405 is more than an area code
SETTING THE PACE / Living life with an eternal perspective
The student ministry at First Baptist Church in Newcastle is made up of teenagers from Newcastle, Bridge Creek, Tuttle, Blanchard, Moore, South OKC, Norman, etc. It also has students from public, private, and homeschool. Our student ministry is diverse, but incredibly unified. Where does this unity come from?
Two years ago, God brought our church a very gifted student minister. Garrett Hankins, and his family, moved from Missouri and took on the wonderful task of reaching and connecting students. When Garrett came here, our student ministry was called, Highway 62, simply because our church is located off this highway. As Garrett began evaluating our student ministry, he wanted to expand the vision, seeking to reach anyone in the 405 area code. Taking the fourth chapter of Ephesians, in particular verses, 4-6, Garrett sought to help our students dig deep and reach wide together. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Taking these verses, Garrett has sought to bring students together and reach students in Newcastle and beyond. When Garrett arrived, we were probably averaging 60 students for our Wednesday night student worship, and now we are averaging around 150. We also average around the same number of students on Sunday mornings for small group Bible study. Truly, we are digging deep and reaching wide. Because of this vision, our student ministry is now called, 405 Student Ministry.
In an effort to reach and connect students, Garrett took our existing downstairs student ministry space, which consisted of about 14 very small classrooms, and completely opened up the entire space. We have an incredible upstairs worship area, but needed a downstairs fellowship
and small group area. By knocking out the walls, we took the tremendous opportunity to create a needed space in Newcastle for students to come together throughout the week. Our church wanted to have a designated location for students to really connect, fellowship, and grow together in Christ. This new location is called “The 405” and it is the absolute best space around for teenagers.
The 405 consists of a full coffee bar, where blended coffee drinks, pour-overs, hot teas, etc. are served along with all kinds of snacks. There are ping pong tables, a foosball table, couches and bistro tables, along with an incredible library full of student and adult resources for Christian life and ministry. Garrett also likes to cut hair and has an old-fashioned barber chair where he donates haircuts to students and adults in the community. The facility is also used to host multiple events for all ages. It is an incredible space! Come check it out sometime, and if you have teenagers, the 405 is the place for them! See you next week!