In the Beginning — studies in Genesis 1-11

Summer sermon series

A recent book by Old Testament scholar Brent Strawn suggests that "The Old Testament is Dying."

What he means is that churches today tend to neglect the Old Testament and that it is at risk of fading from Christian consciousness. I think he is mainly right, and in this sermon series I hope to address the problem by returning to the very first chapters of the Old Testament. Preaching through Genesis 1-11, often called the "Primeval History," will reveal both the centrality of the issues raised by these texts and also their profound complexity and potential for misuse and abuse.

The summer preaching schedule:
June 18   "In the Beginning"   Gen. 1:1-2:3.
June 25   "Not Good to Be Alone"   Gen 2:18-25.
July 2   "Did God Really Say?"   Gen. 3:1-7.
July 9   "East of Eden"   Gen. 3:8-24.
July 16   "Raising Cain"   Gen. 4:1-16.
July 23   "A Brokenhearted God"   Gen. 6:5-8, 7:11-24
July 30   "The First Covenant"   Gen. 8:20-9:7.

You are invited to join us in worship at FBCD on Sundays —
FreshStart at 8:45 in Carreker Hall
11:15 a.m. for Sanctuary Worship.
Pastor David Gushee will preach at both worship hours.

CBF General Assembly — June 26-30

General Assembly communion.jpg

2017 CBF General Assembly being held in Atlanta

The CBF General Assembly provides opportunities to explore the Fellowship's passion for spiritual and social transformation through:
Sustaining Global Missions
Forming Healthy Churches
Nurturing Young Baptists

There will be three nights of worship, Wednesday through Friday, June 28, 29 and 30. Brian McLaren will deliver the keynote address on Thursday night. For details go here.

Online registration is closed.
Onsite registration opens Wednesday at noon.
Registration is free.

The Assembly is being held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Georgia.
June 26-30

The Great Spiritual Migration — 10-week Study

You are invited to study with Pilgrims Group

You are invited to join Pilgrims for their 10-week
study of The Great Spiritual Migration
by Brian McLaren. He challenges us to
 stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in
 nostalgia, and to embrace the powerful
shifts that are reshaping the faith. This
will be an engaging opportunity to share
your ideas, concerns, and questions.

For a preview of McLaren and The Great Spiritual Migration from his Georgia Center for the Book presentation in the FBCD Sanctuary in 2016, go here.

You are invited to attend all or some of the sessions hosted by the Pilgrims Group.

10-week session begins June 25
10 a.m. each Sunday
In S-305 (Sanctuary Building, third floor, enter from Portico and take elevator or stairs)

Welcome Kristen Koger! — New FBCD Pastor for Children and Families

Kristen Koger Accepts Call from the FBCD Congregation to Become the Full-time PASTOR FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

On Sunday May 21, the FBCD Congregation voted unanimously to call Kristen Koger to the new full-time position Pastor for Children and Families

Kristen received her Master of Divinity at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in 2015. Her current position is Pastoral Resident at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia.

Pray for Kristen as she prepares to move to Decatur and welcome her warmly as she begins her ministry here at FBCD on Sunday, June 18.

Hard Questions for God

Jeffrey Willetts _ McAfee dean lg.jpg

First Baptist University in July

food for thought, care for the soul

Hard questions for God

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.

DeKalb Symphony Orchestra in Concert June 20

Concert Features Soprano Maria Clark

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra is performing in the Sanctuary on Tuesday, June 20. In addition to orchestral selections by the full Orchestra, the featured soloist will be soprano Maria Clark, winner of multiple competitions, who will perform famous arias from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini’s Tosca, and Verdi’s Aida. The concert is presented as a gift to the community through the generosity of the Decatur Tourism Bureau, other Friends of Decatur community sponsors and the gracious hospitality of First Baptist Church Decatur. The Champion is media sponsor, and no tickets are required for admission.

Tuesday, June 20, 8 p.m.
First Baptist Church Decatur Sanctuary

Free of charge.

FBU Summer Break— June Wednesday Nights + July 5

Family Dinner and FBU courses will not be held during summer break

During the month of June and July 5, FBCD will take an First Baptist University summer break. No Wednesday night activities will be held. Dinner will not be served. Enjoy summer evening time with friends and family during these Wednesday evenings.

Plan to begin a new year of FBU courses on July 12

Dinner and Sharing
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Family Dinner served from 5:30–6:20 p.m.
Prayer time around the tables before breaking into groups
FBU courses 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
FBU Kids
FBU Youth
Hard Questions for God with Dean Willetts (learn more here)
Total Body Conditioning with Kristian Smith
Yoga with Jotholyn Mason

Support Groups this Summer
Support Groups which meet at FBCD manage their own schedules. Be sure to check with your group leader for the schedule.

Lead Pastor Position Announcement

Lead Pastor Position Announcement

First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia, welcomes applicants for the position of Lead Pastor.

We are seeking a pastor who is committed to strong preaching and pastoral care; who will partner with us to craft a vision for the next season of our ministry; who will continue to build and encourage a team of ministers, staff and members to lead and care for everyone in the church community; and who will lead us in reaching out to the larger communities of Decatur and metro Atlanta.

To learn more, download the pdf here.

Young Adult Community Group

on sundays at 10 a.m.

This spring, a new Sunday morning community group started, led by our young adult minister, Matt Snyder. Weekly conversations are topic-centered on the intersection between the Bible, spirituality, and current events. Interested in learning more? Email Matt here or drop in this Sunday morning.

Meets in S-203 (second floor of the Sanctuary building; enter at the portico entrance from the main outdoor parking lot)

Worship Together on Pentecost Sunday

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1-2

On Pentecost Sunday the church celebrates the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the followers of Jesus Christ. Be a part of this significant day as we worship in FreshStart at 8:45 a.m. and in Sanctuary at 11:15 a.m.

Pastor David Gushee will preach The Power of the Holy Spirit — Acts 2:1-13.

Introducing Candidate for Minister to Families with Children

Kristen Koger, candidate for Minister to Families with Children

The Deacons and the Finance committee, on Tuesday the 16th, were given the opportunity to vote on the recommendation that came from the Search Committee for a Minister to Families with Children (chaired by Lisa Tyler), and from the Personnel Committee (chaired by Bill Neal), with the approval already of the Interim Pastor, as per the bylaws. The recommendation was approved to present Kristen Koger to the congregation as the candidate for the position of Minister to Families with Children at FBCD. At the called Congregational Meeting on May 21 at 10 a.m., the congregation will be introduced to Kristen and vote on extending the call.

You may preview the resume of the candidate, Kristen Koger, here.

Other business agenda items for the Congregational Meeting will include:
Personnel Committee report
Financial Report thru April 30, 2017
Update from Lead Pastor Search Committee
Hiring Initiative for new Camp Director
Building Security and B & G Update

To read a prior post with further information about the process and the May 21 meeting, go here.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Congregational Meeting on May 21 at 10 a.m. in Carreker Hall.

Craig Taylor, Deacon Chair
Bill Neal, Personnel Committee Chair
David Gushee, Interim Pastor

Joy Night

A Community Celebration of Joyful Gospel Music

May 21, at 5 pm.
Joy Night, a celebration of joyful gospel music and a formal appreciation of community leaders, features several choirs from the surrounding area. The concert, hosted by First Baptist Church is free and open to the public.

Joy Night will showcase gospel music and African American spirituals, as well as other genres of choral music. Each choral group will perform separately before combining for a grand finale. Participating groups include:
Greenforest Community Baptist Church, William Calloway, director
Oak Grove United Methodist Church Edgar Scruggs, director
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta Will Buthod, director
First Baptist Church Decatur, Kathryn Hartgrove, director

The inspiration for Joy Night came from a First Baptist member who experienced the great sense of community and purpose in Roslyn Heights, New York, when churches came together monthly for a night of music and fellowship. This empowering sense of community brings us to the theme of this year’s Joy Night celebration, "Where There Is Unity, There Is Strength!"

This year, Joy Night will be honoring the great humanitarian works of President Jimmy Carter, in absentia.

A reception will follow on the lawn in front of the Sanctuary. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.


Youth Summer Kickoff

Youth Summer Kickoff

All youth ages 12-18 in Decatur are invited to kickoff the summer at FBCD. On the front lawn at Clairemont and Commerce in downtown Decatur.
Friday night, May 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Games • Bounce Houses • Music • Food • Fun
FREE of charge
FREE Chick-fil-a for the first 50 youth to arrive.

Called Congregational Meeting May 21

Called Congregational Meeting May 21

Called Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 21

May 21 at 10 a.m. in Carreker (Fellowship) Hall
The following offers important information related to the called Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 21.

The primary purpose of the meeting on the 21st will be to present the name of a prospective new full-time Minister to Families with Children. Since this is a ministerial staff position, our bylaws require a vote by the congregation at a called meeting, as the culmination of a process specified further in the bylaws.

First Baptist University May Term

First Baptist University May Term

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 Christian education and support program which began in January 2017.

First Baptist University (FBU) is offering 7-8 week classes and care groups on Wednesday nights. A new May five-week short term begins Wednesday, May 3.
David Gushee will teach the FBU May term course: Who Is Dietrich Bonhoeffer?

unearthed: third Friday worship

Unearthed: an evening of communal and personal searching through worship, prayer and art

Please join us on the third Friday of every month at 8 p.m. in Carreker Hall for unearthed: an evening of communal and personal searching through worship, prayer and art.
Our desire for this space is to come together to ask questions, to seek in our personal lives and in our life as a community for what God may be speaking to us.
Friday nights at 8 p.m.

On June 16
Join us at FBC Decatur on June 16 as we focus on community.
8 p.m. in Carreker Hall