How We're Planning for the Coronavirus

April 2, 2020
DONATE BLOOD APRIL 5 FROM 8 A.M. - NOON

The Coronavirus Pandemic is causing a blood shortage, and healthy individuals need to donate lifesaving blood now. We are hosting a blood drive on Sunday, April 5, from 8 a.m. to Noon. The blood drive poses no risk for the donor, and will be conducted in accordance with social distancing principles. To reserve a time go to www.fbclaf.org/bd .

UPDATE ON THE PASTOR TRANSITION

In these days the Lord has been reminding me of His words from the Apostle Paul, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

With much irony I will admit that my “whatever you do” has been changing every day. Even though I am not in my normal routine, just like many of you, there has been plenty of “whatever you do” that I have had opportunity to do in the name of Jesus and to do so with thanksgiving.

One of which is to welcome and be a part of the pastoral transition between Interim Pastor Reggie Ogea and our new Senior Pastor James Pritchard. Though the pandemic has changed much about the way the transition was going to occur, I confidently believe it is still moving forward.

The Pastor Search Committee met this week through conference call, along with Bro. James and me to adapt the arrival of Bro. James. With the orders issued by Louisiana and Texas the Pastor Search Committee has unanimously approved and blessed for Bro. James to stay with his family in Forney until the restrictions are lifted.

Bro. James is still planning to preach at First Baptist Lafayette on April 12, Resurrection Sunday. The worship service will be conducted in the same way that it is being done now through means of recording and made available through the internet.

In addition, Bro. James will be involved with the church staff remotely via conference calls. He will provide pastoral care and leadership to the church as much as possible and will be casting his vision for the summer and fall schedule at First Baptist Lafayette.

Should you need ministry from the church you are encouraged to contact any of the staff, they are all ready and available to assist you in any way possible.

Ray Swift, Administrative Pastor

March 28, 2020
Worship Online Sunday at 10:45 am

We will worship together online again this week. Go to our website, www.fbclaf.org, Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. and you can access the service. Reggie's message is "Ready For Your Next Pastor" from Hebrews 12:1-3.

Online Sunday School Begins

This Sunday we begin our SUNDAY SCHOOL ONLINE with videos for Senior, Median, and Young Adults, and videos, pdf's of activity sheets, and other resources for Preschool, Children and Youth. You can access these Sunday morning through the Sunday School Online page on our website.

Introducing REALM Connect

First Baptist Lafayette is rolling out a new digital tool that will help give members the ability to communicate with each other and have access to directory information, resources, and other tools. REALM is a product of ACS Technologies, who has provided software for our church for over 30 years.

 

        Watch a video about REALM

 

REALM is an online ministry tool designed for real-time connection. It helps our staff and leaders connect with you and you to connect with each other. If you consider yourself part of this church family, you’ll love it. REALM allows you to manage your personal information and who is allowed to see it, control your giving, and keep in touch with the groups that matter to you. 

Why use REALM?

Being the church doesn’t just happen at the church building. REALM helps us be the church between Sundays. Everyone can be connected from anywhere at any time, right from our mobile devices. It engages everyone in the life of our church by supporting the healthy relationships essential to our church’s mission. We’ll stay organized, and you’ll stay informed about all of the opportunities for growth and fellowship. When we share life together, we will grow together.

What about my privacy?

Your privacy is one of our greatest concerns. REALM is only made up of the people in our church, it’s not like a social network that is open to everyone. REALM keeps your data safe and gives you control over what information you share and who can see it.

What about online giving?

Giving should be easy, and REALM places giving right in the palm of your hand. You may set up recurring gifts, view your giving history, and make changes at any time. REALM automatically records all electronic gifts and adds them to your giving record making it easy for you to give, and easy for our bookkeeper to track.

How do I get REALM?

If you are a First Baptist Lafayette church or Sunday School member you should have received an email inviting you to REALM. (Be sure to check your spam and junk mail folders.) If you didn't receive the email we probably don't have your email address. You can contact us at   or call 337-593-3645 and we will send you an invitation. Once you accept the invitation and log in the first time via a browser, you can download the REALM CONNECT app on your mobile device (from your app store) and then stay in touch from your phone or tablet.

REALM is critical during the Pandemic

We've been getting ready for REALM for a few months now, not realizing how important it would be during the current coronavirus pandemic. It is incredibly important that we stay in touch with other believers, encouraging each other, praying for each other, and being the church on mission. REALM will help us accomplish this. Follow the instructions on the email invitation to get started with REALM. 

March 24, 2020
Church Office Closed
In keeping with the Governor's Stay at Home Order, the First Baptist Lafayette office is closed until further notice. You can get in touch with the staff in a number of ways:
call 337-233-1412 and leave a message with our answering service
If you need to communicate with a specific staff member, you can contact them as shown below (office phones are forwarded to them):
Administrative Pastor
RAY SWIFT
593-3645
 
Music & Worship
JOHN FRANK REEVE
593-3755
 
Education
SCOTT MCKENZIE
593-3660
 
Outreach and College
BRAD GILL
593-3656
Preschool
BARBARA ACCARDO
593-3665
 
Media
DENNIS CLARK
593-3744
 
Associate Music & Worship
JOSHUA CARVER
593-3758
 
Chinese
QUEENIE LAU
232-9334
 
Hispanic
CARLOS SCHMIDT
318-446-6453
Accounting Department
337-593-3651
Donate Blood April 5 from 8 a.m. - Noon
The Coronavirus Pandemic is causing a blood shortage, and healthy individuals need to donate lifesaving blood now. We are hosting a blood drive on Sunday, April 5, from 8 a.m. to Noon. The blood drive poses no risk for the donor, and will be conducted in accordance with social distancing principles. To reserve a time go to www.fbclaf.org/bd.
Have you seen our COVID-19 Resource Page
We now have a COVID-19 Resource Page on our website. On it there are video messages from Senior Pastor James Pritchard and other members of our staff, as well as resources that can help you through the next few weeks. It will be updated frequently so check it often.
 
March 21, 2020
Worship With Us Online Sunday at 10:45 am
We will worship together online again this week. Go to our website, www.fbclaf.org, Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. and you can access the service. This week it will be available on the website itself as well as on Facebook.
New COVID-19 Resource Page
Today we are launching a COVID-19 Resource Page on our website. On it there are video messages from Senior Pastor James Pritchard and other members of our staff, as well as resources that can help you through the next few weeks. We will continue to add resources regularly, so check it often.
Online Sunday School Begins March 29
We plan to provide a video driven Sunday School lesson for adults beginning next Sunday. In the meantime, stay in touch with your fellow class members. We value the relationships we have through Sunday School and don't want to lose touch during this time.
Interim Pastor Discusses Leadership Transition
We look forward to the arrival of Senior Pastor James Pritchard and family in April. In this video Interim Pastor Reggie Ogea brings us up-to-date on the details.
Final Thoughts
If you NEED HELP please let us know. Likewise, if you are not in a high risk group and CAN HELP please let us know. We want to assist by running errands and in other ways as we can. Call the church office at 337-233-1412 or email .
Remember, there are a number of ways you can continue your tithes and offerings to First Baptist even though you are not here on Sunday. You can:
  • Give online at fbclaf.org/give
  • Give by texting FBCLAF to 73256
  • Mail your gift to P.O. Box 3888, Lafayette, LA 70502
  • Drop your gift by the church office on weekdays.
March 17, 2020
All activities on the church campus are canceled until April 13...but ministry continues

In keeping with the current recommendations by the CDC we have canceled ALL weekend and weekday worship services, group meetings, etc. through April 13. For now, the church office remains open on it's regular schedule, and the church staff is working to continue ministry while "social distancing." We will be communicating with you through telephone calls, emails, the church website and other methods.

We are also exploring methods for groups to "meet" together digitally. We hope to have some of those options available very soon. Group leaders, it is very important that you stay in touch with the members of your group during this time, and pray with them.

If you NEED HELP please let us know. Likewise, if you are not in a high risk group and CAN HELP please let us know. We want to assist by running errands and in other ways as we can. Call the church office at 337-233-1412 or email 

Remember, there are a number of ways you can continue your tithes and offerings to First Baptist even though you are not here on Sunday. You can:

  • Give online at fbclaf.org/give
  • Give by texting FBCLAF to 73256
  • Mail your gift to P.O. Box 3888, Lafayette, LA 70502
  • Drop your gift by the church office on weekdays.

Finally, if you've previously downloaded the DEVOHUB app, you can use it for daily devotions. Parents, don't forget the Family Journey devotion page that you can do with your kids. Also, RIGHT NOW MEDIA offers thousands of video Bible studies you can view in your home, as well as wholesome, family-friendly videos for preschoolers and children. You can sign-up for your FREE account at fbclaf.org/rightnow

Look to the Lord in difficult times, and always. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

March 15, 2020
No activities or worship service tonight
We wanted to remind you that there is no worship service or other activities tonight. If you missed this morning's worship service that was live streamed on Facebook, it is now available on our website at www.fbclaf.org/video.
At this time, our offices will be open on their usual schedule this week. Also, we plan to have all of the Wednesday evening activities except the Fellowship Supper. Join us at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday as usual for the Midweek Service, music or mission groups.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and particularly your prayers during this time. We are meeting daily to adjust to this constantly changing situation. We will keep you informed through these emails and our church website. Please check www.fbclaf.org regularly.

March 13, 2020 
Worship with Us ONLINE at 10:45 a.m. Sunday

At this rare moment, I’m not exactly sure how to begin this communication other than to write Scripture, “God is MY refuge, MY strength and a very present help in time of need, therefore I will call upon Him.” Psalm 46:1. In the midst of this ever-changing world I am comforted and stand in confidence in knowing that MY God is the constant.

Today, in response to the Governor’s Proclamation another major decision was made regarding the Sunday schedule for First Baptist Lafayette. Gov. John Bel Edwards today signed a proclamation that among other actions immediately halts any gathering of more than 250 people until Monday, April 13, closes all K-12 public schools statewide effective Monday, March 16 resuming Monday, April 13, as Louisiana seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

This obviously presents many other big decisions that the staff continues to process. Things that need to be considered not only include the Sunday schedule, but also every weekday event, office hours, Sunday offerings, and events already calendared over the next 30 days. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the weight involved in all these decisions.

Therefore, our public gatherings at 1100 Lee Avenue for Sunday School, Worship Services and Sunday afternoon activities are cancelled this Sunday, March 15. Along with Interim Pastor Reggie Ogea, our worship leadership team will gather at 10:45 a.m. to provide a service that we plan to stream online. It will be the same service and message that was already planned. We hope you will be able to participate in worship in this way. Go to our church website www.fbclaf.org to link to the live stream.

The church staff and your group leaders will continue to communicate with you as this dynamic situation continues to unfold. There are still ways that the church can still be the church. With the many different opportunities that are before each of us for ministry, let us all be prayerful in seeking the Lord for His direction.  

Ray Swift
Administrative Pastor

March 12, 2020

With the Coronavirus making news headlines, we want to update you on how we’re monitoring the issue as a church staff and explain the things we’re doing to keep your family safe. Above all else, we want to remember that we serve a sovereign God who instructs us not to live in a spirit of fear. God is good, He’s faithful, and we know that He’s still at work all around us.

Our church staff is carefully monitoring the situation, and we want to be proactive in planning to serve our church and community in the days ahead. We encourage you to heed the advice of the CDC and US State Department travel watches, alerts, and warnings, and to take common-sense precautions in daily life.

What We’re Doing

According to the CDC, the simple and practical hygiene that prevents the transmission of other illnesses is just as effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Similar to other organizations across the nation, our staff and facilities team are implementing an extra layer of cleaning and sanitizing precautions on our campus. That includes increasing our cleaning schedules and procedures, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and applying an extra layer of detail to our kid’s areas and classrooms.

In addition to instructing our volunteers to change the way we greet our guests, we are structuring our services and activities to cut down on interactions that would accidentally transmit germs. In simple terms, think “hand waves” or “air fives” instead of handshakes when you say hello before a service. It will be fun to see the creative greetings our members can come up with over the next few weeks!

What It Means for You

If you’re well and have not been in contact with someone who is ill, come to Sunday School and Worship with us! This is an exciting time in the life of our church family, and we’re looking forward to a great Easter weekend which will be the first services with our new Senior Pastor James Pritchard. All weekly activities are continuing as scheduled at this time.

You can watch our worship services on our website on the same day. Services are generally posted by Sunday evening on our church website. This will allow you to stay connected if you’re sick or have been in close contact with someone who has been ill. We will also post frequently to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts so that you can keep up with what’s happening at First Baptist Lafayette. We want to continue to help you grow in Christ, even if you can’t attend in person.

If you’re a regular giver at First Baptist Lafayette, please continue to give either in-person, online, or with a text message (text FBCLAF to 73256.) Your continued generosity is a vital resource that enables us to continue our Gospel-mission on a weekly basis.

We will monitor the situation as it relates to mission trips, summer camps, and other events and will adjust or cancel activities as needed. Further efforts to adapt our worship gatherings, small group meetings, events, and our programs will be made if deemed necessary. Please keep your email address and phone numbers updated with the church office so we can communicate with you effectively.

Help Us Love Our Community

One of the best ways to help us love our community during the spread of illness is simply to be a good neighbor. If you live beside or are in close contact with families who have high-risk individuals in their homes, reach out to see if they need anything. Maybe that means offering to pick up supplies on your next trip to the store or dropping off some food if they’re unable to get out. Simply look for ways that you can be salt and light in the coming weeks and commit to praying for our leaders and community.

Of course, a great way to help our community is practicing common-sense health routines yourself. Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer after you touch shared surfaces, and stay home if you’re sick.

Let’s continue to be the Church and walk with God together in the days ahead. We’ll keep you updated should our schedules and plans change in the coming weeks.