Updated on March 17, 2020 Message from Pastor
Church family I do not know why this has been such an agonizing decision for me, but it has. My prayer is that I will never make a decision from fear because that is not the spirit that God has given to us, 2 Timothy 1:7. When people see the testimony of the church I want them to see faith, hope, courage, and steadfastness. However, I want people to see compassion and love for the community as well. I also want them to see respect for authority when it is not a decision that violates biblical principles. With this said, through consultation of staff, deacon leadership, and ministerial friends I think it would be wise for us to suspend meeting together as a church body for two weeks, March 18 thru March 29, resuming Wednesday, April 1. I believe this decision does several things. First, it respects health agencies initial recommendations. Second, it shows compassion towards our community by doing our part to stem this virus and by not overloading our medical facilities and healthcare personnel.
The church office will remain open for normal office hours and your ministerial staff can be reached at any time. Ministry to our church body should not be interrupted. In fact, ministry among the body is as important as ever. Here are a few things we can do as a church to insure that the ministry of Bethel does not suffer.
1) Pray. Pray for our national, state, and local leaders as they address this unprecedented time. Pray that the church operates with wisdom from above and compassion for others. Pray that the church understands the times with urgency.
2) Please check on those in the church family who are among your circle of influence.
3) Sunday School Classes, minister to each other. You do not and should not wait on somebody to check on you. You check on somebody first. We should mutually minister to one another. We will be communicating to different age groups and specific ministries as well.
4) If you identify a specific need and cannot meet that need yourself or through your Sunday School class, please communicate the need to a minister or church office.
5) So that the ministries of our church continue, you can continue to give online or mail your tithes and offerings. Online giving can be set-up at http://bbcdothan.org/give. Mailing address for the church is Bethel Baptist Church, 3257 E. Cottonwood Rd., Dothan, AL 36301.
6) Because our health agencies have asked us not to meet in groups larger than 10 we are also not encouraging our Sunday School classes to meet at this time.
7) Our church staff will provide a Facebook live service on Sunday morning at 10:30 for those who want to participate https://www.facebook.com/BBCDothan/.
Services can be viewed later at https://vimeo.com/bbcdothan. We may provide a number of devotions during this time for you and your family. These devotions will come through Facebook.
8) Bethel Christian Academy will follow the recommendations of the AL Department of Education and will close on March 18 and return on April 6.
9) We will reevaluate this decision in two weeks and make decisions accordingly.
Church family remember this, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, (1 Peter 3:15).