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First Baptist Church, South Haven

Worship Gathering: 1/1/2023

Worship Gathering: 1/1/2023

Join us for in-person worship in the sanctuary or live on Facebook at 10:30am. The service will also be posted to YouTube and Archive later in the week.

Locations & Times

First Baptist Church

10781 76th St, South Haven, MI 49090, USA

Sunday 10:30 AM



Please use our website as a resource tool to stay informed and up to date on our most current activities. **Please Note*** Under "Resources" we have a page for "FBC Members Only" which has our latest emails and any pertinent info from Pastor Jerry.  If you try to access this page, you will need the password "Know Him" to see the content.

Live Stream

If you're unable to join us in person, you can view today's service live on our Facebook page beginning at 10:30 AM.


View today's message later this week on our YouTube channel.

Weekly Bulletin

View this week's bulletin including general announcements and weekly prayer requests by clicking here.

Prayer Requests

Please let us know how we can pray for you or if you are in need of specific care or encouragement.
Living Free
1 Peter 2:16-17
Pastor Jerry Koller
“What does it mean to be free?” This is a complex question. It does not mean a lack of rules or regulations.
Verse 16 begins with a directive as to how we should live or act. Those in Christ, God’s elect, those whom He has chosen, are to live or act as free people; as free men.
Verse 16 has three parts. The first part gives us a directive on how we should live. The last part also gives us a directive in regard to how we should live. The middle part also gives a directive, but it does so from a negative perspective, from a prohibition.
· The first part of verse 16 could literally be translated as free, or as free people.
· The first part of the verse has to be understood in light of the last part.
The word free has multiple meanings.
· free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation
· one who is not a slave in a civil sense
· in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law
· In this context, the word free has to do with one who ceases to be a slave because they have been freed.
The question can be asked, from what have they been freed? It seems as though the answer would be from slavery. However, the last part of this verse says we are to live as servants or as slaves of God.
The Apostle Paul addresses this freedom/slavery issue in chapter 6 of his letter to the saints at Rome.
The word slave and slaves in verses 16-18 come from the same word group as the one in the last part of 1 Peter 2:16.
We are told do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.
Keep in mind the immediate context of this passage. Three verses earlier, Peter command the church to Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, (vs. 13)
We are to submit to those in authority over us because of the Lord, because He tells us to do so. This principle continues in verse 17.
There are four expectations mentioned in verse 17: Respect. Love. Fear. Honor.
1. We are to Show proper respect to everyone.
· The word respect, at the beginning of this verse, and the word honor—at the end of this verse, come from the same word group
· Everyone is a word that refers to the whole—everyone as a whole.
2. We are to Love the brotherhood.
· Loving one another is a key ingredient in unity, something that was important to Jesus.
· Loving the saints volitionally and in a self-sacrificing way will help them live in a world that is opposed to the kingdom of God.
3. The saints are expected to fear God.
· Fear was addressed in 1:17:
· Peter uses the same word for fear in both verses.
· In this context, fear is not an emotion. It is an objective understanding of someone or something.
· It includes being apprehensive or uneasy.
Jesus didn’t shy away from talking about fear.
4. The saints are to honor the king.
In this new year, may we never use the freedom we have as a cover-up for sin. May we avoid sin in all its shapes and forms for sin never brings honor and glory to God.
In this new year, let’s be committed to fulfilling God’s expectations for us as revealed in today’s Scripture.
· May we show proper respect to every person who has been created in the image of God.
· May it begin in our families and in our churches.
· May it spread to our places of employment.
· May it invade the halls of government.
In this new year, let us be committed to loving the brethren.
In this new year, may we fulfill the expectation to honor the king, the emperor.
· This would be a reference to our political leaders. From the President to congressional members, from State to local officials, we are to honor them as God expects. God does not give us the right to slander them—publicly or privately.
· If you feel you have to respond to them in some way, why not pray them?
Finally, in this new year, may we develop a greater understanding of what it means to fear God.

Happy Birthday!

· Tyler Norman (1/2)
· Curt Bales (1/4)
· Haley Hampton (1/6)
· Darlene Craig (1/7)

Please Note

The Mission Café and Nursery will be closed today. Aftermath will not meet either.

Next Week’s Servants (1/8)

· Café Bakers: Tina Wilburn (casserole) | Marge Benham (muffins)
· Café Attendant: Tina Wilburn
· Nursery: Tracy Marshall, Sandi Cagle

Reminder: 1st Sunday of the Month

Today is the first Sunday of the month and as such, we will celebrate Communion. At the end of the service, you will have an opportunity to give to the Benevolent Fund. If you would like to support this offering, please put your gift in the container at the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for supporting those in need.

NEW Class Starting Soon

Wednesdays | 7:00-8:00 PM | Conference Room beginning 1/25/2023
Beginning January 25, we will be introducing a new class entitled Reason.
Reason has to do with thinking logically. It requires us to use our mind. It requires knowledge. In the book of Isaiah, we read: “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 1:18)
Living our faith is not an exercise of mindlessness. God gave us a mind. He gave us the ability to think and reason. In this class, we will learn to use our minds more fully in regard to how we can understand our culture and live out our faith.
We will be using the book The God Question (Revised Edition), by J.P. Moreland. This book will need to be purchased by all participants as there will be required weekly reading from it. Please make sure you purchase the revised edition.
Pastor Jerry will be the facilitator. Each class will run for one hour (7:00 – 8:00 PM). Sign up online or at the Welcome Center. Other than purchasing the book, there will not be a cost involved in taking the class.

Summer Camp Fundraiser

We are hosting a "take an envelope" fundraiser to support our future campers. There is a tree outside the sanctuary which has numbered envelopes. If you'd like to participate, then the number on the envelope that you pick is the amount of money you would like to donate. [Example: If you take the number 6, then you'll donate $6.] You can take as many envelopes as you'd like. And if all the envelopes are taken, then we will raise $5500 for future campers!! This would enable many of our students to bring a friend with them to camp - what an exciting way to possibly introduce someone to Jesus for the first time! Envelopes can be dropped in the offering bucket or mailed back to church. For questions, please contact Rob Zantello or the church office.

Annual Meeting: 1/15/2023

Our Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 15, immediately following the morning worship service. 2023 budget information and proposed by-laws changes have been emailed to all members. Pastor Jerry is putting together an Annual Report that will cover all ministries which will be emailed in January. We will vote on the following:
1. Approval of the 2023 budget.
2. Affirmation of the 2023 Elder Ministry Team: Jason Avery, Patty Bales, Brian Bocock, Janette Hendrix, and Rob Zantello.
3. Approval of changes made to outdated by-laws procedures.
For questions or more information, please contact the church office.
After the meeting, everyone is invited to join us for a potluck lunch in Freeman Hall Gym. Please bring a dish and a dessert to share that will feed at least 10-12 people. Beverages will be provided.

Blood Drive: 1/26/2023

Donate blood - save a life! Blood provider for Michigan patients. Giving warms the heart! Donate and keep warm this winter with a limited edition Versit beanie, while supplies last.

Childcare Help Needed

If you are able to provide childcare in the FBC Nursery during the Wednesday morning Bible study from 9:30-11:30am, please contact Tina Wilburn or Kim Collins.

Mission Cafe

Sundays | 9:00-10:15am | Mission Cafe

The Mission Café is a great place to have a breakfast treat and coffee, enjoy lively conversation and have fun while helping support missions at First Baptist. All items are store bought and served safely. Featuring:
¨ Donuts
¨ Bagels
¨ English Muffins
¨ Snacks
¨ Hot & Cold Beverages
¨ And more!
For your convenience, we accept cash, check and debit/credit cards!

Online Giving is Available!

If you would like to support our ministries by giving an online donation via debit/credit card or your bank account, you can do so by using this link:


You can download the app by clicking the link below from your cell phone or tablet. By using the app, you can conveniently view recorded Sunday worship services; look up addresses and phone numbers for other church members; update your personal information; register for events; tithe online; send prayer requests; and more.  We're excited to bring another avenue of communication to you!  If you have any questions or issues, please contact Kim.

On the Calendar

mission café
Sundays | 9:00-10:15am | Mission Cafe
· Closed 1/1.

children’s sunday school
Sundays | 9:15-10:15am | Classroom 3
· Ages 5 years old through 5th grade
· No class on 1/1/23
· Contact Bailey Rooker for questions or more information.

Sundays | 10:30am | Sanctuary
· If you're unable to join us in-person, you can watch live on Facebook or view later in the week on Facebook or YouTube or listen to an audio only version on Archive.

children’s worship
Sundays | 10:30am | Children’s Worship Room
· Ages 5 years old through 5th grade
· No sessions on 1/1/23
· Contact Alyssa Newell for questions or more information.

Sundays | after worship | Upstairs
· Join us for lunch and a discussion about the worship message.
· No gathering on 1/1
· Contact Pastor Jerry for questions or more information.

youth group
Sundays | 1:00-3:00pm | FBC upstairs
· Middle & High School students
· No group 1/1; stayed tuned for when we'll resume in 2023
· Contact Allie Wilson for questions or more information.

men’s bible study
Tuesdays | 7:00-8:30pm | Mission Café
· No class on 1/3/23
· Contact Paul Fitton or Larry Dobberstein for questions or more information.

bible study
Wednesdays | 9:30-11:30am | Classroom 3
· Contact Tina Wilburn for questions or more information.

church office open
Wednesdays | 11:00am-4:00pm

women’s craft group
Thursdays | 6:30pm | Classroom 2
· Contact Tracy Marshall for questions or more information.

· Caroline Bocock received a really bad concussion on 11/5 while playing soccer. Doctors are concerned because she is still vomiting, dizzy, and having constant headaches. She has an neurological appointment scheduled to determine if they can get some of the symptoms under control. Please pray for healing, wisdom for the doctors, and that the Lyme’s Disease hasn’t been triggered. Old symptoms are surfacing, but can’t determine if they are concussion symptoms vs. Lyme’s symptoms because they are the same symptoms for both.
· Ben Harris (Allie Wilson's dad) is recovering from a successful heart procedure.
· Walter Hatfield is scheduled for hernia surgery on 12/20 and will be off from work for two weeks as he recovers.
· Annette Koller is recovering from knee replacement surgery.
· Bruce & Vasha Ferguson and their family upon the loss of Vasha’s sister, Deborah Kirby, on 11/28.
· Keith Buckley is recovering from injuries due to a fall off a ladder.
· Nolan Marshall (son of Dan & Tracy) is struggling with major tantrums and other behavioral issues. Please pray for the doctors to have wisdom in choosing medication and treatments, and that the tantrums do not escalate worse than what they are. He had an evaluation at a brain specialty clinic on 12/6 ; the parental follow-up meeting is on 1/6. Also pray for patience and safety for him, his parents and his brother Riley as they try to work through situations.
· Carl Oisten (Sue Richmond's brother) is in the NCU at Borgess Hospital, for breathing issues.
· Shannon French (son of Curt & Patty Bales) continues eye drop treatment for an infection. It looks the damaged part is creating new cells and hopefully healing.
· Joyce Bocock finished radiation on the large tumor in her spine. She is handling the medication for the endocrine therapy well.
· Pete Danapilis is home recovering from a successful back surgery.
· Linda Newell is recovering from surgery to have a rotator cuff repaired.
· Vincent Bryant (Miriam Bryant’s son) is recovering from a broken ankle.
· Check out our monthly prayer card on-line at under “Weekly Bulletins” for a list of those with on-going needs.
First Baptist Church
1635 76th Street
South Haven, MI 49090

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