Dear Church Family,
We all know that we are living in challenging times. Our church is recovering from a direct hit by a tornado that was then followed the next week by the declaration of a coronavirus pandemic. We commit to you to do the best we can to effectively lead through these challenges in a Christ-honoring way. We want to tell you how much we love you and how grateful we are for the way you are responding to this moment.
We want to communicate to you some updates for where we are on the tornado recovery as well as our future plans for Sunday worship services in light of COVID-19.
TORNADO RECOVERY- INSURANCE ASSESSMENT
Here is an update from our interim Administrative Pastor, Chris Rodgers, on what we know about the insurance assessment of our campus so far:
• Damage to the worship center was not as extensive as other parts of the building and may be usable in the near future. The exterior sheathing (covering) on the worship center roof will have to be replaced due to numerous holes - all have temporary patches.
• Electricity and HVAC have been restored in the worship center, welcome center, administrative hallway and children's building.
• When compared to other buildings on our campus, the children’s building had little damage. The building sustained damage to the roof but has since been repaired. All parts of the children’s building can be used. Mt. Juliet Christian Academy will hold preschool through 5th grade classes when school resumes.
• At this point, the library hallway from the fellowship hall/cafeteria to the gym will likely have to be demolished and rebuilt due to ceiling, wall and water damage. The first floor of that building may be saved - still in question.
• The fellowship hall/cafeteria had very little damage, but the kitchen cannot be used due to venting damage.
• The gym floor had some water issues and may have to be replaced.
• The administrative hallway had extensive water damage, broken windows and one section of the external wall was partially destroyed. This building should be able to be repaired. All carpet in the hallway and classrooms has been removed due to water damage. The roof will have to be replaced.
• The choir room had water leakage but will be repaired.
• The bus barn and sports building (Quonset hut) are both total losses. Demolition cannot take place until the insurance company completes their work.
• Insurance has said all furniture in rooms with water damage are a total loss.
• Mt. Juliet Christian Academy administrative offices had extensive water damage. The carpet and water damaged ceiling tiles have been removed.
• Multiple insurance adjusters have been working through the issues. It will probably take another two months to have a settlement offer. Insurance has been very cooperative.
• Both playgrounds and all sports fields sustained damage and will need repair before they can be used.
• The church vans were not damaged, but two of the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy buses were total losses.
• Mt. Juliet Christian Academy has made a plan for students when classes resume.
We are grateful that the church has excellent insurance coverage. Please know that Chris Rodgers is the church liaison working through the assessment for this claim. As we continue to learn more about this assessment we will keep you informed along the way.
Please continue to pray for our Campus Planning Team as they work on a proposal to build a new Worship Center and also the recovery phase of the tornado damage. We hope to have a time set soon where the team can present to you an update on their work.
COVID-19, CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
We will continue to meet via online through live streaming (Facebook Live) on Sundays at 10:30 A.M. for the foreseeable future. The CDC and government officials have set guidelines to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need to do our part as a church to protect the lives and health of our families, friends, and neighbors.
Although there is nothing like the church physically gathered, we have a tremendous opportunity to make much of Jesus in these challenging days. Please gather as families to watch the online service. Open your Bible and with pen and paper in hand and take notes as God speaks to you. This is a great opportunity to model worship before our children. Take the opportunity to share the Live Stream service as you are watching the message.
Please know that all regularly scheduled on-campus activities are on hold until further notice. We have been making plans for all age-graded areas of ministry during this time of transition and will communicate those to you.
Who knows how God wants to touch lives for such a time as this?! As we look to reconnecting with one another and to rebuilding our campus, we must rely on the Spirit and power of God.
I am going to be doing special teaching formats in the coming days to encourage you in your spiritual walk during this time. Our ministry team is also working on ways to engage our children and students during this period of social distancing. Although we may be physically distant from one another, we can still connect in such a way that no one feels alone.
WAYS TO KEEP UP-TO-DATE
We are using several different platforms to communicate church-related updates and announcements. Make sure to check out our website at fbcmj.org, like us on Facebook (search First Baptist Mt. Juliet), or follow us on Instagram (firstbaptistmj) and Twitter (@FirstBaptistMJ). You can also text the word “join” to 615-205-9610 to receive updates directly to your cell phone. Take a moment to make sure you are receiving our emails. If you are not, please call the church office (615-754-2525, please leave a message) or send your contact information to .
The Apostle Paul said in Romans (8:38-39), “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”