First Baptist University

food for thought, care for the soul

First Baptist Church Decatur invites the Decatur community and all who are interested to participate in a new Christian education and support program in 2017.

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First Baptist University offers food for thought, care for the soul and body, and service to our community, motivated by and grounded in our Christian faith. Below is a preview of the courses for the short five week FBU May Term and the FBU Spring Term, March 8-April 26. All classes are free, though you may be encouraged to buy reading materials.

Courses begin at 6:30 p.m. and in most cases end at 7:30 p.m. All courses are led by qualified teachers or facilitators and are free with the exception of any study materials. Everyone is welcome. Support groups close to new participants after two weeks to facilitate meaningful conversation. 

An optional dinner is available in our Carreker Fellowship Hall for $7 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Course Registration and Childcare
While there is no charge for FBU courses and registration is not required, it would help our planning to know if you are coming—and especially if you are bringing children and/or teenagers. Please contact Edwina Cowgill ( or 404-373-1653 ext 2230) to let us know about your attendance and childcare needs. Thank you.

FBU JULY — July Term Courses 2017

Three Week Term: July 12, 19 and 26
6:30 p.m.
(no FBU during June's FBCD Wednesday summer break; FBU resumes after the July 4 week)

Hard Questions for God (Jeff Willetts)
Total Body Conditioning
New Yoga Class
FBU Youth
(see course descriptions below)

Hard questions for god: Dr. Jeff Willetts

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Willetts, dean of McAfee School of Theology, was trained at Yale and the University of Swansea (Wales) in philosophy and theology. This three-week session offers you the chance to "ask the dean" your hardest theological and spiritual questions. Please submit questions in advance to Pastor David by July 1 so that Jeff can think through his responses.

July 12, 19 and 26
Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m.
Carreker Hall (first floor Sanctuary Building)

Note: There are no Wednesday FBU courses or other FBCD Wednesday activities during our June break. FBU begins anew for the year on July 12.

FBU May — may Term Courses 2017

Who Was Dietrich BonhoeffeR?

Rev. Dr. David Gushee, our Interim Pastor, will teach the five week course: Who Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer?

During the five weeks in May, our First Baptist University program will offer a special focus on the Christian legend Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German theologian and pastor who resisted the Nazis and was executed on Hitler's orders just before the end of World War II. Bonhoeffer would have been significant for his scholarly work alone, which was brilliant enough that many think he was one of the most important theologians of the 20th century, even though he never turned 40. But what continues to attract people to Bonhoeffer is his unique journey from privileged aristocrat, to pastor and theologian, to resistance leader and finally to being a participant in coup efforts against Adolf Hitler.

This five-week course, led by David Gushee with help from Matt Snyder, will offer an introduction to the life and thought of Bonhoeffer. (No other FBU courses will be offered in May other than Total Body Conditioning, for those who are now thoroughly unable to function without their weekly dose of Wednesday exercise.)

While there are many great books on Bonhoeffer, our course textbook will be the very concise work by Christiane Tietz, Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Facilitator: David Gushee
Location: In Carreker Hall, First Floor Sanctuary Building

The only other adult course offering for the short May term will be Total Body Conditioning for those wanting to continue their weekly FBU exercise routine.


A one-hour high-intensity exercise program which includes a full body workout with a fun and challenging mixture of stretching, cardio and resistance training set to high energy music. Continue sweating out that stress and working on cardio and strength training.

Facilitator: Kristian Smith
Kristian is a Certified Personal Trainer and
Group Fitness Instructor
For questions about this class, contact Kristian: 256-508-2930 or

Location: S-300, Dance Studio, Third Floor Sanctuary Building

FBU kids

Preschoolers will discover how God used people in very dramatic ways, leading us to think of them as heroes of the faith. Children in Grades 1-5 will be “Growing in Grace” through music and drama. Students will be grouped by grades and will alternate between music and drama sessions each week.

Facilitators: Dale Doud and Team
Location: Children's classes in E-218, E-219 and Childcare in E-106

FBU youth

Youth from sixth to twelfth grade are invited to spend time growing in community. Activities will include Story Time relating to what we’re experiencing in our lives and faith journey. We will also have Current Event Discussions focused on the world’s tough topics. Sprinkled throughout will be weeks for card/board/video games.

Facilitator: Billy Roberts
Location: In S-320 Youth Room, Third Floor Sanctuary Building