January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021
I am sure all of you have heard by now about the devastating loss of one of our deacons, Fred VanHook. Every loss in our church is devastating but this one hits home for so many people. Brother Fred was a leader, a strong voice of reason, and a model of what it means to put others before yourself. The Lord gave me a gift in allowing me to FaceTime with Fred before he was unconscious. We had a sweet time of sharing, crying, and saying goodbye. He wanted me to tell you how much he loves you and Immanuel Baptist Church. We will miss him dearly. As soon as the family works through details of the arrangements, we will let you know.
We will make it through this difficult time and the Lord will be victorious. Remember, we are promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. As we continue to walk through this time of Covid concern, let’s work together to create a safe environment for people to feel comfortable in worship. Feel free to wear a mask in any of our services. Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is an opportunity to show our concern for others. Be conscious when it comes to social distancing and if you are sick please feel free to stay home and watch the service online.
I went to my regular coffee shop on Tuesday morning, and I heard a lady say that Covid is not real. I could not help but think in that moment that it is very real to the VanHook family and many other families that have lost loved ones. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but we do not need to let our opinions get in the way of doing what is considerate of others. I love you and I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we continue through the book of Galatians.
Immanuel Baptist Church
December 3, 2020
Dear Church Family,
I hope you are doing well and had a great Thanksgiving season. Christmas is upon us and we will look forward to all of the festivities that the season brings but most importantly the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord. While we approach this season with high expectations, we need to continue to move forward with caution. We are seeing a rise in COVID cases in our church just as we are within our community. It is critical that we are proactive and do all we can to provide a safe and healthy worship environment for all our members and guests.
This is my first major decision to lead as Senior Pastor of Immanuel, and I can assure you that it has not come without much prayer, heartache, and consultation. I have spoken with our deacon leadership and staff leadership teams. We believe, without exception, it is necessary to suspend on-campus Sunday School classes, effective immediately. We are praying and hopeful for a tentative restart date of January 10th. Our Sunday School Team has done a great job of successfully launching two Sunday School hours. We are beginning to see more COVID situations in all of our age groups with either positive tests or quarantine situations. While Sunday School is a cornerstone at Immanuel, we do not want to put people at risk. Dwight Moss and our age group leaders will be sending information to our leaders on how to stay connected through the holiday season.
December 9th will be the last Wednesday night that we will meet this year with a tentative restart date of January 13th. This will give our choirs ample time to practice before their Christmas presentations. Mark and I talked this morning, and we are still planning on having the Christmas Eve service on December 24th, but we both believe that needs to be a tentative date.
We will continue our regular Sunday morning worship schedule with childcare provided birth through 4 years old for all three services. As we have been doing, please continue to be careful with social distancing and wearing masks. Hand sanitizers will be available in all buildings.
We are walking through difficult times right now. Decisions are being made that affect families across the board. School boards are making decisions, businesses are making decisions and churches are making decisions. I believe it is smart for us as a church to limit the opportunities for exposure to a minimum so that we can continue to meet in worship through this pandemic. Let’s remember God is moving in our midst! We have two baptisms this Sunday which will be seven Sundays in a row that we have celebrated baptisms! We have several others waiting to be baptized as well. Let’s continue to come every Sunday with an expectation that God is going to move. See you Sunday!
September 18, 2020
Thank you for your prayers that led to a successful launch of our Wednesday night programs this week. We had over 250 people on campus Wednesday night. It was great to see all of the children going to choir! I am so grateful for all our workers who pour their lives into these children.
We are now focusing all our attention to our Sunday School Launch on October 18. If there is one thing I want to make sure we do, it is to make the best decisions for Immanuel that will meet the needs of every generation while sticking to our values. Since we have returned to worship post covid, we have been starting at 8:00. While the starting time has allowed us to provide worship services, there have been some concerns about that time moving forward as we launch Sunday School. I met with our Ministerial Team, and we agree unanimously on the option that I will share with you. This will be our new schedule as we move forward with our Sunday School Launch starting on October 18.
8:30 –9:30 Blended Worship
8:30 –9:30 Sunday School
10:00-11:00 Contemporary Worship
10:00-11:00 Sunday School
11:15 – 12:15 Traditional Worship
This allows us to accomplish several things:
- Return to a start time that was pre-covid. That may not seem important, but we believe it will give us a sense of normalcy in a post covid world.
- Make it easier on our young families to get to Sunday School. We are a church that believes in Sunday School. Adding back the 30 minutes will give us a better chance of reaching the whole family in Sunday School.
- Enlisting workers. It will make our Nominating Team’s job easier as they recruit workers for the new Sunday School hour.
- Mark mentioned that this will allow the choir to get there at 8:00 instead of 7:30 for pre-service rehearsals.
I am so glad that we have an environment of trust and fluidity. We must be willing to listen to the Lord and each other to make the best decisions for Immanuel, and I believe we are doing that. We will also have an insert in the bulletin on Sunday outlining the times. Thank you again for your prayers and faithfulness as we look forward to a great Sunday School launch!
September 9, 2020
I hope you are doing well and settling into what will hopefully be a great fall season for us. We are beginning to see some signs of “normal” as children and students are returning back to school. I want to give you several updates that will allow us to move back into our regular programming.
Current Worship Services
On August 12, Chairman of Deacons Eugene McGee shared with the church that the deacons were unanimous in moving forward with providing three worship services in the Sanctuary. Our current schedule of 8:00 AM Blended, 9:30 AM Contemporary, and 11:00 AM Traditional will allow us to meet the needs of all generations in our church and have space to grow in every service. I have had several people ask about how I am holding up during this time. Let me say that preaching and teaching God’s word is a calling and a joy for me. I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays as I get an opportunity to preach God’s word and do something I love. I appreciate your prayers and support as we continue to see God’s Spirit move in all our services.
Wednesday Night Programming
We will begin our full slate of Wednesday night programming on September 16. This means that Preschool, Children’s, and Student programming will be provided as we have done in the past. You will be receiving more information from your age group leaders on specific details related to programming and protocol that will be followed to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for our children and students. We will continue our regular Prayer Time/Bible Study in the Sanctuary for our adults. Choir practices will resume at full capacity on this date as well.
On August 12 Chairman of Deacons Eugene McGee also shared with the church some important information regarding Sunday School. The two major announcements that night were the retirement of Carl Jones from the teaching ministry of his Sunday School Class and the development of additional Sunday School classes at the 8:15 AM hour. We are excited to announce that we will be launching Sunday School for both the 8:15 AM and 9:30 AM hours on October 18! Dwight Moss has been working with our Nominating Committee as well as Angelia and Darrin to secure workers for our launch.
We feel confident and excited about launching our new Sunday School model and returning back to small group Bible Study. Very soon you will be receiving more information from Dwight about Sunday School specifics. If you were an attender of the Carl Jones Sanctuary Class, you will be receiving additional information from Dwight to help you with other class options. We will begin a communication plan on Sunday September 13 to aid in a smooth and successful launch on October 18. Basically, if you attend the 8:00 AM Blended Service or the 11:00 AM Traditional Service, you will continue to attend Sunday School at 9:30 AM. If you attend the 9:30 AM Contemporary Service, you will attend Sunday School at 8:15 AM. A survey will be available soon that will deal with serving in our Sunday School organization. Please be looking for the survey and complete it if you can. If you would like to serve in our Preschool or Children’s Ministry areas, please let Angelia know.
As we prepare for the return of both Wednesday night and Sunday School programming, we know that there will still be people who are concerned about returning to church. Please hear from your Ministerial Staff that we completely understand and respect your decision. Return when you feel comfortable and let us know how we can continue to serve you. I truly feel that the best days are ahead for Immanuel Baptist Church. God has a plan for all that we have been through over the last 6 months and we know that it is for our good and His Glory! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
August 22, 2020
I hope you are having a great week! We celebrate the birth of Cora Faye Knowles and Birdie Catherine Oakley. Both moms are home and doing well. It was a great week for me as I welcomed my third granddaughter into the family. Many have asked about the name Birdie. It was Julies grandmothers name. As we celebrate new life we say goodbye to one of our own. Please be in prayer for the Norton family as we celebrate the life of Billy Norton.
When you enter church tomorrow morning you will see something different. We have removed the tape off of the pews. We are not moving away from social distancing and still encourage you to social distance but we want to give you the decision on where you feel comfortable sitting. We feel that 10 weeks with the tape on every other pew has given us time to create a good habit of social distancing. With the tape down you will now have the opportunity to sit where you want and with who you want.
Please continue to pray for our staff and our nominating committee as they work diligently to fill positions for the new church year. We are getting a late start because of Covid but are now ready to begin moving back into Wednesday night programming and eventually Sunday School. The key will be getting our workers in all of our places so please be willing to respond and serve this year.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray and support all that God is doing at Immanuel. Great days are ahead!
July 24, 2020
I hope you are having a great week and are looking forward with anticipation for our Sunday morning services. I have had several questions about the mask mandate that began this week and how it would affect our services. The mandate provides an exclusion for houses of worship. After talking with our reentry team we will continue with our current pattern of services. Masks will be optional in our 8:00 and 9:30 services and required in our 11:00 service. If you feel more comfortable with a mask please wear it in any service. We will continue to clean between services and social distance in the sanctuary. Thank you so much for helping us as we continue to provide the safest environment possible for our church family!
July 4, 2020
I look forward to being with you tomorrow at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 as we celebrate our freedom in Christ and the free country that we have the great privilege of living in. I want to remind you that we are trying to create a safe environment for all of those who worship with us. Let’s remember that entrance to all services is limited to 15 minutes before each service starts. This gives our cleaning crew an opportunity to disinfect before the next service. Let’s also remember to enter and exit through the doors assigned to each service. If you still do not feel comfortable coming to the sanctuary then I encourage you to continue to watch online until you feel it is safe for you and your family. Let’s look forward to celebrating together tomorrow both in person and online!
June 26, 2020
Thank you so much for responding quickly to the adjustment on Wednesday night service. We felt it was the right thing to do based on the information we received that day. After monitoring the situation over the last few days, we will continue with our service structure that we have put in place. We do not feel the need right now to return to phase one. We will remain in phase two of our re-entry plan. To remind you that is: 8:00 Blended service, 9:30 contemporary service and 11:00 traditional service. You are welcome to wear a mask in any of our services, but masks are required in the 11:00 service. I know the latest announcement has caused more concern and people will respond in different ways. Please feel free to respond in a way that is healthy and safe for you and your family. I look forward to seeing you this weekend either in person or online!
June 24, 2020
As many of you have probably already seen, Mayor Hutto declared a state of emergency for Wilson County. Wilson county has been named a coronavirus “hotspot” by the state health department. Because of this latest development we feel it necessary to cancel on site prayer meeting tonight. We will live stream prayer meeting like we have been doing but will not meet in person. I know this raises questions in your minds about Sunday services. I will be talking with our re-entry team and will communicate with you as soon as possible if there are any changes to our weekend schedule. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to provide the safest environment possible for the Immanuel family.
June 15, 2020
I hope you are having a great beginning to a great week. I want to share with you two encouragements and a few reminders. Latest statistics released from Church research says that 48% of church members overall did not watch one online service during the pandemic. I can say with confidence that the research does not represent Immanuel Baptist Church! During our time away from church our online views have skyrocketed. Joey Clark, Tom Callis, and their teams have raised the bar in our online presence. We will continue to stream our services with excellence as we grow our digital audience.
Second, most pastors that I talk to are seeing around 40% of their regular attendance on their first Sunday back into the sanctuary. I am happy to report that we had well over 40% in our first Sunday back. We had 590 people in three services. Considering the time of the year we were at 54% of what would be our normal worship attendance! There was great energy in all 3 services and our giving was over budget for the Sunday! All of this to say great job church! Let’s keep it going.
A few reminders:
We will be returning to the sanctuary for Wednesday night bible study! Join us at 6:30 p.m. for our time of prayer and study of God’s word. Brother Darrin will be leading bible study this Wednesday.
Thank you for your compliance in our mask required 11:00 Sunday service. We will continue to have this service with masks required as long as we are in phase 2 of our re-entry plan.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning as we celebrate Father’s Day together!
June 4, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Our Deacon Group met Sunday afternoon, May 31 and approved a plan for reopening the Sanctuary. I am happy to announce that we will be returning to the Sanctuary for worship on Sunday, June 14th. We will be having three Morning Worship Services, an 8:00 AM Blended Service, a 9:30 AM Contemporary Service, and an 11:00 AM Traditional Service. Pastor Jeff will be preaching all three services.
Details for Phase 2 of our Re-Entry plan are included in the link below. If you have any questions you can call the church office or email Mary Anna at email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you back in church on Sunday, June 14!
Chairman of Deacons
June 2, 2020
If you are like me, you are ready for some good news! Well I believe we have some good news for you! Tomorrow night during our livestream Bible study time we will be releasing our plans to return to the sanctuary for corporate worship! We felt that it was important enough to take the time together on Wednesday night to share our plans for phase 2 of the re-entry plan. Our re-entry team has worked hard on making sure we can move as safely and as soon as possible. I believe we have a great plan to re-enter our sanctuary in a safe and secure fashion. We will also hear updates from several of our ministry leaders tomorrow night. Angela will update us on kids ministry, Darrin will update us on Student ministry summer plans, Mark will give us an update on our choir ministry and the Golden Gems, and Dwight Moss will also be giving us an update on Sunday School. Please plan to join us tomorrow night at 6:30 for an exciting night of inspiration and information.
May 16, 2020
Be sure and join us tomorrow morning as we begin phase 1 of our re-entry plan. We will live stream our blended service (Normal sanctuary service) at 8:00 and Darrin Reynolds will be preaching as he recognizes our senior graduates. At 9:30 I will be preaching as we live stream our contemporary service (normal gathering service).
Darrin and I look forward to being with You in the morning as we celebrate our graduates and begin moving forward to being together soon.
May 11, 2020
I hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend and made sure that your mothers felt special all day! We enjoyed spending time with our kids and planting flowers for Julie. For us it was a great Mother’s Day\Wedding anniversary weekend.
I wanted to remind you of our plan that was presented Sunday morning by chairman of Deacons and re-entry team member Eugene McGee. We will begin phase 1 of our re-entry plan this Sunday. Starting Sunday morning we will begin live streaming two worship services. Our blended service (normal sanctuary service) will be live-streamed at 8:00 a.m. Our contemporary service (normal Gathering service) will be live streamed at 9:30. We will remain in phase 1 until the team feels that we can safely move to phase 2. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work hard to make sure every generation is considered as we plan to return to campus.
This Sunday we will be recognizing our graduating seniors in the 8:00 service. Darrin has put together a great virtual recognition of our senior class. Darrin will be preaching the 8:00 service and I will be preaching the 9:30 service. Please be praying for all of our graduates as they move forward with their plans for the future.
Thank you again for continuing to be faithful in your online attendance and your regular giving. God is continuing to move and we want to follow Him. I look forward to seeing you both on Wednesday night and Sunday Morning.
May 2, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Thursday I met with our re-entry team to discuss what returning to church may look like for Immanuel Baptist Church. The team consists of staff members, Mark Caruth, Darrin Reynolds, Angelia Jones and Dwight Moss, along with Eugene McGee (Chairman of Deacons), Mark Clemmons (Chairman of stewardship and finance), Johnny Davenport (Chairman of personnel), Randall Hutto (Deacon and County Mayor), Tim Murray (Deacon and Police captain), Brenda McFarlin (Medical), and Gary Maggart (S.S. teacher). I tried to put a team together that would give us a wide scope of expertise and advice.
I wanted to update you on our discussion and our approach to a return back to worshipping on campus together.
- We want to move back into on campus worship as safely and as soon as possible. Please note the order of that statement. We value safety over speed. We want to return back to our normal worship services as soon as appropriate, but we will do that at a pace that will consider the safety and health of all our members.
- We will continue with our 8:30 Sunday morning and 6:30 Wednesday evening on line services until an on campus worship date can be determined.
- Late Friday afternoon we received some guidance and direction from the office of Governor Bill Lee. Our team will be meeting next week to determine our re-entry strategy for Immanuel.
- Every Generation matters. Keeping in mind the safety issue, we want to be wise and wait longer than to place our senior adult population or anyone who may have underlying health issues in danger. We need to consider the needs of all people that make up Immanuel. Our re-entry team will work on this diligently and prayerfully. We want to make the best decisions possible. We will continue to seek and follow the recommendations of the Governor’s office. We will release and communicate a plan that will phase back in our ministries over a period of time.
So you may be asking what can we do?
- Continue to lead your family. I have been so encouraged from the stories I am hearing about families joining together, watching and discussing worship. Let’s continue to take advantage of this special time we have with our families.
- Join or begin a Zoom Sunday school class. Many of our Sunday school classes are already meeting online. If yours is not or you would like to be a part of one that is, please contact Dwight Moss. He will make sure that you get connected or give your class instruction on how to start a zoom class. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Continue to share with others how to watch our services online. God is expanding the reach of Immanuel Baptist church in ways that we could not imagine. Let’s keep sharing links to both Facebook live and our church website.
- Pray. God has a plan in all of this and He is going to work this for His glory and our good. Let’s all be praying that when we do get back together we will experience revival and see what God is leading us to do.
Thank you so much for all of the encouragement that you are sending our way. It means a lot and shows how much Immanuel loves each other. Continue to be safe and we will be together soon. I will see you online tomorrow morning!
April 25, 2020
Good Afternoon Church Family,
I hope you are having a great day and are looking forward to diving into the word of God tomorrow morning. We will be continuing our study of 1 Peter as we look at chapter 1 verses 13-16, The New Standard. You can join us on our website or tune in to Facebook live at Immanuel Baptist Church Facebook page.
I have put together a Re-entry team that will begin looking at a possible schedule for our return to worship Services and activities on campus. While I know we are all eager to get back to church, we must consider both the health and safety of our congregation as well as the guidelines given to us by our Governor. Please be in prayer for this team as they meet next week.
Thank you so much for your patience during this difficult time apart and all of the encouraging words that you share about our team. In a time of crisis I have seen God continue to move in our midst. I can’t wait until we can all be together again!
April 18, 2020
We are trying to expand our online presence to make it as easy as possible for you to access the services as well as give more people an opportunity to connect with Immanuel Baptist Church. We have been amazed at the response we are getting with our services and want to keep that momentum going. We began streaming on Facebook live Wednesday night. This gives us another outlet for people to connect with Immanuel. Since Wednesday night we have had over 850 views of our Wednesday night bible study. This is double the amount of views that we normally see on a Wednesday night service. If you would like to connect through Facebook just go to the Immanuel Baptist Church Facebook page, and hit the Like button on the bottom left of the banner. You will be notified when the service goes live. Cameron is working on our youtube channel and hopes to have that launched next week.
The second update is from Johnny Davenport and the personnel committee. With the recent retirement of Tom Suiter and absence of Gary Maggart from the office, the personnel committee in conjunction with Church leadership felt the need to seek out someone who could continue to help us in the area of Sunday school and discipleship. We are blessed to have just that person in our body. Dwight Moss has been brought on the team as an interim part time Sunday school consultant. Dwight is a retired minister of education and currently serves as a Sunday school consultant across the country. He and his lovely wife Zanie are the proud parents of our own Grace Wood. Dwight will be a great addition to our team as he focuses on making our Sunday school and discipleship the best that it can be.
I am excited to have Dwight on the team and I know that he will help us continue to grow in an area that is fundamental to our vision. We are a church that values Sunday School and Dwight will help us as we look at expansion for the future.
I look forward to tomorrow morning as we dive into 1 Peter. See you then
April 11, 2020
I hope you enjoyed our Good Friday service last night. Our worship team did a great job in leading us through music. I look forward to being with you in the morning as we celebrate the resurrection of or Lord. As you prepare for tomorrow I want you to be thinking about what Easter means to you. This will be the first time for most of us that we do not celebrate Easter by attending a church service. As it all gets stripped down, what does Easter really mean to us. Pray for our team as we prepare for a great resurrection Sunday! I will see you at 8:30.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
I shared with you in our last email that I would give you an update on where we are financially after the first quarter of the year. Normally we would do this in our regular business meeting, but since we are not meeting, I did want you to know where we are and be able to celebrate God’s goodness to us.
As far as giving is concerned, we are currently at 99% of our giving expectations through the first quarter. Let me share with you several reasons why we are in such a good position. One is God prepared us for this. For most of the first quarter we have been running well over in our giving. It was unusual to be over so early in the year, but God knew what was coming when we did not. That overage has helped us tremendously. Second is your faithfulness to the Lord in your giving. I want to thank you church family for finding ways to give your offerings to the Lord. Many of you are choosing to give online and many are making the effort to bring them by the church. We are seeing offerings increase each Sunday that we are not meeting. Thank you for loving Jesus and loving your church.
As far as expenses are concerned, we are currently under budget by $162,055. Yes, that is correct and was not a typo! How, you may ask, are we able to be in such a good position on expenses having only been through one quarter? Several factors have contributed to that. One is great stewardship of our staff team. Your staff does a great job of stewarding the money that you give. Second is a savings in personnel. With the retirement of both Tom and Mrs. Edwina along with several budgeted positions that we have not hired, we have been able to see savings. God’s timing is perfect and I believe all that has happened has been preparing us for this moment.
I want to thank you again for your faithfulness during this difficult time and I know that we are going to come out of this better than we have ever been!
Monday, March 30, 2020
Dear Immanuel Church Family,
I hope this update email finds you happy and healthy. I want to start off by thanking so many of you for being faithful to watch the services online. We have had a record number of views over the last several weeks. It is great to know that you are watching and worshipping with us. I look forward to our teaching time this Wednesday night at 6:30. I know that you enjoyed the worship yesterday! It was great to have three of the four members of the quartet lead us although we missed brother Billy on those high parts! I’m looking forward to seeing what Mark has in store for us this Sunday.
Cynthia will be closing out the month of March on Wednesday which will give us a view of our first quarter of the year. I know we do not normally send out financial information, but I will be sending out a view of where we are after our first quarter. We will celebrate God’s faithfulness to our church as He works through the members of Immanuel Baptist Church!
Yesterday we heard President Trump address the nation about our current pandemic. His direction was that we extend our current practice until April 30. After talking with our chairman of Deacons Eugene McGee, we will be cancelling all services through April 30. We want to follow the guidelines of the CDC, as well as the President. I know this is difficult for all of us, but we must do our part in stopping the spread of this virus. This is obviously subject to change based on information from the CDC.
We also heard this afternoon from Governor Bill Lee. He signed two executive orders today to help curb the spread of the virus. In light of those orders we will limit office hours this week and next week to Monday’s and Wednesday’s only, from 8:00 AM – Noon. You can still bring your offerings to the church on Wednesday of this week and Monday and Wednesday of next week. We will continue to live stream both Wednesday Night Bible Study and Sunday Morning Worship Services.
If you were signed up to attend the Women of Joy conference this coming April in Pigeon Forge, please make sure to reach out to Macie Stephens @ 615-830-2559 to receive the updated conference info regarding Covid-19 concerns.
If you need to talk with a minister, please do not hesitate to call me anytime. My cell number is 615-306-0866. Let’s continue to pray and seek the face of our Heavenly Father as we walk through this together. I love you and look forward to reuniting with all of you.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
IBC Church Family,
I hope you are continuing to do well as we attempt to do all we can to curb this virus and get back to our normal pace of life. Please let us know in the church office if there is anything we can do for you during this time. If you are at risk and cannot get out please let us know if we can pick up groceries or medicine for you.
I look forward to being with you in the morning as we open God’s word together. Mark and his team will be leading worship. If you remember last Sunday we talked about the process of sanctification in our lives. We have to trust the process! This Sunday we will dig deeper to see what’s are part of the process. Are there certain things that we are to be doing as we are being conformed to the image of Jesus? We will answer those questions and more as we study God’s word together!
Monday, March 23, 2020
I hope this email finds you doing well as we walk through this difficult time together. I want to thank you for tuning in to our live stream service yesterday. If you are having problems making that work for you please let us know this week and we can walk you through the process. I wanted to send you an update on where we are concerning services moving forward.
- Yesterday Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order that prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people through April 6. Because of this action we will be canceling all services through April 5th.
- Mark Caruth has made the decision to cancel the Easter musical presentation this year. Please be in prayer for our choir and their leadership. This is one of the highlights of our church year and I know many people will be disappointed.
- We will continue to live stream Wednesday night bible study and Sunday morning worship services. I have asked Mark Caruth to pull his team together to provide worship for us on Sunday mornings moving forward.
Church we are in a trying time but we will make it and we will be better for it. As we talked about yesterday, we are going to trust the process. God is working through this and will make it all turn out for our good and His glory. Let’s continue to pray for each other and remain faithful to the One who is always faithful. Please call the Church Office or my cell if you have any questions.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Very Important Information From Pastor Jeff
Good Afternoon Church Family,
I hope that you have had a great week considering our circumstances. I wanted to give you a few updates as we move into the weekend.
- Office hours. We will have administrative staff in the office during the hours of 8:00-12:00 starting Monday. If you need anything please do not hesitate to call. We are still limiting personal interaction so if you are coming and you need to see someone please call before you come.
- Ministerial staff. There will be a member of the ministerial team in the office during the hours of 8:00-12:00 beginning Monday. If you would need to talk with someone, they will be available.
- I will be available anytime for you to call if needed. My cell number is 615-306-0866.
- Tithes and Offerings. I would encourage you continue to be faithful in your giving while we are in this isolated situation. You can bring your offerings to the church during office hours next week. There will be a secured mailbox attached to the wall just inside the glass doors on the Senior Adult parking side of the Sanctuary. You can drop it there and we will check that box daily. There is another secured mailbox at the other entrance to the Main Building by the Children’s Building if you want to use that one. If you do not feel comfortable getting out, you can mail it to the church. Online giving is another great option. If you would like help setting that up please call the church office and we will walk you through the process.
- Disaster Relief. Let’s not forget about those in our family and in our community that have been affected by the tornado. I am continuing to meet with the recover Wilson county team as we look at ways to help people rebuild. Please notice that the Community Meeting which was scheduled for tonight has been cancelled.
- Pray. Let’s all be committed to prayer during this time. Pray that this virus would pass and that we could all see Jesus in a greater capacity than we have ever seen Him.
Our team continues to look for ways to improve our communication to you during this time. We have Cameron currently developing a church app that will allow us to communicate with you through a singular site. I am working on launching a podcast next week that will give us another venue for communication and inspiration. I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we open God’s word together. Let’s continue to press on and be the church no matter where we are!
Monday, March 16, 2020
Thank you so much for the great response to our online service this past Sunday. I know it wasn’t like being at church but hopefully you were able to connect with God’s word. The team of Mark Caruth, Joey Clark and our faithful security team did a great job of making Sunday morning happen. I shared with you last week that I would meet with our deacon leadership and make a decision for Immanuel moving forward. After meeting with our chairman,Eugene McGee and our vice chairman,James Bryant this morning, we think it would be wise to cancel services for the remainder of this week. This means that there will not be any activities on campus Wednesday night or all day Sunday. We will continue to meet on Monday morning to make the decision for each week. The Center for Disease Control has suggested that groups of 50 or more not meet for the next 8 weeks. While we will listen to and consider the advice of outside agencies, we will make a decision for what we feel is best for the family of Immanuel Baptist church. Below are some things that we will be doing to keep our family connected.
- Wednesday Night Online Bible Study. I will be providing a Bible Study online Wednesday night for anyone who wants to participate. I am currently working on a system that will allow us to be more interactive through questions and answers related to the Bible Study. That will begin at 6:30 PM. I will give you more information on this before Wednesday.
- Sunday Morning Online Service. We will conduct our Sunday Morning Service just like we did yesterday. It will be live streamed from the Sanctuary at 8:30 AM.
- Offerings. I want to encourage you if you can to give online. As a part of the Wednesday Night Study I will be walking you through the online giving process. If you cannot do that, you can always mail it to the Church Office.
- Church Office Hours. I have spoken with Johnny Davenport and have encouraged our team to work from home this week as much as possible. I will be in and out of the office all week so if you need something please do not hesitate to call me at 615-306-0866.
These are difficult times for everyone and I know you will support everything we can do to protect our church family. Continue to pray for wisdom and strength as we press through this situation. Let’s continue to look at this through God vision and realize that our story is being written for His glory! I love you Church and hopefully we will see each other soon.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
ALL SERVICES AT IMMANUEL CANCELLED FOR TOMORROW INCLUDING SUNDAY SCHOOL
MS. EDWINA’S RETIREMENT RECEPTION POSTPONED
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we lead through this difficult Corona virus situation. After reading the release from Governor Bill Lee this morning asking groups not to meet this weekend and consulting with our chairman of deacons Eugene McGee, we are canceling all services tomorrow. I will be providing a message tomorrow morning at 8:30 for anyone who can watch online. The link that is provided will take you directly to the page where the sermon will be presented. https://video.ibm.com/channel/immanuel-baptist-church-lebanon-tn. If you are concerned about your offerings you can give online. Follow the link provided and it will walk you through the online giving process. You can give once online or set it up for a reoccurring gift. https://onrealm.org/ibctn/-/give/now. I have talked with Ms. Edwina Morris and we will reschedule her retirement recognition celebration. We want to make sure that we do everything possible to protect our members. The Southern Baptist Convention and President Trump have called all people tomorrow to a Day of Prayer. Please be praying for this to pass and protection for those in our congregation that would be most susceptible to this virus. We will make a decision Monday on midweek services. Thank you again for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you very soon.