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.
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!”
February 3, 2013 :: Author:
African American History Month
The question was asked, "How can our church grow with the leadership we
have?" Quite a question! I know we have work to do in this area because our leadership does need reshaping and recommitting to the task at hand. I would like to thank each leader that has attended Bible Study for every Wednesday in January. Please...if you are a leader, do your best to continue thriving and striving in the work that is before you. Leaders...don't forget that you are to commit to and attend at least one or both of our study ministries weekly. Just a reminder...we are still in need
of Stewardship Pledge Cards from each person over the age of 18. Cards are
available in the church office.
WOW! The shortest month of the year is here already! Seems like only
yesterday we were at Watchnight Service praying in 2013 and now January has
come and gone. When I think about this month known as African American History Month, I think about the shores of Africa to Jamestown, Virginia, all the way down to St. Helena Island, Georgia... I am reminded of what differences we as a people have made to this society. Unfortunately, after all that our ancestors have done for us it appears that we are too often mocking and losing time in various aspects of our communities. As a people, we must revamp, realign and rearrange our priorities as a people of God first and second as a people of Culture. Not much is done these days around African American/Black History in our schools, not even in our churches (to
my regret as Pastor) but we can do something in our homes this month. Do something, talk about something, and read about something that will inspire you to make a DIFFERENCE in your community and world.
During this month we will celebrate various occasions where you will have
the opportunity to give of your TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURES. This coming
weekend will be a particularly busy one here at First Calvary. On Friday and Saturday, the Couples Ministry will host the Married Couples Simulcast....married couples, at any stage, plan to attend this relationship changing event. Also happening on Saturday, we will host the Dental Van and the Diaconate Ministry will "Honor Our Elders" (we need all of our members and friends aged 55 and up to plan to get all dressed up and join us for this special celebration!). Then, next Sunday is Scholarship Sunday. For the past weeks we have informed and reminded you about the purpose for which we raise scholarship funds. Please consider making a contribution towards
these efforts. On February 9th, and 13th thru 17th, our Young Adult Ministry
will celebrate their YAM Conference. Inserted in the bulletin is more information about the Young Adult events. Coming at the end of the month, we have the 2nd Annual African American Museum to look forward to. Again, we hope you will plan to participate in and support all of these opportunities in ministry. Never forget that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
January 27, 2013 :: Author:
Leadership....Doing Something Different
I was recently asked, "Are we doing anything different?"... and my answer is
yes! Doing something different doesn't mean you stop doing what is working and effective. Today we celebrate in worship our annual installation of leaders. We are grateful to God for those whom God has chosen among us to be full of the Holy Spirit. One of the ways that leadership is strengthened in this congregation is when those involved make a definitive commitment far beyond their own understanding. Another question was asked, "Do we ever judge/evaluate those who are serving as leaders?"...and my answer is in some areas!
In 2005, Pastor Rick Warren wrote that, "If you don't ask people for
commitment, you won't get it..... One of the most helpful things a church can do for people is to help them clarify what commitments they should make and what commitments they should decline. The reason we have so many weak Christians leaders today is because they are half-committed to two dozen causes rather than being totally committed to the things that really matter." In 2013 as we take our Covenant stance to serve God and this congregation with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, let us do it whole heartedly.
As we sanction these who come forth as leaders, please don't let
their "celebrity" mock the servanthood of God. We welcome my brother in Christ, Reverend Warren J. Lesane, Jr., to our Worship Services today. Thank you, Minister Lesane, for sharing your gifts with our Leaders on this weekend by providing such edifying sessions during our Annual Leadership Retreat. We also thank the Visionary Ministry for such a well organized event. Remember, there is something happening here at First Calvary, moving us towards greater discipleship. Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
January 20, 2013 :: Author:
Spirit of Leadership
Today’s sermon title is one that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama on August 11, 1957. On tomorrow, America will pause as a nation to celebrate our annual recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday… but how many of you know that King’s greatest recognition was that he was a Pastor, a Preacher, and a Prophet of the Most High God? As a Pastor, Dr. King was called to lead people to come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, as were his father and maternal grandfather before him. As a Pastor and leader myself, it is also within my Pastoral duty to influence the people to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Again, leadership is the capacity to influence; therefore we must see God using us as influential tools to reveal truths about Jesus.
Starting this evening, our youth will once again participate in our Annual MLK Youth Lock-In where emphasis will be placed on preparing for this engaging and challenging 21st
Century. Our Youth Council, in conjunction with DPR, Duke-Durham Partnership and Calvary Ministries, Inc., will host young people between the ages of 12 –18 on Sunday and Monday. We do this each year it because it provides an opportunity for our youth to engage in fun activities while giving them a chance to hear about the principles of Dr. King that deal with respect and responsibility. Let me personally thank our Youth Council members for keeping this dream alive since it began in the basement of our former sanctuary so many years ago. Also, over the next 2 days, history will be made once again as we inaugurate OUR 2nd
term President, Barack Obama.
"Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by a passion, generated by a vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose." In his book entitled, THE SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP, Myles Munroe writes, “leadership is not a pursuit but a result. It is not a label you can give yourself. Leader is what people whom you inspire call you because they are stirred to participate in the positive vision that you are presenting them -whether it is the vision for a country, a company, or a cause." As we move forward in 2013, let us recognize the leadership in this congregation as those who have given of themselves as broken vessels built up in Christ Jesus. Yes, what makes us truly effective leaders is when there is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives!
Leaders, wanna-be leaders, and members of First Calvary, let us show our commitment to the cause of Christ by attending the 2013 Leadership Retreat on NEXT SATURDAY. NO EXCUSES PLEASE!
We will be expecting a great time with Rev. Warren Lesane for this year’s event. Once again, we do what we do because we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
January 13, 2013 :: Author:
Our Memorial Sunday is a time to honor the life of our dear, departed saints. Today, we celebrate with our bereaved families whose services were either held here at the church or that we officiated out of town. So that we are clear, we honor all of our members loved ones, (including my own mother) but each second Sunday in January, we recognize these in this traditional fashion. The scriptures clearly state that "Blessed are the Saints who die in the Lord". It is my prayer that through this time of sharing with these families today they will know that in their grieving hour, their church family is only a prayer and a phone call away. Allow me to share an excerpt from a poem by MS Lowndes for this occasion"
We want to always remember
The beautiful life you lived
And keep alive the memories we have
Through remembering what you did
Although we miss you so very much
We know we'll see you once more,
For this is the hope we have in God,
Being re-united in the Lord
And as we gather we'll continue to share
Special times we went through,
For these are memories that warm our hearts
As we honor the memory of you.
First Calvary, reach out to them with a hug or an encouraging word. May God bless them in their season of transition and may His peace be with them. AMEN!
As a church body we are "Doing Something Different.....Being a Disciple", so let's move into a deeper study of God's Word together. On behalf of Minister Carter and our Christian Education Ministry, I would like to remind you that Sunday School and Bible Study are two opportunities where we can learn and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. We are already in the second week in January but it's not to late to add joining our study ministries to your 2013 "to do" list. For those who care to be prepared for Wednesday Night Bible Study, we are examining the Leadership Lessons from Moses. Oh Yeah! Don't forget the Leadership Retreat on January 26th! Never forget, First Calvary, that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
January 6, 2013 :: Author:
Doing Something Different in 2013!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Let's make it a wonderful year. As we begin 2013 continuing the church theme of "DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT....BEING A DISCIPLE" it is our goal and desire that we continue with this emphasis on DISCIPLESHIP. Discipleship stands up and demands attention. Discipleship reaches out and engages people. Discipleship means that you study and pay attention to details. Discipleship is about an attitude AND actions. With that being said, as we move towards a greater level of discipleship let us do it with a different attitude than we had in 2012.
Hopefully all of you know by now what occurred in Church Conference and what we will need from each disciple of First Calvary. Visit the Ministry Table Area in the Atrium if you would like to have a copy of the 2013 Pastoral Message and other financial records. Always remember that "life is what you make of it and the more you put into it, the more if reflects back on you...." So live the life God intends for you to live and stop pretending.
There is much going on church-wide this month. City-Wide Revival begins on tomorrow, January 7th and will go through January 11th at Peace Missionary Baptist Church, 7:00pm nightly. First Calvary's music ministry will render music on Tuesday, January 8th. Join us on Wednesday for our first Bible Study and Praise & Worship of the New Year at 6:30pm. The Deacon Family Units for Wednesday will be Bell, Privette, and Poole.
Next Sunday, we will hold our annual Memorial Sunday in memory of those disciples in First Calvary we have lost in 2012. Also to look forward to this month is our annual MLK Youth Lock-In, on January 20th and 21st! Leaders, we look to see you at the Leadership Retreat on January 26th. First Calvary, it's 2013....a new year, with new possibilities in ministry and new opportunities for discipleship. We need a new face of believers up in here, up in here! Pray that God will help us through this year as we move forward "Doing Something Different...Being a Disciple" and pray that God will help us continue to be AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
December 30, 2012 :: Author:
Today's Kwanzaa Principle is NIA (Purpose)! For several years we have
encouraged you to take family time and celebrate. Today as a community we
celebrate the fifth principle of Kwanza...Nia (Purpose). Nia means "to make
our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in
order to restore our people to their traditional greatness." Kwanzaa was
created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture
which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture
among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world.
These values are called the "Nguzo Saba" which in Swahili means the Seven
Principles. Developed by Dr. Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stands at the heart of
the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for these values are not only the
building blocks for community but they also serve to reinforce and enhance
them. It is imperative that we move into 2013 with a strong sense of
purpose. As 2012 comes to an end, I pray that each of you will approach the
New Year with an open hand. Release this year gently into the past, just
as your embraced it when it came in 365 days ago. Whatever seasons might
come in 2013, I pray that you will always follow the guidance that God gives
each and every step of the way. Seek out your God-given purpose!
Let us prepare our hearts for the coming year to continue our move in Excellence. In 2013, our Church theme will continue to be "DOING
SOMETHING DIFFERENT....BEING A DISCIPLE." As we continue in this context, we must remember that discipleship requires development. As we develop and distinguish ourselves from any others, let us remember who we are and who's
we are. Jeremiah 29:11 and other prophetic scriptural readings continue to remind us that our God guides and guards us and that is our destiny in His Divine Will. Let our prayer be as Jesus prayed, "Nevertheless, not our will but Thy will be done!" Let us continue to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Remember always that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION
December 16, 2012 :: Author:
Jesus was God's Gift to People
Today at 5:00 p.m., our Christian Education, Music, and Drama Ministries
will share their Annual Christmas Presentations with us. Please come out
with your family and join us! It is important that we take this Sunday
afternoon to remove ourselves from the television to come out for this
exciting event to give God the Glory! Remember, "Jesus Is The Reason For
Our Angel Tree Ministry personnel did a wonderful job Wednesday night as
children from Durham County were served by this congregation. As a church
family, we gave by purchasing loving gifts of over $15,000.00 for families.
Wow! Just think about the thousands of others we were not able to provide
for this year. Again, we do this as a sign that we are An Exciting Church
and we are Doing Something Different!
By now the Christmas shopping has begun. The gift giving and gift getting is
in full swing. We all want to have a good time during the Christmas season.
It is my prayer that as we move in the hustle and bustle of this season, let
us pause to remember that the real meaning of Christmas is about sacrifice.
John 3:16 reminds us that "God so loved the world that God gave His only
begotten Son....." Jesus was God's gift to people. When we understand who
Jesus is and respond in faith to God's bequest, we then realize the
significance, importance and uniqueness of God's gift. Have you presented
this gift of God to anyone lately? Have you received God's gift of eternal
life in Jesus Christ? Remember, He was Born To Die, that we might Live!
Christ is, was and always will be the essence of Christmas. It is
absolutely unbelievable how we have lost our sense of purpose concerning the
Birth of Jesus Christ. Let each person today commit to making JESUS THE
REASON FOR THE SEASON! Let us remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH
EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
December 9, 2012 :: Author:
Moving our Faith Level Up a Notch
Okay, it's been said that I have not changed much around this church in 21 years, so here we go again! This Wednesday night during our regular Bible Study time, we invite you to join us for our Annual "Bring a Pot" Fellowship. Now, it will be crowded and yes, we will share dinner with the families from the community, but everyone will have a time to eat and fellowship. We will need volunteers to serve these families at dinner and during our Angel Tree giveaway time, so please come and "Bring a Pot". Please don't forget, Angel Tree givers, that your gifts need to be here.....ON TIME! I am really amazed at the support many of you have given to this ministry work. As your Pastor, I would like to thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. Your giving continues to surprise me each year. It is truly a blessing to be able to help those who are in need. To God Be The Glory! Each family is asked to bring a dish that will feed at least 6 people. Food items should be here by 5:45 p.m. Also, don't forget that our Christian Education, Music, and Drama Ministries will be highlighted in our Annual Christmas Presentation on NEXT SUNDAY at 5:00 p.m. Please plan to join us and parents, have your youth ready to shine.
Today at 6:30 p.m. our Official Leadership Team will focus on our budget for 2013, including all Ministry, Operational and Administrative Expenses. As Pastor, I want to take this time to encourage you...not to put you "on blast" or to talk about money so much... but to remind you of the importance of being consistent givers if we are going to advance this ministry work at First Calvary Baptist Church. Having said that, I am asking us to move our faith level up a notch these last few Sundays of 2012 and as we move forward into the New Year. Also, don't forget that if you have volunteered or served in any Ministry group in this church you are invited to come to our Annual Volunteer Reception on December 19th at 7:00 p.m.
In closing, let us remember on this 2nd Sunday of Advent, that the real reason for this season is to celebrate the coming of the Savior. I encourage each of us to truly have reason and not forget the ultimate Reason for the Season. I know it's cliche' but it's very important that we remember what we shouldn't forget...it's all about Christ!. As believers, we must make it known that in spite of the commercialization of this time JESUS IS STILL THE REASON FOR THIS SEASON! It is important that First Calvary Baptist Church continues to be "AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT IT'S MISSION!
December 2, 2012 :: Author:
Let us make sure that the real reason for this season is celebrated. It is important that as believers we make it known in spite of the commercialization of this time that JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THIS SEASON! Look around, First Calvary and see the wonderful decorations that are helping us get into the holiday spirit. We appreciate the efforts and the spirit of volunteerism that went forth in this project. As we look upon the beautiful decorations and get involved in the hustle and bustle that this time of year brings, let us not forget the true reason for the season.
This is the first Sunday in the Christian celebration of Advent. The word
"Advent" is derived from the Latin term "adventus" (or "coming"). Advent is
the first season of the Christian liturgical year. Traditionally, it includes a period covering four Sundays, beginning with the Sunday closest to November 30th and ending at sundown on Christmas Eve. As the word and the time period suggest, Advent focuses on anticipating and preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ. We look now for ways in which the Anointed might appear in our current circumstances. We also expect and get ready for a future manifestation of Christ in a world that still needs comforting, healing and reconciliation. (Thoughts from Dr. Aaron L. Parker, Guest
Lectionary Commentator, Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Atl., GA and Assoc. Prof., Morehouse College, Atl., GA-African American Pulpit Journal)
Mark your calendars for the Bible Study schedule for the remainder of the
year: December 5th- regular Bible Study, December 12th- our Annual "Bring a
Pot" Fellowship and Angel Tree Give-away, December 16th- the Annual
Christmas Presentation, December 19th and 26th- NO BIBLE STUDY. We will
culminate the closing of the year with our Annual Watchnight Service on Monday, December 31st at 10:00 p.m. As always we are "AN EXCITED CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT OUR MISSION"
November 25, 2012 :: Author:
He is GREAT and He is FAITHFUL.
I hope that you all had a wonderful week since Thursday, which should be a
day of "Thanksgiving" but, unfortunately, many of us have made it just
"Turkey Day"! Now, after our time of packing our bellies with turkey,
stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and (for some) wild stuff :-),...what is
next? Well, the stores are preparing the way for shopping, but not for
Christ as we should be doing. Now that we've made those visits to family
and to the stores, let's get ready to fulfill our commitment of being one of
HIS Disciples. Having said that...I am interested in where we are going next year, and would love to hear from you concerning our congregation. So, on Wednesday, November 28th, like Joshua, I am calling everyone to Shechem...Bible Study... to listen to the people of First Calvary. I want to hear what's going on with folks in First
Calvary. This is not a Church Conference, so don't come expecting to hear
about anything other than God and where you believe our steps will take us.
God has brought us from a mighty long way and for that I am grateful. I am
calling for this because as Pastor I am sensing a state of Apostasy in our
atmosphere. I heard God last week say "call for the people to come
together." Again, if you need to speak some things from your heart about our
congregational life come, but I only asked that you be respectful and
Christ-Like. We will have Praise and Worship at 6:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. I
will still be teaching from Judges so bring your Bibles and notebooks as
It's important during this time to remember the who.....what.....why.....and
when of thankfulness. WHO? We are a people of faith, thankful to the one
true and living God. WHAT? We praise God for His many blessings, past,
present and future. He doesn't have to do it, but He does...over and over.
WHY? 'Cause as the song says, "Great is Thy Faithfulness, Oh God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thou compassion,
they fail not, As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy
faithfulness! Great is Thy Faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I
see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord unto me!" He is GREAT and He is FAITHFUL.....that's why! He gives us
what we need and showers us with grace, mercy and blessings. Our God is
truly an AWESOME God!! And WHEN? All the time! Our "thanksgiving" should
As we close out this year keep in mind the events over the coming weeks in
the life of First Calvary. Our youth will go caroling on December 8th at
10:00 a.m. On Saturday, December 15th, our Pearls of Praise Women's Ministry
will meet at 9:30 a.m. and our Annual Christmas Celebration will be
presented by the Sunday School (parents, make sure your children LEARN their
recitations) on December 16th. There will be Christmas fellowships held by
many of our ministries, including the Ushers/First Aide Ministry and the
Couples' Ministry. Don't forget that we will welcome the community into our
midst at our Annual Angel Tree Give-away on December 12th....by the way,
PLEASE sponsor an Angel, PLEASE...PRETTY PLEASE!...we have over 400 children to bless! As usual, we will celebrate the coming of 2013 (can you believe
it?) with our Annual Watch Night Service (hope to see YOU there!) So you
see, First Calvary, there is still much work to do, even as the year comes
to a close. Remember always that we remain "AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED
ABOUT ITS MISSION!"
November 18, 2012 :: Author:
Giving Thanks to the Lord
How can I say thanks for the things you have done for the Davis family? I
guess I will just say "Thanks!" On last Sunday gracious gifts were bestowed
upon Pastor and the Davis Family. For that we say, Thank You! For the last
twenty-one years, after each appreciation celebration, I have said THANK YOU
and today is no different. Thank you very much to the Pastor's Aid Ministry
and all of you who remembered the Davis Family with your love gifts and
expressions. I have read all of the Cards given to Judi and I since the
appreciation service. Thank you, First Calvary, for loving us for twenty-one
years. Again, THANK YOU! :-)
Family, I am very concerned about our Stewardship these last few
weeks of 2012. Out of 800 Family Households, we are not attending Worship,
Sunday School, or Bible Study and we are not giving in a sacrificial way.
No, I'm not angry but as your Pastor I am believing God that a change will
come! We cannot continue to be slack, slothful and have so many short
comings in terms of participation in these above mentioned areas. Family, we
need each other to survive. One of the greatest gifts you can give to me as
a Pastor is your Time, Talents and Sacrificial Spirit of Giving. Don't let
us down, we are doing a great work and we must continue to do this as An
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 and a successful Dental Van over the weekend!
We also appreciate the Onesiphorus Prison Ministry, who did a wonderful job
hosting the Prison Summit on yesterday. Please don't forget that we will
not have Noon Day Prayer or Bible Study on this Wednesday. Enjoy
"Thanksgiving Eve" with your family....get that good food ready! Speaking
of which.....God's word also 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. God has truly blessed us and we have much to be thankful for! Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
November 4, 2012 :: Author:
128th Church Anniversary Celebration
Our 128th Church Anniversary Celebration was a blessing and all honor belongs to God! Thanks so much to those who gave of their time, talent and treasure to make our celebration of 128 years in the Westend Community a success. Let us give praise and glory to God for the wonderful work our Visionary Ministry, Church Celebrations Committee and church family did during the entire month as we celebrated our Church Anniversary and Whole Family Conference.
I had second thoughts about sharing this…but I am going to do so anyway. It’s been said that “Pastor only uses the phone tree to call and ask for money”. Well My Beloved, I need to let all of the “Nay-Sayers”… know that however slighted you may feel, part of my role as Pastor to be Overseer and Administrator for this flock. I am not attempting to single anyone out, however, I must say that if my phone calls offend anyone, then pray for me. Also, if anyone feels slighted because they have received Pastoral visits from me then call me to arrange a visit. For 21 years God has led me to do one thing and one thing only… that is to be the Pastor of First Calvary Baptist Church.
As we “fall back” into standard time on the clock, let’s “fall back” into being excited about being involved in the ministries of this congregation. Let’s “fall back” into being consistent givers. This is the time for some deep reflection on your place in the life of First Calvary Baptist Church. Don’t get involved in too much that you are not good for anything but do get involved. Stop sitting and standing back waiting for someone else… do something!
Wherever your giftedness lies, there is a place for you to serve at First Calvary. Let’s break it down this way: Are you a health professional or involved in the area of health and wellness (i.e. a nurse, doctor, fitness instructor, physical therapist, dentist, dental hygienist, health teacher, or even concerned about good health)? Then join the Health and Wellness Ministry….we need your voice. Are you attached to your video camera or phone, always recording family events to remember? Then I suggest checking out our Audio/Visual Ministry. Are you a pleasant, smiley person? Then consider joining the Ushers or Hospitality Ministry. See how easy it is? There is a list of our church ministries and their meeting times in the bulletin each week. Find one and get busy….and if you need a gentle nudge in the right direction, we can get you on the right track J.
It’s November already! Only 1 month left in 2012 and things are moving right along in ministry at First Calvary. Special thanks to our Youth Council for another successful Harvest Festival. Coming soon is our Prison Ministry Summit (November 17th). Also…..(this part is very important, so read carefully…) PLEASE don’t forget to ROCK THE VOTE on Tuesday, November 6th……that is, if you didn’t “early vote”! Please don’t allow anything to separate you from the voting polls on Tuesday, November 6th.
As we move into the busy holiday season, I would remind us that we have much to be thankful for. On next weekend, we will celebrate our 21st Pastoral Anniversary. Thank you, First Calvary, for your continued love and support to the Davis Family. Let us remember always that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
October 21, 2012 :: Author:
The Lord Thy God Is With You!
Let me thank many of you who took up the cause and utilized the power of
speaking truth. As you came to Worship today, I pray there were no
hindrances as you traveled. I say to those who wrote emails, I am forever
grateful for your stance. Let me speak about another cause in our community.
It is CRITICAL that as many people as possible take advantage of ONE STOP
EARLY VOTING in North Carolina. ONE STOP EARLY VOTING, which BEGAN October 18th and ends on November 3rd, provides many critical advantages. By voting early you can spend the time you would have spent voting on the Election Day volunteering instead (knocking on doors, driving voters to the
polls, etc.)! No matter how you vote....early or on November 6th.....just
PLEASE make sure you vote!
It is my prayer that each disciple of First Calvary will engage themselves
in every aspect of this mission. 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, they will "know" that we are His Disciples.
Just remember...Be Thou Strong, For The Lord Thy God Is With You!
Next Sunday is the day!! We are on the heels of our 128th 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 ones :-). Our
Church Anniversary and Annual Homecoming Worship will start at 9:30 a.m.
promptly. We will start that morning with Intercessory Prayer at 8:00 a.m.
Don't forget that our gifts of $150.00 above our tithes and offerings are
due on this day as well. Our Guest Psalmist will be Sister Anita Wilson,
whose noted song "Speechless" has been a blessing to many. We look forward
to "Doing Something Different....Being a Disciple at 1311"! At the
celebration, our Deacon Family Units will sit together during Worship and
dinner. Parking will be challenging and we will need your cooperation and
patience as we get everyone parked and in for service. Get here early!
Remember that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION.
October 14, 2012 :: Author:
"Doing Something Different...Being a Responsible Disciple"
Leaves are falling and many of them are turning colors. What does this say
to us as believers? I believe it reminds us to know the season you're in
and do that which will bring favor from God. Our Whole Family Conference
will once again be in session on Wednesday. Thanks to our Visionary Ministry
for their ongoing efforts in sponsoring our Annual Whole Family Conference.
On Wednesday, we join together and study from the overall theme of "Doing
Something Different...Being a Responsible Disciple: Physically, Financially,
and Spiritually". I have said before that being a disciple is the crux of
our Christian faith, but unless we deny ourselves and are ready to move when
God says move, we can never understand the true meaning of servanthood and
discipleship. 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 Whole Family Conference is all about. Let's make
sure that for the remaining Wednesdays in October, we come out and support
these events. There are two more weeks of exciting presentations to come,
with the Harvest Festival closing out the month on the 31st (bring in your
healthy candy and healthy snack donations and come lend a hand and
Mark your calendars, First Calvary, and plan to attend.
Additionally during this month, we will also celebrate our 128th Church
Anniversary. 128 years is most certainly a long time and we have been a
staple in the West End Community from the very beginning. We have much to
be thankful for! Please plan to worship with us in one Worship Service at
9:30 a.m. on October 28th. And yes, Brothers and Sisters we need everyone
to contribute $150.00 above their Tithes & Offerings on this day. Yes, it is
about Equal Sacrifice and not about Equal Giving. We really need this
$150.00 per adult member for our Church Budget.
My final thoughts reiterate a sentiment that I have shared with you in the
past. I truly believe that a healthy church is a growing church, a learning
church, a loving church and a giving church. So, First Calvary, let's give,
let's love, let's learn, let's grow, and LET'S GO! Always remember that we
are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
October 7, 2012 :: Author:
"FALL" into place as Disciples
What can I say about the Wednesday evening debates except, "Go Vote!" You need to be present on Voting Day and your vote needs to be cast and accounted for. Speaking of being present and accounted for, please don't forget that during this month of celebrating our congregation's existence we need you in Bible Study. We encourage you and invite you to come out each Wednesday for the Whole Family Conference. This Wednesday, it will be Family Meal Night. We will start serving at 5:30 p.m. and our study of Daniel 2 will begin at 7:00 p.m.
October is Church Anniversary Month! On the horizon is our celebration of 128 years in this community! Ain't that something! As an early reminder, on October 28th we will have ONE Worship Service at 9:30 a.m. HERE AT FIRST CALVARY. Don't forget that we are asking adult member to give a Sacrificial Offering of $150.00 above your tithes and offering on that day. Then, to end the month, our Youth Council will host the Annual Harvest Festival on the 31st. You can help with this event by bringing in candy and snacks to be distributed to the youth and by signing up to volunteer. There's so much to do and so much going on.
October is here and FALL is upon us. So let me ask you to "FALL" into place as Disciples. Let me ask you to "FALL" into a better focus, a more studious attitude and a greater commitment towards Christ. Let me ask you to "FALL" back into Sunday School, Bible Study, giving, and of course, Worship. Now that FALL is here let's shed some things that are holding us back and gather our minds toward one common cause...Jesus Christ! I would like to share this quote from Pastor Rick Warren: "From this day forward I'm going to make it one of my goals in ministry to build up those around me." Can you imagine what First Calvary would be like if many of us made a commitment of building up everyone we come in contact with? What kind of impact would that have on the morale of our church? As we attempt to answer this question, let us continue to be that EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT OUR MISSION!
September 30, 2012 :: Author:
"The Presence of God"
Special thanks to Minister Carter and the Christian Education Ministry for a great Christian Education Month. We appreciate your efforts in providing a well planned and informative Christian Education Workshop and Promotion Sunday event. We need 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 these thoughts concerning Discipleship:
1. A disciple is a learner -open and teachable.
2. A disciple puts Christ first in all areas of his/her life.
3. A disciple is committed to a life of purity and is taking steps to separate from sin.
4. A disciple demonstrates faithfulness and a desire to learn and apply the Word of God through hearing it preached and taught......
Did you miss the Biblical Institute this year? Shame on you if you did...Oh my Lord, what a time! Dr. Rita Twiggs shared from her heart and we were ushered into, filled with, and learned more about "The Presence of God". His "Presence" is truly a "present" that each of us us worthy of receiving. 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 Annual Whole Family Conference each Wednesday in October. Also on the horizon is the celebration of our 128th Church Anniversary. It's gonna be a power-packed month of activity!
Fall is in the air! Soon, it will be time to "Fall Back" as we turn back our clocks to Eastern Standard Time. Today, I ask the believers of Christ in this congregation to join me and let's work to fall back into a Spirit of Discipleship! We need your TIME, TALENTS, AND TREASURES. We are in desperate need of your support of this church 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 guided by the Holy Spirit. Remember always we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS MISSION!
September 16, 2012 :: Author:
It's Singles Sunday! Thank you to all the Singles for your support this
past week. Today, as Dr. Kaufman imparts words of wisdom, may all of our
singles...from aged 20-something to 60-something, gain a blessing from what
he has to share. Please-please-PLEASE don't let this week of activities be
the end of your involvement. The Singles in Love with Christ Ministry needs
Now let's look forward to this coming weekend. On Saturday, September 22nd,
our Christian Education Ministry will host their Annual Christian Education
workshop. Christian Education Promotion Sunday will be held on the 23rd.
Then, we will cap things off with our Annual Biblical Institute, September
24th-26th. All ministers, Sunday School teachers, Bible Study teachers,
assistant teachers and those interested in developing their teaching
ministry skills need to be at these events. Of all of the factors that can
determine a congregation's growth, having an effective Christian Education
Ministry is critical. Let us remember that "Christian Education is that
ministry that under girds all other ministries of the church". (Dr. Jonathan
Jackson-former ITC Professor) A well-organized, well-run and well-conceived
program of Christian Education will promote church growth.
The seasons are changing! September is over half gone. Soon the holidays
will be upon us. As we move forward into the fall, I wanted to share
something that was shared with me. We must remember to take time to Drink,
Steal, Promise, & Lie: (1) "Drink" from the "everlasting cup" every day, (2)
"Steal" a moment to help someone that needs it, (3) "Promise" that you will
be a better person today than yesterday, and last, but not least, (4) when
you "lie" down at night thank God you're alive and have faith. First
Calvary, never forget that we are AN EXCITING CHURCH EXCITED ABOUT ITS
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