By: Waylon Bailey
Martha and I had a blessed 2013. We have so much for which to be grateful, not the least of which is getting to serve with First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana. We are blessed to be members of this congregation and to have the joy of serving with you.
2013 was a good year for the church. We keep records in a lot of areas. We do this because you need to have good, solid evidence of what’s happening around you.
Because of the nature of our ministry, we have many places where we could measure but don’t. For example, we don’t measure hospital visits, but we do know that we have systems in place so that someone from this congregation visits the local hospitals everyday. I thank God for Bible Fellowship Groups, deacons, and pastors for their leadership and ministry.
I keep records in four major areas. These are areas where you can measure and compare with the past. All of these were the best ever for our church.
First, we averaged 1954 people in worship in 2013. Except for the years immediately following Hurricane Katrina, we have increased our worship attendance each year.
Second, our Bible study program–Bible Fellowship Groups–averaged 1316 people each Sunday in 2013. Amazingly, on a normal Sunday we have over 1400 people meeting together to study scripture. We only count Saturday-Sunday attendance. Counting the other groups who meet would mean more than 2000 people each week in Bible study. This kind of commitment makes the difference in a life and in a community.
Third, we baptized 134 people last year. I am grateful for your faithfulness in telling your friends and family about Christ.
Fourth, your ministry gifts last year exceeded $6,000,000 ($5,130,000 for the work of ministry through our budget). Thank you for undergirding the work of ministry.
Mark Brooks says this about your giving: “The amazing thing is that the church ministers to people whether they give or not. I can’t get in my health club without paying my dues. But no one at church shuts the doors to people who haven’t paid their dues. When I am giving to my church, I am giving to ministry.”
Thanks for helping make this a blessed year by your giving, ministry, and attendance.