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



The Gist

Gist. It’s an old word that you don’t hear that much anymore. But I really like it.  Give me the gist of the story, the gist of a situation, the gist of what that person is about. When I visit with families to plan a funeral, I spend a good deal of time with them talking through the person’s life. We speak of birth, school, church, graduation, marriage, jobs, parenting, friendship, retirement, etc. But after all of that has been shared, my question is always the same. What is the essence, the gist of this person? When you strip everything else away, what remains?   Sometimes, it may be something they do. Sometimes it may be some role that they played. But most of the time it is a quality, a personality characteristic, an attitude…that which pervaded every aspect of the loved one’s life.

What is your essence? What characterizes you more than anything else? When you strip away all that can be stripped away...what remains? What is the gist of you?  For that matter, what is our essence at First Baptist Church? What characterizes us more than anything else? When you strip away all that can be stripped away, what remains? What is the gist of FBC?

This month we will begin a branding process. It was an objective named by our Building the Church Family pillar of our Vision Process. One can look at the branding process through several lenses.  You can seek to brand yourself by what you wish for yourself, what you would like to be or become.   You can brand yourself in light of what you think will sell or work.  But the best branding processes find succinct ways for a congregation to communicate who it is, so that those who are looking for that type of fellowship know where to look. The process will involve a new logo. It will involve mottos and slogans. It will involve a complete assessment and redesign of our publications and website. It will help us develop our “elevator speech,” a way of succinctly sharing with others what is special about FBC. There will be many components, but in the end, the objective of branding is…to let the gist shine.

Guiding us in this process will be David Cassady and his wonderful team at Faithlab.  We chose Faithlab because they have significant experience with churches like us.  On our end, much of the ongoing work will fall to a team comprised of Teresa Bullock (chair), Laura Locke, Lora Jobe, Sally Smith, James Aycock (chair of PR), and myself; and then, in time, to the staff and the Public Relations Committee.  

Your input and ideas, though, are very much needed, throughout the process, but especially at the beginning. To gather this input, David Cassady will meet with us in three meetings open to all members.  The first will be held on Saturday, September 17, 10:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. The second will be before worship on Sunday, September 18, at 8:30 a.m. in the Chapel.  The there will be another meeting immediately following worship on Sept. 18 in the Parlor. We hope that everyone will be able to make one of these meetings and offer their valuable input.

Please be in prayer for this process and make plans now to be at one of the meetings on September 17 or 18.

Grace, David

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

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:30 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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