Pastor's Welcome

Welcome has become so common that we forget what it means. Originally the word came from terms that meant "a desired guest." Not everyone is welcome in our lives! In this time of stress and strain, to be welcomed means to belong somewhere. When we say "welcome" to you, it is an expression of the character of this fellowship of faith.

Genuine Christian community is a gracious gift in a world of transactions, anonymity, and hurry.

We do not consider fellowship as a means to some other end, like growing the church numerically or achieving certain goals.

Fellowship is at the heart of our very lives as Christians. All that we do, hopefully, leads us toward fellowship with God and one another.

Welcome is an invitation into depth. 

To become a part of a faith community means more than joining. It means to be known and know a particular gathering of people in a more than casual way. We cannot really know much about a church by visiting one or two worship services, though it can help. As in any meaningful relationship, it takes time, investment, and conversation to grow closer. If you are not part of our church, we invite you to come and visit. 

Our hope is that this web site can be a tool to assist you in becoming our "welcomed guest." It will give you much of that information that we all need when a relationship begins. And for our members, this site can be one more way of strengthening our communication with one another. In this, as in all things, we hope that God may be glorified, and that love may be increased. Welcome! 

— Gary Furr, Pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church


FAQ


Who is VHBC? 


Every church is unique. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church is a congregation that shares many similar aspects with other Christian groups, but when you ask visitors and especially those who join us, they often say, “they are a warm and caring fellowship,” one that is personal. People will get to know your name. You will find a place here if you want one, and you will be welcomed.

We are a fellowship that takes relationship with God seriously. We encourage one another to grow in our faith and encourage each other in that journey. We take seriously the call to serve the Lord.

We are a community of grace. Some would call us, “The church of the second chance.” If church is sometimes judgmental, we are not. We seek to meet people where they are and help them find where they go from here.

It is, finally, a fellowship that cares.  As a church, we believe that to be a Christian is to care—about what is right, about our responsibilities to God and each other, and the world around us, especially those needing shelter and belonging. Through very active mission and ministry, we seek to demonstrate the very simple words: “We care.”

Our hope is that you will find that to be true, too.


What is your approach to worship?


Worshipers at VHBC seek to express our gratefulness and awe to God, our love for one another, and our desire to serve God and each other more faithfully through

·         the singing of historic and newly written hymns and anthems

·         the reading of scripture

·         the confession of sin

·         prayer for ourselves, our neighbors and our world

·         the creative proclamation of the Gospel and the call to commitment.

The congregation of VHBC seeks to make each Sunday’s service a step of progress on the journey of following Christ.


What do I wear to worship?


Gentlemen may wish to wear golf shirt and khakis or coat and tie. Ladies' wear includes skirts and slacks. All ages are encouraged to dress with modesty appropriate to the worship of God.


Why is worship at 10:00 a.m.?


In 1957, a small group of Baptists met to discuss the possibility of organizing a new church in the new Vestavia Hills community. City Hall would be the meeting place. Dr. John Wiley was called as the first pastor of this church with 150 charter members. Since the Presbyterian church met at City Hall at 11:00 a.m., the Vestavia Hills congregation of Baptists elected to hold services at 10:00 a.m., a practice that has continued to this day.


Who is coming to worship?


Christ is coming…

in the neighbors who greet you, read the scripture with you, share a hymnal and sing with you, pray with you, Christ is coming.

The Holy Spirit is coming…

in the confession and forgiveness of sin, in the proclamation of the Gospel, in the sharing of burdens and joys, the Holy Spirit is coming.

God is coming…

in the creation of a beautiful, sacred mountaintop, in the unbroken line of generations of worshipers that leads to today’s congregation, in the shared sense of awe and gratefulness, God is coming.

Will you come, too? 


Is there a place for my children?


There is a place for your child at VHBC. We want every child to know they are welcomed and loved. Sunday morning classes for babies through 6th graders  meet at the same time as youth and adults. Loving and Christ-following adults are ready to care for and guide children in age-group classes.

Preschoolers and children are a vital part of our church family.

Worship Care, for babies - kindergarteners, meets during the worship service. Children in the Kindergarten class leave Sunday School to attend part of the worship service with their parents or grandparents and then return to the classroom at the designated time in the Worship Guide, usually around 20 minutes into the service.

1st through 6th Graders attend and participate worship with their family and friends.

Wednesday night is a big night for families. Please refer to the Preschool and Children's pages for Wednesday night programs.


What's your student ministry like?


Student Ministry includes the pastoral care of 7th-12th graders, their loved ones, and college students. We use the word "student" not to emphasize academic identity but because we are students of Jesus. We are trying to learn the abundant life from him. We believe youth are agents, not objects, of ministry and that relationships with them should not be a means to an end (good behavior, future success, even church attendance) but are invaluable in and of themselves. 

Please refer to the Youth and College pages for all the programming details, but in general, teenagers have activities on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and every other Monday after school. They also go on quarterly retreats and summer trips. 

College students gather on Sunday mornings for faith conversations and on a variety of days and times for fellowship and service. They are known to join and serve in many different groups and ministries in our congregation.