Covid-19 Update

June 26, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

Since the beginning of March, we have closely monitored the COVID-19 situation in our area. During this time, we have made major changes to our worship schedule, office hours, cleaning routines, and church activities. We began returning to having in-person worship services on Sunday, May 31, and have now started having Sunday School again, with classes alternating Sundays to avoid crowding and less chance for personal contact.

On Monday afternoon, June 22, we learned that we had someone attend our 8:15 worship service and Sunday School who was having COVID-19 symptoms. This person and the members of their household were also having symptoms and got tested on Monday. The test results took several days to get back and as of 4 p.m., Friday, June 26, we have learned this person has tested positive for COVID-19.

We began contacting the members of this Sunday School class Monday afternoon to let them know of the possible exposure. Now that we have confirmation of the positive test results, we are encouraging each person in attendance with that Sunday School class to discuss this with their family doctor to determine if they wish to get tested. We are also asking all those in attendance of that Sunday School class to not return to church until Sunday, July 12, so as to allow for 14 days of quarantine, as per the CDC guidelines.

At this time, this is the only person in our church that we are aware of that has attended any of our recent church events with a positive COVID-19 test result. At this time, there is also no indication that anyone in any of our recent church events has contracted COVID-19 through contact at one of our church events. We plan to continue to have our worship services at 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and plan to continue to adhere to the CDC guidelines of practicing social distancing, wearing of face masks, regular cleaning before and after services and encouraging the use of sanitizing stations and washing hands. We plan to continue to closely monitor this situation, especially those in this particular Sunday School class. Please pay close attention to the following guidelines…

  • If you are having ANY symptoms possibly related to COVID-19, please STAY HOME and do not attend any church events
  • If you have recently had any significant health issues and feel your immune system has been compromised, please STAY HOME and do not return to any church events until you and your doctor believe it is best to do so.
  • We will continue to broadcast our worship services via the internet through our church website, Facebook page, Youtube channel, and Roku channel. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason attending worship at this time, please STAY HOME and do not feel you need to return any sooner than you are ready.
  • If you do choose to come on campus and worship with us, please be sure to adhere to the CDC guidelines and maintain social distancing. Facemasks are strongly encouraged and provided free of charge for your convenience. Use the sanitizing stations often and avoid personal contact.
  • We are asking all Sunday School leaders to have their temperature checked by the on-duty nurse in the Vestibule before Sunday School each week.

I realize these are strange and troubling times for all of us. Let’s continue to pray that the Lord will lead us, guide us, protect us, and heal us as we share these burdens together. Let’s also continue to lean into the peace that comes from our Lord. As it says in John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making,

Wade Leonard
Senior Pastor
Mauldin First Baptist Church

April 3, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

Below are several updates regarding our church in the midst of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. We anticipate these changes to remain in effect through April 30. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and make any adjustments that may come through the daily updates we are receiving from our government and medical leaders.

  1. Our Sunday worship services will continue to be broadcast online. Thus far, this seems to be working pretty well. We continue to see how we can make improvements. Special thanks go out to our Audio-Visual Tech Team as they are working very hard to make this happen. And you all have been so patient and so supportive of all our efforts. THANK YOU!
  2. We are planning a very special DRIVE IN EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 12! More details are coming, but we are getting really excited about this! We feel we can utilize our front parking lot so folks can come be “together” while still practicing safe social distancing. We’ll still use our technology to broadcast online, but you’ll be able to come and worship with us from the safety and comfort of your car. We will have our traditional service at 9:00 a.m., and our contemporary service at 11:00 a.m. Each service will last approximately 45 minutes. Activities for children will be provided. We will have a special time to share Communion (in manufactured self-contained packaging). We also plan to broadcast a Sunday School lesson at 10:00 a.m. (no drive-in). Should we experience inclement weather, we will broadcast from the sanctuary as we have done in recent days. But pray with us about this as it develops.
  3. We are reducing our office hours. While churches have not specifically been mentioned in regards to closings, we still feel we need to work with our community and country and take these guidelines seriously. So for the month of April, the church office will be open Monday –Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will be closed on Fridays. We plan for there to be at least one staff member in the office at a time. You can come by to drop off your offering, get Sunday School material, etc. However, we strongly recommend you sending in your offering by mail or utilizing giving online or through text if you feel comfortable doing so. If you need to stay in, please let us know and we can come by and pick up things for you or drop off whatever you need. Just let us know.
  4. Update on church finances. Fortunately, our church began the year with some extra cash due to your generous giving in 2019, as we finished ahead of budget. We used some of the overage to do some repairs and upgrades, such as painting our steeple and redoing our floors. But we also set some money aside to make up for a Sunday or two when we might have snow or ice. Who knew we’d be cancelling due to a virus! But so far, we are holding up very well. For the two Sundays that we have missed, we have seen our giving drop significantly, but then again, we have seen a strong increase in our online giving. Our church Finance Team met last week (via Zoom) to discuss the situation and we will continue to watch things closely. But we want to continue funding everything in our 2020 Ministry Plan, so please continue to give generously as you can.
  5. Stay connected! It’s hard to believe we’ve only been out of church for two Sundays so far. It feels a lot longer. I shared with someone the other day that I can hardly believe it, but I haven’t hugged or shaken hands with ANYONE in our church for close to a month now! As I preached recently, God made us to be together, but this pandemic is making that very difficult. But not impossible. We strongly urge you to remain faithful in connecting with each other as we worship together and in your small groups. While it made sense that we cancelled several activities during the last two weeks, it now looks as if this social distancing may continue through April and possibly beyond. I encourage you to find ways to connect with your Sunday School class and small groups. While we will continue to offer a group Sunday School lesson online, I recommend you give Zoom a try. A few of our groups have already tried this and it really isn’t that hard. You can meet during Sunday School or figure out the best time for you. Soon, I plan to give this a try for our Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. If you are on one of our leadership teams, try to connect soon and let’s keep things moving forward. And again, if you are in need, please reach out to us and let us know. So far, we haven’t had a lot of calls just yet, but this may increase as the impact the virus is having on our economy and unemployment increases. So we all need to be ready to help our brothers and sisters as the Lord enables us.

I’ve been involved in several meetings with church leaders via Zoom, and while we are all working on how we manage the challenges that come with leading the church during this pandemic, we all agree that staying connected as the church family is one of the most critical issues we face. The “stay at home” recommendations don’t have to mean “be alone”… Don’t fade from fellowship…Continue to contact the people in your small groups and let them contact you! It’s okay to ask for help. Continue to pray together. The Lord is going to bring us through this and He will continue to “work all things together for the good, for those called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Let’s keep doing what we are called to do as a church. Remember, “Mauldin First Baptist is a loving, multigenerational family where the love of God leads us to share Jesus, serve others and make new disciples.” Praying for you all today!

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making,

Wade Leonard

Senior Pastor Mauldin First Baptist

March 20, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

As we prepare to worship together online this Sunday, we want to make sure you have all the answers to your questions about how this will happen. Towards the end of this, you will see links to where you can watch online and how you can give your offering as well.

But first, a couple of reminders and suggestions…

  1. We will be following our “normal” schedule. I know, nothing seems normal right now, but our goal is for our worship experience to be as close as it can be to what we always do.  So, we will have traditional worship at 8:15 a.m., and contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m.  Both services will be “live” with live music and live preaching.
  2. I encourage you to engage in worship! Be sure to tune in on time. Don’t watch from the kitchen while you are doing dishes or listen in as you are folding laundry.  Sing along, join in the prayers, bring your Bible, gather the family and let’s worship together!  Here’s another tip:  prepare to give your tithe during worship. I will be sharing an offertory prayer and we will have music, just like we always do. So, I would suggest already having another web page open with the link all set or give on your phone via text. True, you can give anytime, but giving is an act of worship.  So, bring your offering this Sunday!
  3. Remember, we will also have a live broadcast of our Sunday School lesson at 9:30 a.m. Shirley Adams will be leading the lesson this Sunday, March 22 and Carlton Owen will be teaching on March 29.  So again, get your Bible and your Sunday School material and engage in the lesson.
  4. Invite friends to worship with you! I realize we are practicing social distancing, but as long as you aren’t breaking the 10+ rule, have some people over. Make breakfast. I imagine by Sunday a lot of folks will have “cabin fever” and would love to get out.  And whether it’s online or on campus, the same rule still applies: the #1 way people attend church is when they are invited by a friend. In fact, I’ll be preaching about why it’s important we gather as a church family.
  5. Stay in touch! During this time of self-quarantine, it will be very easy for a lot of our family to fade, or to feel unnecessary to our church family. So, call people!  Send notes, texts, emails. And if any one of you have needs, please let us know. During this crisis, for every person who has called with a need, I have at least 10 others who have called offering to help.  I’m so proud of our church family! Satan loves to scatter us, keep us apart. Being together during this time will be different, but I believe God works all things together for the good (see Romans 8:28) and I believe He is doing that now. So, I look forward to being “together” with you all this Sunday!

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making,

Wade

Links to Worship:

One can watch Sunday Worship Services “live” by any of the following methods:

  • The Mauldin First Baptist Roku Channel. This is the one we really recommend! Watching on the Roku Streaming Media Player allows one to watch services on your TV like the way you watch other streaming videos. Learn how to watch on the  Roku Streaming Media player.
  • To watch live on our website please visit our Live Stream under the Media link.
  • To watch us live on social media, visit the Mauldin First Baptist’s Facebook Page.
  • View our Sermon Outline for Sunday.
  • To give online visit our website by following these directions, or you can give via text. It’s easy! Just text “fbcmauldin” to 73256 and follow the links.

 

March 16, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

At Mauldin First Baptist, we continue to monitor this highly fluid and volatile situation regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation.  The information and updates from state, national and world leaders seems to be changing drastically by the hour, so it is difficult to keep up.  On March 16 at 2 p.m., several of our staff and leaders met to pray and discuss what changes we need to make to deal with this current crisis.  As many of you know, here in South Carolina, our Governor has closed our public schools until March 31.  And we also heard from the CDC recommendations discouraging groups of 50 or more from meeting together for the next several weeks.  And just this afternoon, the President and his advisors have said that for the next 15 days, it would be best for groups of 10 or more to not meet.

So based on the recent recommendations and latest information, Mauldin First Baptist is making the following changes between now and March 31:

Our worship services for Sunday, March 22 and March 29 will be live broadcast ONLY… no one will be allowed to attend except for worship leaders and audio-visual tech assistants and maintenance staff. Please watch for further communications regarding links where you can watch our services on Roku and on our Facebook page and church website.  We will continue with our regular worship schedule, broadcasting our traditional service at 8:15 a.m. and our contemporary service at 10:45 a.m.

This also includes having NO SUNDAY SCHOOL classes on these two Sundays.  Classes smaller than 10 may choose to meet together in their homes or other locations.  We also plan to broadcast a Sunday School lesson that you can tune in for beginning approximately at 9:45 a.m. for both Sundays.

This includes having NO CHOIR on these two Sundays for Sunday mornings, as well as NO CHOIR OR INSTRUMENTAL REHEARSALS those two Sunday nights.  We realize we are in the midst of rehearsals for our Easter musical, but at this time, we feel safety is the most important priority.

We will also have NO WEDNESDAY NIGHT prayer meeting and small group Bible studies on Wednesday, March 18 and March 25.  NO WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS.

Also…we WILL BE CHECKING ON OUR SENIOR ADULTS during this time, especially our homebound and assisted living members.  Our leaders are organizing efforts to be sure to contact each member directly and to see if we can assist them with any needs during this crisis.

Please continue to watch for updates and schedule information in the days ahead.  For questions, feel free to contact the church office.  And please continue to pray, for we serve a God of peace, a God who heals, and a God who hears the prayers of His people.

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making… and Trusting!

Wade Leonard
Senior Pastor

 

March 12, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

The emergence of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm.  While it still hasn’t risen to the level of other common sicknesses we deal with every day like the flu, our world leaders and health experts are urging us to make changes and take action steps to limit the spread of this virus.  Here’s what we’re doing at Mauldin First Baptist…

  1. We plan to continue with our regular schedule and gatherings. The safety of our church family is always of critical importance.  We constantly review and discuss how our people, our staff, our teachers and our students can reduce risk and be safer.  And we are always willing to have further discussions about how improvements can be made. While further developments with COVID-19 may lead to changing or limiting our gatherings, we plan to continue with our normal schedules of worship, group meetings, MCA programs, meal services, etc. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and should the situation warrant changes, we will embrace those when they come. But for now, we feel that we can still continue our ministries while taking additional steps to limit any current risks due to COVID-19.
  2. Cleaning efforts will be upgraded.  Our maintenance, kitchen and MCA staff already do an excellent job in maintaining proper cleaning practices.  We always receive extremely high marks from DHEC and DSS when reviews are done. But certainly due to the current climate, we will be taking additional steps to do even more cleaning of our facilities. We recently completed a very thorough and detailed cleaning of our kitchen facilities. Staff will be given additional responsibilities to go over common areas and surfaces more often with the proper cleaning materials. We will also encourage staff to remind each other and keep each other accountable to wash and sanitize our hands more often than usual.
  3. Hand washing will be emphasized more often.  This is always a good practice, especially during the normal cold/flu season.  And the consistent message from our health experts during this COVID-19 crisis is to wash and sanitize our hands often. We will be working to ensure our bathrooms are well stocked with soap and towels. We will also have more hand sanitizers available around the church.  Please encourage others to wash their hands and use available hand sanitizer when on our church campus and at church gatherings.
  4. Limiting physical contact. While most enjoy a hearty handshake and hug during church fellowship, we will ask that for now that you limit physical contact while at church and school events. Again, the purpose of this is simply to reduce the risk of the spread of this virus and our hope is that this will be temporary.
  5. Common sense to stay home when sick. According to the latest report from the CDC, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: Fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to seek medical attention and to stay home until the symptoms subside.
  6. Place your trust in the Lord. The onset of this virus definitely warrants attention, as well as action.  But even in the darkest of times, God seeks to calm our fears and for us not to panic. Personally, I am thankful for the health officials who are experts and have a lifetime of education and experience in dealing with situations like this… we should listen carefully to their advice and follow their guidelines.  But as followers of Jesus, the Lord is ultimately the one we look to and trust.  Isaiah 41:10 says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  We can be fully aware of the challenges and circumstances before us and still make the decision to trust that God is with us and watching over us.

We will continue to monitor this situation and make adjustments as needed.  But I ask that as we all follow these common-sense guidelines that we also pray and seek the Lord and trust Him.

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making… and Trusting!

Wade Leonard
Senior Pastor

March 20, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

As we prepare to worship together online this Sunday, we want to make sure you have all the answers to your questions about how this will happen. Towards the end of this, you will see links to where you can watch online and how you can give your offering as well.

But first, a couple of reminders and suggestions…

  1. We will be following our “normal” schedule. I know, nothing seems normal right now, but our goal is for our worship experience to be as close as it can be to what we always do.  So, we will have traditional worship at 8:15 a.m., and contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m.  Both services will be “live” with live music and live preaching.
  2. I encourage you to engage in worship! Be sure to tune in on time. Don’t watch from the kitchen while you are doing dishes or listen in as you are folding laundry.  Sing along, join in the prayers, bring your Bible, gather the family and let’s worship together!  Here’s another tip:  prepare to give your tithe during worship. I will be sharing an offertory prayer and we will have music, just like we always do. So, I would suggest already having another web page open with the link all set or give on your phone via text. True, you can give anytime, but giving is an act of worship.  So, bring your offering this Sunday!
  3. Remember, we will also have a live broadcast of our Sunday School lesson at 9:30 a.m. Shirley Adams will be leading the lesson this Sunday, March 22 and Carlton Owen will be teaching on March 29.  So again, get your Bible and your Sunday School material and engage in the lesson.
  4. Invite friends to worship with you! I realize we are practicing social distancing, but as long as you aren’t breaking the 10+ rule, have some people over. Make breakfast. I imagine by Sunday a lot of folks will have “cabin fever” and would love to get out.  And whether it’s online or on campus, the same rule still applies: the #1 way people attend church is when they are invited by a friend. In fact, I’ll be preaching about why it’s important we gather as a church family.
  5. Stay in touch! During this time of self-quarantine, it will be very easy for a lot of our family to fade, or to feel unnecessary to our church family. So, call people!  Send notes, texts, emails. And if any one of you have needs, please let us know. During this crisis, for every person who has called with a need, I have at least 10 others who have called offering to help.  I’m so proud of our church family! Satan loves to scatter us, keep us apart. Being together during this time will be different, but I believe God works all things together for the good (see Romans 8:28) and I believe He is doing that now. So, I look forward to being “together” with you all this Sunday!

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making,

Wade

Links to Worship:

One can watch Sunday Worship Services “live” by any of the following methods:

  • The Mauldin First Baptist Roku Channel. This is the one we really recommend! Watching on the Roku Streaming Media Player allows one to watch services on their TV like the way you watch other streaming videos. Learn how to watch on the  Roku Streaming Media player.
  • To watch live on our website please visit our Live Stream under the Media link.
  • To watch us live on social media, visit the Mauldin First Baptist’s Facebook Page.
  • View our Sermon Outline for Sunday.
  • To give online visit our website by following these directions, or you can give via text. It’s easy! Just text “fbcmauldin” to 73256 and follow the links.

 

March 16, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

At Mauldin First Baptist, we continue to monitor this highly fluid and volatile situation regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation.  The information and updates from state, national and world leaders seems to be changing drastically by the hour, so it is difficult to keep up.  On March 16 at 2 p.m., several of our staff and leaders met to pray and discuss what changes we need to make to deal with this current crisis.  As many of you know, here in South Carolina, our Governor has closed our public schools until March 31.  And we also heard from the CDC recommendations discouraging groups of 50 or more from meeting together for the next several weeks.  And just this afternoon, the President and his advisors have said that for the next 15 days, it would be best for groups of 10 or more to not meet.

So based on the recent recommendations and latest information, Mauldin First Baptist is making the following changes between now and March 31:

Our worship services for Sunday, March 22 and March 29 will be live broadcast ONLY… no one will be allowed to attend except for worship leaders and audio-visual tech assistants and maintenance staff. Please watch for further communications regarding links where you can watch our services on Roku and on our Facebook page and church website.  We will continue with our regular worship schedule, broadcasting our traditional service at 8:15 a.m. and our contemporary service at 10:45 a.m.

This also includes having NO SUNDAY SCHOOL classes on these two Sundays.  Classes smaller than 10 may choose to meet together in their homes or other locations.  We also plan to broadcast a Sunday School lesson that you can tune in for beginning approximately at 9:45 a.m. for both Sundays.

This includes having NO CHOIR on these two Sundays for Sunday mornings, as well as NO CHOIR OR INSTRUMENTAL REHEARSALS those two Sunday nights.  We realize we are in the midst of rehearsals for our Easter musical, but at this time, we feel safety is the most important priority.

We will also have NO WEDNESDAY NIGHT prayer meeting and small group Bible studies on Wednesday, March 18 and March 25.  NO WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS.

Also…we WILL BE CHECKING ON OUR SENIOR ADULTS during this time, especially our homebound and assisted living members.  Our leaders are organizing efforts to be sure to contact each member directly and to see if we can assist them with any needs during this crisis.

Please continue to watch for updates and schedule information in the days ahead.  For questions, feel free to contact the church office.  And please continue to pray, for we serve a God of peace, a God who heals, and a God who hears the prayers of His people.

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making… and Trusting!

Wade Leonard
Senior Pastor

 

March 12, 2020

Dear Mauldin First Baptist Family,

The emergence of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm.  While it still hasn’t risen to the level of other common sicknesses we deal with every day like the flu, our world leaders and health experts are urging us to make changes and take action steps to limit the spread of this virus.  Here’s what we’re doing at Mauldin First Baptist…

  1. We plan to continue with our regular schedule and gatherings. The safety of our church family is always of critical importance.  We constantly review and discuss how our people, our staff, our teachers and our students can reduce risk and be safer.  And we are always willing to have further discussions about how improvements can be made. While further developments with COVID-19 may lead to changing or limiting our gatherings, we plan to continue with our normal schedules of worship, group meetings, MCA programs, meal services, etc. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and should the situation warrant changes, we will embrace those when they come. But for now, we feel that we can still continue our ministries while taking additional steps to limit any current risks due to COVID-19.
  2. Cleaning efforts will be upgraded.  Our maintenance, kitchen and MCA staff already do an excellent job in maintaining proper cleaning practices.  We always receive extremely high marks from DHEC and DSS when reviews are done. But certainly due to the current climate, we will be taking additional steps to do even more cleaning of our facilities. We recently completed a very thorough and detailed cleaning of our kitchen facilities. Staff will be given additional responsibilities to go over common areas and surfaces more often with the proper cleaning materials. We will also encourage staff to remind each other and keep each other accountable to wash and sanitize our hands more often than usual.
  3. Hand washing will be emphasized more often.  This is always a good practice, especially during the normal cold/flu season.  And the consistent message from our health experts during this COVID-19 crisis is to wash and sanitize our hands often. We will be working to ensure our bathrooms are well stocked with soap and towels. We will also have more hand sanitizers available around the church.  Please encourage others to wash their hands and use available hand sanitizer when on our church campus and at church gatherings.
  4. Limiting physical contact. While most enjoy a hearty handshake and hug during church fellowship, we will ask that for now that you limit physical contact while at church and school events. Again, the purpose of this is simply to reduce the risk of the spread of this virus and our hope is that this will be temporary.
  5. Common sense to stay home when sick. According to the latest report from the CDC, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: Fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to seek medical attention and to stay home until the symptoms subside.
  6. Place your trust in the Lord. The onset of this virus definitely warrants attention, as well as action.  But even in the darkest of times, God seeks to calm our fears and for us not to panic. Personally, I am thankful for the health officials who are experts and have a lifetime of education and experience in dealing with situations like this… we should listen carefully to their advice and follow their guidelines.  But as followers of Jesus, the Lord is ultimately the one we look to and trust.  Isaiah 41:10 says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  We can be fully aware of the challenges and circumstances before us and still make the decision to trust that God is with us and watching over us.

We will continue to monitor this situation and make adjustments as needed.  But I ask that as we all follow these common-sense guidelines that we also pray and seek the Lord and trust Him.

Loving, Sharing, Serving, Making… and Trusting!

Wade Leonard
Senior Pastor