Here is a special letter from Senior Pastor, Dr. Kevin Clarkson.
November 15, 2017
Dear First Baptist Family and Friends,
How good the Lord has been to our church through the years! We are so grateful for what He is doing in lives today as we press forward to KNOW Christ, GROW in Christ, and GO with Christ into our city and the world. I pray that the Lord is also blessing you and your family during this wonderful time of year.
Going forward toward 2018, I want to give you an update on some important information regarding our current situation and future plans. We will be looking to renovate and update our worship center next year. We are so grateful for the way our beautiful facility has served the church’s needs so well for 32 years, and the time has arrived to give it a fresh look. Our Long-Range Steering Team has begun looking into this matter, and we will bring the church body our recommended proposals for discussion and approval as they develop this next year.
To best position our church for new projects, we need to reduce and eliminate our existing debt. Some of you will remember that we built and opened our atrium, student ministry area, and rec-fitness center (“The Link”) ten years ago at a cost of $7.5 million. At the time, we bundled in pre-existing debt of almost $500,000, which means we embraced $8 million in our loan.
We addressed this debt vigorously for the first seven years, and have continued to pay it down on schedule for the last three years. As of this month, our loan balance to the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma is $694,000 – over 90% eliminated, praise the Lord! We have also kept six months’ payments in reserve for emergency, but have never had to tap that fund. This $120,713 reserve means that we actually need only $573,000 to eliminate all our debt.
Many of you have given faithfully in the past to “Arise and Build” and “Continue the Legacy” campaigns to help provide for our newer facilities, which are used by hundreds of people week by week. Those who are newer attenders and members may not have realized the need or been adequately challenged to participate in helping.
I am asking if you will prayerfully consider a generous monthly or one-time gift to our Building Fund? Every dollar will go directly to reduce the principal – interest payments are built into our operating budget. Your gifts should be over-and-above your regular giving to our ongoing ministries budget.
Year-end is an effective time to catch-up on your giving, and to help us reduce our loan balance in anticipation of the vital capital projects being planned for the immediate future. Please consider a generous gift, either in cash, or perhaps of stock that has appreciated in value. You will receive the full donation amount as a charitable deduction as well as avoiding capital gains tax.
Thank you for all you do and share as we move forward to KNOW, GROW, and GO in Christ!
It’s all for HIM!
Dr. Kevin Clarkson