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2013 1st Quarter Newsletter


FBCR Newsletter

Spencer Smiles



During the Fall of 2012 and early months of 2013, the church family undertook a project for Spencer Keith.  The following quoted text was written by his mother, Jenny Joyce Keith.  She tells of how our body of believers at FBCR had an impact on not just Spencer but also his family and our community.

     Around 3 years ago, I came here looking for a church family with the characteristics of Jesus and it didn’t take long to figure out that I had found it. This church is caring and makes sure to take time to name every single person they know that needs prayer. This church showed Jesus’ love to us almost immediately when they rallied to help Spencer with the Pepsi campaign. In the end $250,000 was donated to the Alternating Hemiplegia foundation which in turn discovered the first known possible cause of this disorder, a gene mutation.

  The generosity of this congregation has also shown in the giving of money to the foundation and working through the 39th Masonic District and The Piedmont Shrine club to help obtain Spencer a wheelchair. Members of the congregation also gave their time, supplies and money to complete this bathroom project. In all the giving, the church has also shown humility. Everyone working on the bathroom project told me time and time again to not mention their names. They wanted no credit. Everything was done for the glory of God. The men working on the project showed patience. They understood how important this was to Spencer and allowed him to be a part of every process without ever showing frustration that he was in the way. This church is joyful. Not only do I hear laughter and see hugs every time I come to church, that joy extended into the toughest parts of this project. The men working laughed together almost the whole time they were together. Even when the work was tough, they remained faithful and completed the project. I am so thankful that God led me to this church.

 I will never be able to express my thankfulness for all of the love and support with Spencer that I have received. But what amazes me even more is that every time I thank someone, they show their gratitude to me for giving them the opportunity to help, yet another Christ like quality. Jesus tells us to reach out and show our love to other people. This project reached well beyond Spencer and our family. Several companies donated and offered discounts in materials to help with this endeavor, Ferguson Enterprises, Glass Dynamics and I believe others donated but I’m not sure of their names. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was 100% in control of this project. This has been a horrible year for Spencer with many full body attacks with painful cramping episodes. However, NEVER was he unable to help when the men were working at the house. Only one time did his legs give out while I was painting but he still kept painting. He refused to miss out on any part. After years of questioning if God was even there for me, this church has helped in the assurance that his is there. I do not question it now. I hope to be part of future missions of this church so others can see Christ through me. I love you all!! Thank you so much! Jenny


Recently, Hayley DeShazo, Eric Lane, and Grace Priddy interviewed Chairman of the Deacons Jimmy Hughes.

Hayley:  Do you have brothers or sisters?

Jimmy: 3 brothers and 1 sister

Hayley: What's your favorite color?

Jimmy: orange

Hayley:  Where do you work?

Jimmy:  Nautica

Eric:  What is a deacon?

Jimmy: A deacon is a person elected by the church to assist the pastor and help look after the people of the church.

Eric:  What is your favorite part of being a deacon?

Jimmy: "Knowing the people of the church have enough confidence in me to vote and elect me as a deacon."

Grace:  UVA or VaTech?

Jimmy: VaTech

Grace:  What type of music do you like?

Jimmy:  All kinds

Eric, Grace, Hayley, & Jimmy









Spencer Smiles





Deacon Jimmy

Music Notes from Norma T Witt, Music Director

AMAZING GRACE:  The Story Behind the Song....

Most churchgoers are familiar with the hymn "Amazing Grace," and can sing the actual first three verses by heart.  Yet, not many know of the original verses that follow....

"The Lord has promised good to me    His word my hope secures;  He wiil my shield and portion be, as long as life endures."

"Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease.  I shall possess within the veil A life of joy and peace."

"The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who call'd me here below Will be forever mine."

The fourth verse, as most people sing, came from another hymn, "Jerusalem, My Happy Home."  It was tacked to the end of "Amazing Grace," as it appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

"When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we'd first begun."

"Amazing Grace" is perhaps one of the best known and loved hymns ever written and has touched many hearts. Few people know the story of the man who wrote the song.  John Isaac Newton poured out the love he felt for God when he penned this song.  The discoveries of Newton's life were surprising.  With no stable upbringing in the faith, he had a wild youth. But he was converted through tribulation.  He became a pious man, through the working of God's divine grace and ever after preached "Amazing Grace" to all who would listen.  It was from a heart overflowing with this grace that he wrote this adored hymn.