Coronavirus Update: April 30

Greetings Church Family,
I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing church family. We have waded through the last year with a lot of grace and determination. We have been flexible and resilient. We are finding our way through and will continue to walk with love and care as we slowly come out of this pandemic. What a gift it is to be able to worship together in-person and online!
Last night at the quarterly business meeting we discussed as a church family what we will do moving forward with the mask mandate for OKC ending Friday night. The church decided that masks will be optional starting this weekend. Many will still wear them out of consideration for others or caution for themselves. We have a large sanctuary and are only filling it to about 10% capacity. So we have the ability to safely distance from each other. We do still ask each person to stay home if you are not feeling well.
All along, we have done the best we could with making decisions through this season. We have done so with love, prayer, care for others, faith in God, and wisdom. I am grateful for each of you and look forward to seeing you on Sunday. Please, please reach out and let us know if you are uncomfortable or if you have concerns. At the end of the day, we are doing our best to love God and love others. Blessings my friends.

Coronavirus Update: February 3

On Sunday morning we announced the decision of the deacons to reopen for in -person worship on Sunday, February 14th. This is our hope and our plan. The number of new cases and hospitalizations are in decline. Unless things change significantly, we will be back together on the 14th. We will meet for worship only. Bible Study will resume at a later time. Please know we know how hard it is to be away from each other and away from this church building that feels like home. Pray and trust that God is in control and we will see each other again very soon! As always, please make the best decision for you and your family. We love you and we are the body of Christ, no matter what.

Coronavirus Update: December 1

Dear Church Family,

What an incredible church family you are! Every day I am reminded of the blessing it is to be a part of this family of believers. I learn so much from watching the way you live out your faith and your calling to follow Christ. God is working in us right now to mold us and shape us into a vessel for him to use. We are the body of Christ, my friends. What a sacred and holy thing that it is. Over the last two weeks as we transitioned to worshiping online only, God has surprised me once more with his ability to bring light out of darkness, good out of bad, hope out of despair.

We have spent the last two weeks in prayer and listening to the counsel of many, many church members. We have heard reports from hospital administrators and healthcare workers on the front lines. The truth is, this is our moment. This is the time when the pandemic is hitting Oklahoma in a way we have yet to experience. Most of us have lost loved ones this year to the pandemic, far too many in recent days. It will not last forever. There is light at the end of this tunnel.

After much prayer and counsel, we have made the very difficult decision to remain online only through the end of the year. This brings a tremendous amount of grief to my heart as I know it does to many of you. In the end, it was clear this was the only loving and wise path for us to take as a church family. We intend to wait until after the Christmas traveling has settled and resume in-person worship the second Sunday of January.

Here is the good news. We are going to be creative and do everything we can to make Christmas special!
  • Advent Care Packages: We have a special Advent Care Package for you to pick up this Saturday at 1pm in the church parking lot. Brad and I will be outside for you to Drive By to get your gift bags. They will include candles for the season, Advent devotionals, delicious bread made by our amazing FBCOKC chefs (Debbie Rankin and David Swenson). You are welcome to pick up an extra to drop off for other church members who perhaps cannot make it down to the church.
  • Christmas Carol Sing: Join us on Facebook Live in Wednesday, December 9 at 6pm, for a time to sing Christmas songs. We will take requests from you and all join in singing from around the city!
  • Worship Online: We will worship online together every Sunday through our website, app, and Facebook Live. Help us further our reach by sharing our services on your own social media page. People need hope this season.
  • Christmas Eve: We will have a special Christmas Eve Service online at 6pm on December 24th. You will have candles in your care packages for the candle lighting part of the service. We have a special service planned.
  • Dream: We are dreaming and looking for ways to celebrate the coming of Christ our King! Join Brad on Tuesday mornings at 10am on Facebook live for Morning Prayer time. Join Sarah on Wednesday nights at 6pm for a midweek devotional. Look for special music from Steven McConnell and Don Clothier throughout this month.

Church family, you have been faithful throughout an incredible year. Thank you. Thank you for all the ways you have let your light shine for the world to see. Keep shining my friends. Please continue to give to support the mission and ministry of FBCOKC as we seek to further the Kingdom of God on earth. We will get through this together and I am convinced we will be amazed at all God through this season. God is at work, my friends. I can feel! I love you all and ask for your kindness as we struggle through this impossible decisions as a church family. God is good, all the time. Blessings.

Pastor Sarah

Coronavirus Update: November 20

Dear FBCOKC Family,

It is with much prayer that I am coming to you. Over the past ten days we’ve heard from doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators all telling us we are at a crisis point in our city. Yesterday, Mayor Holt pleaded and asked us to be a part of the solution. He called on everyone in Oklahoma City to reduce the risk of spread for ten days. Church family, we need to do our part and not ignore the pleas of our city to help slow the spread of this disease.

The leadership of the church has prayed, discussed, and wrestled with this decision, but ultimately feel at peace. We have decided to offer our worship services online only for at least the next two Sundays, Nov. 22 and 29. We believe this is one thing we can do to support the welfare of our city. I was reminded this week of the words of the Lord in Jeremiah 29:7. “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you.” The welfare of our city is in critical condition right now. We learned yesterday that 1 out of every 100 OKC residents is currently positive for Covid-19. The most staggering statistic we heard is that 10% of the people who test positive end up in the hospital. This is serious and we need a serious response.

This decision is not made out of fear, but out of love. It is not an easy decision but one we feel is best for our church family and for the city of Oklahoma City. Let’s do our part to support the hospital staff who are fighting so hard for our loved ones.

We have a number of church members who are currently in quarantine as well as church members and staff who are positive for Covid-19. Please pray for our church family and pray for our city. Pray especially for those who are sick and for the medical teams caring for them.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with you as decisions are made in the coming weeks. We ask for your prayers and your grace as we lead through this impossible situation. I am ever aware that each decision we make comes with a cost. I love you all and I humbly ask for your kindness as we do the best we can to walk through these difficult days.

Be well, my friends. Pray for one another. Please continue to support the mission and ministry of FBCOKC. This will not last forever. No matter what, God is in control. See you online at 10:30am on Sunday morning.

Sarah Stewart, Pastor

Coronavirus Update: July 14

Friends, after much prayer, listening to our leadership, and looking at the rising number of Covid-19 cases we have decided to move forward with caution. Here is our updated plan:
Phase 1 and 2:
  • We will continue Sunday morning Bible Study at 9:15am and Worship at 10:30am. All doors to the church will be open. Our Worship attendance has been between 55-90 people each week. Bible Study attendance is much lower.
  • We will continue to offer our worship services online every week. There may come a time later in the year our city has to “Shelter in Place” again. If that happens, we are prepared. (Hopefully that won’t be necessary!)
  • Masks are strongly encouraged as well as social distancing and hand washing. This will always be our best strategy.
  • The Church office remains closed to visitors throughout the summer. We love parking lot visits and meeting in the dining hall! Committee meetings will continue to meet in the dining hall.
Phase 3:
  • Wednesday night activities will not resume until at least September. We will continue to offer Midweek Devotionals through Facebook Live each week. We hope these have been a blessing to you.
  • Our Business Meeting has been postponed.

Coronavirus Update: July 2

We are so grateful for this church family who is walking through this uncharted time together. We are doing our best to listen to wise counsel and make the best decisions for our particular church family and our particular building. Here is the latest update:

  • Friends we are moving forward with Phase 2 this Sunday. That means we will return to Sunday morning Bible Study and worship starting on July 5th.o Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building and masks are available at the Welcome Center.
    • At Mayor Holt’s request, we will require everyone to space out by skipping a row and keeping several seats between families.
    •  We strongly recommend wearing a mask. Our church is large enough that we are able to space out appropriately.
  • Phase 3 is being pushed back to at least July 15. That means, we will not begin meeting in the building on Wednesday nights until then. 
    • Meals will not be provided until at least September.

Coronavirus Update: June 16

Due to the recent rise in COVID cases across Oklahoma, we are delaying Phase 2 of our re-entry plan (the restarting of our Sunday School classes) by at least 1 week. Over the course of the next week, we will continue to assess the situation and come up with the best plan of action for restarting in-person Sunday School classes.

Coronavirus Update: May 27 (Re-Opening Plans)

FBCOKC Family,

We are so excited to get back together for in-person worship starting June 7th. For any of our members who are immune compromised or have other health concerns, please continue to join us for worship online. We love you and want you to stay safe! As we try to make the best decisions for our church family, please make the best decision for you personally. We are one family. No matter what. Whether we see you in person for a while or not, you are family and we love you!

Here is what you can expect as we move into Phase 1 of gathering for worship.

  • Our Church Facility: Our church has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized in preparation for resuming in-person services. We have updated our cleaning practices and schedules in order to regularly clean and sanitize after all events.
  • Hospitality:
    • Hand Sanitizing Stations: We have hand sanitizing stations at each entrance to the building and throughout the building. Please sanitize your hands as you enter the church each time.
    • Masks: We recommend wearing masks but they are not required. Masks will be more important as you move about the church. Remember we are sharing our building with other congregations.
    • Coffee: Please bring your own coffee. We will not be serving coffee or refreshments.
    • Entrances: Doors will be open at 10:10 and worship will begin at 10:30. Please enter through the North and South Doors only. We will have greeters at each entrance so you do not need to touch door handles.
    • Restrooms: Please limit the number of people in the restrooms at a time.
  • What to Expect in Worship: 
    • Sanctuary: You will find pews are sectioned off to encourage appropriate spacing. Please sit with your family and distance appropriately from other guests.
    • Dress: We will be more casual in the summer months. Our friends are watching at home in their pajamas. Feel free to come in your jeans or whatever feels right to you.
    • Offering: We will not pass the offering plate. It will be available at the front of the sanctuary for you to place your offering in as you leave worship.
    • Music: We will take it one step at a time. For now, we will not have congregational singing, but will continue to have music. Music has been and will always be a vital aspect of worship. It will continue to be a meaningful part of worship each week. We will be creative in our approach!
    • Streaming: We will continue to stream our services indefinitely. It is important to us that everyone remains connected to the church while remaining at home. We love you!
    • Nursery: The nursery will be open starting at 10:15 for babies through 5 years of age. Children will be instructed to wash their hands upon arrival and dismissal. Teachers will use extra care to keep your kids safe.
  • Reasons to Stay Home: If you feel it is the right choice for you, then it is the right choice. If you are immune compromised or have someone in your family that is, please use caution. If you have been ill or been exposed to others who are sick, please be on the safe side.
  • Committee Meetings: Committee meetings will meet in-person in the Dining Hall so that each person can sit at their own table. Please schedule meetings through the church office so we can make sure the space is cleaned before and after your meeting.
  • Small Groups: I want to encourage small groups to consider making plans for meeting in-person, outside. Each small group needs to begin visiting about what that might look like. Some groups may choose to meet under the portico at the church and bring their own lawn chairs. More information about small group opportunities will be coming in the next few weeks.
  • Church Office: The staff is back in the church office. It will remain closed to outside visitors for the summer. If you need to visit a minister, we love parking lot conversations.

Phase 2 is tentatively scheduled to begin June 21st. In this phase we will begin to resume Sunday morning Bible Study. Look for more information in the coming weeks. This will look different for each group.

Phrase 3 is tentatively scheduled to begin July 8th. In this phase we will resume Wednesday night activities in a limited capacity.

Coronavirus Update: April 28

Dear Church Family,
Words cannot adequately express how I long to meet with you in person for worship. I dream of the day we will fill our beautiful sanctuary to capacity and worship. It will be a good day and it will happen. As I wrote in my letter last week, we have been praying and seeking the Lord’s wisdom about how and when it will be right for us to begin in-person worship. I’ve consulted pastors from around the city and particularly those who share our ministry context in Midtown and Downtown OKC. We’ve talked to medical professionals and carefully listened to our government officials. As the leaders of the church we have prayed and will continue to pray.

Each church is in a different context and will have to make this decision for themselves. As much as we long to worship in-person, we want to care for the most vulnerable among us and to walk in wisdom and cau-tion. It is our hope to resume in-person worship services at the beginning of June. That is our aim and our hope, but we will continue to walk with caution, paying attention to medical professionals. This first step will be for worship services only (no Bible Study or Wednesday night activities).

The church never closed, we just were sent out into the world. We took our lights outside the walls and the light of Christ is shining brighter than ever. This time is allowing us to dream new dreams for our future and what God has for FBCOKC. We have the freedom to think outside the box and forge new paths to furthering the Kingdom of God. I can hardly wait to see what all God will do.

We also made the painful decision this week to officially cancel Kids Off Broadway for 2020. There are a number of factors that went into that decision. We all felt it was the right decision despite our great disappointment. We will come back bigger and stronger than ever next summer! A letter will go out to the families this week letting them know of the decision to cancel.

Please know that when we begin to gather for in person worship services, it will look different for a while. We will need to take extra precautions and modify the way we do a number of things during this season. Pray with us and for us as we make plans for the next phase of this journey. Pray for wisdom and for God to continue to take what we all have to offer and multiply it to meet the needs in our community.

We continue to serve through CareForOKC. This is one of the most important things that we can do right now! People need food to feed their families and the Regional Food Bank and Walmart are doing a great job to help make that possible. Through this ministry we are able to show the love of Christ in a tangible way. Pray for those who come to us in need. Pray for God to provide above and beyond what they could dream and to use this ministry as a way to show them the love of Christ. God is at work friends. We will walk in humility and grace. God is always out in front of us leading the way. We will faithfully follow. I love you all. I pray for you daily.

Coronavirus Update: March 18, (4:00pm)

Coronavirus Update: March 17, 2020 (3:30pm)

Dear FBCOKC Church Family,

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. As believers, we are able to rejoice in the Lord, we rejoice in knowing that our God is with us through it all. We are at the beginning of a very different time in our lives. No one knows what each day will bring, but that has always been true. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but we know that God has always been in control. God is not surprised or caught off guard by this pandemic. He is our ever present help. He was preparing us for this day before it ever arrived. So how do we respond? What do we do as the church?

The greatest commandment given by Jesus is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is who we are. We are people that love God with everything we have and we love God’s children as we love ourselves. That’s the call. That is a tough call when our instinct is self-preservation. Our church family is full of people who live this out day in and day out.

I saw a faith filled response last night when a handful of church members prepared pre-packaged grocery bags for people to pick up under the portico so we could keep CareForOKC open. Each time I hear of younger, healthy church members calling those who are at-risk to offer to go to the grocery store, I am so very moved. That’s who we are. We are people who love others well.

The loving and responsible thing to do right now is to stay home. We are going to be loving and compassionate to those who are more vulnerable and stay home for a while. We have already decided that at least for the next two weeks we will meet online only (update: through April 6). The church building will be closed for all activities and gatherings. This is tough. We will feel this. But it is worth being inconvenienced in order to be compassionate.

Let’s dream! Let’s get creative! Let’s put our heads together and see what it means to be the church in 2020. We will stay connected. As you all know, this situation is evolving daily. We will make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time. Here is the plan for now and just know, it will change. We will all need to remain flexible. For now, here is what you can expect:

  • Wednesday Nights: On Wednesday nights at 6pm we will have “Midweek Devotionals”. Log in to Facebook at 6pm and I will lead us in a prayer time and then a short devotional. This will work best if you are interactive. Get on Facebook and post comments, invite others to join us.

  • Sunday Worship: On Sunday mornings we will have our service streamed on Facebook and on our church app. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch our services. They are public. You can click on this link ( and it will take you to our page. Please share it with others and make comments. It will help our ministry reach more and more people. The passage for this Sunday is Mark 8:22-26. Have your Bibles with you as you sit at your kitchen table and drink your coffee. Follow along and dig into God’s word with us.

  • Committee Meetings: Committee Meetings and Deacons Meetings are cancelled for the next two weeks. We can talk on the phone or through email to make urgent decisions. We will not be having gatherings of any kind at the church for now.

  • Pray First: We have a prayer community at FBCOKC. If you would like to be added to the Pray First email list, please email to let us know you want to sign up to receive urgent prayer requests. If you have prayer requests to submit to Pray First, email Please call the church office or staff members or email if you have anything you want us to pray for specifically that you do not want going out to Pray First. We love you and want to know how to pray for one another. 

  • Church Member Needs: If you need something, please call. If you need groceries, please call the church office and we will try to connect you with someone who is able to go to the store. If you are able to go shopping, please email to let us know.

  • Let’s Get Creative! We are having daily brainstorming meetings about how we can best minister to the church and to our community during this strange time of separation. We would love to hear ideas from you. Dream with us! 

I want to ask you to think of others. Pray for each other. Please call and email those in our church family and those in our community regularly. Pray for those who are scared for any numbers of reasons. There are many who are frightened for their physical health or the health of loved ones. There are many who live pay check to pay check and are scared about how they will feed their families. Pray for those who are working in hospitals and clinics trying to care for the sick. Pray for our world to be a kinder and more loving place, not a place where we cast blame and are suspicious of one another.

Let the church rise up. Let us love this beautiful world with all that we’ve got in us. Let us dream new dreams and discover new ways to spread God’s love. Let us be the voice of peace and assurance in times of fear and chaos. Let us be the Light House on the Corner. God is good. Always.


FBCOKC Update - March 14, 20202 (9:30am)

Dear FBCOKC Family,

This is such a great church family!  I appreciate all the responses I have received to the letter we sent out yesterday.  We continue to take in new information and are doing our best to make wise decisions for the church and for our community.  I have been in regular communication with the chair and vice chair of the Deacon body as well as Personnel, Finance, and Committee on Committees.  We have also been consulting medical professionals in our congregation. In addition to the information we sent out yesterday about keeping the building clean, online giving, and watching services online if necessary, we have also made the following decisions.

Here is the update to the plan:  
  • This Sunday we will have worship as usual at 10:30. Join us if you are able and feel comfortable.  If you are at  risk or ill, please stay home and join us on Facebook for our live stream or on the app.  The building will open at 10am.  Bring your own coffee because we will not be offering coffee or refreshments in the Commons this week.  
  • This Sunday (March 15th) we are cancelling Bible Study on Sunday morning and small groups on Sunday night.  
  • All activities this week including committee meetings, AARP tax assistance, and Wednesday night (March 18th) activities are cancelled.  
  • The church office remains open but staff members who are at risk are welcome to work from home. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes in the coming weeks.  Blessings my friends.  Thank you for working with us as we try to make the best decisions for the church and for our neighbors.  

Sarah Stewart, Pastor
First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City
1201 N. Robinson
Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Letter from Pastor Sarah - March 13, 2020 (11:30am)

Dear FBCOKC Family,

Covid-19 is on all of our minds. What do we do and when? Since I’ve never pastored a church before during a pandemic, we will figure this out together! I am praying for each of you.I know we can start by being patient with one another, offer words of encouragement not fear, and do what we can to care for those who are most at risk during this time. Each decision our city makes will have an impact on the least of these. Schools closing means children might not have meals, families have to choose between going to work and caring for their children at home. The elderly and those who have compromised immune systems are more vulnerable. Start by showing love to those around you, but maybe show your love from a distance.  

Let’s talk about the implications for the church and how to help in the days ahead. I believe it is time for us to take some necessary precautions, but not operate out of fear. I want to encourage each of you to be a calming, non-anxious presence to those in your community. This is the time for the Church to love well and create peace not panic. Be creative in how you show God’s love and reach out to those around you.  

First, please don’t panic. We need to take Covid-19 seriously, but fear is not the answer. Be responsible and wash your hands often. If you are sick or at risk, please stay home. We are blessed to have technology that makes it possible to stay connected. You can watch our services on Facebook Live. You can find the stream on our Facebook page ( or on our mobile app. Even if you do not have a Facebook account, you can still access the service through this link. If you are unable to attend services for a few weeks, please reach out and let us know.  We want to know how to best care for you and pray for you. Washing hands and staying home when sick is still the best practice.

Worship: We will have services as usual for the foreseeable future. If the state officials ask us to do things differently, we will follow their instructions. We are adding several hand sanitizing stations in the church and we are being vigilant in cleaning and wiping down surfaces. I want to encourage anyone who wants to come worship, please join us!  
Again, if you are at risk or ill, stay home. When you come on Sunday, feel free to give a smile and a head nod rather than a hand shake or hug. Feel free to space out in the sanctuary. We will not be taking communion together until Good Friday. We love you and will love you even if you aren’t in worship.  

Children: On Sundays and Wednesdays the children will wash their hands before entering their classrooms and when exiting their rooms. Please be mindful to keep children home who do not feel well. We will be cleaning all surfaces and toys often to help minimize the spread of germs.  

Giving:  We will change the way we take up the offering for a few weeks. Rather than passing the plate, we will have ushers collecting at the front and back of the sanctuary. Many of you give online already and that is a great way to keep supporting the church. If you would like to give online, it is very easy on our website or on the FBCOKC app. Please do what you can to continue supporting the church whether you are in worship or not. 

Visitation:  We are suspending all hospital visits and homebound visits for the next few weeks. Please do everything you can to send letters and cards to homebound members. They love to receive phone calls. We will have a contact list for homebound members available in the Commons on Sunday for you to pick up and take home. Isolation is good for keeping people healthy, but it is also very hard on everyone mentally and emotionally. Let’s do everything we can to stay connected with those who might be isolated over the next month.  

Community Ministry: CareForOKC remains open and we are working hard to ensure it is cleaned often and providing ways to keep people healthy. We are looking into the best ways to care for those in our community through this crisis.  We are in contact with the Regional Food Bank about emerging needs in the community.

Church family, I am so grateful we have a loving Father who watches over us at all times. Do not fear, take comfort and hope in Jesus Christ. Pray for one another and encourage one another. Fear is not from the Lord and spreading panic is not the voice of the church. Spreading the love of Christ and hope during times of trial is the work of the church. Your staff and deacons are praying for you often. Please reach out to your deacon or any of the ministers if you need anything. Let’s all look for ways to show the love of Christ over the next few weeks. Especially during Lent, let the church be a light in the darkness.

We will keep you updated if anything changes through our social media pages, our website, emails, and (if necessary) through local news stations. Blessings.  
Sarah Stewart, Pastor
First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City
1201 N. Robinson
Oklahoma City, OK 73103