Embracing Our Future

April 30, 2015 matt
Phase One of the Master Plan creates many opportunities for us to reach our community. The new preschool space will create an inviting, warm environment for children to grow and learn more about the Lord and His plan for their lives. The renovation of the children’s space on the second floor of the Davis Building will
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First Family Ministry

April 20, 2015 Michael Ray
First Family Ministry is the umbrella over our student, children and young adult ministries here at FBCG. Our goal is to develop godly families by strengthening marriages and helping our families in making disciples of their children.
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Hello world!

February 13, 2015 Michael Ray
Welcome to Church Web Fuel. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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January 26, 2015 Michael Ray
1.18.15
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October 9, 2014 Michael Ray
October 12, 2014
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Dental Clinic

June 17, 2014 Michael Ray
  Extractions only. It’s free–no income qualification Here’s what you need to do: 1.Be at FBC Gadsden – in the Family Life Center – at 7:00 am the day of the clinic. 2.Bring medicine you are taking in the original bottles. Most months we are able to see between 15 and 20 people. If more than that
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Leaning Into the Lord's Day - Easter Edition

April 20, 2014 Michael Ray
Tomorrow is Easter. I am anxious to preach the resurrection of Christ to His people tomorrow morning. Even now, I am preparing my heart to be with God’s people. This song by Keith and Kristyn Getty is a fantastic song to help prepare your heart for Easter! How can it be, the One who died,
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I Hate Fred Phelps' Message and That's Exactly Why I Hope He's In Heaven

March 20, 2014 Michael Ray
The message of Fred Phelps and his Westboro “Church” is abominable. May God have mercy on Fred Phelps. I find no contradiction in those two statements. In fact, the very things that make me anathematize what Fred Phelps preached are precisely the things that make me hope He has found the grace of God which
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Ladies' Bible Study

March 20, 2014 Michael Ray
The Bible study will be held in Smitherman Hall in the Family Life Center from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Ladies of all ages are welcome to attend! Contact Whitney Alexander at whitneywalexander@gmail.com for more details.
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Jonah

March 17, 2014 Michael Ray
Recently, we finished up an expository series through the book of Jonah. Here are all of those sermons in one place.   “Away From His Word, Away From His Presence” Jonah 1:1-6     “Of Sailing Pagans and Wayward Prophets” Jonah 1:7-16   Praying in the Fish’s Belly (Part 1) Jonah 1:17-2:6   Praying in
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Vision 2025

November 18, 2013 Michael Ray
Recently, our church voted to implement several strategic changes that were presented on Vision Sunday. Over the next several blog posts, I want to share the vision FBC Gadsden has for the future. Today, I will show you the basic nuts and bolts of our plan for FBC. This is the letter I gave each
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4 Reasons Why We Do Outreach Events

October 21, 2013 Michael Ray
Yesterday, we had our Fall Festival here at First Baptist Church. It is a great time in the life of our congregation. We invite the entire community to come participate with us. Yesterday, close to 400 people came to our Fall Festival. This is very exciting to me. However, more and more churches are choosing to do away with big
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The Word Centered Home

October 8, 2013 Michael Ray
This past Lord’s Day at FBC was Baby Dedication day. It was a joyful occasion for me as the pastor of the church, but more importantly as the father of two children who were dedicated. I love the opportunity to get babies on the stage for the church to see and pray for. I also
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Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sin

October 4, 2013 Michael Ray
You know the story of the prodigal son, don’t you? When we read  the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, we often feel like the story is primarily about the younger brother. However, what we miss is that both sons are lost during the story. The son who squandered his life in sin
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Why I Have Gotten Serious About Diet and Exercise

September 23, 2013 Michael Ray
After high school, I went on a diet and lost a significant amount of weight. Then, in college, I exercised regularly and ate pretty much whatever I wanted and kept the weight off. However, after I got married to an excellent cook, went to seminary, had children, and began pastoring churches, exercise fell completely out
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By Faith

September 8, 2013 Michael Ray
I am so thankful for theologically robust, faithful, vibrant, modern hymns. Keith and Kristyn Getty are a gift to the church, and as I have prepared for this week’s sermon on Hebrews 11:1-12:2, this song has blessed me greatly. I love it because it presents so clearly a singable, congregation-oriented portrait of biblical theology. Here
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4 Sentences That Made Seminary Worth Every Penny

September 4, 2013 Michael Ray
I am in the process of finishing up my M.Div from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I want to share with you 5 sentences that made seminary worth every penny. Sure, I got a great education. And, of course, that was my primary goal in going to seminary. But I also received a lot of
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How Firm a Foundation

September 1, 2013 Michael Ray
Tonight I am excited to preach the first sermon in our series titled, “How Firm a Foundation: Knowing, Loving, and Living God’s Word.” I love this hymn very much. I first heard it in my Missiology class with Zane Pratt at Southern Seminary. We sang a hymn as a class before every class (as a
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Fall Festival

August 26, 2013 Michael Ray
Join us on October 20th from 3-5 for pony rides, inflatables, games, candy, and food all at no cost!    
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Royal Priests & Exiled Strangers

August 26, 2013 Michael Ray
  Join us, beginning on May 18th, for our sermon series through 1 Peter!                          
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Summing up the Sermon on the Mount

August 26, 2013 Michael Ray
Yesterday, I finished my series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7. I did my best in the last sermon to sum up the Sermon surrounding one theme: Christ’s authority. I find it important that, as the greatest sermon ever preached reached its conclusion, Matthew chose to highlight the following: “And when Jesus
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Jesus Shall Reign Where E'er The Sun

August 25, 2013 Michael Ray
I love this hymn by Isaac Watts. As I prepare tonight to preach on Christ’s authority, I felt like these selected lyrics provided a wonderful time of preparatory worship. Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
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The Number One Reason for Church Decline

August 19, 2013 Michael Ray
I was greatly intrigued by a recent article by Thom Rainer. In it, he posited that the main contributor to the decline in church attendance is that people now attend church with far less frequency than they did in the past. “Stated simply, the number one reason for the decline in church attendance is that
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Penal Substitutionary Atonement and The Alabama Baptist

August 13, 2013 Michael Ray
Like many others, when I first read Dr. Bob Terry’s August 8th editorial in the Alabama Baptist, I had serious concerns. After reading the article twice, I tweeted the following alongside a link to the article: “DOWNGRADE: Bob Terry, ed. of the AL Baptist, critiquing the biblical, historic Christian Gospel.” In the article, it appeared that
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Lupine Livestock and Grapes of Wrath: Beware False Teachers and Bad Fruit

August 13, 2013 Michael Ray
On August 4th, I preached a sermon from Matthew 7:15-20. The title of the sermon is, “Lupine Livestock and Grapes of Wrath: Beware False Teachers and Bad Fruit.” I hope that you will be blessed by it!  
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2 Reasons to Intern at FBC Gadsden - A Guest Post by John Pendleton

August 10, 2013 Michael Ray
This is a guest post by our summer intern, John Pendleton. He gives two things that impacted him greatly over the summer. Perhaps these would be helpful to others as well. Consider applying for the FBC Gadsden Gospel Ministry Internship next Summer if you think you’d like to hone your gifts in these areas! After
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Five Ways to Financially Bless Seminarians This August

August 1, 2013 Michael Ray
I will never forget the pressure I felt as I drove to Louisville, KY 3 years ago in August. We did not yet have jobs there, but we did have bills! Seminarians from your church are getting ready for the semester to start back up, so here are a few ways to bless them financially
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Mothers Are a Gift

July 16, 2013 Michael Ray
Right now, in the early days of our son’s life, my wife is able to have essentially one focus: Ford Alexander. Nobody else can feed Ford. When he gets really upset, nobody but Whitney can comfort him. She wakes up in the middle of the night to feed him. She can’t go very far, or
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Grateful to God for Winford Paul Alexander

July 13, 2013 Michael Ray
Our second child, Winford Paul (“Ford”), was born at 3:55 on Monday, July 8th. We are immensely grateful to God for our son. He is a blessing to us, and we could not be more excited to welcome him into our family. We are also grateful to our church family and other friends who have
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Stars and Bars, Stars and Stripes, and Stripes That Heal

July 3, 2013 Michael Ray
Last year I attended one day of a revival on Sand Mountain, here in Alabama, to hear the president of the Southern Baptist Convention preach. I grew up on Sand Mountain so the culture I grew up in is very similar to the culture I was attending church in that day. I grew up in
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Honoring our Past... Embracing our Future: Smitherman Hall

June 27, 2013 Michael Ray
One principle I have sought to live by as I pastor FBC Gadsden is this: “Honoring our Past… Embracing our Future.” Many young pastors chafe under the commitment some churches have to honor their history and traditions. Frankly, I am troubled when any church honors their tradition more than they honor the Bible, but I
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A Few Resources on Today's SCOTUS Decision

June 27, 2013 Michael Ray
First up, here is the handout from Dr. Russell Moore and the ERLC that I gave out in prayer meeting: ERLC SCOTUS Handout  Here is Dr. Moore’s article where he fleshes out a lot of the ideas from the handout: How Should Same Sex Marriage Affect the Church’s Witness? Here is Dr. Albert Mohler’s article,
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Reading the Bible in Light of the Gospel

June 4, 2013 Michael Ray
Do you sometimes struggle with how to go about reading and understanding the Bible? Perhaps this video will help you begin to grasp the big picture of the Scriptures.  
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Ministering to Your Ministers

May 23, 2013 Michael Ray
One of the most influential periods of my life was the time I spent serving at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile. While in college, I served as the Pastoral Intern. Then, after graduation, I became the Minister to College Students. I often think back on my time there and have a recurring thought: “Man,
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What's With All Those Biblical Genealogies?

April 16, 2013 Michael Ray
“I love reading the Bible until I get to all those begats!” I hear this quote–or something like it–all the time as a pastor. I completely understand where folks are coming from. Sometimes Biblical genealogies seem a little tedious–and can make Bible reading quite difficult. However, I want you to know that those genealogies matter!
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Post-Easter Discouragement

April 7, 2013 Michael Ray
Dear Fellow Pastor,   Let me guess: last Sunday–Easter Sunday–was awesome. It was for us. Everybody showed up! And they brought people with them! I preached to more people than I have ever preached to as a senior pastor. The worship was fantastic. The fellowship was wonderful. Everyone was wearing pastel and seersucker and hats–and
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Two Sermons on Jesus Death and Resurrection

April 7, 2013 Michael Ray
I want to point you to the sermons I preached on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. They were titled “The Death of the Son of God” and “The Resurrection of the Son of God,” respectively. These sermons will provide the listener with a concise description of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have any
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The Lord's Kindness at Easter

April 2, 2013 Michael Ray
We have just finished up a very busy March at First Baptist Church. We had several events leading up to the culmination of the month–Easter Sunday. The Lord has been very kind to us this month. We had a fantastic concert with Matt Scott a few weeks back. Then, we had a wonderful Easter Egg
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Why We Hunt Easter Eggs at FBC

March 27, 2013 Michael Ray
Every day, every service, every brick, every event, every staff member, every sermon, EVERYTHING at First Baptist Church is about Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected. We are relentlessly committed to the proclamation of the Gospel of our risen Lord. We are relentlessly committed to seeing the glory of God cover Etowah county like the waters
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Salt and Light in Practice

March 26, 2013 Michael Ray
A couple of weeks ago, I preached this sermon on being salt and light: Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing arguments about marriage and so-called gay marriage. This is one area where the church must be salt and light. We must stand strong on the truth of God’s Word that marriage
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Modern Hymns

March 17, 2013 Michael Ray
Oxymoron? Thankfully, no. I am so grateful for a crop of songwriters who are writing songs of content meant to be sung corporately in the church. I lament greatly the lack of substance in so much of modern Christian song writing. I think “worship wars” would have been far less common and pronounced had the
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Families at First Baptist Church

March 5, 2013 Michael Ray
We want to make it clear that we are a great church for young families, and that we are taking steps to make our church as welcoming as possible to young families. In fact, my wife, Whitney, and I are a growing young family and are thrilled to raise our daughter at FBC! Let me
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Merry Christmas from Pastor Mat!

December 19, 2012 Michael Ray
Dear Church Family,   I love being the pastor at First Baptist Church. As Christmas draws near, I want to tell you how much it means to me to be the pastor of this great church. Since our arrival here in July we have been loved and accepted by this congregation in a special way.
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First Loves Families!

December 13, 2012 Michael Ray
At First Baptist Church, we have a passion for reaching, training, and keeping the next generation. We love families here. One way we are showing our commitment to families at First Baptist is through the recent renovation of our playground. Here are a few photos of the transformation. (Click each photo if you want to
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Christmas Humility

December 6, 2012 Michael Ray
This past Sunday I mentioned in my sermon that Christmas should be a time of humility for Christians. (View that sermon here.) Specifically, I mentioned how Christians should not be so scandalized by those who do not celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday, but that we should instead share the Gospel with them and pray
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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2012 Michael Ray
I am thankful for many, many things. First, for all God has done for me in Christ. The richest of all blessings are found in Christ and Christ alone. Among those blessings in Christ Jesus is my wonderful wife and daughter. I am so grateful for them and all they mean to me. In third
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The Wonderful Value of Old Hymns

November 18, 2012 Michael Ray
I love old hymns. God uses them over and over to bless my life and remind me of His goodness. I want to share with you three (of many!) reasons I feel this way. First, the best of old hymns are theologically rich. Often they resound with themes and ideas that are not as popular
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New Student Associate - Jarred Boyd

October 31, 2012 Michael Ray
  We have exciting news! Beginning on January 13th of 2013, we will have a full time Student Associate in charge of student ministry here at First Baptist Church. Jarred Boyd will be coming here to serve our students and their families. I could not be more excited about the prospect of Jarred’s ministry here
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Happy Reformation Day!

October 31, 2012 Michael Ray
Today is Halloween, sure, but it is also the day that we remember the beginning of the Reformation. I am immensely thankful for the Reformation, and for the fact that a certain Saxon monk turned the world upside down by nailing 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg. I want to recommend to you
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Church Attendance is Spiritual Warfare

October 31, 2012 Michael Ray
  “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring
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Loving Young Families

October 23, 2012 Michael Ray
We love young families at FBC! I am writing to remind you of the tangible way you can love a  young family here at FBC Gadsden! Remember that right now we are providing meals for the Haller family for a couple of weeks. Go to this link, create an account, and sign up to bring
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Helpful Thoughts on Church Guests

October 22, 2012 Michael Ray
Recently, Dr. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay, posted an article on his blog that highlighted ways to get people to never visit your church again. These points were reactions to real churches from real visitors. I found the post helpful and wanted to highlight it here. I will post a few of the points I
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Gospel Music

October 22, 2012 Michael Ray
I sincerely believe that all of the Bible is about Christ. For those of you who come to our Wednesday night prayer meeting, you have already seen Christ in the book of 1 Samuel. However, on Sunday, October 21, I plan to start a 6 week sermon series called “Gospel Music: Seeing Christ in the
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Fall Festival Recap

October 22, 2012 Michael Ray
On this past Sunday, I experienced something that was totally new for me. Frankly, it wasn’t one I saw coming either. I got to see a WMU president and other senior adult ladies dancing to live rap music. Isn’t it amazing what the Gospel does for us? Christ unifies different generations and different races and
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Winter Preaching Series

August 23, 2012 Michael Ray
               
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First Kids

April 23, 2012 Michael Ray
First Kids, A Family Ministry of First Baptist Church Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie
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First Students

April 23, 2012 Michael Ray
Our desire is for every student to feel welcome at First Baptist. We have wonderful student leaders (Brian & Gina Harbison) who love our youth and are excellent Bible teachers. First Students is a growing ministry that strives to make the scriptures relevant to the lives of students in today’s ever-changing world. It is our
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Senior Adults

April 23, 2012 Michael Ray
Senior Adults and Friends
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First Steps

April 23, 2012 Michael Ray
First Steps is our Nursery & Preschool Ministry at FBCG. Our caring volunteers will love your little ones, caring for them and teaching them the scriptures. Our goal is to provide first rate care and safety, while laying a Biblical foundation for the gospel in your preschooler's heart!
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Meeting in the Middle

March 27, 2012 Michael Ray
Palm Sunday Celebration April 1, 9:45am, corner of 5th and Chestnut
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Maundy Thursday Communion

March 27, 2012 Michael Ray
April 5, 2012 at 7:00pm
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Easter Sunday 2012

March 27, 2012 Michael Ray
9:15am- Enjoy a light breakfast in the Prayer Garden on your way to Sunday School 10:30am – Worship, “Alive and Six Who Said So!” by Dr. Calvin Miller
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Music Ministry

November 7, 2011 Michael Ray
Sanctuary Choir Each Wednesday, a special time of worship takes place. Our Sanctuary Choir gathers at 6:30 PM to prepare musically and spiritually to lead in worship on Sunday. This group provides ongoing Sunday leadership and prepares several major works throughout the year. We would love to welcome you into this special choir family! We
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Embracing Our Future Capital Campaign

August 24, 2011 Michael Ray
We are currently in the process of raising funds through the Embracing Our Future capital campaign. Our goal is to make some much needed renovations and additions to our campus. These will include: A renovated preschool suite A renovated children’s ministry area A new elevator for the Davis building A renovated elevator to service the
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How Can We Help?

Send us an email at receptionist@fbcgadsden.org