MARCH 17, 2020 Update:
Dear Oakwood Baptist Church Family,
Within the last 36 hours, the Governor of SC strongly recommended that groups of 100+ not meet. The CDC recommended groups of 50 or more to not meet. The President of the U.S. has put out guidelines recommending groups larger than 10 not meet.
In light of these guidelines, we are suspending services and small group ministries that meet on campus through the end of March, in compliance with White House guidelines. However, we will Livestream our church service on Sunday morning at 10:30 am. You can go to the church’s website www.oakwoodbaptistchurch.com, click on Media and worship together online. Also, we are looking into potential ways that small groups can meet virtually. More on that soon.
We ask you to remain financially faithful. Oakwood Baptist Church is a generous church and we want to demonstrate our faith by giving in this time of crisis. So that we are ready to assist others and continue ministry, we are grateful for the generosity of those who make giving a priority. If you normally give on Sunday morning, you can continue your faithful support of God’s work through the following ways:
1) In-person: you may drop off your envelope at the church’s office. The office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
2) Online: www.oakwoodbaptistchurch.com – click on Secure Online Giving or you may use the direct link https://secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin.aspx?sn=97117. To watch a tutorial video on how to safely give online, click on this link http://www.oakwoodbaptistchurch.com/tutorials
3) Mail: Oakwood Baptist Church – 3520 Mineral Springs Road, Lexington, SC 29073
4) Your Bank: set up auto-pay through “Bill Pay”.
We are in unprecedented times and in unchartered waters. How should we respond? We learned last Sunday that we should go to the Word of God to get God’s perspective and truth on our circumstances. Let me encourage you not just to read this passage of scripture below, but please, read it out loud as you read on:
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Now, there are other things we are looking at so that we do all that God wants us to do in this season. But how do we know if we are doing the right things? Again, God’s Word gives us His perspective: 9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
We are praying, stepping out and trusting God. And we trust in Him more than our plans, and that the Lord will direct our steps as we yield to His will and way.
Keep praying, keep trusting and keep stepping out for God.
1 Matthew 6:23-33 NKJV
2Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state of South Carolina. Like you, we are following updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local authorities and agencies. Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how OBC is responding. Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.
Since this is a developing situation, please check back with us regularly via our website for the most current updates. As information is updated, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions.
Is OBC gathering for worship services this Sunday?
As of now, we will continue with all regularly scheduled worship services (Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night), as well as Sunday School and all ministry-related activities. We are continually monitoring this situation and will update this page should any changes occur. In the meantime, for more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
Are OBC buildings open on weekdays?
We are operating under our normal schedule.
Should people come to OBC if they are feeling sick?
We strongly encourage anyone who is feeling sick or running a fever to stay home (and away from small or large group gatherings) and let someone in the church know that you are not feeling well. We want to care for you well in every way we can as your church family without unnecessarily exposing others to potential sickness. If you are elderly or more physically at risk of the coronavirus COVID-19, we encourage you to minimize social interactions during these days while still staying connected to your church family through other means. Specifically, we invite everyone who is unable to come to a physical gathering for any reason to worship online with the church family.
What precautions can people take when they come to OBC buildings?
We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
- Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
- Staying home if you are sick;
- Covering your cough or sneeze;
- Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.
What precautions is OBC taking to make OBC gatherings as safe as possible?
To date, there are no cases of COVID-19 that have been reported in connection to the OBC facility, its staff, volunteers, or membership. That said, we are actively monitoring the situation and have begun proactive measures to ensure the safety and health of everyone who attends OBC through the following means:
- Wiping down all common area touch points (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with an EPA certified disinfectant.
- Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities regularly. These deep cleans will probably involve closing OBC buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are OBC buildings open on weekdays?”).
In all of our Children’s Ministry areas, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with an elevated temperature. A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before coming to Children’s Ministry. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs because of health concerns.
How can I better understand the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
You can go to the CDC’s website for more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
How should I respond spiritually to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to a relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
Besides trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here are some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
- Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
- Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
- Even if we cannot gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and take part in worship gatherings online, if that’s the only option.
- Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online (you can do this by going to our website http://www.oakwoodbaptistchurch.com/ ) or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more during difficult days.
Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.