Frequently Asked Questions
General Church Information
When is Sunday School and Worship?
Multigenerational Sunday School: 8:00 a.m.
Sunday School: 9:15 a.m.
Worship: 10:30 a.m.
How do I join First Baptist Church?
God desires that each one of us have a personal relationship with Jesus and that we are a part of a local church. I Corinthians 12:18 teaches us that God adds to the body (the church) just as he sees fit. How do you become a part of the body of Christ?
Personal Relationship with Jesus: Every person must make a personal decision in his/her life whether to follow Christ or not. When you decide to become a Christian, you will need to make that public and follow Christ in baptism.
Transfer of Letter: If you desire membership in our church and are presently a part of another Baptist church, you can indicate your desire to change your membership.
Statement of Faith: If you have made a decision to follow Christ and have followed him in baptism by immersion, you may come by statement of faith on your previous commitment.
Baptism from Another Denomination: If you are like many who are a Christian but, have been in another denomination and have not been baptized by immersion, you may come for baptism by immersion into First Baptist.
Your decision can be made public by coming forward at the conclusion of our services and we will be glad to assist you. For those who have a difficult time with large crowds, we will certainly make accommodations so that you may fulfill God’s teaching in a way that will be pleasing to Him. Please don’t hesitate to call one of the ministers if you have any questions. We are here to help!
What are the church telephone numbers?
Main Office: 256-353-0423 (Receptionist will answer)
256-353-7399 (Automated Attendant)
256-350-9086 (ChurchStreetAcademy Preschool)
256-341-0811 (The EnrichmentCenter)
256-716-0811 (The EnrichmentCenter in Huntsville)
What are the church office hours?
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday:8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday:8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday:8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Who do I call if I have an emergency need during the weekend?
Call 256-606-0025.The Minister on call will answer or return your call shortly.
What is the church’s mailing address?
P.O. Box 1667
Decatur, AL 35602
Church Media Library Information
What are the church library hours?
Sundays: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Tuesdays: 9:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (during school year)
4:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (during school year)
How do I check out books from the church library?
Ask the library receptionist for a “New Library Patron” form. Once you fill it out, you may check out books, videos.
Wednesday Night Supper Information
How do I make a supper reservation?
You may make reservations in the following ways:
Call Church Office 256-353-0423
Make reservations online
Reservations must be made or cancelled by noon on Mondays.
Main Dish Meal-$5.00
Children’s Hot dog or Hamburger-$3.00
Extra Hot Dog-$1.00
Maximum of $20.00 per family
Can I bring guests to supper?
Yes, guests are welcome. Reservations should be made if possible. One-time complimentary meals are available for prospective members. See the church receptionist, Christy Mathis for details. She can be reached at 256-353-0423 or email@example.com
Prayer Requests Information
How do I share a prayer request?
You may share prayer requests in the following ways:
Prayer Request Card in Pew Racks – place in offering plate
Bulletin Tear-off – place in offering plate
Call Church Office
How do I get a prayer request on the prayer list?
You may do any of the following:
Call the Church Office
Fill Out Tear Off on Sunday Bulletin – place in offering plate
Add to Prayer Request Sheets that are passed around in Wednesday Night’s Prayer & Praise
What do I do if I have an urgent prayer request and the church office is not open?
Call Larry Rutledge (256-350-1269), Lois House (256-351-9363) and ask for the request to be added to the FBC Prayer Chain.
Offering & Offering Envelope Information
How do I receive offering envelopes?
Offering envelopes are mailed to individual member’s homes on a quarterly basis. Requests for new envelopes with our envelope service can only be made at certain times during a quarter, so it could take up to 3 months before you receive your personally imprinted envelopes. Until they arrive you should find a supply of temporary envelopes in your New Member Bag. Additional envelopes may be obtained from the church office, or in the pew racks.
Where do I give my offering?
Offerings are accepted at the church anytime. On Sundays, you may turn it in during the Sunday School hour (see your class or department secretary), place it in the offering plates passed during the worship services or drop it by the church office after the service.
If I am absent on Sunday, where do I turn in my offering?
You may bring your offering by the church office during the week or you can mail it to the church.
Online giving is available on web site.
How do I get contribution records?
Contribution statements are printed on a quarterly basis. They are available in the Garden Foyer on or after the 20th of the month following the end of a quarter (ex. 1st quarter would be available @ April 20th.) The charitable Tax Report (or Year-End Statement) serves as the 4th quarter statements and will be available by January 31st.
Information about Different Ministries
How do I join the Worship Choir or the FBC Orchestra?
It's easy! For the choir, there is NO audition. Many in our choir are not "trained soloists" and some do not even "read music." For the Orchestra, we do ask that you come and visit with the Director and determine your level of skill before beginning to play. Being in the choir and orchestra is a great way to worship the Lord, build relationships with others and use the gifts God has blessed you with to serve Him. All you need to do is visit a rehearsal on Wednesday evenings, Orchestra is at 7:00 pm in the Worship Center and the Choir meets at 7:00 pm in the Music Suite. This is located on the second floor. You'll feel right at home! Come and check us out! Childcare is provided.
How do I find a Sunday School class that’s right for me?
There are many options for small group Bible studies. Our Sunday School is age-graded, so you can find a class where you can relate to people your own age. Find the “Sunday Bible Study Directory” Sunday School brochure in your New Member’s bag or on the information boards around the church. Sunday School classes are listed by age groups. Select a class that you believe fits you and go from there. You may visit any of the classes that fit your age group until you find a class where you feel at home. Feel free to check with the Welcome Center Hosts at the ROC entrance for assistance.
How do I join a Sunday School class?
There are no requirements, just a desire to do so. All you have to do is check the “new member” box on the Sunday School Registration Form. Just mention this to someone at the Welcome Center desk, or your Sunday School department or class secretary.
How do I find out more about the Recreation Ministry and what it has to offer my family?
Information is printed in The First Word. You may call the Recreation Center at 256-353-0272 for any questions.
What are the ROC hours?
Monday, Tuesday Thursday & Fridays: 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesdays:6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
How do you contact the ROC?
You can contact the ROC by using three avenues.
Phone Numbers - the direct ROC number is 353-0272 or through the church office by calling 256-353-7399 extension 146.
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you join The ROC?
Stop by the ROC reception desk and complete the appropriate ROC membership card. A $5.00 picture ID will need to be taken at that time. FBC ROC memberships are for the duration of your membership with First Baptist.
How do I register for a ROC recreation activity?
All recreational activities have registration forms available at the ROC desk.
Registration forms are necessary for accurate communication and activity enrollment. Registration forms may also be mailed to you by calling the ROC at 256-353-0272. Completed registration forms should be returned to the ROC desk.
How do I get involved in discipleship?
Discipleship opportunities include:
Woman to Woman – Tuesdays @ 9:30 a.m. during school year
Men’s Bible Study – Thursdays @ 6:30 a.m.
Look for discipleship offerings and descriptions in The First Word, Sunday bulletin, and on the church web site.
What is “Every Member in a Ministry” and how can I get involved?
FBC believes the Bible teaches that God equips people to use their gifts, talents and abilities to serve. Every member of FBC is expected to serve in at least one of the over sixty ministries of the church. See the “How to Get Involved in a Ministry” brochure for more information.
What is WOW jr. Worship?
WOW Jr. Worship is in essence Children’s Church for four and five-year-old preschoolers. It is held in the Library wow stage on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month.
What is Wow Worship?
Wow Worship is in essence Children’s Church for children through 1st - 4th grades in the Wow Theater at 10:30. It is a voluntary option for children halfway through the general church worship. It is only offered on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sundays so that children can take part in the entire worship with their families on the 4th and 5th Sundays.
What programs are offered for my preschoolers or elementary aged child?
The school year calendar and summer calendar vary; but, general yearly programming is broken down to where each grade/age is in their own class. The following is a typical schedule.
School Year (fall)
Wednesday: 6:00-7:00 pm Choir (3 year old – 4th Grade)
Childcare is always available for preschoolers younger than the ages mentioned.
What is Extended Teaching Care?
Extended Teaching Care is our volunteer ministry where we teach and care for our Babies through Three Year Old during the corporate Sunday morning worship times (8:30 & 11:00 a.m.). We encourage all parents of children within this age to help in this ministry as well as any other church members who enjoy serving families by taking care of their children while they worship. The commitment is only once every two months. Contact Sara Lasnford to sign up for this ministry.
When is childcare offered?
Childcare for preschool age children (birth – 4 years) is available on Sunday mornings during the following times:
Sundays during 9:15 a.m. worship
Sundays during Sunday School ( 10:30 a.m.)
Wednesday nights 700 p.m. – Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal
Is there mid-week services?
Wednesday night’s Bible Study begins at 6:00 pm in the WorshipCenter.
What is IMPACT Wednesday Night Bible Study?
IMPACT is two things. It is the name for FBC Student Ministries and it is the name of the Wednesday night Bible study for Middle and High School Students.
What is the IMPACT Wednesday Night Bible Study like?
IMPACT is high energy. Each week there is something surprising or different – it may be a crazy game or special guest. There is a student praise band that leads in worship. Students are encouraged to share testimonies about what God is teaching them. The “Talks” are relevant to a student’s life and include subjects like self-esteem, family relationships, peer pressure, dating, and friendships. IMPACT begins at 5:45 pm and ends at 7:00 pm. and meets in the Loft (ROC Room 308.)
What is Church Street Academy Preschool?
Church Street Academy is the early childhood weekday education program of First Baptist Church. The program is designed to serve children ages 6 weeks-four years and their families. The Infant Nursery portion of the program caters to the needs of our youngest children (six weeks-one year) with lots of songs, stories and TLC! Children then begin our structured preschool curriculum where fun is guaranteed! A walk through our facility may find children reading A Snowy Day in their classroom, "ice fishing" in the social studies lab, painting with icicles in art or waddling like a penguin in P.E.! While each area of our curriculum is important, our major mission is to ensure that each child understands that he/she is uniquely created and loved by God! For more information, please call 256-350-9086.
What is the Church Street Academy Kindergarten?
Church Street Academy is the half-day kindergarten sponsored by First Baptist Church and held on the FBC campus. We opened Church Street Academy in the fall of 2002 with one kindergarten class. This program offers age appropriate kindergarten curriculum as well as music, art, Spanish, chapel and computer classes. Your kindergarten age-child will love Church Street Academy. Registration begins around February each year and is on a first come first served basis. Contact Teresa Letson for more information.
What is the River City Christian Academy?
RCCA is a “cover school” for families who are home schooling their children. Alabama law requires that a home schooling family must be part of a “cover school”. Home schooling families who are a part of this Academy need not be a member of First Baptist. RCCA is a great place for your family to meet other home schooling families in the surrounding areas. As a network, the students are connected with enrichment activities, offered facilities within the First Baptist campus (ROC) and given a safe place to hold meetings, tests, and other organizational courses. Contact Suzy Baggett for more information.
What is the Preteen Ministry and who is a part of it?
Our Preteen Ministry is called FIX 56. The passage from Hebrews 12:2 tells us to FIX our eyes on Jesus and that is the mission for FIX 56. This ministry is for 5th and 6th graders and most of their events happen in room 231. Some of the activities that are designed especially for them are a Mystery Dinner, Triple Header, Crosspoint, Sunday Nights After Church, and tons more. For more information on this ministry, contact Kristy Knight.
Does FBC have a Singles Ministry?
Yes, we have a singles ministry for every single adult age group. Single adults are both never married and single again. We offer Sunday School classes and events for the following age groups:
College (18 – 22)
Singles 20+ 1 (23 – upper 40”s)
Singles 2 (upper 40’s – 50 something)
What is the School of Fine Arts?
The School of Fine Arts is a ministry of FBC. Its purpose is to provide quality instruction in music, visual arts and dance/creative movement. All lessons are taught from a Christian perspective. The use of a variety of traditional and modern teaching methods encourages students in developing their skills and God-given talents.
What kind of classes and lessons are offered by the School of Fine Arts?
Offerings include class instruction in Art (1st-5th grades), Dance – Creative Dance, Ballet Pointe, Tap and Jazz, Modern/Liturgical Dance (4 years – adult), Piano (5 years – adult), Musikgarten (3 months – 6 years), and private instruction in voice, piano, pipe organ, violin, viola, guitar, banjo, and electric bass. Call Vickie Allaway (ext. 111) for the current Fine Arts offerings.
Who may enroll in the School of Fine Arts?
The lessons and classes are available to any child or adult desiring to begin or continue study. Instruction is adapted to the student's age and experience. Membership at First Baptist Church is not a requirement.
Is there a lost and found?
Yes. If found, items such as purses, glasses, watches, keys, jewelry and etc. are usually turned into the church office and kept at the receptionist’s desk. Other items such as Bibles and larger items are stored in the “Lost and Found” bin in the Lay Ministry Workroom across from the church library on the first floor of Old Education Building.
Can I get copies of Sunday’s messages?
Messages can be downloaded weekly on the church’s website.
I know people who are prospective church members’ - what do I do?
You can do one of the following:
Call the church office and share the information
How do I get a name tag?
Use the tear off on the Sunday bulletin and put it in the offering plate. indicate the name(s) to be used and the location where you would like to keep your name tag(s). New tags are usually ordered each week.
I have trouble finding a parking space on Sundays, what do I do?
For the best solution, use the First Shuttle (see a description of First Shuttle below) or check the Wilson Street/Hwy. 20, Oak Street/Hwy 20 parking lots. We also own the strip of land between the brick house and apartment building on Wilson Street/Hwy. 20, next to the Oak Street corner lot.
What is the First Shuttle?
First Shuttle is a ministry that saves people the hassle of trying to find a parking space on Sunday mornings. The First Shuttle Ministry uses two 15 passenger mini-buses that run on Sunday mornings starting 8:30 a.m. and ending 11:45 a.m. You can park anywhere on Bank Street (one block NE of the church) and the shuttle will pick you up at your vehicle, drop you off under the portico on Canal Street, pick you up at the same location, and drop you off at your vehicle.
What’s the rule on the on-street parking
Sunday A.M. & P.M. – angle parking on Church & Oak Streets, parallel on all others
Wednesday P.M. – angle parking on Church & Oak Streets, parallel on all others
Weekdays – parallel parking on Church, Oak and all other streets
Decatur Police will ticket those not following these guidelines. Reverse parking is not allowed at anytime.
Do you offer daily devotional guides?
Yes, we offer the following devotional guides:
Our Daily Bread
Journey (for women)
Stand Firm (for men)
The guides are available in the Church Street and Garden foyers, and the hallway outside the church office.
Who do I call about…?
Finances: Terri Howard Ext. 106
Church Calendar: Ext. 100
ROC & Recreation Ministry: Stephen Mishalanie Ext. 140
Music:Vickie Allaway Ext. 108
Sunday School:Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
Ministries: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
Hospitals: Ext. 100
Student Ministry: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
Church St. Academy Preschool: Teresa Letson Ext. 123
Preschool: Sara lansford Ext. 157
Children: Suzy Baggett Ext. 145
First Word: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
School of Fine Arts/Musikgarten: Ginny Matherly Ext. 118
FBC Website: Stephen Mishalanie Ext. 140
Media Library: Ext. 114
Pastoral Needs: Suzy Baggett Ext. 145
Children’s Choir: Elizabeth Carter Ext. 110
Fine Arts: Ginny Matherly Ext. 118
Nursery: Sara Lansford Ext. 157
Single Adults: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
Senior Adults: Suzy Baggett Ext. 145
Church Street Academy Kind.: Teresa Letson Ext. 112
FIX 56:Suzy Baggett Ext. 145
Missions: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105
Home School Program: Debbie Bishop Ext. 105