Brief description of the church/organization's programs or accomplishments:
Programs at FPC begin with worship where the Word is actively preached in four worship services each Sunday. Nurseries, Children’s Church, Sunday Schools for children, youth and adults, and numerous Bible studies provide opportunities for Christian growth and nurture. Importantly, there has been a dynamic growth in Family Ministry and in participation of young families.
Spirit-lifting music is provided by adult choirs, children’s choirs, youth and adult hand bell ringers, a brass ensemble and a praise band. Our Chancel Choir has performed here and abroad, traveling to Italy, Israel and the UK.
We are passionate about our youth. Preschool and after-school programs nurture youngsters from all walks of life; for many it is their first exposure to the love of God. In distant lands our young people build partnerships with national churches; closer to home they build Christian relationships with each other. Spirit-filled Sunday and Wednesday programs and action-packed, on-the-road retreats invite young people to come along on life’s faith journey.
Support for missions has been strong and consistent. Our Mission Focus Campaign raises tens of thousands of dollars annually to support ministries worldwide.
Bible study to barbecuing, yoga to ballroom dancing—fellowship abounds at FPC University on Wednesday night where 350 routinely gather to share, study, pray, and have fun. Stephen Ministry, Homebound Visitation, Mother’s Morning Out—all are programs that meet people where they are.
Gifts, Skills and Experiences the congregation possesses to fulfill its mission:
Skilled and talented believers energize FPC. Ministers are Christ-centered team players who teach, lead, and inspire. They are well educated, articulate, and faithful adherents to the principles of the Reformed Tradition. Our Director of Music is talented and artistic and provides programs that are scripturally based, relevant, and uplifting.
Sunday School and Bible study teachers, youth advisors and Vacation Bible School volunteers serve to strengthen and deepen our relationships. Members with special talents lead the Career Ministry, the Financial Ministry, the Adoption/Foster Family Care Ministry, the Martha Ministry, the Shepherding Program, the Chancel Guild and others.
Young people assist teachers in children’s Sunday Schools and lead portions of our youth program. Mission Camp, Road Rules, and spring and summer mission trips all provide opportunities for Christian leadership, purposeful service, and spiritual growth for our youth.
From the 96 members who built a sanctuary for 400 in 1854 to the faithful who turned debt into “paid in full” in capital campaigns over the last 100+ years, we have been fiscally prudent while being quick to share. Our Gift Trust Fund distributes $80,000 annually to support a wide range of outside mission programs. “Let us tell the next generation,” the theme for our 2010 capital campaign, focused our hearts on the future and left us debt free.
Key theological issues of the church and society that are reflected in the ministry of the congregation/organization:
The question remains today as it has for generations: given the demands of modern day life, the increasing trends toward secularism, and the socioeconomic, political, and religious diversity in the world, how do we live out that which we proclaim: “Jesus is Lord”? At FPC, our 176 year-old commitment is to ensure that we maintain a Christ-centered, Biblically-based ministry. With the Great Commission as our charge, we seek to reflect Him in all that we say, think, and do as we minister to a world in need.
The 21st Century church is challenged to equip and support all members in their balancing act. Our youth have been particularly affected by the changes in society, and ministering to them is a high priority at FPC. We also strive to nurture adults at every stage in their faith journey, from those who are biblically well-grounded to those who are new to the faith.
We seek to respond to economic and social issues in local, regional, and international ministries. Whether in Marietta, GA, or Nairobi, Kenya, we feel drawn to missions that “do it unto the least of these.”
We recognize that there is within our Presbyterian family a spectrum of viewpoints on a number of social and theological issues. At FPC we have been and continue to be firmly committed to Reformed theology and to traditional Presbyterian values. We seek unity rather than uniformity, and we continually search for guidance from the Holy Spirit to be faithful responders to all issues that affect the human condition.