Archive for February, 2016

Preparing for Worship – February 28, 2016


Hymns and Songs We Will Be Singing on Sunday:

Come, Behold the Wondrous Mystery
O, Praise the Name
Psalm 62
It Is Well with My Soul
I Will Glory in My Redeemer

Sunday’s Sermon:

Andy Davis’ message on Sunday is “ A Transformed Life of Labor, Love, and Godly Speech” based on Ephesians 4:28-29. Read and meditate on this scripture passage for Sunday as you prepare for corporate worship.

Pray for Our Leaders:

Preaching: Andy Davis
Leading in Prayer: Andy Davis, Ben Zweigle, and Daniel Renstrom
Leading in Praise: Daniel Renstrom and the Worship Ministry Team
Reading Scripture: Joel Harford

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Preparing for Worship – February 21, 2016


Hymns and Songs We Will Be Singing on Sunday:

Nothing but the Blood
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
You Alone Can Rescue
Jesus, Only Jesus
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Sunday’s Sermon:

Andy Davis’ message on Sunday is “Becoming Pure from Lying and Sinful Anger” based on Ephesians 4:25-27. Read and meditate on this scripture passage for Sunday as you prepare for corporate worship.

Pray for Our Leaders:

Preaching: Andy Davis
Leading in Prayer: Andy Davis, Rick Lesh, and Ross Smith
Leading in Praise: Ross Smith and the Worship Ministry Team
Reading Scripture: Terry Iles
Lord’s Supper

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Preparing for Worship – February 14


Hymns and Songs We Will Be Singing on Sunday:

How Rich a Treasure We Possess
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
What Wondrous Love Is This
Show Us Christ
Be Thou My Vision

Sunday’s Sermon:

Andy Davis’ message on Sunday is “A Radiant Garment of Holiness Held Out for You to Wear” based on Ephesians 4:21-24. Read and meditate on this scripture passage for Sunday as you prepare for corporate worship.

Pray for Our Leaders:

Preaching: Andy Davis
Leading in Prayer: Andy Davis, Kevin Schaub, and Jared Snead
Leading in Praise: Jared Snead and the Worship Ministry Team
Reading Scripture: Bill Oakley

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Read Them Here


Tom Geers

By the grace of God I was born into a Christian home in Saint Louis, MO. My father was a deacon and Sunday school superintendent and my mother was a teacher of the junior boy’s and girl’s class for 37 years. Early on in my home, my Sunday school class, and the pulpit I learned the gospel.

It pleased God who called me by His grace to reveal his son in me (Galatians 1:15-16). At age 11, he brought me to repentance and faith and I was baptized. Between my junior and senior year in college I worked on the staff in Ridgecrest, NC. While there, I heard preaching and teaching and the Lord called me into his ministry.

After graduating from college I went into the US Army for 2 years, and served in South Korea. In 1958 I enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. While there, I met Loraine and we were married between my second and third year at the seminary. After graduation in 1961, I began pastoring Baptist churches until I retired in 2004. We moved here to Durham in the summer of that year and joined First Baptist Church.

Since being a member of this church I’ve taught bible classes, Home Fellowships, worked with the International Ministry, and spend time mentoring and encouraging seminary students.

If elected as elder, I will look forward to serving our church in that capacity.

Ben Zweigle

Jesus calls out, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Around age fourteen I began to feel this weariness and heaviness. My awareness was stirred through difficulty: repeated moves with my newly retired parents, the murder of my closest brother, an involuntary commitment to a hospital, an assault by a teacher, suspensions from school and finally moving out of my parent’s home due to my angry and rebellious behaviors. I was wearied by sin, I just hadn’t recognized it yet. Of all of the places I could have gone God lined up my oldest sister’s home who happened to be a born again believer. During my months of continued rebellion there, as I was dragged along to church and youth group with my sister’s family, His word began to accomplish its purposes in my heart. God began to soften my heart to the gospel through the kindness of the body of Christ and the ministry of His word. One evening, aware of and exhausted by sin, with my sister and God as witnesses, I repented of my sins, confessed my need for a Savior and Jesus Christ as my Lord. Now looking back on those painful weights which brought me that breaking point I can say with David, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).

I can remember lots of stress in my early walk with Christ over whether or not I was secure in Christ. Though my past sins had been cast as far as the east is from the west the allure of sin seemed as strong as ever. Had I really confessed Christ to be my Savior and Lord? Now, looking back I can say yes. Yes I was a new creation through eyes of faith and what had begun in me was the process of sin, conviction, repentance and peaceful gratitude that is with me to this day and will be until I reach heaven or Christ returns. The difference between my assurance then and now is huge. God has given me many victories over sin as well as an affection for Him, which, when I read the New Testament are sure marks of being in Christ. So now I rejoice in full assurance that if I were to die today I would join Him and all the saints in glory forever. That is an amazing thing!

So what am I doing now? To those of you who know me well I’m about to sound like a broken record, I can’t help it, these two verses keep me so driven from day to day. The psalmist writes, “Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Whoa, what I do now to grow internally matters then when I meet God! Secondly, listen to this: “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3). Same principle, what I do now internally matters then, but hear the second part, my internal growth is connected to my external journey of leading others to Christ! Whoa! So, my goal, as feeble as my attempts are, is to pursue knowing Him and making Him known with what little time I have.

One significant way God has directed my growth in Him has been through participation in the ministries at FBC. What are the needs? Do these fit with my gifts? How can I apply myself toward this? For me, having something to teach, whether one week away or one month away, has been a huge encouragement for my growth. I realize that no amount of studying, meditating or prayer over a text will ever allow me to reach its depths or to do it justice during a lesson. In this way I feel constantly under a good pressure to study His word. I am confident participation in the ministries at FBC has been a tool in God’s hands helping me to grow wiser, shine brighter and, Lord willing, lead many to righteousness.

Where else do I pursue knowing Him and making Him known? God has placed me in the world as a licensed counselor, I work full time to help people sort out mental health symptoms. This has been a hard position for me to learn to appreciate in relation to my walk with the Lord over the past ten years. I entered mental health with the purpose of working within a Christian setting, but God (need I say more?) had other plans. He has placed me very much in the world and I am learning to trust and appreciate His wisdom in this. Come to think of it, what better place to find “the many” to lead to righteousness! In this setting it has seemed so easy to find those who need Christ, so many need Christ so desperately. But waiting for those opportunities to lead many to righteousness has seemed so hard. I have encountered sober resistance and serious restrictions at work related to this. Some doors to ministry have been slammed tightly closed. I truly believe in relation to these doors closing the words of Joseph apply, “what you intended for evil God meant for good” or even one chapter over to Exodus 1, “the more they oppressed them the more they multiplied” (Gen 50:20, Exodus 1). When I think back over the last couple of years on some of the painful restrictions I have experienced at work I can see how they have led me to new and more effective doors for ministry. I have learned to schedule times outside of work where I am entirely free to point people clearly toward Christ. Over the last couple of years I have been so privileged to be a part of other people’s growth in Christ, be it on a walk in downtown, over lunch with a coworker or coffee with friends or teenagers (which believe it or not can actually be one in the same :).

I would have never imagined before I came to Christ that he would have poured as many blessings into my life as He has. Forgiveness? Lordship! Adoption? Security! Perseverance? Fruits of the Spirit! Were all these not enough, and they are, he has blessed me with a marriage to a beautiful, that is, godly, wise, faithful and joyful wife of ten years. I have seen God do miracles in our relationship, namely, despite me being me, Sara and I genuinely enjoy our marriage! With God all things are possible. He has since entrusted us with three boys to raise and disciple in His ways. Feel the weight of this responsibility!

First Baptist, you have been a beacon of strength, encouragement and direction as I have sought to take up these weighty responsibilities. I would like little more than to pour back into FBC a portion of what has been poured into me. May God bless you with wisdom as you consider my nomination for eldership.


Kellie Avery

I grew up a “good girl” in the Catholic faith. I had a heart for God as a young child and into my teenage years. In high school and college I was very active within our parish and spent many hours volunteering in different ministries within the church.

Although I was known for being “religious” I was private about my faith. I received great comfort in knowing there was a God. I knew that He had the best in mind for me, but the concept of the Trinity was confusing. I preferred not to talk about Jesus because He felt too controversial. The Holy Spirit was frightening to me, so I chose not to dwell on Him. In many ways, that was how I played out my faith in those early years, picking and choosing my belief based on what I could understand or feel — or worse, how I would be perceived. I felt fairly certain that being a “good girl” had worked for me. I felt if could continue to do good, be good, and hang out with good people, then God would know I was good.

However, I was shaky about how good would be good enough to be in God’s favor. I assumed that this was where “faith” played out.

I met my husband, Damien, during a very difficult time in my life. My family and I were sitting in the fall-out of crises. Through a series of events in my freshman year of college, I had been forced by Child Protective Services to expose over a decade of sexual abuse under the hand of my paternal grandfather. In this process, the large extended family, chose to support my grandfather, cutting off my parents, siblings, and me. I felt alone like I never had before.

Suddenly, at nineteen years of age I was no longer the favored “good girl.” I was the whistle blower on family issues that hadn’t begun with me, but had long been swept under the rug.

At this time, through God’s common grace, I never lost sight that God was with me. And He gave me the faith to believe that somehow He could take all this pain and make it right–though I certainly didn’t know how.

I met Damien when I was 20, He was already a follower of Jesus and he patiently fed me the Good News of Christ, over and over again. During that first year of friendship, and later dating, he told me that the only way to know God was to know His Son, Jesus. He explained that God could not look upon me because of my sin. I could never be or do enough good, but there was hope. Christ gave up His own life to pay for my sin. I could admit my sin and receive his salvation, and know a true and right relationship with God. He explained that the Holy Spirit wasn’t something to ignore out of fear, but that God’s work through the Holy Spirit would allow me to grow in life and love and truth.

I knew Damien served a very different God than the one I had been serving, but it took me a long time to fully understand and make a decision. One evening in December of 1993, while Damien and I were praying, I realized that God’s Word was true, and His sacrifice was personal and real. I decided to trust Jesus as my Savior – to follow Him alone.

Since this decision, my spiritual life continues to be a process as I daily set aside pride and my desire to earn salvation, and to focus my trust in Jesus. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) that I am more than the things I’ve done or will do; much more than the people I know… I have learned that my significance is based on who Christ says I am.

I no longer desire to keep my spiritual life private because Jesus heals me, every day. He heals me from the profound effects of my own sin, and the sin of others. His love has carried me through dark times; has lavishly repaid “the years the locusts have eaten-” (Joel 2:25) and has given me joy that can only come from walking through life with Him.

Travis Bodine

I was born into a Mormon family. My maternal grandparents were devout Mormons. My grandpa traces his genealogy to the beginning of the Mormon church, while my grandma’s immigrated here from Holland to be closer to the Temple. My dad was the first Mormon on his side of the family. He converted in High School and has been devout since. When I was about six my parents got divorced, and my mom left the church. I kept going to church with my grandparents doing everything a normal Mormon does. I was baptized at eight, participated in “baptisms for the dead”, and read the Book of Mormon regularly. My attendance started to slack off when I turned sixteen, and around eighteen I was really beginning to question the church and its teachings. When my Bishop began questioning me about going on a mission I confessed that I wasn’t sure if I believed in Mormonism. He told me to investigate other religions and see for myself that the church was true.

This began a very confusing time in my life. I came to believe that the Mormon church could not be true, but I had no idea what could be. In the Mormon church they tell you that all other churches are false, none of them have the truth. If the Mormons did not have truth, what should I believe? I felt completely lost, and turned to other things to find meaning and happiness. When I turned nineteen I met the woman who would become my wife, had a son shortly after we were married, and joined the military. My life felt comfortable again. I had a wife, a military career, and was playing Basketball for my post team all over Germany. In 2003 I was deployed to Iraq and got injured. I was medically evacuated back to Germany and eventually received a medical discharge. Once again I felt lost.

I was sent back to San Diego where I became depressed for a few months and really did nothing but lay in the bed. My in-laws kept inviting me to church and finally one day, due to the guilt I felt about doing nothing, I went. I heard the Gospel for the first time in my life. The Christians seemed to be happy people so I thought maybe if I do the things that they do I can be happy again. So I bought a Bible (my first one that was not the KJV) began listening to Christian music, and kept going to church. I still felt confused about what was right and what was wrong, but I was beginning to see things in the Bible that clearly went against Mormon teaching.

In Mormonism works are an essential part of your salvation. They teach that we are saved by grace after all we can do. For Mormons to truly repent means to never do it again, we do not inherit a sin nature from Adam so we can be perfect if we work hard enough. The Bible clearly showed me that I am a sinner by nature and by choice. I was in rebellion against a holy God and I could never work my way to salvation, and because of Jesus I didn’t have to. One day while I was listening to a song (Love Song by Third Day) in my car I felt overwhelmed by the Gospel and the great grace of God. The gospel message became clear to me. I am a sinner who could never work my way to salvation, yet Jesus came to this earth lived a perfect life that I could never live, died on the cross for the sins of His people, and rose again proving that He is Lord and Savior. By God’s grace Jesus became precious to me, and my life has been forever changed.

Shortly after I was saved by God’s grace I felt a call to ministry. I enrolled in a Bible College in San Diego and began serving in a local church. Nearing graduation from there my family and I moved here to pursue my Master of Divinity. I am currently a student at SEBTS, work full time as a Surveyor for Fred Smith Company, and serve the church any way that I can. Currently I serve at Liberty Street on Tuesday nights, and with the youth. I am grateful that God has led to FBC. My family and I have been blessed by the work going on here, and we look forward to continuing growth and service.

Jason Burgin – 2nd Term

On a September evening when I was 15 years old, I knelt on the bathroom floor of my parents’ house, and confessed Jesus as Lord. I confessed I am a sinner and prayed for Jesus, the risen Son of God who took the punishment for my sin, to be Lord of my life and to teach me to walk with Him.

After coming to faith, I desired to live a new life to please the Lord and let His light shine as stated in Matthew 5:16, “… let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

I began using whatever talents I could for the Lord, from drawing youth group T-Shirts, to singing and playing guitar for worship.

As a senior in college, I was asked to lead worship for a First Baptist Church youth retreat. I soon joined the college/career worship team and then became a member.

Seventeen years later, it is incredible to see how the Lord has challenged me at First Baptist and caused me to grow in Him from a college student to the spiritual leader of a family of 5 today.

I have grown in realizing my need to be diligent in putting sin to death through the Holy Spirit. As Romans 8:13 states, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

I have also been challenged to stay immersed in God’s word and to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15. My desire as the spiritual leader of my household is to saturate our lives with His word so that we may know Him and His will, bringing Him honor and glory as a family.

The Lord has also instilled in me a great desire to serve Him and His body as a deacon. I want to reflect the humility in service that the Lord exemplified at the Last Supper when He stated in John 13:14-15, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Regarding what God has granted me that will be used for the church body; in my earthly office I am a Certified Public Accountant with a Masters of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I worked as a senior accountant in financial statement audit at Ernst & Young and currently am a manager in revenue accounting with a public company in RTP. This experience can be applied toward a broad spectrum of financial matters within the church body.

I have also enjoyed worship through singing and playing guitar since I came to faith as a teenager and would therefore enjoy supporting the worship ministry.

Above all, whether serving on an international mission trip or stopping by to encourage a homebound brother or sister, my desire is to serve the needs of our body in order for His glory to be displayed to the nations.

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Preparing for Worship – February 7, 2016


Hymns and Songs We Will Be Singing on Sunday:

Oh, Praise the Only One
How Great Is Your Faithfulness
Hallelujah for the Cross
Before the Throne of God Above
Sing to Jesus

Sunday’s Sermon:

Andy Davis’ message on Sunday is “No Longer Living the Dark Life” based on Ephesians 4:17-24. Read and meditate on this scripture passage for Sunday as you prepare for corporate worship.

Pray for Our Leaders:

Preaching: Andy Davis
Leading in Prayer: Andy Davis, Andy Winn, and Daniel Renstrom
Leading in Praise: Daniel Renstrom and the Worship Ministry Team
Reading Scripture: Herbert Rivera
Baptism of Bear Naisang: Kevin Schaub

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