Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study


200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131

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FBC Signs of Life: Dreams of the Future

I am Carol Richardson and I have been a member of this church most of my life, so I have the advantage of AGE  as I share with you A SIGN OF LIFE from the perspective of a PAST, A PRESENT AND A FUTURE, which is before us. 

 Daring CHANGE is never easy.  It has never been easy for this church or any church.  Yet for the sake of a HOPEFUL FUTURE we will continue to struggle together to determine GOD’S PLEASURE in the midst of change. 

As I look first into our PAST as a church I remember several significant cataclysmic changes, which, in the end, all brought forth LIFE-GIVING AND UNANTICIPATED GIFTS

  • The first major change in my memory occurred with our move from the Linden/Lauderdale location to our present location here on the corner of Poplar and Parkway. There was SINCERE opposition…”we’re going too far east, abandoning the city,” some said.  “We don’t have the funds.  We’ll lose members”…all honest and heart-felt concerns. This was, for us as a church, the TRANSITION OF PLACE.  It required change and change is so often disquieting. Yet, this released a LIFE-GIVING ENERGY.

  • During the Civil Rights years, our doors were opened to all who would worship here.  There was opposition and even threats.  Again, we sensed a Divine call to CHANGE and change is never easy.  However, it was a LIFE-giving and COURAGEOUS DECISION.

  • During the 80’s we ordained our first WOMEN DEACONS and in 2001, we ordained our first FEMALE MINISTER…”Incompatible with sound Baptist doctrine and Scripture,” some said. However, we prayerfully studied and interpreted the scriptures, depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Change came but it was not easy, though it was again LIFE-GIVING and Right.  This is our PAST. 

THIS IS OUR THE PRESENT: Each one of us here has been given the GIFT OF ANOTHER DAY, THE GIFT OF THE NOW, the POWER OF THE PRESENT. 

During these Sunday’s of Spring/Eastertide, we have been called to open our eyes to SIGNS OF LIFE all around us. LOOK! We have…  

  • New Members/FAMILIES who have joined recently because they saw in us SIGNS OF LIFE even as we struggle to continue to CHANGE, seeking and wrestling with the Divine call of God’s Spirit.

LOOK! We have… 

  • NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES both within these walls as well as beyond, to effect a CITY that is also ever evolving and changing.                     

LOOK! We are experiencing… 

  • NEW WAYS OF CREATIVE WORSiHP, discovering and utilizing the unique GIFTS OF ALL OF US. This too herald’s our ability to CHANGE, to STRETCH BEYOND OUR COMFORT ZONES. 

Change is never easy but it is ALWAYS NECESSARY FOR THE SAKE OF A NEW AND FRUITFUL FUTURE, to effect the bringing of heaven to earth.  We are called, all of us, each of us, to continue our TRANSFORMATIVE INNER CHANGE both as individuals and as a CHURCH UNDER THE LIFE-GIVING guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT… 

 a call to WALK with one another,  

SPEAK PEACE to one another ,  

SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE each other in LOVE, 

 to SERVE one another and so many others out of our GIFTEDNESS, 

and to be part of the DIVINE SOLUTION.  

First Baptist, we are POISED TO MOVE INTO GOD’S FUTURE ripe with possibilities. BUT IT WILL TAKE ALL OF US, having NEW EYES and ENLIGHTENED HEARTS, while continuing to SEE life’s possibilities all around us.  It will take our collective and individual COMMITMENT TO PRAYER as well as our collective and individual WISDOM. It will certainly require a GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT toward one another and our undaunted willingness to SHARE UNSELFISHLY OF OUR RESOURCES to assure that A BRIGHT and PROMISING FUTURE CAN AND WILL BE OURS! 

God IS doing a new thing,   It is springing up all around us.  Don’t you perceive it?


These observations came from Rev. Dr. Carol McCall Richardson, a church member, as part of our Signs of Life Sermon Series.



Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:15 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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