July 22, 2020

Our planned reopening was set to be August 9th. However, considering the current state of COVID-19 in our state and community, the staff and leadership team consider it prudent to wait just a little while longer.  Here are our plans: On September 13th, we will reopen our doors at 9:15 am and 10:45 am on Sunday mornings for Worship and Groups. On September 16th, we will begin Wednesday evening activities for the new year, including Awana and choir rehearsal. Our team has made a commitment that, barring a precipitous worsening of the current situation, we will start back on these days. In the interim, we plan for the following phased reopening plan: 


Sunday, August 9: Nursery/groups will be offered for for children ages 0 – 4 in the 9:00 am service only.


Wednesday, August 12: “Wednesday in the Word” at 6:30 pm in the Chapel for all adults. The event will continue to be livestreamed to Facebook.


Sunday, August 30: Sunday evening student small groups will meet at 5pm at host homes off-campus


Sunday, September 6 (Labor Day weekend): One service at 10am in the sanctuary celebrating the 115th anniversary of the First Baptist Church of Gray.

 

In the midst of all of this, we encourage you to do what you know to be right for yourself and your family. Masks are optional, but supported. If you are not comfortable coming back, then continue online and do not feel guilty about it. Do what makes you and your family feel safe. However, you will need to return at some point! Sundays in your pajamas will never replace worshipping with other Christ followers. 

We are certainly aware that this letter will be received in a multitude of ways. What we ask for now is your continued support in every way, including attendance (live or online), prayer, and giving (we have done spectacularly well here). Planning with COVID-19 is like driving a car in an extremely dense fog. So, we trust God and do the best we can, knowing that He is in control and everything ultimately will be okay.  We look forward to the New Day God has planned for us!

May 27, 2020

After a long stint exclusively in the digital realm, we are happy to announce that we're opening our doors once again for in-person, corporate worship! As expected, guidelines will be put in place for the health and safety of the worshipers.


Beginning June 7th, two morning worship services will be held at 9 am (Purple service) and 11 am (Gold service)

  • Due to CDC guidelines, we are limiting worship services to no more than 100 people per service. To that end, we are requesting that worshipers sign up for a service to give us an idea of how many people to expect each Sunday. If we have significantly more people sign up for a service, we’ll offer an additional identical service at another time on Sunday.
  • There will be no small groups. This includes childcare and Children's Worship.
  • Please sit as family units.
  • Wear masks if you desire.
  • The restrooms in the Vestibule will be open on a limited basis and the water fountain will be closed.
  • Entrance doors A & B will be open for your convenience. All other entrances will be unavailable for use.
  • PLEASE: If you are running a fever or feel sick in any way, please watch us on livestream. If you are elderly or are medically vulnerable, please consider waiting to return to live worship until we see how things are progressing with Covid-19.
  • We need to be mindful of the concerns everyone has. Make every effort to be respectful of everyone’s sensitivities.

april 8, 2020

Well, we aren't back together yet. Some days, it seems like we'll never get through this. But we will. We've all made adjustments in our churches, including Good Friday and Easter services. To that end, we want to let all of you know how we've been connecting and will continue to connect for the forseeable future.


Sunday morning services are livestreamed to our Facebook page every week at 10 am. On Wednesday nights at 6pm, Pastor Randy goes live (also from our FB page) for the adult Bible study. Also on Wednesday nights at 6:30, Pastor Austin hosts a Zoom meeting for all the students. If you'd like information how to join that Zoom meeting, click here.


On Good Friday, Pastor Randy and Pastor Austin will lead homes in a Good Friday service that will include communion. We are encouraging heads of households to administer the Lord's Supper to their families using a form of bread and the fruit of the vine. More information about that service can be found here. Then, on Easter Sunday, join us on Facebook for our 2020 Easter service. Our church building may be empty, but so is the tomb. Though we won't be celebrating like we normally do, the story hasn't changed and we must share it with the world!


It is our hope that the next update will include something about meeting together again. Only time will tell. Until then, pray for God's protection and the slowing-down of this virus. Pray for all of our elected and appointed officials as they combat its societal effects. God is still on the throne and still in control. 

march 19, 2020

Every day, something new comes up that we didn't expect, requiring our immediate attention and sometimes, immediate action. Since last week when we decided to have a worship service exclusively online, more developments have come about requiring our immediate attention and action. Among those developments include recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, Kemp administration, and Trump administration. We have been advised to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people for the next several weeks. Lots of discussions and meetings have happened just this week and a plan of action has been established. Here is what you need to know.


Firstly, all Sunday mornings services & groups at First Baptist Church of Gray have been canceled at least until March 31st. We will livestream a worship service on our Facebook page every Sunday morning at 10am from the chapel using a limited team. We encourage you to treat these services like you would a Sunday morning gathering. Sing the songs, read your Bible, pray, and be engaged. And don't do this alone. Have the whole family there. Be the church from your own home.


Secondly, all Wednesday night activities are on hold at least until March 31st. Pastor Randy will go live every Wednesday night at 6pm for adult Bible & prayer time. Pastor Austin will go live at 6:30 from Instagram for the students, and Laura will be distributing links and literature to parents for children to continue learning the Word through our Awana program.


Thirdly, remember that even though we may not meet corporately, the business of the church treads on. Missionaries need our support, bills must be paid, salaries must be distributed. Fortunately, we have ways for you to continue giving your contributions. Be on the lookout for a step-by-step guide on how to give during this period. 


Finally and most importantly, do not get discouraged. Our Lord saw this coming a long time ago. Eyes are being opened to ministry opportunities we had yet to discover. Over 1,500 people engaged with our first livestream. This is wonderful news! Remember what the 91st Psalm says: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."


Do not dwell in fear or distress. Dwell in the shelter of the Most High. Tell the Lord that you trust Him and don't just say it. Do it. Because later on in the 91st Psalm, God says that he will deliver us, protect us, answer us, be with us in times of trouble and show us His salvation.


Pray and maintain. And prepare to be amazed at what God can and will do. We love you and we are always praying for you. 

March 14, 2020

Hello, church family. Earlier today at a news conference, Governor Brian Kemp encouraged churches across Georgia to consider canceling services in the wake of COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus. Just yesterday, President Trump declared a national state of emergency for the same reason. While we had initially planned to treat tomorrow like a school holiday, we now know that different plans must be made. After discussions among the staff and deacons, we believe it is in the best interest of our church family and community to heed the governor's call. Therefore, there will be no services or events at First Baptist Church of Gray from March 15th-21st. This includes Sunday morning services, Sunday night groups, Wednesday night activities, and the weekday preschool.


In lieu of that, we will host a livestream service on our church Facebook page at 10:00 tomorrow morning, March 15th. This is new territory for all of us, so we'll see how this goes! We encourage families to watch this service together to make it as much like a Sunday morning gathering as possible. Pastor Randy will give an update on our church's response to COVID-19, and then we'll worship through song, scripture, giving, and preaching. 


Most importantly, we must remember that none of this has come as a surprise to our Lord. We mustn't forget that He created all things and in Him all things hold together. God will guide us through this, despite our fears and uncertainties.


As this process continues to develop, you can be assured that your church staff will diligently monitor the situation. We will take steps to prioritize the health of our church and community. Continue to consult professional health officials for ways to keep you and your family healthy. 


We'll see you tomorrow morning at 10:00 for our livestream service on Facebook.