Charlie Cruce has been director of missions/treasurer for Tulsa Metro Network since March 2004, working with churches that are scattered across five counties, serving in all kinds of communities and situations.
“Our churches encounter all kinds of challenges and obstacles both internally and externally as they faithfully share the Good News of Jesus Christ week after week,” Cruce said. “Southern Baptist churches, since their beginning in 1845, have sought to find ways to work together beginning at home in their Jerusalem and extending to the ends of the Earth.
“In our Jerusalem, which is the metro area of Tulsa, we are trying to find creative ways to work together to plant new churches and revitalize existing congregations,” he said. “We also are finding ways to encourage and strengthen our pastors and other leaders of our affiliated churches.”
Cruce said much of their work does take place with smaller churches, but every church, regardless of size, is important to God and incredibly important as they work together as a family of cooperative churches.
Tulsa Metro Network is an association of 150 Southern Baptist churches in Tulsa and its surrounding communities.
“Our network is a church-focused, responding association whose only purpose is to add value to its member churches by resourcing their vision to fulfill the Great Commission,” Cruce said. “The churches in our network serve a growing and dynamic urban community of more than one million people.”
Cruce added that the Tulsa metro area has one of the most diverse, multicultural populations for a city of its size in the nation.
“God is working throughout churches to push back the darkness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ—beginning in the beautiful city of Tulsa and going to the ends of the Earth,” he emphasized.
Cruce said the network of churches has four priorities—church planting, impact lostness, church health and leader care and development.
The Church Planting Team will cultivate a decentralized church planting movement within the Tulsa region where a growing number of network churches are involved in the creation of new churches.
The focus of the Impact Lostness Team is finding new initiatives at the local church level to reach and impact the unreached of the geographical area.
The Church Health Team endeavors to assist churches that are in need of revitalization, re-visioning and refocusing.
The Leader Care and Development Team will give leadership to a unified strategy for supporting and developing individual leaders and leadership teams in the network and in churches within the network.
Cruce and his wife, Debbie, are parents of one son, who works for a major cyber security software company in Austin, Texas.
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.
Charle Cruce is featured in the 2022 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see more information, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp