2010 FBC News Archive

FBC was rich in fellowship on the 26th
- this item posted December 26, 2010

Like a house church, FBC on Sunday was few in number but rich in fellowship. Fifteen who found themselves without their regular Sunday morning group joined Steve Booth in the Dining Hall. The approximate 100 in worship gave it a familial spirit. Yet there was joy too in welcoming some who came because their own churches were not open.



Sanctuary full for Christmas Eve service
- this item posted December 24, 2010

The First Baptist Church sanctuary was full of children and families for the 5 p.m. Candlelight Christmas Eve worship service.









Dr. Somerville narrated an impromptu
Christmas pageant from Luke 2, as the
story was acted out by children and staff members.


















The service closed with the
traditional singing of "Silent Night".











photos by Steve Perky



FBC brings Christmas cheer to Mixteca families
- this item posted December 22, 2010

First Baptist Church helped provide gifts to 22 Mixteca families at Christmastime. FBC staff took on the project of assembling the stockings for the children and other gifts for the families. Several staff members delivered the gifts December 22. Read more and see photos...




Homeless community treated to breakfast
- this item posted December 20, 2010

Ninety members of Richmond's homeless community gathered with 30 FBC members for the Ralph Anderson Homeless Breakfast December 20. Read more and see photos...




Families gather around the fireplace at Advent
- this item posted December 16, 2010

"First Family Around the Fireplace" on Wednesday night, December 15, provided an opportunity for families and friends to share a meal, hear Christmas music and participate in projects to bring Christmas joy to others. Read more and see photos...




Deacons elect new officers for 2011
- this item posted December 15, 2010

Jim Norvelle was elected Chairman of the Deacons beginning January 1, 2011. Art Phaup was elected Vice Chairman and Donna Earley, Secretary. The election took place during the regular monthly Deacon meeting December 14.

Jim Norvelle succeeds Lee Stephenson, who has served as Deacon Chair for the past two years. Jim is a member of the Next Step Sunday school class, the Church Choir and One Accord, and has been a member of FBC since 1979. He is employed by Dominion Virginia Power as Director of Media Relations - Generation. Jim and his wife, Wendy, have two grown daughters.

Art Phaup will serve as Vice Chairman of the Deacons. He retired as a colonel in the U. S. Army, and later from the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Information Technology. He currently serves on a volunteer basis as FBC's webmaster. Art and his wife, Ann, have been members of FBC since 1991. They have two children and five grandchildren, all of whom are part of the FBC family.

Donna Earley has been a member of FBC since 1990. She and her husband, Brad, were married here. Donna is employed as Church Secretary at Huguenot Road Baptist Church. She served for 16 years as Wedding Coordinator for FBC.





Deaf Mission exceeds missions offering goal
- this item posted December 13, 2010

The First Baptist Church Deaf Mission set a goal of $175 for this year's Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions. By the second week of December, they had already raised $332. A wreath with a Christmas lights, one turned on for each $25 raised, was an effective visual reminder of their progress.

    - reported by Susan Beach




Construction complete on Gingerbread Churches

- this item posted December 12, 2010


One hundred twenty-five people representing 30 families gathered in the FBC gym Friday evening, December 10 to build gingerbread churches. See photos...




Christmas concert CDs & DVDs available

- this item posted December 9, 2010


CDs and DVDs of the Church Choir’s December 5 Christmas concert, “God With Us” are available. CDs are $3 and DVDs are $10. Order yours here. While final editing is still underway, the disks will be ready for pick-up by December 19. Mail orders will be shipped December 20. The concert will be broadcast on WRIC-TV8 Sunday, December 26 at 11am.




Finance Office outlines end-of-year giving options
- this item posted December 7, 2010


In order for year-end church contributions to be acknowledged in 2010, the IRS requires that the check be dated and received by the church on or before December 31, 2010. The only exception to this involves checks written in 2010 and deposited in the mail and postmarked in December 2010, but not received by the church until January 2011. Due to Christmas and New Year holiday schedule, the church finance office will be open only on December 29th & 30th to receive year end contributions.



International Missions breakfast highlights work in three countries
- this item posted December 6, 2010


Former Caribbean missionaries Janice and Ron Wilson highlighted missions work in Haiti, South Africa, and the Czech Republic during last Saturday's International Missions Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast was part of the Week of Prayer for Global and International Missions, November 28 through December 5. The Wilsons also talked about ministry to the deaf around the world. They showed a video clip of a 90-year-old woman who led one deaf lady to the Lord. That new Christian lady is now teaching and reaching many for the Lord.

challenged FBC members to continue knowing, praying, giving and going to share God's love around the world. The Wilsons work in the home office of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, where Saturday's prayer breakfast was held.

They closed their presentation by asking, "Do we celebrate Christ or just Christmas? We need to remember that Jesus is the best gift."
    - reported by Mary Palmer



Hundreds gather at Christkindlmarkt
- this item posted December 5, 2010


Christkindlmarkt - a European-style Christmas market on the Mulberry Street parking lot of Richmond's First Baptist Church drew hundreds of members, friends and neighbors on Saturday, December 4. Local artisans and craftsmen were on hand to display and sell their items, from jam to jewelry, trees to birdhouses. Musical groups performed, Kris Kringle mingled with the crowd, and our Bhutanese New American friends brewed their tea. See photos and a video...



FBC unveils new website
- this item posted December 4, 2010


After a year of planning and development, Richmond's First Baptist Church unveiled the new look of its website this morning. The new site was developed and built by a team of volunteers and staff, including Art Phaup, Steve Perky, Shawn Starkey, Rick Whittington, Anthony Nesossis, and David Powers. Take a video tour of the new site...




Busy weekend at FBC surrounds second Sunday of Advent
- this item posted December 4, 2010


Christkindlmarkt and the Church Choir's Christmas concert are anchors of a busy weekend at Richmond's First Baptist Church. The weekend began Friday with the Senior Adult Christmas Luncheon, when 200 FBC members and friends gathered in the Dining Hall to celebrate the season by enjoying lunch, singing Christmas songs and listening to guest speaker Drexel Rayford. The weekend continued Friday night with Parents' Night Out, and Saturday morning with the prayer breakfast for Global and International Missions. Christkindlmarkt, a European-style Christmas market in the church's Mulberry Street parking lot is scheduled for 10am to 4pm Saturday. Sunday morning, the Second Sunday of Advent worship services at 8:30 and 11 will be streamed live on the church's website, and the 11am service will be televised live locally on WRIC-TV8. The weekend closes with a concert by the Church Choir, One Accord and orchestra at 7pm Sunday. See the full Advent schedule...



Boys & girls collecting suitcases for foster children

- this item posted December 2, 2010


First Baptist Church's boys and girls missions groups are collecting gently used suitcases and/or duffel bags to be given to local children in foster care. Often when these children move from one home to another, their belongings are put into a garbage bag. The Children’s Home Society of Virginia has asked us to help them by collecting 30 bags for these special children. If you have a suitcase or bag at home that you do not use, please bring it to the church.  Donations will be collected until December 12th. You can drop them off at Candi Brown's office or at the preschool and children’s welcome centers.




FBC members respond to Operation Christmas Child
- this item posted December 1, 2010


First Baptist Church members and friends filled 249 shoeboxes with Christmas gifts during October and November. The shoeboxes will be distributed by Operation Christmas Child to children in crisis-torn countries. Most of the children have never received a Christmas present. Each gift given to a child opens the door of opportunity to introduce him to Jesus. Please pray for these children and their families as they celebrate Christmas for the first time.



Five nominated for Deacon ordination
- this item posted November 29, 2010


The Deacon Nomination Committee has recommended that five members be ordained as Deacons. The five are Keith Carroll, Mark Larson, Gerry Ozmore, Trip Phaup, and Clint Smith.


Nomination Committee Chairman Richard Szucs presented the names during the morning worship services November 28. The congregation will vote on the recommendation during the worship services on Sunday, December 12.


The Committee also recommended that 20 who have served as Deacons previously return to the active board. They are Katherine Bobbitt, Allen Brown, Kim Boys, Virginia Darnell, Clyde Davis, Donna Earley, Robin Hale-Cooper, Lowrey Holthaus, Carl Johnson, Bruce Leary, David Maynard, James Norvelle, Connie McRoberts, Jane Nott, Bob Palmer, Art Phaup, Carolyn Powers, Martha Selden, Larry West, and Margaret Wilson.


If elected, the new and returning Deacons will begin their three-year term of service January 1, 2011.


In addition to the chairman, Richard Szucs, the members of the Deacon Nomination Committee are Beverly Carroll, Jeanne Dortch, Bruce Leary, Tommy Norris, Wendy Norvelle, Mary Palmer, and Trip Phaup.




Budget Team is close to finalizing proposed church budget for 2011.
- this item posted November 23, 2010


The Budget Team will make their revised recommendation to the Deacons December 14. If the Deacons approve it at their meeting January 11, the Team will present the proposal to the congregation during the quarterly church business meeting Wednesday evening, January 26, at 6:15 in the Dining Hall. The congregation will vote on the budget Sunday morning, February 13.


In previous years, the budget development and approval process is completed before Thanksgiving. But this year, because giving was so far below expectations in the early fall, the team delayed their final decisions until after a special offering on October 31. That offering, totaling $234,546, and the above average offerings the three Sundays following, helped the team make more realistic projections for 2011.


They will recommend a church budget of $3.1 million. That's $100,000 less than the 2010 budget, but consistent with current giving patterns.




FBC hosts 80 men during Thanksgiving week.
- this item posted November 20, 2010


Richmond's First Baptist Church is hosting 80 men this week, November 22-27, as part of our participation in CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter). Several local churches take turns providing shelter and services for the homeless population during the winter months.


While they're here this week, the men will have other opportunities. On Sunday night, the One Accord ensemble performed a concert for the men. Volunteers are providing meals, haircuts and laundry service.


The guests will participate in the Thanksgiving dinner and worship service Tuesday evening.


The men arrive at the church building in the late afternoon and leave early in the morning. But on Thanksgiving Day, they may remain in the building all day, enjoying a Thanksgiving meal, watching television, and visiting with church members who come to help serve the meal.




FBC men to help repair home.
- this item posted November 19, 2010


Bob Palmer, who coordinates the church's construction teams for Habitat for Humanity projects, is gathering a team of men to make repairs on the home of a church member. The men will gather on Saturday, December 11 to make some much-needed repairs to this home. Bob is looking for men who can do some basic plumbing, carpentry and household repair jobs. If you can help contact Bob directly.




October 31 special offering total updated to $234,546.

- this item posted November 4, 2010


After all the gifts were counted, the total amount given through the special offering on October 31 came to $234,546. The additional amount came in through online gifts and those who mailed or delivered their offering early in the week following the offering.



Congregation gives almost $222k in special offering 

- this item posted November 2, 2010


The First Baptist congregation gave almost $222,000 in a special offering Sunday, October 31. Throughout the month of October, Senior Pastor Dr. Jim Somerville had been challenging the church to give sacrificially on the 31st, to help the church thrive.


The amount needed on a weekly basis to meet the 2010 church budget is $51,200. Prior to Sunday's offering, total gifts for the year were $227,455 below budget needs. The total 2010 church budget is $3.2 million.


Dr. Somerville responded to the offering in an email message to the congregation today.


"For several weeks I've been asking: 'If the church of Jesus Christ is going to thrive somewhere, why not here?' On Sunday, October 31, Richmond's First Baptist Church answered that question as the 1,046 people in attendance at worship gave an offering of $221,867.76.


"Attendance and giving don't tell the whole story, but they are important vital signs. What they signified on Sunday was the vitality of this historic church. To those who came and gave, and to those who pray and serve, I say 'Thank you!'


"My hope is that the momentum of Sunday will continue into the season of Thanksgiving and Advent, that we will see a surge of life and energy in the church that makes us believe anything is possible.


"After all, with God, anything is."





Congregation decides by 67% majority to change membership requirements

 - this item posted September 19, 2010

The congregation met in a special called business session Sunday morning and voted to change the church's membership requirements, as recommended by the Deacons.


Of the 691 people who voted by secret ballot, 464 voted "yes".


The hour-long meeting took place during the Sunday school hour. One amendment to the recommendation was offered and discussed, but was not approved by the congregation.


The final vote was 464 (67.15%) in favor of the change, 221 (31.98%) opposed, and 6 ballots which could not be determined either way. The ballot count was completed just before 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.


Read a summary of news stories leading up to the vote...





13 are baptized in second annual river baptism
- this item posted August 112, 2010

Members and friends of First Baptist gathered at the James River to witness the baptism of 13 people and share a picnic Sunday afternoon, August 8.

Photos by Janet Chase.

Watch a short video of the baptism.


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