Hello First Baptist friends!

This is the first letter you have received from the church office is several weeks but we can assure you that the ministerial staff and support team has continued functioning at full capacity though the church office has been temporarily closed to visitors since late March.

Our church has found creative ways to continue connecting with each other and providing the best ministry possible in times of crisis. The Leadership Council/Transition Team has remained vigilant in guiding the church through this maze of fluidity as the effects of COVID-19 continue to disrupt the best-made plans that we had for our future.

As of today, our church continues to follow the social distancing and sheltering orders set forth by Governor Cooper. We do not know when we will begin gathering in our facilities to worship, meet as small groups for discipleship and large groups for fellowship, recreation or resume serving our neighbors in need outside of our Tuesday Night Ministry of providing dinner for our hungry neighbors. However, First Baptist Church is alive, well, and providing many vibrant lights of unwavering hope within our congregation and across our region.

We look forward to the days when we can come together as a congregation to share in the corporate joy of being devoted followers of Jesus, but we are going to be prudent and careful to provide the safest environment possible for the entirety of our congregation as we consider when that may be.

Because our church has suspended meeting as a large group since March 8, and had to postpone Congregational Conversations 2 and 3 of forming the Church Profile and Pastor Profile for our Pastoral Search Process, and after consultation with Dr. Randy Ashcraft---our Church Facilitator---the Leadership Council/Transition Team has decided to halt the Pastoral Search Process until the church can resume congregational gatherings. We had a great start to the Search Process, and we have an excellent Pastoral Search Team already in place. However, every member of our congregation should have input for this important process of transitioning to our next Pastor. This cannot be done while we are meeting virtually, and some members do not have access or the capability to take part.

Please continue to pray for our world in the midst of this global pandemic, take part in the virtual worship services offered by our pastoral staff, join a small group ZOOM meeting, remain engaged on our Facebook page, pray using the Pause daily devotionals, and read the expanded weekly E-Connect and monthly Kingdom News email. In addition, please continue providing your financial offerings by giving online at www.fbcwilmington.org/give or mailing your checks to the church office at 411 Market Street, 28401.

Your servants,
Mr. Bruce Lennon , Leadership Council/Transition Team Chair
Dr. Janelle Rhyne , Diaconate Chair
Dr. Jim Everette , Interim Chief of Staff