Dear Church Family,

 

Tammy and I pray you are all enjoying the blessing of community among God’s people as you worship Him together.  I want to say again, we are thankful for the time you have given us to focus on our spiritual health and for this season of studying and receiving God’s Word.  We continue to ask for your prayers that this will be a fruitful time in our lives for renewing and strengthening our walk with the Lord Jesus.

I am sure you were not expecting to hear from me during this time of sabbatical rest; however, I felt it important that I share some thoughts regarding the recent release of a report speaking of the sexual abuse involving church and convention leadership and its mishandling by some Southern Baptist Convention leadership. It is not my intent in writing you to address this report at this time other than to say that our ministerial staff is aware of its findings. At first glance, the report is very disturbing and troubling.  In the coming weeks, we are prayerfully looking over this report and will be monitoring any additional information that is given at this year’s annual Southern Baptist Convention. 

In response to the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force investigation our North Carolina Baptist State Convention is making available some helpful resources to minister to survivors of sexual abuse.  In addition, resources are available to local churches in helping to establish policies that create safeguards against sexual abuse, especially for children and youth.  In review of these recommendations, many of the safeguards recommended are already in place at First Baptist.  However, this report is a reminder how important it is that as a local body of believers we are creating a safe and secure environment for our children, students, staff, and volunteers.  The ministry staff and leadership will be reviewing our current policies and practices to make sure they are up to date and are consistently being enforced. 

Finally, I want to assure you the heart and desire of the ministry staff and our leadership is to be open and transparent in every area of responsibility for which you have entrusted us.  This is our commitment to you, and more importantly, to our Lord.  I close with these verses from God’s Word that are a truth that my Grandma Tobin instilled in all of her grandchildren.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV).  These are wonderful words of guidance as we live out our faith in Christ in these last days before He comes.

 

God’s blessings,

Pastor Travis