Technology

As we increase in-person worship and LifeGroups, we will continue to offer our worship services online. We will post our Sunday morning worship services by 11:00 a.m. so that all who are not able to be present in person will be able to participate with us from wherever they happen to be. This will be a great convenience for those who are unable to attend church in person.

This will be a great temptation for those who are able to attend church in person. The past couple of months have included getting around later and watching the service over brunch for many members of First Baptist Church. As a family, or with a few friends, much of our church has remained somewhat connected by watching the same sermons and listening to the same songs. What a blessing technology has been during these days.

What a curse technology may become if it substitutes for personal interaction with others and service in the local church. What we have done while flattening the curve qualified at the time for “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” as mentioned in Hebrews 10:25. Watching online, while physically able to attend worship in person, limits opportunities to be blessed and to be a blessing.

One of the fears I have as your pastor is that many have “gotten out of the habit” of coming to church and may never again get into the habit. Streaming the services online does not help this potential problem. However, I feel like the choice to attend church in person must be made by each of us. I can only make that choice for myself.

I am grateful to God and to all of those who have done their part, that we will be moving to phase 3 in Oklahoma very soon. Our participation and service will not be determined by government mandate but by personal choice. I have read some discouraging predictions that it may take years to get back to the levels of attendance that existed before the corona virus came. I pray they are wrong.

By all means, do not risk your health or the health of your family to attend worship and life groups in person. By the same token, do not opt for livestream worship while you are cooking sausage after sleeping in on Sunday and consider yourself to be “all in” for Jesus.  

We need to be together, Earl


Please read Acts 7:1-60 before coming to church. Earl will not read the text during the sermon.


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Stephen’s Final Sermon” Acts 7:1-60
  • Family Worship on May 31, Saturday at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Doors will open 15 minutes before each service. No Nursery or Childcare or LifeGroups
  • Family Worship in June, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Childcare and LifeGroups TBA
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Allie Johnson

Do Something

Due to the generosity of some friends, Nancy and I were given access to pick up large, paper shelled pecans from under a huge tree on Custer. We had already picked up many from John Stevenson’s trees that were shelled and in the freezer. Still, we have learned that, when it comes to pecans, we better make hay while the sun shines. Most years are not so bountiful. One day I came home and discovered that Nancy had filled a fairly large sack with those large, paper shelled pecans. She likes to get things done. I am glad she does.

Our plan was to drop the pecans off to be cracked at a business in Hobart when we went for a visit with extended family. After getting them cracked, we would sort through them and add to our stash in the freezer. It wouldn’t take long and wouldn’t cost much. Then the coronavirus arrived, and we put all trips to Hobart on hold. The sack of pecans sat and waited. So did we.

To help pass the time, I decided to shell some of the pecans with the old hand held hullers Nancy inherited from her dad. I had not used them in years. They still worked! I limited each pecan hulling session to two double handfuls. While I hulled the pecans on the back patio, the dogs begged for a few, and I shared. Nancy joined the fun. Slowly, but surely, the bulging sack slimmed down. Eventually it was empty and our freezer was fuller.

If I had opted to continue doing nothing because I was waiting on the big thing, the pecans would still be in the sack. Doing something always accomplishes more than doing nothing. Most of life’s successes happen slowly but surely, rather than one and done. I heard my daddy tell workers who were standing around, “Do something, even if it’s wrong!” I don’t necessarily agree with his statement, but I do believe there is always something we can do to make things better.

Never overlook what you can do by anticipating what you might do. An entire sack of pecans can be hulled, a couple of handfuls at a time. An entire life will be lived, one day at a time. Make the most of every day.

I love you, Earl


Family Worship Reopening Attendance

  • Saturday, May 16, 5:00 p.m. 93
  • Sunday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. 153
  • Sunday, May 17, 10:30 a.m. 50

FBC Happenings

  • Family Worship on May 31, Saturday at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Doors will open 15 minutes before each service. No Nursery or Childcare or LifeGroups
  • Family Worship in June, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Childcare and LifeGroups TBA
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Thanks For Your Prayers

As we anticipate meeting in the Worship Center this weekend, I have to admit that I do not know what to expect. We have added a service on Saturday evenings at 5:00 p.m. to allow for smaller groups each of the three times we worship. What if only a few people show up? What if lots of people show up, and we don’t have enough seats to be physically distanced? What if many people have discovered that they enjoy eating breakfast in their boxers while watching church online?

For the last eight weeks I have been preaching into a camera with a couple of people in attendance making sure the videoing goes as planned. I have preached in many locations and have actually learned to enjoy doing so. The more comfortable I became with the format, the longer my sermons grew. Sorry about that. It was a unique opportunity that I hope you found to be encouraging. After that one time when I felt what seemed to be a tick crawling up my leg, I don’t think I will ever be distracted by anything inside the Worship Center again.

As we come together, let me assure you that I will not become frustrated with anyone who stays away for a while. I do not take this situation personally. We will continue to offer online worship so that no one misses out on anything. I also assure you that I am not going to preach anything but the Bible. I pastor all of you who are members of First Baptist Church. Views about this corona virus vary widely among many of you. I get that, and I love you all. We all want to save lives and meet needs. That comes with being a follower of Jesus.

We cannot guarantee when LifeGroups for adults and children will return. We have to wait and see where we are as a state. For now, we will offer family worship in the Worship Center on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. You are welcome at any service. However, if you are willing to come on Saturday at 5:00 p.m., please do so. That service will probably be the smallest. On Sunday, if possible, come to the service you usually come to. Thanks for your prayers. We are in this together with God, who is never surprised or overwhelmed.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Proclaiming God’s Word” Acts 6:1:7
  • Family Worship on the weekends of May 24 and May 31, Saturday at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Doors will open 15 minutes before each service. No Nursery or Childcare or LifeGroups
  • Family Worship in June, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Childcare and LifeGroups TBA
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Re-opening Soon

The last time we met together for regular Sunday morning worship was March 15. Can you believe it has been that long? We are so grateful that God has shown mercy to western Oklahoma, and taking the measures that our state implemented, the spread of COVID-19 has slowed in our state.

As a staff, we are implementing plans to re-open for public worship and eventually other activities here at First Baptist Church.

During the month of May, our service will continue to be posted online at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. In addition to this, beginning the weekend of May 16-17, live worship services will be offered in the Worship Center. Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. We are offering three services to further spread out for those who can attend.

Special notice to our senior members and others who may be immune compromised: We long to see you again in worship.  However, the “Open Up and Recover Safely” guidelines from Governor Stitt’s office urge seniors to stay home for now.

In order to protect everyone, we will be implementing the following procedures for anyone who will be attending in person:

¨ We recommend that you wear a mask but it will not be required.

¨ Sanitize your hands before entering the building (hand sanitizer will also be available on site.)

¨ Everyone must practice “Physical Distancing” by maintaining appropriate distance (6 feet) between people. FAMILIES may sit together, but family units and individuals must maintain physical distancing. 

¨ No childcare will be available until further notice.

¨ No hugging or shaking hands for the time being. A wave will have to do for now.

¨ FBC will also be implementing strong cleanliness and sanitization practices; and will be cleaning and disinfecting common areas like bathrooms and doors frequently.

¨ Entry doors will be propped open.

¨ If you have a cough or fever, please do not attend.

We want to encourage LifeGroups to continue to meet remotely until the time we can all be back together. Our prayer is that it will be soon!

Finally, as you know, all the plans are subject to changing circumstances. We will keep you informed. We are so grateful to be one step closer to “Reunion Sunday!”

We love you and are praying for you all, FBC Staff


FBC Happenings:

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • Sundays Sermon “Elizabeth – Mother of John the Baptist” Luke 1:5:7; 57-66; 80
  • Night of Prayer on Wednesday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. on the East steps of the Worship Center. Seeking God’s favor as we prepare to meet together.

God’s Enabling Grace

Some opportunities in life are forced upon us when we least expect them. Many people will not trust God until they have to. As long as they can continue to make things happen without Him, they will. Eventually, they come to the end of their rope and must trust Him, for there is no other option. At that point they find Him to be more than adequate for the need they face. God always supplies our needs.

I experienced His enabling grace as I preached this Easter’s sermon. I was scheduled to meet Brennan north of town at 6:45 a.m. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. I had a quiet time, walked the dogs, and looked over the sermon. That is when I realized that I had left my “preaching Bible” at the church. With time somewhat short, I opted to use the well-worn, hardback Bible I read from in the mornings.

Breakfast went rather quickly, giving me time to run by the church and get my “preaching Bible.” I stopped by, grabbed my Bible, and headed out to wait for the sun to peak over the horizon. That is when I remembered that I had left my sermon notes in the aforementioned hardback Bible. I thought of Dr. Fasol, my preaching professor, who had always encouraged us to eventually preach without notes.

“There is great freedom in preaching without notes,” he would often say.

I felt anything but freedom. Had the situation been different, I could have gone back to the house. However, the sun’s trek has only been interrupted a couple of times in the history of the world. This was not going to be the third. I went over the sermon outline in my head a few times as Brennan finalized the camera and light set up.

When Brennan pointed at me, I looked into the camera and started preaching. I didn’t have to worry about the notes blowing in the wind. I didn’t have to concentrate on not looking down. I just preached, and it seemed to go well. I was reminded again of the fact that God enables us to do all that He asks us to do – even when we forget our notes.

Philippians 4:13, Earl


FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Doing Our Part” Acts 5:12:42

Watching and Waiting

They watched and waited while I worked. Freckles and Duke positioned themselves on the concrete inside the gate on the south side of our house. They peered through the decorative iron gate (made by Bryce Murphy many years ago) and barked not a word. Still, I knew what they wanted. Quail season had ended a couple of weeks earlier, and they longed for me to take them to a field where they could run like the wind.

Nancy had been gone most of the week and was scheduled to return in the afternoon. I was doing my best to complete the early annual yard work before noon. I cut back plants. I removed the aging knockout roses that seemed to have more thorns than blooms last year. I moved a couple of bushes and watered them in. I relocated some granite rocks and the sign that accented them.

The greatest challenge I faced was getting the old lawnmower and weed eater to start. Eventually they did, and I cut back the monkey grass in anticipation of spring growth. The blister I created on my right index finger was the only injury from the morning. I loaded up all the trimmings into my truck and hauled them off. When I returned, Freckles and Duke were still staring at me with those hope-filled eyes. What they wanted, only I could provide. They were helpless to help themselves.

I thought about my relationship with God. There are many times when I watch and wait while He works. I run out of words to say and actions to take as I feel helpless to help myself. God does a great job of running the world, and I watch in awe as He takes care of things. It is just that the things I am seeking don’t seem to happen. I refuse to whine because He provides so much for me. Still, it would be nice if He answered my prayer.

I went inside and ate a quick snack before throwing the dog box in the back of the truck. Joyful howling began. They were still watching. As soon as I opened the gate, they sprinted toward the garage, where I loaded them up before taking them for a run. We had a great time. I did for them what they could not do for themselves. God does the same for us.

Keep watching and waiting, Earl  


FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Hypocrites In The Church” Acts 4:36 – 5:11

The Foot That Walks You

Freckles pulled over into the grass. I paused so she could squat and relieve herself. Our walks always include multiple stops so she and Duke can mark their territory and let all the other dogs know that they have been in the neighborhood. Most of our journey occurs in the darkness as we make our way around town each morning. Duke has to “cover up” each mark that Freckles makes. He is not a very good shot.

I was made keenly aware of this fact when Freckles jumped up to give me a hug. As I gave her a few pets before we continued our trek, I felt moisture on the toe of my shoe. The porous mesh had done little to deter Duke’s errant attempt to leave his mark on top of Freckles’. I told him to quit and asked him what in the world he thought he was doing. He just jumped up to receive a few pets. I gave them.

As we made our way eastward, I had a thought. “Don’t be peeing on the foot that walks you!” It is a bit like “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” but a bit cruder. Sorry about that. Duke should have paid closer attention to encourage, rather than insult his master who always gets up early and takes him and his aunt for an extended walk. When someone treats you in a positive manner, it is smart to shower them with praise rather than…well, you know.

We should shower praise on God at all times for the good things He has done for us and the many blessings He has given us. We need to be intentional and specific as we tell Him what we are grateful for. We must never offend Him with our errant, negative statements. Paying attention goes a long way toward enabling us to consistently express gratitude to God.

The old hymn says it well: “Count your blessings, name them one by one Count your blessings, see what God hath done. Count your blessings, name them one by one And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” 

Let us be sincerely grateful and obviously thankful for the good things we have received from God.

Nancy washed my shoe, Earl 

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “The Heart of a Lion” Acts 4:23-34

Perfect Peace

We are surrounded by multiplied opportunities for anxiety. Our relationship with Jesus makes peace a daily possibility but not a daily guarantee. God’s promises become our possessions when we appropriate them to our lives by faith. When we choose to believe, claim, and apply the promises of God to our own lives, they become real for us in daily living.       

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” God’s people sang this truth about God’s peace in Isaiah 26:3. Notice that the peace is not partial but perfect. The peace is not occasional but constant. The peace is not corporate but individual. The peace is not manufactured by people but maintained by God.

As God’s people, we must do our part to know perfect peace as we live day by day. We must stay our mind on God. That means we must choose to fill our minds with thoughts of God’s goodness, provision, and protection. We must focus on God not circumstances. It is fine to be aware of the world around us while keeping our minds stayed on God – trusting in Him. However, if we are only casually aware of God’s presence while staying our minds on the circumstances of life, we will not experience perfect peace.

If individuals rivet their eyes to the news, as it breaks twenty-four hours each day, they will experience the anxiety of the world not the peace of God. Those who constantly check their dinging phones for the latest negative news will suffer more and more anxiety not because their circumstances are overwhelming but because their minds are not stayed on God.

These are tough days. The spread of the Coronavirus has surpassed most expectations. People are dying. Health care workers are stretched to the limit, as are health care facilities. Many are losing their jobs. Many have lost much from their retirement accounts. Churches are unable to meet together. Schools have gone to remote learning. Things are tense. People are hurting and afraid of what the future holds. I understand and so does God.

Still, in the midst of these tough times, we can know the peace of God that passes all understanding. This, too, will pass. Something else will take its place. There will always be something to worry about. Thankfully, there will also be God, in Whom we can trust and upon Whom we can stay our minds.

I love you, Earl

Happy Easter

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Easter’s Dawn” Luke 24:1-12

We Can’t Fix It

I stopped by for a visit. She has been a widow for a few years. We talked about a multitude of things. I have always felt comfortable in their home, which is now her home. She paused before she commented on an issue that came up. I leaned in to hear what she had to say. When a godly woman, approaching her tenth decade on earth, has an insight to share, it is always good to listen.

“We can’t fix it.”

She continued to explain that many challenges in life had been far beyond her ability to fix them. She had no specific situation in mind. It had been her experience through the decades that God was the One who did the fixing while she patiently waited on Him to work.

Actually, that was part of the problem. She had not always been successful in waiting patiently for God to work. She mentioned how she tended to go down the “worry trail” of potential issues that might arise. I thought of myself when she mentioned being able to imagine all kinds of pain and hurt that would eventually be a reality if nothing changed.

“I just give it to God and trust Him.”

She laughed and confessed that she was not always successful in doing so. She did mention some specific situations she was currently praying about and trusting God with. Challenging issues never cease to travel with us as we journey through life. Neither does God. He remains faithfully devoted to His people. So, we wait on His timing while trusting His love, insight, and power.   

As we cast our cares on Him, He replaces our anxiety with His peace. He replaces our worry with His courage. He replaces our fear with His hope. He replaces our sadness with His joy. Only God can fix it. He will only fix it if we relinquish control of the issues and of our lives to Him. There will always be things in life that need to be fixed. We serve a God who can fix anything. Trust Him to fix things for you as you rest in Him without worrying about the future.

I love you, Earl  


FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM, The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Barabbas – Prisoner Set Free” A Dramatic Monologue Matthew 27:15-25

Never Quit

“Lynn said, “That is more than I got.’”

Nancy had just finished talking with our daughter late on Friday afternoon. I could only hear half of the conversation as I sat in the recliner and rested up from another wonderful day of quail hunting that included more walking than birds. We had quit early after logging only a little over eight miles. We ended up with three quail. I had heard Nancy telling Lynn that we had not done very well. Lynn’s response put some perspective on the situation.

Even though we had little to show for our efforts, we had something to show for our efforts. If we had stayed home and talked about the good ole’ days, we would not have found a bird. If we had convinced ourselves that since it was a down year we shouldn’t even waste our time walking, we would have missed out on the memories that accompany us every time we drop the tailgate and let the dogs out. We didn’t get many, but we got more than we would have gotten if we had never left the house. Three is not the same as twenty, but it is more than zero.

Some Christians convince themselves that they will never reach anyone for Christ, so they quit sharing their faith and quit serving their Lord. They may reminisce about the good ole’ days when people were being saved more frequently and ignore the neighbor across their street who needs Jesus today. They give up before they start. Jesus has commissioned us to be His witnesses and allow Him to determine whom He saves. No encounter with any person guarantees they will respond positively to Jesus. The only thing guaranteed is that if we never sow the seed of the gospel a harvest of souls will never be reaped.

We must position ourselves so that God can use us to reach people for His glory. We are simply doing our jobs of meeting needs, building bridges, sharing truth, and serving in the church. The results of those actions are up to God. Salvation is of the Lord! Obedience is up to us! Just because we see less results from our labors is no reason to take a leave of absence. We are laborers in God’s vineyard and must never quit doing our jobs. We will never know if we never go.

Your labor is never in vain, Earl


FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM, The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Waiting On Heaven” II Peter 1:1-11