Headlines from First Thoughts

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To South Africa with Love @fbcknox_mission Skype Sunday @fbcknox 8:42 a.m.

The trip that began with a dream and a lot of home football games becomes reality today. This afternoon, 28 students from First Baptist Church along with 30 others from area churches are en route to Johannesburg, South Africa. They will spend 10 days teaching Bible studies, leading "True Love Waits" groups, coaching sports camps, and leading in worship.

Our church has supported this group in so many ways. We have parked cars for home football games, hired babysitters and lawn mowers, given scholarships through the Heart of Knoxville, and provided the resources for an incredible youth ministry. Thank you to Michael McEntyre for training this team and leading this effort. Please be praying for the group as they travel. Updates will be available on our website or via the twitter feed. During First Community Sunday, the team will Skype live into the service. Please be sure to join us for this live conversation and connection. Our team is

Annie Pickle
Michael McEntyre
Morgan Johnston
Megan Turner
Jonathan Keaton
Laura Beth Roberts
Anna Cate Hale
Cathy Johnston
Daniel Pieratt
Amy Pickle
David Lethco
Missy Burkhart
Courtney Allen
Micky Roberts
Andy Tatum
Kim Holcomb
Austin Tatum
Mac Pickle
Emily Holcomb
Julie Rice
Bryce Jones
Jan Johnson
Sean Rice
Kathryn Pickle
Mark Coffield
Nikki Austin
Mack Burkhart
Jess Maples

They return to Knoxville Sunday, July 31 at noon. We look forward to hearing their report on August 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Trentham Hall.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Second quarter of generosity @fbcknox

From Niagara Falls to Wears Valley, from Columbus, Ohio, to South Knoxville, everywhere you look, you can see God’s work through First Baptist. Thank you for your faithful generous giving during the second quarter of 2011. Giving has increased over this same time last year, and the cost to do ministry has gone up as well. We have been able to keep pace because of your faithful generosity. In the process over the last year, we have cut our debt almost in half. Here is a year to date comparison summary of 2010 and 2011:

June 30, 2010
Budget Receipts $ 834,490
Budget Expenses $ 854,304
Debt $ 801,375

June 30, 2011

Budget Receipts $ 840,314
Budget Expenses $ 866,648
Debt $ 446,837

Pictured above are the people in which you have invested this season through the budget. Mentors celebrated our fifth school year at South Knoxville Elementary as part of the KidsHope USA mentoring initiative. Through your gifts, you have touched the lives of students and have helped turn this school from being an “at-risk” elementary school into a turnaround success. These mentors have tutored shared and loved on children for Christ. Many of these children frequent our worship services and Bible Studies, and several of them were a part of our Kids Camp in Wears Valley at Camp BaYoCa. In Columbus, Ohio, the Golden Notes performed at Knightsbridge Assisted Living Center on their way to Niagara Falls. They were the first church choir to perform at the facility.

We could not do this without your gifts to the budget. These resources provide the staff, transportation, supplies, and equipment to make these events possible. If you have any questions about your enclosed contribution statement or for more information about the church’s finances, be sure to contact Amy DePriest in the finance office. July-September promises to be just as active and fruitful. Please be praying for our youth mission trip to South Africa, the start of a new school year, and the beginning of Fall Bible Study and Wednesday evening programs.

Since July 1, 2010, God has poured out his blessings on First Baptist. Over the last 12 months, our budget giving has risen 8.4%, and our debt has decreased almost 50%. The growth over the past 12 months of giving positions us for a great season of planning for the 2012 budget. We have entered this summer with no budget reductions or freezes for the first time since 2008. Councils, staff, and committees are already dreaming about what is possible in 2012 now that this past year has been so successful. We welcome your input in this process and look forward to what God is going to continue to do in the coming weeks.

Pictured above:

Dena Metts visits with one of the residents in Columbus on the Golden Notes Tour

Glenna Atchley, Barbara Butler, and Mary Nelle Robbins enjoy lunch with their “little sisters” at South Knoxville Elementary.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sign up to #mentor @ South Knoxville Elementary this fall: 1 hour, 1 child, 1 day. @fbcknox

Kids hope mentors 2011 from First Baptist Church, Knoxville on Vimeo.

Read first hand about the power of this ministry from Ryan Plemmons. Ryan is interning with us this summer:

Kids Hope USA Anniversary

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, ministers and volunteers gathered at South Knoxville Elementary to celebrate yet another anniversary of the Kids Hope USA program. The program, which began at First Baptist Church five years ago, involves tutors from FBC working with students who have poor marks in reading. While there, tutors often form incredible bonds with their student that transcends the reading material. Kids and tutors often do out-of-class activities and have fun outside the classroom, allowing tutors to show the kids the love and compassion of their Lord. As the school year came to a close, kids and their parents were treated to hot dogs, chips and cookies. Kids could lso be seen playing on inflatable toys and generally enjoying the end of a hard year of school.

While not a tutor, I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with Trevor, a fourth grader at the school. He was extremely talkative and funny, and his favorite hobbies involve reading joke books and lifting weights. While he seems to enjoy school, there is plenty of hardship in this home. His mother is unemployed, and he as been forced to mow lawns in order to make ends meet for his mother and sisters. Having met him, I realized that all of the blessings that have populated my life and the lives of many inside the Church are not available to all. Poverty can at times seem so distant and removed from our lives, but Trevor lives only minutes away from our church and from our comfortable lifestyles. This is a challenging reality to deal with. Thankfully, programs like Kids Hope keep children like Trevor interested and engaged in school, and provide them with an opportunity to escape their tough situation through education. Programs like these are vital to improving our community, and I would like to take this opportunity to commend all the people who tutor or volunteer with the young ones at South Knoxville Elementary. Your work is certainly not easy, but the difference you make in the lives of these children is both tangible and eternal. The love of Christ you exhibit to these kids is incredible, and the impact you are making in the school is amazing. Keep up the good work!

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