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FBC hosts virtual Sunday school for youth

By: Kaitlin Holley

Ways of communicating are changing in churches everywhere and people are finding new ways to reach out to the community.   

However, when restrictions are lifted the FBC community will be walking into a refurbished sanctuary. Until then FBC has been holding on strongly to contacting members of the church including youth and senior adults.

Chad Middlebrooks is the youth minister and associative pastor at First Baptist Church in Andalusia.

“I have seen the church become the church through this pandemic,” Middlebrooks said. “A Lot of times people think that it is the preacher’s job to do ministry. However, our church community and Sunday school teachers and bible study teachers have been reaching out.”

Although Middlebrooks is the youth minister, he is trying to reach out to the elderly, as well.

“Senior adults are missing out the most on just being able to attend and do routine activities that they are involved in at church,” Middlebrooks said. “They miss going out to eat and have suffered some from this for sure. Ideally, we have made care group teams that reach out to members of the church especially senior adults. They call and check on them and it has been a great thing.”

Middlebrooks has been keeping up with all of his students by learning technology and adapting to the changes.

“I am an old dog and old dogs don’t like new tricks and I hate technology but it has forced me to learn how to zoom and all that stuff,” Middlebrooks said. “I try to not just call but Facetime so I can make sure they are okay. I am investing in my people and loving them. William Worley and I post our videos to Instagram live and Facebook live. Anyone can see Facebook live and two of my students own the Instagram account and will let people in if requested.”

While the students are in quarantine, Middlebrooks wants to make sure that they aren’t getting bored.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” Middlebrooks said. “That is why I do my best to check on my students during this time. I have seen a lot of growth in the youth ministry. Our numbers had risen dramatically. Worries do come but you have to have faith in God and trust him. Staying in contact with my students has been great and they are eager to reunite. Every summer we go to a youth camp and this summer we are hoping to attend ours this summer as well. We are on standby with the camp we are planning on going to this summer. We are going to global youth in Ft. Mountain, Georgia.”

Middlebrooks said there is still no set time when they can all congregate again. 

“The youth text and call me asking when we can get back together,” Middlebrooks said. “Some respond and some don’t. We have some Sunday school teachers doing Facetime.”

Megan Pugh is a second-grade teacher at Andalusia Elementary School and she also has been teaching Sunday school for the youth department. Pugh has been proactive in keeping her Sunday school class reading the bible.

“When we were starting care groups Chad was texting Sunday school teachers asking what topic we were going to do,” Pugh said. “The seventh and eighth graders use Google classroom so I was thinking since they already have that I could just set up a Sunday school class on the Google classroom through Google suite. On average there were three or four in class. There are two that come in every Sunday. I am able to do our lessons with the girls I like to do my own small group thing with the girls and prayer requests. We switched to our new book two weeks ago and we started with Luke. We get lesson workbooks that have lessons for teacher guides and when COVID started we had just finished our Ezekial lesson.”

Overall, Pugh said the online classes have been good.

“I feel like I have switched from a teacher to an IT person and therapist for parents,” Pugh said. “Teaching Sunday School helps me learn more about the bible by teaching it to others.”