We desire to cultivate an environment where people personally encounter Jesus during corporate worship. We also believe this worship must flow out of a life lived daily for the glory of God.
(Matthew 18:20, Mark 12:30, John 4:24, Ephesians 5:18-19)
Because the message of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is God’s power for salvation to all who believe, we seek to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ personally, collectively, locally, & globally.
(John 3:16; Romans 1:16, 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
Because God established the local church as a community of worshiping, growing, and serving believers, we commit to a shared life of encouragement, accountability and genuine love.
(John 13:34-35, 2Cor 8:13-15, 1 Thes 5:14, Heb 10:24-25, 13:17)
Because the Bible is God’s truth, it is our sole authority and foundation for all we believe and practice. Knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word are essential to true life transformation.
(1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
Because the church represents Christ, we will seek to promote and maintain unity within this church family. Unless there is clear biblical error, we will prioritize our oneness in Christ over our personal preferences.
(Psalm 133:1-3; Romans 12:16-21; Eph. 4:1-6; Phil. 2:1-5)
Because disciples are to become like Christ, we seek to develop character, biblical knowledge and ministry skills in ourselves and others as a lifelong process toward maturity.
(Rom 8:29, 12:2, Gal 5:22-23, 2 Tim 2:2)
God began the institution of marriage and defined it as the union of one man and one woman. A husband is to love and lead his wife. Parents are the primary spiritual leaders of children in the home, so the church is to supplement, not lead in, their spiritual development.
(Gen. 1:26-28; 2:21-25; 1 Cor. 11:3,8-12; Eph. 5:22-6:4; Col. 3:18-21)
As disciples of Christ, we are each sent as missionaries to personally share the ministry and message of God’s love to all people. This requires intentionally aligning every area of our lives to this purpose.
(Matt 28:19-20; Mark 3:13-14; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; 1John 3:16-18)
In the summer and fall of 2013 we established our Mission and our Core Values (see back page). In the spring of 2014, as a church family, we dreamed about how God might use us to fulfill our Mission, especially in the immediate Friendsville area. In the summer of 2018, we revisited and revised and updated this Vision statement to reflect where we hope to be as a church when we celebrate our 100th anniversary on April 8, 2023. The following is a result of our dreaming together. We pray that the Lord will guide us and use us to honor Him as we seek to be salt and light to a world that desperately needs Him.
We would invite you to join us as we seek to fulfill this Vision.
(rev. June 2018)
2014-2018 Strategic Initiatives
2023 Strategic Initiatives
FBCF has a beautiful auditorium that provides ample space to reach people for Christ and grow as a church family. Blueprints have been drawn for a Phase 2 to our current buildings to further expand our outreach, but there is still a debt of $870, 000 from Phase 1 (as of June, 2018). The payout is about 9 years at the current rate. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord would allow us to see this debt eliminated and funds be raised for Phase 2, which would include a gym and a new fellowship hall. This would allow us to expand our ministries to children (Upward sports, AWANA, etc.) and adults alike (basketball & volleyball leagues, a walking track, etc.).
In this regard…
– A “Debt Payoff Team” will be formed to investigate ways to see the debt eliminated, doing our part, while asking the Lord to do this before what would be “humanly possible.”
Pastor Bill moved to Tennessee 25 years ago, but grew up a Georgia boy. He came to know Christ during his sophomore year at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. His wife Becky is the love of his life. They have two kids – Katie (married to Jim, and they have Maggie) and Kara (married to Adam, and they have Emmy). Pastor Bill enjoys time spent with his family, watching sports, doing home projects, and fitting in golf and hunting when he can. The Gowders began their fruitful ministry at First Baptist Church in February 2012 and appreciate the loving support of the sweet church family.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Pastor Drew was raised in both Michigan and Florida. He is married to his wife Jasmine, who is a palliative care nurse. They have two darling daughters: Audrey (6th grade) and Charlotte (2nd grade). Pastor Drew began serving First Baptist Church in August 2022 and already feel a part of the family. Drew has served churches in FL, WI, GA as a student pastor and in MO as an interim pastor. Drew can be found outside with his family, tinkering with cars or exercising off his love for all things culinary.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29
Scott was born in Maryville, Tennessee and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee. He trusted in Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1978 at the age of 21. Scott attended seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he met his wife of 32 years, Karen. They have two sons; Trinity, age 33 and Zachary, age 30. Scott and Karen have been ministering to the children and youth of First Baptist Church since 2002 with the desire to partner with parents in developing Christ-honoring believers who live out their faith. Scott coaches elementary boys and girls basketball at Maryville Christian School, enjoys running marathons and half-marathons, long distance bicycling, and fishing.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
Adam and Kara began serving in the children’s ministry at FBCF in April 2019. Kara came to know the Lord at the age of 5, and Adam at the age of 17. They met at Fellowship Church in Knoxville, TN, where they were both leading in the high school ministry, while both attending the University of Tennessee. They have been married for 1.5 years. Kara is a first grade teacher in Knoxville, TN, and Adam works for Goodall Homes.
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Tammie was born and raised in Blount County . She has attended FBCF since birth and has been the church’s secretary since February 1997. She and her husband Rodney have grown children: Colton and Marah and their son-in-law Coleman.
“Be still and know that I am God…“ – Psalm 46:10
Allen Leath joined the First Baptist Church family in January, 2018 as he followed the call to lead us in worship. He still lives in the small town of Mascot, TN where he grew up. Having grown up in a musical family, Allen has been apart of providing music within the church most of his life. As an adult, he began traveling full-time in the Christian music industry and had the opportunity to sing and minister alongside some of the country’s most well-known artists. Having retired from the road in 2012, Allen loves being home with Tabatha, his wife of 33 years, and their 3 wonderful grandchildren. Along with music, Allen loves sports – both watching and playing. He is currently completing his degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – 1 Peter 1:3
Jim is a native Tennessean born and raised in Maryville. He was saved as a child during family alter led by his dad who is a Baptist minister. Jim has been married to his wife Anne for 39years. They have two adult children, Alex and Makayla who is married to Caleb.) Jim retired from a 23year career as an insurance agent with Farm Bureau. Jim loves to bike, hike, play golf and follow his beloved Vols.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
The Character of GENUINE SAVING FAITH
2 Corinthians 13:5
I. EVIDENCES THAT NEITHER PROVE NOR DISPROVE ONE’S FAITH
A. Visible Morality: Matt. 19:16-21; 23:27
B. Intellectual Knowledge: Rom. 1:21; 2:17ff
C. Religious Involvement: Matt. 25:1-10
D. Active Ministry: Matt. 7:21-24
E. Conviction of Sin: Acts 24:25
F. Assurance: Matt. 23
G. Time of Decision: Luke 8:13,14
II. THE FRUIT/PROOFS OF AUTHENTIC/TRUE CHRISTIANITY
A. Love for God: Psa. 42:1ff; 73:25; Luke 10:27;
B. Repentance from Sin: Psa. 32:5; Prov. 28:13; Rom.
7:14ff; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 1:8-10
C. Genuine Humility: Psa. 51:17; Matt. 5:1-12; James
D. Devotion to God’s Glory: Psa. 105:3; 115:1; Isa. 43:7;
48:10ff; Jer. 9:23,24; 1 Cor. 10:31
E. Continual Prayer: Luke 18:1; Eph. 6:18ff; Phil.
4:6ff; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; James 5:16-18
F. Selfless Love: I John 2:9ff; 3:14; 4:7ff
G. Separation from World: 1 Cor. 2:12; James 4:4ff; 1 John
H. Spiritual Growth: Luke 8:15; Jn. 15:1-6; Eph. 4:12-16
I. Obedient Living: Matt. 7:21; John 15:14ff; Rom.
16:26; 1 Pet. 1:2,22; 1 John 2:3-5
If List I is true of a person and List II is false, there is
cause to question the validity of one’s profession of faith. Yet
if List II is true, then the top list will be also.
III. THE CONDUCT OF THE GOSPEL:
A. Proclaim it: Matt. 4:23
B. Defend it: Jude 3
C. Demonstrate it: Phil. 1:27
D. Share it: Phil. 1:5
E. Suffer for it: 2 Tim. 1:8
F. Don’t hinder it: 1 Cor. 9:16
G. Be not ashamed: Rom. 1:16
H. Preach it: 1 Cor. 9:16
I. Be empowered: 1 Thess. 1:5
J. Guard it: Gal. 1:6-8
This information is found in the back of the MacArthur Study Bible.