As of yesterday, we are extending our current service structure until at least April 30th, please keep checking for further updates.
Currently we are planning on holding 3 Easter Services we some very special conditions. The services will be at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 in the morning. Here are the conditions: 1) The service will be in the parking lot. 2) We will be staggering parking to enable viewing of the stage. 3) NO ONE MAY LEAVE THEIR CARS AT ANY TIME. We know the temptation will be great to talk with people you have missed, but social distancing means doing what we have to so we can at least see and wave to each other on that wondrous morning. The church building will NOT be open. We will not be taking an offering or such to maintain social distancing. you may give online or by mailing your gift to the church. 4) We will be trying a new process of a short range FM broadcast to your car radios. 5) If that does not succeed, we will be using speakers in the parking lot and will ask you to stay in you cars and open your windows to listen. Again, please remain in your cars. 6) PLEASE NOTE: In these fast changing times, even these arrangements may not work out and we will have to cancel. We will let you know as early as possible if a cancellation is called for, in which case we will live stream as per our current state. Thanks for your cooperation and God bless.
March 24, 2020 The church office will open only from 9-11 Monday - Friday for the immediate future. Will update this when we return to our regular hours. The staff will be working from home and diligently keeping in. touch with each other and you as we can! Be safe!
We are placing the Bible studies set up during the COVID-19 pandemic on our web page under the Media area above. Select media and then choose Bible Study. This will take you to a page you can scroll to select the Bible Study you wish to view. See the list below for the list of studies. Enjoy!
March 18, 2020
Dear First Baptist Church family,
I hope this letter finds you all doing well in these crazy times. Our world seems to have turned upside down in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. For the first time in many, many decades we find ourselves in uncharted waters as we attempt to navigate this pandemic. If you were in attendance last Sunday, March 15th, I spoke about how we, as believers should not have a spirit of fear during this time, but one of faith, patience, and peace. Over the past few weeks we have seen airlines close, businesses sending employees home to work, many restaurants have closed, even many of our area public school systems have shut down until early April. The reason for these closures has to do with the fact that this virus spreads VERY EASILY from one person to another. Because of this the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the President of the United States have asked citizens to practice social distancing for the next 8 weeks. While the CDC asked for gatherings not to exceed 50 people in one place to avoid exposure, the White House has upgraded that to no more than 10 people. Many state governors have followed these requests and have issued mandates to their people encouraging them to follow these guidelines. In fact, on Tuesday of this week the city of St. Joseph has approved a ban on gathering of more than 10 or more people over the next 15 days beginning 12:01am Thursday, March 19th. The leadership here at First Baptist has been in constant communication with one another as the chaos this pandemic creates changes by the hour. After much prayer and patience on the part of our staff we have made the decision that in the wake of this global event we will be the model civil citizens the Bible commands us to be and follow the recommendation of our leadership on the government level, all the way up to the White House. Therefore, we are suspending all church activities that would garner more than 10 individuals at a time on church grounds for the next 2 weeks. This includes, but is not limited to, all Wednesday night and Sunday Morning activities through Wednesday, April 1st. At that time the staff will make a decision, based on the guidance of our government leadership as to what our next steps will be. While this decision was by no means easy, it does come with the reassurance that by being submissive to the CDC, President, and Governor, and local leaders requests, we are fulfilling our Scriptural obligation found in Romans 13:1-2 “Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.” Our federal and local leadership are NOT telling us we cannot worship, they are simply asking us to be respectful and aware of the current crisis and help them (and each other) by trying to slow the spread of this virus. Many of our neighboring, and community churches, and religious organizations are in agreement and have suspended their large-group gatherings as well. So where does this leave FBC Savannah? Where does this leave the Church, the Bride of Christ? Needless to say, over the next few weeks THINGS WILL NOT LOOK THE WAY THEY USUALLY DO. But just because we cannot meet as a large group does not mean we cannot still be the Church. In fact, I, as well as many pastors, believe that over the next few weeks the local Church has an opportunity unlike anything we have seen before. History is a great teacher and as I mentioned in an earlier letter, the times the Church has been the most influential and has had the greatest opportunities to minister and share the gospel HAVE COME FROM A TIME OF GREAT DISTRESS AND TRIBULATION IN THE WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS NO DIFFERENT! I truly believe that God will use this time in our nation’s, and our Church’s, history as an opportunity to show His love unlike anything our current generations have ever seen. No, we cannot meet as a large group in our beautiful church building on Sunday mornings; however, if we are basing who we are as the Church on whether or not we meet together in an auditorium once or twice a week, then we are missing the point of who we are as the Church. WE HAVE A MISSION, AND THAT MISSION HAS NOT, AND WILL NOT CHANGE!!! We will be sending out notifications throughout the next two weeks of opportunities to minister to those in need, both in our church family, and those in the community, as they become available. This is our chance to BE the Church!!! Over the past few days your leadership here at FBC has put protocols in place to ensure our church family’s spiritual, physical, and emotional needs are being met through multiple means. Our Deacons, Sunday School Teachers, and Ministry Heads have been commissioned with tasks to include a variety of methods to continue our mission as the Church over the next few weeks. While we will not be meeting as a group on Sunday Mornings, there will still be a Sunday morning service broadcast via our livestream at 10:00am. There will be a time of worship, prayer, and of course, a Word from our Heavenly Father. The livestream will be available on our facebook page (search - @1BC SAV) and our website, (fbcsavmo.com.) We will also be utilizing social media (facebook, website) to continue with various times of prayer and Bible studies over the coming weeks for those who wish to join us online. For those who do not have internet, or a means by which to join us online, we will have a daily Scripture reading plan, available at the office for you to pick up during normal hours, that will offer you a time of devotion and reflection. Again, just because can’t meet doesn’t mean we can’t still study God’s Word and live out His plan and mission for the Church. As your pastor, I believe this is a time where the Church can come together and show the love of Christ in ways that we may have never thought of before. I’ve said this before and I’ll say is again, the Church is strong, she always has been... First Baptist Church of Savannah is strong and has been a pillar of faith in this community for many, many years. As a people of faith, let's continue to minister and push forward in this difficult time and show the love of Jesus to a lost and hurting world. Please pay close attention to facebook, our website, and local news stations as we will be announcing our scheduling/worship changes, as they become known, through these entities and our Onecall system over the next few weeks.
God bless. - Pastor Jason, and the Leadership at FBC. ------------------------- March 17, 2020: Good morning FBC family. I read a very good article yesterday from the IBSA (Illinois Baptist State Association.) It spoke about the appropriate Christian response to this strange situation we find ourselves in as both a country and a people of faith. Pastor Tibbetts makes a strong case using the solid Biblical advice given from Paul to Titus in Titus 3:1, "Remind (believers) to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work." He makes that point that the Christian community should be EXAMPLE CITIZENS by following the guidance and suggestions of the governing body in charge. Especially in a case where those in charge are NOT telling you cannot worship and are not infringing on your rights as believers, but are simply asking you to practice social distance for a very short time. Obviously, if we as a people of faith were being told "not to worship" by the State, based on a doctrinal difference, that would be a whole other issue... But that's not the situation we see being played out before us currently. I know many churches are choosing to be cooperative with the CDC's recommendation of no more than a 50 person gathering for the time being. We here at FBC are being patient and are prayerfully looking at not only how we can continue to worship and show the love of Jesus while, at the same time, being compliant with the governing body's requests as they battle this pandemic as best they see fit. As a pastor, I do NOT believe this a time to be fearful, or to rebel against those in authority. Rather, I believe this is a time where the Church can come together and show the love of Christ in ways that we may have never thought of before. If the leadership here at FBC decides to practice social distancing by not meeting in large groups for a minimal period of time, then our response shouldn't be, "Woe is me," but rather, "Lord, how can you use me?" For those who study God's Word and have a solid understanding of world history, you know, and understand, the times the Church has been the most influential and has had the greatest opportunities to minister and share the gospel HAVE COME FROM A TIME OF GREAT STRESS AND TRIBULATION IN THE WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS NO DIFFERENT! Our church leadership is working hard to come up with alternative means and methods to worship (if/when it comes to that) and our new livestream capabilities will be invaluable. But please understand we will NOT rely solely on technology and the use of the internet throughout this time. We will be creative and adaptive to what this situation presents us with as we continue to strive in accomplishing the mission of the Church. We may call on Sunday School teachers for small group devotions. We may call on ministry heads to be willing to stretch beyond the "normal" way we do things. The Church is strong, she always has been... First Baptist Church of Savannah is strong and has been a pillar of faith in this community for many, many years. As a people of faith, let's continue to minister and push forward in this difficult time and show the love of Jesus to a lost and hurting world. Please pay close attention to facebook, our website, and local news stations as we will be announcing our scheduling/worship changes, as they become known, through these entities and our Onecall system. God bless. - Pastor Jason ----------------------------------------- March 16, 2020: Dear Church Family, Here’s an update on where things are regarding our response to the current health concerns in this country. While there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in our area, we want to be prepared to respond and assist as we are able. The staff is meeting regularly to discuss what options we need to work with on a week to week basis. Currently, we are canceling all Wednesday night activities for this week. We are closely watching the CDC and government recommendations for guidance as we prayerfully consider what needs to happen. We will let you know about other meetings that are scheduled to be held as soon as we can. If you, or someone you know is in need of help. Please let us know so we can assist as we are able. For instance, if you know someone needs a special food item that they can’t get to for dietary needs, or needs help getting medications picked up or such, call us. We have even heard of an instance where someone is having trouble finding a special formula for their child in Texas that was able to be located here. Let us know what you know the concerns are. As we receive information, we will post the needs on-line and on Facebook so you can see what is needed. Contact Roberta in the office to pass on information. We may not be able to help with all needs, but we want to make sure our family and community are cared for if we are able. Above all, keep our nation and the world in prayer in these crazy times. God is in control and we need to look to Him to bring peace and comfort. In Christ, Pastor Jason and the staff of FBC ---------------------------------------------------------------------- March 14, 2020: Hi everyone, Just to keep you up to date, we will be having services mostly as normal tomorrow (Sunday the 15th). We are suspending hugs and handshakes, etc. and the Lord's Supper time will consist of a time of meditation and reflection rather than the passing of the bread and cup. The leadership and staff will be meeting between services to talk about what other precautions, concerns, etc. need to be implemented over the next few weeks to a month. If you are uncomfortable going to church or anywhere else there is a gathering of people, please remember there is plenty of room in the sanctuary to sit apart from others or you can watch us online on Facebook or at fbcsavmo.com. Let's remember in all of this that God is in control and we need to rely on Him in who our faith resides! God bless and keep you in this anxious time. Matthew 6:25-34
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