Church: We’re ‘plugged into’ community

Published 12:54 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

Ministers with Bainbridge First Baptist Church told members of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce attending the monthly breakfast Thursday that their church is plugged into the community.

“We see ourselves as an intricate part of the Chamber of Commerce and an intricate part of Bainbridge and Decatur County, and we are proud to be here,” the Rev. Paul Medley said. “We are part of you, we are proud to be part of you. We hope you can be a part of us, rather on a regular basis or just to visit.”

The breakfast was held at the church’s fellowship hall.

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Medley said members of the church also serve as ambassadors of the community, including to places such as small communities in West Africa or Honduras, where members of First Baptist Church have been to and served on missions there.

“We are—and we see as our mission—being spokespeople for our community,” said Medley, adding that many companies look at several elements of a community before deciding to locate here, and one of those elements is its churches.

Aside from Medley, the church has three other full-time ministers: Art Bruce, who is the musical director of the church and senior adult minister, and also serves as the “Voice of the Bearcats”; Al Sessions, the youth minister, and Earl Barron, the education and children minister. Other church staff includes Robert Robinson, the custodian of the church and a full-time employee of Belk; and administrative assistants Clarene Jones and Virginia Smith.

Teaching good citizenship

Sessions said his youth ministry assists members of the community in many ways.

“The main goal of our ministry, besides promoting students that are going to be true followers of Christ, is to get those students to be just good citizens,” Sessions said.

He said statistics show that the majority of those persons with the highest attendance in churches are also those who are in the community doing the most volunteer work and bettering the community.

“The higher involvement in churches, the higher involvement in the community is,” Sessions said. “So thinking about that, our ministry is building the future.”

Barron said members of the church are more like a big family.

“We’re not only here as a part of a community, but we are part of a family too,” Barron said, who works with young children and the adult members of the church. “If you are looking for a good family, or a good place to belong, I encourage you to attend our church. … Everything we do at First Baptist is to learn how to live like Jesus.”

Other announcements

 Speaking on behalf of Decatur County Family Connection, Debbie McIntyre said the organization’s funding is being cut, and one way it is trying to recoup some of its funds is with hosting a rodeo at the Fairgrounds on Sept. 11 and 12. The rodeo will include bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, steer wrestling and girl’s break-away. The rodeo, which is offering sponsorships, is produced by Gernie Geiger with the Flying G Rodeo from Hilliard, Fla., and is sanctioned by the World Wide Rodeo Association.

The Chamber is sponsoring a “meet the candidate” reception with at least six gubernatorial candidates on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the back deck of the Chamber building beginning at 5:30 p.m.

 On Thursday, Aug. 27, beginning at 5:15 p.m., the chamber is hosting a membership orientation at the Welcome Center on Dothan Road.

 On Friday, Aug. 28, beginning at noon, BASF is hosting an existing industry roundtable.