March 26, 2020

Hello Friends,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

This has been a bizarre time for me as your pastor. The church has always gathered to support, encourage, pray, and do life together. COVID-19 has prevented us from doing many of the works of the church that we love to do. I want to focus in this letter, however, on all of the ways that God is working through this pandemic.

First, I am thankful that God is allowing us to reorient our lives back towards Him. With many of the everyday distractions shut down, it is an opportunity for us to enjoy His creation, to spend more time with family, and spend more time in His word. Have you noticed that since this pandemic began to hit our state that we have had hardly any rain in our area? Take advantage of God’s creation during this time!

Second, I am thankful that God has allowed this time for me to examine my own personal idols. Many of the things that I love to do have been taken from me during this crisis. No sports on TV and no eating out are two that come to mind. Surprisingly, I have not missed these activities as much as I thought I would. God is replacing those idols with dependence on Him. Have you taken time to examine your idols?

Third, I am thankful for our new youth minister, Trey Gibson, who will begin officially this Sunday, March 29th. Trey has been unanimously voted on by our youth committee, personnel committee, and our deacons. He will be meeting students and parents digitally for now, but I cannot wait to introduce to him to the church at large when we reconvene.

Fourth, I am thankful for you! Our church has stepped up in many ways during this pandemic. We waived tuition for daycare families through April 5th so the financial burden could be eased during this time of uncertainty. We packed hundreds of bags for children at Jerry Lee Faine Elementary School so that they would not go hungry in between meals. We have supported small businesses through our effort at Basketcase restaurant yesterday. The workers and owners were so appreciative of our business. Our community groups have been creative in gathering digitally via conference calls, Zoom meetings, and Facebook. We have continued to be THE church even though we cannot GATHER at church.

This Sunday we will have one of our community group teachers, Russell Lee, teaching an adult bible lesson on our main Facebook page at 9:30AM. Cindy Thomas will host a preschool and children’s bible study at 10AM on both the Children’s Facebook page (FBC Dothan Kids) and our main Facebook page. You will also be able to see our full worship service at 10:30AM on our main Facebook page. I would encourage you to also share these videos to your own Facebook pages so that word can spread about the Gospel.

Until We Gather Again,                                                                                                                                      

Taylor Rutland                                                                                                            

 

March 25, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I'd like to encourage you to find as many ways as possible to be involved in our community during this pandemic. I went by Basketcase restaurant for lunch, and they are so appreciative of the business that our church has given them today. Thank you for showing the gospel to the people in that restaurant.

I'd also encourage you to reach out to the Wiregrass Area Food Bank (334) 794-9775 to see if there are any needs they have that we as a church might be able to assist.

Many have mentioned driving by Flowers, Southeast Health, and Extendicare to park and pray. Pray for the medical workers, the patients, and the residents.

Contact an elderly neighbor, family member, or church member to encourage, pray, and serve them if they have needs.

I hope to be back together again sooner rather than later!

Your Pastor,

Taylor Rutland

 

March 16, 2020

Dear Church Family,                                                                                         

As I have said from the beginning, our response to COVID-19 is changing by the minute. As you are probably aware, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending postponing gatherings larger than 50 people. This has major ramifications for almost every program and event we do at the church. We do not know how long this recommendation will last, but until the CDC communicates differently we will not be having Wednesday or Sunday gatherings on site.  

This is an opportunity for us a church to be out among the people. The opportunities to show compassion and serve our community during this time are endless. 

You as a church have already stepped up in a big way! Our finance team made the decision yesterday to waive tuition for the next two weeks for our Child Development Center families, and cover salaries for teachers. In addition, we have partnered with Faine elementary school to send children home with snacks to supplement whatever food they receive at home. 

We will continue to broadcast via Facebook Live my Wednesday evening Bible study, and our Sunday morning worship services.  

For families, our children’s minister, Cindy Thomas, will provide a children’s bible study lesson at 10AM prior to our worship service at 10:30AM. For community groups, I’d encourage you to develop a rotation of homes, gather at 9AM for breakfast, begin Bible study at 9:30AM, and then watch our worship service together at 10:30AM. Again, this situation is fluid and the CDC might decrease the number of people later. 

Even though church will not be meeting on site, we are still in need of your giving to keep the ministries and operations of the church going. Here are the ways that you can give: 

Many of our people desire to give by check, we will have deacons at the Troy Street entrance from 9AM-10AM on Sundays to receive checks should people like to give this way.

You can mail your checks to First Baptist Dothan, 300 West Main Street, Dothan, AL 36301       

To use text-to-give, simply text the word “Give” to 938-444-8962       

To give using the church website, please visit www.fbcdothan.org and select Give      

To give through our church app, please download Church App—Tithe.ly through the app store.      

Of course, our office is open Monday-Friday 8AM-4:30PM should you like to hand deliver your offering to the church. 

Prayerfully,

Taylor Rutland

 

 

March 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,     

I wanted to give you an update regarding our response as a church to COVID-19.

First, we care about ALL human life. Even though we do not currently have any known cases in Alabama, we want to be praying for those who currently have the virus.

Second, we will cooperate with local, state, and federal officials regarding large group gatherings. Fortunately, this is a decision that does not need to be made at this moment, but the situation is fluid.

Third, should our services be cancelled I will continue to preach via Facebook Live and we will be utilizing our social media platforms. Please follow us on Facebook (First Baptist Church of Dothan, Alabama), Twitter (@FBCDothan) and Instagram (firstbaptistdothan) to receive the most up-to-date information.

Fourth, online giving platforms are available and encouraged. You can give electronically 1 of 3 ways; text to give, the church app, and through the website.

•To use text-to-give, simply text the word “Give” to 938-444-8962

•To give through the church app, please download Church App – Tithe.ly through the app store.

•To give using the church website, please visit www.fbcdothan.org and select Give.

Fifth, there are things we can do to prevent any illness from spreading through the church.

•If you feel ill, in any way, please stay home and let someone in the church office know so that we may pray for you and offer support.

•Please make sure that you utilize good hand washing procedures and help children do the same. •           Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.

•Avoid touching your face, the virus can live on surfaces outside of the body and become introduced to the body through mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.

•Use alternative greetings to handshakes; such as fist or elbow bumps, waiving and/or verbal greetings.

Last but not least, God is sovereign over his creation. We trust his provision over our lives.  Psalm 105:2 says Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works.

Prayerfully,

Taylor Rutland