An Update on Our Church and Reopening
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Dear First Baptist Family,
When our worship services were first interrupted back in mid-March, I did not know that the effects would be as long lasting as they have been. Yet here we are, two months later, and we’re still trying to figure out how to adjust. This time will not be soon forgotten, but I have no doubt that we will make it through by the grace of God.
On a personal note, please allow me to express my deepest gratitude for the many, many words of encouragement and support I have received during these past weeks. Your kindness and prayers have helped sustain me as I’ve sought the Lord and asked for His guidance. I love each of you more than I can say, and I know that my family and I feel very loved. I am a tremendously blessed pastor!!
Now, please allow me a moment to share with you a couple of important updates.
Kevin Willis has accepted the call to serve as our new worship pastor!
With a vote of 267 in favor and 16 against, the motion to call Kevin to serve at FBC has passed. Kevin was so excited to hear the news and he is eager to get to work leading our worship ministries in the days ahead. Kevin’s official start date will be June 1, and he will be leading worship on Sunday, June 7. (More on that service in just a moment.)
Not only has it been challenging to wait for over a year for God to bring us our new worship leader (although we are so very thankful for Dr. Kevin White serving as our interim!) but when the time came to vote, we were in the middle of this pandemic and had to adjust to do things in ways they haven’t been done before. Again, I thank you for your understanding and patience.
In-person worship services will resume on Sunday, June 7.
A few days ago, our church leadership met to discuss when we will reopen and how we will do so safely. After a thorough discussion and much prayer, the majority vote was to wait until June 7. I can promise you that this was not an easy decision. We know that some churches have begun to resume services in various formats, while others are continuing to wait. Likewise, I know that some of you are ready to return now and others want to wait until June or even longer before returning. While I wish we had a solution to satisfy everyone, please know that our church leadership is trying to address this situation in the best way possible.
As we begin to reopen, you need to be aware of certain changes and guidelines that will be in place.
- On Sundays, there will be only one worship service at 10:30am. Additional worship services may be added in the coming weeks based upon attendance and if we have enough volunteers to help us thoroughly clean and sanitize the sanctuary after each use.
- We will have alternating pews marked off so everyone who does come will be able to spread out and maintain social distancing guidelines. Families are encouraged to sit together, but please refrain from sitting in the same section as another individual/family. Ushers will be available to help you as needed.
- Wearing masks is highly encouraged but not mandatory. However, if you are feeling at all sick or have ANY COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home.
- We will NOT be taking up an offering but asking you to place your tithes in designated areas as you enter or leave the sanctuary.
- There will be NO nursery care or children’s church. We are continuing to evaluate when those services can once again be provided.
- For those who wish to stay home, we will continue to livestream our worship services on Facebook.
- Effective immediately, we are allowing small groups of 10 or less to begin meeting in the church building. However, we ask that you contact the church office before you meet so we can reserve a meeting location for you and make sure it is thoroughly cleaned after each use. We are also asking small groups to meet during the week while the office is open so that we can help address any issues as they may arise.
These guidelines will be considered Phase 1 of our reopening process. A full list of guidelines and procedures can be found on our website. Our church leadership will continue to evaluate and discuss when we can add back additional activities and services.
We are also seeking to recruit extra volunteers to help us reopen. With a church of our size, putting together even one worship service a week requires a lot of help. We fully realize that many people may choose to continue joining us through online worship but for those of you who do wish to resume worshipping in-person, we ask that you consider volunteering for one of the following roles.
- Greeters – We need 4-6 people each week to welcome people as they arrive, open doors for people to help reduce the number of surfaces being touched and help direct the flow of traffic to open seating in the sanctuary.
- Ushers – Again, we will need approximately 4-6 people to be in the sanctuary to help people find open seating, and to pass out information cards and Bibles/hymnals as needed.
- Clean-up Team – This may be our largest need. Especially when we begin to add more worship services and Bibles study groups back to our schedule, we need people to help disinfect those areas immediately after use. We will help provide you with masks, gloves, and cleaning equipment.
If you would be willing to help in one of the areas, please contact our Administrative Assistant, Sarah Fletcher at and she will give you more information. Having volunteers fill these positions is a vital step in our being able to reopen and provide a safe worship experience.
One more time, thank you for your understanding in these matters. I wish we were not having to go through this trial, but I’m thankful that we have such a faithful and committed church family to go through this with. I am always here to speak with you if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or prayer requests. You can call the office or email me
Pastor Greg Robinson