(Photo Courtesy Churches by Daniels)
An Oklahoma-based construction company known for building sanctuaries for several large megachurches in the United States, including one with nearly 10,000 weekend attendees, is in talks for securing a major project in Brazil.
Churches by Daniels Construction of Tulsa, which has the same owner as Daniels & Daniels Construction, has been in talks with people from Brazil over a project for several months. Rachael D. Rowland, marketing director with Churches by Daniels and daughter of the owner, told The Christian Post that if approved the project would be on a grand scale. Churches by Daniels have built facilities for congregations like Victory Christian Center of Tulsa, Okla., which has a regular attendance of over 9,000; Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow, Okla., with an attendance of 5,500; and Living Word Family Church of Naples, Fla., with a 2,000+ regular attendance.
"We are talking with a group from Brazil about a possible project down there, which will be probably the largest project we have ever done," said Rowland. "We've just been talking and talking about terms and that kind of stuff. So it's not solidified, but it's a good possibility."
While Rowland did not provide specific details about names and places, she did tell CP that a decision was expected soon.
"I think we're getting pretty close to knowing one way or the other because it's been a couple months of talking and then they just came to the U.S. about a month ago," said Rowland, adding that they "visited our offices and we had lots of meetings with them."
Church Building Beginnings
Churches by Daniels was established in 1980 by Charlie Daniels, owner of Daniels & Daniels Construction. The primary goal of the company is to build sanctuaries and other facilities for congregations.
According to the Churches by Daniels website, the company is affiliated with the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Church Business Administration.
It also has been an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau since 2008, maintaining an A+ rating.
Rowland told CP that the company had its roots in her father's efforts "to step away" from the construction business and attend Bible school. While at Rhema Bible College with his wife, Rhema's pastor Kenneth Hagin requested that Daniels build the new facilities for the college.
"[Hagin] approached my dad and asked him would he build their new building…. It is a 250,000 square foot worship facility," said Rowland.
"So he built that and they asked him to stay on and work for them and run all their facilities. He remodeled all their buildings, they have a hundred acre campus."
Rowland said that from there his occupation led him first to help local churches "as a consultant for them and their construction projects" and then to pastors "calling him to build their churches."
"It got to where he just got so busy building churches that he couldn't work there anymore. It just became a business," said Rowland.
The business Daniels would oversee has built churches for American congregations who count their attendance in the thousands.
A Ministry to Pastors
As to where the connection to churches came from, Rowland said that her grandfather was a preacher and her father often helped him with certain issues. "He's always had a heart for churches because my grandfather, Carroll Daniels, was a pastor so my dad grew up as a pastor's son," said Rowland.
"My dad grew up helping him do projects at the church, mow the lawn, do all that kind of stuff. So he knows what pastors have to go through."
Rowland explained to CP that this upbringing has influenced her father to use "his knowledge about building to help pastors."
"Our heart is to help churches," said Rowland, noting that sometimes due to logistical issues Churches By Daniels can only provide advice.
"We say okay well maybe we can't do your project but we at least try to give them advice and help put them in the right direction even if it's a project that maybe it doesn't fit us."
Rowland emphasized that "building is stressful" and can ruin a pastor's career. Therefore, their company is there for the pastor.
"We try to take the stress off of him and handle the project for him so that he can continue to do the ministry. Because you know it really is all about ministry," said Rowland.
"It's a building but the building is supposed to facilitate the ministry. That's what we feel like: our ministry is to pastors and to churches."