Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study

200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131



Keys Are So Important

Keys are so important. They let you in. They let you out. They gain you access to what you need. They keep out what you don’t. They protect what is valuable. Those who hold keys are trusted and depended upon. Key ideas are central and vital. They unlock the full potential of a person, a book, a group, an institution. Key people are necessary.  They are your leaders, your followers, your catalytic personalities, those folk who make things better, your glue folk that hold everything, and everyone, together.

On Thursday evening, June 8, George Teil, a faithful member of our maintenance crew for more than 30 years, suddenly succumbed to a reappearance of cancer and died early Friday morning. George was never a member of First Baptist, but he certainly was a key part of our community of faith.  His kind, gentle, warm, servant spirit permeated this building and our gatherings. He met his beloved Earnestine here, while she too was on staff, and together they would bring their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren to many FBC events. He was universally beloved, hugged by as many children as seniors. He was never in a hurry, yet never late. He never panicked. In a crisis, you wanted George. And he never lost that positive attitude and smile, which meant, even if you weren’t in a crisis, you wanted George.  We still want George. We miss our friend, even as we celebrate his life. Our prayers remain with Earnestine and his family.

The massive set of keys shown here were his church keys. They are larger, truly, than any other set. There are keys on that ring that no one else has, and now, we may never know what they go to. But George did. He knew them, just like he knew us.  They were a burden that George proudly, gladly, and humbly carried for us, and a symbol of the key role he played among us for more than 30 years.

May the Lord bless him and keep him. May the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious to him. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and grant him peace.


This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the July edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 3:20 PM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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