First Baptist Church - Clanton, AL
Monday, August 03, 2020
A Church with a Passion for His Purpose

Pastor's Message


Treasuring His Word
From the Pastor's Heart:


Click on the link below to view a pdf version of Bro. Matt's article in The Messenger.


Dear Church Family:


We are still living with great anticipation to re-enter our church gatherings before too long, waiting for the governor’s directions.  But we will certainly do this with caution, understanding that everyone will “draw the line” differently as to their own personal comfort-zone of gathering and social-distancing.  So, be patient with those whose opinions are different from yours.  Whatever we do, each person will obviously still have the option of participating or choosing to refrain for a little while longer.  Knowing it will take some time to work out the logistics, whenever we do formulate a strategy to gradually begin meeting again, we will certainly let everyone know.


Many thanks go to our Disaster Relief Teams and personal church members who were so selfless in helping out following the recent storms.  I was personally able to witness this in a couple of situations this week, and I am continually encouraged to know that God’s People are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to be a blessing in the name of the Lord (Kay and I are so thankful to all who helped clean up the enormous “tree” mess in our yard).


Before COVID-19 changed our world, we had planned on having Gary and Dena Pate speak in our service this coming Sunday morning.  Having spoken with Gary last week, we both felt it best to not burden him with the details of trying to travel and stay safe from the virus, all to arrive and not get to see anyone in the worship service.  So, please take the time to read the following, and check out the links that will update you on this fantastic ministry.  Hopefully, you’ve already seen the Ecuador Team’s report that Glenda Mims provided for us.  It’s on the “Missions” link on our website.  You can also find the Pate’s latest newsletter there. 


Thank you for your faithfulness in the giving of your personal tithes and offerings.  We have been able to continue on with God’s work in the midst of this unusual circumstance.  As we surpassed our goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, I am sure we will be faithful to support all these precious children in Ecuador, too.  Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the Gospel being shared in these remote places!


May God bless each of you richly!


Do not hesitate to let your church staff know if we can do anything for you.


Your Pastor (and our wonderful Staff),

Matt DeBord and the FBC Team



A Message from Gary and Dena Pate “for the Children of Ecuador”


If there are individuals that are not getting our newsletter and would like to, we would be more than happy to mail it via the postal service to them or email it, or both.  We do that once a quarter.  They can email us at or just send a letter to the address below asking us to add them to our email newsletter list.


Pate Ministries

P O Box 893

Callahan, FL 32011


Just a couple of quick updates that are not in the newsletter.  Once this coronavirus is over, we have plans to start doing Bible clubs over on the coast and in some fishing villages where there’s very little evangelical presence. Those doors are open to us.  We are continuing to work with about a thousand to 1200 children and they are in families up in the Southern Andes Mountains where often there is no evangelical churches and the only gospel they get is what we bring them on a weekly basis.  We have started working with and encouraging house church pastors and leaders up in the mountains that are just like in the days of the New Testament when Paul was traveling working with these small house churches.

Check out Pate Ministries website for the current Newsletter and future update @


For information on giving to the Children of Ecuador, check out the following options.  Three easy ways to give, partner, invest, or support, are as follows:


(FTCE) For The Children Ecuador, Inc., DBA Pate Ministries is a 501C3 non-profit, Inc.  All donations/support that are sent to (FTCE) For The Children Ecuador, Inc., DBA Pate Ministries are tax deductible.


1.  Through Bill Pay........Free through your banking institution or Credit Union. This option works best for us as there are no fees involved to us, and the banking institution pays the postage. All you should need to give your banking institution or your Credit Union is our name and address below:


2.  Mailing a check .........Mail to FTCE (For The Children Ecuador) PO Box 893 Callahan, FL 32011.  List Pate ministries in the memo section.


3.  Through PayPal ...... If you choose to use PayPal, here are the very easy steps that you will need to take. 1. You will need to go to our web site <> . Select (or) Click on the donate tab at the top of the page. 2. Select (or) Click on the Donate tab (or) the Subscribe tab at the right of the page (In Yellow) that will take you to PayPal. If you choose the Donate tab that will allow you to make a one-time donation or make donations manually. If you choose the Subscribe tab you can set up automatic donations for the same amount each month on the same date each month, Of course you can cancel this, change the amount of donation or date at any time.


If you have any questions please call Gary at 904-879-1396 or email at


For The Children Ecuador, Inc., DBA Pate Ministries

Gary Pate

P O Box 893

Callahan, FL 32011


US & Vontage Phone  904-879-1396






April 16, 2020 - What is God Doing with COVID-19?

God is at Work!  What is He doing?

(Philippians 2:12-17)

 Let’s redirect the discussion of our world to what God is doing…, rather than what the government is doing, what the virus is doing, or how life is changing!

 I have often asked, “If all our church activities were removed from our schedules, what would be left that showed that Jesus is actually the Lord of our daily lives?”  Well, now we have opportunity to express just that!


Philippians 2:12 (NASB)

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;”

How many people have told me, if it weren’t for my experience on Sunday with brothers and sisters in Christ, I don’t know where I would be spiritually, emotionally, etc.  Whereas, this is understandable (for there is an enormous emptiness these days in our church sanctuary and throughout the halls of our church campus… a sense of desertion, a void of life…), but praise to Jesus, the Spirit of our Lord has not gone anywhere!

Paul was absent from the Philippian church, but the Holy Spirit was not!


Philippians 2:13 (NASB)

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”


God is still at work!  He always has been, still is, and will continue to be!

God has not missed a step in plowing forward in His kingdom.  The government may shut down, the economy may fail, and life may forever change as we have known it.  But brothers and sisters, Jesus is still leading an army of believers!

And in these moments in particular, God is thrusting us into a realm of new opportunities, possibly, that many Christians have never had before.  And if we are not careful, these opportunities may pass us by, and we will wish we would have known this was the only chance we were going to get to touch certain people for Christ!


During all this chaos, what does God have in mind to do through you?

1.  …bring the message of peace to those who are living in fear…

2.  …bring the Person of Christ to those consumed with anxiety, anger, frustration, distraction, despair… and to those without faith in Jesus!


God is busy!

1.  God is Purifying us!

2.  God is Placing us as Light in this world!

3.  God is Pouring Himself and His Word thru us!


1.  God is Purifying us

Philippians 2:14-15a (NASB)

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent…”

So many people talk about the negative perspectives that indeed surround us in this physical realm.  YOU take the detour in the conversation by sharing what you’ve been focusing upon in Christ, finding hope, peace, direction, help, grace, etc.

They will set up the conversation for you, all you have to do is share what you have been doing… of course, if you have not been doing this, it won’t work.


1.  God is Purifying us!

2.  God is Placing us as Light in this world!


Philippians 2:15 (NASB)

“that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,”

Our world was already spiritually dark, but the recent events that have sent everyone’s normal life into a chaotic spiral have people looking for answers.

And we know that there has always only been ONE  ANSWER !!

These times give us the opportunity to voice that Jesus is the answer!


Our Children’s Music Ministry is named after this verse:  “G215”

or “Generation 215” to direct our children to be lights for Jesus!


1.  God is Purifying us!

2.  God is Placing us as Light in this world!

3.  God is Pouring Himself and His Word thru us!


Philippians 2:16 (NASB)

“holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”

Sometimes while we are glued to the latest world & COVID-19 news, we drop God’s word.  So, let’s be challenged to “hold fast the word of life!


Philippians 2:17 (NASB)

“But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.”

Remember where Paul is while he is writing this letter:  PRISON!

…using words like service, faith, rejoice, share, joy… while in prison!


Philippians 1:12 (NASB)

“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,”

What is God doing with COVID-19?  He is giving an opportunity for the greater progress of the gospel!


Philippians 1:13 (NASB)

“so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,”

If Paul had this spirit, this purpose, this pursuit (to death – 1:21), then surely, we can maintain that purpose and pursuit during this national / global crisis!

Unless of course, that has not already been our pursuit.  These times will possibly weed out those who were never serious about their faith in Christ anyway.  But for the rest of us, seeing one another’s diligence and devotion will give each other great courage to keep pressing on for Jesus!


Philippians 1:14 (NASB)

“and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”

Be courageous in Christ!

God is alive and well!  He’s still on His throne!  And He is working!


God is busy!

1.  God is Purifying us!

2.  God is Placing us as Light in this world!

3.  God is Pouring Himself and His Word thru us!


Speak the word of God without fear!


Philippians 2:18 (NASB)

“And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”

Please share your joy with me, and with your staff.  Let us know how you are doing, and if we can do anything for you.  We need to be testifying about what God is doing in the midst of all the things going on around us in the world.  We need the encouragement of God-sized activity, to touch the lives of our entire world. 

Pray for our elderly, for our first-responders, for our nurses and doctors, and for our local and national leaders.  And certainly, pray for Christians, for missionaries, and for church-planters!

And, pray for the next person who is going to share their faith in our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, with someone who can find life, when life seems to be in irreparable conditions.


“Let Others See Jesus in You!”