Celebrating the Grand Opening of the NEW First C.A.R.E. Facility

DSC_0219It is my hope that a number of you will take the opportunity to visit the new First C.A.R.E. building located adjacent to the Family Life Center. On Sunday evening, November 2nd, I took the opportunity to visit the new and expanded home of our benevolence ministry as they were celebrating their Grand Opening. The first thing that I noticed was the improved curb appeal and building access. Donations may now be made on the northeast side of the building, freeing the front entrance for First C.A.R.E. clients.

DSC_0220Upon entering the main doors visitors are greeted by a warm and inviting waiting room. Clients simply have to express a need and show proof of residency for the cities of Cabot, Austin, or Ward in order to receive aid. Ninety-five percent of the benefits that the ministry offers are non-income based. A small income based portion of the ministry operates under the guidelines of the US Department of Agriculture.


DSC_0231That being said, clients do undergo a brief counseling session in one of the three new interview rooms. Interviews are conducted by trained ministry volunteers who inquire about the clients living arrangements, discuss income and spending habits, and assess their physical and spiritual needs. This time also offers an opportunity for the ministry staff to present the gospel. Bibles are available to any who desire one at no charge. Upon completion of the interview, clients may obtain food and/or clothing through First C.A.R.E.. Additionally, volunteers may direct clients to other services that are available to them within the community.

Gone are the cramped quarters of the Pine Street locations (2 buildings)!!! The spacious, well lit clothing room affords the center the ability to display a larger selection and wider range of sizes. First C.A.R.E volunteers clean, sort, and arrange shoes and clothing articles in an appealing and well organized fashion. On the occasion that donated items are found to be soiled, the inclusion of a washer and dryer in the new facility is a blessing!



If you had previously visited the Pine Street kitchen and pantry, then be prepared to rejoice over the expanded food storage area. One freezer has been added to accommodate more cold storage items. Large shelving units have been purchased to welcome more non-perishable food donations. They will also make the job of clearly displaying and rotating stock much easier for the volunteers.



Patty Riggs, the director of First C.A.R.E., commented that over 50 people came through the center last Monday when the doors opened to the public. The volunteer staff was astounded by the number of clients they were able to help that day because larger space allows for more fluid and time-saving movement through the center.

A great deal of prayer, planning, and hard work went into the new First C.A.R.E facility. I encourage you to visit the center and see the potential it has for reaching others in our community with the love of Christ. By your prayerful and financial support of the benevolence ministry you are ON MISSION in Cabot, Austin, and Ward. Perhaps God is now calling you to step out and volunteer in the ministry, below you will find additional opportunities to do so.

Back Row: Mary Thompson (Mt. Carmel), Jan Mcgough (Mt. Carmel), Bob Courson (pastor, Caney Creek Baptist Church) Ron House, Sue Smith, Robin House, Shirley Walker Front row: Patty Riggs, Betty Gray, Pat Hardin, Earline Moore, Shirley Bennett


The cast of characters, all are FBC members: Back row: Patty Riggs, Jerry Elam, Shirley Walker, Ron House, Robin House Front row: Earline Moore, Betty Gray, Shirley Bennet, Barbara Elam, Rose Jones.

Additional Information:

The new address is 404 E. Olive St.

After the New Year, First C.A.R.E. would like to expand its operating hours to include Tuesday evenings. They are currently open Monday and Thursdays 9 am – 2 pm. The addition of evening hours would allow them to accommodate clients who work during the day who are in need of assistance.

Positions Available:

  • Reception
  • Counselor
  • Clothing Room Attendant
  • Clothing Sorter
  • Food Sorter

Items in critical need:

  • Diapers sizes N, 4, 5, 6
  • Deodorant
  • Razors (men and women)
  • Shampoo
  • Feminine care products
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes

Do you hunt? You can donate venison and other wild game to First C.A.R.E. through the Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. More information can be found at www.arkansashunters.org

Kroger Community Rewards Program: If you are a Kroger shopper with a Kroger Plus Card you could be earning rewards for the First C.A.R.E. ministry simply by doing your regular shopping. For more information and to register your card click here.
The First C.A.R.E. organization number is 81045.

First C.A.R.E. is a joint undertaking between First Baptist of Cabot and seven other local churches. Financial support comes primarily by the benevolence offerings and other contributions received from the membership of First Baptist. Regular financial support is also received from Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Fellowship Bible Church, Faith Baptist Church, Bible Church, Our Savior of Lutheran Church, New Life Church (NLC), and Austin Station Baptist Church.

C.A.R.E. = Christian Assistance, Resources, and Encouragement


Be Doers of the Word

When I joined First Baptist Church a year ago I had never attended such a mission minded church. In order to be a member at First Baptist you must attend the Life@First class. This was a good place for me to start because I had not attended a Baptist Church before either. As part of the welcome package, Pastor Avey reviewed the mission opportunities available though FBC. I was immediately attracted to the Bangladesh Mission Trip but when I mentioned it to my husband he asked me, “Why that one, why not…” So I let it go.

April showers bring May flowers and June brings VBS. As a new member I wanted to get connected so I tossed my name into the pool of volunteers. Where did Tammy assign me? Teaching the mission message to preschoolers.

November at FBC was all about missions. In fact, it was during the last missions message that a video clip moved my spirit. Images of the crowed streets and train station in Bangladesh moved me to tears and my heart broke for those people. So many. So lost without Christ. After that message I contacted John Carney, the mission team leader.

Through my time in scripture, those series of events, and my scripture verse for 2013 – I felt God calling me to Bangladesh. My scripture verse for 2013 was James 1:22 – we are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only. What does His Word tell us about missions? From the beginning…

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

This blessing is repeated in Genesis 26:4 & Genesis 28:14. Now read it again in light of Galatians 3:29, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” and Galatians 3:14 “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” You don’t need a calling to be apart of missions because you are part of the family. God intended to use us to reach others from the very beginning, it was part of his divine plan. Will you yield your heart to his purposes and let Him bless others through you?

How dare we adopt a hostile or scornful or even indifferent attitude to any person of another color or culture if our God is the God of “all the families of the earth”? We need to become global Christians with global vision,  for we have a global God.  ~John R. W. Stott

For further study. These verses speak to Gods desire for his name to be know among the nations:

1 Sam 17:45-46 …the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel

1 Kings 8:41-43so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you

Ps 46:10I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Ps 67:1-2 …so that your ways may be know on earth, your salvation among all nations

Dan 3:29-30 …for no other god can save in this way

Isa 49:6that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Jer 16:19-20to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!”

Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Zeph 2:11 The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.

Mal 1:11 My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

We are blessed to be a blessing. Far more than a duty – it’s our destiny.

~ John R. W. Stott

Are you ready to be more than a hearer of God’s Word? There is still room on the Bangladesh mission team and others. If you cannot commit to GO this year then please pledge to pray for our mission teams, our church plants, and our international missionaries.



First Baptist Church of Cabot is a GREAT COMMISSION church! Every year the church provides local, national, and international opportunities to serve on God’s mission field. Recently we had a team return from a one week service trip to Guatemala. The Women’s Ministry has reached out to a member of that team, Mrs. Julie Shumway, and she has graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us. We hope that this will wet your appetite and inspire you to be involved in missions through praying, giving, and going.
For those in the church that have not had the opportunity to meet you, tell us a little bit about yourself? 
My husband Bryan and I have three children. Rebekah is 9 and in the 4th grade, Alex is 8, in the 2nd grade and Emma is 6 and in Kindergarten. This is our second time living in Cabot.  We were here with the Air Force back in 2000-2004 then after 5 years away we moved back in 2009 and have been coming to First Baptist since then. I have a degree in Elementary Education and I have a heart for children, I have enjoyed teaching both Sunday school and VBS.  Our family is currently attending Sundays at Chapel Hill where I teach in the 2nd hour elementary Sunday school class.
How did you know that God was calling you to Guatemala?
Our family lived in Ecuador for 2 years and God gave me a love for Latin American culture and a heart for the people. I knew God was going to use my experience in Ecuador through missions at some point I had been praying that God would make it clear to me when I should go. I read in the bulletin one Sunday about a trip to Guatemala to do a VBS and I knew immediately that I was supposed to go.
Was this your first mission trip?
This was my first foreign mission trip.  I spent the summer of 1996 in Yosemite as an Innovator with the SBC.
For the moms out there, Julie has young children at home. Julie, were you nervous about leaving your kids? What would you say to other mothers who are contemplating mission work but are apprehensive about leaving their children?
I was not nervous about leaving my children.  I have a very capable husband and I knew they were in good hands.  Honestly, I’m an Air Force wife, I have had many times when my husband has been deployed or away for a few weeks at a time – I was looking forward to my turn away! 🙂
My advice to other mothers that might be apprehensive about leaving their children is to remember that this is what God has planned for you and He will take care of your kids!
How did you prepare yourself spiritually for the trip?
I didn’t do anything extra special.  I spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to guide me in doing His work.
What kind of work or ministry did you do while you were in country?
In the mornings a group of us would go visit houses of members/attenders or prospective attenders to pray with and encourage to come to church.  Most of the people we visited were already believers, but had not been coming to church for some reason or another.  Some of them were struggling with their faith because of harsh circumstances in their lives.  We were able to encourage and pray with them.  This was the part I was most nervous about and I kept asking God to let me know when I was supposed to say something – and I never felt led to share the first two days and I thought “What is wrong with me” On the third day we visited a group of four families that had about 14 children all together. When our leader asked if anyone would like to share something I started talking before I even had time to think.  I shared my testimony, and challenged the kids that if any of them, as I had, knew Jesus was their Savior but had not given their life to him, that they need to make that step of making Jesus Lord of their life.  It was amazing to me to realize how God was using me at just the right time, that someone there needed to hear that message at that time.
The other part of our ministry was the VBS in the afternoon. I led the singing and I was so blessed to be able to use my knowledge of Spanish to sing with the kids in their language – I also enjoyed just talking to and joking around with the kids and loving on them without the language barrier.  It was a blessing to me.
The men also built two walls in the church to make two rooms.  I really wasn’t involved in this operation!
Do you feel that God equipped you for what you were asked to do while you were there?
Yes. I didn’t necessarily feel completely equipped when I left for Guatemala,  I answered the call and made myself available to Him and then He equipped me when I needed it.
Please share with us how you perceived God to be working in Guatemala.
The Christians in Guatemala are passionate about Jesus. They are working against the Catholic church and the deep rooted traditions and superstitions that the people there have. The Christians there are passionate about telling those who have these false ideas of salvation, the truth of the Gospel of grace. It is inspiring to see their passion.
How was the missionary team received by the local people?
The church and people we visited were thankful and blessed by our being there.
How did this trip effect your growth as a Christian?
It reminded me that it is all about God  – He uses us to do His work, but it is all Him.  Also, it made me realize I can do more here where I live – reach out to people who are struggling and need encouragement or need to hear the gospel. And again, even though I may not feel equipped I have been reminded that God will give me what I need when I need it, I just need to step out in obedience.
Thank you Julie for your willingness to serve. It is always wonderful to here testimonies about how God uses yielded hearts for His divine purposes.
To find out more about how you can be involved in our global mission effort contact Pastor Dick Avey at 501.843.5472 or send him and email dickavey@fbccabot.org.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20