Blog: Pastor's Desk
God has a purpose for First Calvary Baptist Church and I am sure that His purpose for our ministry here involves the edification of people and the glorification of God. For years our Church Motto has been that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION! Since 1996 our Mission has been: First Calvary Baptist Church is a local Body of Christ which seeks to empower the spiritual lives of the people of Durham and its vicinity.
November 24, 2013 :: Author:
Give thanks to the Lord!
Even in November there is much ministry going on at First Calvary! Special thanks to our Congregational Nurse, Sister Betty Borden for another wonderful Senior Lunch & Learn! The presentation on memory loss was extremely appropriate and very important. It is a message that we either all deal with at some point or another, or we know someone who does. Speaking of which…..here are a few reminders for your memory. Don’t forget
to PRAY for this ministry as we move into the final weeks of 2013. Don’t forget
to enjoy every minute of the holiday. Spend time with your family and eat some good, home cooked food! J Lastly, please don’t forget
that we will not have Noon Day Prayer or Bible Study on this Wednesday. Enjoy “Thanksgiving Eve” with your family!
God's Word tells us "It is good to give thanks to the LORD!" (Psalm 92:1). As we come into this Thanksgiving season, what are some of the blessings that you are thankful for? How will you celebrate the holiday? It’s not just about good food and football…it’s always about our Lord and Savior who has given to us a chance to have a relationship with Him. As we come into this Thanksgiving season, what are some of the blessings that you are thankful for? As we gather with our families we can remember that we are purposed for greatness. As children with a divine inheritance, we can move forward with assurance and adoration knowing that "All Things" are working together for our good because we love the Lord (Romans 8:28). Remember, not some-but “All Things”. God has truly blessed us and we have much to be thankful for! Don’t forget that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
November 10, 2013 :: Author:
Twenty-two years of service!!!
Twenty-two years of service and counting! Today, I celebrate with the people of First Calvary Baptist Church as Pastor of this loving congregation. During these TWENTY-TWO years, I have worked to keep my commitment and remain obedient to the call of God on my life with regards to shepherding His people at First Calvary. This reminds me that GOD IS STILL IN CHARGE! As I have said before, I am blessed and proud to be the Pastor of First Calvary Baptist Church. How grateful I am to have the opportunity to serve as your under-shepherd. I ask that you keep the entire Davis family in your prayers.
As I reflect over the past 22 years, I am so grateful for the 150 original people who were active when I arrived and for those elders who thought of enough of me as a Christian Minister to elect and select me to be the Pastor of First Calvary. To that end, I would like to thank the entire congregation and church officers for their support. Also, I would like to thank my church staff for your continued hard work and dedication to the ministry of First Calvary. Of course, I am able to do what I do because of my loving wife and my awesome sons! I am blessed by God with their continual sacrifice as I strive to be a Pastor after God's own heart.
Since our Church Anniversary, I’ve been pondering several things which I have since given to the Lord! I do, however, want to share something about the slack in the commitment towards our ministry work here at First Calvary. So many people are asking “why can’t we do this” and “why don’t we have that” going on in the life of this church. Well, I’ve got your answer: it’s because we are not doing things for our own self-glory, instead we do what we do for the Lord… and that’s where our commitment waivers. Read this carefully…‘U’ are what is missing in “Ch rch”,and until ‘U’ get in place we will always be challenged to effectively carry out our ministry work here at First Calvary. I want to remind all of us of the words Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Please be mindful of the coming events in ministry this month. On this coming Saturday, the Prison Ministry will host the Durham Community Prison Summit. This event is a wonderful opportunity for persons to learn more about how we can help those who are re-entering society from incarceration. Youth, this is a good event for you to attend as well. Unfortunately, this topic touches more families and communities than we would like, but events like this one give us hope. Also in November, we invite those Mature Adults, age 60 and above, to attend the next Senior Lunch and Learn on the 22nd. These events are a wonderful time for our mature members and friends to fellowship and learn about pertinent topics….oh, and have a great lunch! Please plan to be there…who knows what surprises may be in store at this one!! I am certainly glad to be the Pastor of AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
October 27, 2013 :: Author:
129th Church Anniversary
One hundred and twenty-nine years of serving and worshiping in the WEST END COMMUNITY…what a great blessing! We have been a congregation serving this area for 129 years as a living organism…as a church…and as a family! As we celebrate, let us not forget those who gave of their TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURES to the ongoing development of this congregation’s mission. Our theme of“Doing Something Different…Ole’ Time Religion” reminds us from where we have come. God has blessed this ministry and each and every family here so much. It is clear to see from our bulletin cover that First Calvary has come a LOOONG way, y’all! Hopefully, our history will remind us that we have to be an ever learning church in order to be an ever growing church…and we have to be an ever loving church in order to be an ever discipled church.
Many of you will remember my saying that GOD LOVES TO STRETCH HIS PEOPLE as a focus for stewardship. This reminds me of a rubber band. Rubber bands have the amazing quality of elasticity, which allows them to retain their shape after being stretched. Today we are going to be stretched by asking each adult disciple of First Calvary to contribute an amount above their Tithes and Offerings ($150.00 is suggested). We must continue to move towards our financial goals, so that many more things can be done throughout this ministry. First Calvary Baptist Church must continue to be that bold and courageous congregation that empowers and enlightens our community. We must continue to be that congregation that reaches out to the isolated generation that needs to accept Jesus. Let us remember always that since 1884 we have been and still are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
October 20, 2013 :: Author:
“What Can I Do for My Church Today?”
Fall is here! So, let’s “FALL”! (Don’t forget that time changes on Sunday, November 3rd
…just an early reminder so you will be on time for service that day J) Let’s “FALL” into place with discipline and determination to let our light shine. Let’s continue to be a light and to be influential in every aspect of this community. I am praying that we“grow to show” and as we “show” others will“know” that we are His Disciples.
We are on the heels of our 129th
Church Anniversary. We will gather here on NEXT SUNDAY to celebrate God’s goodness…so come one, come all and meet new people or see old people J. Our Church Anniversary and Sacrificial Sunday Worship will start at 9:00 a.m. promptly. Don’t forget our financial gifts above our tithes and offerings on that day as well ($150.00 is the suggested amount). Parking will be extended and we will need your cooperation and patience as we get everyone parked and in for service. Get here early! We are looking for a great time in the Lord as we celebrate “Doing Something Different…Ole’ Time Religion”. Wear your overalls, bonnets, straw hats, and bring a handkerchief to wave!
Lastly, I hope you have all enjoyed our Fall Family Harvest thus far. Each Wednesday this month, we will gather to learn and fellowship with one another within special presentations. I am looking for all of us to be present on Wednesdays at 6:45 pm., for Praise and Worship and the learning sessions. The type of spiritual growth that we need to experience is more than just showing up for Sunday Worship and/or Bible Study on Wednesday. The spiritual growth desired is when people ask the question,“What Can I Do for My Church Today?” and then do it! That’s what we need in this congregation: “Nike Folks”, JUST DO IT! Find out today what you can do for your church and not what your church can do for you! Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION.
October 13, 2013 :: Author:
Let Your Light Shine
Thanks to our Visionary Ministry for their ongoing efforts in sponsoring our Fall Family Harvest. On every Wednesday this month, we join together and study from the overall theme of “Let Your Light Shine”. The church is to be a family that ministers to families It functions as a family, models family life, and cares for the family members within it. This is what our Fall Family Harvest, formerly the Whole Family Conference, is all about. Let’s make sure that on Wednesdays in October, we come out and support these events. There are three more weeks of exciting presentations to come. Don’t miss your blessings! Mark your calendars, First Calvary, and plan to attend each informative session. It is a time of enjoyable fellowship and enlightening family discussion. The Harvest Festival will close out the month on the 31st (please bring in your healthy candy and healthy snack donations and come lend a hand and volunteer!)
Additionally during this month, we will also celebrate our 129th
Church Anniversary. 129 years is most certainly a long time and we have been a staple in the West End Community from the very beginning. We have so much to be thankful for! Please plan to worship with us in one service at 9:00 a.m. on October 27th
. We will celebrate with some “Ole Time Religion”! Don’t forget that we are asking each adult member to give a Monetary Sacrificial Offering of any amount ($150.00 is suggested) above your tithes on this special day. If I might be transparent for a moment, all of us are facing some financial difficulties but please don’t allow your difficulties to derail you from getting the blessings of God by sharing and sowing into the ministry work of First Calvary Baptist Church.
Finally, in their book entitled, THE FIVE STAR CHURCH, Stan Toler and Alan Nelson, write, “Building an effective team depends on putting the right people in the right place.” During this month October and November, all ministry elections should be held. I need all leaders to be prayerful because accountability is a must! Let’s get the right people in the right place so that we can continue to be AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
October 6, 2013 :: Author:
E3- “Empower, Enhance, Evangelize
I write this Desk Message as I process the knowledge that the Pastor Emeritus of my home church, Dr. Mack King Carter, has entered into that Eternal Rest. I will remember him forever for his Pastoral wisdom and love for Judi and I. I look forward to sharing with Mrs. Carter and the New Mount Olive Baptist Church family in the homegoing celebration. Thanks to all that have shared with condolences with me throughout this week.
It has been declared that we write the vision. Well, here it is: “First Calvary Baptist Church is a local body of Christ which seeks to empower the spiritual lives of the people of Durham and its vicinity. It serves as a community-based congregation serving people of all socioeconomic standards, enhancing their quality of life by ministering to the whole person. We are committed to an evangelistic thrust which is centered around the biblical application of the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ.” NOW…we took that Mission Statement and made it“compact size”…like a Ford Fusion J…so EVERYONE can remember it and know what our focus for overall ministry should be. E3
-“Empower spiritual lives, Enhance quality of life, Evangelize the lost”! You can remember that, can’t you? Let us commit the task to memory!
I believe that God has given us this vision and that it is bigger than any of us could possibly have for ourselves. To accomplish the vision, God desires for us to grow spiritually, numerically and financially as a church. I think a Healthy Church is one where fellowship exists, discipleship is demonstrated and effective stewardship is established. I must remind us that a healthy church is also a growing church, a learning church, a loving church and a giving church.
Speaking of giving, don’t forget that we are asking each adult member to give a Sacrificial Offering of $150.00 above your tithes at our Annual Church Anniversary on October 27th
. Plan to join us at 9:00 a.m. on that day as we worship together in one service and take a trip down memory lane with some “Ole’ Time Religion”.
Let us come together each Wednesday this month as we celebrate the Fall Family Harvest. Each week, our Visionary Ministry, along with the cooperative efforts of various other ministries will engage us in some exciting topics for discussion and growth. Don’t forget that Prayer & Praise will begin at 6:45 p.m. and the sessions will kick off at 7:00 p.m. Come join us and help us continue to show this community, city, state and country that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
September 29, 2013 :: Author:
Ambassador for Christ
Today is Singles’ Sunday! Thanks to our Singles in Love with Christ Ministry for a power-packed few days of learning and fellowship. Today we welcome Minister Kadia Edwards! We know that she will share a Word from the Lord that is not only relevant to the singles, but to EVERYONE else as well!
Special thanks to Minister Carter and the Christian Education Ministry for a great Christian Education Month. We appreciate your efforts in making a well planned and informative Christian Education Workshop and Promotion Sunday event. We need for all of our teachers, volunteers, ministers, and those who are life-long learners (that should be EVERYONE…) to be excited about Christian Education and discipleship at First Calvary. Speaking of that, I want to share with you several characteristics of disciples and Ambassadors for Christ:
- A disciple and an Ambassador for Christ is a learner-open and teachable
- A disciple and an Ambassador for Christ puts Christ first in all areas of his/her life.
- A disciple and an Ambassador for Christ is committed to a life in Christ and is taking steps to separate from sin.
- A disciple and an Ambassador for Christ demonstrates faithfulness and a desire to learn & apply the Word of God through hearing it preached & taught.
We also “rolled out” our abbreviated Mission Statement…. commit it to memory….E3
… Empower spiritual lives, Enhance quality of life, & Evangelize the lost….that’s it in a nutshell!
Did you miss the Biblical Institute this year? Shame on you if you did...Oh my Lord, what a time! Dr. David Forbes certainly did a wonderful job reminding us that we are “Ambassadors for Christ”. I look forward to next year being just as blessed. Speaking of “looking forward” October is upon us….it will be Church Anniversary Month at First Calvary! Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our “Fall Family Harvest”(the Whole Family Conference) each Wednesday in October. We also look forward to seeing you at the New Disciples’ Fellowship and we need your support at the “Harvest Festival”. It’s gonna be a power-packed month of activity! (Oh, one more thing….PLEASE donate canned goods to our Food Pantry…we need your support there too!)
Fall is in the air! You can already feel the “nip” in the air in the mornings and that is a reminder that summer is on its way out and cooler days are ahead. Today, I ask the believers of Christ in this congregation to join me as we fall back into a Spirit of Discipleship! We need everyone’s TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURES; beginning with your presence in our Study Ministries…that’s Sunday School and Bible Study…and don’t forget Noon Day Prayer on Wednesdays. We also need you to continue being cheerful givers of your finances as we move into the final quarter of the year. Let’s fall into place as we continue to be led by the Holy Spirit. Remember always we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
September 15, 2013 :: Author:
Special thanks this week to our Congregational Nurse, Sister Betty Borden, and the Health and Wellness Ministry for a wonderful Health Fair! Let’s do what we can to continue “Guarding Our Temple”! We are concerned with both the spiritual and physical man. Thank you to those that came out and the vendors and guests as well. See you in 2015!
As we develop disciples, each person must make a commitment to attend one or both aspects of our Study Ministry. If we are to grow faithfully, physically and spiritually, we must love learning about God. Bishop Donald Hilliard shares this thought in his book entitled, Church Growth From an African American Perspective, “Next to preaching the gospel for the purpose of bringing lost people to Christ, nothing the church does is more important than educating believers to become mature, confident, and committed disciples of Christ who are equipped and motivated to change their world and claim their families, friends, workplaces, and communities for God.” It is my prayer that First Calvary will continue to have effective study ministries and that our desire to learn more about Christ will never cease.
On Saturday, September 21st, our Christian Education Ministry will host the Annual Christian Education workshop. All ministers, teachers, assistant teachers, leaders and those interested in developing their teaching ministry skills are invited to attend. Of all of the factors that can determine a congregation’s growth, having an effective Christian Education Ministry is critical. A well-organized, well-run and well-conceived program of Christian Education will promote church growth. Christian Education Promotion Sunday will be held on September 22nd. Then, we will cap things off with our Annual Biblical Institute, September 23rd- 25th. God has blessed us to have as a guest minister Dr. David Forbes, Sr., retired Pastor from Raleigh, NC. Mark your calendar now and plan to be here each night at 7:00 p.m. In the words of the Late Dr. Jonathan Jackson, former ITC Professor, let us remember that “Christian Education is that ministry that under girds all other ministries of the church”. After our Christian Education events, we will move forward and get “Back to Basics” with the Singles’ Conference on September 26th-29th. There is a lot of ministry going on as we “fall into Fall”! Let us always remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
September 8, 2013 :: Author:
What do you preach after 36yrs?
What do you preach after 36 years? Jesus! His being Crucified, Dead and Buried….but then one must speak about the Resurrection Power He gives to all who love Him! This time of year always marks a special moment in my life. I am once again remembering that 11 a.m. Sunday service, back in September 1977 when I preached my first sermon. Under the tutelage of the late Dr. George E. Weaver, I preached my initial sermon entitled, “NOT DISOBEYING THE HEAVENLY VISION”. I thought about that sermon as I attended the National Baptist Convention, USA and listened to many who shared about their ups and downs in ministry. One preacher even titled a sermon, “How to Handle the Messiness of an Oxen Stable”. It was an amazing experience for me as I shared with the thousands of National Baptist delegates in Charlotte, NC.
September is full of events at First Calvary. Please join our Christian Education Ministry at the Annual Christian Education Workshop (September 21st) and at the Annual Biblical Institute (September 23rd-25th). Please RSVP for the Workshop at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of the month, we will celebrate with our Singles at the Singles’Conference (September 26th-29th). Also mark your calendars for two other special events…on September 9th there will be a Town Hall Meeting with State Representative Larry Hall at 7:00 p.m. and on September 18th we will have a special Bible Study on the Affordable Health Care Plan. Lastly, a special thank you goes out to Nurse Betty Borden, with the support of our Health and Wellness Ministry, for another WONDERFUL FCBC Health Fair!
I would like to share with you this information regarding Christian Education as we look forward to BOTH the Christian Education and Singles events. One Christian Education website has this to say about Christian Education: Christian Education Ministry involves the administration and coordination of programs or strategies to facilitate the spiritual growth or discipleship of believers into Christ-likeness. Christian education happens when people (1) Learn the Bible, (2) Accept God’s Grace, (3) Grow in Christian Faith, (4) Become an ACTIVE Part of a Christian Community, and (5) Answer God’s Call to Christian Living. Christian education does not happen quickly. Christian education is not something we do once as children—then when we get older, we’ve simply got it. No, Christian education is a lifelong process of learning, believing, growing, and serving. Christian education is a never-ending process that helps Christians grow as they study, worship, fellowship, and serve together. So, you see, this supports our idea that it’s not enough to be in church on Sunday. You’ve got to GO to GROW! Let’s continue to be AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
September 1, 2013 :: Author:
LABORERS are few!
August 18, 2013 :: Author:
It’s Mission Sunday! Our Senior Missionaries and the Daughters of Calvary are leading us in worship. I would like to thank our servants for their untiring work for the advancement of the kingdom here on earth. However, let’s be honest, every follower of Jesus is to be involved in mission! Let’s ask ourselves this question: WHAT HAVE I DONE FOR HIM LATELY? Service… that’s what it all about! We encourage each of you to get and stay involved in service to others. We are truly blessed to be a blessing! Let’s do what we can to take that idea outside of these walls and affect someone’s life for the better! There are plenty of opportunities for deliberate service within the life of this church and within this community. Our tutorial ministry, PROJECT FINE, will need tutors this year. Our Food Pantry and Clothing Closet will need volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ONCE WE OFFICIALLY OPEN THE BESSIE SMITH HOUSE. Once a month on the 3rd Saturday is an opportunity to serve in the Mobile Market program. Mission should be an on-going life project…for both young and old. Remember, “ONLY WHAT YOU DO FOR CHRIST WILL LAST…..”
We appreciate all of the faithful who have contributed to our Food Pantry thus far. DON’T STOP! We NEED a food donation from each family of this church. Just think of how stocked our pantry will be, allowing us to serve even more within the community. Don’t have time to “pick out” groceries? Well, the next time you are at the grocery store, “pick up” a gift card and get it directly to Sister Lindsay in the church office…we will do the shopping for you—but ONLY for the months of August and September (preferably Food Lion). See? Making a donation to our Food Pantry is easy as PIE! Also, we encourage each family to search their closets and make a clothing donation to our clothing closet (donation times listed in the bulletin announcements). We need YOU to help make our mission efforts in the community even stronger!
This Wednesday, we will hold our annual Back to School night. Parents of school aged children, make plans to be there with your youth! This annual event is an outreach of our Christian Education Ministry and Project FINE. Please donate much needed school supply items for this cause…we need the items TODAY, BUT BY TUESDAY AT THE LATEST. Plan to join us for dinner, Praise and Worship and a special program geared towards ensuring academic success. Be there, PLEASE PARENTS AND YOUTH! Remember always that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
August 11, 2013 :: Author:
We are called to "GO"
As we studied this past week in Bible Study, our mission is not optional but obligatory. We are called to “Go.....” The message for us this week is in these words, “If I can help somebody, as I pass along, If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song, If I can show somebody, how they're travelling wrong, Then my living shall not be in vain.” Each day we live and have our being, God does something awesome! And how AWESOME it is that it’s Missions Month at First Calvary!
During this month, we shine the spotlight on those ministries and organizations that serve the community. Please don’t forget to bring in non-perishable food items for our Food Pantry and your gently used clothing for our growing clothing closet (I know you have some J). There are specific times to bring your clothing items, take them straight to the Smith House….we need hangers too. Remember Jesus said, “When you’ve done it to one of the least of these, you’ve done it to me……” Who makes the church move forward? We all do. Who makes the church grow? We all do. The church is never “they” or “them”. It is always “US”. We need your help and support to continue our mission efforts in the community. Please help us by donating both food and clothing.
Coming up is the Youth Ministry Car/Bike/Fashion Expo on August 17th. Let’s support our young folk in this venture by coming to see the show! Also, please don’t forget that on August 21st we will have our annual Back to School Night. We encourage you to donate school supplies to be distributed to our youth during this event. All parents, students and educators are encouraged to be in attendance. I know that our college freshmen and returning college students will be leaving soon for school. It is your Pastor’s prayer that you stay engaged in His presence and power and that you keep the main thing the main thing! Never forget whose you are.
We encourage and invite each of you to join us in our Study Ministries here at First Calvary. It is my prayer that each disciple in this congregation will commit themselves to this aspect of ministry. We need your support, so please go to Sunday School and come each Wednesday night for Bible Study (don’t forget Noon Day Prayer on Wednesdays as well). I remind you that a learning congregation is a growing congregation! Ready, Set…..GROW! Let’s move forward in excellence and excitement because we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
August 4, 2013 :: Author:
Get Ready for Missions Month
A special shout out to the men for a well planned Men’s Month! From the movie showing…to the Urban Ministries Outreach…to the cookout…to the Men’s Breakfast & Lifebuilders’ Conference….to a SPECIAL Bible Study (don’t worry fellas…we will win the Bible Quiz Bowl next time J!)…the men were in full effect…and full fellowship! In July, we were reminded that we are ALL “Soldiers for Christ”!
Now, August has arrived and it’s Missions Month at First Calvary! I am really concerned about our attitude towards mission. I encourage us to “check” our mission efforts, not only collectively but individually as well. The questions are, “What have I done for God lately outside of church life?” “What can God use you for?” and “Are you allowing Him to use you to bless others?” I hope that throughout this month each of us will find something or someone to carry out a missionary cause for.
It is my prayer that First Calvary will continue to give towards the well-being of those organizations that help the disenfranchised, unemployed and despaired. They say if you do something for 21 days straight, it will become a habit. Let’s make mission a habit. Never forget that we are held accountable by the Spirit of God to care for the least, left out and the lost. I would like to remind each family to bring in a bag FULL of non-perishable food items for our Food Pantry. This is a wonderful way to give back that is so easy to do.
There is much going on at First Calvary this month. Mission activities, the next “Dance like David Danced” family event, (August 9th)… oh yeah! Invite an un-churched person to join with us on the 9th, the Annual Christian Education Trip and Associate Ministers’ Retreat (August 10th), the Youth Council Car/Bike/Fashion Expo (August 17th), our Annual Back to School Rally (August 21st), the 1st Annual “Seeds We Sow” Walk-a-Thon (August 24th), and more! Also, students and teachers, time is winding down….almost time for a new school year for traditional schools…and year-round schools have already begun…here’s to a GREAT, BLESSED year! Let’s work to stay engaged in His presence and power…in our schools, in our homes, in our communities, and in our church. Always remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
July 7, 2013 :: Author:
The Beginning of Manhood Month
Congratulations go to the Youth Council on the close of a wonderful Youth Month! Keep up the great work as you do more to remind our youth that they have a mission to serve God. Young folk, we need your participation and excitement to continue to grow, remember, the “iDisciple Movement” continues…
Now we are in our annual Celebration of Manhood Month. Many of the month’s activities are centered on getting the Male population of our congregation active in Kingdom work. Our theme for this year is: “Soldiers for Christ”. The goal for this month of celebration and in our Male Summit meetings is to get our men motivated and become a major force in the Kingdom work here at First Calvary. Calling all males… get excited and get involved!
Finally, let’s study our highlighted male from the Bible. This week, I would like to remind you of the story of Abraham, the Father of Many Nations. Abraham’s story can be found in Genesis 12-22 (here’s where I encourage you to read this story during your devotional time this week… J). Abraham’s story is familiar; he was a man that loved God, followed Him, and was asked to do some specific things in obedience to God, including sacrifice his own son. Quite often in this Biblical passage, Abraham didn’t know what was coming next, but he was ready to do what God told him to do. How awesome and yet scary at the same time! Not knowing what is coming next can be terrifying. If we know what’s coming, we can prepare ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. However, if we don’t know what’s around the next bend, we are thrown into uncertainty and chaos. Our only resource is to throw ourselves on the wisdom and mercy of God. Abraham discovered that this is a good place to be. What about us? What is God calling us to? What is that “faith move” that we need to make in order to be blessed beyond belief? It may be scary, but Abraham’s story shows us that when we move when God says move, it is a move in the right direction. Soooo…..let’s get moving! Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
June 16, 2013 :: Author:
“FATHER KNOWS BEST”
TO ALL THE FATHER’S, MAY THIS DAY BE A GREAT DAY…FULL OF ENJOYMENT AND CELEBRATION!
It is my prayer that as we celebrate fatherhood, we recognize the awesome responsibility that God has created us for and called us to. Let’s make sure that we live a life that is pleasing in the sight of God. Growing up there was a sitcom entitled, “FATHER KNOWS BEST
”. The structure of that TV series relayed an important message: Fathers should be role models for their children and they should be care takers and providers for their households. Our families today need FATHERS, WHO KNOW WHAT’S BEST. So Fathers… Grandfathers… God-fathers… Brothers…Uncles… let’s seek to do what’s best and God will do the rest!
Thanks to our VBS Team and Christian Education Ministry for the studious and sociable time that we had this past week in Vacation Bible School. The “Jesus Family Reunion: The Remix” was great….and our adult study, Follow Me, was eye-opening as well It was an awesome time…with awesome teaching, awesome meals, awesome fellowship and awesome worship. It was a HUGE success! As usual our Church Celebrations Committee did a wonderful job in planning a great day of fellowship and fun at our Annual Family Fun Day on yesterday! There was fun for everyone…and we were eating…line dancing…bingo playing…participating in field day…and even enjoying the pool…WOW! What a wonderful time in family fellowship….it truly was a “Jesus Family Reunion”!
It was recently asked, “What does First Calvary do for its members?” Well this past week and the rest of this month that question is being answered. The past week and the rest of this month (and every month really) serve as a great example of what we do for our fellowship. None of these ministry activities could have occurred without the financial and physical support of the people of God in this loving/sharing congregation.
Calling all our youth & children….the spotlight is on YOU! We are in an“iDisciple” Movement! This coming weekend will offer our Annual Youth WORDshop and activities. Please sign up and plan to come out and bring some of your friends. We will also celebrate Youth Sunday at both services on next Sunday. Lastly, don’t forget that the month will end with our Youth Gospel Explosion! I am looking forward to an awesome Voices of Calvary and Tots of Praise presentation! As always, thanks First Calvary for being AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
June 2, 2013 :: Author:
After having such a great Brainstorming Session on yesterday, I‘m wondering if the people who are declaring membership/discipleship in this fold really take it seriously. I would like to thank all of our leaders of the Visionary Ministry for such great support. Awesome Kudus go out to all other leaders who shared in this wonderful event. Again, special shout out to those leaders, ministry representatives, and disciples that attended! It is my hope that more of us will become active in ministry here at First Calvary. We need you to make it successful for the cause of Christ!
June has arrived…and this month we will celebrate and run with Jesus on our minds. Vacation Bible School will take place on Monday thru Friday, June 10th
, with a special presentation during our closing session on Friday. As a reminder, Adults books/workbooks are available for $15.00…we are reading David Platt’s book entitled, FOLLOW ME
. Don’t forget to purchase your book. We need you to do it today, even if you’re not coming to VBS. After VBS, we will continue the study each Wednesday night thereafter.
On Saturday, June 15th
from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. we will have our Annual Family Fun Day. This is not just for families but every disciple of First Calvary Baptist Church. Feel free to bring a guest for a cost of $5.00. We are going to have lots of games, presentations and food. WE NEED YOU TO PLEASE SIGN UP and make sure that you are accounted for. We need an accurate number of attendees…so there will be an accurate amount of food! J We want everyone to participate and attend these 2 special church wide events. YOUR attendance and participation will make it even better!
Our Youth Advisory Council, under the leadership of Minister Jason Prince, will provide a wealth of activities during this month. Mark your calendars now young people! Next Sunday, June 9th, is our Annual Graduation and Recognition Sunday. The graduate recognition booklets will be disbursed on June 23rd, which is our Youth Sunday! On June 30th we will have a Special Youth event, so stay tuned for details. Parents, please let your youth participate in every event that is planned for them. Of course, we need your parental support as well. Don’t let them decide, remember you are the parent. The year is half over and there is much ministry going on at FC! We need your presence in our ministry activities and your financial support as well. Remember always that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
May 26, 2013 :: Author:
I am always reminiscent this time of year. This time marks my anniversary as a Pastor. It all began on May 24, 1981. I remember it well the fourth Sunday in Lanett, Alabama, where Mrs. Davis and I drove from Atlanta, Georgia to Lanett, Alabama where I first started as Pastor of St. John Baptist Church at 820 North Cherry Drive. It was this congregation that allowed me to serve them with joy and humility. This marks a significant time in my life. It also causes me to pause to reflect how well I am doing as a vessel for God in this work of pastoral ministry. It was the beginning of a GREAT journey and as you know, today I’m still here in this magnificent role as Pastor.
Is May REALLY almost over?? I can hardly believe it…2013 is flying by. Never fear, however, because there are still a few days left in Evangelism Month! J As it states in our Mission Statement, we are a congregation with an“evangelistic thrust……” Much of what we do here at First Calvary is for Kingdom Building. I encourage each of us to ask ourselves are we doing enough for the Kingdom of God and not our own kingdoms? With that in mind, let us remember that making disciples is our task. Witnessing is not an option…it is an obligation. Special thanks to our Evangelism Ministry, under the leadership of Sister Pamela Moncree and Minister John Carter, for your efforts in “Doing Something Different” for our Evangelism Month this year.
Leaders, officers and interested disciples, please don’t forget that you all are invited to our Annual Brainstorming session on June 1st. I am hesitant to state this, but feel that I must… this Brainstorming Session is not optional for all elected leaders-officers. Please don’t miss the “Think Tank Session”….we want to see you there and hear your thoughts! Please sign up so that we can have adequate breakfast items. Speaking of reminders, summer time is almost here and we all know what happens during the summer vacation! Please don't allow your vacation plans to keep you from coming to worship, Sunday School and Bible Study. We still need each of you to continue your financial support of this congregation even in June, July, and August. First Calvary will not take a vacation, so please don't stop being effective stewards during the coming summer months. Remember God loves TO STRETCH HIS PEOPLE and God loves CHEERFUL GIVERS! Also don’t forget to purchase your Vacation Bible School book and workbook for $15.00. Oh and before the summer gets here….here’s a special shout out to our youth that will be taking their exams….do a job well done…or if you have already taken your exams…we hope you put your best foot forward…remember young folk, you represent your families, your church, and most importantly…GOD!! Let us continue to be “AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION.”
May 19, 2013 :: Author:
Today is “Evangelism Sunday”! I’d like to take a moment to once again share our Mission/Vision Statement, “First Calvary is a local Body of Christ which seeks to empower the spiritual lives of the people of Durham and its vicinity. It serves as a community-based congregation serving people of all socioeconomic standards, enhancing their quality of life by ministering to the whole person. We are committed to an evangelistic thrust which is centered around the biblical application of the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ.” So then, First Calvary’s agenda is to be an Evangelistic congregation. I am confident that Minister Carter will bring a Word during today’s services that speaks to the importance and necessity of evangelism….those who have ears, let them hear!
What did Jesus mean when He gave the instruction to go and “make disciples”? I would suggest to you that in our efforts in embracing evangelism; let us ask ourselves, “What does it take for First Calvary Baptist Church to be a redeeming and welcoming congregation?” Do we welcome those who are marginalized or do we prohibit them from ever getting close to Christ? The Bible teaches that the people of God are unique. Peter called us “a spiritual house for a holy priesthood” and “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (I Peter 2:5,9) That makes us different and set apart. We are also created for “good works” (Ephesians 2:10) that impact the world around us. First Calvary, how committed are we to doing the “WORK OF THE MINISTRY” (Ephesians 4)? What are we willing to do to get the word out about the cause of Christ! We are called to be ambassadors for Him. The question is, are we going to be a congregation that seeks to move forward in “Doing Something Different” and accept the call? It’s about Lifestyle Evangelism. Jesus stated it best by saying that we are “The Light of the World and The Salt of the Earth….” (Matthew 5:13–16) It’s a calling and a command…. so let’s heed and GO!
Today is also Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost Sunday is a celebration of the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the early church. John the Baptist prophesied of the first Pentecost when Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). Jesus confirmed this prophecy with the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples inJohn 14:26. He showed Himself to these men after His death on the cross and His resurrection, giving convincing proofs that He was alive. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit, from whom they would receive power to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:3-8). After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the men returned to Jerusalem and joined together in prayer in an upper room. On the Day of Pentecost, just as promised, the sound of a violent wind filled the house and tongues of fire came to rest on each of them and all were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were given the power of communication, which Peter used to begin the ministry for which Jesus had prepared him. After the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples did not stay in the room basking in God’s glory but burst out to tell the world. This was the beginning of the church as we know
it. Today, in many Christian churches, Pentecost Sunday is celebrated to recognize the gift of the Holy Spirit, realizing that God’s very life, breath and energy live in believers.
What a wonderful reminder of the power we have within us to spread the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As always, we never forget that we are AN EXCITING (AND EVANGELIZING) CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
May 12, 2013 :: Author:
Ready? Set? Let’s GROW!!!
As we sang on last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, “Hallelujah, Thine the Glory…Hallelujah, Amen…Hallelujah, Thine the Glory…Revive Us Again!!” How faithful was our God to honor that request! What an awesome 3-night revival we experienced last week! Pastor Marcus Davidson really gave a Word from on High using our theme: “Doing Something Different”! If you missed any of those days (May 6th
) I encourage you to order a CD or DVD of the services. To God Be the Glory! Just a reminder, by the way, the notebook to order tapes is kept at the ministry mailboxes. You can order a CD ($5) or a DVD ($10) of recorded services whenever you are at the church. When your order is ready, someone from the Audio/Visual Ministry will call and let you know. We will have the opportunity to fellowship with Pastor Davidson’s music ministry when we host the New Mount Olive Baptist Church Choir in concert on Friday, May 24th
….make plans to be here!
It’s the second Sunday in May and you KNOW what that means….HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! We wish a day full of blessing to all of the Mothers, Grandmothers, God-mothers and those that have supported individuals like mothers! I have to give a “shout-out” to a very special Mother in my life, my loving wife and the mother of my three sons, Mrs. Judith H. Davis. I give God thanks for my Mother In-Love, Mrs. Cecelia Isham Hayes, who has played a very supportive role in our family. I also thank God for the memory of Mrs. Julia Hannah Davis, who is, by God’s Grace, the reason I am who I am today. Mothers are a blessing and a gift….from biological mothers, to “spiritual mothers”, to God-mothers, to Grandmothers, to church mothers, to “second”, “third” and “fourth” mothers J! I also extend special encouragement to those of us who have lost our mothers…may we do all we can to continue their legacies. Celebrate the “mamas” in your life, not just today, but every day.
Today is also a special day in the life of our Evangelism Month. It’s “Visitors Sunday”…. here we are “Doing Something Different” in our quest this month to “Love Christ…Share Christ”. WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME to all of our guests today (thank you, First Calvary Family, for adhering to the clarion call to invite someone to service today….let’s keep that up!) I pray that our visitors felt the love of Christ as soon as they walked in the door. Don’t let this be the last time you worship with us, we hope to see you again …and again …and again.
In closing this week, I would like to take a moment to share a few final thoughts on Evangelism. Paul said to the church at Rome…. “Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:2). I cannot say enough about the value of having a renewed mind, especially in relation to our understanding of evangelism. There are many events planned throughout this month that will focus on our efforts in Evangelism. Plan to step out of your comfort zones and do what thus said the Lord. According to Matthew’s account, Jesus gave a charge to His Disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;…”(Matthew 28: 19-20) That means that we are called to evangelize….soooo…. Ready? Set? Let’s GROW!!! Let the disciple making begin…and continue! First Calvary, remember always that we are an EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
May 5, 2013 :: Author:
Okay, Ladies! First and foremost, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your “something different” month of April! Special thanks to our Womanhood Month organizers and volunteers. Ladies, it was a great month, let’s keep that momentum going! Now, we are moving into May, recognized at First Calvary as “Revival/ Evangelism Month”. “May” it be a month of blessings! We move forward into our Evangelism emphasis this week with Praise, Prayer and the Profession of our Faith. Let me remind us that it was The Great Commission, not the great omission.
Throughout our series of Bible Studies we will highlight our thematic emphasis for the month and learn more about what evangelism is and how being a witness for Jesus is not an option (shout out to Minister Carter J).
I would like to encourage this body of faith to always remember that personal evangelism is the best way to lead people to Christ. We need more individuals committed to our Evangelistic efforts here at First Calvary. John Maxwell writes in his book entitled, The Difference Maker, that “Your Attitude Makes a Difference in Your Approach to Life, Your Attitude Makes a Difference in Your Relationship with People, Your Attitude Makes a Difference in How You Face Challenges and Your Attitude Is the Difference Maker.” As we engage in Evangelism, not just this month but always, let us do it with the right attitude.
Plan to participate in the events that will be highlighted throughout this month.
We hope all of you will join us in our Annual Spring Revival on Monday through Wednesday, beginning at 7:00 p.m. each night. Our Guest Revivalist is Pastor Marcus D. Davidson, coming to us from my home church, New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We are delighted to welcome him back and we are looking forward to what God is going to do over these next 3 days. As Pastor of First Calvary, I am sending forth this clarion call: All members of First Calvary should be in Revival not one night but all three nights.
Come out and hear God’s Word and experience an awesome time of Praise and Worship! Who knows? It might even give you something to witness about.
We often say, “Lord Send a Revival and Let It Begin with Me….” A well-known evangelist was once asked how to start a revival. He answered, "Go home, lock yourself in your room and kneel down in the middle of your floor. Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside that chalk mark. When He has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.” Hmmmm….looks like that would translate to revival starts with each of us. You have to come wit’ something to get something! So let’s get ready and come expecting a blessing!
Tomorrow is “Nurse’s Appreciation Day”! Make sure you thank the medical support personnel that you know throughout this week. There are a lot of nurses and medical professionals within this congregation….we thank you for your service….and encourage you to join our Health & Wellness Ministry and Circle of Care, if you are not already a member. A special “shout-out” and thanks to Sister Betty Borden, our Congregational Nurse (who is always ready to check Pastor’s blood pressure…and encourage him to eat healthy J)! Remember always, First Calvary, that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION.
April 28, 2013 :: Author:
Mrs. Judith Davis
Women’s activities should not be a one time a year occurrence. That being said, it is my vision that the women of First Calvary will rise up and live out our purpose as stated in Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I am thankful that God is clarifying and perfecting the vision for Women’s Ministry at First Calvary. If you have participated in any of the April events you were a witness to the loving, edifying and spirit filled women within this body of faith. Join the women at First Calvary as we vow to stop being pew sitters and move to being praise “pontificators”. We are moving forward in faith, entering God’s House to glorify Him and exiting to enlighten and uplift our fellow brothers and sisters.
I encourage and admonish you to continue reading your Word everyday (not just the Book of Proverbs, but the ENTIRE Bible). As you study God’s Word, allow“the Word to do the work”. We are AN EXCITING CHURCH (WITH EXCITED WOMEN) EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
April 21, 2013 :: Author:
Women Developing Godly Wisdom
Today, after the 10:45 a.m. service, we will have our New Disciples Fellowship and Ministry Fair. We invite all of our New Disciples that have united with First Calvary over the past 6 months to join us in the Fellowship Hall for this event. Okay, I also invite all others to find out about our numerous Ministry opportunities. (I wish we had the space to highlight our ministries every Sunday but we don’t!) This will be a great opportunity for you to find out more about our ministries and how you can become involved (yes, ALL FC Ministries should be represented with information to share). Special thanks goes to our Hospitality Ministry for their organization of today’s Fellowship.
I would like to thank Associate Ministers Deberry and Barnes for leading us in worship last Sunday. As some of you know, I was in San Diego, CA, last week for the National School Board Association. My absence was due to a School Board requirement but who knew that I would get a chance to worship at the Shadow Mountain Community Church, where David Jeremiah serves as Pastor. It was a refreshing moment because I was able to sit with my wife in worship. J
I want to take this time to once again thank our Womanhood Committee for the work they have done this year. Thank you for allowing your creativity to work within the boundaries of our Christian Faith! Like all other years- it’s been a really exciting Womanhood Month…more events are scheduled, I would like to invite all of us on Saturday, April 27th, (time to be announced) for the dedication of “Ma Bessie’s Place”. Stay tuned for more information. In closing out our Annual Celebration of Womanhood Month, on that same Saturday our Sistas will be involved in community service at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park…come one, come all! On Womanhood Sunday during both services, our guest minister will be Minister Arlecia Simmons, PhD, coming back to us from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.
Right after Womanhood Month, Evangelism Month is coming up….get ready for some power-packed ministry events! Also, don’t forget that the first week in May (May 6th-8th) we will celebrate our Annual Spring Revival with Pastor Marcus Davidson from my home church, New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Get ready for a great time of Worship! Remember our Annual Spring Revival begins nightly at 7:00 p.m. PLEASE mark your calendars now and plan to be with us each night. It was an AWESOME experience last year and we are believing God for an even greater time this year. Remember, First Calvary, we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
April 14, 2013 :: Author:
Womanhood: "In His Image"
We’re in the month of April and that means that it is Womanhood Month at First Calvary! We are preparing for an awesome move of God over the coming days. Our ladies were “rippin’ the runway”, as they say, at yesterday’s “In His Image” Fashion Show and Brunch! The Womanhood Committee has planned more exciting events for the ladies over the coming days... so sisters (old and young), come out and be blessed…and bring somebody! The women of First Calvary are truly an integral part of the growth of this body. The entire First Calvary church family (men, women, boys and girls) should be in prayer for the success of our Womanhood Month!
I would like to share with you the following characteristics of a Godly woman A Godly woman should seek to be: Agreeable… It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman (Proverbs 21:19); Excellent…An excellent woman who can find? She is far more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10); Gracious & Honorable… A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches (Proverbs 11:16); Kindhearted & Generous…She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet (Proverbs 31:20-21); She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26); Wise… The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down (Proverbs 14:1). Ladies (and men), I encourage you to continue to seek God as you move forward in your careers, your families and your communities. YOU make a difference in this Kingdom work….don’t you forget it! All of us at First Calvary, working together in ministry, make this AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
April 7, 2013 :: Author:
Our first Womanhood Month event was held yesterday. Thanks again to all those who planned and participated. Now, as we move forward in our Womanhood Month celebration, I again encourage our ladies and young ladies to plan to be involved in the events and ministry activities that are scheduled to take place. Please see the information in today’s bulletin for a complete list of the events to come. Special thanks to our Congregational Nurse, Sister Betty Borden, for your WONDERFUL work in once again providing our “mature adults” with a valuable Lunch and Learn session on this past Friday. We encourage those over 60 to make sure you “don’t fall for it” and stay safe.
Spring is in the air…can your sinuses and allergies feel it? J It is my hope that as we “spring” into this new season outside, more of us will “spring” into action and become even more involved in the ministry events and other activities for the good of this congregation. There is so much ministry work to do…and there is something for EVERYONE to get involved in and do. From our over 30 ministries to something as easy as making a monthly donation of non-perishable, non-expired food items to our Food Pantry, everyone in this body of faith should….and can….be busy doing SOMETHING for the good of God’s Kingdom. Ready? Set? Let’s GO….and Let’s GROW! Never forget that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
March 31, 2013 :: Author:
Happy Resurrection Sunday! On last Sunday, we remembered that there was “A Sacrificial Payment”….and with that we say thank you for your giving on Sacrificial Sunday. We spent Holy Week celebrating with our Music Concert, the Lenten Service, and our Maundy Thursday Worship. All of that culminates today, when we celebrate the “RISEN SAVIOR”. Yes, He decided to die but it was also destined for Him to get up as our Lord and Savior!
Allow me to share the following passage: “Something happened 2000 years ago, something that has changed the course of history from B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (the Latin Anno Domini--the year of our Lord). That “something” was so dramatic it completely changed lives. That something was an empty tomb! Even after 2,000 more years of history, a large portion of mankind hasn’t forgotten that empty tomb and the historical record of the resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ. Without the Resurrection, we are lost! If Christ had not been raised, then our preaching is vain and our faith also is vain. Christ’s resurrection proves He was from God and that He spoke the truth--He is the way, the truth and the life. The resurrection proves Jesus was unique, one of a kind, and it marks Him out and authenticates Him as God’s Son.” (adapted from The Resurrection Factor, McDowell) Ain’t that GOOD NEWS?! My friend and colleague, Dr. Paula McGee, asked me if I’ve ever preached about inside the Tomb. She stated that it was inside the Tomb that the Gospel came alive! Yes He Is Alive!
Tomorrow is April….can you believe it? No I’m not fooling! J We will be doing many different things thanks to our Womanhood Committee, and we certainly appreciate their cooperative planning and support. Ladies, the theme for this year is “Woman Developing Godly Wisdom”! It is my prayer that the “SISTAHS” of First Calvary will participate in the activities and mission opportunities scheduled for the month. Let me encourage our young ladies to participate as well. Lastly, I encourage our “mature adult members”, age 60 and up, to come and spend your “spring break” at our Senior Lunch and Learn on Friday, April 5th (RSVP TODAY!) First Calvary, there is much to do around here and a lot going on! Let us remember that we continue to be “AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION”!
March 17, 2013 :: Author:
WE ARE CALLED TO GIVE
Today we are celebrating Scout Sunday. The various scouting efforts here at First Calvary have taken on some new ventures. Scouting at FCBC is MINISTRY…as it should be. Special thanks to the Scout Leadership Team, each leader, and every family that is involved with this ever-growing ministry. We will take time today to honor the memory of Deaconess Juanita Montgomery, who served our Scouting Ministry FAITHFULLY and is greatly missed. I would like to take a moment to encourage our Scouts….both the youth and the adults. Remember as we interact with one another and with the community, Scouts should be “Setting an example”… “Capable of working with others”…”Open to new possibilities”… “Under the influence of God and effective leadership”… “Trustworthy”…and “Smart decision-makers”. It’s not always easy to work with others, but this is a ministry that is all about service….and as believers in Christ, service is what we are all called to do!
Special thanks to those who supported Calvary Ministries of the Westend Community, Inc. at our Annual George Smith Golf Tournament. Also, our Entrepreneur Ministry hosted another wonderful Business Fair. Both of these events keep getting bigger and better! On the horizon is our Music Concert (24th), the Lenten Service (27th), Maundy Thursday Worship (28th), the Spring Festival (30th)…and of course, Resurrection Sunday (31st). Mark your calendars and plan to attend these special worship events. Speaking of on the horizon…
As we prepare for next Sunday’s Sacrificial Offering, it is my prayer that we are faithful in our giving. On next Sunday let’s celebrate spring and the newness of life together in worship on our first Sacrificial Sunday of the year. I am counting on 400 Adults to give what you have pledged. Let’s collectively do our best to make this Sacrificial Offering one for the First Calvary record books. Remember, we give to a Giving God! Out of a faithful and loving response we are going to sacrifice a gift of at least $150.00 per adult member above their tithes and offering. We need your gifts, First Calvary. In closing, let me share these thoughts. Stewardship, which is our emphasis this month, is multidimensional. It’s more than just finances. It’s TREASURES, yes, but we must be careful not to neglect the TIME and TALENTS aspect of giving. Don’t forget that we need you in Worship, Sunday School/Bible Study and involved in one of our over 30 church ministries. We all have something to give…we must remember that WE ARE CALLED TO GIVE and that GIVING IS A WAY OF HAVING A PURPOSEFUL LIFE. Some years ago, Pastor J. Alfred Smith, of Oakland, CA wrote these words which are still true today, “Giving to a giving God is not a feeling of obligation or the fulfillment of duty. It is not an effort to impress God or to bribe or to court God’s favor. None of this is necessary. God is love. Our giving is our tangible act of love and adoration to God. It is our way of saying yes to God’s love and to say,‘Thanks!’” (Giving to a Giving God, PNBC Press, 1992). Let us reflect on these words and the words of Jesus as recorded by Luke, “Give and it shall be given unto you in good measure, pressed down, and running over….” (Luke 6:38). As I like to say, it’s not about equal giving…it’s about equal sacrifice! First Calvary, let us always remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
March 10, 2013 :: Author:
God Is Faithful
The National Council of the Churches of Christ U.S.A. defines stewardship this way: “Christian stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, and material possessions based on the conviction that these are a trust from God to be used in His service for the benefit of all mankind (humankind) in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.” Stewardship Month is already proving to be a blessing of God. First of all, our All Tithers/Prove Me Sunday was truly a blessing! On our stewardship page you will see, what could be our results every week, if only we would Trust God! If you have been blessed this week since tithing and would like to share a brief testimony (anonymously if you like), just send me an email or write it down Let’s make a statement as we celebrate our Sacrificial Sunday on March 24th. We are asking every adult member to give above and beyond your tithes and offerings (or whatever amount you pledged to give) on this day (join us in showing some “2013faithfulness”). Remember “God Is Faithful” and it’s not about EQUAL GIVING BUT EQUAL SACRIFICING.
I continue to believe that tithing is the sane and sensible way of financing the work of the Kingdom of God. It continues to prove to me that God does not come short on His Word. My belief is that if over 80% of our membership would just try, we would have all the funds needed to continue to do exciting things. We must remember that at the core of stewardship is trust! Our prayer is that we can have an increase in our financial offerings each week. I also want to remind every disciple of Jesus Christ in the life of First Calvary Baptist Church to make a commitment to be an effective steward of your time as well. Come to Bible Study, Sunday School….and join any two of our Intercessory Prayer times (Wednesday at 12:00 noon or 7:00 a.m. every 4thSunday).
Christian Stewardship is more than a tenth; it neither begins nor ends with dropping a coin in the collection plate on Sunday. It is understood that we own nothing, but are trustees of everything. I believe that God is already moving on our behalf as faithful followers of His Divine and Perfect Will. With that type of understanding nothing is impossible with God. Remember we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
March 3, 2013 :: Author:
PROVE ME SUNDAY!
Many of you know the importance of giving of your time, talents and treasures in the life of this congregation. Well, for those that do not know, during our Stewardship Month you will hear Bible Study lessons and sermons on the importance of being an effective steward. March is STEWARDSHIP MONTH at First Calvary and today is ALL TITHERS/PROVE ME SUNDAY! It is an opportunity for believers to really stretch out in faith and TITHE! What does that mean? I’m glad you asked J. We ask all that have never tried GIVING A TENTH of your WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR BI-MONTHLY SALARY TO TRY IT TODAY! The truth is that the 90% that God allows us to keep will always go farther than the 100%. I can testify to that in my own life…and so will many others… just ask someone, “Are You a tither?”…and see what response you get. When you are faithful to God, He supplies every need you have. He may not give you a brand new car or big screen TV, but He will provide everything you need. Paul said it best in Phil 4:19, “And our God shall supply all of our needs according to our riches in glory through Christ Jesus….” If you have not yet chosen to tithe by faith, and you are still a little skeptical, try this “tithing challenge: start tithing faithfully, and after three months of giving that faithful tithe, if God isn’t blessing you, just keep on… don’t stop. I believe that if you faithfully and cheerfully tithe, God will supply what you need. Will you do that, First Calvary? God says “TRY ME”! We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we trust God with all of our BORROWED TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURES
Don’t forget throughout our community this week we are celebrating The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of HIV/AIDS. Come out Saturday, March 9th, to “Durham Compassionfest”, a special concert hosted by our ACT Ministry. Bring a canned good or cash donation for the cause with you. Men, come out on that day at 11:30 for a special viewing of the movie “Courageous”. We also have our Business Fair (March 16th) and Music Concert (March 24th) to look forward to this month. Also, we will join with the community in support of Calvary Ministries of the Westend Community, Inc. at the 14th annual golf tournament on Saturday, March 16th, shot-gun start at 8:30 a.m. We still need volunteers to lend a hand. Contact Sister Rebecca Oats (919-536-4201) for details. Lastly, don’t forget that our first Sacrificial Sunday is on the horizon. On March 24th, let’s come together and each give an amount that you said you could give at least three times a year. For some it will be $150.00 and for others it might be more or less. Just remember it’s above your tithes and offerings (adult members). On March 24th, Our Music Ministry will be in concert under the direction of Minister Michael Dotson, our Director of Music Ministries. Let’s come and start Passion Week in giving God the praise HE is due! Also, we will celebrate the Resurrection with the Lenten Services on March 27th, Maundy Thursday on the 28th, the Spring Festival on March 30th and on the 31st….RESURRECTION SUNDAY! Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT OUR MISSION!
February 24, 2013 :: Author:
Put Your Best Foot Forward
In the life of First Calvary, we are not going to be able to highlight every
ministry with a day or a weekend, so let me thank all of our Ministries for
the work and service they give each month, each week, and each day to the
success of this congregation. In a meeting on Monday, our Visionary Ministry
began to pull together items for our conversation during the Annual
Brainstorming Session on June 1st. Mark your calendars now and plan to
Again, I am grateful for all that our people do for the Kingdom of
God here at First Calvary Baptist Church. Thanks to the Young Adult Ministry
and the YAM leaders for an enriching and invigorating Young Adult
Conference. Let's begin now making plans for next year so it will be even
better. This is just one example of the hard work that is taking place at
If ever there was a time that we should highlight the principles of
Stewardship it is now. March is marching toward us and there will be much
going on in the life of FCBC as spring springs up! As we celebrate
Stewardship Month, with several Christian liturgical activities, let's not
forget that next Sunday is "All Tithers/ Prove Me Sunday". One day I pray
that on that First Sunday in March we will have 100% participation of the
adult members over the age of 18 in becoming tithers. We invite and
encourage those that are not tithers to try it and watch God work in your
Calling all golfers...join us on March 16th at 8:30 a.m. on the green at
Hillandale Golf Course for the Calvary Ministries of the Westend Community
Golf Tournament...get those clubs ready! We hope to see you there. We also
need volunteers to help, so if you are available to lend a hand, please
contact Sister Rebecca Oats or Sister Catherine Prince at (919)536-4201.
As move into the last week of our nation's celebration of
African American History Month, let us remember that Dr. Carter G. Woodson
originally intended that we would do this for one week. Now it has become a
month of celebration, but who says we can't celebrate everyday? (and as a
proud people, we should!) Let me challenge us to do something this week
that will make someone happy instead of sad, empowered instead of
embarrassed, affirmed instead of alienated and blessed instead of burdened.
Our communities are in dire need of people reaching people, regardless of
race, creed or color. Our status as a people in America is always going to
be challenged, so as Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays would say, let the people
"Keep Driving You On!" or as the elders would say, "PUT YOUR BEST FOOT
FORWARD", and walk with dignity and pride. Let us always remember that we
are AN EXCITNG CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
February 10, 2013 :: Author:
Today we celebrate Scholarship Sunday. The Encarta World English Dictionary defines scholarship as “financial help for a student: a sum of money awarded to a student to help with living expenses, study, or travel; A type of financial aid, in the form of a grant that does not have to be repaid by the recipient.” If you haven’t done so, please set aside a $100.00 contribution for our Scholarship Endowment Fund (or whatever God leads you to give…just give SOMETHING). First Calvary has established these scholarship opportunities for the good of generations to come. It also gives us the means to support all individuals. God has truly blessed us at First Calvary. We have been able to support so many of our young people in their pursuit of higher education. We have heard from many of the persons and family members that have received our Scholarships throughout the past few weeks. Your giving makes a difference and we thank you! It is a blessing to be a part of a congregation that recognizes the importance of encouraging and financially supporting youth who have made a conscious decision to better themselves.
Parents, it is our duty and responsibility to train our children in spiritual, social and educational affairs. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train a child in the way he/she should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.” The truth of the matter is the best thing a parent can give to their child/children is Jesus and secondly a good education. Designer clothes, expensive tennis shoes and cell phones are great gifts but they don’t build character. We must encourage our children to watch television less and read more. We must encourage our children to play video games less and explore their surroundings more. I implore each of you to make a contribution today toward this worthwhile cause as we continue to encourage the youth of our congregation to pursue academic excellence.
Thanks go out to our Couples’ Ministry, Scholarship Ministry, Health and Wellness Ministry (and Sister Betty Borden, our Congregational Nurse), YAM, and our Diaconate Ministry for wonderfully planned events these past 2 days. First Calvary was full of Ministry activity this weekend….that’s what we do! Coming up this week, I encourage all of our Young Adults to plan to participate in the YAM Freedom Conference! Plan to be there and invite someone. Remember always that we are, “AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!”
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