*First Baptist entered Phase 4 of it's reopening plan on Friday, August 7th. We have decided to remain in phase 4 for an indefinite amount of time.
The pastor, deacons, and church council have discussed meeting together for worship services again. We are all in agreement to abide by the regulations that have been suggested and adapt them to fit the specific needs of our congregation. Illinois has issued “COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services” (referred to in this plan as “Church Guidance”).
First Baptist has used the Church Guidance as a reference to develop our own five phase plan of reopening safely.
The Church Guidance was issued by the State of Illinois on Thursday, May 28, 2020. The Deacons and Church Council approved this plan on Sunday, May 31, 2020, effective immediately. We will move immediately to Phase 2 of our plan. Our first Sunday meeting back in our sanctuary will be Sunday, June 7, 2020.
Phase 1. No in person gatherings. Sunday morning services will be streamed live to Facebook and YouTube. Wednesday evening Bible study will be held via Zoom and streamed live to Facebook and YouTube. All small group gatherings will be held digitally. No personal use of the building is allowed.
Phase 2. Sunday morning and Wednesday night gatherings will resume with safety measures outlined below. Small groups will continue to meet digitally or off campus. Student Ministry (middle school and high school) and Healing Hearts grief counseling will be allowed to meet on campus with social distancing encouraged. No children’s activities (including nursery) will resume. No personal use of the building is allowed.
Phase 3. All small group Sunday School classes will meet on campus, including children. Nursery will resume. Other children’s activities, including Children’s Church and Wednesday night Jam will not resume. All safety measures will remain unchanged. No personal use of the building is allowed.
Phase 4. All ministries and activities, including children’s activities, will resume with the included safety measures. Members of First Baptist may use the building, but personal use for the community is not allowed.
Phase 5. Safety measures will be lifted, though at the discretion of each ministry, some safety measures may be continued. Personal use of the building is allowed.
During phases two through four, the service will be live streamed in the fellowship hall so maximum social distancing can be practiced for those uncomfortable congregating in the sanctuary.
Moving Between Phases
First Baptist will spend no less than four weeks in each phase. Positive cases in Crawford County will be tracked weekly. If there is a 50% increase in cases within the county in any given seven day period, the four week countdown to progress to the next phase will be reset. Once four weeks have passed without a 50% increase in any given week, First Baptist will progress to the next phase.
Should there be a significant increase of positive cases in the Crawford County, the Deacons and Church Council may decide to regress to a previous stage.
Having been effectively in Phase One for an extended length of time without an increase in cases, First Baptist will start in Phase Two on June 1, 2020.
-There should be a personal practice of distancing, a minimum of six feet from others who are not immediate family.
-Anyone feeling ill, having a temperature (100.4 Fahrenheit), persistent cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. should not attend gatherings.
-Signs will be posted at public entrances with reminders of safe behavior and common sense hygiene. This document will be posted on the bulletin board.
-All staff and volunteers will be given a short, three question survey before entering the building. All staff and volunteers will have their temperature taken to ensure they do not have a fever (100.4 Fahrenheit) before entering the building.
-Families attending gatherings need to stay in the designated areas (sanctuary, balcony, fellowship hall, etc) and not enter classrooms or offices as we try to keep the building sanitary.
-Both Sunday morning and Wednesday evening adult studies will be streamed to Facebook and YouTube through phases one through four for those who are uncomfortable gathering.
-All surfaces that have been touched will be thoroughly cleaned weekly.
-Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building where people may have necessity to touch.
-Facial coverings are required of all staff and volunteers and highly recommended for all those in attendance. While corporately singing, speaking, or praying, volunteers may choose to remove their mask so long as they are at least six feet from others.
-Bulletins will continue to be offered digitally, but not printed until phase five.
-The Lord’s Supper will be offered on a quarterly basis until phase five. Individually packaged cups and crackers will be used. Gluten free communion will not be available.
-No offering plate will be passed in the aisles. Offering boxes will be positioned at the exits of the sanctuary and fellowship hall for people to leave their tithes and offerings. Online giving or mailed in offering is still an option as well.
Use of the Elevator
Use of the elevator is prohibited until phase five. Exceptions may be made if arranged ahead of time. If an exception is made, only one person will be allowed inside the elevator at a time and all surfaces that are touched must be immediately cleaned.
While our restrooms and baby changing stations will be open and fully accessible, families are encouraged to use the restroom at home before and after our gatherings, especially in phases two through four. The nursery will not be open for diaper changes until at least phase three.
Volunteers and Staff
Staff. All those who are on the payroll of First Baptist Church.
Volunteers. All those who agree to serve during a particular gathering. A person is not considered a “volunteer” for this document’s purpose if they have served or will serve First Baptist in some capacity, but only active volunteers for a particular gathering. This includes, but is not limited to, all worship team members, technology workers, guides, emergency response team members and children’s volunteers (when allowed).
Requirements for Serving
-All staff and volunteers should be at least 15 minutes early to any gathering to ensure the following requirements are met.
Temperature. All staff and volunteers must have their temperature taken upon entering the building to ensure their temperature is not above 100.4 Fahrenheit.
-All staff and volunteers must wear masks during gatherings at all times except with corporately singing, speaking, or praying.
-All staff and volunteers must be able to answer “no” to the following questions.
1. Have you or someone you’ve been in contact with had a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or greater in the past 24 hours?
2. Have you or someone you’ve been in contact with felt sick or been exposed to Coronavirus within the last seven days?
3. Have you traveled out of Illinois to participate in any non essential, public, indoor activities without a mask within the last seven days?
The number of volunteers will be kept to a minimum in each phase. We will not define “essential” and “non-essential”, but many of our regularly utilized volunteers (such as greeters and ushers) will not be utilized until phase five.
Guides will be positioned strategically throughout the church to assist people in practicing proper social distancing.
-One guide will be in the parking lot to direct families to the entrances.
-Two guides will be at the main exterior entrances, one at the East doors and one at the North doors, to open doors and minimize the number of people touching handles.
-Two guides will be at the entrances of the sanctuary to encourage families to maintain social distancing in the sanctuary.
-One guide will be at the bottom of the ramp leading down to the fellowship hall to encourage families to maintain social distancing in the fellowship hall.
-For the Sunday morning service, guides will assist in an orderly dismissal once the service concludes.
Fellowship Hall Worship Leader
One worship leader will be appointed to lead singing for those who are watching the stream in the fellowship hall.
During phases two through four at the close of the Sunday morning service, guides in the sanctuary will dismiss families by rows. Rows closest to the exits will be dismissed first.
Families should not congregate for fellowship inside of the building. If fellowshipping outside after the service, families are encouraged to maintain social distancing and continue wearing masks.
Per Romans 13, First Baptist will continue to abide by the regulations set forth by our governing authorities as long as it does not come in to conflict with God’s commands in Scripture. If civil regulations are changed, our plans may change. The Deacons and Church Council may change these policies at any time to best Honor God and protect the health of the attenders of First Baptist.
Anyone uncomfortable gathering in the church building is encouraged to watch the livestream from their home. DVDs of the service can be made available as well upon request.
A printable copy of these guidelines can be found here:
Our church utilizes the community center parking lot on the east side of South Jefferson Street. The main entrance doors are located under the awning across from the parking lot.
What time does your service start?
Our main worship service is on Sunday at 10:45 am. We also have small groups that meet at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. Junior High and High School students meet on Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 pm for fellowship, games, and Bible study. We offer a meal on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm for $5.00 a person. For your first visit on Wednesday night your meal is on us! Following the meal we have a time of prayer and Bible study at 6:30 pm.
Where is the sanctuary located for the worship service?
As you enter the main doors, go up the staircase immediately on your left to the second floor. The sanctuary will be the first door on your right.
Where is the church nursery?
The nursery is also located on the second floor down the hall from the sanctuary.
What is appropriate to wear to church services?
Our worship services welcome a diverse group of people. There are those who wear casual attire and some who choose to wear dress clothes.
What can I expect to experience during the worship service?
First Baptist Church worships in a variety of ways. Our praise team sets the atmosphere through God honoring songs. Words are projected on a screen so you can sing along if you’d like. Pastor Trey shares a message from the Bible on various applicable topics to life.
Is there something for my kids to do during the service?
A nursery is available for the entire worship service for newborns through 3 year olds. The nursery is located at the end of the hallway on the second floor conveniently near the sanctuary.
Primary church is offered the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of the month for children ages 3 years through 2nd grade. Children attending primary church will attend the first half of the worship service with their parents and be dismissed during the message portion of the service. You may pick up your child after the service in the primary room located next to the nursery on the second floor.
How can I get to know people at your church?
You will find that the people at First Baptist are easy to get to know. The best way to get connected with our church family is through small groups on Sunday mornings. These groups meet at 9:30 am. We offer classes for all ages from infants through senior adults. Please stop by the welcome desk located inside the main doors to be directed to the class that is best fit for you.
Are you handicap accessible?
Yes. There is a ramp located on the east side of the building leading to the main doors. We also have an elevator that can take you to the second floor of the building where the sanctuary and children’s classes are located. All of our adult small groups are on an elevator accessible floor. There are individuals available to assist you if needed. There are handicap accessible bathrooms on both the first and second floor.
What are your core beliefs?
First Baptist is dedicated to learning and sharing God’s Word. For more information about the beliefs of First Baptist, you can visit www.fbcrobinson.com/beliefs.
How do I join First Baptist?
Anyone interested in joining our church can set up an appointment with Pastor Trey. You can call the church office, email Pastor Trey directly, or fill out the Reach Card located in the pews in the sanctuary.