Mableton First Baptist Church
The Celebration Choir received an invitation from Lari Goss and Phil Barfoot to record a CD featuring their music, called "The Anchor Holds". The recording took place on May 16 and 17, 2002, and the choir premiered the music on June 23. The Celebration Choir enrollment reached 100 during the month of April.
The youth averaged 70 students per week on Wednesday nights in 2002. There were also 33 on average for the Sunday night youth-led services.
The "A Time for Vision" campaign for church improvements and to reduce church indebtedness paid $94,069 for roofing repairs. Future plans were to renovate the restrooms on the sanctuary level. Church indebtedness had been cut in half since the arrival of Rev. Childers five years prior.
Harold Dunn requested that the Masons be allowed to meet at our church, but the Deacons voted to not allow such meetings.
The Personnel Committee recommended Russ Danser to be Associate Pastor for Missions, beginning July 1, 2002. The church approved.
The Spanish Mission Fund from Hillcrest Baptist Church in Mableton, which had earlier been dissolved, was given to our church to be used for "ministry and missions".
The Media Library was disassembled and that part of the building was used to house a new Children's Department area called Church Street Kids. All children's books were moved to a newly organized space on the Preschool Hall, and some adult books were moved to shelves in the hallway outside the church offices by the stairwell. An "official" library was disbanded, with no director, staff, or check-out system. All books were now borrowed on a self-serve, honor system basis.
Two new music ensembles were begun: one for ladies directed by Gail Morris, and a mixed ensemble directed by Dan Antonio.
Craig Steedley resigned as Associate Pastor of Education and Young Families.
In November, a group from our church, led by Wayne Newland, traveled to Haiti to help with a Christmas in November celebration at a recently constructed orphanage.
On December 12-14, 2002, we presented the "From Christmas to the Cross" live drama, with an outdoor set designed to represent the life and times of Jesus. The city included an inn, a bread shop, a basket shop, a candle shop, a fabric shop, and many more. From the time visitors entered the gates of Bethlehem, they were taken on a tour of the major events in the life of Jesus. Visitors in groups of up to 20 paid their "tax" and were guided by a host, a resident of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth, who told a personal story. Each host had lost his own son to the edicts of Herod the King. But as the hosts shared the story of the life of Jesus - his birth, his visits from the shepherds and the Magi, his learning carpentry as a boy, his miracles, his death and his resurrection - the hosts expressed the joy of discovering that God has send His own son to rescue them from sin and provide eternal life! At least 875 people heard the saving story of Jesus over the course of three nights to close out the year.
Budgeted receipts totaled $763,612.29 for the year 2002. This is an average of $63,634.36 per month. Sunday School attendance averaged 321 per month.