Dear Church family,
It is so good to be here in Troy now serving as your new Pastor. I’ve been anticipating beginning this new journey of ministry with you for quite some time, as I know many of you have as well. Of course, I anticipated arriving and beginning under very different circumstances. My meeting with the church staff and leaders resulted in great conversations sharing our hearts and seeking the Lord together about the direction we need to go in given the current situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus). We were united in determining that it is in the best interest of the health of our church family and the community to suspend ALL on-campus church activities until we are allowed to come together again. As we approach that time, we will continue to monitor what is happening in the news and what is being advised from governmental and health care leaders and will decide and communicate the best course of action for our church in a timely fashion.
We as leaders are also exploring the best ways to remain in contact with one another as a church while we are not able to meet together in person, such as emails, Facebook, church website, phone calls, texts, etc. As you have probably heard stated in different ways, we are being encouraged to “self-quarantine” and practice “social distancing” for everyone’s sake. However, this does not mean emotional or spiritual distancing. While the staff and other church leaders will seek to do their best in being in contact, I want to encourage each of you to do your part in staying in contact with as many fellow church members and families as possible, mostly by phone. Visit with one another sparingly, being mindful of those you are with, and as difficult as it is for all of us, employing every precaution advised by health care professionals.
We are preparing to provide a virtual worship experience starting this Sunday at the normal service time at 10:15 a.m. via the radio broadcast at AM 970 and FM 96.3, as well as on the church Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fbctroy and YouTube channel www.youtube.com/c/FBCtroy. We hope you will tune in, participate and worship together with your family or as small groups of friends, and spread the word and invite others into our virtual community of faith. We pray that it will be an encouragement during this time apart.
We also want to remind you of the ongoing financial needs of the church and encourage you to continue giving your contributions. It is not only a part of your worship and service to the Lord, but your gifts will allow the church to continue to function as normally as possible under the circumstances. Many of you are used to giving through Realm, and you should have no problem continuing to give that way. For those of you used to giving in more conventional ways, you can either mail in your contribution to the church at 200 W College Street, Troy AL 36081, bring it by the church office, or if you have questions and need assistance in giving, please call April Wilson in the church office at 334-566-3600.
The church office will maintain its normal office hours (Mon-Thurs, 8-5). If you need to talk with a minister or staff in person, it might be helpful if you would first call to arrange. We are not in our normal life and work patterns at this time and are having to adjust as many others are as well.
Due to confirmed cases this week of COVID-19 in our local community, we are taking further precautions. In addition to suspending all on-campus church activities until further notice, we are also taking the following measures:
1. We are closing down access to the Family Life Center and to the church prayer room. Both of these spaces are not monitored, which increases the amount of potential exposure.
2. We are going to magnetic entry only at the church office. There will still be a staff presence to receive financial contributions at the door. However, for the safety of our members, we are requesting that only church staff be in the office at this time. If you need the attention of a minister, please call the church office at 334-566-3600, and your call will be connected to the appropriate person as promptly as possible.
Please understand this is not what any of us desire, but we are seeking to be as responsible as we can during this extraordinary but hopefully temporary season. Thank you for your understanding!
We are all feeling concerned and many may be experiencing additional anxiety and stress. It is good for us to remember some simple biblical and gospel truths. God is in control, but He’s not just in control, He is also good and loves each of us, and is always present. And somehow in His sovereign goodness, He’s working things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I pray that we can trust Him and rest in Him during these uncertain days, that He will be our peace and our souls can remain undisturbed during a time of turbulence and human separation. May the presence and love of Christ clothe us as armor against Satan’s attempts to weigh us down with anxiety and bind us with fear and despair. He is our refuge and strength (Psalm 61:1-4).
Thank you for your understanding and faithfulness during this season. We are all praying and believing that it is only a season and when we return to normal, hopefully very soon, we look forward to us all being together again as brothers and sisters in Christ for worship, fellowship, and Bible study. I can’t wait! Until then, be wise, be safe, and may the Lord keep us well and at peace in Him. See you soon!
Your Pastor and friend,
Dr. Ross Lankford