On November 10, 1849, nine people formed the Baptist Church of Tallahassee. For 164 years, God has blessed their efforts and bound us together across the years. This Sunday is Heritage Sunday. We will pause to give thanks for the generations who have become a part of the “great cloud of witnesses” that has gone before us. We will also celebrate the lives of those who continue to make it possible for God’s work to grow and prosper.
This Sunday, we welcome eight people who are now “Golden Members.” They have planted their lives in our church for 50 years or more: Bennett Dittmar, Rachel and Robert Gilmer, Carroll Lamb, Charlie and Dot Ragans, David Swafford, and John W. Walker. They are living witnesses of faithfulness to the body of Christ in Tallahassee.
We pause to remember those in our church family who have died in the past year. Fran Buhler and Jenna Young will read these names in worship, and our flower committee will display a beautiful arrangement of roses in their memory.
We will return Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. for a “Sunday Night Gospel Sing,” with the Men’s Quartet and the Bluegrass Band, “Way Up.” Following the concert, we’ll gather in the Fellowship Hall to honor Penny Folsom’s 25 years of service at First Baptist. Penny and Byron are such a special part of the First Baptist family, and I am grateful to serve with Penny on staff. She ministers through her music and leads all of us to greater devotion to God through a true sacrifice of praise.
Sunday promises to be a special day. The faithfulness of the past endures because each succeeding generation remains faithful in the present. Because of Christ’s work in them and us, we are linked together across the years. We pull each other along as pilgrims on this journey of faith. Join us Sunday as we celebrate our heritage, remember our loved ones, commit to faithfulness together, and focus our attention on Jesus. Happy birthday, First Baptist!