During the month of November, we are demonstrating our gratitude to our church staff. Some of our staff members will be offering their own words of gratitude for our church in the Chimes each week. We pray that these words of thanksgiving will model for us a spirit of appreciation for our church and for one another.
This week, we will hear from our 1st Explorers Ministry Director, Kelly Brown, and Julie Faulkenberry.
Why I Am Grateful for First Baptist Church
By Kelly Brown
The word Ubuntu comes from the South African Zulu language and has been introduced to many by Bishop Desmond Tutu. The meaning of Ubuntu is often translated as the universal bond which connects all of humanity to one another and reminds us of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31: We all are uniquely gifted and share in making our world a better place because of the gifts God has given us. I’m thankful that part of my journey has led me to First Baptist Church of Sylva. My time here has shown me how truly beautiful it is to be in community with fellow Christians who desire to hear where Christ is leading us and faithfully respond.
I recall a few years ago meeting with Jeff and the After School Exploratory team to consider the possibility of us journeying together to begin what would become 1st Explorers. We were anxious and unsure of what the future would hold for our church and my leadership. And our leap of faith has been a beautiful expression of what happens when WE work together and listen to where God is calling us. I’m grateful for the church and myself faithfully listening to God and where He was leading us. We have worked together with God’s guidance to share our gift of the 1st Explorers Ministry with countless children and their families. We have shared in joys, hurt, mistakes, laughter, tears, frustrations and confusion together. Most important of all, each of you has been family to me. You have been patient with me as I’ve grown and learned how to be the best expression of who God has created me to be – for that, I say thank you. I feel supported in my leadership here in so many ways and I will never be able to adequately say “thank you” for the ways in which you have supported me and changed my life.
Mother Teresa said “Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.” I’m grateful to have found my Calcutta here in Sylva!
Words of Affirmation for Kelly Brown
By Julie Faulkenberry
Speaking on behalf of the parents of FBC of Sylva, let me express how thankful we are for Mr. Kelly. The children involved with the 1st Explorers ministries here at FBC of Sylva are so blessed to have such a caring, thoughtful, and gracious director.
Kelly is so patient, kind, and loving towards all that cross his path. He greets everyone with a contagious smile. He has accomplished so much with our childrens' ministries. We are grateful to have his guidance and blessings bestowed upon our children.
As for my family, we are so grateful for Mr. Kelly. He has taught Lindsey about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has taught her how to respect our family and friends. She has learned so many life lessons because of Kelly and his awesome staff at 1st Explorers. We are so blessed to have an outstanding program to enlist our children in, all because of Mr. Kelly's hard work and dedication!
Mr. Kelly goes above and beyond in his role as director. He wants the best for our children and wants them to understand the Bible and see the importance of faith and fellowship.
With that said, thank you Mr. Kelly Brown, and may God continue to bless you!