No summertime slowdown for the First Baptist Church of Pelham

The First Baptist Church of Pelham is keeping busy with summer with programs for all ages. (Contributed)

The First Baptist Church of Pelham is keeping busy with summer with programs for all ages. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The First Baptist Church of Pelham kicked off summer with some big changes. Longtime pastor Dr. Mike Shaw retired on May 31 after 35 years with the church. Since then, the church has been busy looking for Shaw’s successor and keeping up with a packed summer schedule.

Although Shaw is continuing as a member of the First Baptist Church, his presence in the office and during services “has been missed,” Associate Pastor Donnie Sisk said. The church has been filling Sundays with guest speakers, but Sisk said “there’s a big hole.”

Shaw had been with the First Baptist Church since 1979, and under his leadership the church grew from a small congregation to the thriving community it is today.

“It’s different,” Sisk said of services without Shaw. “There’s certainly a void.”

The First Baptist Church has begun the search for a new permanent pastor. It is an extensive process carried out by a separate committee that receives and reviews resumes and interviews candidates, Sisk explained.

“We’re looking for people who meet the needs of our church,” Sisk said. However, the church plans to hire an interim pastor until a permanent candidate is found.

Although the church misses Shaw, his retirement has not slowed the congregation down.

“Summer is always really full for us, and this summer is no different,” Sisk said, noting the First Baptist Church is holding programs for all ages throughout the summer.

The Student Ministry has been especially busy with Vacation Bible School from June 2 through June 6, a mission trip to South Carolina from June 8 through June 14 and Thursday night Bible study sessions throughout the summer, to name a few activities.

The First Baptist Church is also trying something new for the annual church-wide mission trip from June 27 through July 4. Rather than traveling to do mission work, the congregation will focus on service projects in Shelby County.

“(We will) stay home and do our church wide mission trip right here in Shelby County,” Sisk said.

More information about summer programs and the First Baptist Church can be found online at Fbcpelham.org.