First Baptist Church of Newnan is a church rooted in the gospel. The founding members of our church were four men and three women. Two of those women were slaves. Our founding document refers to these two as “women of color.” This fact stands as a monument in our history making a clear statement that our congregation, which spans a long history of many different cultural distinctions, is grounded in principles that transcend time and space. We are a people who have set our hope on the eternity that God has brought near to us in the self-sending of the Beloved Son – Jesus Christ.
We are far from a perfect people, but we serve a perfect God who is right now making all things new. This God commands our allegiance and calls us to take every thought captive and place it under the obedience of Christ. With the events coming to Newnan shortly, we would like to kindle our love afresh for Christ and his commands and see the upcoming rally as an opportunity for us to speak in the spirit of the peace that Christ brought through the shedding of his blood on the cross.
On April 21, our city will be visited by a movement that seeks to use our community as a platform for their anti-Semitic, racially charged, hate-filled rhetoric of “blood and soil.” It is without question that this group intends to gather to disrupt the unity of our community with their vile displays of bigotry and are determined to unsettle and cause fear. Our community is not a perfect community, but our imperfections are being addressed in a spirit of comradery and cooperation. The picture that this group will present of our community to the world is not indicative of the pulse beating in our community, a pulse that is seeking harmony, reconciliation, justice, and peace.
As the steeple of First Baptist Church of Newnan stands over these events, our prayer is that the cross affixed to our steeple be the focal point that speaks loudly and explicitly both during and after the whirlwind this rally seeks to bring.
First Baptist Church of Newnan stands united against all forms of racism, and in this case specifically against the white-supremacy that will darken the gates of our city April 21. We must not only declare racism to be wrong; we must oppose specific degrading and dehumanizing acts and movements.
Our reason for denouncing the message of this group is our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was a revolutionary figure who changed the world through love. Christ displayed his love for sinful humanity through a cross. From his death on the cross on behalf of all who trust in him to his resurrection, he has secured a kingdom comprised of people from every language, tribe, nation, skin color, and socio-economic status. In Christ’s kingdom there is room for only one supremacy – the supremacy of the crucified, risen, and soon coming Christ who commands all persons to repent and trust in him.
First Baptist Church of Newnan, along with our sister churches across Coweta County, the United States, and the rest of the earth, exist as a reminder to our society of Christ's coming kingdom. A bloodline unites us. Not our blood, but the blood that flows from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath his blood lose all their guilt and stains.
In June 1828, two slave women whose economic status was the property of another received the rank of founding members of the First Baptist Church of Newnan, Georgia. This fact represents the economy of the eternity Christ has brought and is bringing. It would take the United States a Civil War and three decades to realize what the founding members of our church realized - all people are made in the image of God and are equal at the foot of the cross.
On April 21, 2018, it is our prayer that the economics of a savior crucified for all persons to bring about peace with God reign supreme in our community.
Glory to God Alone