Friday, May 1
Moving Forward Together
Dear FBC Waco,
We exist to lead all generations to love God, one another, and the world in the Spirit of Jesus. Thank you for the ways that you have persevered in this shared mission over the past two months. Your cooperation, encouragement, and prayer have kept the church strong and blessed our community in the midst of extraordinarily challenging circumstances. We have worshiped together, ministered to one another, and fed the hungry in the Spirit of Jesus in ways that none of us imagined mere weeks ago. Thank you.
Governor Abbott’s executive orders from earlier this week and the corresponding expiration of local shelter-in-place orders allow churches to begin resuming public gatherings with strongly recommended social distancing precautions. The church staff has carefully and prayerfully reviewed the executive orders and supporting documents from state and local authorities. The staff and Church Council are now working together to address seven critical questions regarding moving forward together:
1. What can congregations do?
2. How do we do these things?
3. What is the preference of governing authorities?
4. Based on who we are, what should we do?
5. When should we do these things?
6. What is the appropriate process to do them?
7. How can we respect, support, and encourage other churches in our community as they make decisions appropriate for their own unique congregations?
We resolutely commit to move forward consistently with our core identity as we answer these vital questions and take corresponding action. We will proceed with patience and persistence. You can expect additional information next week about upcoming steps. In the meantime, please pray for us as we consider various opportunities. We welcome your input as well! If you have specific recommendations or concerns, please let one of the ministers or Church Council members know.
We yearn to gather together again to share in worship and fellowship, and we commit to work toward that day in ways that promote the safety of one another. The Spirit of Jesus unites us in our shared mission to love God, one another, and the world.
Grace and peace be with you all,
FBC Waco Staff
Thursday, March 19
FBC Waco’s Sunday morning worship service will stream online via Facebook Live again this week. You can access the video at www.facebook.com/firstbaptistwaco (no Facebook account login required!) at 10:30. Last week’s service will also broadcast on KCEN television at 8:00 am. The church building will not be open Sunday morning. Please help us to protect one another and comply with local health advisories by remaining home unless you are directly involved in worship service leadership.
The church office has closed, but ministers remain available and want to hear from you. We are checking phone messages (254-752-3000) and emails ( ) regularly and are also available by cell phone and individual email.
Sunday, March 15
Dear church family,
We love you, and we love our opportunities to gather and worship Christ together week by week. Since our last communication, however, a series of community changes have taken place that required us to reconsider and ultimately alter our plans for this Sunday. Both the President and Governor have declared emergencies and requested the limitation of public assemblies. In response, public and private schools throughout the Waco area have closed.
In light of these developments, we have decided that it is no longer prudent to gather for worship this Sunday. We will not hold a public worship service this Sunday, March 15. Instead, we plan to broadcast a service led by our pastors from the sanctuary via Facebook Live. We invite you to tune in at 10:30 at www.facebook.com/firstbaptistwaco. Our normal telecast of last Sunday’s service will also air on KCEN at 8:00 am. Ministers will be available for those in need of pastoral care. If you would like to speak with one of us, please call Matt (601-616-5413) or Josh (615-631-3717). We welcome hearing from you, especially during these challenging days.
The church office will maintain regular hours next week, but other ministry activities for March 15–21 remain suspended at this time. We will communicate again early in the week about ongoing plans for the following Sunday. Meanwhile, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing…. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 16–18). Thank you all for your graciousness as we strive to love our neighbors as ourselves in the midst of trying and rapidly changing circumstances.
Grace and peace,
FBC Waco Pastors and Church Council