eLink for March 26 – April 2

                 (Click to join live stream)

       Scripture This Week: Matt 16:21-23

 First Baptist Church Welcomes You


Upcoming at FBC:

**All Red Links will take you directly to that event *
Remember –To make sure your event is added to this Calendar, please make sure dates and times are sent to the office No later than Wednesday of each week!

SUNDAY, March 26
Coffee & Conversation @ 9:30 & 11 am
Worship Service @ 10:00 am
FBC Small Groups @ 11:15 am
Safe Harbor
@ 5 pm

Bible Study @ 6:00pm Matt 16:21-23 (Zoom)

MONDAY, March 27
Ukulele Jam @ 5:15 pm

Crusaders @ 11:00 am
NO LOGOS Resumes Thursday April 6th
Vespers Service @ 5:45 pm
Choir Rehearsal @ 7:30 pm
Be the Bridge small Grp @ 7:30 pm (held at  EFree Church)

SUNDAY, April 2
Regular Sunday Schedule

Matt 21:1-11   (Zoom)

 Click to access Church calendar

Our Zoom Link

Our church Zoom ministries will use one link for all regular meetings: 

    • Church Accounthttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/3096624253
      Meeting ID: 309 662 4253 (same as the church phone number)
      Used for the Sunday Prayer & Sharing time, the Wednesday Bible Study, the Fellowship Breakfast, Board & Committee Meetings, LOGOS program, the Saturday Small Group and the Koinonia Class
      To Join Zoom meeting by phone dial: 1 312 626 6799, then when prompted, enter the Meeting ID number, followed by the # key.      

Ministry & Events:

Condolences for the Douglass Family 

Please pray for the family of Mary Jo Douglass. Her mother, Josephine passed away Thursday March 16. Please continue to send prayers for herself and her brother as they move forward during this difficult time.

Holy Week Services & Events 

      • April 2
        10:00 am Palm Sunday Worship Service
      • April 6
        4:00 pm Maundy Thursday LOGOs
        5:45 pm Maundy Thursday Worship Service
      • April 7
        12:00 pm Good Friday Ecumenical Service (at FBC)
      • April 9
        9:00 am Easter Breakfast * (Jr. & Sr. high students- find out how to volunteer to help)
        9:30 am Easter Egg Hunt (for lil’s & elementary)

        10:00 am Worship Service
        All Services will be live streamed 

Coming again to Barker Hall– Game Night!
Friday April 14 at 6pm- – 8 pm
Please bring a game, puzzle and/or a snack to share. Drinks will be provided. Contact the office for questions!


Dual Pianos at FBC Decatur 
Friday April 28 @ 6:30 pm 
You are invited to see Mark Gifford and Damien Kaplan perform at First Baptist Church Decatur 



Technical Notes on the Worship Livestream:
         * Recordings of the worship service are usually available on our YouTube Channel immediately after the service ends. 

In the event of livestream disruptions:
        * Try completely exiting the program/tab or app and the rejoining from the front page of the website or using this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/FBCBloomingtonIL/live

       * Check the front page of our website or the FBC Facebook page. We will post information and updates there on what happened and how to rejoin.  

       *  On a brighter note: did you know that there are lots of ways to watch our church services and other videos on your TV?  If you have internet access and either a smart TV or other device connected to your TV (like Roku, Amazon Fire, TIVO, PC, etc.), you can use a built-in YouTube player to access our YouTube Channel – just look for First Baptist Church Bloomington.  Chatting during services will still require a separate computing or mobile device. Call or email the church if you’d like technical support in getting this set up.

Supporting the ministry together



      • Online Giving
      • Ways to help around the church 
        If you would like to help the trustees with some work opportunities around the church, there is a list here and in the narthex. 

Contact Us

 – Office Hours –
Mon -Thurs:        9:00am –   1:30pm
Fri:                        9:00am –   11:00am
Office Phone:     (309) -662 -4253

Church Officesecretary@fbcblm.org / (309) 662-4253
Pastor Brian: brian@fbcblm.org / (920) 924-6857
LOGOS Director: michelle@fbcblm.org / (618) 303-3630
Praise Team Leader: Allison@fbcblm.org /(309) 846-0403

Next Steps 2023


“Come, Follow Me.”

It is an invitation Jesus extends to each of us, and a calling we’re meant to live into each day.

At the same time, there are moments in our lives, in our journey of faith, where the Spirit of God is particularly nudging us to take another step; to consciously move deeper in some aspect of our lives with God.  The prompt might be a question which keeps bugging us; a sense that something needs to change in our lives, or the feeling that there is something more that God wants for us, or for us to be a part of. 

Maybe it is a sense that our lives have been aligning with God’s and it’s time to make a commitment to trust the God revealed in Jesus.

Maybe it is a sense of wanting a renewal in faith, of coming back to a journey that once felt stronger and more vibrant. 

Maybe it is a nudge or calling to find a way to use the gifts, passion for the world or even discontent with the way things are to follow Jesus into making a difference in the world. 

Maybe it is a question you feel led to pursue; of deconstructing parts of faith that don’t hold up in the light of Jesus, or how to rebuild a living and growing faith in God.

Whatever those next steps are for you, we are here to encourage and help each other grow in faith and to grow closer to Christ and one another in the process. 

Ways to take a next step:

  • Pray about that next step. Whether it is a prayer of trust and surrender to God, a declaration of trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, or a prayer for guidance; pray on it. 
  • Let someone know: any leader or believer in the church will be honored to pray with you in that decision. Come up at the end of worship or in response to an invitation, or contact Pastor Brian through the week. 
  • Explore Baptism: If you’re sensing now is the time to make a faith decision to trust in and follow the God who is revealed in Jesus, and/or to make that decision public; contact Pastor Brian and a baptism class will be set up.
  • Explore a calling: If you sense a call to get involved, whether at the church or in the community or just figuring out what that might look like, Pastor Brian, our staff, and our board would love to explore that with you.

Celebrate: 185 years together at FBC!

On December 30, 1837 our church was organized by 20 individuals. They
gathered together in the upper rooms of the Presbyterian Church, electing Rev. Isaac D. Newell as pastor and W.G. Thompson as Church Clerk. Peter Withers and Samuel Lander were elected deacons. They adopted Articles of Faith and built a house of worship at 307 W. North (now Monroe) Street near the city square. 1848 saw the church move into a larger building on South Madison Street. Our 3rd house of worship was begun in September 1856 and located at the corner of Jefferson and Madison Streets. In November 1888 the fourth house of worship located at Jefferson and Gridley Streets was dedicated and we stayed there until 1994 when we moved into our current building, our 5th house of worship.

Over the years, we have had 29 pastors (remember one served twice), membership surged during the post-war era of the 40s and 50s, our choirs were and still are noted for excellent performances, many worship services and special events were broadcast live on WJBC and now can be seen on YouTube via the world wide web. Our education program was started in 1843 and continues today utilizing many styles and resources to keep children, youth and adults engaged in studying scripture and how to apply it to their lives today.

Youth has always been important whether it was with church league sport teams, Boy and Girl Scouts, BYPU or BYF or SNYF or LOGOS. Giving teens a safe place to share their thoughts and develop relationships with caring adults in intergenerational programs is one of our mission foundations.

All church pot-lucks, chicken or spaghetti dinners or chili cook-offs to raise money, cookie sales, gathering time with coffee and doughnuts. What FBC member doesn’t like to break bread together?

Our Vision Portrait adopted in 1999 says, “We are called to Worship as a
Christ-centered People; We are called to be a Nurturing People; We are called to be a Witnessing People; and We are called to be a people of Hope in a Changing World”.  Worship. Nurture. Witness, Hope. FBC continues to bring the light of Christ into the world in many ways, offering opportunities for everyone to show the love and grace of God.

Thank YOU for continuing to be a part of this vision.

Welcoming Dr. Sharon Huff to FBC Staff!

On behalf of the FBC community, we are very excited to announce that Dr. Sharon (Sharie) Huff will be officially joining our staff. 

Sharie is well known to the FBC family with her long history of participation in the life of the church and leadership in music.  Music is a deeply held value of hers, not only as a historically important expression of worship, but as a focal point that brings people together in community. 

She received her bachelors’ degree at ISU, and a Masters Degree in Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana.  She has taught and led music throughout her career in many different contexts and working with people of all ages.  Likewise, she has extensive experience in the leading and administration of organizations promoting music and education and continues to serve as the Director of the Brass Band of Central Illinois and as the Treasurer of the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Dr. Sharon Huff brings deep experience and giftedness to the ministry of the church, and we are excited to welcome her into the new role of Church Choir Director, effective as of December 14. 

On behalf of the church board, we also want to express our gratitude to her and to Gretchen Clemmons who led the choir with excellence on a temporary basis this fall.

Mission Connection Opportunities





FBC Community Partner volunteer Opportunities 

 Recycle for Families. Recycling Furniture for Families has been privileged to serve almost 25,000 men, women and children since 2002. We are in search of new volunteers as well as people that may be in need of our services. We are a not-for-profit organization helping those in need obtain gently used furniture We continue to serve the individuals and families of McLean County who are in need of those basic household items that most of us take for granted. If you are aware of anyone that may be interested in our services or willing to help our cause, please feel free to contact us.


Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter
For over 12 years a small group of FBC members have faithfully purchased, prepared and served a meal once a month at the Safe Harbor Shelter in downtown Bloomington. It only takes a couple of hours if you cook and less than an hour if you serve of your time.

For more information about these FBC mission opportunities contact the office


Faith in Action
Are you ready to brighten an older adult’s day?  With Faith in Action, volunteer drivers, shoppers and friendly visitors choose when and how often they volunteer. Have you completed a Volunteer Interest Form? To register for Volunteer Orientation, email Stacey@bnfia.org or call (309) 827-7780.

Upcoming new volunteer orientation dates

    • Oct. 4,  2022 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Nov. 1, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Dec. 6, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Jan. 3,  2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Feb.7,  2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Mar.7, 2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Apr. 4, 2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

**If these dates are inconvenient, please contact the Volunteer Coordination team (Stacey and Mary) to discuss options


Local Community Mission Opportunities

Consider volunteering with PATH. The team is always looking for compassionate, respectful, and responsible prospects to join. PATH offers the following volunteer opportunity:

Crisis Line/ 211 Volunteers – Spring (usually beginning in early February), Summer (usually starting in mid-June), and Fall (generally beginning in mid-September) Click for more information

Midwest Food Bank
Midwest Food Bank is structured to provide service opportunities and operate through the work of volunteers. Our volunteers are more than our hands and feet; they are fundamental to the success of our organization. They collect, sort, pack, and distribute food and disaster relief donations, and remind us every day that our mission could not be achieved without them. Click for more information

Home Sweet Home Ministries
Home Sweet Home Ministries demonstrates Christ’s love through innovative approaches that instill hope, restore lives, and build community. Our vision is for our ministry to be a ministry of refuge and renewal powered by Jesus Christ. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the way we serve those in need at Home Sweet Home Ministries. Every year, volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of service to accomplish our mission and vision. Click for more information


ESL Star Literacy Needs Volunteers The fall 2022 tutor training begins Sept. 24 at the STAR office in downtown Bloomington. Contact Robin Landry for more information


Listening Sessions

…speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”                                                                                                                     –  Ephesians 4:15-16 




As part of honoring how God we each have a voice and place in building up the church, the Pastor and Church Board will be hosting multiple opportunities in October to gather and share our experiences, vision and perspective for ministry with one another. 

Listening Session Dates:

      • October 16 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm at Church – meal provided 
      • October 16 @ 7:00 – 8:30 pm on Zoom 
      • October 20 @ 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Church – light refreshments provided  

RSVP required for in-person gatherings, as there is a limit of 10 people: sign up in the narthex or by contacting the church office at 309-662-4253. 

In each gathering we’ll be asking: 

      • What do you see the church engaged in that you are excited about? What are some things that you have been positively impacted by at FBC in the past year?
      • What needs do you see which we need to give more attention or support to?
      • What opportunities for ministry do you feel God has positioned us to respond to in this current moment?

The Board will also share some of the goals they identified at their visioning retreat this year, and how they are acting on them.  There will be time for further feedback and questions afterward, and notes from the meeting will be used by the Board and Pastor as we continue to plan and refine our ministries through the year.   

We hope to see you at one of these gatherings, and will schedule additional times as needed! 

World Mission Offering – God is doing something NEW Isaiah 43:19

In September, you have the opportunity to support ABC International Ministries. You can pray for the Global Servants FBC supports, Jon and Amanda Good, Katie and Taku Longkumer and Sue Hegarty. You can reflect daily on the messages offered in the eLINK each week. You can give financial support.

Why support International Ministries? Gifts to the General Fund are needed for resources like the website, awareness-building, mission education, WMO resources, finance and donor services, and home office support. It covers expenses for the work of mobilizing the next generation of global servants, building relationships between global servants, international partners and mission supporters. Even when personalized support falls behind, IM’s General Fund helps keep global servants in ministry.

How are gifts used?

85% Program expenses
10% Administrative support and fees
5% Development and fundraising

Offering envelopes will be available on the table in the back of sanctuary as well on the table in hallway underneath the Missions bulletin board. Thank you for considering this special offering.


Click Here for Daily Prayer Statement Access

Meet Molly, 2022 Hope Packs Superstar.

Molly is one of those special kids that leaves an indelible imprint on your heart. Born premature, Molly has faced severe setbacks throughout her childhood. But you wouldn’t know it. When we ask her about Hope Packs, she sits up tall and says: “I love them. I have so many things to choose from at home. The raisins are my favorite!” Molly goes through her Hope Pack while we are talking and starts pulling out food. She turns to us and says with the seriousness of someone three times her age; “I mean inflation, COVID-19, war, the world is crazy! We need these Hope Packs at home because…what are we gonna do?!” And as adorable as it is, Molly is right. Click on the video to learn why!


Right now in the United States 1 in 7 children are facing food insecurity. $50 sponsors a student just like Molly who is living in your community and needs to know that someone cares. To support MFB’s Hope Packs program visit Midwestfoodbank.org/backtoschool

Serving Behind the Scenes 


This past Sunday, we celebrated the ministry that Evan Greenfield shared with FBC as our Media Intern over the past two years before heading off to Ball State University in Indiana.  While we lifted up how important Evan has been to our ability to pivot online during Covid, it may not be as widely known just what that involved, or the other things Evan was a part of during this time.   

During lockdown in 2020, and in a matter of days, Evan set up the livestream and coordinated the video from all our worship participants to be able to share our worship service online to YouTube.  For months, that meant Saturday evenings devoted to rehearsing and testing the process before going live on Sunday.  Evan also recorded and created videos for use in worship and on our church’s YouTube channel, from special musical elements to celebrating teachers, to the LOGOS puppet shows.  He created “commercials” for events like the 2021 Trunk or Treat, and edited daily videos for online devotional series that ran through Lent and Advent.  He created graphics for our videos, he helped run wires and cables for the equipment.  He looked through the archives of our videos for the creation of special services like the 2020 Christmas Eve musical.  He trained Logan  on the use of the video camera for worship and recording ministry videos, as well as helping train others on the new soundboard.  Evan also lent his talent on the drums (when able) to worship services on Sunday and on Wednesday evenings.   

Evan was there for setup and running the livestream every Sunday for two years, aside from less than a handful of times where the family was out of town.  Once, even while out of town on vacation, Evan remotely coordinated the livestream from Wisconsin.   

It’s an amazing record.  And I’m profoundly grateful to Evan for his faithful ministry at FBC over the past years, using his gifts behind the scenes to make possible the ministry we share.   

At the same time, I want to point out that Evan is not alone – there are lots of people who work behind the scenes every Sunday, every week, to carry out the work of the church; from supporting worship to reaching out to one another in care, to fixing the coffee on Sunday morning (something which I think qualifies as a corporal act of mercy)…   

So with gratitude to Evan for his ministry, and wanting the scope of what he’s done behind the scenes to be more widely known; I also want to invite us to look around, notice and encourage the many, many others beside him who work behind the scenes to serve God in a multitude of ways.   

-Pastor Brian  

International Ministries: Jon & Amanda Good Global Partners in Hungary

Learn how  FBC BLM and FBC of El Paso are helping with their ministries below: 

Who would have imagined that in Hungary, in 2022, there would be an opportunity to serve people fleeing war? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

An Open Door

It is amazing how God places us in the right place at the right time. Who would have imagined that in Hungary, in 2022, there would be an opportunity to serve people fleeing war?
You, our wonderful partners, have given much toward helping Ukrainian refugees. Thank you for your compassion and generosity!
This past spring it became clear that the war will not end soon and we prayed about how to provide long-term support. One of our partner churches put us in touch with a family in need of long-term housing. We just knew that the Lord had put us together. The church is providing spiritual care and helping this precious family enroll in school. We agreed to provide groceries and a two-bedroom apartment that we are able to rent through your generous support. The International Baptist church family came together to prepare the home, supplying it with everything three little girls, a baby boy, and a mom could want. Beautiful quilts from FBC El Paso, IL decorated each bed. Our Ecuadorian artist-in-residence even created sunflower themed art personalized with their names.
This support is more than just a comfortable place to live. A team from our church assists with groceries and Hungarian Baptist social services has been able to hire the mom so that she can earn income for her family.
It is a beautiful picture of how your support plus three churches here in Debrecen work together to provide care for this family. We are amazed at how the Lord brought all of this together!
Please pray for this family, that they will be well-established and rooted in the love of Christ here in Hungary. Please pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia, for this war to end quickly. Please pray for those who are fleeing war-torn homes.  Please pray for those serving the refugees, especially those brothers and sisters inside Ukraine. Above all, pray that all these people will find the hope of Jesus.


This is an outside view of the apartment. It is the third floor balcony on the right


Luis and Patty are showing the artwork created for the family

These are some of the quilts handcrafted with love  from First Baptist El Paso.