We kick off our fall stewardship emphasis, Joyful Generosity, this Sunday, October 28. One of our missional partners, Lesley-Ann Hix Tommey, Ministry Facilitator at Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York City through Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, will share with us in worship about ministry in her Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. FBCDC has been supporting Lesley-Ann for a year now, as a CBF “Encourager Church”.
Sunday, November 18, is “Gratitude Sunday” at First Baptist Church as we give thanks to God for another year of grace. Also in worship that day, we will celebrate an “offering of financial commitments” for the coming year.
Will you take time to pray about your financial participation in what God will do in and through First Baptist Church in the year ahead? And as an expression of your intention, will you please complete a commitment card indicating your financial participation for 2019? Your information will remain confidential—whether you make it online (https://www.firstbaptistdc.org/give) through our website, or turn in a paper commitment card.
(If you make your commitment online, you’ll still receive a card in worship on November 18th to use as a symbol during the “celebration of commitments”.)
Thanksgiving lunch is the traditional start of our holiday season here at FBC. Chef Laval prepares a scrumptious meal of turkey, stuffing, seasonal vegetables, and assorted dessert pies. Questions? Contact D'O Dillard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our brothers and sisters at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church (NSBC), in partnership with medical aid nonprofit VillageMed, are working to build a permanent clinic in Layaye, Haiti. The clinic will serve the needs of a population still affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake, and bring vital assistance to a remote, underserved region. The organization plans to break ground in the spring or summer of 2019. Our Life Deacons would like to designate the Love Offering to be collected on Sunday, October 7th, to benefit this clinic. We are hoping to raise $1,000 to support NSBC and VillageMed in serving the people of Haiti. Please keep this effort in your prayers!
Professor of Homiletics, Howard University School of Divinity
The Reverend Dr. Kenyatta R. Gilbert, Professor of Homiletics at the Howard University School of Divinity, will preach in worship on October 14th. Dr. Gilbert earned his B.A. in Political Science from Baylor University and both his M.Div. and Ph.D. in Practical Theology (Homiletics) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister and founder of The Preaching Project: Restoring Communities through Spoken Word (www.thepreachingproject.org), a website ministry promoting the nurture of the preaching life of ministers serving African American churches and communities.
Prior to joining the Divinity School’s faculty in 2006, he served congregations in Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Kenya. Kenyatta is married to Dr. Allison Blow Gilbert, a pediatrician. The Gilberts have three daughters: Olivia Copeland, Ella Jane, and Ava Sage. Copies of his book, "A Pursued Justice - Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights" will be available for purchase during the week prior to, and immediately following, worship on the 14th. Contact D'O Dillard at email@example.com for your copy. The cost is $20 and you may pay by check, cash or online (in “Additional Information”, note “for Dr. Gilbert Book”).
Renowned musician Olivier Latry, in recital Thursday, October 18, 7:30 pm. The latest offering in our Virtuoso Organist Series, Olivier is the principal organist at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris. Read his reviews and listen to him perform here.
French organist Olivier Latry is one of the most distinguished concert organists in the world today. One of three titular organists at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, he is also Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory of Music, Organist Emeritus with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Canada, and maintains a full schedule of concert performances appearing regularly as a soloist at prestigious venues and festivals, and with leading orchestras around the world.
Mr. Latry was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, in 1962 where he began his musical studies. He later attended the Academy of Music at St. Maur-des-Fossés, studying organ with Gaston Litaize. From 1981 to 1985 he was titular organist of Meaux Cathedral, and at the age of 23 won the competition to become one of the three titular organists of the Cathedral of NotreDame in Paris along with Philippe Lefebvre and Jean-Pierre Leguay; the three of them succeeding Pierre Cochereau. In 1990 he succeeded his teacher, Gaston Litaize, as organ professor at the Academy of Music at St. Maur-des-Fossés, and then subsequently in 1995 was appointed Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory where he continues to teach today along with his distinguished colleague, Michel Bouvard.
Having performed in more than fifty countries on five continents, Mr. Latry does not want to specialize in any specific repertoire, but rather wishes to explore all styles of organ music, as well as the art of improvisation. In 2000, to celebrate Olivier Messiaen as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, he performed three complete cycles (six recitals each) of Messiaen’s organ music, at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Mr. Latry has also inaugurated many significant concert hall organs around the world, including Verizon Hall (Philadelphia USA), The Palace of the Arts (Budapest, Hungary), and The Musikverein (Vienna, Austria). In 2014 he performed the inaugural concerts at La Maison Symphonique (Montréal, Canada) and a concert as part of the inaugural concert series at the Royal Festival Hall in London (UK).
In addition to concerts and teaching, Mr. Latry has made his mark through many recordings on the BNL label featuring music of Bach, Widor’s Symphonies 5 and 6, Vierne’s Symphonies 2 and 3 and the complete works of Duruflé. With Deutsche Grammophon he has recorded a transcription disc entitled “Midnight at Notre-Dame”, a disc featuring the organ works of César Franck, and the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen. He has also recorded the Poulenc Concerto and the Barber Toccata Festiva with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Jongen Symphonie Concertante with the Liège Orchestra. His most recent recording on the Naïve label is entitled “Trois Siècles d’Orgue Notre-Dame de Paris” which features music composed by past and current organists of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
In recognition of his distinguished work in the field of organ performance and teaching, Mr. Latry has received many prestigious awards and honorary degrees including the Prix de la Fondation Cino et Simone Del Duca (Institut de France–Académie des Beaux-Arts) in 2000, and “Honoris Causa” Fellowships from the North and Midlands School of Music (UK) in 2006, and from the Royal College of Organists (UK) in 2007. He was also presented the International Performer of the Year award by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists in April 2009, and received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada in 2010. Current as of April 2015
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Loving, present God, as we begin this day
we pause to remember.
We remember the 2,976 men, women and children
who died in New York City, at the Pentagon
and on Flight 93 seventeen years ago.
We pray for spouses and children and parents
and grandparents and friends and co-workers
who find themselves weeping today.
As we remember that harrowing day,
we acknowledge that You are Almighty God,
maker of heaven and earth,
giver of life,
vanquisher of death,
bringer of life everlasting.
You are the God of all power
who has given us power, as well:
power to create, not to destroy;
power to love, not to hate;
power to build instead of tearing down;
power to reconcile instead of breaking apart;
and power to seek restorative justice instead of revenge.
As we pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
may we walk always in his Spirit and in his way,
even as we pray the words he taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Peace and grace,
Saturday, September 15, 9 - 11am, at NSBC | Led by Pastors Julie Pennington-Russell and Darryl Roberts
A Shared History
Thomas Jefferson was President when, in March of 1802, six laypersons and four ministers established the First Baptist Church of Washington City. From its earliest days, First Baptist Church included African American members both slave and free. By 1810, black members comprised twenty-nine percent of the congregation and by 1822, forty percent. In 1839 First Baptist Church decided to leave their location at the corner of Nineteenth and Eye Streets, NW, and move closer to the city’s center, subsequently purchasing property north of E Street along Tenth Street. First Baptist continued to meet for a while in its two locations while preparing to transfer the property to the mostly black congregation remaining at Nineteenth Street.
Relationships between the two congregations became strained, in part because of arguments over the transfer of the property (which took more than 30 years) but also likely because of the painful realities of racial injustice. Even so, our two congregations worked together during and after the Civil War, with support from the Freedman’s Bureau, to offer health care, shelter and education to the more than ten thousand freed and fugitive slaves living in camps throughout Washington City.
Nearly 80 years later, in the early 1940s, Dr. Walter H. Brooks, esteemed pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, preached in worship at First Baptist Church at the invitation of First Baptist’s pastor, Dr. Edward Pruden.
It has been more than 200 years since our shared history began. Today, in a season in our nation’s life when racial tensions are once again flaring, the pastors of FBC and NSBC, Pastor Julie and Rev. Dr. Darryl Roberts, along with Hannah McMahan from the New Baptist Covenant, have begun meeting for the purpose of knowing each other and talking about how our congregations might shine a light together in Washington. These conversations led to our churches meeting on August 12 at the MLK Memorial for a prayer walk and communion.
A New Chapter
If you sense God’s Spirit leading you to help plant fresh seeds of understanding, love and shared mission between our two churches, join us on Saturday, September 15, from 9-11am for a light breakfast and conversation at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church (located at 4606 16th Street, NW,) led by Pastor Julie and Pastor Darryl. Please RSVP by September 12 to Zena Aldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bruce Salmon
Puerto Rico is hurting. Almost a year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is far from recovered. The 155-mph winds devastated the infrastructure and killed more than 2,900 U.S. citizens. According to The Washington Post, “basic modern-day services are still not fully operational across the island.”
To compound the disaster, “philanthropies are failing Puerto Rico.” Corporate and foundation support of Puerto Rico in 2017 was only $62 million. Compare that with the $341 million given after Hurricane Harvey, and the $128 million given after Hurricane Irma. Thanks to those investments and a robust government response, Texas and Florida “were back on their feet in a matter of weeks.” Puerto Ricans, however, continue to struggle to meet basic needs.
Not everyone has forgotten Puerto Rico. Following Hurricane Maria, American Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship began sending church mission groups. Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis in Carolina became a base of operations. The church already was part of the CBF family, having joined CBF of Florida in 2007. Pastor Jesủs Garcia has led his church to sponsor “Faith in Action” days, when church members and mission group volunteers repair surrounding communities while sharing the message of Jesus.
Randy Shepley, CBF Missions Council member (and friend of Pastor Julie), is pastor of First Baptist Church of Newport News, Virginia. A mission trip five years ago led to a strong bond between his church and Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis. Now, my former church, Village Baptist in Bowie, Maryland, has joined the partnership, designating its summer mission project to help Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis rebuild their church.
To raise funds Village is sponsoring a Seafood Feast & Silent Auction on Saturday, September 29, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., at Village Baptist Church in Bowie. This is where the people of First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. can come in. Linda and I plan to attend the Village Seafood Feast, and we invite you to join us. The cost is $40 per person, $10 for ages 5-10, and free under age 5. The menu includes snow crabs, steamed crabs, steamed shrimp, fried chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, slaw, soft drinks, lemonade, and iced tea, with hot dogs available for the kids.
Bowie is not that far away. Linda and I come from Bowie to FBC/DC almost every Sunday. Saturday, September 29, is not that far away. We would be thrilled to have some folks from our new church home join us at our old church home for this fun and worthwhile event. Because seating is limited, tickets are non-refundable and must be purchased in advance, with a deadline of September 21. Checks are payable to Village Baptist Church or purchased below.
Dinner @ 6:30pm; Conversation with Dr. Laura Parajon @ 7pm
Join us on Wednesday, August 29, for dinner and a conversation with Dr. Laura Parajon from AMOS (A Ministry of Sharing) Hope and Healing in Nicaragua. AMOS is a Christian non-profit organization that exists to improve the health of impoverished communities by working alongside them in health, education and development. Laura and her husband, Dr. David Parajon, lead AMOS and are both American Baptist missionaries. In April 2008, FBCDC sponsored a team of 17 that went to Nicaragua to help lay the foundation for the Evelyn L. Shockey Medical Clinic in rural Nascascolo (Evelyn was a long-time member of FBC). Please join us as we learn first-hand from Laura about the critical situation in Nicaragua due to the civil unrest, and how it is affecting their work.
Led by Pastor Julie and Pastor Darryl Roberts
August 12 marks the one-year anniversary of the white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville. This Sunday (8/12) Pastor Julie and Pastor Darryl Roberts from the historic Nineteenth Street Baptist Church will co-lead a brief communion service at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at 2pm. Our brothers and sisters of NSBC have invited our church to join them for a snack lunch at their church (4606 16th St NW) from 12:45-1:30pm, then ride with them on their church busses to the MLK Memorial. Deacons from both churches will serve the bread and cup to all want to participate—church folk and tourists alike. (Please note: the communion service will be 2.5 miles from the white supremacist/neo-Nazi rally taking place in Lafayette Square, near the White House.)
Schedule for August 12:
12:45-1:30pm First Baptist and Nineteenth Street Baptist share a snack lunch at NSBC (provided by New Baptist Covenant)
1:30pm Leave Nineteenth Street by bus
1:50pm Arrive at King Memorial
2:00pm Communion Service
2:25pm Prayer Walk around Monument
2:45pm Load Buses and return to Nineteenth Street (or FBC folk may elect to Uber or Metro back to the church or to home)
During the dog days of summer, we combine Sunday School classes as a way to slow down and reconnect. All are invited to participate in this year's August Forum as we explore our artistic side.
Painting the Sacred with Amy Ordoveza
Amy Ordoveza will briefly discuss some of her recent paintings and drawings, and lead participants in creating small gouache (opaque watercolor) paintings that depict places that have been significant to them in their spiritual journeys. Participants may optionally prepare to paint by bringing a reference photo of a place where God has guided them, taught them, or blessed them. No previous painting experience is necessary. For adults and youth; children will participate in a rock-painting session with Pastor Kelly.
Amy is an artist, art teacher, and a member of First Baptist Church. She studied painting at the New York Academy of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and art education at George Mason University. She has taught art for Arlington Adult Education and Fairfax County Public Schools.
Meeting God Through Flowers with Shirley McBeath
Enjoy learning techniques in arranging flowers, God’s inspiring handiwork. Experience the spiritual blessings and gifts of flowers. Participants will leave with their own floral creation. For adults, youth and children.
Shirley joined FBC in February 1974 with her husband Bill and three children, Beth, Becky and Wil. She was ordained as a deacon in 1976 and has served several times on the diaconate, as well as on many committees and teams. She began her ministry of flowers in 2000 when she envisioned ways to expand the use of the message of God’s love by sharing the altar flowers with others after the worship hour. To fund this ministry, she enlists individuals willing to sponsor each week’s fresh flowers on the altar. After worship, these flowers are creatively arranged into smaller bouquets and delivered to the homebound and hospitalized, as well as to those celebrating special occasions. Shirley donates her time and often the flowers used in arrangements for FBC events. Many of these arrangements are augmented by flowers from her own garden.
Liturgical Fabric Art with Jac & Kathy Whatley
Design your own liturgical banner! Kathy and Jac will introduce us to the use of fabrics to support and enhance worship and will talk about traditional liturgical colors and holy days and their historical place of symbolism in the church. For adults, youth and children.
Forty years ago, a radiator pipe exploded in Jac and Kathy’s first apartment, destroying a quilt his mother had made. They decided to make one to replace it (and hope to finish it this winter). Along the way they begin making placemats and table cloths and fabric stuffed animals and gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Until they joined First Baptist two and a half years ago they had never done any church art (besides Vacation Bible School!). Julie asked Kathy to make a banner for Pentecost and since then they’ve made more than a dozen banners and stoles for the church. Typically Jac designs, patterns and chooses colors while Kathy cuts, sews, quilts and hand stitches details.
What Makes You Sing? with Lawrence (Lon) Schreiber and Kevin Biggins
After breakfast we'll head upstairs to the third floor Choir Suite where Lon and Kevin will lead us in a musical adventure in worship featuring William Howard Doane, who is also seen in our Sanctuary stained glass. Lon and Kevin will play a duet featuring one of his most famous and beloved hymns: "To God be the Glory." For adults, youth and children.
After 40 years of serving National City Christian Church as Minister of Music, Lon Schreiber was called to be interim Organist-Choirmaster here at First Baptist in October 2000. He was among the consultants for the FBC Steinway Concert Grand, and the Austin organ with more than 6000 pipes.
Kevin has been a part of FBC since (circa?) 2004 through Lon and the music program, and its many talented members; often through leading worship as the substitute organist or being part of the choir. After completing music school at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, Kevin joined Megabus as a supervisor in NJ/Philadelphia, and eventually became the manager of operations in DC and MD. Since returning to DC, he has attended FBC weekly, involving himself in young adult programs, and showing his deep love for the music program here and its future in the church and the community.
On June 19, Brenda Clark, Zena Aldridge, Pastor Alyssa and Pastor Julie joined 200 women of faith at the office of U. S. Customs and Border Protection to call on our government to stop separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Brenda Clark reflected afterwards: "Only one gathering, yet many voices! Saving our children instills an amazing grace for all of humanity, one child, hundreds of children at a time."
Jim Langley, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Wednesday, June 7, 2018 at the age of 93.
Jim was born on March 20, 1925 and grew up in Opelika, Alabama. Following his service in the Army during WWII, Jim attended Baylor University. He and his wife Eugenia (Jean) were married in 1951 at Fountain Memorial Baptist Church, here in Washington. Together they raised four children: Carol, Jim, Jane & Marilyn.
A distinguished, long-time denominational leader in the D.C. area, Dr. Langley served at Senior Pastor of the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church and then as Executive Minister of the D.C. Baptist Convention for many years. He has also served interim pastorates in numerous churches throughout the D.C. area. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Baylor, Jim earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
His mother once told him, “Jim, wherever you go, join the church where you are, no matter how short your time in that town.” He heeded those words throughout his entire life. Jim joined our church in 2006 and was a faithful part of the FBCDC family of faith. He served for a time as our interim minister for pastoral care, filled our pulpit on a number of occasions, and taught many inspiring Bible study classes. Jim was a gifted poet and writer of hymns. During our August Forum in 2016, Dr. Langley read his narrative poem, Holocaust Image, which was published that year in Christian Ethics Today.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, in 2002. He is survived by his four children.
Get yours while supplies last!
Just in time for Pride Weekend, Summer of Fun, and other outings where you'll need to stay cool while also reppin' who we are as a congregation.
$15 Adult Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, 2X Large, 3X Large
$10 Youth Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
How to Order:
- Order/Pay for your shirt here (below).
- Pick up your pre-paid shirt after worship on the Sundays of June 10, 17 or 24, OR come to Zena Aldridge's office at the church during weekday office hours.
- If you want to wear your shirt at the Pride Parade this Saturday, June 9, pay for your shirt here and pick up your shirts from Zena on Friday, June 8, 10am-5pm. (Sorry, no orders or cash transactions this Saturday.)
On May 22, 2018, after more than a hundred years of affiliation, the Southern Baptist Convention officially severed ties with the D.C. Baptist Convention over its refusal to exclude from membership the historic Calvary Baptist Church, a 155-year-old D. C. congregation founded by abolitionists. At issue was Calvary’s decision in 2017 to call Rev. Maria Swearingen and Rev. Sally Sarratt, a married lesbian couple, as co-pastors.
For more than a century, the DCBC has seen itself as a bridge between Baptist groups, remaining dually aligned with both Southern Baptists and the American Baptist Churches USA. In 1997, the DCBC widened its affiliation by uniting also with the predominantly black Progressive National Baptist Convention, and later with the Baptist World Alliance.
The SBC Executive Committee first communicated concern about Calvary early in 2017, just days after they called their new pastors. In February of this year, Dr. Robert Cochran, Executive Director/Minister of the DCBC (and a member of our congregation), flew to Nashville to meet personally with members of the SBC Executive Committee. Shortly thereafter, the Committee issued an ultimatum that the DCBC cut ties with Calvary within 90 days or face expulsion from the Southern Baptist Convention. Robert requested a conference call with SBC leaders so that a way forward might be negotiated, and relationship preserved. The Executive Committee declined Robert’s request for conversation, choosing to communicate through an attorney who informed Robert by letter that he had “too many things to tend to that have a higher priority” and advising DCBC leaders “to work toward excluding the errant church from your fellowship by the date of May 20th.”
Southern Baptists’ fixation on exclusion has been a sad reality for decades. Since the 1970s, the SBC has established meticulously orchestrated, fiercely defended systems of exclusion that have done immense harm to churches and individuals.
The DCBC Board chose a different path.
The day before the SBC Executive Committee’s May 20 deadline, I sat in a circle with other DCBC board members and staff who had gathered to talk and pray together about this matter. There was a spirit of kindness in the room. We began with a devotional led by board President Paula Moustos who read from Romans 14: “Why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister?... Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”Everyone was asked to share from his or her perspective about the matter at hand. I shared from my own personal relationship with Maria and Sally, two of the finest pastors I know. There was diversity of thought, as many board members come from the black church tradition which has been historically reluctant to welcome the LGBTQ community.
What unified the group was our commitment to the bedrock Baptist principle of autonomy of the local church. “My church would not make the same choice as Calvary in calling our leaders,” said one board member. “But they listened closely to the Spirit, and who are we to say otherwise?” It was then pointed out by another board member (to a chorus of “Amens”) that Calvary was the first Baptist church in the District to welcome black people into membership in 1954. Calvary’s prophetic voice and their commitment to justice were acknowledged and affirmed. In the end, those present voted unanimously to reject the SBC’s demand to exclude Calvary Baptist Church from membership in the DCBC, even if it meant being excluded ourselves by the Southern Baptist Convention. While there was sadness for some over the whole situation, there was a sense of peace, too.
I was honored to sit in that circle of fellowship and discernment that Saturday morning in May. I’m grateful for Robert Cochran’s leadership, and that of the board. Mostly, though, I am grateful for the Holy Spirit, who continues the hard and holy work of knitting us together in the body of Christ.
Peace and grace,