First Baptist more than just a place to pray

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 24, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Going to a church isn’t just about praying and passing the collection plate. If anything, a church is a place where people come together and grow as individuals and families through educational and fun programs.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, First Baptist at 237 N. Main St. will host a one-day marriage-building conference. Such a program is an annual occurrence at the church and open to the public.

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Dr. Mark Liederbach will lead this event about marriage and intimacy. He is professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and conducts courses in &uot;Foundations for Marriage and Family Life.&uot; Topics will include &uot;Rekindling Intimacy,&uot; &uot;Renewing Communications&uot; and &uot;Growing Commitment.&uot;

Cost is $8 per person, $15 per couple.

Naturally, the pastor, Rev. David H. Chauncey, and his wife, Sara, will participate in the conference.

Preceding this event on Valentine’s Day will be an &uot;Evening of Elegance,&uot; which will feature music and dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. This is an annual church celebration, and those members planning to participate in either event can contact Dot Murray at 539-4152.

Cost is $10 per person, and dress is semi-formal. Deadline to buy tickets is Sunday, Feb. 9.

If that isn’t enough, Mrs. Chauncey will lead a ladies’ retreat, &uot;A Life Poured Out: Being a Mary in a Martha World.&uot; This takes place March 14-15 in the Williamsburg Hospitality House. Cost is $50 per person (based on four to a room). Deadline to signup is Feb. 9. Call Lisa Amos at 539-4152.

Youngsters are not overlooked at First Baptist. &uot;Upward Basketball&uot; is open for first- through eighth-grade boys and girls both from the church and the community. Each Saturday, 120 people in 12 teams participate in this national program of the same name, which includes uniforms, rules and playbooks.

Chauncey spoke highly of this activity that features a spiritual emphasis, &uot;I hope to see it grow. Parents are really enjoying it. In fact, I coach one of the boys’ teams. I enjoy it a lot.&uot; He added that his sons, Andrew and Caleb, are also participants. The other children in the Chauncey family are; Luke, 4, and in July 2002, the couple had twins, Hannah and Stephen.

Come 6:30 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 26, First Baptist will offer &uot;Living Proof,&uot; a gospel group of nine young men and women in concert. This is also free and open to the congregation and public.

Chauncey celebrated his third anniversary at the church on Jan. 15. Prior to his arrival he was at Selma Baptist, east of Raleigh, N.C., for four years, and before that a church in Charlotte, N.C. for five years.

He said, &uot;Someone who knew me recommended my name to the search committee. I wasn’t actively looking, but it seemed like the Lord wanted me to take this opportunity.&uot;

As with so many others, Chauncey originally had no plans for the ministry, even though his father is a pastor.

People often expect that when the father is a minister, the son should do likewise.

&uot;I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow in Dad’s footsteps I wanted it to be my own sense of calling,&uot; he said.

Chauncey was majoring in business and accounting at The College of William and Mary when, as he put it, &uot;The Lord laid it on my heart.&uot;

He transferred for his last two years to the University of Richmond. Afterward, he earned a master of divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Five years later he started work on his doctorate of ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the old Wake Forest, N.C. campus, north of Raleigh.

For more information about First Baptist, e-mail: fbc@fbcSuffolk.org or go to the Web site: www.fbcSuffolk.org