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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I am

I’m writing this article on the Sunday after we at FBC had the honor of calling the Rev. Brittany Krebs to be our Minister of Music and Youth.  It was a wonderful weekend filled with amazing fellowship and dialogue and worship and singing and bowling and laughter and food and, of course, the opportunity to welcome Brittany and Kyle into the FBC family.

After leading us in worship through music on Sunday morning, Brittany preached beautifully during the Modern Vespers service that evening.  She preached on the call of Moses from Exodus 3, emphasizing the significance of the name of God.  She spoke of how “I am that I am” in Hebrew has no verb tense, that it could be translated numerous ways such as “I will be what I will be.”  The point being that God is not limited by time and situation, that God will be with us no matter where we go or what we do, and that that promise holds true not just for us, but for everyone.  And yet, at the same time, God is intimately concerned about each one of us.  Just as God knew Moses personally and called him by name, God knows us and calls each of us by name.

What an appropriate message given the fact that we had just called Brittany to come and serve with us, a call we all felt was a part of God’s call upon all of our lives.  But the appropriateness goes far beyond the situation at hand, for the reality, for both Brittany and us, is that we do not know all the future holds.   We need the “I am.”  We need a God who will hold us no matter what the future holds.  We are, of course, very excited and very hopeful, and rightly so.  If we will be faithful, God will no doubt bless our journey together.  But there will be challenges and struggles, too.   Just ask Moses.  There always are.

I was struck by a recent reading of Psalm 23.  What a text.   It is such a hope-filled testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of the “I Am.”   Indeed what makes it so powerful is that it does not deny the challenges of life—shadow of death, table full of enemies.  Man, that’s tough stuff.  And then it mentions being anointed.  God never anoints/calls anyone to a life of ease, but to mission and purpose and challenge.  (And God calls us all.  You good Baptists know that,  right?)  Maybe then that cup that overflows in Psalm 23 represents a life that is filled not just with milk and honey, but with an amazing mixture of all that a faithful life contains. What enables us to experience all of that and dare to live grace filled, abundant lives is the fact none of us ever does any of that alone.  God is with us.  God will never leave us.  God will be with us to enhance our joys, to calm our fears, to deepen our meaning, to enrich our fellowship, to challenge our complacency, to dry our tears, to lengthen our laughter, to guide our way.

I am that I am.   I will be what I will be.  We are all called.  We all dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Let us lean into that strong name, that strong promise, as we lean into the future together.  I can’t wait to see it!

Grace, David


This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the November edition of Together.
Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:00 AM
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