“Perry Stone felt the Lord spoke to him to build a gathering place to minister to the community and to reach out specifically to the next generation of sons and daughters,” Executive Director of Ministry Operations Charlie Ellis said.
Weekly services are held on Tuesday night in the facility, but the use of the facility is broader than that.
“OCI is the local and regional aspect of Perry Stone Ministries … We are using the OCI facility for weekly and special monthly worship services, as well as large conferences for Perry Stone Ministries, ” Ellis said.
Perry and Pam Stone serve as founding and executive pastors. Mark and Destani Casto serve as OCI pastors and youth pastors for “The Extreme Ministry.”
The facility features two auditorium-style rooms, a spacious lobby, cafe and outdoor patio.
The larger auditorium room holds 3,043 people, while the smaller one holds 1,028.
“Being a part of the local community is very important to OCI/Perry Stone Ministries, we want to reach out and minister to Cleveland/Bradley County and welcome everyone to be a part of the ministry taking place at OCI,” Ellis said.
In addition to providing a space for Perry Stone Ministries community and regional events, Ellis said the facility is also available to other community organizations.
The first community group to utilize the facility was the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce for its annual membership meeting.
Chamber membership director Aaron Weatherford said the facility was “very accommodating.”
“It was great, specifically because we had outgrown Life Care Centers of America [its Professional Development Center facility], who had always been so accommodating,” Weatherford said.
He said the facility’s industrial-sized kitchen was an asset in feeding all of the attendees.
The amount of parking available also stood out as a plus for Weatherford.
The success of that meeting has led to the Chamber planning a Business Expo in the facility for March.
Weatherford said the Chamber had promised the volunteers and members that if they met their membership goal for the year they would have an exhibition of the member businesses.
Weatherford said he was happy Cleveland had such a facility available to the community. He said it was “good to keep people here (rather than going to Chattanooga) … and showcase our local business.”
Ellis said the community could contact OCI events coordinator Tammy James for information.
The facility took 15 months to build and opened last summer, Ellis said.
OCI has a youth conference Warrior-Fest, a Bible Prophecy Conference, Main Event Conference and Fall festival planned for this year. Ellis said all of these events will be open to the public.