Welcome to First Baptist Church of Manchester Center, VT "The Community Church"

Welcome to The First Baptist Church
Manchester Center, Vermont 

"The Community Church"

Church service at 10:30 am
Communion first Sunday of the month
Sunday school 9:30

First Baptist Church "The Community Church"
    4895 Main St. P.O. Box 1049 
Manchester Center VT 05255
Church email: fbcmanvt@gmail.com
Pastor Rebecca Sommons
for map click here
Church email: fbcmanvt@gmail.com
 First Baptist Church welcomed Rev. Rebecca Sommons to become their pastor in August of 2016. She studied Pastoral Care at Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine, graduating with a Master of Theology degree in 2012. Rebecca finished her Master of Divinity degree at Palmer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania the spring before coming to Vermont. She and her husband, Matthew live in Danby and enjoy the beauty of the countryside as well as the charm of small-town life. Matthew works in the behavioral health field as a psychiatrist and medical director. Matthew and Rebecca have two grown daughters. Grace is married to Arthur Ward and lives in Maine. Natalie is a recent graduate of Houghton College. Everyone in the family enjoys hiking in the mountains, playing board games, and making music when they are together. mail to:fbcmanvt@gmail.com
If you would like to give an offering to support the mission and ministry, you can either put it in the collection box at church on Sunday morning or mail it to our church P.O. Box 1049 Manchester Center, VT 05255 or directly to our collector Cathy Comar. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.
The latest posted Church service.
               For current bulletin and other services, please visit here.
Hello Everyone,
We have made it to December, the last month of the year, but the beginning of the story that changes everything.  In December, we celebrate Advent, which means coming. We look forward to Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus the long-awaited Christ-child.  At the same time, we look with anticipation for Christ to come again, to meet us in the darkness of this world and in our own lives.  When Christ comes, light shines overcoming the darkness.  We need the hope, peace, joy, and love Jesus brings with him everywhere he goes.  These are the themes of our worship services through the month of December as we look at them in the lives of Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, Simeon and Anna.  
Some special opportunities this month include the annual Christmas Coffee House on Saturday, December 9th to eat any cookies left from the bake sale that morning along with cocoa, peppermint tea, or decaffeinated coffee while we share Christmas stories, memories, objects, and songs together.  On Saturday, December 16th, we’ll gather at the church at 1:30 pm to form a group of Christmas carolers who will go to visit the doorsteps of people we don’t get to see very often in church.  Then on Christmas Eve at 7 pm, we will have a special candlelight service with Bible readings and songs to welcome Jesus and celebrate his birth.  

We hope that you will join us for the beauty of this month where light shines in the darkness and fills us up to be lights in the world.
With hope,

Pastor Rebecca Sommons

Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.
Carry the light-giving Message into the night…”
Philippians 2:15 (MSG)


Please let us know you and what you think, also if you would like more information.  
Sat Dec 9
 10 am & 1:30 pm
Save the date!

The annual Christmas Coffee House  will  be held on Saturday December 9, at 7 pm in the vestry.
Please join us to share fellowship, conversation, music, games, and delicious seasonal treats.

 January, please join us for a family game night on January 20 at 5:30 pm. We are planning to have a potluck dinner and dessert, followed by games and fellowship. If you can join us, please bring a dinner item or dessert and a game to play.
Family Alpha class
Looking ahead, a family Alpha class will be starting in January, and meeting every other Sunday evening until mid-May. A potluck dinner will start each session at 5:00, followed by the class activities and discussion.

shows bowing of wall
shows bowing of wall
Our First Baptist Church was built 190 years ago in 1833.  
Several months ago, as the Prudential Committee was looking at areas in the church in need of repair, the roof gained serious attention. An engineer was consulted to look at the structure of the roof to determine its structural integrity.  The engineer made the determination that the roof needed major structural repairs and, at the same time, pointed out that the wall on the Bonnet Street side of the church was bowing out and needed structural repair before the roof could be fixed.  
There are 4 phases to our Preservation Fund. These phases are in order of importance to the structural safety of our Church Building.
Phase one consists of structurally supporting the wall on the Bonnet Street side of our building.
Phase two consists of repairing the foundation.
 Phase three will be repairing the roof.
Phase four will be repairing the rotten wood on the Main Street side of the church (including the thresholds) and repairing doors and windows.

Currently, we only have rough estimates for this work.  We expect the total project cost to be  $300,000.  We will update as we are able.

 We are looking into a donation program for the church web site, however while we’re working to get such a program set up, if you would like to make a donation, you may send a check to First Baptist Church, PO Box 1049, Manchester Center, Vermont 05255. Be sure to mark Church Preservation Fund in the comment line.
To date we have $6,994.60 toward the repairs.
With Appreciation and Blessings
Donors to text f1555 to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483) in order to receive a reply with the link to your giving interface. The code is not case-sensitive
Cancer Support Group - UPLIFT
We will be meeting   Dec 4 & Dec 18  at 3pm. 
We are only going to meet every other week this month to see what we actually prefer.
Attention to all people who currently are dealing with cancer, or who have had cancer, or someone in your life is dealing with cancer!  So many of us are impacted by this disease.  In recent months I have had a very strong feeling that it would be a good idea to start a support group for people affected by cancer.  The intention of this group would be to lift each other up, discuss things that we have tried or are doing that are helpful, and to just be there as a group to listen and encourage each other.  The group name is Uplift!  That seemed appropriate for a group of us who are planning to lift each other up.
We will be meeting in the vestry.  Please feel free to spread the word and bring people you know who might be interested in participating.  Let’s Uplift each other!  I look forward to seeing all who are interested.  Also bring any books or materials you have found helpful.  We can s6hare all that we have learned on our journeys.Barb West

The Emmaus reunion group is a small group focusing on accountability to
help us practice our faith. We follow a specific format consisting of a
series of questions and ending with our Christian action plan for the
next week.
We meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30.
 If anyone is interested, please contact John Hess.


Next get together come and join us
Dec 12, 2023 Chapter 3 & 4
If you would like to join us for both prayer and or  book study.
Please contact Pastor  Rebecca
The Prayer and book study group will be discussing
James A Harnish Book
When God Comes Down
When God Comes Down is a five-week study, providing one lesson for each week of Advent and one for Christmas. Each lesson includes a key Scripture, a brief reflection, discussion/reflection questions, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week. In this study, Harnish explores the meaning of the incarnation…God with us in human flesh.
Often our Advent/Christmas journey is focused on us – our memories, feelings, relationships and experiences.  This study puts the focus on God’s action in Jesus Christ.  It encourages participants to think more deeply in terms of the biblical, theological, and spiritual meaning of the Nativity and to apply it to their own lives.
The study looks at the stories of the primary biblical characters in the birth stories through whose lives the miracle of incarnation happened: Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Harnish also looks at a traditional character in nativity plays, one who is not mentioned in the Bible, the innkeeper.  Through all these characters, he helps us claim for ourselves the reality of God's presence with us.

Have you ever considered being a worship assistant, greeting people, reading scripture, playing an instrument, singing, or giving a testimony in church? Please let us know how the Spirit is leading you, so we can include you in the worship services. See Pastor Rebecca if you have an interest in participating in the service.
AA is meeting in our Church fellowship room  morning and noon five days a week. Please use the Bonnet Street entrance to attend a meeting. Check the Church calendar on our website for exact dates and times.

GNAT_TV May 23, 2020 channels on Comcast are changing  to new Channels.
First Baptist Church will be found on CHANNEL 1094. Our service is shown Tuesday 7AM and 6PM and Sunday 7AM and 7PM. Note GNAT can changes these dates and time as well as the service being shown.

If you would like you can watch past services on our CHURCH WEBSITE at fbcmanvt.org.  Find the ABOUT US tab, click on it, and it will take you to another page. There you can click on watch past videos of church services,  and you will be taken to another page where videos are listed.

You can also view past services on GNAT-TV by going to GNAT-TV.org. and clicking on FIND A VIDEO. Then click on SEARCH, type in FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, and that should bring up the latest videos. At the bottom of that page is a link to older posts.

We continue in prayer asking for guardian angels to surround our men and women who are serving to protect our country and freedom. We pray that God will guide the leaders of this world toward peace.

From Shawn Harrington Manchester Historical Society

The first--- First Baptist Church stood on Meeting House Hill (site of today's Factory Point Cemetery) organized in 1781 and built in 1785. In 1833, the church relocated to its current site on the corner of Bonnet Street. Built at a cost of $2,300 originally, it has been expanded and modified, but remains relatively the same as it was in 1873.
The photo at right dates from 1915 with the Elm at the Crossroads- subject of a poem written by Walter Hard. The full text follows.
The document from 1834 shows the sale of Slip No. 2 in the new church sold to Mr. Martin Slocum of Manchester.

c o m p o s e r & c o n d u c t o r
In 1988, Mr. Bernstein composed a choral setting of the following poem and has given us permission to link it to our web site. Click here to be linked to Elm at the Crossroads.
Thank you, Mr Bernstein, for allowing this to be shared.
Elm at the Crossroads by Walter Hard

Of course a tree is just so much timber
Or so many cords of firewood.
The timber may make a home
Or the firewood may keep it warm.
But a tree like the elm at the crossroads
Has seen too much of life
To be just timber or firewood.
There it is with its thick trunk on the ground.
They’re chopping out the branches
And digging around the broad stump.
Count the rings.
A hundred and eight.
It could tell you a lot of history.
It was young when Factory Point was beginning.
There was the Tannery along the river
With piles of bark in the yard.
There was the woolen mill with its whirling looms,
And a dozen other mills along the stream.
It really was Factory Point.
Think of all the people who have passed that tree!
Think of all the people
Think of the slow plodding oxen with loads of goods;
Heavy creaking wagons with blocks of marble
From the quarries on Dorset Mountain;
Gay prancing horses drawing shining buggies;
Processions in somber black;
Gay parades with bands and flying banners;
Ladies walking with parasols held over quaint bonnets;
Men with high hats and tailed coats.
Statesmen, scholars, warriors, artists—
All have passed under its spreading branches.
There it lies.
Just so many cords of firewood.
Of course it had to go.
It’s a martyr to what we hope is progress.
Our rushing life cannot be stopped by a tree.
A hundred and eight years
To grow some firewood.