First Baptist Church
(Revised for the 2023 Search Committee on April 3, 2023 )
The Senior Pastor shall be the lead member of the Professional Church Leaders team and support staff, having the primary responsibility for worship, counseling, visitation, and coordination of the total church program. The Senior Pastor is expected to be both the spiritual leader and chief administrator of the church.
The Senior Pastor shall:
- Be a dedicated Christian and have personal traits that provide good leadership.
- Have adequate academic and theological training; at least college and basic seminary degrees, and meet the ordination standards of the ABC/USA and ABC/IN/KY.
- Be an effective speaker, capable of interpreting and communicating the Scriptures.
- Be a leader who motivates men and women to strive for higher levels of spirituality and service.
- Have academic training and successful experience in personal and family counseling.
- Be a capable administrator.
The Senior Pastor shall:
- Coordinate plans and programs with the other Professional Church Leaders.
- Work on a team basis with the other Professional Church Leaders, with the understanding that the coordinating responsibility for the total church program rests with the Senior Pastor.
- Look to the Staff Relations Committee of the Church Council for frequent informal feedback and annual formal review.
- Collaborate with the Church Council, providing mutual insight and counsel in all aspects of ministry.
- Be an ex-officio member of all Ministry Areas. The Senior Pastor should coordinate attendance at meetings with the other Professional Church Leaders.
The Senior Pastor shall:
- Provide spiritual leadership for the church.
- Preach the full gospel of Christ and make application of Scriptures to life.
- Provide pastoral care to the bereaved and others in need of comfort and counseling, as well as celebrations of joy such as weddings and baby dedications.
- Encourage evangelistic programs & initiatives.
- Lead in visitation to the sick, shut-in, bereaved, and those new to the church.
- Determine the theme of worship services and lead in administration of ordinances.
- Coordinate plans and programs for the total church with the other ministers, staff members, and Ministry Teams to assure a purposeful, cohesive program for the church.
- Lead the church in our continuing commitment to missions; local, national, and international.
- Lead in planning stewardship programs.
- Participate and lead in Baptist, ecumenical, and community affairs as seems appropriate. These external activities should be balanced with the needs of the church and the Church Council should be advised of new commitments to external organizations.
Here is a fairly extensive profile of our congregation
Profile of FBC Columbus, IN.
1John 3:18 defines our congregation. “Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Love has become an action verb that permeates who we are as the Family of God. It is evident in our caring for one another in times of sorrow, and celebrating in our times of joy. Embracing visitors and others we encounter is our continuing goal, exemplified as we have adopted an Afghan refugee family, helping them to navigate the changes in their lives induced by settling in America.
We gather together for worship Sunday morning at 9:30 am and use technology to live stream our service on several platforms. We also have second hour classes that include the Adult Study Fellowship and a sermon discussion option, led by lay volunteers. A Men of Faith Bible study meets every Friday morning at 7:00 am, and a L.I.G.H.T. Women’s Bible study meets Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. Lay volunteers lead the women’s study, while the men’s study has been written and taught by a retired pastor and co-led by our senior pastor. (We currently have six retired ministers as active members of our congregation.) Our technology platforms are frequently used for small group meetings as well, especially since early 2020.
Six Ministry Teams (Missions, Worship, Family Life, Evangelism, Stewardship, & Christian Education) are the basis of our organizational structure that coordinates our ministries, and the chairpersons of each are members of the Church Council which is the central Leadership Team for the congregation. In 1987, the church created the First Baptist Church Foundation. Designed to encourage special gifts to the church, the income from this fund is made available for special purposes and needs of the church and missions. Annually, two scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who will enter college. The Foundation is administered by a board of five directors elected by the church.
Our ministerial staff includes a Senior Pastor and a Worship Pastor who work together to plan and lead our Sunday worship. The church has a wonderful pipe organ and organists, as well as a praise team who assists in leading the opening music. Handbells and voice choir are also available for participating in worship.
We strongly support our ABCUSA mission programs as well as our ABC IN/KY missions. Our history includes mission work projects to Alaska, Haiti, The Green Lake Conference Center, Chile, our IN/KY camps, and local one-off workdays supporting other ministries/churches in their efforts. Extending care to each other includes a Prayer Shawl Ministry, active lay care teams, and celebrations of new beginnings (births/ marriages) and home-goings (funeral support), as well. Believing we should play together as well as work, we celebrate with each other and our community with retreats, holiday festivals (Trunk-Or-Treat, Easter-Egg Hunts, etc…), and typically have a VBS offering annually. We often align worship and activities with the liturgical calendar, as the pastoral staff leads.
We are a charter member church of the Ecumenical Assembly in our county (a collaboration of 25 local congregations), providing major financial support through an annual community “Seeds of Love Walk/Run” event (over $100K raised and donated in its first 11 years). This outreach work includes support for the Love Chapel Food Bank and overnight lodging for the homeless. We have a garden on the church property that grows vegetables during the summer for the food bank; a number of our congregants also volunteer weekly in the distribution work of the food pantry. Along with other churches, we participate in serving hot meals to the community. At the beginning of each school year, we prepare a supply bag for the teachers in the school across the street from the church (and any educators in our congregation).
Coffee Fellowship gatherings are planned for the last Sunday of the month, as well as all-church meals for Thanksgiving and Easter. A kitchen staff of volunteers organizes the monthly Coffee Fellowship and meals are served through out the year, as well as meals for family/friends after a funeral.
A Pastoral Care Team of volunteers provide weekly support for persons with physical and emotional needs. When needed, meals are delivered to individuals who have experienced some temporary health issues. We have a Health Ministry Team, believing that health impacts us spiritually, physically and emotionally. We have an emergency medical responder assigned for Sunday worship who is covered by church insurance.
Columbus, Indiana is known for its architecture, and First Baptist is designated a National Historic Landmark, one of seven in Columbus. Although the church is 170 years old, the present facility was built in 1964 and we have continued to make safety, accessibility and convenience improvements as needs have arisen.
Since moving to the new site in 1964, the church has had only six pastors. Our previous Senior pastor led the congregation for 15 years. The church has a columbarium, reinforcing our commitment to supporting church family members through the entire course of their earthly journeys.
It is surrounded with commemorative bricks that are used to honor or memorialize individuals. The outer bricks identify all who have been pastors of the congregation over the 170 years.
Our annual church budget has been in the $420-450K range in the past few years. About 2/3 of that spending goes toward compensation and benefits for our church staff; the remaining 1/3 is split almost evenly between paying bills (utilities/insurance/maintenance/etc…) and ministry related expenses. While our Missions Ministry budget in 2023 is just over $52K, our 2022 special missions giving would bring that total to over $65K. We eagerly look to the future, knowing the uncertainty of the world will be lit with the shining Glory of our Lord, and pray that our faith, preparation, and actions will be pleasing to Him and will prepare us to be a willing and capable Body of Christ.
Other Key Links:
City of Columbus, IN: www.columbus.in.gov
Visitor’s Center: columbus.in.us
Local Public Schools: www.bcscschools.org
City Parks: columbusparksandrec.com
Chamber of Commerce: www.columbusareachamber.com ABC IN/KY: www.abc-indiana.org
Demographics for First Baptist: Age Number % of Total
0-10 6 3%
11-20 4 2%
21-40 15 8%
41-60 17 9%
61-80 56 30%
81+ 86 47%
Avg In-person attendance: 2022 – ~120 (another 40 households connect weekly via livestream) 1982 – ~250
How To Apply
If interested, please contact me (Jeff Caldwell) at [email protected]. I am serving as the leader of this Pastoral search committee.