TULSA, Okla. — Transformation Church continues to expand its portfolio, recently buying nearly $67 million in real estate in Tulsa County.
The church is led by Pastor Michael Todd who took the reigns at Transformation with his wife Natalie in 2015. Since taking over, Todd is now a New York Times Best-Selling author and is asked to speak at churches and events all over the world.
"I started out as the sound man for Greenwood Christian Center," Todd says. "It was a church that was started by a pioneered by Bishop Gary and Debbie McIntosh who felt after what happened in 1921 when they found out about the Race Massacre that they needed to do something.”
Todd says McIntosh felt they needed to move from south Tulsa to north Tulsa to "reverse the Massacre curse," resulting in the Greenwood Christian Center in 1999. McIntosh handed the control of the church over to Todd in 2015.
"[McIntosh] literally in 2015, Feb. 1, him and his wife handed me and my wife, Natalie, and said 'You’ve stood by my side for the past five years and I’m going to stand by your side, and you’re supposed to lead this,'" Todd says. “We had less than 300 people coming to our church, we are in the hood of Tulsa, and nobody even knew I was a pastor and most of the people who was there was leaving.”
The church bought the Spirit Bank Event Center in Bixby for $10.5 million in 2015, transforming the sports arena into a worship center. Since starting its services in Bixby, the city issued hundreds of citations to the church for noise complaints from surrounding neighbors.
“We have some beautiful people in the neighborhood behind us that made some complaints about the noise, and we said, you know what, we want to be good neighbors and so we have spent a large number of resources over this pandemic calling in experts who are able to soundproof and bring a level of sound dampening to our arena," Todd says.
“It’s a big arena and so it’s taken a lot of time and all of that is almost finished and as soon as all the dust settles and we are able to get clearance from the City of Bixby, you better believe we are going to get in here and have some good ol' church.”
The church hasn't held in-person services since March 2020, but up to about 24,000 people at a time have tuned in online for Todd's sermons. In September, the church bought the Unit Corporation Building in west Tulsa to use as staff office space.
The Spirit Bank Event Center will only host church services and a children's ministry.
"We don’t have any big backers, we don’t have any companies, we don’t have anything…this is a nonprofit, free will but we have people with a lot of faith that believe alone we can do some cool things, but together we can do crazy, amazing things.”
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