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FEB 2021 | The Witness

Note from Greg

Somewhere in the middle of Chris Reynold’s time with us, he and I were talking on the phone. He said, “I have 1000 churches in my region, and I would place FBC Barnesville in the top 10 in the way they have responded and prospered in the time of COVID.” That was good to hear, and I made sure our good friend Garth heard it, too.

So how are we responding? We are cautiously moving forward. Rather than taking our students to the Strength to Stand conference in Tennessee, Jason brought in Algernon Tennyson and Scarlett Fade to our church and provided a great night of worship for our students. Jennifer opted for an Upward Basketball Camp here at the church, rather than the regular Upward season that would crowd our gym with players, siblings, parents, and grandparents.  These are smart adjustments and keep our activities going.

Meanwhile Russ, with the help of Jason, Robert Rainey and Joe Andrews, has been adding equipment and running wires so that we can broadcast the Sunday sermon not only “sanctuary-to-gym” but also “gym-to-sanctuary.” We will be able to broadcast online from the gym also!  Soon our preacher will alternate between preaching in the sanctuary and preaching in the gym.

We are working hard to provide the best pastoral care we can to our people in this difficult time. Hospital visits are banned due to the virus, but we call and text… and certainly pray.

The virus is high. Our deacons asked us to communicate that we will not mandate mask-wearing; but we encourage mask wearing and distancing for the sake of all. In areas where it is hard to distance, i.e. our halls and small Sunday School rooms, masks are a helpful layer of protection. 

This body of believers will be as cautious as we know how; but we are not closing these doors. So please continue to support your church!  If you feel safe coming, we are here for you and our people have been distancing beautifully in our services. If you do not feel safe, watch us online and leave a comment, an encouraging word for the staff and your brothers and sisters!  And financially: you have kept this church afloat through an unprecedented 2020; with your continued giving we will still be here when this new year draws to a close. This pandemic will not last, but this church will.

Okay, happier topic! Welcome to Reed Crumbliss, our new interim preacher!  I hope you have enjoyed his sermons as much as I have. Reed, a native of Macon, has a gift for preaching to us “just plain folks.” We look forward to our months together!


January 2021 Witness

A Note from Greg Burrell 

Not long after Garth announced his retirement, we happened to be walking down the hall together. I slapped him on the back and said, “Remember when we were the bright, young staff running this place? Where did THAT go?”

It has gone quickly. By the time you get this newsletter the strong, wise leadership of Garth Forster will be something we will remember, not experience. They have been great years, years we will all treasure.

The best news in all this is that Garth and Suzanne are still here with us, just a few miles down the road. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to give them a quick phone call to let them know they are loved and appreciated.  And I happen to know that Garth likes to eat lunch at one of our many fine Mexican restaurants.

And the First Baptist Church of Barnesville continues serving the Lord in this community. I told the staff the other day that this is the best church staff we have ever had. We have no shortage of caring people up here, people that are here when you need us. COVID-19 has not changed that; even our leader’s retirement has not changed that. This church is alive and well and ready to serve the Lord and you. So, we hope to see you Sunday; and if the virus is keeping you in, we hope to see you online. We are a family, and we prosper together; you need this church, and this church needs you. And pray; “ask and it shall be given to you.” Let’s start asking God for a great future for this church family!