To: FBCF Church Family

From: Pastor Bill

Monday, March 30, 2020


Hi Folks,

I trust you are having a great day and are enjoying this beautiful weather.  I’m sure you know that cooler temperatures are around the corner, so I hope you have been able to get out while it is nice.

I wanted to update you, as I said we would, now that we have gotten past our second week of online services.  I am sure it will be no surprise to you that we have decided to just stay the course with prerecorded messages until further notice.  Just yesterday President Trump extended social distancing to April 30.  A time will come when everyone is talking about the worst being over and that we can come out of hiding.  When that time comes we will pick a date and get word out about meeting together again.  By the way, many of you received an “Upcoming Events” postcard from the church.  Unfortunately, these were printed before the coronavirus hit, so we added the sticker and sent them out anyway.  On another note, special thanks to Robert Mattocks and crew.  They came in with some sort of high-tech disinfecting system and cleaned the whole church building.  With some kind of gauge they found that my office door was not the cleanest, that the copier control panel was worst than the toilet handles, and that the gauge broke when they got to Pastor Scott’s office. )

          In the meantime, our A/V team has been working to add some worship to the Sunday morning service.  Now, it will not be a current recording, because to do so would mean between 15-20 people having to meet here to pull that off (Allen, musicians, singers, A/V team).  So, it will be a worship set from a previous service that will be preceding a new message.  (By the way, there has been talk of doing a live stream, and we may go to that, but there are some advantages in doing the prerecorded, so we are going to stay with that for now.)

          In addition, for those that are a little bit “tech savvy,” we are going to provide to our S.S. teachers some information about how to utilize Zoom, a phone app that allows groups of people to meet, see each other, and communicate.  This could be a way for our Sunday School classes to connect weekly and go through a lesson.  This is not going to work for everyone, or every class, but it may be the best we can do for the time being.  If your class is going to try to do something like this, you will be hearing from your teacher.

          Also, let me commend you for your faithful giving, in spite of our current circumstances.  Last week was absolutely terrible, but we bounced back this week as everyone began to mail checks, drop them off, or use online.

          One last thing, on a personal note – a prayer request.  Most of you know that I had back surgery about three and a half years ago for a herniated disc.  It reoccurred a year later, which led to a second surgery.  I am now having serious lower back pain again, and it is getting worse, and has been for several months.  As some of you know, waking up most every time you move at night leaves you worn out.  I am getting stonewalled by insurance for an MRI, them requiring six weeks of physical therapy first.  Please pray that the Lord would just end this and have the pain end, or allow me to get an MRI soon, or give me the grace to put up with six more weeks of this before an MRI!  I do appreciate the prayer support.

          Well, that is all for now.  Take care and stay safe.  If you do not hear from me before Sunday, I think we may all think about “social distancing” in a new light after Sunday’s message.  Talk with you then.

Love you folks,

Pastor Bill


Bill Gowder

Lead Pastor

First Baptist Church Friendsville


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