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September 27, 2016

The Story In Our Logo!

Jesus said, “If I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.” Thus, atop our spire in the logo, we lift high the cross of Jesus! His death there brought him into the depth of our reality – he bore our sufferings, our sins, and our griefs. He understands the cries and questions of our hearts and draws us into the merciful arms of God’s love. Our new logo celebrates this blessing!

The Two Crosses in the tag line are there to remind us, first, of Jesus’ death which demonstrates that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, and second, of Jesus’ call to discipleship as he says to us, “If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me!”

The word CHURCH is at the heart of our logo. It is because we are the ‘church’ – ‘called out’ to follow Jesus. Jesus, who declared, “I will build my church and the gates of death will not prevail against it.” That’s who we are – people who confess that Jesus is the son of the living God – our Lord, our Savior, who calls us to live the way of his kingdom in Shelby.

The colors of purple and green come right from our sanctuary stained glass. The lead theme in each of our tall, narrow windows is the ‘vine and branches’. We see the clusters of purple grapes hanging beneath the green leaves on the branch upon entrance to the sanctuary. Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches, the one who abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit. But, without me you can do nothing.” These colors expect from us a growing relationship with Jesus.

Community” — Just as God said through the prophet Jeremiah, ‘seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile,’ God intends for his church to make the greatest impact in our community! He’s called us as believers to be “one” so that Shelby and Cleveland County will know him. We walk together, a community of Christ Followers, to know him and make him known in our Shelby community.

Compassion” — Jesus looked out over his town and said, ‘How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.’ And, at another time, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. His compassion for us now is to live through us as we share our faith and his love in Shelby.

Service” — Jesus said that he did not come to be served but to serve. He also said there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for our friends. So, here at First Baptist Church, we are seeking to live ‘on purpose’ as Jesus’ presence in Shelby. Like Jesus, we seek to live life beyond ourselves.

Community, Compassion, Service” — a noun, an emotion, and a behavior. “Community” is who we are, loving one another and then loving our neighbors. “Compassion” is what we feel, as our hearts break for our friends and neighbors who hurt, are lost in sin, and struggle against life’s burdens. “Service” is what we do, as each one does his or her part to ‘serve one another humbly’ (Gal. 5:13)

“The Circle and the Point”— Since 1847, First Baptist Church has lived to celebrate and to share the unending love of God with a world in need of a Savior. The ‘circle’, therefore, reminds us of that never-ending love, the full extent of which was shown us by Jesus’ death on the cross. The circle also represents the world and inside the circle is our church spire denoting our place in Shelby, and in the world, from which we ‘point’ people to Jesus who saves us from sin and who saves us for his kingdom work transforming the world around us.