40 Nights of Light

small person in a big night sky
A Journey of Faith, Hope, and Healing40 Nights of Light

(2018 FBC Outreach Campaign)

We will kick off our campaign on Tuesday, February 20th at 7PM with a special “Night of Prayer” Service in the Sphar Center.

There will be a special time of individual prayer requests, sharing burdens of the heart, and be a supportive environment where we can lean on God and one another. We will also pray for the victims of the Florida School Shooting and victims of gun violence.

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Commencing on Tuesday, February 20th and continuing through April 1st, Easter. This internally focused church outreach campaign is designed to be a reflective time whereby church members can contemplate their own faith in a very personal way. Our focus is less on fasting and abstaining from food or other activities and more about our own spiritual journeys.   As a church body, our focus around this 40-day period is symbolic of God’s preparation in our lives.   A hope for days to come in our own spiritual walk with Christ and a time to focus on healing ourselves mentally, spiritually and physically by asking God to allow us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can—recommitting ourselves to healthy lifestyle choices.

“40” is a significant number in both Christian and Jewish scripture:

  • In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.
  • The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.
  • Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.
  • Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his own ministry.  Most Christians regard Jesus’ time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.
Daniel Plan Essentials

The Daniel Plan – Five Essentials Series

Daniel Plan - March 14th @ 6pLast year scores of FBC members participated in a six week Daniel Plan program. The feedback about the program was positive and many have inquired if there were plans to do it again. Several participants also went to a reunion event last fall hosted by the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. We were excited to hear directly from Dr. Mark Hyman and learn that the Clinic wanted to continue their support.

You are invited to continue or begin your journey toward better health through The Daniel Plan Five Essentials Series. The Daniel Plan Essential Series contains all new materials that will equip you to develop new healthy habits that will bring hope and healing to every area of your life. You will take a deeper dive into all the principles that frame The Essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends-life areas that all work together to restore your health for the long run.

Join us for a kick-off on Wednesday, March 14th at 6 PM. The evening includes a presentation about the Daniel Plan, including our group results from biometric screening, and conversation about scheduling the sessions. A cooking demonstration and dinner are also planned. The Cleveland Clinic is supporting our efforts again by providing the Essentials kit to our church at no cost. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

For more information or to RSVP contact Jane through the form below.

Baldwin Wallace Men's Chorus

Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus

The BW Men’s Chorus Presents:
A Concert At First Baptist Church!

WHEN: Sunday, February 25 at 4:00 PM
WHERE: First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland 
(3630 Fairmount Blvd, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44118
Admission is FREE and open to the public.
(Free Will Offering at the Door)

Conducted by Frank Bianchi
Accompanied by Michelle Massouh Makhlouf
Also Featuring Mr. Sun’s Echo

Come Join Our Story!
Join us as we continue our 2017-2018 season with a concert at the historic First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland!

Featuring varied styles of music from spirituals to pop, from new arrangements of folk songs to classic male chorus repertoire, the 120+ voices of the BW Men’s Chorus will offer an invigorating concert that honors both our local and global communities!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the BW Men’s Chorus at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland.

Again, admission is by free will offering at the door!
See you there!

Camp Koinonia

Rooted6810 Cork Cold Springs Road
Geneva, OH 44071—(440) 466-1278

We own it! Let’s Use It!

Ownership of this magnificent 325-acre Christian camp is split evenly among the Cleveland, Akron, and Ashtabula Baptist Associations. Therefore, as a member of CBA First Baptist is a part owner. In years past First Baptist held an annual Saturday-Sunday weekend retreat attended by as many as 50 members, families, and friends. The Camp is a wonderful asset for young and old alike. Weeklong camps for Elementary, Junior High and Senior High kids, and for Special Persons, includes Horseback Riding camps for all ages. Check out the website christiancampohio.org or go the Camp’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Koinoniacamp1, today! Discount registration ends April 1, 2018!


Koinonia Camp

First Timer’s Camp – Built for K thru 1st Grade. An overnight with parents to experience Koinonia together.
Primary Camp – A shortened 3-day “solo” camp for 1st and 2nd Grade campers.
Elementary Camp – Designed for 3rd thru 5th Grade. Make friends as you play, hike, swim.
Elementary Bible “N Saddle Camp – 4th thru 6th Grade. Learn all about horses and riding.
Junior High Camp – 6th thru 8th Grades. New adventures in activities and relationships.
Senior High X Camp – 9th thru 12th Grades. Excitement, Courage, Friendship, Faith, Worship

Special Person’s Camp – Designed for campers 18 years old and older who have special needs.
Youth Special Person’s Horse Back Camp – Designed for youth, ages 10 thru 17 with special needs and an interest in horses.
Adult Special Person’s Horse Back Camp – Made for campers 18 years and up, with special needs.
Wilderness Weekend – 7th—12th Grades. Learn to build shelters, cook over an open fire, sleep under the stars.
And Many More including Paintball Camp, Youth Bible N’ Saddle Camp & Advanced Horse Camp!

For more information contact Rev. Jeff Gordon through the form below.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a musical based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo with songs from the 1996 Walt Disney Animation Studios film adaptation.

The musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin, Germany as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (“The Bellringer of Notre Dame”). It was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical, the company’s first musical to premiere outside the U.S. It ran for three years, becoming one of Berlin’s longest-running musicals.

The musical relies on a series of musical leitmotifs, which are reprised either instrumentally or vocally. Each of the central characters has a theme (“Out There” for Quasimodo, “God Help the Outcasts” for Esmeralda, “Hellfire” for Frollo, and “Rest and Recreation” for Phoebus). “The Bells of Notre Dame” acts as a narrative device to tell parts of the story.Come One! Come All! Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Mason Stewart directs this production in our beautiful sanctuary that brings to mind a cathedral in Notre Dame. A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.

Production dates for the 7 performances are listed below. To purchase tickets click on the button next to the date you would like to attend. 

4/13 Tickets     April 13th – 8:00 pm

4/14 Tickets     April 14th – 8:00 pm

4/15 Tickets     April 15th – 2:00 pm

4/18 Tickets     April 18th – 7:00 pm

4/20 Tickets     April 20th – 8:00 pm

4/21 Tickets     April 21st – 8:00 pm

4/22 Tickets     April 22nd – 2:00 pm

Park in the back of the First Baptist Church at 3630 Fairmount Boulevard (at Eaton Road) in Shaker Heights and come in through the Portico Entrance.  We look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions or need more information please complete the form below.


Black History Month

Black History Month

This month we are spotlighting four strong African-American’s that make a difference.

– Sunday, February 4th we spotlight –

Tia MeltonDr. Tia Melton

Dr. Tia Melton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ob/Gyn at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. She joined the full-time faculty in 2005 and began supervising and giving lectures to medical students, teaching clinical and surgical skills to residents and attending patients at her Richmond Heights and Landerbrook offices.

She graduated from the University of Cincinnati, was named Outstanding Senior Woman in Arts and Sciences and appeared in Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, completed her residency and began work with underserved populations.

Tia has a passion for Global Health and works with underserved and those in low resource settings. She is committed to women’s health in the US and abroad. Melton has attended conferences in Argentina, Chile, China, Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa, Denmark, Vancouver and Spain. She has worked and lectured in South Africa, Swaziland, Guyana, Nicaragua, and Ghana. She currently serves as Assistant Director of Global Health for the WoNDOOR Program and the US Assistant Residency Director for the WoNDOOR OB/Gyn Residency Program in Georgetown, Guyana.

She is the recipient of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Excellence in Teaching Award and the Patients’ Choice Award. She was named the 2013 Henry Meyer III Key Bank Faculty Fellow – a $100,000 award. She has been recognized as one of the Top Doctors in the Cleveland Magazine for the last several years. She has been included in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. She has been recognized as a Top Obstetrician and Gynecologist by the International Society of Ob/Gyns.  

Tia has been a member of FBC since the 1980’s – singing and touring with the youth choir, performing with the handbell choir and serving as a leader in the youth group. She was selected and participated in Youth Leader Corp – a year-long American Baptist Association program with a small group of teens from CBA (the Cleveland Baptist Association) churches. She has traveled to Nicaragua on several occasions – first as a high school student, then as a college student and then on a few trips with Rev. Martin Rolfs-Massaglia. Tia has worked with the Day Care Center committee. She recently was able to observe the Boughs of Holly production and was honored to participate in the December 2017 Christmas Pageant as an assistant angel :).

Tia is an active member of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc where she serves as a committee co-chair. She enjoys reading, listening to music, travel and scuba diving. Her greatest joy is spending time with 3-year-old twins – Tia and Mia!

– Sunday, February 11th we spotlight –

Algo StandardAlgo Standard

Algo Standard is one of First Baptist Church’s oldest African Americans Members.

She is a proud  Mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Algo joined First Baptist Church in the fall of 1980, she has served on three commissions;  Christian Education, Deacons, and Evangelism.  She served on the East Side Ministry as a representative and class leader.  In 2001 Algo was a member of the First Stephen Ministry Class. After twenty-six weeks of classes Algo, along with the other class members became the first Stephen Ministers of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland on Easter Sunday, 2002. 

Algo at present is serving on the Nurture and Fellowship Cluster, she is FBC’s  Representative to Church Women United of Greater Cleveland and the American Baptist Women’s Ministers.

Algo has enjoyed traveling, both with and without a passport.  She says there is much in the states she would love to see but she is not anxious about what she hasn’t done.  She did have the pleasure of taking her six-year-old grandson and seven-year-old granddaughter on their first Amtrak and first airplane ride.  She says she has enjoyed years of gardening. She loves to see things growing, both food and flowers, but she is partial to the beauty of flowers.  Algo says “She is one our Lord loves very much.  He loves her so much He died so she could have eternal life…  She is blessed.”

– Sunday, February 18th we spotlight –

Carolyn NealCarolyn Neal

Carolyn Neal has been attending since 1999 and has been a member of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland since 2000. She has served on various commissions, committees, and covenant groups.

Following in the footsteps of her late mother, she embarked on an ambitious career with the U. S. Federal Government (Department of Treasury and then the U. S, Customs Service), in Law Enforcement where she has lived, worked and traveled on 3 of the 7 continents within the world and is fluent in French, Latin, and American Sign Language.

Upon her return to northeastern Ohio, she joined the Cleveland Public Library and shaped the landscape for the transformation of the digital services and non-book media as we now know it today at libraries. She has been a national presenter and award recipient in leading library advocates for Seniors and Older Adults services, she has received the distinguished honor as one of Library Journal Movers and Shakers and has served as a part of the Executive Council for the American Library Association.

She is a graduate of Villa Angela Academy and the Music Settlement and has studied at the Conservatory of Baldwin Wallace University. She is also a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College, Clark Atlanta University and the University of Maryland with an Associates/Bachelors degree in Speech Communications, Bachelors in History/Political Science and Masters in Library Sciences and Information Technology respectively.

Carolyn is considered the favorite aunt in the family, and a very proud American Field Service continuous host Mom to Elizabeth Sintoyia from Kenya and Nadege Flora of Cameroon.

She is currently the Director of the Wean Research Library of University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio.

– Sunday, February 25th we spotlight –

Kim Kidd CollinsKim L. Kidd Collins

Kim L. Kidd Collins is a compassionate leader who is devoted to acts of service and is a committed champion for social justice. She works tirelessly to support the needs of individuals in the community and bridge the opportunity gap for disadvantaged and marginalized youth.

An accomplished educator and administrator, Kim began her career in the East Cleveland School District as a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist and then principal supporting teachers in the development and implementation of engaging classroom experiences.

Kim is currently the Assistant Principal at Moreland Hills Elementary School in the Orange City School District. She stays focused on creating a welcoming and collaborative environment for all who attend and encourages families who may feel underrepresented in the somewhat affluent, yet diverse, community to find their voice and feel empowered. 

Inspired by Maya Angelou’s, quote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Kim gives her time willingly to her church, her family and her community. She is a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. and president of the local Gamma Rho chapter. She proudly serves as Moderator at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland and is the first African-American female to hold this honor in the church’s 185 year history. 

Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Ohio University. Kim furthered her education at Cleveland State University, earning a Master of Education degree and Principal and Superintendent Certificates. 

Kim has two sons, Frank and Kyle, a daughter-in-law, LaMeeka and three adorable grandchildren. She lives with her husband, LeShun “Ship” Collins in Solon, OH. In her free time, Kim enjoys travelling, reading a good book or enjoying one of Cleveland Metropark’s winding trails.

Happy Black History Month from “The Christian Education Department”

A World Without Black People

This is a story of a little boy named Jim, who asked his mother, “Mom, what if there were no Black people in the world?” Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, “Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world.” Mom said, “Go get dressed, and we will get started.”

Jim ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said, “Jim, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them.” However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.

You see Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lacing machine. “Oh well,” she said, “please go and do something to your hair.” Jim ran into his room, but the comb was not there. You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Jim decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone. You see Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush. Well, this was a sight: no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mom’s hair was a mess, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. Walker.

Mom told Jim, “Let’s do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store.” Jim swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there. You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan. So, he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone. You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop. 

Jim’s mom said, “Let me finish washing these clothes, and we will prepare a list for the grocery store.” When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there. You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Jim to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So, Jim ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.  As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press. Jim and his mother decided just to head out to the market.

Well, when Jim opened the door, he noticed the grass was high. John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower. They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go. Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines. They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals.  Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries, and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk and eggs, they noticed the refrigerator was gone. John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator. So, they just left the food on the counter. Jim could not call anyone for help because Henry Thomas Sampson, Jr. pioneered the technology that is used in modern cell phones. Jim was concerned about their safety, however, Marie Van Brittan Brown created a device in 1966 that would be the precursor to home surveillance as we know it, so the security system in the home no longer existed. 

By this time, Jim noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, however, Alice Parker, a black female, invented the heating furnace. Even in the summertime, they would have been out of luck because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner. It was almost time for Jim’s father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus, but there was no bus because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

Jim’s dad usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator. He also usually dropped off the office mail at a nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox, and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Jim and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked, “Why are you sitting in the dark?” Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Jim quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood. Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank. In addition, Jim’s grandmother would be in trouble, because, Patricia Bath is responsible for creating the laserphaco probe, a device used for laser cataract surgery.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery? This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery. Jim would not even be able to go to the moon to live, because of Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson brilliant black women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn. Jim understood on this day the role African Americans have played

Let’s Celebrate Diversity! 

Splash of Spring Sunshine

Nature-Inspired Art in the Fairmount Gallery

Artist Eddie MitchellWe are pleased to welcome painter, Eddie Mitchell back to the Fairmount Gallery starting between the end of January and the first of February. Some of Eddie’s paintings were on display in the Fairmount Gallery in 2012 and they were well received. That exhibit, filled with the lush color and texture of the nature-inspired paintings, received many compliments. We know that Eddie has not been idle for the past six years so we invited him to return with some of his latest paintings. Eddie’s artistic talents are displayed in art galleries in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania. His work has been commissioned by numerous and prestigious public organizations. Eddie is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art. He is an artist and teacher at Lakeland Community College and has maintained a full-time private studio for over 20 years. The 49’ers will host a reception for Eddie at 1:00 PM as their Sunday, March 4th program in Spahr Center. The 49’ers programs are always open to the public so you are encouraged to attend to hear Eddie speak about his craft and to ask any questions you may have about his art on display. We hope that you plan to attend.

I love the fact that light engenders a sense of extravagant joy and uplifting optimism.  It is this sense of joy and optimism that I am endeavoring to convey in my paintings. I am also captivated by the magical energy of color. Color helps to enhance this play of light and intensifies this feeling of cheerfulness.

I am extremely grateful to First Baptist Church, Michael Skerritt & all the wonderful people that make up this fabulous community!


An Ineffable Immensity

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kairos Prison Ministry Cookies

Monday, March 5th, we invite you to help support this ministry in which the impact has been incredible. One example is that there were at least six fights among inmates each month at the Ohio Trumbull County Jail. Now with the influence of Kairos, there has been just one a month. Let’s help support Brian Broadbent along with his team as they lead a Fall retreat at the prison. Delicious home-made cookies have become an important part of each retreat.

Please complete the form below to be added to the mailing list, if you have questions or would like more information.

  • The types of cookies that are needed are Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Sugar.
  • Cookies should be between 2 and 2-1/2 inches in diameter and not more than 1/2 inch thick.
  • It is very important not to use icing, sugar or any other type of coating on the outside of the cookie. Do not add any kind of fruit or nuts to the cookies.
  • Bag thoroughly cooled cookies in a quart size zip-lock bag, a dozen cookies to a bag.
  • Label each bag with the cookie type inside.
  • Please pray for the individuals that will be eating the cookies you bake.

Please leave the cookies you bake in the Volunteer Office no later than Monday, March 5th.

Martin Luther King Day of Service Jan. 15th

MLK Day of Service

MArtin Luther King Day of Service

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday commemorating the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national Day of Service – a “Day On, not a Day Off”.

Each year on Martin Luther King Day join us at First Baptist Church as we come together with members of Fidelity Baptist and Church of the Master to honor Dr. King. At 9:00 a.m. our day will begin with a light breakfast and a brief opening devotion. We will then divide into four groups. Two groups will stay at FBC and two groups will go out into the community.

Group 1 – Hymnal singing with residents in nursing care at Judson Park, designed for older kids, teens, and adults.

Group 2 – Interactive fun, winter party with families living at Family Promise, designed for ages from 2 to 92.

Group 3 – The White Cross Bandages project has become a tradition for MLK Day of Service whether we are at FBC or Fidelity Baptist. Ages from 9-90 will have fun working together as we rip and then roll bandages.

Group 4 – A work project inside FBC will be for adults. The group will be doing easy maintenance projects inside the church building.

Noon to 12:45 lunch, 12:45 – 1:15 time to share & reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led by Evon Gocan.

The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy... MLK, Jr.

Address delivered at Nobel Peace Prize Recognition Dinner, 27 January 1965

Men’s Shelter Wish List

Are your closets too full, with items you really do not need?

In connection with celebrating MLK Day of Service, we are collecting the following items for the Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside.

messy closetITEMS NEEDED

  • Toiletries, full size or hotel size
  • Single Bed Blankets and Sheets
  • Washable Men’s Winter Clothing
  • Boots
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Jeans
  • Shirts
  • Sweat Shirts
  • Jackets
  • Winter Coats
  • Hats, Gloves & Scarfs
  • Long Underwear
  • New Underwear

All items should be freshly washed and can be placed in the container found in the Fairmount Hall by Sunday, January 14th or when you attend MLK Day on the 15th here at First Baptist Church.