FirstLife Blog

My Personal Advent Journey

Posted by Brad Keaton on

When I was a child, Christmas was truly a fun and magical time. Everything thrilled me from living in a decorated house, to Christmas activities at school and church, to attending Knoxville’s Fantasy of Trees, and then of course counting down the days until the big 25th of December...

An Interview with Jo Ward and Sydnor Money

Posted by Patrick Walsh on

P: What is your earliest recollection of church life? J: I was born a preacher’s daughter, so I was taken to church from day one. My first memory of church was when I was just under four years old. I was standing on the seat beside my mother; I can still see the lights and how they were...

Old to New: Times of Transition in the Past

Posted by Linda Walsh on

Knoxville’s population increased from under 10,000 in 1880 to almost 27,000 in 1910 with the city becoming one of the South’s major wholesale and distribution centers.  First Baptist’s history during the first quarter of the 20th century is rich in detail. In 1900, First...

Mentoring Changes Lives

Posted by Betsy Pickle on

It doesn’t take a major life change to make it possible for you to become a mentor, but it can happen that way. And when you do become one, your life changes for the better. For me, the precipitating event was something that many people – then, and recently even more so – have...

The Blessings of a Multi-Generational Church

Posted by Susan Wilt on

Judy Kate Manning was a little scattered and needed some time alone before everyone arrived at the church. She gathered some of the smaller gifts from the car and crossed the little bridge that connected the parking garage to a side entrance of the church. The sun warmed the cool Autumn breeze...

In Times of Transition

Posted by Susan Roberts on

I’m not a big fan of change, never have been. Like a horse, if I do something twice, it’s a habit. I think it’s just human nature - and particularly ingrained in my nature - to find a measure of security and comfort in the familiar. The Church can be like that, too. After all...

An Intergenerational Church

Posted by Jim Decker on

  I first walked into the sanctuary of First Baptist Knoxville in the fall of 1976. I had just moved to Knoxville to complete an Administrative Residency at Fort Sanders Presbyterian Hospital (as it was known then), as a requirement for my master's degree in healthcare administration. In...

Everyone Has a Part to Play

Posted by Josh Durham on

Young adults don’t exist. Those who think of them as adults don’t think of them as young and those who think of them as young don’t treat them like adults. Young adults are too old to be making mistakes but not experienced enough to be given serious responsibility. It’s...

Promotion Sunday

Posted by Elizabeth Pemberton on

As a kid growing up in a Baptist church, Promotion Sunday was a big deal. It was the day we went on to the Next Big Thing. In preschool, it meant moving on from a group of sweet women who loved on us, told us we were pretty and handsome, and taught us about Jesus and his love for us, to a new...

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