helps us to connect to the community,” Terry Goodwin said. “It gives the community space.”
He emphasized that Sun Ministries isn’t coming to Barnsdall to plant a church. Its focus is on making Christian disciples, and on ministering to needy people who are frequently on the fringes of society — drug addicts, people who have been in legal trouble and need a hand to develop job skills and confidence, the elderly poor who lack resources to address problems.
Goodwin told the Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce last week that he hopes Sun Ministries can have a salutary effect not only in terms of evangelism, but on the development of the business community, as well.
“We want to fill Main Street with other businesses,” Goodwin said during a Chamber luncheon at the Community Center.
Goodwin said his prayers for a new location prompted God to tell him, “Go to Tulsa.” So, even though Tulsa hadn’t been among the places he was thinking about, he headed to Tulsa and toured the area. The Goodwins eventually made their way to Osage County, and during a reconaissance of the area visited Barnsdall.
That’s when God told him this was the place, Terry Goodwin said. Mayor Johnny Kelley introduced them to the 6,000-square-foot building, which will provide them with room for the coffee shop, as well as for equipment storage, training and office space.
So stop by Sun Ministries in Barnsdall between 7 and 11 a.m. from Monday through Friday and have a cup of coffee, even if it’s not in your budget.