Tag Archive for First Baptist Church
By Nell Dobbs
“Walking on the Water.” Sunday’s message from Matthew 14:22. Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship and go before Him to the other side. Meanwhile, He went up into a mountain alone to pray. A storm came up and the ship was tossed about for the wind was contrary and they were afraid and could not believe they saw Jesus walking on the water. And, as usual, Peter said, “Let me walk on the water!” Jesus said, “Come.” Peter got out of the ship and walked on the water until he was scared and called for Jesus to save him and He did but said Peter didn’t have much faith.
Beautiful flowers were placed in church in loving memory of Eunice Priest Clark by her family. She was indeed a loving, gentle, genteel lady of faith and is missed much still.
Geoff Hill welcomed Preacher Law and drum player Tommy. We are glad for him – and for his family to be in church. In Jim’s (and Beth’s) absence, Geoff led the music Lynne’s offertory, “The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows” was really appreciated. That song was Mrs. Audrey Woods’ favorite song.
Preacher Law said that he was always good in math and that as he looked over the congregation, if each one brought one next week we’d have twice as many; therefore, he urged each one to visit or invite one person who has been in our church and also one person who never has been in our church. God surely led me to pick up an old book without a cover (so I don’t know the author) called Storm Signals and find on page 266: “We cannot tell what may be, in the gracious providence of God, the means of bringing you to decision. He that used an angel’s hand with Lot can use a well-timed observation with you. Therefore, I urge all Christian people that they use every opportunity, and study to season their conversation with grace. Sow beside all waters, for you know not which may prosper, this or that.” A saying is “Here a little; there a little” and they went to get out of the boat when the ship was in a little bit of a gale, and they leave the Church of God just when their help is most wanted.”
Family night was a “Covered Dish Fellowship.”
Coming up March 9-April 18 is “40 Days of Prayer” as each church prays to know and do what God has in store for us. Our 24-hour period is March 21, 15 minutes each.
A Missions Fair and Rally will be held March 13, from 5-6:30 p.m. Dr. Jerry Rankin will be the speaker.
Beautiful colors of spring – dogwoods, pears, lilies of the valley, Bradford pears, whites, daffodils, running vines, forsythia yellow; Japanese magnolias – purple, some white.
Many are ill among us – Buddy McWilliams in Madison hospital and now Lois Wainright; Christine Blanton; Pearl Raines having a procedure in South Georgia; Ansley Rogers and her family; Cindy (and Vernon) Howard; Suzanne Peavy improving somewhat; Justin Davis’ mother and dad; Gail Spurlock with acute bronchitis; Sadie Barfield’s mother, Vada Yoder; Pine Tree Quilter friend, Sarah Fraytag in South Georgia and another quilter, Jeannette Mitchell, who lost her husband, Mitch, on Saturday night at the VA Hospital in Gainesville; Bettie, Marjell’s youngest sister, very ill now in Shands Gainesville and also Shands Starke the past month; Ernest Kinsey; Geoff Hill’s mother; Gina Rutherford’s mother; and all the others. Thankful Hettie Selman’s pacemaker only needed a new battery.
Pray comfort for all the sad ones: the Wendy Jackson family – very sad because of an accident that took her life; the Steve Harrelson family of Lee in his death; and the Reuben Brown family in the death of his son – cousin of Billy Rutherford and nephew of his mother, Mrs. Rosa, and his aunt, Julia Kelley – a wonderful member of our Dorcas Sunday class, with other family members.
As believers, we do not know what the future holds, but we do know our hope is in God who redeemed us in Christ and we can trust Him that He is working in the course of human events for our good and for His Glory. Amen!
By Nell Dobbs
The Season of Love!!
It is the time of year to especially say, “I love you.” What love the Father showed. He loves all His other children by sending His only Son to the world to offer us His way to live with Them forever and ever where They are. Amen and amen! We are never to be ashamed to say we love Him or His message.
Beautiful red arrangement by Sue Downing saying “I loving memory of her Valentine (Lewis).”
Bern Smith, as always, enlarges on his offertory prayer and that is appreciated. He prayed Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” That caused me to give thanks for our fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Davis, who had us pray that every day at the end of the Lord’s prayer. She was so involved in our church and was teacher of the large Dorcas Sunday School a long time. I give thanks for her and also, Kathy McCollum, our present teacher of Dorcas/Mary Martha – very few in number but filled with God’s Love – and for Debbie Bass before that. We pray God’s tender loving care upon Mildred Bruner, no longer with us but in an assisted living facility in Tallahassee. We also pray for Iduma Smith in Lake Park.
Worship Choir sang “Take Up Your Cross.”
Preacher Law’s message was from many Scriptures using:
V – Victory
A – Abundant Life
L – Love
E – Eternal Life
N – New Life
T – Triumphant
I – Intercessory
N – New Home
E – Everlasting Life in Heaven, world without end.
Ray Pike, chairman of the deacons, also had a wry sense of humor as he announced no need to count votes for Preacher Law as our interim pastor, with all positive votes and we pray God’s richest blessings upon his wife and him as they labor among us and grant him souls for his hire. Amen!
Even though I wasn’t at the Friendship Banquet hosted by our Youth Group Sunday night, it was a most loving well-attended banquet and we give their leaders and them many thanks and much love!!
Thankful for our church’s part in the $2,800 collected by our association for the Pregnancy Center.
Thankful also for everyone who contributed to the Florida Baptist Children’s Home “White Stems” Challenge. All items were greatly appreciated and those who went were impressed the Home.
Our Sunday School lesson used titles form the great preachers of the past as preached thousands of times:
“Payday Someday” – R.G. Lee, 1886-1978
“Turn or Burn” – Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834-1892
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” – Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758
On Saturday night, the 19th, the Association Choir Festival will be held at 6:30 p.m. at New Home Baptist Church.
Death has come among us as Mrs. Karla Rooks, who gave so much to God through her Methodist Church; Nancy Kinsey of Pinetta Methodist; our Sharon Fries and family in the death of her dad, Mr. Arthur Ashton and healing for them.
Pray for the many ill among us: Rusty Newsome; Ansley Rogers, now home and they give thanks; for very, very ill Walter Kirby of Bethany Presbyterian, Kingsport, Tenn., a dear friend of our brother Jimmie and Bonnie; Christine Blanton; Geneva Massey; and on and on the list goes and grows.
An invitation Saturday, the 19th, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., to the Pine Tree Quilters Brunch and Quilt Show at the United Methodist Cooperative Ministries Center. Come share if you can. Thanks.
By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
With help from Jean McWilliams
Many years ago, 176 to be exact, two men began what was known then as Hickstown Baptist Church. Presently this church is known as the First Baptist Church of Madison and it stands as a monument of the history of Madison County.
The two men responsible for this historic church were Alexander Mosley and Richard Johnson Mays. The church was named after an Indian Chief Tokose Emathala; his English name was John Hicks, in honor of his kindness to the white settlers. The Indian chief was driven out of Leon County and came to an area between Madison and Greenville, which became known as Hickstown. Hickstown Baptist was founded in 1835.
The earliest known pastor of Hickstown Baptist was W.B. Cooper in 1838. Cooper traveled to Florida from South Carolina in search of a cure for health problems. During Cooper’s term as pastor, Hickstown Baptist built their first formal meetinghouse. This occurred in 1840. Along with placing the formal meetinghouse, there was also a small cemetery built on the property. According the Jean McWilliams historical presentation on First Baptist and local legend, some of the gravesites would have been located under what is presently the baptistery, pulpit and choir area of the church.
When the county seat was moved to Madison the county commissioners decided that the three main Protestant denominations, Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian, should be set aside their own full block. This block was and remains named Meeting Street. Though First Baptist is the only one of these churches that is still located on it’s original property.
Following the leave of W.B. Cooper, Elder Henry Z. Ardis became the pastor of Hickstown. He served as pastor from 1843-1867, the longest pastoral term in First Baptist history. It is also believed that, since his time served was during the Civil War, he along with many other members of the church probably aided wounded soldiers from the battle of Olustee. In 1850 the name of the church was changed to The Madison Baptist Church.
In 1895, Rev. Stephen Crockett came to Madison. It was during his time as pastor, in 1898, a beautiful and well-designed building replaced the older and simpler meetinghouse. Today this building is known as the 1898 Sanctuary. Also during his time as pastor church that membership grew over fifty percent, Madison Baptist Church hosted the annual Florida Baptist Convention and he also helped design the 1898 sanctuary.
In 1953, Pastor James T. Barber came to Madison Baptist Church and helped to lead to the building of the new 1956 Building. It was also during his time as pastor that the name was changed to First Baptist Church, Madison, Fla.
The history of the First Baptist church of Madison stretches on and on. Each beautiful stained glass window is in honor of families and individuals whom were important to the formation of the church. The 1898 Sanctuary still remains on the church’s property. Though, on multiple occasions there has been talk of selling or demolishing it. According to McWilliams’s studies, Disney World even thought about purchasing the building at one time.
But through the test of time, First Baptist Church of Madison remains a monument in the city of Madison. In the center of town, it is often referred to as The Heart of Madison. When one enters into the 1898 Sanctuary or even the 1956 present Sanctuary, they will be overcome by the history found within the walls. Every painting, piano, pew, crack in the pew and light has a story behind it. Everything within the walls of the First Baptist Church of Madison has some form of historical value.