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“Worshipping from Home” by Dawn White

My name is Dawn White. I grew up at First Baptist Church and have so many fond memories of the church. My father, John Resor, was a fifty plus year member of the church. In fact the last time I was at the church was for his memorial service in 2006.

My father and mother, Annette, ran The Back Door when I was a teenager. The Back Door was a social space created for teenagers to gather in the basement of First Baptist in the early 1960s with live music and concessions. I worked at the concession stand on those nights. My father auditioned the bands and set their schedules to play and my mother greeted each teen at the back door of the church when they entered the building.

       

I was baptized in the church, married in the church, and our daughter was dedicated in the church. I taught a young girls Sunday School class for a couple of years, served as a Deaconess and after I married Dennis I taught a young adult Sunday School class that was called The Be Seeing You Class. I also taught Vacation Bible School for a few years. We had so many friends in the church and admired our Pastors who became a huge part of our lives. All those memories are so very precious to me.

My husband, Dennis, and I were members there until we moved to Battle Creek in 1979 due to a job change for Dennis. Our daughter Darycka was 1 year old at that time.
God has had us on a journey both spiritually and actually moving us around the Midwest since we left Jackson. Dennis was called to go to seminary, which he did. We moved to Dubuque, Iowa where he attended the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and received his Masters of Divinity in 1990.

Since that time we always did joint ministry together. We served as Youth Pastors for 5 years in Port Huron, Michigan, and after a year of time to reflect and pray we started a non-denominational church called Our Father’s House in Marysville, MI, which we served for 23 years.

God blessed us with so many other ways to do ministry also. We did marriage workshops in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada. Dennis had a lovely gift for music and played the piano and the keyboard. Dennis played and we sang together. We were chaplains for the Billy Graham Ministries and was sent to New Orleans to work for a period of time following Hurricane Katrina.

In 2014, I started noticing that Dennis was having some memory issues. After testing, he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. That caused us to close our business and move two years later to Holly to be closer to our daughter and her family. Dennis’ health has continued to deteriorate. He is still at home where I take care of him and he has a caregiver three times a week.

About three years ago I was struggling very hard with the feeling like I was not doing any ministry work and crying out to God about why and what he wanted me to do. One day as I cried out I heard God whisper to me, “You are doing my work taking care of my man Dennis and people are watching you.” I am doing my best to care for Dennis since then with a renewed love for the special man he is. May 17 was our 47th wedding anniversary. He still knows me and tells me daily that he loves me, which blesses my heart.

A few months ago I discovered that you have your worship services live on YouTube. I have so enjoyed watching, listening, and singing with you all. My heart just rejoices to be able to worship from home and I feel at home with you all while I do that. God just blesses my heart each Sunday morning at 10:00am. Thank you so much. I was looking for something, and it filled that connection. What a blessing!

“A few months ago I discovered that you have your worship services live on YouTube. I have so enjoyed watching, listening, and singing with you all. My heart just rejoices to be able to worship from home and I feel at home with you all while I do that. God just blesses my heart each Sunday morning at 10:00am.”

I have had a longing for over a month now to come back to visit First Baptist and go to the room where I gave my life to Christ as my Savior so many years ago. It is in the old part of the church upstairs. I was about 11 years old. It was about 1961, while the church was raising money to build the education building addition to the church. This longing to return to the church and that room has become so strong. I find myself weeping when I think about it and as I type now I can hardly see what I am saying as my eyes have filled with tears. I look forward to visiting Jackson and coming to church in person for a Sunday in July, to worship with you personally and to sit in the room where I gave my life to Christ.

May God’s blessings be on this church and its ministries.

 

 

 


This article appears in the June-July 2022 issue of the FBCJXN Magazine. If you’d like to sign up to receive a copy of our magazine in print or digitally, you can subscribe online.

Hosanna Manna

Entering the Promise

Whispers That You’re Not Alone

Disinfecting Spiritual Wounds

Backing Out of the Corner

Not by the Highway

Ash Wednesday: Worship in the Wilderness

Expanding On-Site Activities

Safety Update

FBC JXN values creating a safe place for worship and exploring faith together. Over the last year we have adapted our in-person activities according to the recommendations of scientists and local authorities. We’re encouraged by the continued scientific results about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines for reducing the spread of the virus and limiting the severity of symptoms for those who still get sick. We celebrate the doctors, scientists, and various professionals who have helped us move into a new season.

In conjunction with local and national recommendations, masks are now optional inside our church building for those who are vaccinated. With the improving health outlook, we hope you’ll consider joining us in person for worship if you have not done so already. Your presence brings encouragement and energy to those around you; we look forward to seeing you with us again.

We are grateful for your cooperation over the last year and continue to ask that you be considerate to those around you in our building who feel differing levels of comfort around continued mask wearing post-vaccination. We will continue to monitor state and national recommendations to ensure that our community is able to continue to worship safely.

Fellowship Hour Returns

We are glad to announce that our Fellowship Coffee Hour is returning this Sunday, May 23. There will be drink options available in the Fellowship Hall after the worship service. You’re invited to stay after worship for a chance to connect with others.

With the reopening of the Fellowship Coffee Hour, we are looking for help with preparing the drinks for the Fellowship Hall. If you’d like to help make our Fellowship Coffee Hour a time that facilitates community, please reach out to the church office by phone or email.

Pobst Hall

The chapel has been transformed into Pobst Hall and the major renovations are now complete. There are still a few finishing touches ahead, but the room is available for multipurpose use whenever we need it. The room now has comfortable movable seating, air conditioning, audio and visual infrastructure, new lighting, and more. We look forward to beginning to use the room for mission purposes throughout the week.

Nursery

We are looking for nursery workers who can support our children during worship. Nursery workers help our next generation learn to love church. If you or someone you know would like to work in the nursery, please reach out to the church office by phone or email.

Silent Night

The light of Christmas is not meant to be hidden inside church buildings. Enjoy our video of Silent Night, celebrating the light emerging in our city, Jackson. The video first appeared as the finale of our 2020 Christmas Eve service.

Events

Maundy Thursday

Worship with us at FBC JXN at 7pm on April 14 for our special Maundy Thursday worship. We will worship with music, reflection, and Scripture readings telling of Jesus’ faithfulness in the face of temptation. Through the music and reading of Scripture, you’re invited to reflect on your own faithfulness in following Jesus in the world today.
Join us for worship in person or online.

Easter Worship

Celebrate Easter hope with us at 10am. In a world filled with divided perspectives and headlines, we assemble around a common story of hope for today. Join us as we celebrate God, life, and hope.

The service will also be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube live.

We have other morning opportunities for Easter. Join us for a sunrise worship outside our church building along Cortland St. at 8am, followed by an Easter breakfast at 9am.

Easter Sunrise

Join us at 8am in downtown Jackson for our Easter Sunrise service. We will be gathered on the grass and sidewalk along Cortland St. adjacent to our church building. This is a 30 minute outdoor worship time with music, Scripture, and a brief reflection on Easter.

After the service, you are invited to join us in our church’s fellowship hall for an Easter breakfast.

In the event of bad weather or some other obstacle preventing us to meet outside, we will meet inside the church instead.

 

The site for the Easter Sunrise service, the grass along Cortland St. near the intersection with S. Jackson St.

 

Easter Worship – April 4, 2021

Celebrate Easter hope with us at 10am on April 4. After a difficult year, join us in celebrating the mystery of resurrection amidst death, the mystery of hope amidst despair, the mystery of life amidst death. The Easter message invites us to reflect on that hope which defies simple words. Let us hope that life might lift us up together.

In-person worship requires masks and social distancing. The service will also be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube live.

Good Friday Worship – April 2, 2021

Worship with us at FBC JXN at 6:30pm on April 2 for our special Good Friday service. We will worship with music, reflection, and Scripture readings telling of Jesus’ faithfulness in the face of violence. Through the music and reading of Scripture, you’re invited to reflect on your own faithfulness in following Jesus in the world today.
In-person worship requires masks and social distancing. The service will also be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube live.

Christmas Eve Service

We invite you to celebrate Christmas with us from the comfort of your home. Our Christmas Eve service will be pre-recorded for the safety of our community and to enable some special opportunities.

On Christmas Eve, join us online at 6pm for our Christmas Eve service filled with singing, scripture, and reflection. We have some special musical moments planned for our Christmas Eve service that we’re especially excited for. You’ll want to join us on time for Christmas Eve as some of our special surprises will be scattered throughout the service.

Visit our worship online page on Christmas Eve for updated links to the service on Facebook and YouTube.

For those who don’t have internet service, please reach out to the church office to receive a DVD of both services in advance so that you can worship with us at the same time as though worshiping online.

Sunday Morning Worship

Join us for our Sunday morning worship. Our worship service is currently in Pobst Hall with options for childcare during the service in the nursery. The service is also available online. For those who worship in person, there are Sunday School classes available after worship.

Easter Worship

This year, our Easter service will be a combined worship service of both our morning traditional service and our modern afternoon service. There will be great music, an uplifting message, and baptisms! The service will be held in the sanctuary. There will be childcare provided in the nursery, which is located on the second floor of our education building.

Easter Sunrise Service

Join us at 8am at Bucky Harris Park in downtown Jackson for our Easter Sunrise service. There will be time for songs and a brief reflection on Easter.

After the service, you are invited to join us in our church’s fellowship hall (2 blocks away from the park) for an Easter breakfast.

In the event of bad weather or some other obstacle preventing us to meet at Bucky Harris Park, we will meet at our church instead.