Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

This is what the Regency Park Baptist Church worship center looked like before the tornado.

On May 3, 1999, an F5 tornado roared through Central Oklahoma, devastating parts of the communites of Moore, Del City, Midwest City, and SW Oklahoma City.  In the path of this tornado was a church that is close to our hearts, Regency Park Baptist Church in Moore, where Travis served from 1989 until 1993.   The tornado destroyed 5 of the 6 buildings of Regency Park, as well as schools, homes, apartment buildings, and other structures.  Over 40 people were killed on that day as a tornado outbreak swept across parts of the state.  More than 3 dozen of Regency Park’s families lost their homes.  Our hearts were hurting along with our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, though we no longer lived in Moore.  We kept in touch with the prayer needs of the people, and Travis was inspired to write a song of comfort and encouragement.  That song was, “I Am Here.”  It’s a message about the nearness of God’s presence even in times of uncertainty and calamity.   “I Am Here” is still a special song to the people of Regency Park.  Travis was asked to direct the Reunion Choir in singing it at the 50th Anniversary Celebration Worship service in July of 2011.

Many other churches and individuals have also been touched by this message of God’s abiding presence.  The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma sang “I Am Here” as part of their repertoire in several concerts during the months of recovery efforts for the people whose lives had been torn asunder.   Regency Park was able to meet offsite temporarily as they renovated and restored their one remaining building, which had been heavily damaged by the tornado.  Eventually, they were able to purchase adjoining land and build a new Worship center, fellowship space, offices, and additional classroom space.  The photograph of the remains of Regency Park’s former worship center was taken not long after the tornado, before the building had to be razed.  This church continues to serve their community and be a light for Christ in this world, in spite of all of the challenges they have overcome.  God was with them through it all, and his message to the people of Regency Park through their darkest hour still resonates for all who know the Lord:     “Be encouraged!  I Am here!”

In this aerial view of some of the devastation in the community of Moore, the buildings of Regency Park Baptist Church are the red brick buildings on the far left, shown under the white water tower.  5 of the 6 buildings were no longer structurally sound and were razed.   The two story educational building at the farthest left side of the photo is the only remaining building still standing today.  The other red brick church building shown near the taller water tower is the First Baptist Church of Moore, which also sustained damage.  Since their damage was not as severe, this church was able to salvage all of their buildings and was able to shelter the homeless and care for tornado victims in other ways, with help from volunteers from churches all over the Oklahoma City metro area.

NOTE:  There were schools that were destroyed in the 1999 tornado, just as there have been in the 2013 storm.  In 1999, it was later in the day when the tornado hit; so school children were no longer in those buildings.  In fact, in the above photo, you should have been able to see a school that was across the street from Regency Park.  (Regency is on the west side of Janeway Avenue, and the school was on the east side.)  However, that school was blown away.  In addition, there was a Moore Public Schools resource center right next to Regency Park, on the same side of Janeway.  That building was also blown away and was not re-built.  Regency Park Baptist purchased the adjacent land where the resource building had been from the school district, and their new buildings are on the purchased lot (a large parcel of city block size).

2013 UPDATE:  Regency Park Baptist Church did not lose any of its buildings in the May, 2013, tornado.  So far, from their church facebook page, they are reporting that 3 member families lost their homes in the 2013 storm, and 5 had major damage.  I’m sure that there is some minor damage such as lost shingles or broken windows in many more homes, and they are all coping with having no water or electricity as well as debris everywhere (in the immediate aftermath).   One family also lost family members.  Their graand-daughter and young great grandson were among the lives lost.  Regency Park members are already involved in helping and are looking for additional ways to help as neighborhoods are opened up for clean-up.  Local and state churches and agencies are hard at work, and help is coming in from everywhere.  Please continue to pray for the people in this devastated area and for all of those who are helping them to recover.

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Song story by Cynthia Boyd
WorshipSounds Music

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Travis directs the reunion choir (at the Regency Park Baptist  Church 50th Anniversary service) in singing "I Am Here".  The service took place in the new Worship Center, which was built to replace the one destroyed by the tornado in 1999.

Travis directs the reunion choir (at the Regency Park Baptist
Church 50th Anniversary service) in singing “I Am Here”. The service took place in the new Worship Center, which was built to replace the one destroyed by the tornado in 1999.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

*  “I Am Here”, written by Travis L. Boyd, is still available as a Choral Anthem for SATB Choir on our website, with a Full Orchestration available as well.
*  “I Am Here”  is also available in a solo version
in multiple keys for vocalists.

Both the choral and solo versions can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website.

@ http://www.worshipsounds.com
(See the Adult Choir music page for the choral version and the Home Page for the solo versions.)

The Medium Voice Solo version demo above features the accompaniment track, which is the same arrangement as the Full Orchestration that is available.

PLEASE VIEW THIS CHORAL VIDEO DEMO IN FULLSCREEN MODE TO SEE LYRICS BEST.
The SATB Choral Video demo features a computer playback of the piano part and vocals, with the music scrolling as you listen.

There is a Full Orchestration available for “I Am Here”.

Our post entitled “Blessings Through God’s Presence”  also references “I Am Here” and the ministry of The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma.
http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/blessings-through-gods-presence/

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The new Worship Center of Regency Park Baptist Church, built for the glory of God.

The new Worship Center of Regency Park Baptist Church, built for the glory of God.

To view a photo album from Regency Park’s facebook page, which has photos of the tornado damage in 1999 as well as photos of the one remaining building (the 2-story Education Building), which did not have to be razed.  There are some photos in this album of the worship space that was created on the main floor of the education building when the damaged building was repaired as well as a few photos of the beginning of work on the newly purchased land where new buildings were eventually located.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.126506717416263.21312.126214997445435&type=3

To view a photo album of the construction process on the new buildings, go to this link:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.140818025985132.27951.126214997445435&type=3

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life, eternity, and peace with God.

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?

Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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