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From Mauve to Mod

First Moore’s newly remodeled worship center hits all the right buttons for members and visitors alike

When Charlie Blount walked into the nearly 40-year-old worship center at First Moore Baptist Church in March 2020 as the congregation’s new pastor, little did he know just how outdated the facility really was.

Other than a few improvements here and there following the historic 1999 EF-5 tornado, the facility had yet to undergo an extensive renovation since it was first built in 1985 near the intersection of I-35 and NW 27th Street in Moore, Oklahoma. The church moved to its current location from downtown Moore, where it had existed since 1890.

City of Namur, Belgium

During the recent dedication service commemorating the completion of First Moore Baptist Church’s worship center remodel, Lead Pastor Charlie Blount shares a brief message with First Moore members and guests.

Imagine – if you are old enough to remember – what styles and colors were popular in 1985. If you picked mauve as one of those colors, your memory serves you well. Mauve carpeting could be found on the floor and the platform, and mauve fabric covered the pews. In one word, things were looking “mauvelous!” “I hadn’t been in the [worship center] for a few years since I came back to be the pastor, and one of the things I noticed was it had not changed at all. I mean, not one thing had changed in it,” said Blount, who had attended several events at the facility prior to becoming First Moore’s lead pastor. “For me personally, it wasn’t only that it looked old and outdated, but rather things were in disrepair.”
Candid of Jones Family

Tyler Kelley, executive pastor at First Moore Baptist Church, takes time to recognize members of the church’s steering committee, both past and present, during the recent dedication service for First Moore’s remodeled worship center.

Although the church’s previous leadership had done some preliminary planning in 2018 to remodel the worship center, momentum subsequently stalled following the resignation of its then-pastor. Soon after Blount’s arrival, however, the ball got rolling again. That’s when he and Tyler Kelley, the church’s executive pastor, who soon followed Blount to First Moore from First Baptist Church, El Reno, began checking on a loan from WatersEdge.

“They were our first place to go to, one, because our church had a history of working with WatersEdge, but secondly, because we knew their Kingdom mindedness. Of course, we also want to be good stewards of God’s money,” Blount said, noting that he and Kelley checked with a couple of other lending institutions to make sure the rate offered by WatersEdge was financially the best option for the church.


“Like Charlie said, once we checked into it, we might have found another rate that was comparable, but even their terms weren’t as comparable or as good as what WatersEdge had. Just from a ministry standpoint, it’s hard to beat,” Kelley said.

The church ended up borrowing $5.5 million for the entire remodel project, which took a little over a year to complete. Throughout the construction phase, the congregation met in the church’s atrium during two separate services instead of its usual one service, a move Blount was not particularly thrilled about, but a necessary one, nonetheless.

“When I look at the Bible and the picture of what the gathered body is, it is the church gathered together regardless of generation, ethnic backgrounds, preferences, and all the things the world says should divide us. There is something beautiful about the church being gathered together with its diversity. Although some churches need to meet at multiple times for space, we are fortunate to have a space large enough to let us meet together,” he said.

There are still a few minor details needing to be ironed out, but that did not preclude the church from dedicating the newly remodeled space during a special service in late March. First Moore members saw firsthand the transformation that took place over the course of 15 months.

Gone is the old mauve carpet, along with the original pews, and replaced by more modern carpeting and theatre-style seating for more than 1,500 people. There is also a new stage, including a new baptistry built into the floor, and a remodeled foyer with more modern amenities.

But perhaps the pièce de résistance for the entire remodel is the revamped audio-visual system, complete with a massive 75-foot by 12-foot LED wall hanging above the stage that broadcasts videos, song lyrics, church announcements and, of course, Blount’s sermons, all in high definition. A site to behold indeed!

“The feel of the room is better with how we put the chairs in and how it flows. Of course, the technology with our LED wall just makes it easier for everybody to see. The upgrade in sound has been huge,” said Blount. Kelley echoed those comments but also shared how the new space reflects who First Moore is as a church today.

“As we continued to have guests coming in [before the remodel], they likely felt transported back in time, and that can have an effect. So, I think just having a building which represents who we are as a church has been really helpful,” said Kelley.

Photo of Richard Estes

The view from the balcony captures many of the facility’s new amenities, such as up-to-date carpeting and seating; a new stage; and a more modern audio-visual system, including a 75-foot by 12-foot LED wall hanging above the stage.

Since the facility’s re-opening on Palm Sunday, an average of 150 to 200 more people has been attending worship services on Sundays. “I don’t see many people who just show up and not come back,” Blount said. “For whatever reason, the new facility has caused them to have some curiosity. They’ve come, and many have stayed. We’ve connected with a lot of people.”
Sieberhagen Family Portrait

A view from behind the new sound booth, which was moved from the balcony to the bottom floor as part of the remodel project.

Despite all the modern amenities and technologies the new space affords, Blount emphasized how advancing the Gospel is still priority number one for First Moore.

“I think [the remodeled worship center] is just a tool that helps our people accomplish Christ’s mission of making disciples, and I think it’s going to serve us well, just like the last one did for 40 years. But no matter how nice your building is, if the church that is housed there isn’t who God wants it to be and isn’t doing what God wants it to do, all the buildings in the world are not going to make a difference,” he said.

Thomas Sieberhagen in Class

The First Moore Baptist Church praise team leads the congregation in a time of praise and worship as part of the dedication service for the church’s newly remodeled worship center.

From day one when Blount and Kelley first inquired about obtaining a loan from WatersEdge, they noted how smooth the process had been, i.e., great communication, undivided attention, and quick response time.

“WatersEdge is a great group of people to work with. It’s not just a business transaction to them; they want churches to succeed. I would encourage anyone who may be looking at some kind of project to start with WatersEdge. I can assure you, you won’t be treated any better by anyone than how they treat you,” Blount said.

Written by Harve Allen