FBC Coronavirus Update (March)

To our First Baptist Church Family and Friends

This evening, the FBC board, Senior Pastor, Minister of Worship and LOGOS Director met to discuss our next steps in responding as a church to the emerging situation with the coronavirus.

As we prepared to meet, Governor Pritzker issued a statement this afternoon ordering bars and restaurants to close to dine-in customers by the end of day on Monday, March 16.  At the same time, the CDC continues to refine its guidelines for gatherings.

In light of our desire to protect those most at risk from coronavirus by following best practices concerning public gatherings, the board has unanimously agreed on the following course of action:

The Celebration of Life for Brenda Azinger will be held at the church Monday, March 16 at 11am, followed by a luncheon.

Beginning tomorrow afternoon, First Baptist Church will suspend all regular programming until further notice.

This includes gathering physically for worship on Sunday, the LOGOS program, our regular small groups, Bible studies and so on.

At the same time, the church office and our ministries will be at work communicating in a variety of ways with the church and community, including opportunities to connect with worship online, receive devotionals and so on.  We will be especially mindful of those who do not have access to ways of communicating online, and will appreciate the help of the church in identifying and reaching out to those who may need extra care and support in this time.

The office will remain open during regular business hours to maintain contact with members and friends through our website:, Facebook Page, by phone, email and other means as practical.

Official communications and announcements will come from the church staff as the board and staff work together to keep everyone informed.

Each committee and facet of our ministry is engaged in working to find ways to stay connected and carry out our ongoing mission to encourage one another in faith and to bear witness to the love of God in Christ through our caring for one another in the church and community.

Three things we would ask of our church members and friends at this time:

  • Be in prayer for our community and especially those impacted physically, economically and socially by this coronavirus outbreak. Prayer is an act of trust in God who is aware and moving in the midst of these circumstances.
  • Stay connected and compassionate. We will be working to provide ways to connect and encourage one another even as we cannot meet in person.  Please consider ways to call and check in on those who may be more isolated, experiencing anxiety or distress in this time.  May our times of prayer be opportunities where we allow God to speak and direct us and our hearts toward God and toward others.
  • Please continue to engage in and support the mission of the church as you are able. We will need everyone’s continued personal and financial engagement and support as we seek to provide ministry care for the church and community.  Checks can be sent in to the church, and online donations can be made through the website.  We do know that the financial effects of this outbreak are touching many lives – if you are experiencing difficulties or need assistance, please let Pastor Brian know.

One additional note relating to persons or groups and the rental and use of the church facilities outside of our regular ministries:

Any person or group who already has an agreement to rent or use the church from March 18 to May 1, 2020 will be contacted with the notification that First Baptist Church may need to cancel the approval of their event.  All other rentals and special services/requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The church board will continue to meet and evaluate the situation and our response.  We will look forward to resuming our regular ministries and schedule as soon as advisable.

Please contact the church office and Pastor Brian with any questions, concerns or needs.  Thank you for your prayers, support and understanding.

In the peace of Christ,

-Pastor Brian