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December 4 9 a.m. Second Sunday in Advent Worship: Children Sing 10:30 a.m. Membership Class – learn more about FBC in C-316! 3:00 p.m. Concert for a Cause featuring GWU musicians in Webb Chapel 4:00 p.m. Christmas Caroling to Extension Members, meet in the Gym

Advent at First Baptist Church

Concert for a Cause

On Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in Webb Chapel join us for A Concert for a Cause featuring the GWU Chorale, Dr. Morgan Soja, director and the GWU Old Time Music Ensemble, Dr. Bruce Moser, director, and spirituals sung by students of Prof. Jondra Harmon. Admission: Bring non-perishable food items and/or gently worn clothing items. All donations go to the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association food pantry and clothing closet. Immediately following the Concert for a Cause, our FBC family will meet in the Gym to go caroling to Extension Members from 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Appalachian Winter

On Sunday morning, Dec. 11 during worship The Sanctuary Choir and Instrumental Consort will present the beautiful musical work, Appalachian Winter, a Christmas cantata by Joseph M. Martin that celebrates the legacy of early American carols, featuring “Away In a Manger” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” and “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Join us on Saturday, Dec. 24 at 6:00 p.m. (Preludes at 5:30) for our annual FBC Christmas Eve Service of Carols, Communion and Candlelight! Bring your family and friends to a richly meaningful celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Beautiful music will be led and shared by our Sanctuary Choir, the FBC Orchestra and Sanctuary Handbells.

December 7 6:00 p.m. Children’s Christmas Party in the Children’s Hall 6:15 p.m Missions Night with Haley Chitty December 9 6:30 p.m. Sanctuary Choir Christmas Party at the Forgas’ home December 11 9:00 a.m. Third Sunday in Advent: “Appalachian Winter” - a Musical by FBC Sanctuary Choir 5:00 p.m. Gingerbread House Fellowship December 14 5:30 p.m. Staff-Served Steak Dinner (Gym) December 15 6:30 p.m. Deacons’ Christmas Party (Parlor) December 16 6:30 p.m. Staff Christmas Party (Parlor) December 18 3:00 p.m. Shelby Christmas Parade Outreach December 20 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. Blood Drive in Gym 5:30 p.m. Youth Christmas Party December 24 5:40 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion Service December 25 10:00 a.m. Christmas Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary (No Sunday School) January 1, 2017 10:00 a.m. New Year’s Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary (No Sunday School)

Pastor’s Corner


“Seeking the Peace and Prosperity of Our City”

Brought to Light

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46, NIV In this verse from John’s Gospel, Jesus declares himself to be the light needed in our world of darkness. His declaration has become our Advent theme this year, and we are thankful to celebrate that in Jesus, God and Peace and Sin and Hope are all brought to light so that we can grasp just what the Father has in mind for us. As we open ourselves to allow this light to shine into our own particular darkness, we are also compelled to pray for our world and the struggles with evil and suffering and sin’s dominion against which our neighbors battle, both nearby and around the globe. We are able to boldly live into our prayers during this Advent season through our gifts to our Christmas Offering for Missions featuring the SBC’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the CBF’s Global Missions Offering. We have missionaries all around the world who are announcing Jesus’ good news, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” One hundred percent (100%) of our gifts impact missionaries around the world as they respond to global poverty that devalues life, extend hope and hospitality to those driven from their homes, and plant/equip churches for sharing the Gospel that saves. Thank you for your prayers as you give your “best Christmas gift” to encourage folks to “come to the light!” Our FBC Christmas Offering for Missions Goal is $12,000 Pastor Tony “Providing sewing lessons for prostitutes in [South Asia] at our activity center gives them a chance to leave the red-light district because it gives them a skill. With that skill they can get a good job in a clothing factory to make money and support their family.” -Missionary, South Asia Read Stories by FBC Members by going to the blog posts at!


Missions Night On Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:15 p.m. Haley Chitty will be sharing with us from her ministry of encouragement and counseling in Thailand! Welcome home our sister in service! Read of Haley’s work at: professional-staff/haley-chitty/

End-of-Year Giving Reminder

For contributions to the church to be recorded on your 2016 giving record, please be sure to bring them to the church by Dec. 31. Reporting End of Year Contributions Church Reports as a 2016 Contribution: • Checks written in December 2016 and deposited in the mail and postmarked in December 2016, but not received by the church until January 2017. Church Reports as a 2017 Contribution: • Checks written in December 2016 and deposited in church offering in January 2017. • Checks written and deposited in offering in January 2017 but “back-dated” to December 2016. • Checks written and deposited in offering in December 2016 but “postdated” to January 2017. • Checks written in December 2016 and deposited in the mail in December 2016, but not postmarked until January 2017, and not received by the church until January 2017.

Capital Campaign Pledges

Capital Campaign Pledges can now be given to the church using your regular offering envelopes or through our on-line giving portal accessible from the homepage of our website. The more we receive in advance of the construction will reduce our financing needs throughout the project. Find the online giving portal at the bottom of each webpage and on the Connect page. Look for this symbol:

Compassion The Story in Our New Logo: Part 3

The word CHURCH is at the heart of our logo. It is because we are the ‘church’ - ‘called out’ to follow Jesus. Jesus, who declared, “I will build my church and the gates of death will not prevail against it.” That’s who we are - people who confess that Jesus is the son of the living God - our Lord, our Savior, who calls us to live the way of his kingdom in Shelby.

Service Provide Christmas gifts for families in need through the Angel Tree

Take an Angel from the tree, purchase the gift, and return it to the church by Sunday, Dec. 11. You will be an “angel” of Good News sure enough! Remember angel means messenger!

Nursery Volunteers Needed

Have you noticed all those children in worship lately? Great to see isn’t it!? There are other younger ones in the Nursery and we need your help to care for them. Look at your calendar and make a plan to volunteer to care for children in the nursery so that their parents can be in worship. Talk with Missy, email her at or sign up on line to serve with this very special AND MUCH NEEDED group of people in our church.

Greatest Treat Festival 2016 Thanks

Thanks for all our FBC members for bringing in candy and helping us to set up and carry out our games at the Greatest Treat Festival this year. The festival saw many Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association churches working together to share the Gospel with 4000 people who came through our gates. Thank you for your prayers that our neighbors will use the special ability God has given them - faith to trust their lives and hearts into the hands of Jesus!

Hurricane Relief

During the fall of the year, our church family is encouraged to skip a meal and give the money for use in World Hunger/Disaster Relief. This year, in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, we encourage you to give gifts in kind or in dollars through the NC Baptist Men for Disaster Relief at Also, during the month of December, a team will go from Cleveland County to work in eastern North Carolina. This will mean that many “local ministry projects” executed by our Shelby Baptist Men’s Camp will need volunteers. Let Pastor Tony know you would like more information, or contact David Brown directly to volunteer at 919-422-9990.

A Special Thank You Dear First Baptist Family,

You have amazed us with your love, support, and encouragement during the death of my Dad . So many of you have called, written a note, said prayers, and given us hugs during this season of change in our lives. Thank you all for being the people of God that I have always known you to be. Our entire family is grateful for you. Tony and Janet and Andy and Mary, the good ministers and friends that they have been to us through the years, brought a tear to my eye when they sent a beautiful flower arrangement to Texas where my Dad’s memorial service was held. From my Heart, Robert and Cindy Canoy


Children’s Corner: A Message from Missy What is your plan? We plan things all day long and don’t even realize we are planning. As parents of young children we usually begin our planning just before we go to bed every night as we decide what our children will wear the next day. We set the proper shirt, pants and shoes out so that getting ready in the morning will not be a hassle. Then we proceed with our planning in the morning by fixing their lunch and pulling out their clothes for dance, soccer or whatever activity they may have in the afternoon. When our children have a test at school, we make a plan to study with them so that they will be prepared and make a good grade. As adults we make plans for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions with our family and friends. We plan for our retirement so that we may be comfortable in our latter years of life. We plan what to buy when we go to the grocery store. We plan our doctors’ appointments for a time that doesn’t interfere with other plans we may have. The planning goes on and on and on. We are constantly planning something. As I consider all the planning that I do, I am aware that Christmas is upon us and we will be doing even more planning than any other time of the year. We will make plans to visit with family, buy gifts, bake Christmas goodies and go to our favorite Christmas programs. But how much time will be spent truly preparing our hearts for the birth of our Savior. As I think about our “plans”, I realize that while most of the things I am planning are important and necessary, they do not really matter in the sight of eternity. So here is the important question, “WHAT DOES MATTER THAT HAS ETERNAL VALUE?”

Children’s Christmas Music in Worship

Sunday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. HeartSongs music groups will be singing during worship on the Second Sunday in Advent. Parents please have your children in the sanctuary dressed in Christmas attire at 8:25 a.m.

FBC Kids’ Christmas Party

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. on Children’s Hall We will finish out the semester of Wednesdays with a fun-filled-fellowship together by serving pizza, chips and participating in a mission project together!

What am I Thankful For?

Children compose thank you notes for College Care boxes

Children’s Ministry 4

Children Deliver Shoeboxes

Our Children put together 25 shoeboxes to add to our total FBC number of 144!

Christmas Parade Outreach

We need YOU to be on our OUTREACH team during the Christmas parade as we pass out hot chocolate and water to our neighbors watching the parade. We will share the true meaning of this Christmas season and invite folks to our church. Let Carol Ann ( know if you are able to help.

Youth Christmas Party is Dec. 20

Meet at the church at 5:30. Bring a $5 gift for a gift exchange game

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

On Dec. 21, join the youth at Ingles as we ring the bell for the Salvation Army Fundraising kettle. Sign up with Carol Ann to pick your time you want to ring the bell.

FBC Gingerbread House Fellowship Join us for a time to decorate International Gingerbread houses on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. in the gym. Dinner will be served.

Gingerbread House Event Builds Lasting Friendship Becca Sisk

Last year my five-year-old son, Ryan, and I attended the Gingerbread house event. We didn’t know many people, and my anxiety was pretty high walking in and not knowing where to sit or who to approach. Ryan was just simply excited to be there. He picked a table with a house he thought looked cool, and we waited by ourselves for instructions. Then Guy Scoggin and his mom, Dana, joined us at the table. I was nervous that a youth would not want the help of an energetic and messy five-year-old ... especially one that would surely eat more of the candy gumdrops than not. I even suggested to Ryan that maybe he should do one by himself. I’m so glad that he insisted on staying at that table. God knew exactly what he was doing. Guy and Ryan worked feverishly to frost and decorate that house and laughed and carried on the whole time. They enjoyed being messy and creating something special together. I am so thankful for that night. Ryan loves that Guy always talks to him at church and takes time to horse around with him on Wednesday nights. God knew they were building more than a gingerbread house that evening. They were building a friendship ... and the kingdom of God!

God in the unexpected places Carol Ann Hoard

Several years ago I went to NYC with a group of friends the week after Thanksgiving for a fun shopping and eating trip. It just so happened to be the same time as the Lighting of the Rockefeller Tree. When I figured that out, I wanted to see it in person. When else would I be in NYC when that was happening? No one wanted to venture into the crowds of people, so I went by myself. When I got there, I was lost in the mob. I felt like a cow at the Cleveland County Fair herded through the feeding stalls. When I realized I was not getting closer to the tree I came up with a plan - and it worked! I ended up in the VIP section standing and looking at the breathtaking tree. I heard famous singers sing Christmas songs, and then it was almost time to see this beautiful tree become radiantly bright and light up the sky. Al Roker began the countdown, “10, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.” The lights illuminated the sky and then “IT” transpired – the mobs of people all around started singing… Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room And Heaven and nature sing And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing!

It was in that moment tears began to fall. Why was I so shocked to hear the news of the King being born in the concrete jungle? That song was supposed to be sung in church not in the streets of NYC. I realized my heart was not prepared for Him there. But why? Jesus is alive and working everywhere! So now as we adorn our sanctuary with the Hanging of the Green, I am making my third annual trek to the lighting of the tree to prepare my heart for the real meaning of Christmas. When I see the star on top of the tree, I am reminded of Matthew 2:10, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” I, too, am overjoyed when I think of how Jesus works in my life in all places. My challenge for you this Christmas is to look for Christ in everything you do. I promise you will see him at work.

Youth Ministry 5



Adult Ministry Flags of the Nations Sunday

We need your help for the flag processional Sunday, Dec. 18. Please meet in the office hallway outside the library at 8:40 a.m. that day to help by carrying a flag. Please note the change in date from Dec. 11.

Feed The Hungry – Body and Soul

Would your class or group or family please consider providing the food and serving in the Friday soup kitchen lunch that is hosted here at our church by the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association? Katie Harris is building the rotation list for the next year and needs to hear from our folks. Contact Katie at

Get specific, get, get, specific!

As we live into our Future Story, Dr. John Crosland challenged his Sunday School class to include on the class prayer list this very specific request: Pray for an average worship attendance of 500 by 2/28/19. Let’s all join them in their prayers! What are you praying for?

Sunday School Class Outreach Goals

A few months back our Church Mission Council asked every Sunday School class to make their own strategy for reaching the 30,000 people in our county who live outside a relationship with a church. The J.O.Y. Class, taught by Dr. Sophia Steibel, logged these goals: • Inreach goal - To reach out to the 135 persons in our church who are 80-104 years of age. • Outreach goal - Provide necessities for girls to middle-schools and high-schools in our community as well as to pay attention to our locale and engage in ministry folks who are in need so that we can share our faith as we go.

Jewels in the Heart of Shelby! Our church neighborhood is blessed by CBF Missionary Cecelia Beck and her work among families all around us. One of her ministry goals has been an entrepreneurial ministry to teach young artists in business principles, creativity, and stewardship. Straight Out of Shelby is the name of this jewelry-making business and the young artists just completed their first sale. “The success of the first sale has enabled the young artists to imagine new dreams and possibilities,” Cecelia reports. “They are quite motivated to continue and work hard to achieve those dreams. Their success has also attracted other youth who want to work.” Straight Out of Shelby creations brought in over $1300 in sales with 60 percent going to the artists, 30 percent returning to the business, and 10 percent tithed into ministry. This first sale’s tithe was designated by the youth to go to the FBC youth ministry in thanksgiving for encouragement to them! It’s a blessing for our church to partner with Cecelia’s work as we pray for her and the families she touches. She has been thankful for the partnership as well. “It has been most encouraging to have tremendous support from the staff of FBC from the beginning,” Cecelia notes. “Business Manager Jan Swartzbaugh and the Maintenance staff have been particularly kind and generous with their time as they helped us find space to work, installed a lock, and made sure we have access to our ‘jewelry room’ when we need it, even when it is not particularly convenient for them.” FBC member, Pat Whatley, has been volunteering alongside Cecelia and the youth Straight Out of Shelby! Pat offered us this good word: “Working with these young people has been a joy. They are hard-working and fun to be around. We have devotionals. . . work hard at organizing and learning. . . bicker and tease and laugh like all good friends do. . . spend time quietly creating. . . get frustrated when nothing seems to come together and the “goof-ups” seem to gang up on us (LOL) . . . then straighten up our messes and get right back to creating beautiful jewelry!” So many of our FBC members were glad to shop the recent sale and were thrilled by the creative eye of these young people. “They are learning that God is good! He has gifted them with wonderful talent and they are learning to channel that talent through dedication and perseverance,” Pat remarked.

Staff Anniversaries

Join us in celebrating and thanking our staff for their years of service.


Carol Ann Hoard Dec. 14, 1998

Jeri Ledford Dec. 19, 1982



In the Sunday School Spotlight: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. One of the first persons I met when coming to FBC, Shelby, was Susan Evans. She has been such a dear friend and a tremendous help and encourager in so many areas of my ministry – Mission Friends, Sunday School, VBS children’s ministry programs, church musicals, etc. She and her husband, WeeDee, have created so many outstanding sets for our programs throughout these years. Thank you, Susan, for all you do. - Perry Holleman, Minister of Education Susan Evans shares about her ministry: I’ve been teaching Mission Friends for about 40 years; that includes FBC and Ross Grove and Sunday School maybe 25 years or so. I love it when non-parent adults are teachers alongside me. The parents need a break and the children need to hear the same truths from someone else; supporting what they learn at home. Sue Hudson always said, “The pay is not good, but the retirement is out of this world!” These young ones are so literal and very inquisitive: I asked one if he kept his new horse at home. He assured me he did not; it stayed in the barn. Using cloth scraps to make a collage as we talked about Joseph’s coat, one boy softly said…. “Ooooo, this reminds me of my mother’s silkies.” When I explained we would go around the circle to pray, the first girl got up from her chair and walked round and round all of the chairs while she prayed. I asked one boy to read the verse back, he did exactly that, when he said… “you love I, Jesus”. One toddler cautioned me to use gloves when changing his diaper.When telling the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter’s sinking just before reaching him, I can still hear one child ask, “But why, why did he take his eyes off Jesus, Mrs. Susan?” Indeed, why do we? The best memories are of the children that ask Jesus to live in their heart (even if one of them says, ‘How can He fit in there?’) My ministry opportunities have always been a blessing. No matter how long the day or week has been, the kids continue to challenge me. Being prepared is required since they are like sponges, ready to absorb all they hear and do. Sometimes an idea that works with the kids is also useful at my day job.

Join Us for Wednesdays at FBC

Music Schedules for December

Supper begins at 5:30 p.m. Donation suggestion: Adults $5 and Children $2.50.

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December Menu Dec. 7 Vegetable Soup and Cornbread, Salad and Dessert. Dec. 14 Staff-Served Steak Dinner Mark your calendars for the Annual Staff-Served Steak Christmas Dinner on Dec. 14 at 5:30 in the gym. Sign up in Sunday School or call the church office to reserve your ribeye or chopped steak. Wednesday night meals will resume in January.

HeartSong groups will sing in worship on Dec. 4. They will resume on Jan. 11. The Chapel Choir, Youth Bells, and Envision will take a break during the month of December. They will resume on Jan. 8. The Sanctuary Choir and Sanctuary Handbells will meet each Wednesday through Dec. 21, then will resume on Jan. 4.

Each Sunday in Advent, gather with the FBC family in worship at 9 a.m., as we proclaim that in Christ we are “Brought to Light”. • Dec. 4: HeartSong Choirs (preschool and children) will lead and share in worship. • Dec. 11: Music of instruments and the Sanctuary Choir, with the cantata, Appalachian Winter by Joseph Martin. • Dec.18: Music of Sanctuary Handbells, Brass, and the Sanctuary Choir as we celebrate the final Sunday in Advent! And the Procession of the Flags of the Nations as we pray for the Light of Christ to shine into the hearts of all people.


The INFORMER (USPS 581-520) Published Monthly First Baptist Church 120 North Lafayette Street Shelby, NC 28150-4456 Second Class Postage Paid At Shelby, NC 28150 Postmaster: Send address changes to The INFORMER 120 N. Lafayette Street, Shelby, NC 28150

120 North Lafayette St. Shelby, NC 28150

STAFF DIRECTORY Tony Tench, Carol Ann Hoard, Minister of Students & Perry Holleman, Minister of Andy Roby, Minister of Missy Smith, Minister of Jan Swartzbaugh, Business Penny Corn, Weekday Ministry CHURCH INFORMATION

Office Hours: M-F 8:30-5 p.m.

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120 N Lafayette St, Shelby, NC 28150 (p) 704.482.3467 (f) 704.482.1137 (Emergency) 704.471.6018 Check out our website and weekly blog:

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FBC December Informer Monthly  
FBC December Informer Monthly