update 08.19.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

School is back and just like that summer is over! It was definitely not the summer any of us had planned, but God moved and worked among us and we are grateful!

As you all know, our SMALL GROUPS relaunched on campus at the beginning of August. So far, that has gone incredibly well! People are coming back to church, and we have not had any COVID issues related to our gatherings! We are continuing to ask the Lord for protection and good health for our church family and our community! We know not everyone is 100% comfortable returning to church yet, and we understand that. We want to continue to minister to those who are isolating the best we can. If you ever have any specific needs please let us know!

Tonight (8/19/20), our MIDWEEK ACTIVITIES all resume on campus! We are excited to have our 405 Students, KidsInc, D-Groups, and Adult Bible Study back from 6-7:30 PM. If you are looking for a great Bible Study, join us in the Worship Center as Pastor Jeremy and Nathan teach through the Beatitudes over the next 8 weeks!

Starting on September 9th, we will have two new options for ladies during our MIDWEEK ACTIVITIES:

  • Stand Firm  |  1 Peter Inductive Bible Study  |  Led by Jana Meece  |  Begins Sept. 9th  |  9-week class  |  Cost: $18
  • Below the Surface: Learning to Read God's Word with Depth and Understanding  |  Led by Charla Hodges  |  Begins Sept. 9th  |  12-week class
Many have asked about SUNDAY NIGHTS this Fall. Currently we have no set date to return to every week gatherings on Sunday nights, but we are planning some special things on Sunday evenings through the end of the year.

On Sunday, Sept. 13th we will have a special Deacon Ordination service for our newly affirmed Deacons. The Prayer Time and laying on of hands will take place at 4 PM that evening, and the Ordination Service will be at 5 PM. This is always a special time in the life of the church and we would love for you all to be there to celebrate and set apart these men to serve as Deacons at FBC Newcastle.

Sunday, September 20th at 5 PM we will be gathering for a Retirement Celebration for Ronda Pinkerton. As you know, Ronda served faithfully as our Children’s Minister for 16 years. She retired from full-time ministry earlier this year. We are going to gather to celebrate her that evening in the Family Life Center! Please make plans to come and bring a card with a gift card or love gift for her!

Finally, Pastor Jeremy just kicked-off a new Sunday morning sermon series in the book of Genesis. We believe this will be a tremendous time of study together. Now is a great time to invite family and friends to join us as we dig deep into God’s Word.

We hope to see you soon, and we love you all!

Your Church Staff

update 07.30.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

SMALL GROUPS ARE BACK!!!! Is anyone else as excited as I am? We have prayed, prepared, and are ready to return to Small Groups this Sunday, August 2nd. We will follow our regular schedule: Worship at 8 + 9:30 + 11 AM and Small Groups at 9:30 + 11 AM. In preparation for Sunday, here are a few important things you need to know.

First, we want this Sunday to go as smoothly and safely as possible. As we have sought to do throughout this entire process, we are using wisdom and caution as we proceed. When you enter the building, we encourage you to wash your hands at one of our hand sanitizer stations and practice good social distancing. We will all be tempted to shake hands and hug, but at this point, we are really encouraging everyone to refrain from physical touch. This will be hard, but we are simply trying to minimize any exposure and prevent potential spread of the virus.

Second, unfortunately, masks have been a controversial issue. This should not be the case, especially among God’s people. We MUST show grace and kindness to one another, regardless of a personal view. We are not requiring masks to be worn at this time, but we are encouraging those who would like to wear them to do so. The staff will be wearing masks during greeting times and times of closer interaction, but we will not be wearing them on the stage or requiring them to be worn during the worship services. If you choose not to wear a mask, please do not make someone feel badly who is wearing one. Likewise, if you choose to wear a mask, please do not make someone feel badly who is not wearing one. GRACE, GRACE, and more GRACE must be shown and given. We will not be a church that lets a mask divide us. Let’s be a shining example of how to treat and love one another.

Third, this Sunday is also promotion Sunday for our children and youth. We have attempted to clearly communicate with parents and students, but it is likely that not everyone will be 100% sure where to go. Be on the lookout for those who need directions, and if help is needed, direct them to the Hub. We will have someone there to help get them to the right place. We will also have a new batch of kindergarten children attending corporate worship for the first time. This is very exciting! Help us welcome these little ones into the worship service and model for them how to engage in every aspect of corporate worship.

Finally, this Sunday we will be taking the Lord’s Supper together for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak. We are very excited about this! We will be taking the elements of the Lord’s Supper a little differently, and will give all the instructions on Sunday morning in the worship services. Please know, we will be administrating this ordinance with extra care and will make sure it is handled safely and worshipfully. It will be a great day!

I CANNOT wait to see you all on Sunday. I have a great word from the Lord to share and am eager to worship Him together. See you Sunday…come expecting great things!

In Christ,

Pastor Jeremy

update 07.15.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

FBCN Church Family,

We wanted to give you a few updates this week concerning our upcoming events and church schedule! First, Pastor Nathan is doing very well. He has made a full recovery and been cleared to be back at work and church. To our knowledge, did not pass the virus on to anyone, not our staff nor his own family! We praise the Lord for his recovery and for keeping his family and our church family safe. We are continuing to pray for others who have not been so fortunate to have a mild case, even those in our own community who have contracted the virus. Please be praying with us for them and continued protection for our Church and our community!

As you know, we postponed our Backyard VBS this last week. The Lord has graciously provided a new date that will work for the majority of those who are participating. The new dates for Backyard VBS will be July 27, 28, & 29. Our Family Night will be July 29 on the church property. We have some great plans in the works and we are rejoicing that we’ve been able to find a new date to move forward with this incredible ministry! Please be looking for promo later this week with host homes and registration info. Also, please be praying that the Lord will not allow any other hindrances to having VBS, and that as the Gospel is proclaimed each day, that we will be effective in reaching children and families in our communities with the Greatest News ever! So many things have changed all around us, but this one thing has not: Men, women, and children need to know who Jesus is, and they need a personal relationship with Him! We are praying to this end. Please join us in this!

Also, we wanted to let you know that none of the plans moving forward for our 405 Student Ministry “We Will Week” have changed. You can still register your 6th-12th grader online at www.fbcnewcastle.com/events. It’s going to be an incredible week to reach students with the Gospel! Please join us in praying for all those involved in making this week happen. Our student ministry team, Garrett, Dustin, Lacy, and all the volunteers that will be participating. Pray for their health, and pray that God would move mightily in the lives of our students!

We also want to let you know that Sunday, July 19th, we will be back with our normal Sunday morning in person schedule. Services will be at 8 AM, 9:30 AM, + 11 AM. We will be streaming live on Facebook at 9:30 AM. Childcare will be available for birth-PreK. We encourage you to register for childcare to help us best prepare for you and your family. You can register at www.fbcnewcastle.com/events.

We know that this time has been very trying for all of us, and we are as ready as you are to get back to normal gathering and fellowship with our church family. We are praying to that end, and we are praying for you in this difficult season. Please know if you need anything we are available and would love to minister to you even though it looks a little different in these days!

Just as a reminder here is our protocol for handling COVID-19 at FBC Newcastle: 

*What if someone that was at church (staff or member) tests positive for COVID and was at church in the last 14 days?

In the event that FBCN becomes aware of a church member/attender that tests positive for COVID-19 and attended an FBCN activity or service in the 14 days before their positive test, we will take the following steps:

  1. We will seek to identify who the person came into close contact with (within 6’ for 15 minutes or more) to the best of our ability and inform them that they have been exposed to an individual with a positive test, while maintaining the confidentiality of the one who tested positive.
  2. We will communicate with the church body at large to inform any who were in the same room or area as the individual with the positive test. 
  3. We will thoroughly clean all areas that the individual had contact with, before any others are allowed to gather in that space.
  4. We will ask those exposed (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) to follow the CDC’s recommendation to quarantine until they’ve been symptom free for 14 days.
    For details concerning quarantine please see the CDC link below:
    For details defining exposure please see the CDC link below:
  5. If you begin to show symptoms during the 14-day quarantine you should be tested for COVID-19.

    If you tested positive for COVID and you had symptoms, we are asking that you wait to return to church activities/services until:
    - 3 days with no fever and
    - Respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough,
      shortness of breath) and
    - 10 days since symptoms first appeared

    If you tested positive for COVID and you had no symptoms,
    If you continue to have no symptoms, we are asking that you wait to return to church activities/services until:
    - 10 days have passed since test
We love you all and will see you either in person on Sunday or online! God Bless!

Your FBCN Staff

update 07.11.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

We wanted to give you an update on our current situation and plan for Backyard VBS and Sunday, July 12th worship. If you had not heard, we had a staff member test positive for COVID-19 on Monday, July 6th. Our last contact with this staff member was Tuesday, June 30th, and although none of the staff were showing or exhibiting symptoms, we shut the church offices down this week and went to get tested immediately.

However, due to the massive rise of COVID cases and testing in Oklahoma, our test results have not come back yet. We anticipate getting the results next week. Because of this, we do not feel we can proceed with Backyard VBS as planned until our test results are provided. We are extremely disappointed and frustrated, but simply believe this is the wisest and best decision as we seek to care well for our church and community.

The good news is, we are not canceling VBS! We are just postponing while we work on finding a new date. We hope to announce all the details very soon. Our plan is to give you an update this coming week and provide new information regarding new dates and any other needed information as we move forward.

Please know we are praying for you and your family and look forward to having your children join us for an exciting and impacting VBS! We will be in touch with new details as soon as possible.

For Sunday, July 12th worship we will not have any in person gathering on campus. Instead we will be streaming Facebook live at 9:30AM on our church Facebook page. We hope you will join us for worship then! Our plan is to be back to our normal 3 service schedule (8 AM | 9:30 AM | 11 AM) on Sunday, July 19th.

We are praying for the Lord’s protection over us as a church and our community during this time!

As always if you need anything please let us know!

In Christ,

FBCN Church Staff

update 07.06.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

As you know, the heart of the staff and your elders is to do all we possibly can to care for our church family well, and protect the most vulnerable and susceptible to this virus. Part of caring for you well is communicating well. With that in mind, we wanted to update you concerning some things that have transpired over the last week. This morning (Monday, July 6th), Pastor Nathan received a positive COVID test result. It was a test that was administered last Wednesday, July 1st. Pastor Nathan was not at church on Sunday, July 5th. The last time he was at church was Sunday, June 28th. He was not experiencing any symptoms on Sunday, June 28th. He didn’t experience his first symptom until Tuesday, June 30th. To our knowledge, no one that has been around him has shown any signs of symptoms, none of our staff, or any of his family. We are praying that it’s contained to him. We established the following protocol long before anyone tested positive here at FBCN, and of course it’s subject to change, based upon the recommendations of the CDC, our state health officials, and our FBCN Advisory Team, but we feel this is the best approach, given the knowledge we currently have.

Our protocol for handling a positive COVID-19 test is as follows:

*What if someone that was at church (staff or member) tests positive for COVID and was at church in the last 14 days?

In the event that FBCN becomes aware of a church member/attender that tests positive for COVID-19 and attended an FBCN activity or service in the 14 days before their positive test, we will take the following steps:

  1. We will seek to identify who the person came into close contact with to the best of our ability and inform them that they have been exposed to an individual with a positive test, while maintaining the confidentiality of the one who tested positive.
  2. We will communicate with the church body at large to let any who were in the same room or area as the individual with the positive test. 
  3. We will thoroughly clean all areas that the individual had contact with, before any others are allowed to gather in that space. 
  4. We will ask those exposed (within 6’ for more than 15 minutes) and who have a positive test to follow the CDC’s recommendation to self-isolate until they’ve been symptom free for 14 days or have a negative test result.
In the event that an FBCN staff member tests positive for COVID, we will follow the above procedures, and in addition to those, ask all of our staff who has come in contact with the infected staff member to go get tested before returning to work or church activities/services.

We have followed and are following all of the above steps. Most of our staff has been tested already this week and the rest are working towards getting tested soon. We will continue to keep you updated with the latest information. 

Because of these latest updates and the nature of them being staff related, we are taking the following measures concerning our schedule and plan for regathering. We will not necessarily alter our schedule or plans for a normal church member/attender who tests positive. Because of the far reaching ministry and touch of our staff members we are taking a few extra precautions.
  • As of today, we are cancelling the “We Will” 405 Students in the Lot on Wednesday, July 8th, while we await test results from the rest of our FBCN staff. Our hope is to continue with the next regularly scheduled “We Will” night, on Sunday Night July 19th and the “We Will Week”, July 20th-22nd.
  • We were initially scheduled to launch on-campus small groups this Sunday, July 12th. In light of Pastor Nathan’s positive test, we have decided to postpone the launch of small groups on campus until Promotion Sunday, August 2nd, 2020.
  • We normally have our monthly member meeting on the 2nd Sunday of every month. We have decided to cancel July’s member meeting scheduled for Sunday, July 12th. We will have our regularly scheduled meeting on August 9th.
  • The church office will be closed this week July 6th-9th, while we await FBCN Staff test results. This allows our FBCN Facility team to come in and thoroughly clean and disinfect our facility before this Sunday’s worship gatherings.
  • We will continue to have our three Sunday morning worship services in person at 8 AM | 9:30 AM | 11 AM, and we will stream on Facebook LIVE our 9:30 AM service. Childcare will continue to be available at each service. Remember, you can go online to register to help us know how many to expect: www.fbcnewcastle.com/events
  • We are continuing as scheduled with our Backyard VBS next week, July 13th-15th. Backyard VBS is outside at church member’s homes around the community. There will be smaller groups of kids at each home. By the time Backyard VBS begins, our staff test results should be processed. If they test positive, they will not be involved in Backyard VBS and will be quarantined.
If there are any changes to our upcoming schedule, we will keep you informed. If you have any questions, please let us know. Above all, please be praying for Brother Nathan, that he will heal completely, and that no one else will test positive. We are also asking for an extra measure of grace and patience, as we make decisions, do the very best to care for our church family, and move forward together as a church. We love you all and we will see you in corporate worship this Sunday.

In Christ,

Pastor Jeremy, Elders, and Staff

update 06.12.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

It has been so good to begin easing back to worshipping together in person. The church is not a building, but the church is supposed to be people gathering together, and it has been good to start doing that again.

I wanted to send a few updates regarding our progress and some of the things coming up in the next few weeks at FBCN!

First, we have been following the CDC guidelines throughout this process and have tried to protect those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. Now that Oklahoma has entered Phase 3, and have done so without much negative effect, some restrictions are being lifted for corporate gatherings. As you know, we are beginning to offer childcare for the worship services beginning Sunday, June 21st (a nice Happy Father’s Day welcome back, too). In an effort to help us plan, we are asking our members and regular attenders to register your children, who are pre-k and under, for the worship service you plan to attend at fbcnewcastle.com/events. You do not have to register to attend, but registering will help us significantly as we evaluate class sizes and number of volunteers needed for each service.

Following this, our plan is to begin offering Small Groups (Sunday School) on Sunday, July 12th. We will follow the same schedule we began earlier this year: Worship at 8/9:30/11 AM and small groups at 9:30/11 AM. We have communicated with all teachers in every area to help us plan for that day. We are looking forward to resuming our small groups.

Second, up to this point, we have discouraged senior adults from coming back to our in-person gatherings. Again, we had sought to follow the directions of the CDC. While we still believe seniors and those most vulnerable should use more caution, we are now leaving the decision totally up to you as to when to return. If you would like to come this Sunday, and feel comfortable doing so, you are more than welcome to attend! There is plenty of room for you to social distance, masks and hand sanitizer are available, and the facility is being properly cleaned between services. If you feel comfortable and ready to attend, come on back! We are definitely beyond ready to see you!

Finally, I have mentioned this on social media and in other correspondence, but the elders and your staff wanted to make you aware of some changes in the worship center. If you will remember, at the beginning of the year, the church voted to upgrade our sound equipment and video projection in the worship center. Long before any of us had even heard of COVID-19, finances were approved, contracts were signed, and payment was sent to order the equipment. When the pandemic hit, none of us knew how long we would be out of the worship center. It was not too long into the situation that it became apparent we would be out of the worship center for weeks, if not months. Due to this rare opportunity to have an empty worship center and not cause any disruption to our worship gathering, we seized the opportunity to begin making the modifications in the worship center. We praise the Lord we were able to get all this done prior to everyone returning. Virtually all the labor was done by our staff, which ultimately saved the church thousands of dollars. God has blessed us with willing and capable staff members.

One of the changes you will notice is the back wall on the stage. Instead of having one screen dropped down and two televisions on the stage, we simplified things and added one screen on each side (we will no longer be using the center screen and small televisions). As part of our projection update, we painted the back wall black, added cedar wood, and are now able to display the beautiful stained glass that had been covered due to the use of the center screen. It looks fantastic!

As part of all the changes, you will also notice we have enclosed the baptistry. Before you panic, the baptistry is still in its previous location, we will just be doing baptisms live and showing them on the two screens. There are lots of reasons for this change, but two primary reasons:

  1. We want the entire church to see every baptism. With our previous setup, the only people who saw baptisms were the people at that particular service time. Baptism is a church ordinance for the entire church to celebrate. Now we have the opportunity for the whole church to be involved and celebrate the new believer’s public profession of faith and act of obedience in following the Lord in believer’s baptism.
  2. We want all people to be able to see and hear clearly each baptism. Previously, there were many seats in the room where the baptisms were unable to be seen. This change resolves that problem completely.
We will be able to show the baptisms live, record them at a high quality, and show them in all the services and to those who are still worshipping with us online. We believe this change allows us to highlight baptisms, make them clearly seen, and include the entire church. There are obviously opinions and preferences we all have, but more than anything, we want to see people saved, baptized, and celebrated in the church. At FBCN, the focus will always be baptism, not the location of the baptistry.

As you can see, exciting things are happening at FBCN and we cannot wait to get back to “normal.” Please continue to pray for your leaders, engage as you can, and support the work of ministry and mission. As with everything, if you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call, shoot me a text, send me an e-mail, or schedule a time to come and sit down with me for a conversation! FBCN’s best days are still ahead! I love you and love being your pastor! See you soon.

In Christ,

Pastor Jeremy

update 05.20.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

The wait is over and your elders, staff, and FBCN COVID-19 Advisory Team are officially making plans to begin worshipping together in person on Sunday, May 31st. I am so excited about this. While the decision on a date to begin meeting was not easy, we believe May 31st is the right date for us. Along with this decision comes lots and lots of details. Please take time to read this entire update and help us spread the word in an effort to keep everyone in the loop and on the same page.

Here are the details:

  • Sunday, May 31st  |  3 Service Options  |  8 + 9:30 + 11 AM  |  *Doors will open 10 minutes before service time to provide adequate time for staff to clean between services.
  • We will continue to provide the 9:30 AM service LIVE on our church's Facebook page.
  • We will be encouraging social distancing for our in-person gatherings. We will maintain 6 feet apart when finding seats and use non-touch greetings (no shaking hands, hugs, etc.). However, feel free to give all the air high-fives you want!
  • We are encouraging families to sit together and for students to sit with their families.
  • At this point, we will not offer childcare, but children are wanted and welcome in the worship service. We will be evaluating re-opening childcare in the coming weeks. The goal is to keep the worship services to exactly one hour, and there will be “Big Church” activity bags available for your preschool/elementary kids to take into the service and to take home.
  • No small groups will meet on the 31st. Many groups are continuing to meet on zoom, which can be found at: fbcnewcastle.com/small-groups
  • We are asking everyone to enter in the Worship Center Foyer doors on the south and west side of the Worship Center. We are also asking everyone to exit out the north Worship Center doors and then out the office doors into the west parking lot. Please help us by not congregating for very long inside the building after the worship service. This will allow our staff time to clean the facility before the next service begins.
  • We are encouraging the use of masks, but they are not required. We will also have them available as you come in for service or you may bring your own. We will have hand sanitizing stations at the entries.
  • We will not be serving coffee, donuts or breakfast items.
  • We will not be providing any worship guides.
  • Offering buckets will not be passed during the service, but there will be four “generosity” boxes and envelopes placed at the entries and exits for giving. You can also continue to give online at www.fbcnewcastle.com/give, or mail your offering in to FBCN  |  PO Box 299  |  Newcastle, OK 73065.
  • The only parts of the building that will be open are the Worship Center, foyer, and office hall. The Worship Center Foyer Restrooms and Office Hall Restrooms will be available for use and will be cleaned between each service. If the need for greater social distancing is present, we will make overflow available in the Hub.
  • We are asking those who are sick, or who have recently been around someone sick, to remain home and watch our Facebook LIVE service at 9:30 AM. If you are showing any symptoms, please help us protect others by staying home until you are completely well.
  • As a safety precaution, we are asking that everyone take their temperature the day before the worship service and the morning of, as well. If it is 99.4º or above, please stay home and join us on our Facebook LIVE service at 9:30 AM.
  • We are strongly encouraging our older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes) to stay home and watch our Facebook LIVE service at 9:30 AM. We will continue to provide online ministry and are available to minister to you throughout the week as needed.
As you can see, there are many things that must be considered and implemented as we begin re-engaging in corporate worship together. This will require patience and flexibility from us all. Our hope and prayer is that in the near future, we are back up and running with our regular schedule, as we were previously. Be praying with us about these things. As always, if you have any questions, please call the church office or send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com.

Here are a few other updates:
  • Some have asked how the church is doing financially. I am pleased to say that at the end of April, we are in a strong financial position. We are continuing to meet our budget needs and manage expenses, which keeps us healthy financially. This is a result of the grace of God, the generosity of God’s people, and the fiscal responsibility of the church leadership. Your finance team continues to meet monthly, via zoom, to provide oversight and wisdom concerning our financial situation. Our hope is to have an in-person member meeting on Sunday, June 14th, where we can speak to several important financial matters. Be watching for details about that possibility. As always, if you would like a copy of the monthly financial report, please send an email to lisa@fbcnewcastle.com.
  • Our 405 Student Ministry (grades 6th-12th) will begin meeting outside on Wednesday, May 27th from 6-7:30 PM. They will meet in the north parking lot for worship, teaching, and fun. This will be a tremendous way for our students to begin reconnecting.
  • We will continue the Kids Worship via Facebook on Wednesdays at 6 PM. Our hope is to resume regular Wednesday evening activities in the near future.
We love each of you and cannot wait to see you again soon!

Together for the Gospel,
FBCN Elders, Finance Team, COVID-19 Advisory Team, and Staff

update 05.18.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

As you know, we have been waiting on a decision from Oklahoma Baptists (previously BGCO) regarding camps for children (CrossTimbers) and youth (Falls Creek) this summer. Today, the decision was announced (see the official statement here: https://bit.ly/2020-summer-camps) that all camps for Summer 2020 will be cancelled. While I am sad and disappointed this has happened, I am in full support of the decision. Given the risk of having thousands of children and youth at camps, it seems very prudent to use an abundance of caution at this time. If you previously paid a deposit, a refund will be issued this week.

This is one of the rare times Falls Creek summer sessions has been cancelled. Since 1917, Falls Creek has been cancelled three prior times in 1943, 1944 and 1945. The 1943 session was cancelled due partly to a poliomyelitis outbreak, according to historical records, while the 1944 and 1945 sessions were cancelled due to WWII-related factors. Now, Falls Creek 2020, joins the ranks of another closure due to an extremely unusual circumstance.

More than anything, our hearts go out to the children and students who will miss an opportunity to go to camp this summer. I think of all the Gospel presentations that will be missed to the thousands who would have normally attended camp. My heart breaks over that reality. We are also particularly mindful of graduating seniors who will miss their final year of Falls Creek. Please know that we are feeling the weight of all this with you, and simply wish the circumstances were different. However, we know this: God is in control; He is faithful; He will see us through to the other side; and ultimately, He will be glorified. We trust Him! 

You might be asking, “What is the church’s plan for children and youth this summer?” The short answer is that we are praying and thinking about creative options we might be able to offer. Much of what we do, will depend on the lifting of restrictions for larger groups, and where we are as a nation and state regarding the virus in the coming weeks. Please know that our hope and desire is to offer something special and unique for our children and youth this summer. We are exploring creative ideas for things like Vacation Bible School and a makeshift camp experience for our students. Again, these things are only in the idea stage, but we plan to move them beyond that, as, hopefully, things begin to get better and more normal soon.

In the meantime, we have set our sights on Sunday, May 31st, when we will finally be able to worship together in person. I am extremely excited about that and cannot wait to see your faces. Later this week, we will be sending out a detailed update regarding our re-entry plan for May 31st. While the announcement about camp is a bit of a downer, at least we can celebrate progress as we look forward to gathering again soon.

I love you all and I am so thankful for your resilience and patience during this season. We are together for the Gospel!

update 05.07.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

Hopefully you have had the time to watch the video announcements I recently shared on Facebook. If not, you might take a moment to watch it after you read this update.

As you know, things are progressing in the state of Oklahoma, and the trends seem to project that we will be moving to phase two by the middle of May. This was our hope!

Because of this, we feel that we can shoot to begin meeting in person on Sunday, May 31st. We realize things could change between now and the 31st, but we are making plans to begin worshipping together on that Sunday. We will have our regular morning worship schedule of three identical services at 8AM, 9:30AM, and 11AM (we will still stream our 9:30AM service on Facebook LIVE). Unfortunately, we will not offer childcare or small groups at this time, but will be evaluating that week to week and hope to be able to provide those things on campus shortly after May 31st.

As we get closer to May 31st, we will be providing more instructions and details about what you can expect when you attend in person. It is likely we will still have to abide by some social distancing protocols, but the restrictions are a little lighter once we move to phase two. We will still encourage the elderly and those with other underlying health conditions to stay home for the time being. We want to be very slow to re-engage in person and take every measure to protect those who are most vulnerable. Be looking for more details as the May 31st date gets closer.

We will also be launching in-person ministry for our 405 Students beginning on Wednesday, May 27th. The 405 will meet outside on the north side of the church for worship, teaching, and fellowship. Social distancing measures will be taken, but students (6th-12th grade only) will have an opportunity to begin gathering in person at that time.

For the time being, our Kids Worship LIVE will continue on Wednesday nights at 6PM on the FBCN Children’s Ministry Facebook page. Our hope is to resume in person children’s ministry as soon as it is safe and best for everyone involved.

We are also waiting for Oklahoma Baptists to announce their decision about Falls Creek and CrossTimbers on May 14th. Our decision to have camps is completely dependent upon the decision they make. Once we hear what their decision is, we will announce our plans as well.

Finally, the Monday Night Prayer Room LIVE and Friday Night LIVE devotions will continue through the end of May. Once we roll into June, we will re-evaluate what we will be offering online and in person. We will also be looking at our regular Sunday and Wednesday night programming and schedule. We are unsure when full ministry will resume on those nights, but our hope is that it will be sooner than later. Again, those things will be evaluated week to week.

I know this has been a frustrating season for so many, but it has also been very good in many ways. In all things, we trust that God is in control and His timing is perfect! I am so eager to see you all in person again, but we don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable or pressured to attend on May 31st.  We will continue to provide online ministry and work hard to keep everyone connected. This will pass, and soon we will all be together again. Until then, we press on and hold fast to our mighty God!

Be looking for more updates soon! We love you all!

update 04.22.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

As you have probably seen, certain restrictions are beginning to be lifted in Oklahoma while other closings/cancelations are happening. I am writing because I want to clearly communicate the decisions and steps FBC Newcastle (FBCN) is taking. Please read this entire update and share it with other FBCN members.

First, just because Governor Stitt has said that churches can resume meeting beginning May 1st does not mean that is what all churches should do. Every church faces unique circumstances and each church needs to decide what is best for their people and their context. Even with churches being able to meet, there are still restrictions. For instance, churches are not supposed to offer child care; space must be made in worship centers for social distancing; masks must be worn; there are limitations on total number of people who can gather, etc. These type restrictions make it uniquely difficult for larger churches like FBCN. We will evaluate all the data and restrictions and decide when and how we should begin meeting in person as a church. I can say that we will not gather in person on Sunday, May 3rd. I am as eager as anyone to resume our regular meetings, but we must be wise and smart regarding the process of re-entry. We will be evaluating everything on a week to week basis and updating consistently. Please pray that your leadership has wisdom as we make decisions that affect so many. In the meantime, we will continue with the weekly schedule we have been operating under on our church’s Facebook page.

Second, as some of you probably saw, Oklahoma Baptists announced this week that all camps are closed for the month of June. This means that Falls Creek will not be meeting in June. It was also announced this week that Super Summer is cancelled. Due to this, we feel it wise to cancel all camps and kids/youth programs for June. We have also cancelled our Joyful Noise weekday summer program for the summer as well. But, the good news is that Falls Creek is attempting to do eight sessions of camp in four weeks during July. Their plan is to split the weeks and try to get everyone into Falls Creek for half of a week. You can read their update here: https://www.oklahomabaptists.org/fallscreek. If this happens, this works out well for FBCN because it places our two weeks back to back: Middle school would be July 15th-18th and high school would be July 19th-22nd. Sign up for those camps will begin in the coming weeks.

Third, our children’s camp at CrossTimbers is still on at the moment. Even though kids’ camps have been cancelled in June, we are scheduled for July 21st-24th at CrossTimbers. Parents, you can still sign your kids up for camp, and if for some reason camps in July get cancelled, we will refund your deposit. We have also decided to postpone Vacation Bible School (VBS). We normally do VBS the first week of June, but feel it is unwise to try and accomplish that when everything else is being cancelled in June. Our hope is to offer VBS later in the summer when it is safer and more restrictions have been lifted.

Fourth, we are planning to honor our graduating high school seniors on Sunday night, May 17th, at 6PM in a special Facebook LIVE service. You will not want to miss this. We are also going to be giving our church family some special ways to minister to these seniors in the coming days. Be looking for information about how you can bless and encourage the Class of 2020 and make plans to tune in at 6PM on Sunday, May 17th.

Finally, as always, your staff, elders, and deacons are here for you. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call the church office at 405-387-4366, or send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com.

We love you all and will be updating again next week!

update 04.15.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

I wanted to take a minute and give a brief update regarding a few important things:

First, your church staff, elders, and deacons are here for you. We continue to pray for our church family and contact as many as possible on a weekly basis. The moment we hear of a need, we are quick to reach out and offer assistance. If you have been affected by the COVID-19 situation (e.g. health, job) please call the church office or send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com. We want to pray with you, encourage you, and help you in any way possible.

Second, while the church offices remain closed to the public, your staff continues to work hard. We have a rotating schedule regarding office hours, but are available all throughout the week. We continue to do all we can to provide spiritual resources and teaching to all ages throughout our various social media platforms. Here is our weekly schedule:

  • Corporate Worship LIVE - Sundays - 9:30 AM
    FBCN Facebook page
  • 405 Student Worship LIVE - Sundays - 6 PM
    405 Student Facebook page
  • (Virtual) Prayer Room LIVE - Mondays - 8 PM
    FBCN Facebook Page
  • Kid Worship LIVE - Wednesdays - 6 PM
    FBCN Children's Facebook page
  • Friday Night LIVE - Fridays - 8 PM
    devotional with Pastor Jeremy  |  FBCN Facebook page
If you need help getting online access to these events, please let us know.

Third, we will not be having our regular member meeting in April and May. If you would like a monthly financial statement, please send an email to lisa@fbcnewcastle.com, and we will get you a copy. Many have asked how the church is doing financially, and I am pleased to say that we are keeping our head above water. Our giving was down in the month of March, but due to reduced spending, we were able to nearly meet our budget for the month. Thus far, in the month of April, we are only about $2,500 behind our weekly budget requirements. We praise the Lord for this, and also say THANK YOU to those who continue to give to the Lord and His Church. Your elders and finance team continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep you updated. We trust that the Lord will continue to provide and that the work of ministry and mission will continue! The easiest way to give is online, and you can do that at www.fbcnewcastle.com/give. If you need help setting up online giving, please let us know and we can help you. You can also continue to mail in your giving to FBC Newcastle, P.O. Box 299, Newcastle, OK 73065.

Fourth, many are wondering about our summer programs for children and students. I serve on the executive committee for Oklahoma Baptists (formerly BGCO) and a decision about summer programming is being made on May 1. We are at the mercy of that decision. As soon as we know, we will communicate with our church family. Unfortunately, we did have to cancel our student ministry mission trip to Costa Rica. This was a difficult decision, but no international mission trips are currently approved by the International Mission Board, and in the interest of everyone’s safety, we simply felt this was the right decision.

Our hope and desire is to have our full summer programs for our children and youth. If camps get cancelled, we will seek to provide safe alternatives at some point this summer. Please join us in praying about all these things. There are so many decisions that will have to be made soon.

Finally, our hearts go out to graduating seniors. These seniors will never forget their final year of high school. We are planning to do something special for them, but we know it will pale in comparison to what they would have normally experienced. Please pray for these young people and their families. There are also many having to forego other special events, and we are hurting with them, too. On top of all of this are those who are suffering from all kinds of illnesses, job loss, death, etc. Truly, we weep with those who weep. But, we know this, weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. By the grace of God, this too shall pass, and when we come through it, we will be better and stronger because of it.

We love you all. If you need anything, even if it is just someone to talk with or pray with, please call the church, 405-387-4366, or send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com. Lord willing, we will be back together in person soon. Until then, we wait with joy and live with purpose for the glory of God!

update 04.04.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

FBCN continues to listen to governing authorities, and monitor the COVID-19 situation closely in an effort to do our part to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

We continue to encourage everyone to follow the guideline set forth by our Governor and only leave your home for essential items. 

At FBCN, we continue to make adjustments:

  • The church offices are currently closed to the public. If you need anything, please call the church office at 405-387-4366 or send an email to info@fbcnewcastle.com.
  • We continue to film videos and devotions for social media ministry. We are limiting the number of people in these video productions to 10 and under, and are maintaining social distancing when we do record.
  • We continue to reach out to our elderly and homebound, along with the church at large through various zoom meetings. We do have various small groups meeting through zoom right now. Here is the link to find a zoom opportunity for you. https://fbcnewcastle.com/small-groups
  • If you have any spiritual or physical needs during this time, please email elders@fbcnewcastle.com.
As always, you can find us on our FBC Newcastle Facebook page for weekly devotions, prayer times, age related ministry, and corporate worship. 
  • Corporate Worship LIVE - Sundays - 9:30 AM
  • 405 Student Worship LIVE - Sundays - 6 PM
  • (Virtual) Prayer Room LIVE - Mondays - 8 PM
  • Kid Worship LIVE - Wednesdays - 6 PM
  • Friday Night LIVE - Fridays - 8 PM
    devotional with Pastor Jeremy
Please keep praying with us for God to be glorified as He revives His Church and awakens this world through the power of the Gospel. Pray for all medical personnel serving on the front lines. Pray for all those infected with the coronavirus. Pray for God to heal our land.

We love you all and believe greater things are ahead of us. Keep praying and believing!

update 03.24.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

As many of you probably saw today, Governor Stitt provided a more extensive executive order for Oklahoma this afternoon. Due to this announcement, the offices of FBC Newcastle will be closed to the public for at least the next 21 days. If you need to drop off a financial gift, there is a mailbox located on the west side of the building next to the adult education building. You can continue to mail donations or give online. If you have any specific needs, you can call (405)387-4366 or send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com.

We will continue with the schedule we laid out this past Sunday and will remain under groups of 10 to accomplish it.
On Facebook, we will provide:

  • (Virtual) Prayer Room LIVE - Mondays - 8 PM
  • Kid Worship LIVE - Wednesdays - 6 PM
  • Friday Night LIVE - Fridays - 8 PM
    devotional with Pastor Jeremy
  • Corporate Worship LIVE - Sundays - 9:30 AM
  • 405 Student Worship LIVE - Sundays - 6 PM
Your staff, elders, and deacons remain available to you and are here for you if need anything. Please join us in praying for God to heal our hearts and heal our land.

During this time, let us all do our part to help the stay-at-home effort. We need to practice social distancing and help flatten the curve of the coronavirus. We will get this through this and will be stronger because of it. Never forget, God is good…He is a stronghold in the day of trouble…and He knows those who trust in Him.

We love you all!

update 03.17.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

I am writing to inform you of several things that are of incredible importance during this unique time in history. As you know, the situation is ever evolving and rapidly changing. As a church, we are being forced to make some incredibly difficult decisions, and we want to keep you in the loop every step of the way. I pray you will take the time to prayerfully read through this update and join us in coming together during this challenging time.

First and foremost, the church must respond with great faith and great wisdom. It is absolutely important that we do not panic and we do not fear. Yes, there are reasons to be concerned and make good decisions, but we must lead the way in showing the world how to trust God with a hope that is tied to a Kingdom not of this world. Brothers and sisters, fear not and rest in the Lord. During this time, we want to make sure and help as many people as possible. If you are elderly, or are vulnerable in your health condition, we want to help you. If you need any assistance at all, please send an email to elders@fbcnewcastle.com, or call the church at 405-387-4366. At this point, the church office will remain open Monday-Thursday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. We are here to serve you and minister to you. We are also here to pray with you. If you’re feeling anxious, or fearful, please don’t hesitate to reach out, so we can pray with you and encourage you.

Second, we want to streamline as much information as possible. Look for the latest updates on our church website at www.fbcnewcastle.com, through our church app, or on our church Facebook page, FBC Newcastle.

Third, at this point we are moving to online worship services, until the CDC grants permission to meet in groups of more than 10. I will bring a personal update through the sermon on March 22nd during our livestream service on Facebook. It is important that we help stop the spread of this awful virus, but also important that we find intentional ways to remain in community with one another. Please know that we will do everything we can to safely connect as the body of Christ.

Fourth, it is so important at this time that the church remain faithful in our giving. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where giving to the Lord and His church is easier than it’s ever been. There are three ways you can currently give:
    1. Mail: PO Box 299, Newcastle, OK, 73065
    2. You can personally deliver your tithe to the church during
         business hours
    3. You can give online at www.fbcnewcastle.com/give or
         through our church app
Ministry is needed more than ever and your faithful giving will be able to help us continue to do that during these challenging times. Let me add this though, you should feel no guilt if you cannot give at this time. If the Lord has blessed you and you are able to give generously, then please do so. We recognize many are hurting and will struggle in the days to come, and we are asking the Lord to richly bless what is given. We desire to continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our church family and our community. We are making several adjustments to eliminate secondary expenses and to help off-set expenses. As a proactive measure, the pastoral staff is taking an immediate 10% salary reduction. We hope this will help us be able to provide better for those in need and make sure others are well cared for, too. We have a plan in place to make other reductions as needed. We simply pray the Lord resolves this situation soon and His name would be glorified in all things.

Fifth, we are currently forming a COVID-19 advisory team. This team will be made up of professionals who can help us with information and collaboration. Currently, the members are Joe Billington, Principal - Bridge Creek High School, Christopher Cook, D.O., FASA, Randy Carter, PA-C, Mandi Rhodes, MHS, PA-C, and Frank Gaynor, Private Investigator & Security Specialist. Please be praying for this team as we work together to make good decisions for the good of our local church.

Finally, situations like the one in which we find ourselves are ultimately going to be for our good and God’s glory. There is a reason God has allowed these circumstances into our lives. Now is the time for the church to truly BE the church. We must be a people of prayer, ministry, faith, and an example to the world around us. There will be many opportunities for us to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in a world that is filled with all kinds of emotions. As the great A.W. Tozer once said, “a scared world needs a fearless church.”

Please know that your staff, elders, and deacons are praying for you. We will be regularly reaching out to those connected to our church and providing consistent updates throughout the week. While our regular weekly schedule is changing, remember, we will only have our online livestream service beginning March 22nd at 9:30 AM on our church Facebook page, which will continue until the large group restrictions are lifted. Please make plans to tune in and worship with us. We are also going to have a kids’ worship time on our church Facebook page at 6 PM, every Wednesday night, beginning March 25th. This will be a fun and meaningful time for the whole family. Additionally, we will have a specific 405 student worship time every Sunday night at 6 PM, beginning March 29th. This will be an incredible time for our students and anyone else who wants to worship along with them. Full details will be given on both of these opportunities this coming Sunday during the morning worship time.

Do not fear, only believe!


update 03.14.20

from FBCN Staff + Elders

Up until this evening, we were planning to go forward with normal activities tomorrow morning. Based upon the latest address from our President and the CDC’s stronger recommendations for social distancing, we have decided to only have our 9:30 AM live stream service on Facebook. We will not be gathering for small groups/Sunday school or in person worship.

We are encouraging everyone to stay home and worship online on our FBCN Facebook page at 9:30 AM.

We still don’t know the end result of this COVID-19 pandemic. Our desire is not to overreact but we want to err on the side of caution. We will continue to listen to the experts in our state and nation. We will take each Sunday a week at a time. Please continue praying for wisdom for us and all our nations leaders.

update 03.12.20

from Jeremy Freeman, Lead Pastor

COVID-19 is on everyone's mind. Whether we want to admit it or not, it is something we have to deal with and likely will be dealing with for quite some time. Personally, I have been hesitant to write on this because I do not, in any way, want to add to the uncertainty that is beginning to develop in our society. However, I do believe it is wise to let you know the plans for FBCN in the coming days.

To begin with, remember that Christians are called not to fear. God's people should be a people of peace, especially in a world that is prone to panic. Ultimately, our lives and our futures are in God's good, sovereign, and trustworthy hands. "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who trust in Him." - Nahum 1:7 Let us be a people who walk by faith, not fear.

With that in mind, let me address a few things that pertain to our church:

At this point our Sunday morning worship/small group schedule will remain unchanged. We will still gather for worship - 8 AM + 9:30 AM + 11 AM, and small groups - 9:30 AM + 11 AM every Sunday, unless otherwise indicated. As we have recently seen, things can rapidly change, and we will be ever-monitoring and adjusting things as this situation requires. If our state and local officials ask that public gatherings be suspended, we will do as asked, but our intention is to continue to meet as we normally do.

It is important to understand that The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that people over the age of 65 who have chronic health conditions, or those with weakened immune systems and underlying conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart or lung disease) should consider limiting their exposure to others. Those over the age of 80 should consider staying home. In short, if you fall in one of these categories, use your best judgement as to whether or not you should come to church. Anyone who is symptomatic with a fever or cough, or is not feeling well, should stay home. If you decide to stay home, fortunately, we have the tools of streaming our worship gatherings from our church's Facebook page.

Lord willing, we will always stream our worship service LIVE on facebook so you can stay connected to the church during this crazy season of life.

At church, for the time being, let us do our best to not shake hands or hug each other. Just a friendly wave will be good! We have taken a few precautionary steps, such as, not providing donuts/snacks in the Hub, not passing the offering plates, nor passing out worship guides. We will also provide hand sanitizer at check-in stations and throughout the building. We have instructed our cleaning crews to be diligent to clean touch points such as door knobs and handrails. And, please, as always, let's follow the good practices of washing our hands, covering our sneezes with our elbow, and not putting our hands on our face or in our mouths.

Let me also encourage you to remain faithful in your giving. The church's finances are not our main concern, but they are a concern. Again, we are fortunate to have the tools necessary for practicing generosity through our website, app, and text giving. If you have not set this up, now may be the perfect opportunity to do so! Many people still send their gifts by US Mail to our business office as well. Your continued faithfulness is appreciated and will allow us to continue ministering during these difficult days. Click the button below to set up online giving.

Finally, please join me in praying for our nation and world. There are many people suffering greatly all around the globe. People are afraid and uncertain. God's people have true, eternal hope. Let us be gracious, wise, willing to help others in need, and above all, a people of deep confidence in our great God and Savior. Our church staff will keep you updated with any changes as this situation develops, but in the meantime, pray on and keep the faith! We will see you soon!



links + contact



If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the FBC Newcastle staff at 405-387-4366 or email info@fbcnewcastle.com

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