“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” —2 Timothy 1:7
Reject fear by turning to God in prayer, trusting He is with you, and through the practice of thanksgiving. #eyesonHim
Dear Church Family,
Isn’t it good to know that in an environment where everything is swiftly changing, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? I’m developing habits to keep my eyes on Him and I trust you will do the same thing. When fear knocks at the door we send faith to answer. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
As of Wednesday, March 18, the First Baptist Church office will be closed until the end of the month. Staff will be working from home and only the most essential tasks will be completed at the church office.
- The switchboard will be routed to a receptionist. Voicemail will be checked regularly and our Minister On Duty line and voicemail will be checked regularly as well. The office number is (803) 256-4251.
- Email will be regularly monitored by our staff. General emails can be sent to email@example.com
- We will cease hospital and rehab/nursing home visits, per regulations from those facilities. Our pastoral care office will be contacting those in the hospitals via phone.
- Mail will be checked regularly and essential finance office functions will continue.
- Our worship services will continue to be broadcast live on WLTX-19 and streamed to Facebook Live and the web at www.fbccola.com/watch at 11 AM on Sundays, March 22 and 29.
- We are also preparing for digital ministry needs through our website and other social media outlets.
- Our digital Sunday school class will continue to take place live on Sundays at 10 AM via Facebook Live and our Always Learning livestream at http://fbccola.com/alwayslearning/
- Prayer Meeting will take place Wednesday, March 18 at 6 PM via Facebook Live and our website at http://fbccola.com/prayer/. Richard Humphries will lead this service and if you have prayer needs you will be able to email and call in those requests.
- FirstKids and First Students Ministries are preparing material that will be uploaded to their webpage so that there is digital Bible Study specifically for our ministries. All ministries will announce this material through their regular email lists and social media accounts.
- Several Sunday school classes are lining up ways for digital interaction. This includes regular email lists that will provide Sunday school lesson notes. Some classes will use Facebook Live for teaching a SS lesson as well as interaction by typing comments from viewers. Others will use ZOOM for video conferencing.
- We are encouraging the entire church to join us at 7:19 AM or PM for prayer. I am praying for three things:
- God to stop the advance of this virus, spare human life, and prevent further chaos in the world and our community.
- God to wake up the church to the urgency of the Gospel and spark revival in believers hearts.
- God to use this crisis to open the door for the lost to come to saving faith in Jesus.
- If you require assistance for physical needs, please contact the church office as we are organizing teams to pray for respond to needs of our members. We are also asking Sunday school classes and all other organizations to regular touch base with the people in their groups. If there are needs that the class cannot meet, they are contacting church ministers so that we can hopefully activate a person or team to help.
- If you need prayer, we are setting up a plan to use our TV Prayerline Ministry phone lines so that you can leave a message. Our Prayerline Encouragers will be praying for those needs and, if requested, will return the call in order to pray with the person who called. If you want to volunteer to be part of this team, please contact Sylvia Rish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would humbly request that you continue to practice the act of worship through giving tithes and offerings. We believe that the church is going to be called on to respond to many needs in our community as an act of compassion and for the advance of the Gospel. We are already discussing ways that we can deploy funds in order to meet needs. The ability of the church family to give is going to inform the church’s ability to be generous. You can mail checks to FBC at PO Box 1000 Columbia, SC 29202. You can also give securely online by visiting http://FBCCola.com/give or text FBCColumbia to 77977.
Remember, you don’t just go to church — you are the church. This week you will be saying to people who say they have needs, “I’ll be praying for you.” But instead, as members of the body of Christ, let’s say to people, “Let’s pray right now.” Then you voice a prayer that they can hear for God to move in their specific situation and to surround them with peace. Additionally, as you are interacting with people who are overcome with fear, you share the hope of the Gospel with them. And as an ambassador for Christ during this crisis, you demonstrate the hope that is in Jesus by demonstrating the peace that is found in Christ as you cast all of your cares upon Him.
As we are moving forward during this unfolding crisis, be praying for one another and your church staff. I will be praying for you!