The law of the harvest is simple: “God makes things grow.” However, God gives His people the joy of being a part of the harvest by leading them to plan, give, share, equip and go. Certainly, the people who started First Baptist Church in 1850 in no way could have anticipated how their faithfulness in following God’s leading to plant would grow into what we see today. The roots go back even further to around 2000 years ago when eleven disciples discov-ered an empty tomb. Ironically, the first members here in 1850, eleven to be exact, chose to plant a seed known as Hickory Grove Church some three miles north of what we know today as First Baptist Church.
For 158 years, the seasons of planting and harvesting have continued at FBC. God has never waivered in the vision He has given our body to be known in Tupelo as a church taking the Lead of Jesus…letting Him lead and empower us by His indwelling Spirit and using us a servant people on mission to Tupelo, Lee County, the region and world. Following Him to share the gospel with our community and help them become passionate followers of Jesus Christ, God has led this body through many seasons of planting and harvests. Often this has involved faithfully sharing what God has given us to build a campus to reach people…moving to the current location in 1861, rebuilding after a tornado and then fire, and adding space to reach more.
After much prayer and discernment, God is once again leading this body into a time of planting and preparing for the harvest. Countless thousands have heard the Gospel, been saved, discipled, and equipped to go because of the seeds planted in this campus over the years. Now God is leading us to sacrificially invest in our campus to plan for the harvest of the future generations. God is leading us to plant by:
• Creating a centralized welcome and gathering space, allowing families to feel connected even when engaged in age-individualized areas thus creating community. The community connection will create space where the First Family can engage all ages in connecting with each other.
• Increasing space for the First Family to gather and worship in both the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall with room for growth. Additional and renewed space will also be provided for small group discipleship and grow groups of all ages as the three phases are completed. Visionary leadership will continue to allow the First Family to remain vibrant and healthy while preparing for those yet to come.
• Enlarging the parking lot to provide additional parking spaces, enhanced safety and convenient access through a series of connecting walkways which will lead to a centralized area. Key entry points to these areas where the church family can connect in community will be identified.
The need for these is perhaps the greatest in the history of the First Family; and yes, the ability to plant, nurture and reap the harvest is much greater than our own human ability. The planting, nurturing and harvesting will require an effort beyond our human ability and resources beyond our current limits. However, we acknowledge that the resources of the Heavenly Father are still in abundance. Lord, we depend completely upon you in this season of planting; and, Father, may we be faithful to plant and prepare this family of faith for the Harvest!
Will you join your First Family in helping plant the seeds for those yet to come?