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Weekly Update from Pastor Michael Lea

Thursday, April 2nd

Dear First Baptist Family, 

I miss each of you. I love you. I am praying for you and your families every day. While we may be apart physically, we can stay connected spiritually and socially. I am so grateful for all of you and your love and service that you show for others. You are truly a beacon of Christ’s hope in our community.

Below are some updates for you. 



  • We have cancelled all in-person gatherings (Sunday morning worship, Wednesday evening, small group meetings, etc.) until further notice. 

  • With the exception of our custodian Mary Patrick, who is coming in very early a few days a week to clean, our church staff is primarily working from home. Some of us are coming in to the church offices one to two days a week, staggering our days. If you need us, please reach us via our cell-phones or e-mail. 



  • Live-Streaming with our partner churches--West Jefferson United Methodist Church (WJUMC) and Mt. Jefferson Presbyterian (MJPC) will be at WJUMC Palm Sunday (April 5th) and Easter Sunday (April 12th). You can watch the live-stream at 9:00a.m. @ www.wjumc.net. If you miss the live-stream, you can go to www.fbcwj.org and watch the recording. We will also be e-mailing worship orders for these services so you can follow along at home.  

  • If you cannot access these services, and would like a dvd copy of these services, please contact one of our church staff and we will put you on the list.

  • The Ashe Ministerial Association Holy Week services have been cancelled altogether. There were simply too many concerns and the number of people involved was becoming problematic as concerns increase about the spread of COVID-19. Thanks for understanding. 


  • We had our first church Sunday School class via Zoom this past Sunday with our youth group and it was wonderful. We had great attendance. We will meet again this Sunday. Our Associate Pastor Patricia Turner is also having weekly meetings with youth and children via Zoom. It is a wonderful way Patricia is helping our young people and families stay connected during this time. 

  • I had hoped to have the first adult Bible study via Zoom this week, but the plan now is for next week. Be on the look out for more on this. 

  • Our church staff is also in conversation about how we can offer some other video messages, devotions, and Bible study opportunities. We are working on it, and will let you know as soon as we can get something together. 


  • Our church is doing a great job of caring for each other. I have received wonderful feedback about this care, especially our seniors and homebound. As I have made phone calls every day to church members, it warms my heart and lifts my spirit to hear them say that several people from the church have checked on them. Keep up the good work! 

  • Patricia and I almost have the lists of volunteers and people in our congregation for our “ministry of adoption.” There has been a good response to this ministry. We hope to have it in place by next week. If you signed up to volunteer for this, look for an e-mail from me and Patricia next week.

  • I’ve reached out to mental health and counseling services and I will be posting some of those resources on our church’s website. By now, all of them are meeting with people via tele-health video-conferencing. If you or someone you know needs help during these stressful times, our pastoral staff is here for you. In addition, these counselors are great resources as well. 


  • We continue to provide volunteers for different services in our community. Some partners, such as Habitat for Humanity and others, have taken a break for now. However, others, particularly food ministries are still operating, albeit at limited function. We are providing volunteers as we are able. 

  • We have had a few different requests come in this week from various ministry and community partners. One way we are meeting these needs is through the Benevolence Fund and Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. If you are able, please give to these funds during this time. It provides us with a lot more flexibility in meeting immediate needs. Encourage others that are able to do the same. 

  • Missions in this global pandemic of COVID-19 has required us to think differently about what missions looks like right now. One example of this happened this week when one of our church members was able to help provide some medical grade masks and gloves to one of our mission partners, Caldwell Hospice, whose chaplains and nurses were in need of these supplies. Caldwell Hospice has been leading grief support groups at our church. This was one way that we could support them as they continue to serve us. Let’s continue to pray about and think of creative ways that we can minister during this time. 


  • We continue to hold strong on our offerings. Our church has been generous!  God has blessed us with these financial gifts. Early next week our Church & Financial Secretary Becky Johnson will email a monthly financial report on March. I have confidence that you will be encouraged by what you see. 

  • You can mail your offerings to First Baptist Church / P. O. Box 180 / West Jefferson, NC / 28694 or donate online through our website. 


  • Our website continues to be a central place to get information and updates from our church: www.fbcwj.org. Thanks to Jim Childress, our Technology Director, for his hard work on keeping this updated. 

  • We are also using our all-call systems, e-mail, and Facebook. Please check your e-mail and our Facebook page regularly for updates. ​


Grace and Peace,


Pastor Michael Lea: 336-480-6144

Associate Pastor Patricia Turner: 704-473-4644

NO church activities until further notice.

Please see COVID-19 update below.

Services information

Response to COVID-19 March 13th


COVID-19 Document