One of Tyler Barnes’ prayer requests is for “the people in the urban core of Oklahoma City, that their hearts would be receptive to the Gospel.”

God has called him to the people in the heart of OKC, Barnes said.

“It’s a misconception that in Oklahoma every person has had the opportunity to hear about Jesus, but Oklahoma Baptists did a study, and 60 percent haven’t heard,” Barnes said. “Many of those people are in the urban core of Oklahoma City.”

He and his wife Chotsie started OKC, Thrive Community two years ago with 10 people meeting in their home.

“I’m 32. We’ve got 20- and 30-somethings and one lady in her 40s that we started the church with,” Barnes said, identifying himself as “a hipster, and a millennial,” and identifying people in their 20s and 30s as his primary focus.

“We felt like the church needed to be more like us to be here for the future,” Barnes said, including his wife in his statement. “We said, ‘Many of our friends aren’t in church; let’s take the church to them and create a space where they could encounter Christ.’

“We wanted there to be a church that is alive and thriving—hence our name—and present in the community, a church our daughter could be part of one day and see what the church really is.”

Thrive Community was designed to be a church of groups of people who “do life together, who hang out together, help each other, support each other on bad days and rejoice with each other on good days,” who meet in small groups for intense Bible study, and gather on Sundays for corporate worship.

Barnes owns Mattress by Appointment in Oklahoma City “which we use to help support us financially to help the church while it’s getting started,” Barnes said. “And it’s one way we’re able to connect with people.”

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported, including church planting in Oklahoma and across the country. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.

Tyler Barnes was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see Church Planter Barnes’ prayer requests, visit