Historical church hopes to reopen

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Historical church hopes to reopen

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 14:21
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BROKEN HEART Ministries Church, located on South 12th St., has sat vacant for the past 12 years. This church is one of six churches in Ponca City on the National Registry of Historical Places. Pastor Roderick Lewis, brother of former Pastor Floyd Coburn, is leading the project. They started last weekend and are asking for the community to help restore this church in hopes of eventually starting a Celebrate Recovery Program for recovering addicts. Anyone willing to help may contact Pastor Lewis at 405-306-8957. (News Photo by Jessica Windom) PASTOR RODERICK Lewis stands in front of the Broken Heart Ministries Church. (News Photo by Jessica Windom)


The Kimbrough Temple/CME Church, better known as the Martin Temple and now named Broken Heart Ministries, sits on the south side of Ponca City on South 12th Street in the heart of Dixie. This church is one of six churches in Ponca City on the National Registry of Historical Places.

Members first formed the Cedar Grove CME Church in 1927. They started worship in the home of a member and then built a wooden, one room building. In the 1940’s, they worked together to construct the stone church.

Church members laid brick and set native limestone for their vernacular building. Under the direction of the original pastor, Dr. S.E. Kimbrough, they created decorative details by placing colored glass panes in the windows and set a stone cross into the front gable. This was completed in 1946.

Floyd Coburn was the pastor from 1994-1996 and in 1997 the church closed because of dwindling membership.

A couple of major things happened in 2001, such as the church earning a spot on the Preservation Oklahoma’s list of most endangered historic properties. At that time, the United Methodist Oklahoma District owned the church, but Floyd Coburn and those of it’s former members remained there. Coburn worshipped there as a child and was a pastor as well.

Coburn bought the building for $10,000 in 2001. Coburn’s grandfather, Alfred Coburn, once preached at CME Church before he did.

Coburn renamed the church Broken Heart Ministries. This church has since been vacant for 12 years.

Pastor Roderick Lewis, Floyd Coburn’s brother, recently began a cleanup effort and is getting the community and Broken Heart Ministries members involved in the restoration of the church. This past Saturday, church members and the community came together to begin to get the church back in working order.

“We had about 25 people help last weekend. The flooring and the roof are the major issues right now,” said Lewis.

“Our next step is the roof and we are raising funds for that. As the money comes in we can work on getting it all done.”

Pastor Lewis’ ultimate goal is to start a Celebrate Recovery out of Broken Heart Ministries. He will be able to come down once a month to get that program rolling along once the restoration of the church is complete. His motivation stems from recently coming down for a family members funeral and once again seeing the closed down church just sitting there vacant and also seeing family members struggle with addiction.

At this time Pastor Lewis would like anyone willing to help to please contact him by phone or email at (405)306-8957 or Lewisfamily1001@att.net.

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Historical Church