First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Sound System Trial Run Sunday
Pastor Sam in Pittsburgh
Family Roller Skating Party Sunday
First Parents' Night Out of 2020
Wednesday Night Programs Resume Next Week
Annual Congregational Meeting Next Sunday
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bristol
Women's Wednesday Bible Group Looks at Christian Behavior
"Regenerate" Women's Retreat, When You Need It Most
Get Ready for Our Chili Cook-Off and Talent Show
Student Fellowship Seeks Dinner Volunteers
Mission Overnight in Roanoke Jan. 19
Student Ministries Late Nite
Passion 2020 Lights the Way
Snacks for Fairmount
Stamp Ministry Needs You
Gifts to the Church
How to Watch FPC Worship Videos Online
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
January 12
Baptism of the Lord
Matthew 3:13-17
Isaiah 42:1-9
What Does Baptism Have to Do with Christmas?
Dave Welch
The Gift of Love
Dec. 22: 9:00: 140; 11:00: 162
Christmas Eve: 385
Dec. 29: 9:00: 130; 11:00: 83
Jan. 5: 9:00: 129; 11:00: 98
Click here to livestream our contemporary service. You can also access past sermons and ministry videos on our YouTube account, "FPC Bristol."
Deadline & Subscriptions
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on First Presbyterian Church

January 9, 2020
Sound System Trial Run Sunday
Qualitative and quantitative measurements of our sanctuary sound system on the first Sunday in December established a baseline for two planned trials of new equipment, the first of which will take place this Sunday. A company is bringing in speakers to demonstrate for us during the late service January 12.
A survey enclosed in your bulletin will ask for your input at different points in the service. The survey will include a comment section that will ask whether you use the church's hearing assistance devices or your own hearing aids. You can add any other information that you would like us to have about your experience with sound in the sanctuary. At the end of the service, we will ask all worshipers to stay for ten minutes. We will provide directions at that point, and the assessment will conclude quickly. Simply leave the form on your pew when you go.
If you have questions, contact any member of the Sound Assessment Committee. Al Thomas (Chair), Nancy Cook, Lee Galliher, Jerry Poteat, Bob Tate, Sam Weddington, and Dave Welch will be grateful for your help in this process.
Pastor Sam in Pittsburgh

Pastor Sam is immersed in intensive coursework for his doctoral degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary through January 17. He cannot answer his phone in class, but he does check messages as often as he can. If you need him, please leave a message in the church office, and a staff member will contact him.
Family Roller Skating Party Sunday
Get ready to roll! All the church is invited to a roller skating party at Bristol Skateway this Sunday, January 12, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10 per family for this event. For more information, contact Lilly Osborne at
First Parents' Night Out of 2020

The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 on Friday, January 31, in the Education Wing. This event is for newborns through sixth graders. Please let Lilly Osborne know the number and ages of the children you will bring so that she can provide dinner and materials for all of them. To sign up, email Lilly at, call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Wednesday Night Programs Resume Next Week

Please join us Wednesday, January 15, at 5:30 for a fellowship supper, followed at 6:00 by activities for children and youth. At 6:15, our Adult Enrichment program will resume the study of 2 Corinthians, picking up at chapter 4, verses 6-15, with Dave Welch. Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together.
Annual Congregational Meeting Next Sunday

Our annual congregational meeting will be held next Sunday, January 19, at 10:10 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The purpose of the meeting is for the congregation to receive an annual financial report, vote on the terms of call for the senior pastor, convene as the corporation, and elect officers. The Nominating Committee will present a slate of officer nominees, and the floor will be opened to nominations as well. All nominees must be confirmed in advance of the meeting as willing to serve. Everyone is invited to the meeting, but only members may vote.
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bristol
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Sunday, January 19, the Reverend Mary Buford of Canaan Christian Church of Louisville, KY, will speak at Lee Street Baptist Church. Her talk is titled, "Becoming Reacquainted with Our Roots." The Tri-Cities Mass Choir, including some of own church members, will provide rousing music under the direction of Deacon Troy Shelley. A special collection will be taken up to benefit the MLK Scholarship Fund. Everyone is invited.
On Monday, January 20, everyone is invited to observe MLK Jr. Day by gathering at 1:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre for the 2:00 march down State Street to the Bristol Train Station, where there will be a special program. In the evening, everyone is invited to Lee Street Baptist Church to hear Father Gregory Boyle give a talk titled, "The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness." Father Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises and provides critical services to thousands of men and women seeking a better life. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change.
At 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 21, Father Boyle will speak in the King University chapel on "Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship." The talks on Monday and Tuesday are sponsored by the King Institute for Faith and Culture.
Women's Wednesday Bible Group Looks at Christian Behavior

The Women's Wednesday Bible Study begins the spring semester on Wednesday, January 15, at 9:30 a.m. in room 117. We welcome anyone to join us for about an hour and a half of Bible focus, discussion, and prayer. The nine-week study will delve into the New Testament books of 1 and 2 Peter as well as Jude, guided by the N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides. We will explore the way Christians behave when surrounded by a culture that doesn't understand who we are or why we do what we do. In the three letters, Peter and Jude provide some answers, and N.T. Wright helps guide the discussion of how their words can help us today.
N.T. (Tom) Wright, formerly Bishop of Durham in England, is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author of dozens of books, including Surprised by Hope, and is world renowned as a Bible scholar and teacher. / Dottie Havlik
"Regenerate" Women's Retreat, When You Need It Most
Women of FPC! Save February 21 -23 for a weekend of connection and renewal in beautiful Blowing Rock, NC! Bring your friends to our annual women's retreat and ReGenerate! We will provide details when we can.
Get Ready for Our Chili Cook-Off and Talent Show
Dust off your tap shoes! Grab your magic wand! Find your secret recipe! It's back! We'll hold our annual chili cook-off and talent show Sunday, February 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in participating in the talent portion, please contact Lilly Osborne at or Katie Arnold at
Student Fellowship Seeks Dinner Volunteers
Yes, the weather has been strange, but that isn't thunder you hear in the distance. That low rumbling is coming from dozens of hungry teens roaming the Fellowship Hall, seeking what they may devour. You guessed it, Student Fellowship needs folks to provide dinners on Sunday nights. Fill these slots to fill those tums: January 26, February 9 and 23, and March 1, 8, and 29. If you can pitch in, please contact Katie Arnold at or Sarah Gannaway at Thanks, and stay safe!
Mission Overnight in Roanoke Jan. 19
Join FPC Student Ministries Sunday, January 19, as we travel to Roanoke to partner with REACH, an organization that renovates abandoned houses to provide homes for low-income families. We will leave Sunday morning at 8:00 and return late Monday evening, giving us time to take an in-depth look at the cycles of poverty and participate in a poverty simulation. On Monday we will work on homes and serve with local agencies. The trip is not limited to students but is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Register today for an unforgettable experience with your church family! The cost is $25 and includes all travel, lodging, and meals. You can pay with cash or check, or here.
Student Ministries Late Nite
Student Ministries kicked off the new year with a Late Nite event. Students focused on starting this year by growing their faith without making it one more thing to chase and bring to a certain level of performance. Students chose a word for the year to focus on and serve as a reminder of the love and grace God extends to us. Everyone shared their word by making a bracelet or painting. Beautiful! / Katie Arnold

Passion 2020 Lights the Way
Fifteen FPC high school seniors and college students spent the first hour of 2020 worshiping in Atlanta with tens of thousands of other 18 -25-year-olds, ringing in the new year at the three-day Passion 2020 conference. As the ball dropped in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the worship song was timed perfectly so that the first word uttered by 65,000 people in 2020 was "Jesus." It was a truly amazing experience. To augment the roster of speakers and worship opportunities, our group stayed together in a giant house so that the fun could continue into the early morning hours. We gathered around late night snacks and discussed all we had heard that day. The students are eager to see how God uses them to lead and be a light on their campuses. Check out this video to see a four-minute recap of Passion 2020: / Katie Arnold

Snacks for Fairmount
We are again collecting snacks for the students of Fairmount Elementary. About 80% of the children get help with lunch, but their families can't buy snacks to help them through the afternoon slump. That's where we come in. We are now collecting boxes of Multi-Grain Cheerios. Please bring your donations to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to give our young friends at Fairmount a boost on long winter days. Thank you!
Stamp Ministry Needs You

Save your canceled stamps! The stamps you place in the collection bin in the Fellowship Hallway help support the preparation, publication, and distribution of a Spanish-language Sunday School curriculum through the Alliance Stamp Ministry. More than 50 lesson series provided by this ministry are now being used by 40 denominations in Latin America, Spain, and the US. Thanks in part to your help, in 2019 the ministry collected $40,000 for this Sunday School project.
Thank you for your canceled stamps! Please continue to bring them in, remembering to leave at least a quarter-inch border around each one. And if you have never contributed used stamps before, please consider doing so. It's easy, and costs nothing. / Peggy Peters
Gifts to the Church
Memorials and honoraria are published in the newsletter only after the family has been personally notified by our business office. Today we gratefully acknowledge the following gifts:
In honor of:
Ron & Sandra Grubbs: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from John & Karen Vann
Jim White: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Bill Linderman & Elizabeth Patrick
In memory of:
Alice Cavanaugh: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White
Dot Copenhaver: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White
Tom Daniel: to the Capital Campaign Fund from an anonymous donor
Buddy & Laverne Dunn: to the Flower Fund from Diane Harrison
Patsy Frizzell: to the Technology Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Bill Goforth: to the Capital Campaign Fund from an anonymous donor; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White
Pat Hunigan: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Nancy King: to the Memorial Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Bob Kitchen: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White
Mac McElroy: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Don Preston: to the Memorial Fund from John & Karen Vann and from Jim White
Tony Racioppo: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from an anonymous donor; to the Sound System Fund from an anonymous donor; to the Technology Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Louise Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from John & Ellen Manney, from Jim White, from an anonymous donor
Jane Sheffey: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Wayne Sheffey: to the Memorial Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Marynan Smith: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White and from an anonymous donor
Kathy Story: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White
Larry Story: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White
Barbara Thomas: to the Memorial Fund from Jenny Rule, from Barbara Watson, from Jim White, from an anonymous donor
Chuck Thompson: to the King Univ. Thompson Scholarship Fund from John & Ellen Manney, from Jim White; to the Student Ministries Fund from an anonymous donor
Herb Van Nostrand: to Boy Scout Troop 3 from Cordova High School CCTE Dept., from his 1957 Graduating Class, from John & Ellen Manney, from John & Karen Vann, from Jim White, from an anonymous donor
Otis Warren: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Jim White
Pokey Warren (brother of Virginia Rutherford): to the Capital Campaign Fund from an anonymous donor
Janet Weddington: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Jim White
How  to Watch FPC Worship Videos Online
Several folks have asked about watching FPC worship services online: Where do I find them? How do I watch them? Can I share them?
Let's begin with where to find them:

1. Use your internet browser and go to


2. Search for First Presbyterian Church Bristol TN.


3. Click on the link for FPC to take you to the FPC YouTube site, where you will find the video collection.


4. Click on the SUBSCRIBE button.


After you subscribe to the FPC channel, you can click on the icon below to be notified when a new video is being streamed or posted.

5. Then explore the FPC videos and playlists. Revisit Pastor Sam's entire collection of Apostles' Creed sermons. Watch previous stewardship messages. Enjoy Elizabeth Patrick's sermon and the choir performance from last Sunday morning. Click on the Share button to send videos to friends and family.

Also, you can watch the early worship service as it is happening each Sunday morning at 9:00. Click here to livestream our contemporary service.

Enjoy and be blessed!

If you are interested in helping with the production of our video and streaming projects, contact JerryPoteat at 423-534-3506 or email him at

Music Notes
Hal Hopson
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "The Gift of Love," adapted and arranged by Hal Hopson in 1971. It is based on the English folk tune O WALY WALY, which dates back at least to Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany (1724 -1732). The lyrics paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13, and the anthem is popular in churches throughout Appalachia and the US. Hopson was educated at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has served churches in the Nashville area as organist and choir director and taught at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and Scarritt Graduate School in Nashville. More than 800 of his hymn tune, keyboard, and choral compositions have been published, and he takes an active role in many conferences and music clinics.
David Bednall
Organist's footnotes: On this Epiphany Sunday (Baptism of the Lord) we will hear three new pieces by three contemporary British composers. "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (#827, "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright," in our hymnal) was written by Philipp Nicolai in 1597. David Bednall's gentle setting of this beautiful hymn uses triplet rhythms in the accompaniment, while the melody soars on quiet solo stops. Reflect on the beauty of Christ as you listen to this musical meditation. Bednall (b. 1979) is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation. He studied for a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol and is signed to Oxford University Press. He is Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral and also performs extensively.
Alan Bullard's setting of the hymn tune EPIPHANY is quiet and introspective, with a livelier section in the middle. This is the tune to which many Britons sing "Brightest and best of the sons of the morning." Bullard (b. 1947) has been writing music all his life and frequently undertakes commissions for choral societies, church choirs, orchestral societies, and many other ensembles. His choral music, both sacred and secular, has been performed in a wide range of venues in the UK, the US, and elsewhere.
Malcolm Archer
The postlude, "St. Edmund," is based on the hymn tune of the same name, which is associated with the hymn "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise." This epiphany hymn is more commonly sung in in the UK than in the US. Malcolm Archer's arrangement calls for the melody to be played in the pedals on strong reeds, while the manuals dart about in quickly moving eighth-note patterns, ending with a powerful coda. Archer (b. 1952) has had a distinguished career in church music that has taken him to the posts of Organist and Director of Music at three English cathedrals: Bristol, Wells, and St. Paul's. For 11 years, he was Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College.
Join the Handbell Choir: Come join the Sanctuary Handbell Choir and make music ring out! We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs, and play for the late worship service about once a month. Contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091 to join us.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Sujean Bradley
Becky Busler
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Helen Davidson
Dorothy Dollar
Charlie Dolpp
Sarah Ellis
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Bobby Fleu
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Kay Martin Grott
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Marty Keys & family
Krista Martin
Dot Mattison
Lisa May
Roger McCracken
Alice Moore
Breanna Necessary
Eric Page
Meg Rice's family
Pat Rippetoe
Larry Roberts's family
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
Glenn Sanders's family
Grayson Smith & family
Al Thomas
Bethel Tulama
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Nancy Whitesides
Vicky Wood
Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Jan. 12        Debbie McMillin, David Phelps
Jan. 13        Pete Holler, Dale Keller, Nell Stigers
Jan. 14        Chris Blankenship, Fritz Reuning
Jan. 15        Bailey Bechtold
Jan. 16        Dale Davis
Jan. 18        Bebo McClain, Adrianna Nelson
Church Calendar
Sunday, January 12
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:15 a.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
4:00 p.m.       Family Skate Party, Bristol Skateway
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship, Fellowship Hall
Monday, January 13
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Room 123
Tuesday, January 14
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
6:00 p.m.       Venture Crew 3, Room 165
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, January 15
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
4:00 p.m.       Finance Comm., Room 117
5:15 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 37
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Gathering
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
6:15 p.m.       Adult Enrichment
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Choir, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
Thursday, January 16
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Pete Holler
David Hyde
John Graham
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Greg Roberts
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
Nate Sproles
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Bill Whisnant
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth