March 18, 2020

As the world continues to adapt to the challenges of the current health crisis, we want to share with you some words of encouragement and updated information on our church plans. This is a follow up to Pastor Steve’s earlier video.

Throughout March, we will continue with our online-only services via Facebook Live and will have no gatherings at our facilities. The main service will be at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Pastor Gustavo will be leading our Spanish-speaking service at 9:30 a.m. Our young adult service led by Pastor Deron will be on The Well Facebook page at 6:30 p.m.

Our children, students, and their families will be able to access videos, teaching, activity ideas, and information through the FIRST KIDS and FIRST STUDENTS pages on our website. Pastor Dathan and Pastor Ryan will frequently be updating with fresh content and will be available to minister to your family as always.

During the days ahead, we know that many of us will truly miss our small group gatherings and Bible studies. Those interactions are so important and vital for our growth as disciples of Christ. We encourage you to stay connected with those in your groups through phone calls, social media, video chats, or any other method that works for you. This is also a great time to take advantage of our church subscription to RightNow Media. This “Netflix for Christian Bible Study” is an excellent resource for individual or family studies and kids’ videos. We have updated our church’s library channel with video studies that we think would be a benefit during this time. If you need to know how to access RightNow Media, please reply to this email, and we’ll get you signed up right away.

As a way to offer encouragement and a daily look into God’s Word, our pastors will begin posting a daily devotional video on our website’s homepage (at noon Monday through Saturday and at 6 p.m. Sundays). This short message (3-5 minutes) will hopefully provide a moment of connection with our church staff and some inspiration as we all face these unique times.

Answering God’s call to care for others is so important at times like these. Our Food Pantry will continue to operate each Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. We will not be asking our guests to come into the building, but we will be delivering food bags to their cars. Our school partnerships may also afford us the opportunity to invest in feeding children through The Weekender program. We are in communication with some of our schools to see what that could look like. Your continued faithful giving and donating to these vital ministries will ensure that we are able to respond to the needs. You may continue to drop off food and monetary donations to the Food Pantry or The Weekender in the office lobby during regular hours.

Please continue to be faithful in giving. Ministry is happening in new and unique ways that we’ve never experienced before. You may drop off your tithe check at the office during the week, give online, via our app, or text to give (text GIVEFBC to 1-888-364-4483).

Please know that we are here for you. The church office will still be open and operating on its regular schedule. We want to hear from you if you have needs, prayer requests, or just want to share the great things that God is doing. So, call (931.388.2655) or email so that we can stay in touch as a church family.

We will continue to update our plans as information is available and will communicate through email and our website.

In Christ,

Pastor Rick
Biblical Education Pastor

March 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I’m writing to you in the midst of a very unique time in the life of our church and country. Many are concerned due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has called on us to limit exposure through large gatherings. Out of concern for our senior adults and those at higher risk due to other health issues, and for our community who don’t attend church who might see our gatherings as insensitive or unloving, we’ve made the decision to move services and activities for this Sunday and next Wednesday to online viewing only. We will make a decision about services beyond next week in the near future.

While many in our community are taking efforts to self-quarantine if they think they could be ill, the medical community believes that patients who test positive for COVID-19 may be contagious for days before they even realize that they are sick. The CDC and WHO are advising cities and families to avoid large public gatherings, so we want to join this effort out of an abundance of caution and care for the most vulnerable in our community. We hope to be part of the solution and not the problem in spreading the virus. We want to be known as good neighbors who share the love of Christ and concern for others. 

This was not an easy decision. I just preached on our need to engage relationally. We hope to be back together very soon, but all events at our church through the end of next week will be postponed. We will, however, worship together this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. online via Facebook Live with a message related to fear in these uncertain times. Pastor Dathan will provide online resources for the kids. I hope you will join us and reach out to those that you know are struggling and invite them to watch as well.

As we mentioned in this week’s eNews this morning, if you’re a regular giver, please continue to be faithful with your generosity. You may not know this, but in the rare event that we’ve closed for a snow day, it’s challenging to recover from just one missed Sunday for the rest of the year. Your weekly gifts are a vital resource that allows us to continue the work that God has called us to do, and our in-person Sunday services only represent a small portion of that work. You can give online at any time at thefirstfamily.org/give, via our app (search thefirstfamily in all stores), or text in your gift by texting GIVEFBC to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483). Thank you so much for your faithfulness to give!

Please join us in praying for this whole situation, and I ask that you pray for us in leadership as we make difficult decisions as well as those in our community and country affected by the outbreak. Remember, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

In Christ,


Pastor Steve