Waiting is not passive

The End is Clear. Our study through the book of Revelation has come to a close and we wait with great anticipation for the return of Jesus. Waiting is not passive however. The fact that Jesus is coming soon is a call to action.  Sunday we will see what God's direction is for a faith family while they wait. 

As our world turns toward the celebration of Christmas, we turn our attention to providing for the good news of Jesus to go to the world. As Acts 1:8 indicates we are charged as disciples of Christ to bear witness to every part of the world that Jesus has come to save. We receive a special offering each year at this time (ACTS 1:8 Missions Offering) to fund the mission and to support those who go and tell. Our goal this year of $200,000 will be used to support almost 8000 career missionaries and their families in North America and more than 100 other countries of the world. If we ALL GIVE GENEROUSLY we can see this goal realized. Pray and follow the Spirit's lead. 

Sunday night at 5, we have a Church Conference to adopt our 2018 Ministry Budget. Also, we will be voting on a recommendation regarding those who will serve as our Church Leadership Team. As prescribed in our newly adopted Church Constitution a team of six has been selected by our current Deacons from a list of those who previously served as Deacons. Those who have been nominated agreed to serve, and will be recommended tonight are as follows:
Stan Tedder, Kurt Lawrence, Bob Bishop, Ralph Moore, Scott Shuford, and Chris Morgan.

Following our conference stick around for our Christmas Sing Along beginning at 6pm. 

Go Jesus!
Pastor Carlos

Posted on December 6, 2017 .

Music, Singing, Decorations...

Sunday kicks off our church family Christmas focus. Music, singing, decorations, and parties will fill our days as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. One way to focus our hearts and homes on the main event of Christmas is using a special devotional or Bible reading guide. December 3 marks the beginning of what some traditions refer to as Advent. Many "Advent Devotionals" are readily available for just that purpose. Some of those are listed below. Lifeway has many possibilities in store or you still have time to order something. Our family will be using the new resource form Paul David Tripp. Find your devotional, set a time and place, and prepare your hearts for Christmas Day.

This season is a perfect time to invite someone to church with you. Especially be looking for someone to invite to our Christmas Eve Services. We will have services at 10am, 11am, 4pm, and 5pm on the 24th to choose from. They will last for 40 minutes. There is no child care so we are planning knowing that the whole family will be together to celebrate. There will be music, I will be speaking, and you can feel comfortable inviting guest of all ages and all walks of life to be present. The only difference in the four services will be that the 2 night services will close with candlelight singing of Silent Night.

Many other opportunities to invite are on the schedule as well: Ladies Christmas Event December 7, December 10 Sing A long, December 14 Christy Nockels Concert just to name a few. 

Celebrating the Savior, King Jesus!
Pastor Carlos

Come Let Us Adore Him - Paul David Tripp

She Reads Truth / He Reads Truth Advent 2017

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy - John Piper

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift - Ann Voskamp

 

Posted on November 29, 2017 .

A unique opportunity for grad students

After returning from Thanksgiving break, there is a unique opportunity for grad students to hear from a world class physical chemist about how he navigates the often perceived conflict between being a science scholar while also being a follower of Jesus. Professor Thomas Rizzo, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Physical Chemistry, Dept. of Chemistry, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), will be at UGA on Tuesday, Nov. 28, to deliver a lecture for the chemistry department. He also agreed to come a day early and make himself available for interaction with graduate students. 

On Monday, Nov. 27, from 4 to 5 pm, Dr. Rizzo will be speaking at a reception on the topic of "Science and Faith: An Impossible Mix?" He will be sharing his personal journey on the topic for about 25 minutes and then have 20 to 25 minutes of Q&A. Light refreshments will also be served.

The meeting will be held in the Chemistry Annex Conference Room (Room 401CA), which can only seat about 35. This venue will allow more interaction with Dr. Rizzo compared to a larger auditorium. An invitation will also be extended to grad students in the sciences, so we are asking those interested in attending to RSVP so that we don't have too many for the room. I will also send more specifics about the room location to help you find it if you have never been to this building.

- Buz Amason 

Faculty Commons Field Representative
University of Georgia

Posted on November 16, 2017 .

Will there be animals in heaven?

"Will there be animals in heaven?" I remember getting that question from one of my boys years ago. Of course, like most parents know, that question came at bedtime when the lights should have been off much earlier! Attempting to get out of the room I gave an abrupt "no" only to hear a second question, "what about that white horse?" Child-like faith had nailed me once again. 

In our study of Revelation we have come to this question, "What about that white horse?" In Revelation 19:11, John recorded, "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse!"  That's just the beginning of one of the most amazing and astonishing chapters in all of Revelation. Take some time before Sunday to read chapters 19 and 20 and prepare for the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

The daily news cycle continues to present us with both painful and unsettling stories. Yet around me I am regularly encouraged by the stories I am hearing of the work of Christ in the lives of many in our church family. As we enter the Thanksgiving season my heart is strengthened because of seeing the local body of Christ walking faithfully. Let Hebrews 10:24-25 serve both as an exhortation and an encouragement in your life today as you remember the joy it is to have a local family of faith. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

Thankful for you
Pastor Carlos

Posted on November 15, 2017 .

Our souls ache with our brothers and sisters...

Our souls ache with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are grieving so deeply in Sutherland Springs, Texas. We also hope and trust with them in our God, the Lord Almighty, to overcome this evil. Sunday we listened to Sam Landrith speak of what we hold onto in times of trial and tribulation not knowing at the time what was happening in Texas. His message keeps replaying in my heart reminding me how desperately we must cling to Jesus at all times.  (You can listen to that message here).

This coming Sunday you will be provided a list of men for you to nominate for service as Deacons for our church family. First Timothy 3 lays out the qualifications for those who serve. Take a moment to read through that passage and prayerfully consider who you will nominate. 

Revelation 19:1-10 is our text for Sunday. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb has arrived! I'm longing for that day more than ever. 

Praying for You!
Pastor Carlos

Posted on November 8, 2017 .

I hope and pray you won't miss this Sunday...

I hope and pray you won’t miss this Sunday.  We will take a break from Revelation and welcome our guest speaker, Sam Landrith.  Sam’s father was David Landrith. I had no better friend in ministry than David. We met during our first pastorates in Cleveland, TN. He eventually pastored Long Hollow Baptist in Tennessee and at age 51 died due to cancer.  From all outward appearances, he was in the prime of ministry. The year before he died, Long Hollow baptized more than 1,000 people. Sam, one of David’s three children, is a senior in college and believes God has called him to pastor.  I want you to hear him speak.  I also want him to be encouraged by meeting you and knowing our family of faith.  You praying for him and being in the room to hear him, supporting him has the potential to strengthen him greatly as he follows God’s call on his life.  Thank you in advance.

Over the next few weeks, we will select men to serve our church as Deacons, and they will join those already serving. With the recent changes in our church bylaws and constitution, Deacons for our church will take on a very focused role of serving the church body in practical ministry.  They will assist with multiple ministry areas such as benevolence, grief care, ordinances of baptism and communion, prayer, and many other needs.  Click here to find a list of men that you can look over in order to pray and prepare to nominate on Sunday, November 12.  The list provided are men that meet the initial qualifications set up by our church (Age 25 and older, Christians for at least 3 years, and a member for at least 2 years).

In Christ,
Carlos

Posted on October 31, 2017 .

We are overwhelmed!

Church Family,

We are overwhelmed!  

Since I am writing this in the middle of packing up our house and preparing to move our family of 6 across the world, you might expect that I mean that in a bad way. But thanks be to God, because of you, we are simply overwhelmed with joy and gratitude!  Your outpouring of love and support remind us that we are not going on this journey alone; your words of encouragement give us strength and courage; your extravagant generosity simply leaves us humbled and speechless; and your prayers for us are truly felt - they are powerful, effective, and oh, so necessary.

Thank you for the past 12 years of teaching us the Word and leading us to love and follow King Jesus.

Thank you for the past 7 years of loving our kids and showing them what a gospel-centered, Christ-exalting local church looks like.

Thank you for the past 5 years of allowing me to serve as one of your pastors - it has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

Thank you for right now - for how you are sending us so well.  We love you all and thank God for you.  

Love, grace and peace to you - 

The Fitz Family

Posted on October 24, 2017 .

Let's celebrate the beautiful day we had!

Let's not let Sunday get past us with out celebrating what a beautiful day we had. Thank you for the generous way you blessed the Fitzgerald family through your giving. I know they are grateful and able to sense a strong support from their church family in preparing to go to South Asia. (January is their target departure date.) 

The picnic certainly lived up to my expectations of being my favorite church night of the year. More than 1000 of us gathered on the property. You came early and stayed late. I loved seeing everyone enjoying the fellowship of one another. I especially am grateful to Brad Kinney and Jessica Mathisen coordinating the details and teams for the picnic.  

Note on your schedule a special guest speaker coming to our worship services November 5th. Sam Landrith will be here that morning to speak in all three services. Sam's father, Pastor David Landrith of Longhollow Baptist in Hendersonville Tennessee, was a dear friend to our family. David died 2 years ago at 51 due to a rare type of cancer. Sam, now a senior in college, will speak to us on what to hold on to in times of great trials and tribulations in our life. If you know of someone that maybe is dealing with a temptation to be angry with God due to life's circumstances it would be a good Sunday to invite them to WFBC. 

In Christ
Pastor Carlos

Posted on October 18, 2017 .

LAST CHANCE!!

My favorite event of the year, the Church Picnic, is this Sunday night! Bring your chairs and blankets and we will start serving BBQ Chicken at 5pm. Come a little early and enjoy the music by the Hog Mountain Boys. 


Sunday morning come prepared to give toward a special love offering for C & J Fitzgerald. This offering will give us all a chance to show our appreciation for their years of service at WFBC and provide some help for them as they transition their family of six to East Asia in January. 


We will be in  Revelation 13 and 14 this week. Read ahead and pray for our day of worship. 


I love you!
Pastor Carlos

Posted on October 11, 2017 .

My favorite event of the year!!

There's no question about it, our annual ALL-CHURCH PICNIC IS MY FAVORITE EVENT OF THE YEAR! Did you notice the words "ALL-CHURCH" in that statement? October 15, 5-7 pm on our property, everybody needs to be here for BBQ, music by the Hog Mountain Boys, inflatables for the kids, and catching up on life with others. It's free but WE HAVE TO KNOW YOU ARE COMING TO PREPARE. Get signed up right away. 

Chris, Jessica and their four children continue to take steps toward leaving our church and staff to serve in East Asia. They have many things facing them in order to start a new life on the other side of the world. In appreciation for their service here and to help with their transition there, our church will be receiving a special love offering for them in our morning worship services October 15. 

This weekend, along with our study in Revelation, we will also being sharing the Lord's Supper together. Throughout the book of Revelation, we see the presence of the Lamb of God. In chapter 12 this week we will see those who stood faithfully against their spiritual enemy are described as having over come him by the "blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." Together we will remember the sacrifice and victory that Jesus offers in his life, death and resurrection. We will remember together that in the worst of times and the tribulation of life there is hope in the Lamb, the Savior, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Looking forward to His return!
Pastor Carlos

Posted on October 4, 2017 .

APPROVED!

Sunday, in church Conference, we approved changes to our by-laws and constitution. These changes will be helpful to our overall ministry effectiveness and church health as we continue to grow and fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples. Thank you for your input in the process. I'm praising the Lord for the unity of our church family demonstrated in our conversations around the "main things" and find this so very encouraging and refreshing.  I'm especially thankful to Executive Pastor Chip Riggs and our Governance Ministry Team (Paul Chambers, Jon Channell, Jason Matthews, and Chris Morgan) for helping us navigate through this process. 

Part of the new changes include the establishment of a Church Leadership Team. Over the next few weeks we will begin the process of selecting thus team and also additional Deacons to serve our church. This process will be completed by the end of the year in order for service to begin January 2018. 

Have you connected with WFBC through church membership? I want you to be more than an attender! Whether a college student here for a few months or a local resident for years, membership in a local church family is the right thing to do. Why? Sign up today at watkinsville.org to attend our next Membership Info Night this coming Sunday at 5:30. Lots of the "whys and whats" will be answered that night and then you can prayerfully consider taking this step of connecting with our faith community. 

In Christ
Pastor Carlos

Posted on September 27, 2017 .

Donations for Lemm Elementary in Houston, Texas

Church Family,

In response to Hurricane Harvey, I am gathering donations for Lemm Elementary School in Houston, Texas.  Ms. Kathy Brown, Principal of Lemm Elementary in Houston, has provided the following list of supplies that teachers need:

If possible, please send all donations in a 1 or larger quart Sterilite container for packing purposes:

1)      Post it chart paper

2)      Post it notes (small and large)

3)      Pens

4)      Paper (copy and color)

5)      Pencils

6)      Color pencils

7)      Crayons

8)      Pencil sharpeners 

9)      High lighters

10)   Dry erase markers

11)   Clear Tape 

12)   Tape Dispenser

13)   3 Hole punch

14)   Glue sticks

15)   Scissors (for small children)

16)   Paper towels

17)   Cleaning supplies (Clorox wipes)

18)   Rulers

19)   Hand sanitizer

20)   Prizes (for the kids)

21)   Kleenex tissues

22)   Construction paper

23)   Storage container (for teacher organization)

 

Lee Turman, Casey Colquitt, Griffith Haigh, Trent McElroy, and Michael Cooper will have trucks at Watkinsville First Baptist during both services Sunday, September 24th.   We will transport the donation to Lemm Elementary School via UHAUL truck and/or trailer.

-- 

Casey Colquitt

Science Teacher

Men's Varsity Soccer Coach

Region 8AAAA Soccer Chairman

 

Jefferson High School

575 Washington Street

Jefferson, GA 30549

706-367-2881

Posted on September 20, 2017 .

Five Guys and a Truck

FIVE GUYS and a truck! Some school teachers in our church have made a contact with a school in Houston that are in need of supplies due to Hurricane Harvey. Please read the letter here and check the needed supplies list and bring those supplies THIS SUNDAY.  Place those supplies at the truck parked in the courtyard. Five guys from our church will deliver those supplies to the school in Houston. 

Sunday evening at 5 we will vote on the proposed changes to our Church Constitution and By-laws. Last month in Conference those changes were explained. Over the past weeks your questions and suggestions have been very helpful in shaping the final version. I believe this document which serves as a guide for the way we operate as a church will help us be even more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. Please prepare to attend our Conference and be praying for the decision. 

Sundays text is Revelation 6 and 7. Read ahead and do pray for our day together. Really...pray for the day! 
I love you
Pastor Carlos

Posted on September 20, 2017 .

Give and Go

Our church family is needed in helping our neighbors to the south and west recover from Harvey and Irma. The need for prayer is obvious and should not be underestimated. In our giving and going we are relying on the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to direct us in the most effective ways to help.  Giving financially at NAMB.net is needed desperately. This allows monies to be most directly applied to the specific needs of each area. This is more critical at this time than sending certain supplies. Please consider making a donation

As for going, we will be coordinating skilled labor and unskilled labor teams in the weeks and months ahead. As soon as the logistics of those projects are put together by those assessing damages on the ground we will make those opportunities known. If you are aware of local needs due to the storms or you have a relationship with someone that have needs related to the storms in other states feel free to contact me at carlos@watkinsville.org. We will work to try and help where we can. 

Our study of Revelation continues Sunday in chapters four and five. Please read those chapters this week and pray for the Lord to prepare our hearts for our time together in His Word. These chapters give us a glimpse into heaven, those who will be there, and the events and actions of those who will be there in eternity. There's a lot to look forward to!

Be sure and note the date of the annual picnic--October 15. Volunteers are needed to help make it happen. You can sign up to serve here.
In Christ
Pastor Carlos

Posted on September 13, 2017 .

Good Work, Bad Work, New Work

Sunday you heard the story of how God has been working in the lives of the Fitzgeralds. For five years on our church staff, the Lord has used Chris and Jessica to sound the call for people to pray, give and go to the world with the good news of Jesus. Now we see them answering the call to go themselves. In less than five months, they will be on the international field. Our role more than ever  is to pray for them, give for them, and support them as they go. Please stay attentive to their needs in this time of transition and keep them daily in your prayers. 

Imagine opening your email today and seeing there in your Inbox an email from Jesus. Maybe the subject line reads "Good Work, Bad Work, New Work." On Sunday, we return to our study in Revelation. If chapters 2 and 3 were written in today's world, they might look something like that type of email. The verses are seven letters from Jesus to His followers in seven different churches. They address the good and bad of their life and call them to a new way of living. 

These letters make me wonder what a personal letter from Jesus would say at this time in my life--my family life, work life, spiritual life etc. I also wonder if WFBC had been one of those 7 churches what would be our good, bad, and new work? Pray with me as we head toward Sunday that the Spirit will speak to our hearts and we would welcome with obedience His words from Revelation. 

Trusting in the strong arm of the Lord, 
Pastor Carlos

Posted on September 6, 2017 .

Praying for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Mark your Calendars

There are two items I would like to put before you this week. First, our hearts are with those in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are praying for floodwaters to recede, first responders, those who have had to evacuate their homes, and all of those grieving over those who have been lost and those who have been injured. We will consider all ways our church can be involved in helping, including sending a team when possible. Right now, we are thankful that we can partner with Southern Baptist Relief efforts. Go to https://www.namb.net/send-relief/disaster-relief/hurricane-harvey to learn more on how we can give or volunteer.

Second, please mark on your calendars my favorite event of the year that brings our whole church together. On Sunday night, October 15th, we will gather for our annual Church Picnic. It's a great evening of food, bluegrass music, conversations with friends and meeting new people.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Carlos

Posted on August 30, 2017 .

Details about our Church Conference this Sunday night

Sunday night at Church Conference (5pm) our Deacons will introduce proposed changes to our church's constitution and bylaws. The Constitution and Bylaws is a document that our church voted on some years ago that states our theological beliefs and lays out how we operate practically and govern ourselves as a church. For example, it spells out how we receive new members, how we select new pastoral staff, and how Deacons are elected. It is specific to this body we call Watkinsville First Baptist. Over the 100 plus year history of our church there have been previous changes reflecting a growing congregation and staff and now we have reached that point again.

The proposed changes are the result of an 18-month process undertaken across two terms of Deacon rotation. The process has been slow and prayerful intentionally. Believing our current operational and governing procedures no longer fit a church our size, the Deacons will propose changes that are believed to be both biblical and more effective for a church that has grown from 200 to almost 2000. I believe these changes will serve us well in being a healthy local body of believers as well as a healthy staff for many years to come.

Keep in mind there will not be a vote taken Sunday night. There will only be explanation and discussion. Sunday night will be followed by two additional Q & A sessions in September in order to give opportunities for as many people as possible to have clarity on what's being proposed. The vote will then take place in a second Conference at the end of September.  

Looking forward to His return,
Pastor Carlos

 

Posted on August 23, 2017 .

Let's not wait until sunday!

"Let's open our Bibles to Revelation." You will hear me say those words this weekend, however, let's not wait till Sunday! Sometime between now and then, I'm asking you to read through all twenty-two chapters. You will need about 50 minutes total to read all the way through. Pray as you read for the Holy Spirit to be powerful in his work through us this fall by changing lives, encouraging our hearts, and opening our eyes to the glory of the risen, returning Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for the way you have responded the past two weeks as we have kicked off a new season of ministry. So many of you are going the extra mile in serving. Our property has been alive with many new and returning faces. Remember, our Sundays together are so much stronger when we prepare for Sunday ahead of time, when we are in the room early, and when we reach out to those around us with a welcoming spirit.

Invite someone to come with you this week. I love you and I'm praying for you.
Pastor Carlos

Posted on August 15, 2017 .

Help a family in need of supplies for home

Could you help out a family that has recently returned to the US from a mission assignment? They are from this area and were serving with Cru in East Asia but are currently back in Athens and are in need of some things to get their home set up. This would be a great way for our church to welcome them back. Here is a list of needs they have:

Living Room

TV (with HDMI ports)

Tv stand/storage

DVD player

Vacuum cleaner

coffee table

end tables

Bedroom

2 twin bunk bed mattresses

2 sets twin sheets

2 twin comforters (own star wars duvet covers already)

1 set queen sheets high thread count

2 queen comforters

full sheets?

Table lamps

toy storage with bins or baskets

kids books (ages 4-10 years)

6 pillows

homework desks

hangers

Bathroom

6 full bath towels

4 hand towels

6 wash cloths

kids step stool

2 shower curtains

Kitchen

hand towels

oven mitts

NutriBullet

Toaster oven

casserole dishes/corningware

food storage containers

crock pot

griddle/sandwich maker

mixing bowls

colander

programmable coffee pot

skillet

set of pots

large trash can

utensils

steak knives

large kitchen knives

veggie slicer

drinking glasses

drink pitcher

kids plates, bowls

cutting boards

Office

Printer

Wireless Router

Laundry

5 laundry baskets

Kids School

school supplies

MISC

light bulbs

power strips

extension cords

door mats- front and back

Posted on August 8, 2017 .