from the Pastor

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JULY 2018 Vol. 60 No. 7

from the Pastor

It happens every Sunday. A person or couple slips in to the worship service moments before it begins and then slips out of the service immediately after it ends. After the service, they’re gone. No visitor card filled out. No significant interaction with those seated around them. It’s like they want to be anonymous. Apparently, anonymity is exactly what they want. Those who study church trends have noticed that many people come to visit churches in just this way. The trend reflects a culture of anonymity. People with this desire seem to feel safer in church when they can observe but not engage until they’re ready. Yet they come to First Baptist Church, drawn by the Holy Spirit, looking for connection with Him. So what do we do with these folks? How do we minister to them? Church ministries change as people change. In the 1970’s churches connected with people mostly through the Sunday School. In those days, church outreach teams would canvas a neighborhood and enroll people in Sunday School door to door making them a ‘prospect’ before they ever visited. The prospect list became the ministry list for the Sunday School class. The entrance point to church was Sunday School. In the 80’s and 90’s with the rise of gated communities and more people moving to cities, access became more difficult. Churches shifted to inviting people through media and mail outs to church worship services for their first visit. Church members were encouraged to be friendly and invite people to Sunday School, intentionally, at the close of the service. Most visitors evaluated the church by how warmly they were welcomed. Now we see another shift with visitors hoping to avoid much connection until they are ready. First Baptist Church is a warm and friendly place, especially to guests. I hope we continue to be that. I hope you’ll welcome everyone who comes to our services and Sunday School. Let’s remember that no one is anonymous to God. Psalm 139 teaches us that God is ‘familiar with all our ways.’ He is not impersonal. He knows everyone’s name, face, thoughts and heart. He can connect even with those who want to remain anonymous. He knows their fears and will make a connection. So let’s be friendly and understanding and join God in His work. Let’s be patient and remember that it may take a hundred visits of slipping into a service anonymously before someone is ready to connect. And when they are ready, let’s connect without hurting and with a loving welcome. I’ll see you in church this Sunday. Don

fbcoxford @fbcoxford n 800 Van Buren Ave., Oxford MS 38655 n 662.234.3515 FREE app "First Baptist Oxford MS"


Check out featured events at



8:30 a.m. Worship Service 9:45 a.m. Bible Study classes 11 a.m. Worship Service


JULY 3 11 a.m. Noon

XYZ Program & Luncheon Prayer Meeting

JULY 3-10 Student Oaxaca Mission Trip


church office closed

Independence Day


Prayer Meeting

JULY 19 3:30 p.m. Kidz Club at Brittany Woods

JULY 20 6 p.m.

Men’s Ministry Fish Fry


Ministry Fair in the Atrium 8:30 a.m. Worship Service 9:45 a.m. Bible Study classes 11 a.m. Worship Service 5 p.m. Sunday School Teacher Training

8:30 a.m. Worship Service 9:45 a.m. Bible Study classes 11 a.m. Worship Service



3:30 p.m. Kidz Club at Brittany Woods


Prayer Meeting

JULY 12 3:30 p.m. Kidz Club at Brittany Woods

JULY 12-14 Children’s Mission Camp

JULY 15 8:30 a.m. Worship Service 9:45 a.m. Bible Study classes 11 a.m. Worship Service


Prayer Meeting


Ministry Fair in the Atrium 8:30 a.m. Worship Service 9:45 a.m. Bible Study classes 11 a.m. Worship Service

JULY 31 Noon Prayer Meeting 6:30 p.m. Women’s Ministry Book Club

(Email [email protected] for details)

Interested in teaching Sunday School? SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER TRAINING SUNDAY, JULY 22 Family friendly meal from 5-5:45 p.m. followed by training from 5:45-7:45 p.m. Childcare will be available for newborns — 5th grade from 5:30-8 p.m. Please RSVP to Pam Carter ([email protected]) or Timothy Gibson ([email protected]) by Sunday, July 15, and let us know how many children to expect and their ages.

Deacons of the Week July 1-7 July 8-14 July 15-21 July 22-28 July 29- Aug. 4

Jamie Hopson, Kevin Howell, Martin Locke Matt Moore, Bill Rose Steven Russell Mike Tomes, Jeff Busby, David Erhart Michael Ferris, Paxton Little, Michael Meurrier Ryan Overall, Jason Simon Brodie Burns



Wednesday night kickoff Fellowship Meal, 5 p.m. Awana Registration, 5:30 p.m. Explorers’ Bible Study, 6 p.m.


Sunday night kickoff Bible Drill, 4 p.m. Children activity and fellowship, 5 p.m. Life U Studies, 5 p.m. Youth Discipleship, 5 p.m.

Our Family

Sunday school attendance June 3 - 508 June 10 - 475

June 17 - 425 June 24 - 385

Budget June 2018

Budget $144,309.14 Building $4,509.00 Designated $31,378.27.00 Total $180,197.24 Go Tell Offering


New Members in June

Carol Jo Barnes, Philip Kaines, David Elmore, Charles and Sallie Ellis, Wyatt Hellums


To Ryan and Kristen Overall on the birth of a daughter, Abi-Ryan Overall, on June 19. Proud big brothers are Nathan and Eli.

Our Sympathy

To Mrs. Alice Bethay and family in the loss of her husband, Mr. Don Bethay. To Ms. Ginger Weeks and family in the loss of her father, Mr. James Earl Weeks, Jr. To Mr. Kevin Howell and family in the loss of his father, Mr. Eric Lee Howell. To Mrs. Cynthia Evans and family in the loss of her mother, Mrs. Rebekah Browning Barber. To Mrs. Jill Hardaway Stribling, Mrs. Sally Hardaway Canale and their families in the loss of their mother, Mrs. Doris E. Embry.

XYZ Senior Adult Program and Luncheon

Tuesday, July 3 at 11 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall We will begin with hymn singing led by Keith McGregor. Pastor Don Gann will provide the program, “Celebrating First Baptist Church, past, present, and future...”

A delicious meal will be provided. Invite a friend and join us.

MISSION & MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES Questions? Contact Jeff Holeman at 662.234.3515 or [email protected]

Kidz Club at Brittany Woods. Thursdays 4-5:30 p.m. Meet at FBC Oxford at 3:30 p.m. every Thursday during July.

FBC Oxford

GO TELL OFFERING will be collected during July. This offering assists members of FBC Oxford and College Students with mission trip expenses. Goal: $25,000

Mission Trip to Rome, Italy. December 12-20. Christmas Outreach to Young Adults. Total Cost will be $800 plus airfare. $100 non-refundable deposit is due NOW. We have 2 spaces left.

OAXACA Missions Partnership Women’s Trip to Oaxaca. Sept 1-7. $400 per person for FBC Members. $100

non-refundable deposit is due NOW. Ministry focus will we Outreach and Discipleship of women. Pastor/Leader Training in Oaxaca. August 22-27. $300 per person for FBC Members. $100 non-refundable deposit is due NOW. Family Mission Trip to Oaxaca. October 5-12. $650 per person for FBC Members. Ministry focus will be to children and families among the Tlacolula Valley Zapotec people. Teaching English, sports and games, and more. There will be free time to explore Oaxaca tourist sites. Deposit is due August 1. We have 5 spaces left.

Christmas in Oaxaca (College Students). December 29-January 12. Cost will be $950. $100 deposit is due NOW. **All costs include airfare, lodging, most meals. Passport is required at your expense.

More to LOVE about First

by Brooke Hutson Gibson

The last few months you have most likely noticed men at each of the church entrances and in the preschool check-in area. Josh Hill has organized and coordinated the Safety Team, and an astonishing 60 men have committed to serving on a rotation. There are five safety team members working each service. “Their purpose is helping visitors find their way, helping members with various needs, and serving as watchful eyes for the safety of those who attend FBC,” said Robert Allen, Administrative Pastor. Special thanks to all of the men who have agreed to serve in keeping our church safe! That’s just one more thing to love about First.

Hank Addy

y Wesley Henr

Check out other features at

FALL 2018 Sundays at 5 p.m. beginning August 19 Check out the full descriptions at MEN’S STUDY – The Book of Judges: Discovering the Source of Strength & Deliverance Facilitators: Don Gann and Timothy Gibson In this study, we will examine how certain men in the book of Judges reveal to us the way to overcome personal weaknesses and fulfill the various callings upon our lives by discovering the only source of strength and deliverance amid it all. WOMEN’S STUDY – The Book of Ruth: Snapshots of Faithfulness Facilitators: Sandy Meurrier and Anna Burns Join in on this wonderful study of how we can practically live out our faith and grow in our understanding of biblical faithfulness. GROUP STUDY – The Lord’s Prayer: Teach Me to Pray Facilitator: Jim Propes The only thing the disciples specifically asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray. It is thus important for us as disciples today to learn the art of prayerfulness. THEOLOGICAL STUDY – The Doctrine of Humanity Facilitator: Bobby Clanton Join this theological study as we explore who we were created to be, how sin distorted us, and the importance of renewal so that we can live meaningful lives of worship and discipleship. FAMILY STUDY – Surviving as a Parent in Oxford Facilitator: Jeff Holeman This is an extremely practical study intended to help parents come away with a number of ideas for “surviving as a parent in Oxford.” Want to see your children survive the various pressures of life in this community while persevering in their faith? Come, be a part of our conversations. FOCUS STUDY – Mom Set Free: Finding Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right Facilitators: Ellen Kergosien and Christine Hellums This study intends to help mothers discover how the gospel message can empower them to parent in the freedom of God’s sovereignty. Join this study so that you can breathe deeper, walk lighter, and enjoy your children – as well as the parenting journey – more than ever before!

Worship + 1

Check out our Ministry Fair Sunday, July 22, July 29, and Aug. 5 in the Atrium to discover places in the church that need your help. Prayerfully consider getting involved with one of our church ministries.

What will your +1 be?


[email protected]




P. M



Fish Fry Friday, MMINI 20 ’SSJuly EN INSIST EinN’the MM from 6-8 p.m. Fellowship C T C Hall. $10 per plate. L



[email protected]

Monthly Book Club Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the home of

Jennifer Spencer. Email [email protected] for more details.


Pray for our Student Mission Trip July 3 to 10 Oaxaca, Mexico

Adults: Jeff Holeman, Liesa Holeman, Alyssa Lee, Roseanne Brownlee, David Erhart, Brad Golmon, Bubba Robinson,Tonya Jones, Derrell Doss, Matt Moore, Abby McCutcheon, Jack Schultz. Students: Bryce Addy, Janna Baker, Caroline Brownlee, Madeline Crowe, Jackson Dear, Abi Leigh Doss, Emma Erhart, Graham Golmon, Mason Guthrie, John Harvey, Emma Jones, Cole Moore, Hayden Moore, Josh Morgan, Peyton Schiller, Lauren Sink, Sidney Thornton.

DNow 2018 August 10-12.

Registration begins August 1. Cost is $35 per student. Check out for registration info.

Dinners for

AUGUST 12 12:30-2:30 p.m. or 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Experience the fun and fellowship: one family serves as a host home and prepares the main course, and then others bring an appetizer, a salad/side, or a dessert. Groups meet for lunch 12:30-2:30 or for supper 5:30-7:30. Sign up cards available, or you can sign up through the church office, 662-234-3515 or [email protected] or online at Do not miss out!

PRESCHOOL & CHILDREN'S NEWS Children’s Mission Camp is JULY 12-14. Pray for our children

and chaperones, for a fun fellowship and time to draw closer to the Lord.

“Put Me in Coach, I’m Ready to Read!” 2018 SUMMER READING CHALLENGE PreK-6th grade

through July 22

Prizes are awarded in 4 ways this summer! (1) Read 15 books and become member of “All Star Team” (2) Guess candy in candy jar each Sunday - winner gets entire jar. (3) Read book in each category listed on your green sheet (4) Read clues to find mystery book - check out and read to get prize.

More info at Aug. 15 Registration in the Christian Life Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 22 First night of Club, 5:30p.m.

(USPS 571-680) Published Monthly by First Baptist Church Periodical Postage paid at 800 Van Buren Ave., Oxford, MS 38655-3844