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Pastor’s Heart – April 2018

The beautiful days of spring are here, and we get to begin the month of April with Easter. We will have our normal three-service worship schedule on Easter Sunday, April 1. In the south, one of the big traditions on Easter Sunday for families is going to church to worship, some of whom seldom go any other time of year. In light of this, I ask you to do three things on Easter:

1.  Invite people who don’t usually come.

2.  Park farther away than you normally do if you are physically able.

3.  When you are seated, move toward the middle leaving space for folks to sit on the sides.

April not only begins with Easter, but also spring break. Please be in prayer for our Haiti mission trip team. We will hear from them in all of our worship services soon after they come back. We will NOT have any midweek activities on Wednesday night, April 4. Beginning the second week of April, a familiar face returns to serve on our church staff in a new role. The personnel committee and deacons unanimously and enthusiastically affirm Paul Blair as our part-time Minister of Senior Adults. Paul will be working two days a week, with his primary focus on ministering to senior adults connected to our church who are homebound, in hospitals, hospice, retirement homes, assisted living, and nursing facilities. Welcome back, Paul!

First Baptist celebrates 190 years in April. We have rescheduled our church-wide picture to April 15. We will begin our early service and Sunday school fifteen minutes earlier that day to make time for the picture in front of our sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. We will then have our two worship services at the normal time of 11:00 a.m. In case of rain that Sunday, the backup plan will be to do the picture on Sunday morning, April 22, using the same modified schedule.

There has been some confusion about the worship schedule because of the special Disciple Now worship schedule held in late February, a combined worship schedule on March 4, and the super-combined service schedule on March 11. The plan moving forward is not to alter the worship schedule again until we make the final transition to the two worship services in the sanctuary, which will be happening soon.

On Sunday, April 29, we will not change our worship schedule but will add some wonderful elements to it that morning. Pastor Hugo Orpeza and the congregation of First Hispanic Church LaGrange will be joining us that morning for a church-wide breakfast fellowship at 8:00 a.m. in the CFLC. They will also be our guests in our 8:45 service. Their music ministry will share songs with us, and Pastor Hugo will preach the message in our 8:45 service. As we have done with New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, we will continue to fellowship and worship with other local churches like this on a regular basis.

We continue to search for God’s man to be our Executive Pastor. One candidate went deep in the process with our personnel committee, but the Lord answered his prayers and ours by confirming that he wasn’t the right fit for us at the beginning of this year. The Lord has graciously provided us with some excellent additional candidates to interview. We are hopeful that the Lord will reveal our primary executive candidate in the very near future.

A Children’s Minister search committee has been formed. Jana Kinnersley will chair this committee, and Cody Turner will be the staff member providing support and guidance to the men and women on this search committee. Please pray for this committee to find God’s person in His timing to be our next children’s minister. God has been faithful to bring us the right ministers at the very seasons that we needed them in our 190 years as a church.

The Lord has proven His faithfulness over and over again to our church. As they were approaching the place of sacrifice, Abraham told his son Isaac, “God will provide for Himself a lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). When God provided the ram whose horns were caught in the thicket, Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will Provide” (Genesis 24:14). As we continue to move forward as a church to fulfill the 20/20 Vision, as we work through the upcoming worship schedule change, and as we search for new staff members to help our church accomplish our mission, be encouraged that the Lord will always be faithful to provide for us as His people. And, we can always know that He is faithful because God faithfully raised His son Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead.

Christ is Risen,

Pastor Cade