Expressions announces closing of Community Center

Expressions Community Center on 39th St. in Oklahoma City. Photo provided.

By Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief

Oklahoma City’s LGBTQ+ center, Expressions Community Center, announced today the closing of the facility effective November 30, 2018.

Pastor Neill Coffman said in a letter he wrote to collaborative partners of ECC:

“It is with great sadness that we must notify you that effective November 30th, 2018, we will no longer be able to operate Expressions Community Center (ECC). We are asking that all tenants vacate their offices by then. 

“This was not a decision that was made lightly. Through the last nine years we have done many great things as a team, and as financial support has waned over the years, the ECC board has worked hard to ensure that our mission could continue. Unfortunately, there is just no other way to go at this point. The ECC board would like to thank you for all your hard work, and nine great years proving that we can work together to better our community.”

Expressions Church will continue to function in the west side of the facility. 

“I think this will hurt the delivery of services to the community,” said Coffman. “I believe there were a lot of services in our building that our community needed, and I am hoping one day these services will be able to come back to the 39th District area again one day.”

Coffman said there are current plans for the building once Expressions officially close their doors. “I know there are negotiations with the landlord to rebuild the collaboration, but I do not have any confirmation on that at this time, so hopefully, the services won’t leave that location.”

Coffman said due to lack of financial support and grant money; Expressions Church cannot continue to support the Center. Coffman and his husband, as well as the church,  have stepped up and contributed funds to keep the center open.

“It has been personal and from my heart to keep it going. It really breaks my heart to see it go. It’s not that the church has quit wanting to reach the community in this way, it’s just financially impossible to continue.

Coffman said they are not leaving the community. Expressions Church will remain open and business as usual at the church, as well as them being involved in anything within the LGBTQ+ community they can.

“The church is going nowhere and still in the heart of the community. We will continue to help with HIV outreach services and our involvement in Transgender Day of Remembrance, World AIDS Day, OKC Pride events and much more.

“I want the community to know we are not abandoning them.”

The Gayly 11/15/2018 @ 2:08 p.m. CST.