We are faithful. We are community.

We are faithful. We are community.

oak grove"We are Oak Grove. We are faithful. We are community." Oak Grove Church of God in Columbia City is a small congregation that sits among corn fields. When their doors had to close in March due to the pandemic, they were in trouble. Pastor Johnson knew he needed help. A small group of volunteers came together to make live streaming happen. Sharing their various resources and skill sets, they went from solely audio recording to live streaming in short order.

Hurdle #1 - Pastor Johnson admits that technology is not his strong suit, so he began looking for help. Volunteers, some of whom had not been active volunteers already, brought their skills to the table. The closing of the church doors created opportunities for new volunteers to get involved.

Hurdle #2 - They lacked the necessary equipment. Oak Grove had been doing audio recordings, but they had not attempted live streaming or video of their services. The same volunteers who came together at this time also reached into their pockets to fund new equipment. Cameras, wiring, and computer screens were all purchased and installed by this volunteer tech team.

Hurdle #3 - Internet. The team scrambled to set up their new equipment only to find that the internet bandwidth was insufficient for live streaming. They knew that a neighbor, who is also a part of the tech team, had a great internet connection. Using line-of-sight internet sharing technology and by receiving permissions, the church is able to use the neighbor's strong internet to stream their services.

Oak Grove was a Connect Through Tech grant recipient. However, they were working to overcome these hurdles much before receiving grant funds. Congrats to you, Oak Grove Church of God! You've worked hard, you've been creative, and I am sure your community thanks you.