Here is the 2016 State of the Church Address to be presented during the morning worship service on Sunday, January 1st at First Baptist Church of Decherd.
Today marks the beginning of my 9th month of ministry here at First Baptist Decherd. It is a remarkable thing to see how God directs our steps and puts us in a place to be used by him. Roughly 30 years ago I was a young boy running around the halls of this very church, living in the parsonage that once stood where our fellowship hall now is, and riding my bike up and down the streets of Decherd. Little did I know that I would one day follow in my father’s footsteps, surrendering to the call and serving as a pastor. Over the years I have thought about this place and wondered what has become of First Baptist Decherd. Now, I find myself standing in this pulpit and serving as your pastor.
God has a way of preparing us for what lies ahead. No doubt, all of the experiences I have had in over 17 years of ministry has prepared me for this time. No doubt, all that God has done in this church over the years has prepared us for our current day. It is a humble joy to be able to say that I am the pastor of First Baptist Church of Decherd.
During the past several months, much has been accomplished for the glory of God. We have witnessed several come to faith in Christ and follow the Lord in believer’s baptisim. We have also seen several come and join our fellowship. In addition to this, God has worked in amazing ways as we work to revive our ministry to children and youth. Much work has been done on our facilities including the addition of a welcome center and a prayer room. I am amazed at all that has taken place in just a short period of time. To God be the glory!!
Tragedy has also struck our church this year with the homegoing of several of our dearest friends and many who have been afflicted by sickness and disease. Yet, through it all, we have learned that God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
2017 promises to bring many challenges and many rewards. Recently the church approved of a new budget that includes provision for two staff additions: minister of worship and minister of students. We are prayerfully anticipating who God will bring to us and how such additions to our staff will enhance the ministry of FBC. Once our new staff members are in place, we will turn our attention toward strengthening our Sunday School ministry and strengthening our outreach to the community. Organizational work will also be done in 2017 as we work toward revising our church constitution and updating our church membership. We are also seeking to continue work on our facilities as we begin to work on improvements to the upstairs of our educational building and then improvements on our sanctuary. Such a vision for this new year requires much prayer, discernment, wisdom, and sacrifice. However, I am reminded of what the angel said to Mary, “With God nothing shall be impossible.”
You never know what a year may bring. However, I am convinced that if the Lord tarries His coming another year, the best is yet to come for the life and ministry of First Baptist Church of Decherd. May God bless FBC Decherd in 2017.