Worship at Harrah Irish Pub

Worship at Harrah Irish Pub

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Shawnee, recently created a new partnership with a local Irish Pub in downtown Harrah, OK to create a new worship location!

Emmanuel has been blessed to have retired priests worshiping and serving alongside them. One of those priests, Fr. Tom Newman, had an idea that wouldn't go away. He has consistently mentioned to Emmanuel's Rector, Fr. Tom Dahlman, how quickly Choctaw and Harrah are growing and that neither has an Episcopal Church.

After a conversation with the Vestry and Bishop Poulson Reed, the decision was made to create a new worship location in Harrah in partnership with Emmanuel. This sort of work is not new to Emmanuel. In 1937, when the Rev. H.B. Smith was the Rector, they planted a chapel in Seminole that eventually became Saint Mark's Episcopal Church.

Fr. Dahlman shared how they found this new location in Harrah, "The few months before we began, my prayer was, 'God if you like this idea, show us where to start." A great place to start was with a member of Emmanuel who is the chief of police in McLoud, and according to Fr. Dahlman, he knows everyone in McLoud, Harrah, and Choctaw.

Fr. Dahlman shared where the inspiration came from, "One day when we were talking about potential locations; I told the chief the story of my seminary field parish in Austin, Texas, of Saint Albans. Their first meeting place was a bar in Austin closed on Sundays. As we were discussing it, we wondered if The Black Raven, an Irish pub in Harrah, was closed on Sunday. According to Google, it was closed, and, of course, the chief knew the owner."

Twenty minutes later, the owner of the pub and Fr. Dahlman shook hands and gave them the key. The first service of Emmanuel's new location was on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, at 10:30 am at The Black Raven Pub, at the fitting address of 1878 Church Avenue in downtown Harrah. They continue to meet each Sunday at the Black Raven at 10:30 am and have welcomed many guests from Harrah and Choctaw. They have gathered as many as twenty and as few as five. 

Fr. Dahlman shared his hopes, "No plan we could develop would succeed apart from God. Please join me in prayer for this effort. If this plan fails, we will pat ourselves on the back for trying and move on to new things. If this plan succeeds, we will thank God and move on to new things. Either way, we will try to gain wisdom from the experience." 

Emmanuel hopes to expand their efforts of an Episcopal presence in Harrah, OK and Choctaw, OK. They are in the process of applying for a medium size vitality grant from the Diocese of Oklahoma’s congregational vitality granting program (https://www.epiok.org/grants). With the grant funds they hope to include additional musicians, a children’s program, and more print and digital advertising to the communities of Harrah and Choctaw. 

Join Emmanuel at Black Raven Pub, 1878 Church Ave, Harrah, OK, United States, Oklahoma. Those with questions about this new service should call Emmanuel Episcopal's Shawnee offices at (405) 273-1374 or email them at tom.dahlman@emmanuelshawnee.com. 


924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 232-4820

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm CST