FBCO Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Response and Plan
Update 4/14/2020
FBCO will not be gathering at the facility located at 201 West Main Street until further notice. BUT, we are not cancelling church, because you can’t cancel church. Church is not a building or programmed meetings/services (though these things are truly blessings of which we are temporarily deprived). The church is us. We are salt and light wherever we are. You can’t cancel that! I can’t wait till we can gather together again, and I hope you are looking forward to that celebration.
Why are we canceling?  We will submit to the governing authorities as we are commanded to do in scripture. I appreciate that Governor Abbot has not ordered churches to physically suspend all operations. We are still working in the office, ministering to widows, praying for people, keeping in touch with members, handing out food, and meeting needs. We are ramping up our online ministry to help people stay connected during these strange times. However, we are working within the guidelines from several levels of government suggesting that we should not gather folks at our facility at this time. Our County Judge has ordered us to suspend worship services. The Olney Emergency Manager also asked us to suspend services as well. I do not believe there is Biblical warrant to rebel against their authority. I believe to do so would be sinful. I did ask if we could hold a small prayer meeting each week, and that was permitted. The prayer meeting does comply with all government requests.
Christians are trusted with many things. We are trusted with the gospel, we are trusted with the very oracles of God (the Bible), we are trusted by the community to care for children and the elderly, we are trusted to preach the truth to a lost and dying community. We are trusted and even expected to do the right thing, even by those in our community who refuse to obey Jesus. We are also trusted to be submissive to God, His Word, and by those who rule over us. Unwarranted rebellion against authority generally leads to bad and unforeseen consequences (Just ask Adam and Eve).
Those of us who lead this church are like everybody else. We all have different opinions about the severity of this virus and the threat it poses to the population. We are distressed that our normal patterns of worship and practice are being disrupted. We know this is causing a financial hardship for many of our members. More than likely it will affect giving and the church budget.
However, our opinions and concerns, though possibly valid, do not give us the right to disobey our civic leaders unless they are asking us to disobey God or singling out the community of faith for persecution. They have not done that here. Thus, we will comply with requests. We will trust that if we are obedient to the command’s that God has given us, we are doing the right thing. Just as your children, though they may not understand the purpose behind everything you ask them to do, can trust that when they obey you, they are obeying God- because he has made you an authority over them.
It is true that Jesus is the King of Kings, and He is not subject to any human Government. Yet, we, His people are subject to the earthly governments He has established until He comes to reign on the earth. We are blessed to have great leaders who care for us and our well being. We should thank God for them, not defy them.
This crisis will be short-lived. In the mean-time, as you are able, this pastor requests humbly that you please continue to give toward our budget with your tithes and offerings, please continue to support local businesses, and do not hesitate to ask for help if you are in need.
FBCO will offer some special content online each week on Sunday mornings on Facebook and YouTube.  We will also be holding Drive-In Services each week at the church parking lot.  These will be short services that start at 10 a.m. 
In the meantime, use this opportunity to grow in Christ and to pray for an end to this crisis.
Brother Chad