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Yukon church raising funds to expand outreach

Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon is dreaming big – and the church leadership is taking steps to make that dream becomes a reality.
In mid-August, associate pastor Scott Kinney shared with the congregation a plan to expand one of the church’s outreach programs, which provides free healthcare weekly to uninsured residents of Canadian County and elsewhere in western Oklahoma.
“It started about five years ago with the Faith Clinic,” Kinney said. “That was started in Yukon, but it ended up being for the entire county because it was the only free clinic in the county. Now we have people from all over – El Reno, Hinton, Weatherford, Clinton, Thomas – come to the clinic on Tuesday nights.”
The free clinic has about 700 patient visits a year, Kinney said, and it fills about 4,500 prescriptions for patients.
The clinic, itself, is funded by donations it receives throughout the year.
The original plan, Kinney added, was to buy a house and make it the clinic’s headquarters. But that would have ultimately limited the clinic’s scope.
“We found that our location at Trinity is really perfect to reach our whole county,” Kinney said.
Trinity’s location between Yukon and Mustang, as well as its close proximity to Interstate 40 and the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, make it easily accessible for several people.
As the clinic continued, however, it began to outgrow its space at Trinity.
Organizers set up and tear down the clinic in the span of one Tuesday night.
“It needs a permanent place,” Kinney said.
So church leaders started dreaming.
“What more could we do?” Kinney asked. “It developed into starting a whole ministry village, as it were. A one-stop place for everyone in the county who really needs help to come and receive that help.”
Phase one of the process, Kinney said, has been dubbed “Together We Center.”
“’Together we’ is one of the statements at the church,” Kinney said. “We do ministry together. It’s not just the children or the youth or the adults.”
This first phase will include a 2,000-square-foot clinic space that houses four exam rooms, a pharmacy and place for lab work.
There are also plans for a 2,000-square-foot food pantry and a 1,000-square-foot clothes closet.
“That’s our dream,” Kinney said. “We’ve got the blueprints, the designs – we’re in the fundraising part right now.”
On Sept. 15, the congregation, which is made up of about 750 members, will be issued a challenge: raise $300,000 in one day. Kinney said.
In mid-December, another fundraising effort is planned to raise an additional $300,000.
“If we can get $600,000, we’ll be able to break ground right after the first of the year,” Kinney said.
But it’s not just a church effort, Kinney said.
He’s hoping others in the area step forward and contribute to the cause.
“It’s really a county ministry, and God’s using Trinity Baptist Church for it,” he said. “We’re hoping that some people come and maybe want to help through donations, to help fund this outreach to the community. I think it’s going to be a pretty major effort and ministry through our church, to really impact the people of our county. I know there are other food pantries in the area, but we’re not in competition with anyone.”
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