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



One Good year

  Several years ago a recording artist by the name of Slaid Cleaves  had a song whose catchphrase was, “Just give me one good year.” In the song, the protagonist pleads for a good year to God, to the powers that be, to fate, etc. It is something that will or will not be “given” to him. As we think about 2018, there’s some truth to that. There are factors that will help determine if 2018 is a good year that we simply do not have control over—friends and family move away or closer, illness, recovery, death, promotions, layoffs, politics, etc. But, on the other hand, we have some control over our own destiny. To a large degree, we will make 2018 a good year, or we will let it be less than that.  There is a balance here. Some factors are out of our control; even so, we cannot abdicate our responsibility for those factors that remain in our control.

  To that end, we make New Year’s resolutions. We often think of such in terms of recommitting ourselves to some positive lifestyle habit that we should have been doing all along. But how about we think about these resolutions more broadly? Let’s consider what we need to happen in 2018 for it to be a good year. We all have our personal lists, but here’s my list for our church in 2018. If we can move these balls forward in meaningful ways, I’m betting we will say, “2018 was a good year.”

  1. Resolve our building conundrum. We have too much building for our needs and finances. We have a creative Property Task Force that is studying multiple options and will bring forward its initial report by March. We need to thoughtfully come to a course of action by the end of 2018.

  2. Make the most of our new logo and brand. Both are powerful tools which can help us focus our energies and communicate our message to the community.  

  3. Have every member personally engaged in outreach.  Facts are facts, and the facts are that 2/3 of new members in churches like ours attend the first time because a member invited them. Brand, advertising, creative programming help, but they tend to merely augment the effort that each of us is willing to put forth individually. What might that look like for you?

  4. Make our pastoral staff transition a smooth and constructive experience for all. This will be a different place without Ray Hatton on staff. (Please note our special worship service and reception on January 7.) We have a temporary plan in place and a more formal one on the way.

  5. Develop a cohesive mission/service philosophy. We do so much as a church and as individuals “around the world, and across the street.” We want to do even more. But our time and resources are limited. How do we make the best use of such resources to create the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God?  It’s a complicated question. We are of diverse opinions here as elsewhere. But we’ve needed greater clarity and focus on this since before I came. It’s time.

  6. Live even more into our ideal of Family. We love to use that word when we describe ourselves, and it is quite accurate in many respects. But I see areas of growth, too. We have numerous “silos” that operate almost oblivious to others. And this becomes a problem when one group really needs the help of another—children need teachers, seniors need a visit, singles need community, etc. Little connection leads to little empathy and to little willingness to share the burdens of others. We can do better. Let’s be more of who we say we are.

  These are just a few goals, and, granted, goals that are off the top of my head and heart.  You may have others. I’d love to hear them. But the point remains. If we make significant progress in these areas, we will look back, despite what negatives may come our way, and we’ll say that 2018, by God’s grace and with God’s help, was a good year. How will you be a part of a good 2018?

  Courage, David


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

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:00 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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