Dr. Gary Chapman

What a privilege it will be to have Dr. Gary Chapman as our guest preacher Sunday morning! You could make the case that no leader and teacher has had more practical impact on families, marriages, and healthy relationships than he has through his “Five Love Languages.” For years I have made it required reading for every couple I have married. Why do I commend/require it so strongly? Because it is grounded in keen insights based on the way we are; our personalities are fearfully and wonderfully made. It has had a profound impact on Lisa and me. After meeting him and discovering his work years ago, we learned some things about ourselves that helped transform our marriage. His insights informed our parenting – and now grand-parenting – as it has millions of others.

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Welcome Aboard

“Welcome aboard.” These are words Randy Deering says often in his role as a charter boat captain. This week we extend that greeting to him as Randy begins his new work at FBC as Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Group Development. It’s a long title, but a job he is perfectly suited for and an area in which his gifts will bear much fruit. He is a fine minister, artist, author, and sailor, all talents that reflects the depth, vision, and bent toward action that will serve us well together.

Dr. Deering is a veteran minister with degrees from both Southwestern and Golden Gate Baptist Seminaries. A Californian, he made his chops in student ministry at The University of Southern California. Over the years he has led resort ministries through Lifeway and served on church staffs, including this one for a season in the early 2000’s. It’s good to have him back in tow and leading an area of ministry that we are committed to grow and develop.

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New Year Giving

I so enjoyed our first service of the year together last Sunday. There was a wonderful spirit, music was powerful and uplifting and you were a lively and attentive group to preach to. Pastors love those kind of days. Good news is, that is a regular reality in these parts and I get to celebrate that with you.

As we start the new year together, I wanted to bring you up to date on our giving for the years just finished and begun. In 2016 we saw an increase in our operating budget receipts to just shy of one million dollars. If wee had known we were that close to the milestone, I would have insisted we pass the plate at least once more. That level of giving is trending in the right direction and moving us toward the level of stewardship that will make more possible the ministry we desire and need at FBC. Thank you for what you have done and will do in the days ahead.

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Happy New Year 2017

Welcome to the first week of the new year! These new beginnings are odd combinations of occasions to look forward and look back. When I look back to this time last year, Lisa and I were sitting on a secret, pretty sure that God was moving our life and ministry in a new direction. We were about to trade our North Georgia red clay in on St. Petersburg sand and one great group of parishioners and friends for another. A big home on country acreage was exchanged for a smaller one on an urban island. We moved from one church with a rich history, particular challenges, and a promising future to another one coincidentally bearing the same name.

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