Our Pastor’s Blog

An Introduction to The Great Reveal

This time of the year, many churches celebrate “Advent.” Advent simply means the arrival, or the preparation for the arrival of someone very important, like a king. There are two “advents” mentioned in the Bible. We celebrate the First Advent as we prepare for Christmas, the coming of God to earth in human form, the birth of Jesus. We anticipate the Second Advent when Christ returns to earth in all His glory. The Great Reveal will make the connection between both advents. Our worship services will focus on a different theme each week, culminating with our Christmas Eve service. We invite you to join us each Sunday morning at 10:30 and at our candlelight service December 24, 5:00 pm. 

December 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Revealed Peace
December 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Revealed Joy
December 23
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Revealed Love
December 24
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Revealed King

Our Christmas Gift to Johnston City

Pastor Keith made this video as part of JCity Church’s Christmas gift to the community. The audio was recorded on CD and additional instrumental Christmas music filled the rest of the CD (included in “Family Goodie Bags” handed out at Hometown Christmas, Nov. 24, in downtown Johnston City, IL).

In this recording, Pastor Keith shares God’s love for everyone in our community and JCity Church’s passion to share this simple message in any way possible. If you need additional information about establishing a life-changing relationship with God or would like to know more about JCity Church, please contact Pastor Keith via the Contact page on this website or by phone (voice or text) (618) 983-5254.

Go here to read the entire text of this message.

What to Wear to Church (9/9/18)

Pastor Keith answers the question many first-time guests have about church: What do I wear?

One question a lot of people ask before going to a church is, what should I wear? The answer I give to that question is—whatever you have that you are comfortable in. We’re not a church where everyone dresses up. Some folks do on special occasions, but none of us are “slaves to fashion” and we’re certainly not fashion critics. We wear what we’re comfortable going to church in and we hope you will do that too. Don’t go out and buy new clothes or think that you have to do that to come to JCity Church. If I happen to wear a tie or a suit jacket, there’s a pretty good chance it came from the clearance rack or the thrift store. Name brand clothes are just not my thing. I’m happy in jeans and a t-shirt, and most of my t-shirts have something to do with church events, like this one that I’ll wear on Back to Church Sunday. On that day, I definitely won’t be the only one in a t-shirt or jeans.

Please don’t let an article of clothing keep you from coming to worship Jesus with us. His disciples were probably not snappy dressers. They were fishermen, tax collectors, rabble rousers, and just like us—plain, ordinary, down to earth people. God’s more concerned about what you really are on the inside than how you appear to others. Just be yourself, be comfortable in your own threads, be real. Come see that we’re trying to be that too. Come See. Come this Sunday.

Come Just As You Are (9/1/18)

Come take a walk with our pastor as he shares and tries to clear up some common misconceptions about going to church.

Come See — You Belong Here! (8/25/18)

Why We’re Here

Hello, this is Pastor Keith Fletcher of the Johnston City Free Will Baptist Church, or as we like to say “JCity Church.” We used to have the word “first” in our name, but that was kind of confusing since Johnston City has a First Baptist, First Christian, and First United Methodist Church. We dropped the “first” from our name because we want to put Christ and community first and not our church.

My wife Sarah and I grew up here in Johnston City but we both left to go to college and enter into ministry. We never thought we’d live here again and that was ok with us for over 30 years. But about 9 years ago, God called us back to this little town. Lots had changed over the years, and much of it was not for the better. I didn’t think it was possible, but what started out as a burden has grown into a deep love of this place and the people who live here. I believe God can rebuild things that are broken down. That includes towns, churches, families, and individual lives. The Bible says he can make beauty from ashes. After all, the God who raised Jesus from the dead has the power to do anything He wants.

I believe God can change lives. He’s changed mine. He can change yours! And a community full of folks whose lives have been changed by the power of God is a wonderful place to live. As we try to follow Jesus and treat others with the same kindness and grace he’s has given us, our relationships will certainly improve. Not that we will do that perfectly, we all fail, we all make mistakes, we let others down and we don’t measure up to the perfect standard that God demands, but that’s where grace comes in. Jesus loves us even though we aren’t perfect, we don’t deserve His love, we can’t earn it no matter how much good we do or how nice we are. He loved us enough to die for us on the cross so that the punishment we deserve for our bad behavior (our sin) would be removed. He wants us to have a life-changing relationship with God and He’s made a way for to do just that. If you’d like to know more about having this kind of relationship with God, we’d love to talk and pray with you. Come to our service this Sunday and I’ll share more about getting a fresh start in your life.

If you already have experienced this transformation and God has given you a burden for our community, you’ll be in good company at our church. We don’t have a crowd, but we also don’t just sit around. Our love for God and for the people of our town, especially families with children, motivates us to do something. We want to be part of the solution that God offers our community and the people in it. Come see what we’re all about.

By the way, on the 16th of September, our church will participate in National Back to Church Sunday. If you haven’t been to church in a while, or even if you’ve never been, this is your opportunity to join tens of thousands of people who have said yes to an invitation to be a guest at a friend’s church. If I don’t get to talk to you personally, please consider this my invitation to you and your family to join us Sunday morning, September 16, at 10:30 as we celebrate Back to Church Sunday. The following clip will tell you more about this event and you can also watch our website and facebook for details about our plans that day. God bless you. We hope to see you soon.

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