First Baptist Church has a great Women’s Ministry. We have seven groups called circles which meet once a month. These circles do mission projects, Bible study and have special prayer time. Each group is unique in the group of women that it serves. Rita Lewis is our WMU President.
The Women’s Missionary Union or WMU is responsible for several mission projects that our church does throughout the year. They are also responsible for overseeing the various mission offerings that we take up throughout the year.
Following is a description of different circles:
Gail Hardison Circle
The WMU Gail Hardison Circle Group meets monthly – usually the first Tuesday of each month at Circle Member’s home, church or restaurant. You may check the bulletin or the newsletter to get details!! It is a very casual, relaxed meeting, we discuss some items of business, we have a prayer list, missionary information, upcoming events at the church or in the community, plan and event or do a book study or devotion. We have a roster of about 12-14 members ranging in age from about 30 to 50ish.
We were formerly named “Friends in Christ”. The circle was renamed in memory of Gail Hardison who passed away after battling breast cancer . She was the wife of Horace Hardison and the mother of Lora Craddock- who is a circle member. What an honor! Gail was known for her love of her Lord, the community and her outreach abilities. What a footprint to follow!
The Gail Hardison group is proud to host the Valentine Social each year for the Senior citizen members ’ and their guests each year. Our most recent study has been Liz Curtis Higgs , Bad Girls of the Bible. We are assigned a college freshman for outreach each year. We are independently involved in various missions and groups throughout the church and the community. We participate in the WMU Missions Offering, the Day of Prayer , the prison ministry, the local food pantry, kitchen duty at FBC for Wednesday night programming, Options for Domestic Violence or Annie’s Attic, the angel tree and individuals that our circle members may be aware of. We have adopted a new response- Spontaneous Service and we are hoping that it spreads like ‘wildfire’. It is the idea that when we are gently nudged by the Holy Spirit and someone or something comes to our mind and is laid on our heart, someone has made us aware of a situation or a need, that we do not wait or hesitate, we act… spontaneously to meet the need as God allows.
Mission Action Circle
The Mission Action Circle at First Baptist Church was originally begun by Gail Hardison and Amanda Frymier to fill a need for working women. The circle began their meetings on a week night at the Chruch. The “working women” wanted an active part in the WMU, but not the social aspect of meeting in each other’s homes, preparing desserts, etc. We began our group with approximately six member and the group has grown to currently 16 members, only a few of whom are still ” working”. We meet on the first Tuesday of each month, September through May, at a local restaurant at 6:00 PM. ( 6:30 if you choose not to eat). After dinner. we have a brief meeting and devotion. As visitations are our main focus, we usually visit a shut-in afterward.
Some of our more recent projects have included:
1. Monetary aid to needy families at Christmas. 2. Collection of items for Options 3. Food items donated to Food Pantry 4. Support a college student with “care packages”. 5 Support any WMU projects as needed. 6. Rotate kitchen duty on Wednesday nights with other groups. 7 Individual visitation during the day to nursing homes and other shut-ins. We welcome visitors! If interested, please contact Ethel Browning, circle facilitator at 793-5345 for more information.
Essie Lassiter Circle
Essie Lassiter was a devoted member of the church and served as WMU Director for five years as well as leading pre-school children in Sunday school for many years. The Essie Lassiter Mission Group is a small group of women who normally meet the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 AM in the homes of its members. Meetings usually begin around the table with coffe and desert. They participte in the outreach activities of the overall WMU , have a prayer chain for prayer concersn, use the Mission Mosaic for the meeting programs and pray intentionally for Southern Baptist missionaries on their birthdays spotlighting their assigned areas as to location and responsbilities. Missons offerings are emphasized.i For more information, contact Susan Lilly at 793-2088.
The Seekers Mission Group
The Seeker’s Mission grou is comprised of a group of women who meet the first Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM in the homes of the members. We usually begin with prayer, devotinal, then proceed to the business and to the mission activites of the WMU. We utilize the Mission Mosaic magazine for the monthly programs. We have a prayer chain for special prayer needs and mission offerings are highly emphasized. We have refreshments after our business and closing prayer. Currently, we have 12 members. If you are not currently a member of a group, we invite you to join us.
Some of mission projects are: Remember college students with cards and gift during year. Support the County Food Pantry. Furnish items for the Woman’s Prison in Raliegh at Christmas. Furnish toy donations fo SRBA Toy Store. Participate in Angel Tree gifts. Provide Samaritan’s Purse gift boxes. Assist needy family at times. Small mission rojects. Serve refreshmentss at VBS. Provide evening meal during revial. Prayer chain for church paryer concerns.
Laura McNair Circle
The Laura McNair Group consists of nine active members. We are a group of women who have a love for women’s ministry and a passion for missionaries. It is a group that has a love for one another, but the tie that binds us is the love of serving God. We meet once a month, usually the first Tuesday night of the month at 7:00 PM, and we meet in the member’s homes.
If you are not part of a WMU group, we invite you to come and be a part of our group. We promise that you will be spiritually blessed and warmly received. Unfortunately, you may gain a few pounds because the refreshments are outstanding.
Our meeting consists of praying for concerns of our church and community. Then, we have a program on missions, in which everyone participates. We pray for both foreign and home missionaries. We especially pray for the missionaries having birthdays that day. We participate in projects that the WMU as a whole supports, and we also do special projects. We are currently involved in a project of collecting toothbrushes and toothpaste for Ukraine. We also have a time of fellowship and refreshments.
Helen Peele Circle
The Helen Peele Group was started in 1992 to answer the need of a group of women who were not involved in any circle at First Baptist Church and wished to start a new group. The group was named for Helen White Peele, a faithful servant of the Lord, who had lived beside the church for years. It was a blessing that she was still living at the time so we could honor her iwth this distinction. The original group had about 20 members and its enrollment has continued to be conistently around this number. Ther is no age stipulation with the group. Its only desire is to follow a monthly progrm of its own choosing and to serve a group of women in the church who for some reason were not currently members of a circle group.
In its seventeneen years of its existence we have conducted year long Bible studies, studied local, state and foreign mission opportunities, studied current events, and done topical studies. The group decides at the beginning of each year what its focus will be for that year. Monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in various members’ homes.
At each meeting in addition to the monthly study or focus, there is a prayer time to remember the missionaries throughout the United States and the world that celebrate birthdays, on our meeting nights and the local prayer concerns we have. Refreshments are served at each meeting and we enjoy the felowship of meeting with other Christian ladies.
Regular mission projects include; valentines for the nursing home, Prison and health care ministires, military overseas remembrances, visiting and remembering shut-ins from the church and honoring younger GAs in the church
Lillian Manning Circle
The Lillian Manning Circe was established in 1995 in honor of Lillian Manning for her years of service to the First Baptist Curch. After the death of Annie Webb Pruden (former name of the circle) the members voted to change the name to a living member who had devoted much her time, devotion and energy to the church and church family. This member was Mrs. Lillian Manning who we all love and appreciate so much.
Our circle has eight members. We are a small circle, but we are hard workers. We have seven active members andf one that is no loneger able to particapte actively. She is known as our “Sunshine Member.”
We meet the first Tuesday in the months of September through May. Being a small group has not hindered us from doing lots of mission work. We have a devotional and a program each meeting and have become a very close and caring group. Everyone is so agreeable and willing to do what is necessary to keep us a mission group. We take part in all church activities and WMU projects.
We enjoy our mission work, visiting in the rest homes, making quilts for the elderly and collecting fgod each month for the food pantry. We all love our church and its members as well as each other.