Get Involved

Volunteers are needed to read to kids! - Our 2020 Vision School Partnership Team has two reading programs in schools in our area looking for volunteers to read to children at school:

  • March 1 - Read Across America Day - It’s Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and Glen Lea Elementary School is looking for friendly volunteers to share in a book reading with a class. All books will be selected beforehand by the school, and the children will be ready and waiting. The kids are excited and we are too, all we need is you!
    Sign up here!

  • March 1 - March 27 - One Richmond, One Book - is an inclusive city-wide reading event, allowing all elementary students to participate and get excited about reading the same book together at the same time! Our partner school John B. Cary Elementary School, along with others in the community will deliver fun, educational and engaging literacy-based activities for all the children of Richmond.
    Sign up here!

Get Involved

  • Choose an area of ministry you have interest in exploring.
  • Contact the staff member for that ministry and tell him or her you'd like to get involved.
  • If you prefer, contact Steve Booth, Associate Pastor for Christian Formation, and he will assist you with a “big picture” overview of all seven ministry areas and specific ministries that might be a good fit based on your spiritual gifts, interests and personality. A helpful tool is the Spiritual Gifts Inventory. It’s easy and doesn't take very long. Take a few minutes to explore the gifts God has given you. 

Over the next two years, CARITAS is discontinuing the use of churches as housing for its shelter system and opening up a permanent shelter to house all of its clients. Because the men’s shelter has already moved to its permanent location, we will no longer house the men during the week of Thanksgiving. However, we will still provide lunches, some dinners and evening activities during the week of Thanksgiving at the new CARITAS men’s shelter. So there are many ways for you to be involved still. The women’s shelter will not move to its permanent location until 2020, and it will continue to operate in church buildings as it has previously. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the Compassion Ministry has decided not to host women’s CARITAS this year. Please read this letter, then contact Justin Pierson at 804-358-5458 x153 with questions.

Disaster Relief

  • You can contribute to relief efforts in times of natural disaster through the Baptist General Association of Virginia,
  • Or give directly to Virginia Baptist Disaster Relief
  • You may also make checks payable to First Baptist Church and designate them Disaster Relief. Please put them in the offering plate, the black box in the church office or the Finance Office.

Mobile Grocery Store

This Compassion ministry now has a mobile grocery store that travels to areas known as food deserts and sells food at discounts of 75-80%, allowing residents to use their limited resources more efficiently. We have scaled down our food pantry at the church to serve the homeless and walk-in emergencies only. Currently, this mobile grocery store ministry is a pilot program going out three times a month to two different communities. Church members can help by donating canned vegetables, fruit, meat and breakfast supplies as well as cleaning and toiletry supplies. Deposit donations in the grocery cart in the Park Avenue hallway 125. Contact Steve Blanchard, to volunteer.


A list of non-monetary donations needed and accepted by the Ministry of Compassion. You can drop off items in the designated donation areas.

S.N.A.P Pantry Donations

We distribute the items below. Due to limited storage and client need, please bring only these items.

  • Laundry Detergent - 16 count pod packs
  • Dish Detergent - 20-28 oz. containers
  • Household Cleaners - 22 oz. and up multi-use spray cleaners
  • Paper Towels - any size
  • Toilet Paper - any size
  • Bath Soap - 3 oz. and up bars
  • Shampoo - 12 oz. bottles
  • Conditioner - 12 oz. bottles
  • Feminine Products -14 count and up, all types
  • Toothpaste - 2.9 oz. and up  (this is a new addition to the list)
  • Deodorant - regular size, roll-on or spray (no trial sizes please)

Toiletry Donations

We distribute a variety of toiletry items. Please be sure to note the various sizes of the items requested.

  • Toothpaste (any size)
  • Toothbrushes (adult)
  • Spray deodorant (any size)
  • Hand lotion (trial size)
  • Razors (disposable)
  • Men’s underwear (new, any size 30-44)
  • Women’s underwear (new, sizes 5-10)
  • Washcloths
  • Shaving cream (regular size)

Clothing Donations

The Clothes Closet, Sleeping Bag ministry and others distribute these much-needed items.

  • Clothing in good condition (especially menswear)
  • Shoes (especially large sizes)
  • White crew socks
  • Belts
  • Rain ponchos
  • Umbrellas (especially compact ones)
  • Backpacks (new and used)
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags (new and used)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Brown grocery bags with handles
  • Bibles in good condition

Local Opportunities

School Supplies Needed

We have a teacher resource store for teachers in three schools where there is a need and the teachers are responsible for buying their own classroom supplies. Many times each student needs those supplies. We are collecting the following items with which to stock the store. If you can donate any of the items listed below, either new or never used, please put them outside Steve Blanchard’s office at any time. Thank you!

  • Glue Sticks (.24 ounce)
  • Sharpened Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Crayons (set of 24)
  • Tissues (100 count box)
  • Clorox Wipes (35 sheets)
  • Hand Sanitizer (8 ounces)
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Scissors (kids’)
  • 3" x 5" Index Cards (packs of 100)
  • Colored Pencils (set of 8)
  • Color Markers (pack of 8)
  • Black Ink Pens
  • Wide Ruled Composition Books (50)
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Post-It Notes (100 sheet)
  • Poster Board (8-ply 22" x 28")
  • Masking Tape (1/2 inch x 60 yards)
  • Scotch Tape Rolls (for dispensers)
  • Snack-Size Baggies
  • Slide-Lock Quart-Size Baggies
  • 2-Pocket Plastic Folders (no brads)
  • Reward Stickers

Dining Services

Volunteers help serve food and beverages during Wednesday night supper and other church events. For more information, contact Beanie Brooks.

To volunteer or for further information about any of the following compassion ministries, please contact Steve Blanchard.

S.N.A.P. Pantry
Open Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

The Ministry of Compassion has reconfigured its current food pantry into a S.N.A.P. (food stamp) pantry. This means that we will greatly reduce the size of our traditional food pantry and will instead offer needed household products such as laundry and dish detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo and conditioner, household cleaners and feminine hygiene products. If you'd like to donate items to the pantry, please see the list of needed items and sizes.

Our pantry hours will remain the same: Monday and Wednesday mornings 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. However, if your community agency or ministry has someone in need, please make a request via email. Then we will assemble available items for pickup at the front desk. We will still maintain a small emergency-only food pantry. We will also continue to serve our homeless guests with snack packs using the same procedure as we do now.

Clothes Closet
Open Monday and Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

Grace Fellowship
Provides Bible study, a hot meal, fellowship and worship time every Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the church. You can help by welcoming our guests, serving the food or donate prepared dishes for the meal (please contact us before doing so).

Shower Ministry
Open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Toiletries and towels are provided.

Sleeping Bags
Meet on Wednesday nights to hand-make sleeping bags that will be given to the homeless. This is an important ministry to provide warmth and comfort to those without during cold nights.

New Americans Ministry
They are here. They are New Americans. How can you be Christ to them? The New American Ministry at First Baptist Church reaches out with Christian hospitality in many ways, such as home settlement, church attendance and tutoring.

Help tutor, provide supplies, landscaping, special projects, etc. at Glen Lea Elementary School.

The food distribution team at Albert Hill Middle School is looking for volunteers to work any school day, Monday through Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you have time to give, please contact Kathy Rock.

St. Luke Apartments Partnership
Work with leaders and residents of St. Luke Apartments on a variety of projects to improve life in the community.

Bake & Take Team
Every other month, families gather at the church to bake cookies and make cards which they will deliver door-to-door in the Fan area the same day.

A Ride to Church
Every so often, church members or those wishing to visit First Baptist need a ride to church. They come from all over the city. Some are elderly, some are disabled and some have no other means of transportation. When people call needing rides, the church will contact you to see if you are available.

Prison Letters
We receive several letters a month from inmates around the state seeking someone with whom to correspond. Many of these inmates claim to be Christians seeking a spiritual connection with other Christians and simply want to have someone to share their faith, concerns, questions, etc. Because of our broadcasts, many of these inmates consider First Baptist to be their church and even support us with their tithes. All correspondence from the inmates comes to the church so your place of residence is not given out. Many people use only their first names.

Habitat for Humanity Builds
FBC collaborates with other faith communities to build Habitat homes. Contact Bob Palmer for more information.

International & Domestic Opportunities (Mission Trips)

  1. Castries, St. Lucia: Beginning in the summer of 2014, at the request of another church located in St. Croix, we began partnering with Gospel Baptist Church on St. Lucia, a church full of wonderful, loving people who want to make a difference in their community. We assist them with construction projects, Vacation Bible School, and community outreach. We also enjoy their wonderful hospitality and fellowship with new ideas of partnering constantly emerging. Team leader TBD. Trip Dates July 12 - 23

  2. South Africa: Volunteers will help in a variety of children’s activities and/or construction in a children’s village outside Johannesburg. Teams will be housed in the volunteer housing of the village, which is an outgrowth of the ministry Door of Hope, which First Baptist has participated in since 2001. Anticipated cost: $2,500. Team leaders TBD Travel dates: October 18 - 28

  3. Helena, Arkansas: Since 1999, FBC has partnered with this community located in Phillips County, along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately one hour south of Memphis, TN. Each summer, individuals and families travel to Helena to work with other churches and volunteers to host a swim and outdoor Bible camp for one week. In addition, we participate in local construction and community projects in Helena and the surrounding area. Phillips County is one of the poorest areas of our country but regardless, it is a community that we love and one that has embraced us with its charm and hospitality. Volunteers will help lead an outdoor Vacation Bible School and Swim Camp in Helena/West Helena and can also help with local construction projects or participate in community outreach. See you in 2019! Team leader Ann Carter. Travel Dates: July 5 - 12

  4. Bihac, Bosnia: For the last three years, FBC has travelled to the Balkans to conduct refugee relief work in Croatia, Bosnia and Greece. This work is also now part of a Virginia Baptist effort focused on refugees in the countries of Austria, Bosnia/Croatia, and Lebanon. On this particular trip, we will be working in a refugee relief center distributing supplies, encouraging refugees, and coordinating efforts with other on-site ministries and programs. Anticipated cost is approximately $2000. Team Leader: TBD  Travel Dates: September 27 - October 6

  5. Ruzemberok, Slovakia: This partnership has been in existence for over 15 years and has resulted in numerous relationships and connections. On this particular trip, as in years past, we will work with locals in teaching English to children, as well as, maybe some adults. This is a safe and easy trip for first time participants and requires skills you already possess, speaking English. Team Leader: Ralph Starling    Travel Dates: July 5-13

If you are interested, contact Steve Blanchard. All times, costs, and tasks are subject to change depending on information received from on-site personnel. Please check the website, bulletins, and other church media outlets for up-to-date information and changes.