Tulsa, Oklahoma – Providence OPC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is one of our newer mission works. A group of seven households began to gather in 2011. Pastor Joe Auksela, ruling elder Jerold Barnett, and Westminster OPC in Bartlesville took the group under their wing. Regular Bible studies were held for over a year. Then worship services began.
In the meantime, Jim Stevenson was completing his studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was born in the Bronx, New York City, and was a child of the church. He grew up at Westchester OPC in Mount Vernon, New York, just outside the Bronx. He graduated from Geneva College and taught math for fifteen years.
When Jim was teaching near Hatboro, Pennsylvania, his family became part of Trinity OPC. There Jim’s spiritual maturity, love for Christ and his church, and heart for the people of God were evident. He was elected a ruling elder in 2001 at the age of thirty-one.
In 2008, the seed to attend seminary and pursue gospel ministry, which had been planted by an OP pastor while Jim was still in college, finally came to full bloom. Jim, Tricia, and their four children headed to South Carolina.
As Providence OPC came to the point of being ready for an organizing pastor, Jim was seeking the place where God would have him labor. God brought them together, and in the fall of 2012 Jim began his labors at Providence in Tulsa.
Tulsa is the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma and home to 400,000 people within its boundaries. Almost a million people live in the region. It is located in the northeastern section of Oklahoma, between the Great Plains and the foothills of the Ozarks.
Providence OPC has a number of people who are trained and experienced musicians. The people of the mission work come from a variety of backgrounds and places of birth. They share a love for the Lord Jesus and a firm commitment to Reformed theology. They have a strong commitment to holy living and want to see the third use of the law—that is, the law as a rule of life for believers — present in the ministry of the Word.
The people in this developing body love one another and love to be together. After gathering for worship in the chapel of Holland Hall (a K–12 private school), the people move to someone’s home for a fellowship meal. The chapel is great for worship, but there is no space for fellowship meals or Sunday school.
The mission work is enthusiastic about outreach, and is praying and watching for the Lord to provide more growth. Worship attendance is now in the thirties and includes thirteen children. Please pray that the Lord would give a plentiful harvest in Tulsa and add many people to Providence OPC. But pray that
the body would be patient, trusting God’s providence, as they expectantly watch for God to bring new people. Pray also that Jim will care for the sheep, minister the Word of God faithfully, and make new
contacts that will lead to gospel opportunities.