FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH ** 712 RANDOLPH ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC ** REVEREND DR. FRANK D. TUCKER, SENIOR PASTOR
God has brought us through a challenging and difficult year. The promise of the days and months to come is even more disheartening. Yet we are blessed with the everlasting hope of a God of deliverance. With this knowledge, we approach the New Year in great confidence of “Seeing the Vision in Desperate Situations.” The political forecast suggests that we are facing desperate situations in the future. Therefore we are seeking a clear vision. We must seek regularly a close relationship with God. Our Annual Fast offers a special opportunity to seek a secure fellowship with God through prayer, denial, sacrifice and study. The Fast will begin on January 2nd and end on January 7, 2017 at 8:30 AM. Our Quarterly Church Meeting will start at 9:00 AM following the closure of our Fast. We invite and encourage all members of our fellowship to attend the Church Meeting. The stage is being set for a new era in First Baptist. On Sunday, January 8th, during the 10:50 AM Worship Service, we will conduct our Installation Service. We want all of our leaders to join the effort to fortify ourselves for Satan’s onslaught during the year to come. Starting in unity, enables us to be strong in the face of spiritual, moral and social warfare. On the third Sunday, January 15th, we will celebrate The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. This will be a good time for us to remember the historic civil rights strides we have made in this country and evaluate the contemporary threat to our nation’s future. On the fourth Sunday in January, the First Baptist Church Faith and Heritage Day will be celebrated. We will lift up the contributions made by sainted soldiers of faith who have served in positions of leadership in our church. In addition, we are asking all of our members to exercise exceptional faith and tithe. This is our annual day of encouraging everyone to put our faith to the test. Each of us is asked to hear afresh the words of the Prophet: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings that you not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10) Trusting God is the absolute key for the man of faith. We are often challenged to discover how much we need the presence of God in our lives. Hard times, at points in our lives, help us to learn to put our hope in God. As we reflect on the many blessings God has already granted, let us continue to put our hope and trust in Him. He is our only security for 2017. Page 2
“In ThIs season of prayIng and fasTIng” What are you “nibbling” on? (BY REVEREND DONALD D. ROBINSON)
If you’re reading this article it means you are already thoroughly engaged in the spiritual sacrificial experience of “Fasting and Praying.” I hope this also means that you are eating or nibbling on the suggested “Fasting and Praying” Spiritual Vitamins located in Acts 4:30, Romans 12:1-8, John 11:25 -26, Philippians 3:1-14, Acts 9:1-17, Psalms 27:1-10, as well as other related scriptures! Speaking of “nibbling” I’m reminded of my grandmother who was always concerned whether her children, grandchildren or great grand children were eating high protein, low calorie, nutritious meals. For instance, I remember on Saturdays and Sundays she would wake up early around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., to get the cast iron stove red hot. At around 5:00 a.m., my grandfather would wake up and she would prepare him a cup of coffee or sometimes “ovaltine,” she would make herself a cup of hot tea. By 6:00 a.m., I would often wake up, as a result of the rich aroma of coffee, tea or “ovaltine” floating all through the house. I would get up, wash up, and then come downstairs to the kitchen; there my grandfather would invite me to sit at the kitchen table with him to “nibble” on breakfast. By then my grandmother would have baked some golden brown biscuits or have some sweet corn bread baking. She would serve these delicacies to my grandfather and me along with some hot fish, fried chicken, country bacon or fat back. Next she would begin serving hot grits with chicken or roast beef gravy, some scrambled eggs, some blueberry, grape or pear preserves that had been canned and preserved in “mason jars” down in her basement. By then she might serve up some ham, scrapple, sausage, liver and onions or some steak and onions. Of course, there might also be a slice of home-made sweet potatoe pie, peach cobbler, apple cobbler or toast and jelly for dessert. After we finished eating grandmother would make me and my grandfather get on the scale. Obviously eating like this, you can imagine we were growing horizontally and vertically. My grandmother however, never got on the scales! I often wondered why it was that my grandmother never seemed to be eating, other than to drink her tea and maybe have a biscuit and some cornbread, yet she looked rotund, robust and pleasingly plumb, as if she hadn’t missed many of those meals! Guess what, I later found out her secret. Yes, she told me one day the reason why I never saw her eating, yet she appeared beyond healthy. This was because she nibbled? In other words, as she was in the kitchen preparing all of that delicious food, she was also nibbling here and there as she cooked. It could be hot fish, fried chicken, bacon, eggs, scrapple, sausage, grits, biscuits, pie, gravy, corn bread, liver and onions, steak and onions or strawberry, peach or apple cobbler, she was nibbling. She never sat down and ate with us, yet she was well fed. Perhaps you’re saying what is going on preacher, why bring all of this up now? I said all of this to say, as we conclude our season of “Fasting and Praying,” let us make sure we are found “nibbling on a few things.” Perhaps we can nibble on……”they word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee,” nibble on “taste and see that the Lord is good,” nibble on, “bread of heaven bread of heaven, feed me until I want no more,” then nibble on…..” the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and patience,” nibble on….“thirsty one, stoop down, drinks up and live”! Yes, if you “nibble” on these “tasty biblical morsels,” as well as confess every sin, seek forgiveness from all, meditate on the attributes of God, spend time with Jesus, Pray in faith, live in God’s Holy word and fellowship with believers, I believe we will have sufficiently dined at God’s Holy table. In the neighborhood people often say……“stay woke,” but believers say…. “stay fed”…. (for man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God)! Page 3
“2017 Installation and re-dedIcaTIon of offIcer’s day”
As we (First Baptist Church “FBC”) begin our new calendar year (2017) we’re excited to begin our new season celebrating “The 2017 Installation and Re-Dedication of Officers.” The FBC “Installation” Service will take place on Sunday, January 15, 2017 during the 10:50 a.m., worship service. Our guest preacher for this auspicious occasion is The Reverend Weldon Fields, Senior Pastor of Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Temple Hills, Maryland. The Installation of Officers represents a new beginning which recognizes the Leaders of the various Ministries of the Church. These committed leaders and dedicated Officers serve with gladness, lead with distinctions, worship sincerely and witness with passion as they provide on-going service, leadership and stewardship to this branch of Zion. The faithfulness, commitment and determination of our leaders enhance growth in the Church and foster the discipleship of members, while broadening our outreach to the neighborhood and broader community. Yes, these FBC Officers are committed Leaders who exemplify sterling character, congenial personalities and outstanding leadership qualities. The late, great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., after talking about “The Drum Major Syndrome,” said… “everyone wants to lead the parade and be recognized as the well respected “Drum Major.” “Furthermore, he said… “people want the praise, recognition and blessing that come from being a “Drum Major, but few people want to make the sacrifices, carry the burdens, assume the responsibility of leading, or endure the many hours, days and nights of training”! Thanks be to God, here at FBC, we’ve got some dedicated, committed and stouthearted leaders who have counted the cost of discipleship and leadership and have responded to the challenge to serve by saying, “I shall go, I will go, to see what the end will be”! Join us on January 15, 2017, as we celebrate, install and re-dedicate some of the finest servants of God.
“fIrsT BapTIsT church’s MIssIonary socIeTy” Recognizing and Using Our God Given Gifts - (January 2017) (By Sister Colleen Sweatt & Members of the FBC Missionaries Society) As we embark upon this New Year, let us remember the wisdom and knowledge given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us also, honor the sanctity of “His Word” when we’re ministering to others. We are reminded that, we are all members of the body of Christ. Therefore, God is first in all of our affairs. Because God is first, let us be good stewards of Jesus Christ by helping others. Some of the ways we demonstrate being a good steward are listed below: Praying for all who are less fortunate, Offering food, clothing and shelter to our homeless population, Visiting the sick and shut-in members, as well as sending thoughtful cards, emails or text messages, Give spiritual guidance to our family members, especially our children, youth and young adults, Provide spiritual support to our elderly population, especially at places such as; Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home, Providence Nursing Home, or Wheaton Nursing Home, to name a few (we should also visit and check on our elderly or disabled neighbors). We should often restock our First Baptist Church (FBC) Food Closet with canned foods and non perishable item. In other words, all acts of kindness including loving each other, are all examples of stewardship. Let us also remember, the first Sunday in January (January 1, 2017), the FBC Missionaries will be giving gifts of joy (presents) to the residents and staff of Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home. We would love for you to join us, that your presence would remind sick and elderly persons that God cares and we care! A special word of thanks, to the FBC family and friends for the support and superb efforts you extended to the Missionaries regarding the 2016 Thanksgiving Basket Project. We wish each of you A Blessed New Year.
“youTh news, you can use” By Sister Kareema Robinson and Minister Reggie Williams The Most Beautiful Flower The park bench was deserted, as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree, disillusioned by life with good reasons to frown. It seemed as if the world was intent on dragging me down. And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, a little boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play. He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!" In his hand was a flower and what a pitiful sight it was, with its petals all worn, - not enough rain, or perhaps too little light. I wanted him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with surprise, "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here, it's for you." The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need." But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind. I heard my voice quiver, tears poured like the sun, as I thanked him for his kindness and for picking the very best one. "You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play unaware of the impact he'd had on my day. I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying girl beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight? Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see beauty and appreciate every second that's mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose and smiled as that young boy, another weed in his hand about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man. This poignant story reminds us to never be too busy to speak with or engage in meaningful conversation with people we meet as we come and go. They might be angels unaware to us, who have been sent to us by God with beautiful, bountiful blessings! Our Youth Arts department, led by Sister Anne Hawthorne performed “The Nativity” Christmas play at our Annual Foster Kids Christmas Program on December 10th. This program was sponsored by the First Baptist Church (FBC) Outreach Committee. At this event several of our Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scout troops were on hand to help distribute gifts to the children, as well as to perform other meaningful task. Page 6
On December 11th, nearly 100 youth, youth leaders and parents visited the new National Museum for African American History and Culture in downtown Washington. According to many of our youth, they were most excited to see pictures and statues of some of the same historical figures they were introduced to and seen portrayed during Black History Month last February. Some of the youth expressed sadness and fear after viewing the exhibits depicting the horrendous and in humane treatment of slaves, before and after they were brought to America. In many respects, as a result of this trip our young people became more aware of the tremendous contributions African Americans have made to this country and the world! Our Girl Scout troops donated canned and boxed goods for the Annual FBC Thanksgiving Food Drive sponsored by the FBC Missionary Society. Members of our Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troops attended the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital’s Annual Cookie College in December at Wilson Senior High School. The girls rotated through various classes, where they learned valuable life skills including how to start planning for their own cookie business. Instructions were also given on how to market, promote and sell a wide variety of products, including cookies. In addition, the girls participated in several inter-active skits that demonstrated how to market, promote and sell cookies, as well as how to be more efficient in reaching their cookie sale goals for the year. Our Senior/Ambassador Girl Scout troops were part of the National Park Service’s action team that helped other youth learn the various aspects of the responsibility of the staff of the Park Service. Along with our Cadette Troop, our Senior/Ambassador Troops also attended a Mystics basketball game; they were also given the opportunity to participate in shooting drills with the Mystics! Additionally, on December 17th our Cadettes Troop visited the White House and was all smiles after observing the wonderful display of Christmas decorations. In addition, our Cadettes recently received First Aid Training. Girl Scouts and Leaders at White house.
For 2017, our Youth Ministry is looking forward to continuing to make sure our children are always in a safe, Christ centered, spiritually enriching environments, which will keep them on the path to become highly motivated, disciples of our Lord and Savior. Jesus The Christ! Page 7
First Baptist Church Senior Center (By Victoria E. Taylor, Center Director)
Greetings from the First Baptist Church Senior Center (FBSC) and welcome to 2017!! We here at the First Baptist Church Senior Center, would like to welcome all seniors of the District of Columbia (that is, persons who are 60 years plus) to join us this in this “New Year”. We believe “Seniors Matter” for many reasons, primarily they matter because they represent those beloved persons who have sacrificed, invested and paved the way and future for each of us. Their knowledge, strength, good will, wisdom, love, education, hard work, contributions and hope has opened many doors far beyond our dreams, goals and imaginations. They still have more contributions and a wealth of information that could be beneficial to us today. In fact, the FBSC have members who have reached the golden age of 90 years plus. Yes, they’re still in good health, have sound minds, as well as good spirits. We daily pray that God will allow us to reach that great age and still be in good health, of a sound mind and delightful spirit some day! FBSC January 2017 Upcoming Events Includes (but not limited to): On each Monday we walk at Prince George’s Mall; Tuesdays is health day, that’s the day we do things like, monitor blood pressure, weight and temperature reading; also on Tuesdays we have Computer Classes and Games; Wednesdays is Seniors Fellowship Day, thus we have Drama Classes and Games; on Thursdays we have Trips as well as, Arts and Crafts; and on Fridays we have more trips, trips, and trips. These are Key Dates to remember: January 3, 2017 – DC Street Car Ride January 5, 2017 – Big Lots Shopping January 6, 2017 – Amish Market Trip January 12, 2017– Dunkin Doughnut January 13, 2017 – Golden Corral Eat Out January 20, 2017– Holocaust Memorial Museum January 27, 2017 – FBSC DC Sightseeing Tour For More Information Please “Call” 202-723-4313.
“yes, we have fresh Bread!” Reflections on the Life and Legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (By The Reverend Donald Robinson and Deacon Bruce Roberson) The “Men’s Ministry of First Baptist Church” (FBC) is grateful to God for another “New Year” (2017) which brings us 365 new days to glorify God and serve “His” people! As a result, we couldn’t think of a better way to begin the year than by honoring one of God’s great spiritual, political and iconic leaders, “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”! Yes, this “New Year” presents so many new blessings, new opportunities and new challenges, which include a new Congress, a new President and new opportunities to glorify God, despite what’s happening “in the world”! On Saturday, January 21, 2017, the “Men’s Ministry” is inviting all men and boys of FBC to join us for breakfast, fellowship and memorable moments, reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. King. The breakfast will begin at 9:00 A.M., and conclude at 11:00 A.M. The theme for the January breakfast will be, “Are You Keeping The Bread Fresh”? The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of a prominent Baptist Pastor, who was a world renowned leader. Dr. King was a man many called “The Dreamer.” Through his theological training, philosophical understandings, Ghanaian methods and guidance by “The Holy Spirit,” he left an indelible impression on the global scene. Most importantly, he taught the world to believe again and to hope again! He died at the young, tender age of 39. However, his presence and power is still being used to ignite the power of love, peace and justice around the world. Dr. King had a great passion for all citizens. He wanted all people to enjoy basic human rights and the privileges of their respective countries. He was especially cognizant of the struggles for peace, justice and human dignity in the life of the so -called American Negro!!! His great passion and desire was that “The Negro” would see and experience “The American Dream!” Yes, his teachings, strategies and practices of non-violence passive resistance, civil disobedience and direct action enshrined him as a freedom fighter, human treasure, moral leader, spiritual sage, universal citizen and 20th century prophet! In one of his sermons, Dr. King reminds us to “Keep the Bread of Love, Faith and Hope Fresh,” he said….. “some stranger might come by at midnight looking for bread”! Jesus reminds us, when the person comes, “The Bread” of love, hope and faith should be fresh!! Therefore, as the Men’s Ministry of FBC, our response to “Dr. King’s” question is….. Yes, We Have “Fresh Bread” here at First Baptist Church. We have “Fresh Bread” because we are fasting, praying, reading The Word, worshipping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and making ourselves available to those in need! Join us on “The 21st” that we can encourage, empower, equip and enable one another with God’s “Fresh Bread,” “The Holy Word of God”! David the Psalmist reminds us, (Psalm 119:11)…. “thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee”!
“IT’s TIMe To geT soMe new garMenTs” (By Brother Kevin Shamblee) As we enter the “New Year” (2017), the expression….”don’t mend old” garments with new patches, is not a difficult concept to ponder. This new year, 2017 presents us with so many new challenges which include a new school year for some and a new President for all! Some of us will even make new promises or “new year’s” resolutions in this “New Year”! For others, a “New Year” signals the beginning of another year of doing things the same old way we’ve always done them... In some instances it means, we replicate the same old ways of doing things, regardless of whether we have experienced failure or disappointment. However, let us face the facts, we like traditions, we like old customs, in a real sense we are just creatures of comfort and habit. In the ninth chapter of the Book of Matthew, Jesus returned to his hometown and began to introduce many new possibilities to “His” people. For instance, “He” demonstrated a new way of healing, when he healed a paralyzed man of his sins. Jesus even healed a woman who had an issue of blood, who was desperate and isolated. He even provided sight to two blind men. He also called a new breed of people into the ministry, when he summoned Matthew, a corrupt, much hated tax collector. As we examine this Mathew text, why is the possibility of newness so refreshing for some, yet so frightful for others? The answer is in the “garments”. In Matthew 9:14 when Jesus was confronted about his disciples” disregard for old traditions, customs or rituals, Jesus directed those present to a lesson about new possibilities. Jesus directed them to a story about clothes. Any first century resident of Palestine, as well as any tailor or seamstress today would have been quite familiar with the process of mending old clothes with new patches. Tailors and seamstresses know that a new patch will run the risk of shrinkage during the many wash cycles and thereby makes matters worse by creating a new greater tear in the garment. In this instance of connecting cloth, the new cloth does not mix with the old cloth. Old clothes need old patches. New clothes need new patches, otherwise a disaster occurs. Can you imagine if your new outfit tore at a very unfortunate moment? This could prove very embarrassing. Old clothes which are mended with new patches just don’t work well. Simply stated, old failures need not be repeated. In a real sense, what does the lesson of the new patches and old clothes have to do with the year 2017 at First Baptist Church? Better still, how does this lesson impact our worship, relationships, respect for others and sense of purpose for 2017? Perhaps it means, we can face many new challenges, while welcoming new possibilities of what Jesus has to offer us amid the presence of past traditions. Yes, Jesus offers healing and forgiveness of our old sins and mindsets amid past doubts, unbelief’s and fears. No matter what our past sins have been, in 2014-2016 and every day beyond, Jesus beckons us to follow him by laboring in His plentiful harvest in this “New Year….2017! When shackled by the reckless commitment to past behaviors, past habits or faulty beliefs, Jesus touches our eyes to behold the possibilities in the new garments, with new patches in the “New Year.” Just imagine, one faithful touch of the Master’s garment in this New Year will help you to see the possibilities beyond the old rags of previous years. Jesus is commanding us in 2017…..”get rid of the old rags, prepare for the garments of new experiences in the “New Year 2017”!
~JANUARY 2017 EVENTS~ ~COMMUNION SUNDAY~ Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. Services ~CHURCH MEETING ~ Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 9:00 A.M. Service ~YOUTH SUNDAY~ Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. Services ~INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS SUNDAY~ Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 10:50 A.M. Service ~REVEREND DR. MARTIN L. KING, JR. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION~ Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 10:50 A.M. Service ~FAITH AND HERITAGE SUNDAY~ Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. Services ~MISSIONARY SUNDAY~ Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. Services First Baptist Church 712 Randolph Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20011 (202) 541-5000 ~ Fax: (202) 291-2565 Email: email@example.com