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December 2016



Our Mission: “To lead people to be followers of Jesus Christ”


Our Vision: “To be a church of ordinary people used by God in extraordinary ways”



Annette Guenther, Comptroller

Troy Sikes, Associate Pastor

Donella Peevler, Church Receptionist

Charles Covin, Music Minister

Jodi Beckendorf, Graphic Design

Chad Marrs, Minister to Students

Stephanie Sheffield, Custodian Manager

Alex Morrison, Minister to Children

Nancy Jahns, School Administrator

Stacey Strickland, Preschool Ministry

Kristie Mendoza, Mother’s Day Out Dir.

Teresa McGlasson, Office Manager

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: Mon - Thurs: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Fri: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. Brenham’s First Baptist Church Contact Info: Ph: (979) 836-2807 Fax: (979) 830-0122 Mailing address: PO Box 600, Brenham, TX 77834



Church Announcements Church-wide Calendar From Pastor Ross Christmas Eve Service Music Ministry Adult Ministries Bible Studies & More Encore Ministry A Letter from Reba .. Student Ministry Children’s Ministry Preschool Ministry FBC School Special Announcements From Troy’s Heart Special Events

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LADIES CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST - On Sunday, December 4th at 9:45am in the Gym. Enjoy breakfast and fellowship with other ladies as we prepare our hearts for the upcoming holiday season. ENCORE MINISTRY CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON - The annual Encore Ministry Christmas luncheon will be on Thursday, December 8th from 11:00-1:00 at the Holiday Inn Express. The cost of the luncheon is $10 per person. Please RSVP with the church office. Thank you! ANNUAL MUSIC MINISTRY CHRISTMAS PRESENTATION - Mark your calendars for December 10th and 11th at 7pm. We’re working hard and are so excited to share with you the music and the message of Christmas. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MINISTRY - Can you smile? Can you shake a hand or hug a neck? Sure you can! That means you can make a difference in someone’s life each Sunday by serving in our First Impressions Ministry. Email Troy at: or call 979-836-2807 if you want to make a difference with a smile! SAVE THE DATE - FEBRUARY 4th-5th, 2017 Home Improvement Weekend with Jeff & Debby McElroy. This weekend will engage the whole church family!

Welcome New Church Members Allen and Gayle Wells Mycah Simank


CHURCH-WIDE CALENDAR DECEMBER: 4 Special Called Business Meeting 8:30 and 11:00 services 4 Ladies Christmas Breakfast Gym 9:45am 4 Home Improvement Meeting Room 111 12:00pm 4 Christmas Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary 2:00pm 4 Business Meeting Gym 4:00pm 5 Hope SS Class Christmas Party Funky Art Cafe 6pm 6 Piece Makers - Student Center 9:00am 6 Joy SS Class Meeting - Sycamore Stone Room 12:00pm 6 Relocation Committee Meeting Room 112 6:30pm 8 Encore Christmas Banquet Holiday Inn Express 11:00am 8 Christmas Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary 6:30pm 9 Adult 4 Christmas Party Sycamore House 6:00pm 10-11 Music Ministry Music Presentation Sanctuary 7:00pm 11 Handbell Choir plays 8:30am Service 13 Covenant Keepers Class Party Sycamore House 12:00pm 13 Deacon’s Christmas Party Sycamore House 6:00pm 15 FBCS-Preschool Christmas Program Sanctuary 10:00am 15 Building and Grounds Committee Meeting Pahl House 6:00pm 15-16 Brenham’s Children Christmas Concert Sanctuary 5:00pm 18 Adult 5 Annual Christmas Brunch Stone House 9:45am 23 Church Office Closed 24 Candlelight Christmas Eve Service Sanctuary 6:00pm (No Childcare available for the Candlelight Service) 25 One Worship Service 10:00am No Childcare. No Sunday School. 26 Church Office Closed

JANUARY: 1-3 FBCS - Christmas Holiday 2 Church Office Closed 4 Handbell Choir Practice Resumes Room 218 5:15pm 16 FBCS- Martin Luther King Holiday/EEC Open 16 Church Office Closed 20-22 D-NOW Weekend Sanctuary 7:00 pm 22-27 FBCS Fine Arts Week Pahl Garage 8:00 am - 4:00 pm 29 Business Meeting Gym 4:00 pm



During this time of year, as you receive many requests for end-of-year gifts from different organizations, let me thank you for your financial faithfulness and generosity to Brenham’s First Baptist Church. Like so many other non-profits, we rely on end-of-year gifts to help us end the year in the black with our budget. Thank you, in advance, for your prayers and financial giving as we close out 2016. I also want you to know that end-of-year giving helps us discern what next steps of faith God will be asking us take as we move forward with our vision and God Goals 2020. That is, finishing the year financially strong is not just about 2016; it is about discerning the next steps as we move forward. As a reminder, our vision is “To be a church of ordinary people used by God in extraordinary ways.” If we want to be used by God in extraordinary ways, God will lead us to some opportunities that cause us to walk by faith, give sacrificially, and continually pray. We believe some of the opportunities God is providing are our God Goals 2020. Here are the goals: 1.) Have a church mission partnership in Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and East Asia that will involve some combination of giving, going, and praying. Each partnership will also have a unique focus. This is an opportunity to reach the nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ and to do so in unique ways. For example, we already have a partnership in Honduras (Central America) uniquely focused on food distribution, construction, and evangelism and a partnership in Colombia (South America) uniquely focused on serving orphans and evangelism. During 2016, we also connected with Scott and Becky Placke and their ministry, Go Drill International, in Tanzania (Africa), which is uniquely focused on drilling water wells and evangelism. 2.) Be a sponsoring church for a church start in North America (United States or Canada). 3.) Build Phase One of our relocation without debt. 4.) Adopt the local BISD school with the most challenges and partner with them (while maintaining boundaries) in such a way that we bless teachers and staff and provide mentors. We will know we are making an impact when test scores go up and absenteeism and discipline problems go down. 5.) We will see more lost people coming to faith in Jesus Christ and will average at least one baptism per Sunday by 2020. 6.) We will call a full-time Pastor of Retirees. He will assist in providing pastoral care and will work to equip retirees to be missionaries locally, in North America, and internationally. The dream is that one of the reasons people will want to retire to Brenham is so that they can be a part of what God is doing in and through Brenham’s First Baptist Church. This is also about a strategic focus of reaching the numerous retirees, mostly baby boomers, who are retiring to Brenham. I believe our church is uniquely placed and resourced to be a church that reaches retirees.

From Pastor Ross Continued on Page 6



7.) There will be no missing generations in our church, and we will begin to reflect more of the ethnic diversity of Brenham. This means that we will be a church full of children, youth, young adults, middle age adults, and senior adults. As we move forward, my prayer is that we reach all generations and not neglect any of them. I also pray that we will begin to reflect more of the ethnic diversity of Brenham. As you are able to read, some of these goals are already under way and some are waiting for God’s timing and resourcing. What I do know is that these, and all the other wonderful things God has in store for us, will not happen without the faithful financial giving of our church. Therefore, as I ask you to give to our 2016 budget, I’m also asking you to give to our future and what God will do in and through us as we trust in Him. Thank you! P.S. Please remember that we also have the opportunity to give to our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions during the month of December. Our goal, again, this year is $25,000. Last year, we exceeded the goal by over $4,000. I pray we’ll exceed the goal again. Once again, thank you!




ADULT MINISTRIES First Impressions Parking Lot Greeting Team. Each Sunday, We have greeters on the parking lots guiding people to a worship service or Sunday Bible Study. With bright yellow vests and friendly smiles, they will also be there to give you a helping hand with anything you need. Presently we need more people on the Parking Lot Greeting Team, if you would like to help us make a lasting impression by serving on our First Impressions Team. Contact Troy at: or call the church office at 979-836-2807 if you are willing to serve as an Usher, Welcome Center Greeter or Parking Lot Greeter.

SAVE THE DATE - FEBRUARY 4TH-5TH, 2017 Home Improvement Weekend with Jeff & Debby McElroy. This weekend will engage the whole church family! 8

ADULT MINISTRIES CONTINUED PIECE MAKERS In addition to stitching Touch Quilts for dementia patients, walker bags for use in an area nursing home, mommy bags and baby quilts for the Pregnancy Assistance Ministry, quilts and baby sacks for mission trips as well as auction quilts for the church school, several Piece Makers have learned how to use the longarm quilt machine with great results. All Piece Makers start quilting on baby quilts and work up to more complicated quilting projects. Shown below are Shirley Herring and Doddie Messick with their creations. At our meetings we encourage, support and inspire each other during prayer time and Sew and Show. We meet the first Tuesday of each month at 9 am in the Student Center. Come join us!

HOME TEAM GROUPS FALL UPDATES! Widows & Single Ladies – “The Friends of Jesus” by Karen Kingsbury. 402 Magnolia 1st & 3rd Monday’s 6:00pm Bishop – “Psalms” 4803 Salem Rd., 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 6:30pm Yeakley/The More Excellent Way – “Knowing God’s Secrets” by John Hunter Meets at 800 Loesch St. Monday at 6:30pm Schroeder – “Spiritual Warfare” by Dr. Tony Evans 620 Country Place W. Dr. Meet on the 1st & 3rd Sunday at 5:00pm Atkins – Prayer and fellowship 9250 Lake Dr. Various times and subjects



Men’s Prayer Breakfast Studying “James” Wednesdays, 6:00am Sycamore House

Sweet Hour of Prayer Thursdays, 10:00am Sycamore House Garage

Ladies Bible Studies Studying “He Speaks To Me” By Priscilla Shirer Wednesdays 6:30pm Sycamore House. (Childcare available)

Ladies Bible Study Fellowship Class

Pastor’s Bible Study Studying the book of “John” “Pastor’s Bible Study & Prayer Time” Wednesdays, 6:30pm - Room 112

Meets on Thursdays, 9:30- 11:30am, in the Sycamore House

“Church Unplugged” We will look at the meaning, mission, ministry and model of the church. Wednesdays, 6:30pm Room 111

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ENCORE MINISTRY NEWS CELEBRATE OUR BIRTHDAYS! Ted Low, IV Sherrie Foerster Dorothy Lesser Weldon Butler Barbara Klussmann Eddie Hines Reba Pair Arlen Thielemann Johnnie Rutledge Debbie Patranella Martha Pittman Bob Young Callie Korth Maria Cadwallader Beth Taylor Matthew Reue David Moore

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Jim Humphrey Debbie Yeager Marilyn Kleypas Doc Pair Rhonda Porter Charles Blank Jerry Norman Judy Whitaker Jerry Allen Sonny Dannhaus Shirley Schulz Morris Fraley James Fritz Rebecca Presswood R.L. Mayeur Victor Brier, Jr.

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THE ENCORE MINISTRY IS ALWAYS UP TO SOMETHING! ENCORE MINISTRY CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON - Thursday, December 8th from 11:00-1:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Express. The cost of the luncheon is $10 per person. Please RSVP with the church office. Thank you!


A LETTER FROM REBA Season’s Greetings, As I sit down to write this letter, just like in previous years, I am wondering where this year has gone. As the years pass they do seem to pick up speed. I am writing as the world is talking about the Super moon. We saw it last night, but it is supposed to be even bigger tonight. If we get so excited about the moon, can you imagine how the Wise Men felt as they followed the Star of David to Bethlehem. It must have been so exciting for them to go on this journey. We know from the scriptures this was not a short trip for them. Have you ever asked yourself “would I be that faithful to follow a star”? It is something to think about even

THOUGHT OF THE MONTH “Help us Lord To Remember What this season is for – Get us past all the glitter Let our hearts search for more. You have Blessed us so richly, More than we’re worthy of --Help us, Lord To Remember What is important... Is Love. Author Unknown

over two thousand years later. I love this time of year as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I work with preschoolers on Sundays and they are so much fun this time of year. I hope you enjoy seeing them in your classroom as they deliver Christmas cards once again this year. Some tend to get very shy, but they love doing this every year. So get your cards ready and drop them off in our mailbox for us to deliver. May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year. Christmas Blessings, Reba

BIBLE VERSE OF THE MONTH “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us.” Matthew 1:23



Today’s youth culture is a driven culture. Sports, education, relationships, cars, career goals, and many other activities drive the lives of this generation of teens. Winning the championship, getting the degree, having the right boyfriend/girlfriend, driving the right car, and preparing for the future are just some of the goals that today’s teenagers aspire to achieve. Student ministries everywhere are inundated with parents and teens choosing sports and other activities over discipleship, fellowship, and worship. Why is this so? Why do teens put the things of God secondary to the things this world has to offer? What makes them strive to complete their goals? For many it is the satisfaction of completion, for others it’s the prize that waits at the end. God has a race that we are all entered in, a goal we are all to achieve, and a glorious prize that awaits us at the end. There is no better portrayal of this than in the life of

the Apostle Paul. The life of Paul is a great example of one being driven by God. His life, his actions, and his words prove that he lived his life for the glory of God. This study takes and in-depth look at the life of Paul, what led him to his belief, what grew him in his faith, and what he did to prove that to the world. Paul understood that God was first and everything else was secondary. With this understanding, Paul lived his life with fierce abandonment. Paul became a “Driven” man. With the right understanding of who God is, the right heart for others, and the right focus in our lives, we too can become driven, just as Paul was. In Him, Bro. Chad


CHILDREN’S MINISTRY “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 (NIV) Good Morning, “God I see your grace is enough. I’m covered in your love. Your grace is enough for me.” “My debt is paid and the victory won. The Lord is my salvation” “Christ alone, Cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Savior’s love. Through the storm He is Lord. Lord of all.” Do the words above seem like a powerful prayer exuding from a joyful heart or a fragile appeal made in an unstable time? It’s hard to tell unless you knew the circumstances of the petitioner. Whatever the situations, the Bible instructs us to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Yet, we can forget to do so when we are agitated by our little brother, angry with our mother or heart torn from a tragedy. We get focused on the circumstance and not our stance in eternity. The above lyrics were not written with a focus on the situation, but on the Lord over all situations. The promise that we can hope for is not that God will attend to our immediate cares, but that we can stand before Him forgiven when all that worries us now will be no more. Joy is finding a way to be happy even when things don’t go your way. What better way than to remember that our physical lives are temporary and we are only visiting here. Our real hope is eternity with Christ for those who believe and have confessed Him as Lord. Our real home is not here but with Him in His kingdom. When you remember that, how can you not have joy – even when things don’t go your way? His Servant & Yours, Bro. Alex


Christmas is coming and we need elves to help make sure the Kids’ Christmas party on December 14th is fabulous, jolly and merry. Please contact Alex if you are interested.


Christmas Choir Production – Dec 10 & 11, 7pm-9pm. Christmas Party – Dec. 14, 6-7:30, Church Gym, 1st-6th graders Wednesday Night Christmas Break – No services Dec. 21 & 28


Thank you to Arlen Thielemann, Sandy Batt, Aleta Thistlethwaite, Elisa Workman and Jamie Ward for your contributions to make Core Essentials a successful ministry to the elementary kids in our community.

Go to For all the information click on December Newsletter Article.


PRESCHOOL MINISTRIES Merry Christmas! This is such a fun time of year. The countdown has now begun to the MOST important day of December, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This month our preschoolers are going to be counting down to Christmas as they learn the different parts of the Christmas story. We get to hear how the angel came to tell Mary that she was going to have a special baby. Then Mary and Joseph will travel to Bethlehem where Jesus will be born. They will get to pretend they are shepherds as they hear how the angels came to tell the shepherds about Baby Jesus. We will also celebrate Jesus’s birthday with a special pajama party filled with fun, games and a treat. I am super excited to get this fun filled month going! Blessings, Stacey Strickland Director of Preschool Ministries

Sunday Mornings in December: Basic Truth: Jesus wants to be my friend forever. Key Question: Why is Jesus special? Bottom Line: Jesus is God’s Son. Memory Verse: “I bring you good news of great joy.” Luke 2:10 NLV Remember our

PRESCHOOL POSTAL SERVICE is now in full swing and we want to make sure we help you get your Christmas cards delivered and save a little postage. Make sure to stop by the nursery area or church office and drop off your cards. The last day to for drop off is December 14th. We look forward to delivering you a Christmas card soon. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONI SCHWARTZ 12/05 GRADY LOOS 12/08 DEAN KECK 12/12 BRADY WALLACE 12/14 LYLE ROSALIE LOOS 12/16 REBA PAIR 12/10


FBC SCHOOL & EEC As we come to the end of 2016, I’d like to let my church family know how appreciative I truly am for all you have done to support the school ministry. God has strengthened the school by continuing to place a wonderful staff to serve the families and children. God has taken care of needs that have come up. God has brought children and staff to know him better. This month during chapel, children will be learning more about His plan through the coming of Jesus. What a precious gift He gave to us! It is my prayer that we keep our focus on Him during this busy time of the year. As we look to the New Year, I pray for wisdom and discernment as we, the church and school, seek His plan for each of us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Serving Him, Nancy Jahns


December 1 2nd grade to BN&R @ 9:45 Girls & Boys Basketball @ home 4:30 in gym 5 Spelling Bee @ 6:00 in sanctuary 8 3rd & 4th Grade to BN&R for caroling @ 2:00 Girls & Boys Basketball @ home 4:30 in gym 15 Preschool Christmas Program @ 10:00 in sanctuary Girls & Boys Basketball @ St. Paul’s 4:00 16 Early dismissal for school students 11:30; EEC open regular hours 19-22 EEC open 27-30 EEC open January 2 FBCS & EEC closed 3 EEC open; teacher in-service for school 4 Students return to class

VOLUNTEERS & DONATIONS NEEDED We are collecting monetary donations this week for the FBCS & EEC float for community Christmas parade on December 3. We could also use manpower in the building of the float on the morning of December 3. We start around 8:00 a.m. If you have a talent you would like to share with the school, please contact us.

THANK YOU Thank you to Alex Morrison and Charles Covin for their gift of time. They helped with the Veteran’s Day program in the sound booth. Each has coached a team of athletics, too. We appreciate you!


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS OUR SYMPATHIES TO: Gerry Bennet and family in the loss of his mother. Jim and Nancy Humphrey in the loss of their son, Jay Humphrey. Debbie McDowell and family in the loss of her mother. Joyce Burchfield and family in the loss of her brother. Kathy Japp and family in the loss of her sister, Janice Morgan.

CHURCH THANK YOUS: Thank you Pastors Ross and Troy, Music Ministers Charles, Martha and Buford and all the staff for the beautiful home going memorial service for our dear Jack. Also thank you for the lovely Peace Lily Plant. Thank you Virtuous Women’s Bible Study Class for the delicious luncheon. Thank you Loved Ones for all the prayers, phone calls and visits. God bless you as you minister continuously in His strength alone. The Family of Jack Newton Thank you for your generosity, love and prayers during this time. Thank you for a wonderful memorial in memory of James Reed. Staff at Emeritus at Amber Oaks Dear Church Family, Thank you for the beautiful plant sent in remembrance of my brother, Steven Brown. Also thanks for the cards and phone calls. Joyce Burchfield Dear Church Family, A big thank you for your outpouring of love for my daughter, Elizabeth. It has been a whirl-wind medical journey from the start. God has blessed us with peace and the right doctors to be there at the right time. It has been a blessing to have a Church Family like you. The prayers, calls, cards and visits have been encouraging and uplifting. We pray that God blesses each of you. Bobbie and Elizabeth McKinzie 17

FROM TROY’S HEART As I write this article, I am home on a “staycation” enjoying gorgeous weather! Over the past few days, I have been outside doing things around the house that I neglected during the hot summer. One of the major tasks was to clean the windows(outside/inside) around my two-story house. Yes, I do windows....all 40 of them!! Now that the windows sparkle, we can enjoy the view without seeing cobwebs or dirt spots. Everything just looks brighter around the house. There is always something to do around the house, isn’t there? From house cleaning to repair, you can always find something to do. Home improvement and maintenance should always be on the agenda. The same can be said for the family that resides in your home. True home improvement doesn’t stop with bricks, wood, glass and landscaping, but with family members as well. Home improvement that brightens the family involves maintaining healthy relationships, working to care and serve one another in love. Over the next couple of months, you will see more and more promotional material for our FBC Home Improvement Weekend with Jeff & Debby McElroy, Feb 4-5. Jeff and Debby have led two marriage conferences at our church. They will be back to lead us and our community through some relationship maintenance. They lead with a wonderful blend of humor, drama and Biblical truth. Registration has begun. There is no cost for the weekend. Even childcare is free, if registered by 1/22! See our website or call the church office for more information. Merry Christmas and do some true home improvement over the holidays. Romans 12:9-18 I Love You, Troy




Brenham’s First Baptist Church P. O. Box 600 Brenham, TX 77834-0600

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