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.