Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Pastoral Devotional, March 2020

From the Pulpit to the Pew 

Eternal Investments

Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today–a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father–the most wonderful day of my life!” The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The Christian worldview provides two investment options. The first option is the earthly option. The earthly option consists of everything; temporary. It’s an attractive option because it satisfies immediate desires through gratification. The second option is the heavenly option. The heavenly option consists of everything; eternal. The eternal option requires the believer to look beyond gratification into sanctification. Sanctification is simply setting aside something for the purpose of making it holy.

The Board of First Church is introducing a Capital Campaign titled: “Laying Up Your Treasures.” The Campaign is designed to eliminate the debt on the Family Life Center and position the Church to impact the Community for Christ. We believe good stewardship is a wise way to invest treasures in heaven. The Board would like to extend an invitation for you to be a part of the program. First and foremost by praying. Praying for the Lord’s guidance, His blessings and His direction. Secondly, by investing as partners into the Kingdom work at First Church. There are several options available and information is being mailed out to each family explaining the programs. We only ask that you consider what God would have you to do. Jesus said, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  May He bless you abundantly!

Enthusiastically His,

Pastor Keith  

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Pastoral Devotional, February 2020

From the Pulpit to the Pew      

What does it take to inspire you?  Soul singer Lionel Richie was once deeply impacted by a speech in which his father had honored his mother on their 37th wedding anniversary. In his speech, Richie Sr. had lovingly honored his wife for sticking by him through the ups and downs of life over many years. Lionel said, “What a great story because I pass through my house every day and I don’t say thank you enough. I just take for granted that certain things be done.”

That speech moved Lionel Richie to compose one of his best loved romantic ballads, “Three Times a Lady.”

In the Body of Christ, we too are encouraged to give honor to each other. The Apostle Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Paul also often thanked those who partnered with him in the ministry as shown in Philippians 1:3 where he says, “I thank my God every time I remember you.”

Ten Ways to Inspire Others

  1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a

      cheerful word of greeting.

  2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to

      frown, only fourteen to smile.

  3. Call people by name. Music to anyone’s ears is the

      sound of his/her own name.

  4. Be friendly and helpful.

  5. Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is

      genuinely a pleasure.

  6. Be genuinely interested in people. You can like

      almost everybody if you try.

  7. Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.

  8. Be considerate with the feelings of others. There

      are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the

      other person’s, and the right one.

  9. Be alert to serve. What counts most in life is what

      we do for others.

10. Add to this a good sense of humor, a big dose of

      patience, and a dash of humility.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”  [Matt. 7:12]

A Valentine strategy that can’t miss!

Enthusiastically His,

Pastor Keith

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Pastoral Devotional, January 2020

From the Pulpit to the Pew: January 2020/A New Year, A New You

Author and scholar F.B. Meyer once said in the publication, Our Daily Walk, “It is a mistake to be always turning back to recover the past. The law for Christian living is not backward, but forward; not for experiences that lie behind, but for doing the will of God, which is always ahead and beckoning us to follow. Leave the things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before, for on each new height to which we attain, there are the appropriate joys that befit the new experience. Don’t fret because life’s joys are fled. There are more in front. Look up; press forward, the best is yet to be.”

The Apostle Paul wrote nearly 2,000 years ago in Philippians 3: 13-14 a similar message, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The month of January sits prominently at the beginning of the year looking both forward and backwards. Paul’s message in these verses provides great wisdom as we consider the possibilities of a new year. Let me share a couple of observations as we consider 2020:

  1. First, don’t over inflate your value! “I do not count myself to have apprehended.”  What we are truly worth is based on our standing and our relationship in Christ.
  2. Secondly, “forgetting those things which are behind.” Your past is behind you! Don’t dwell on it, learn and benefit from it! And be willing to teach others what you learn.
  3. Thirdly, “reach forward to those things which are ahead.” Each new day brings fresh opportunities to share the love of Christ with others. Seize them and make them count for the Kingdom of God. By doing this you’ll leave a legacy of inspiration and a footprint of faithfulness unto the Lord.
  4. Lastly, “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Don’t ever, ever give up! Your investment in life is safe, incorruptible and eternal.

My prayer for you in 2020 is to be the best version of yourself you can be for the cause of Christ. The best is yet to come!

Enthusiastically His,

Pastor Keith

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Decision America Tour Comes To Greenville

The Franklin Graham Decision America Tour will be Making a stop in Greenville, NC on Wednesday, October 2nd at the Pitt County Fairgrounds. Franklin Graham will hold this one-night event to proclaim the Gospel, and join believers in praying for our nation, our communities and the lost.

You are invited to attend this free event. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, and the event will begin at 7:00 PM. You don’t want to miss out on what God is doing through this incredible tour. Thousands of lives have been changed across our country since this tour began back in 2016.

For more information about the Decision America Tour, please click on the video below, or visit the website: http://nc.billygraham.org/

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

New Bible Study: Me and My Big Mouth, with Andy Stanley

Open mouth . . . insert foot. Don’t we all wish we could avoid that scenario? Our words can get us into all kinds of trouble. But maybe we can learn to keep our big mouths in check.

Come join us on Sunday, June 30th at 6 pm at First Free Will Baptist Church for a new Bible Study on this important topic. From Pastor Andy Stanley, a dynamic study that teaches us how to make our words more uplifting and edifying, instead of damaging and destructive.

For a preview of the first lesson, you can click on the video below:

This Bible study is free and open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us for worship services on Sundays, or for our Bible studies during the week. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Join Us for a Revival Service at First FWB Church

Revival services for 2019 began Sunday at First Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville, NC.  Dr. Milton Worthington, and his brother Dr. Melvin Worthington are bringing the revival messages for this week of revival. We are praying that the Lord will use these services to accomplish His work in the hearts of His people.

Pastor Keith Gardner welcomes the congregation to the 2019 Revival Services.

On Sunday night, Dr. Melvin Worthington brought a powerful message from a portion of Psalm 119, and spoke on the importance of the Bible in the life of the believer. He outlined why the Bible is so critical for growth as a disciple of Christ, and challenged the congregation to make Bible-reading a priority on a daily basis.

Dr. Worthington brings a revival message from Psalm 119.

The revival services will continue on Monday, April 1st at 7 PM, and will run through Wednesday, April 3rd.  If you don’t have plans for those nights, why not come out and join us for this special time? We have room for you!

These services are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us for revival services this week. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Unshakable Hope: A Sunday Night Bible Study with Max Lucado

Beginning on Sunday, January 27th, 2019, at 6:00 PM, First Free Will Baptist Church will provide a new Sunday evening Bible study featuring the Max Lucado DVD series, “Unshakable Hope.”

This 12 week study focuses on the strong foundations of God’s Word that provide an anchor for God’s people. While the world is often unstable and uncertain, God’s Word gives His people an “Unshakable Hope” that they can depend on in times of hardship — a shelter in a time of storm.

You can preview this educational DVD series by clicking on the video below.

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us for this Bible Study on Sunday nights at 6:00 PM. Even if you have a home church where you worship on Sunday mornings, we welcome you to enjoy this study on Sunday evenings.

We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Please come and fellowship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Homecoming 2018 and Ribbon Cutting on Sunday, October 7th

Come and join us for our Homecoming Celebration on Sunday, October 7th at 10 AM. We will have special musical guests, the ECU Piano Trio, who will join us during the worship service. Pastor Keith will be bringing a message from Revelation chapter 21 entitled, “A New Home”.

 

After our Homecoming service, please stick around for lunch in the fellowship hall. We will have enough food for everyone, so you are invited!

 

After our lunch together, we will celebrate the Ribbon Cutting of our new Family Life Center and Educational Building. The Educational Building will be used on school days by the Greenville Learning Center, a non-profit organization that seeks to help students with learning disabilities. The Family Life Center will also be used to reach out to young people with the good news of Christ; our Church is partnering with Kidz Connection, Inc. to provide a top-quality after school program to children in the Greenville area.

 

 

 

 

 

God has greatly blessed His ministry at First Free Will Baptist Church. He is doing great and mighty things throughout our congregation, and we give Him all the glory and praise! We welcome you to join us this Sunday for worship at 10 AM.

You are invited!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

First Free Will Baptist Church of Greenville Holds Revival Services This Week

 

Revival services began Sunday night at First Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville, NC.  Pastor and local weatherman David Sawyer brought the revival message, which was focused on “the 3 Rs of Revival.” The powerful message contrasted the stark difference between Godly repentance and the the world’s remorse, and how Christ’s sacrifice provided us the key to salvation.

Special Guest David Sawyer

The musical guest for the four-day revival services is Ernest Silver. On Sunday night, he opened the service with a moving version of the classic hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” He also performed special renditions of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “I Can Only Imagine.” Ernest will be back to perform throughout the remainder of the week.

Special Musical Guest Ernest Silver sings “I Can Only Imagine”

The Sunday night service was well attended by both church members of First Free Will Baptist Church, and visitors from surrounding areas.

Pastor Keith Gardner welcomed those in attendance to the revival service.

The revival services will continue on Monday, April 16th at 7 PM, and will run through Wednesday, April 18th.  If you don’t have plans for those nights, why not come out and join us for a special blessing? We have room for you!

These services are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us for revival services this week. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Another New Member Joins First Free Will Baptist Church

 

On August 27th, 2017, the congregation of First Free Will Baptist Church of Greenville received another blessing as another new member united with the Church.

 

First Free Will Baptist Church welcomed Ms. Dorothy Anderson into its membership with open arms. Pastor Keith Gardner, speaking to the congregation at the end of the service, said that Ms. Anderson was a “sweet spirit” and was an individual who “loved the Lord.”

August 27, 2017: Ms. Dorothy Anderson joins the congregation of First Free Will Baptist Church.

Ms. Anderson has been a long-time resident of Greenville, and she raised her family in the Greenville area. She is employed at Vidant Medical Center in the accounting department. When not at work or worshiping at First Church, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

 

We are excited to witness what the Lord is doing at First Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville. If you are looking for a Bible-believing church to call your church home, come visit with us this Sunday at 10:00 AM. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC, and we would love to have you join us for worship.

You are invited! 

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

First Church Welcomes New Music Director Kwan Yi

[column width=”1/1″ last=”true” title=”” title_type=”single” animation=”none” implicit=”true”]

 

On August 27th, 2017, the members of First Free Will Baptist Church of Greenville welcomed a new Music Director, Kwan Yi, into our family of faith.

 

August 27, 2017: Music Director Kwan Yi joins the congregation at First Free Will Baptist Church.

 

Even though this was his inaugural Sunday at First Church, Kwan did not hesitate to make an impact. Not only did he serve as an accompanist for the congregational singing, he also performed during the offertory. His rendition of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” blessed many in the congregation, and brought about an inspired, spontaneous applause upon his song’s completion.

 

 

Kwan joins First Church after having previously served as Music Director at Korean Central Presbyterian Church in Centreville, Virginia.  At Korean Central Presbyterian Church, Kwan directed a large adult choir of 120 members, along with the chamber orchestra. He currently works as an Assistant Professor of Piano Performance at East Carolina University.

 

We are grateful to God for all of his blessings, and for sending Kwan Yi to our church. We are looking forward to what God is doing, and what He will continue to do for our congregation in the future.

 

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us this Sunday at 10:00 AM. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

[/column]

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

First Church Celebrates 115 Years of Ministry in Greenville, NC

 

On August 20, 2017, the congregation of First Free Will Baptist Church celebrated the Church’s 115th anniversary, commemorating over a century of ministry in Eastern North Carolina.

 

August 20, 2017: The members of First Free Will Baptist Church gather for worship on the Church’s 115th anniversary.

During the morning service, Pastor Keith Gardner recounted a brief history of First Church. “In 1902, the Reverend W. H. Laughinghouse and a small group of Christian believers had the vision to form a new church in Greenville… the Church was later admitted to the Central Conference of Free Will Baptists on November 5th, 1903.”

From these early beginnings, the Lord has inspired the men and women of First Free Will Baptist Church to accomplish great things for Him.  The Church built its first worship building in 1916. Due to a growing congregation, a new church building was constructed in 1973, and completed in 1974. A fellowship hall was added in 1987.

The original church building located at the corner of Eleventh and Forbes Streets, Greenville, NC.

 

Over the last 115 years, First Church has always been a Bible-believing, Christ-centered Church. Our family of faith has worked to spread the gospel message to people throughout Pitt County; additionally, our members have supported missionaries who have carried the message of Christ to foreign nations around the world.

In spite of our rich history, Pastor Keith strongly believes that the Church’s best days are yet to come. “Where God guides, he provides.” Pastor Keith said with a smile. “He is guiding our church to accomplish great things for the cause of Christ. I’m excited about what God is doing here at First Church.”

 

If you are interested in learning more about what God is doing at First Church, please join us this Sunday at 10:00 AM. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

New Sermon Series Focuses on the Book of Colossians

 

After recently concluding a series of messages from the book of Acts, Pastor Keith Gardner has begun a new sermon series on the Book of Colossians. The first message in this series was entitled “Jesus, Our All in All,” encompassing Colossians 1:1-8.

 

August 13th, 2017: Pastor Keith preaches a message from Colossians 1:1-8, at First Free Will Baptist Church, Greenville, NC.

The Book of Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul, in an effort to solidify and strengthen Christian believers in Colosse. While the book was originally written to address the needs of a specific audience (the followers in the early church), many passages remain very applicable to Christians in today’s world. The Book of Colossians discusses the issues of materialism, the Diety of Christ, and the dangers of false teachers, along with various other topics.

 

August 13th, 2017: The sermon outline provided for Colossians 1:1-8.

If you are interested in learning more about the Book of Colossians, please join us this Sunday at 10:00 AM. We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Two New Members Unite with First Free Will Baptist Church

The Lord continues to work in great and mighty ways!

On July 23rd, 2017, First Church welcomed two new members, Irene and Nicole Berardi. Both of these wonderful ladies decided to join our family of faith, and we look forward to worshiping with them in the future.

Irene and Nicole Berardi working with the youth at Vacation Bible School.

Even before officially joining our congregation, both ladies played active roles in serving our church. Both participated in helping with our Vacation Bible School, and both have been faithful in attending our Sunday worship services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to witness what the Lord is doing at First Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville. If you are looking for a Bible-believing church to call your church home, come visit with us this Sunday at 10:00 AM. Our campus is located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC.  We look forward to seeing you there.

You are invited! 

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Threads from the Heart Ministry Makes a Difference to Those in Need

A little love goes a long way. That’s the message being preached by the members of our “Threads from the Heart” ministry.

 

On Sunday, July 23rd 2017, Pastor Keith prayed for the Lord’s blessing to go with the latest offering of blankets and quilts made by our Threads from the Heart ministry at First Free Will Baptist Church. These items will be distributed to the sick and needy in our community, in an effort to share the Lord’s comfort and peace during times of hardship. Our Threads from the Heart ministry has completed more than 40 new items this year alone, and has distributed over 25 of those items to people in need.

 

July 23, 2017: these quilts and blankets were offered for a special prayer blessing, and will be given away to provide comfort throughout our community.

Since its inception only a few years ago, this ministry has distributed over 500 quilts and blankets to needy individuals in the Greenville/Pitt County Area. In doing so, the Threads from the Heart ministry has had a powerful impact by spreading the love of God throughout our community.

 

Our Threads from the Heart ministry meets the first Monday of every month at 1:00 pm in the fellowship hall. If you are interested in participating, or know someone who may be in need of a comforting blanket or quilt, please contact Arleen Hanchey.

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Night #2 of Vacation Bible School was a Great Success!

 

The second night of our Vacation Bible School “Operation Arctic” is in the books!  The Lord continues to do great things in our church and our community, as eight new young people participated on Monday evening!

Those in attendance enjoyed supper, crafts and games.  Our Bible lesson for the evening focused on the power of the Bible to change people’s lives.  The young people learned about how God had transformed the life of Saul into the life of the Apostle Paul.  They also learned how God is still transforming lives today!

 

Vacation Bible school is fun for everyone! June 12, 2017.

 

What a blessing to minister to the young people of our community!
June 12, 2017.

If you or your child have been unable to attend, but are still interested in Vacation Bible School, please come out tonight! We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC.  Enjoy a free meal, fellowship, and a great time with Christian friends. Vacation Bible School is free, and open to the public.  

You are invited!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

Vacation Bible School Continues Tonight through Thursday!

 

The members of First Free Will Baptist Church kicked off their 2017 Vacation Bible School program, “Operation Arctic” last night!  

 

The night began at 5:30 with a wonderful meal and time of fellowship. After enjoying supper, the children in attendance participated in games, crafts, music, and Bible lessons.

 

The young people (and adults) had a great time enjoying the music at Vacation Bible School.

 

“We had over thirty children at Vacation Bible School tonight,”  Youth Pastor Stephen Grubbs stated. “We are excited for all of those who attended, and we want to welcome any other children in our community to join us for the rest of the week.”

 

If you or your child were unable to attend Sunday night, but are interested in Vacation Bible School, please come out tonight! Enjoy a free meal, fellowship, and a great time with Christian friends. Vacation Bible School is free, and open to the public.  

 

All children are invited to attend.

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

First Free Will Baptist Church Welcomes Two New Members

 

The Church family at First Free Will Baptist Church enthusiastically welcomed its two newest members on Sunday, June 11th.

 

Don and Elke Burroughs united with the membership of First Free Will Baptist Church during the 10:00 AM Morning Worship service.

 

Pastor Keith Gardner welcoming the Burroughs to First Free Will Baptist Church.

 

Pastor Keith Gardner (right) poses with our newest members, Don and Elke Burroughs. June 11th, 2017.

Pastor Keith Gardner told the congregation, “I have known this couple for quite a long time. They love studying the Bible and worshiping with God’s people.”

 

The Lord continues to bless the faithfulness of the people at First Free Will Baptist Church. The Church received eight new members during the month of May, and that trend has continued in June.  It is certainly an exciting time to see the Lord moving among His people and within His church!

 

If you want to see for yourself how the Lord is working, please join us this Sunday at 10:00 AM.  We are located at 2426 S. Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC. Come worship with us.

YOU ARE INVITED!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

The Lord Greatly Blessed Our Church during the Month of May, 2017

 

James 1:17 tells us that “every good gift and perfect gift comes from above.” The Lord has certainly given us many good gifts at First Free Will Baptist Church during the past month!

During the month of May, our congregation has warmly welcomed eight new members into our family of faith. We are so blessed and grateful for what the Lord has done, and what He will continue to do in the future.

May 14th, 2017: Five of our new members pose for a picture: Billy and Marie Ellis, Janice Spivey, and Alan and Barbara Forrest. Welcome to our church family!

 

May 21st, 2017: Pastor Keith Gardner welcomes new members Nancy Williams, Kristin Stapleford, and her husband, David Stapleford. Kristin and David are already very active in our ministry, as Kristin sings in the Chancel Choir, and David helps run the sound. We are blessed to have these wonderful people in our church!

We give thanks to God for all of his blessings on our church. As the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “but God gave the increase.” It is our prayer that God will continue to “give the increase” to our church and our community.

Please join us for worship this Sunday at 10:00 AM.

You are invited!

Categories
Church Events Uncategorized

May is “Change for Children” Month

The month of May is “Change for Children” month for the Free Will Baptist Children’s Home in Middlesex, North Carolina. This campaign increases awareness of our childcare ministry throughout our denomination, and helps generate financial support during the crucial summer months.

Please assist us in this ministry by bringing in your spare change, or if the Lord is leading you to do so, you may make a larger donation. Every dollar contributed to this campaign goes to help needy children.

Jesus has a special love for children. As followers of Christ, we also should share in his love for little ones. The “Change for Children” ministry is a great way to illustrate the love of Christ to children that need our help.

For more information about the Free Will Baptist Children’s Home, feel free to contact First Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville, or you can visit http://www.fwbchildrenshome.org/.