For many people who frequent the Plaza District, The Parish is more than a church. It has become a community hub where people can stop in, enjoy a cup of coffee and have a good conversation with friends.
Those are things Pastor Kenny Deason believes make The Parish a vital part of the Plaza District community, both spiritually and socially.
“For one, we love Jesus. We do have deep spiritual beliefs, but we want to enjoy those with our neighbors, in the natural setting of life that we enjoy,” Deason said.
The Parish will expand to include a next-door coffee shop that will serve deli sandwiches, coffee and espresso and canned pint beers from Oklahoma City breweries. Deason said this has been the plan since The Parish opened its doors in January.
“Even old historical parishes were not just places where people came and sang songs on a Sunday; it was a part of the community. That’s where meetings took place for the city. That’s where banquets and celebrations would take place,” he said.
In order to grow the purpose forward, The Parish will host Propellor, a fundraising event to help raise the $70,000 needed to fulfill all of the legal requirements, from framing and electric to heat and air, as well as the necessary permits and legal occupancy modifications to get the coffee shop up and running.
The evening includes a dinner of Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza provided by Humble Pie, 1319 S. Broadway Ave. in Edmond, a vegetable dish from Urban Organics and beer and wine provided by COOP Ale Works. There will also be an art auction and music.
This area of the night’s festivities was most important to Nicholas Poss, lead singer and guitarist for Barling, as well as The Parish’s worship and arts director, because it presents a chance to show the community what kind of performances they can expect from the new coffee shop.
“It’s shocking to me sometimes, the amount of people in the Oklahoma City area that don’t know the Plaza District exists,” Poss said. “In trying to pick acts that represent the Plaza District, I was really excited to show people just a microcosm of the artistic culture in this area that’s unique to the entire city. This is going to be a good event to communicate our intentions [to provide] a unique view into this kind of art and a different kind of approach to art.”
Poss added that the new venue will regularly feature up-and-coming artists and established acts.
But before he can do that, The Parish needs to open the coffee shop.
“We feel like The Parish has already served an important and vital role to the neighborhood, but we also feel like the neighborhood needs a space that is developed well for the purpose of a real community hub,” Deason said.