Seymour First Baptist Church – The Church Journey
10 March 2020
I had the privilege to visit Seymour First Baptist Church. The church was established in 1893 with 33 charter members from four area churches. In 1897, seventy-seven members moved into the first church building located on the property now owned by Harrison-Chilhowee Academy (King’s Academy). Missionary work started in 1894 that grew into the Women’s Missionary Society. The church moved into a new building at the corner of Boyd’s Creek Highway and Smothers Road in the late 1940’s. In 1972, a new sanctuary building was built next to the old facility. In 1974, services began being held in the new building while using the old building for education and fellowship space.
Today they have 30 beautiful acres of land that now occupies a large modern church, which the development started in 1989. They held their first service in the current building October 23, 1994, after a victory walk from the old facility. Today emphasis continues on missions as an important part of Seymour FBC. 
The 30-acre grounds provides outdoor activities for kids with a playground and soccer fields. A walking path circles the perimeter of the grounds providing a breath-taking view of the Smoky Mountains.
I attended the Wednesday evening prayer and Bible study. I arrived 30 minutes early, which provided plenty of time for prayer and meditation at the front of the worship center. I was warmly welcomed by Ken and we talked for several minutes. While talking to Ken he informed me that the church is in its final stages of selecting a new pastor. The previous one retired about a year ago.
The Bible study started with reviewing the church prayer list, and praises. We were then led by a song and prayers. The Bible study covered John 1. This is a short summary: First John tackles the heresy that claimed Jesus had been on earth only in spirit, not in body: John wrote a letter to discredit this. He wrote that he knew Jesus personally, as one “which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled” (1:1). By the time John wrote this letter, Christianity had been around for more than a generation. It had faced and survived severe persecution.
During my visit I was warmly welcomed by Ken and several others attending the Bible study in the church worship center. I had a wonderful time in prayer and Bible study. I look forward to visiting again in the future.
Church Website: https://seymourfbc.org/
Date Visited: 2020 February 26th.
Location: 11621 Chapman Hwy., Seymour, TN.
The current church was completed in 1994 and is made of red bricks. Large rounded arched stained-glass windows accent the outside walls. On both sides of the building there are two double door entries. The church has a bell accessible from the ground in front of the church. The stunning steeple has a spare that points up into the vast sky.
This is a side view of the church, which shows a 2-story section that houses education and offices. The layout is well thought out as the parking lot circles three sides of the building that includes covered rider drop off areas.
When you step inside the entry there is a wide area that is great space for fellowship.
The entry expands into a wide-open area provides additional room for fellowship and a place for tables with information. There are several double doors that provide entry to the worship center.
Inside the worship center has several large sections of pews made of grained wood. The steps lead up to the raised pulpit where the sermons are preached. Chairs located behind the pulpit provides seating for the choir and music program.
The side walls are accented with beautiful arched cathedral windows with colorful stained glass. The windows allow a heavenly mist of daylight in the worship center.
The 30-acre grounds provide outdoor activities for kids with a playground and soccer fields. There is a walking path that circles the perimeter of the grounds that includes a beautiful view of the Smoky Mountains.
During the week the church holds prayer walks on the walking path that circles the 30 acre campus.
Seymour First Baptist Church is in the final stages of their search for a new pastor. I spent time praying that they are led to follow God’s will during this immense decision. My hope is that they find the precise leader that will allow them to grow, and bear fruit for the Gospel.
I have no insight on the details related to the pastor search for Seymour First Baptist Church. I did some online research, and found often the transitions can be difficult for church members as well as for church growth. One of the most critical, periods in a church’s life is the time of transition. This is a huge challenge to most churches; as momentum and direction can be lost during the transition. The average church takes 12 to 24 months to find a new pastor, after the previous pastor vacates the pulpit.  Reflecting on this effort made me realize searching for a new pastor to lead your church can be a daunting task.
This is a good example of how critical Pastors are leading the body of the church. Pastors convey God’s Word to His people through preaching. They study God’s Word and teach it to God’s people. We need Pastors to build up the body of Christ, and train and prepared us to spread the gospel. Paul understood that it was critical for pastors to bring God’s Word to His people. The pastor cannot do everything they need to rely on resources and church members to help them. The Bible is clear that all Christians are to be involved in the ministry of the kingdom of God. Everyone has talents that can help the church bear fruit through the gospel. But I’m heading off on a tangent that I’ll cover in another blog.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. “Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV
If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.
May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.
Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.
May this find you well and happy, God Bless
- Seymour First Baptist Church website, “History” (2020, March 10) Retrieved from https://seymourfbc.org/about-sfbc/
- Daniel Darling, “Most Churches Aren’t Prepared to Search for a New Pastor” Retrieved from https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2016/august-web-exclusives/most-churches-arent-prepared-to-search-for-new-pastor-is-yo.html