Family Fun Fest: An Echo of Faith!

Jon DillonChurch Blog

Family Fun FestThe Apostle Paul testified of the church in Thessalonica that “the word of the Lord” had echoed from them throughout their immediate region and their “faith in God” was known everywhere the apostle went  (1 Thess. 1:8). What a great testimony! And notice that it began in their own community first. They evidently were intentional about reaching their community with the wonderful gospel which had liberated them from idol worship and gave them hope in the Lord Jesus Christ! Here at Immanuel Baptist Church, we should strive to have a testimony in our community like the Thessalonican church did in theirs.

It is for this purpose that we are hosting our very own Family Fun Fest at Thomas Jefferson High School on August 10 from 10am to 2pm. This event is an intentional effort to connect with our community that we might have the opportunity to share the blessed gospel with them and invite them to be a part of our church family. To put on an event like this, it takes a lot of time, effort, and expense, but it is a worthwhile investment with potentially great returns which we look to God to bring about.

There are many different ways you can participate in the Family Fun Fest. The most important way is to volunteer to work in the event. This way gives you a chance to personally meet the people in our community which I believe will help develop your compassion for them and drive your passion to reach them. Also, working the event will serve to build up our faith as a church and unify us “in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).

We have created a link on Signup Genius where you can see all of the slots that need to be filled and choose the one that best suits you. Most of the jobs are divided into two 2-hour shifts, but you may choose to work all 4 hours either all on one job or split it between two.  If you can also help with set-up or clean-up, that would be great too!

One of the jobs that is particularly important to me is being a part of the connection team.  The connection team is responsible for meeting and getting to know those who attend for the opportunity to give a personal invitation to our church or to share the gospel depending how the conversation might go. If they decide to visit our church, there will be a familiar face for them to see.

If you are not able to volunteer to work, you can certainly help by giving towards the needs of the event. We are collecting school supplies to give out to the students who attend to help them as they return to school in the following weeks.  You can buy the supplies yourself and leave them at the designated drop-offs or you can make out a check designated to “FFF school supplies.” We will also be purchasing some drawstring bag backpacks to hold the school supplies to which you may give as well.

I am really excited about the prospect of this event, and I can hardly wait to see what God will do through us as we send out the Word of the Lord to our community. Please prayerfully consider how you might participate, and pray “that God may open to us a door for the Word” in our community.

Jon Dillon 2019


Jon Dillon
Discipleship Pastor

Do you ever read the last chapter of the book first?

Rosemary WillafordChurch Blog

Rosemary Willaford CEF Missionary Retirement BlogDo you ever read the last chapter first in a book? My friends know that quite often I do – just can’t wait to find out what is going to happen. Do you ever wish you could do that with LIFE? I admit – I do! BUT that would take away our needing to depend upon God our Father, having faith that HE knows, HE directs, HE has a plan.

Little did Bill and I know when we got married in 1966 what God had planned for our lives together! After 10 years in the Navy, then 27 years supervising the running of two nuclear reactors, an opportunity came up for Bill to take early retirement at the age of 55. The option was presented and we walked through the open door little knowing what God had for the next leg of our journey called “LIFE”.

As chairman of the State Board of Virginia for Child Evangelism Fellowship for 8 years, Bill would often call Headquarters and ask if there were any possibilities for a State Director as we had been without one for the last six years.  Their response would always be that they were working on it. In the midst of a retreat that we had put together for the staff across the State bringing in the Vice President of CEF of International to be our speaker, God revealed the next part of HIS plan for us. Bill was asked by the Board to step down as chairman and then to take the position of State Director. At that point in time, we asked God for 10 years. And indeed, God gave Bill those 10 years.

From traveling over the five states for which Bill was responsible as Mid-Atlantic District Director to spending time with our Virginia State staff, God chose to write the rest of the chapters of Bill’s life here on earth. With joy in serving, love for his staff, and a heart for the children, God led us each step of the way.

What a privilege and delight it has been for me to serve as Administrative Assistant to CEF of Virginia for 18 ½ years. As I come to the end of the book on my serving with CEF as of the end of June, I do it knowing that God can use each of us – we just have to be willing. Having grown up in Immanuel and being under the teaching of Pastor Seume – a man who had a huge heart for missions – being a “missionary” seemed far out of reach – not even an addendum to my book. I could pray for them, support them, encourage them and I considered that to be what God had for me. But God had a different plan.

Walking into the buildings of Immanuel at any given time, I always know that I have come “home” and that my Immanuel family is so dear and precious to me. Words cannot express how much I thank you for all that you have been to me during this portion of my journey. From encouragement, to offers to help in preparing for CEF training school, to majorly praying for the ministry and for me and for financial support – none of this would have been possible without you being the feet and hands of Jesus to support in all areas of my life. My prayer for you is that you will see Jesus as you walk through the chapters of the book HE has written for YOUR life.

I would like close with sharing the theme song from our 2011 CEF training school. I do not know who wrote it. There is no copyright but the words are powerful and thought-provoking. The title is Just Outside These Walls:

Just outside these walls, there is a world that’s lost.
The mission field begins just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, despair runs free.
Hopelessness is found just outside these walls.
How will they know, if they’re never told?
And how will we tell them, if we never go?
Just outside these walls, a lost world is waiting.
Will we answer the call, just outside these walls?

Just outside these walls, a world is searching,
Looking for the Truth we hold so dear.
Just outside these walls, can you hear them calling?
Oh, they are crying out for help, just outside these walls.
How will they know, if they’re never told?
And how will we tell them, if we never go?
Just outside these walls, a lost world is waiting.
Will we answer the call, just outside these walls?

Just outside these walls, the Savior is waiting
For his church to appear, just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, all hope is not lost.
Just outside these walls, we will carry the cross.
Just outside these walls, we will go where we are told;
Where the hope of Jesus belongs, just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, all hope is not lost.
Just outside these walls, we will carry the cross.
Just outside these walls, we will go where we are told,
Where the hope of Jesus belongs, just outside these walls.

Rosemary Willaford


Rosemary Willaford
Missionary, Child Evangelism Fellowship

How Should Christians Meditate?

Michael WilburnChurch Blog

How should Christians meditateJoshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Thomas Watson (1620-1686) wrote a book on Christian meditation. As a Puritan, he pastored St. Stephen’s Walbrook in London. Charles Spurgeon said of Watson, “There is a happy union of sound doctrine, heart-searching experience, and practical wisdom throughout all his works.”

Listed here are quotes from his book, The Christian on the Mount:

“God allows time for our calling. He grants some relaxation; but when it is said that the godly man meditates day and night, the meaning is frequently, he is much conversant in the duty.”

“Meditation is chewing on the truths we have heard.”

“Meditation is the palate of the soul whereby we taste the goodness of God; it is the eye of the soul whereby we view the beauties of holiness.”

“Meditation is the soul’s retiring of itself so that, by a serious and solemn thinking upon God, the heart may be raised up to heavenly affections.”

“A Christian enters into meditation as a man enters into the hospital, that he may be healed. Meditation heals the soul of its deadness and earthliness, but more of this afterward.”

“Study is a work of the brain, meditation of the heart; study sets the mind at work, meditation sets the heart to work.”

“Meditation on God’s truth would make us ambitious to imitate him. We would be true in our words, true in our dealings.”

“Meditation on worldly vanity would be like the digging about the roots of a tree to loosen it from the earth. It would much loosen our hearts from the world and be an excellent preservative against the love of earthly things.”

“Meditate much on hell. Let us go into hell by contemplation so that we may not go into hell by condemnation….The serious meditation on hell would make us fear sin as much as hell.”

“Without meditation, the truths of God will not stay with us. The heart is hard and the memory slippery; and without meditation all is lost! Meditation imprints and fastens a truth in the mind.”

“Just so, it is hard climbing up the rocky hill of meditation; but when we get to the top, there is a pleasant prospect, and we shall sometimes think ourselves even in heaven. By holy meditation the soul, as it were, has breakfast with God every morning.”

“Meditation is an excellent means to profit by the Word. Reading may bring a truth into the head, but meditation brings it into the heart!”

“Holy meditation would have quenched that wildfire of lust.”

“Meditation is a spiritual index. The index shows what is in the book; just so meditation shows what is in the heart.”


Pastor Michael


Michael Wilburn
Senior Pastor

What I Learned about Biblical Exposition

Jonathan WhiteChurch Blog

Biblical Exposition Immanuel Baptist Richmond

The journey begins…

I had the opportunity to attend The Charles Simeon Trust workshop on Biblical Exposition from May 29-31 in Washington D.C. I began my journey down the “pathway of preparation” one early Wednesday morning, accompanied by my faithful companion Jon Lowery. We both traveled with the intent to not only grow in our ability to teach God’s word but also to learn to deepen our own knowledge and understanding. Once there we had the ability to fellowship with other brothers in Christ from various theological and geographical backgrounds. It just proved that even where there may be differences, what remains true is a faithful commitment to understanding and staying true to God’s Word. 

Pathway to Preparation

During my time at the 3-day workshop, I learned to apply several principles of effective biblical exposition when preparing to teach or preach. The first and most important to remember (at least my opinion) is to Stay on the Line. Staying on the line simply means that we neither add to, nor subtract from the text that is being preached or taught. One way to avoid being tempted to stray from the text is to follow the proper “pathway.” 

Biblical Exposition Immanuel Baptist Richmond Jonathan White

The pathway properly walks us through the steps to carefully exposit God’s Word, taking the biblical text from its original context to today. If we deviate from the path, we run into several pitfalls in communicating the text properly: moralizing, legalizing, or contextualizing. Now I could write several blogs about just this concept alone, but I want to focus on two areas that I personally found most helpful.


Attending the workshop helped me to identify a pitfall where I tend to prioritize communicating application over detailing the author’s intent. That isn’t necessarily wrong in my personal studies, however when communicating to an audience I realize they need to follow how I moved through the text to application. To help you understand structure, picture this:

Do you remember being in school learning to write an essay? Did your teacher walk you through the process of outlining your thoughts to organize what you were going to write about? Just like your school essay, each biblical passage also has a structure, or outline that emphasizes the author’s main points. Identifying this structure reveals the author’s emphasis. The original author’s outline should influence our own preaching outline, which ensures we stay on the line while preparing us to effectively communicate the passage to today’s audience.

Text and Framework

Another principle I found valuable is understanding the influence of our framework on the text. We all have a framework, be it theological, political, social, and/or cultural.  Our experiences form our understanding of the people we engage, the places we go, and even the things we read.   In other words, our framework shapes our reading of the Bible. However, the primacy of the biblical text and its meaning must remain intact even when it challenges our framework, otherwise we run the risk of imposing our interpretation onto the text. This is something to bear in mind even during personal devotions so that we avoid influencing the meaning of the text based on our own perceptions and how it relates to our lives.

While I am sure there is more than one way to skin a cat, or uh…sermon, the Simeon Trust workshops have provided a helpful methodology of biblical exposition to pastors for almost two decades, being instructed and supported by prominent pastors like Mark Dever, D.A. Carson, and J.I. Packer. This was a great experience for me, and I am grateful to Immanuel for the opportunity to attend.  I also pray that this summary helps you in uncovering a new way to grow in God’s Word!

If you would like to learn more, Simeon Trust has regular workshops and online lessons as well.  Visit for more information.

Jonathan White


Jonathan White
Pastoral Intern


Wishin’ I Could Be Fishin’ — for a GOOD BOOK | Reading Club, Summer 2019

Martha HancockLibrary Highlights

IBC Richmond Book Club 2019

Our third-annual Reading Club re-boot will begin on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 and end on Sunday, August 18th (a full 8 weeks).

Although all of us have books on our devices and shelves that we haven’t read yet, the purpose of our reading club is to encourage the usage of both the church and the public libraries. Readers are leaders as the saying goes, and for book lovers there is much to choose from this summer with many new books being poised and processed to be put onto the shelves. Check out the new additions to our on-line catalog at You will find many treasures to read.

Reading Club Sign-ups
Parents may sign their kids up in the library on Sundays, and after Family Worship in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesdays.   There are four levels available, all with catchy fishy names:  Tetras (Non-readers, ages 2-6); Bettas (Beginning Readers (1 hour a week; 10 minutes daily); Gouramis (Intermediate Readers, 2-3 hours a week; 30 minutes daily); and Arowanas (Advanced Readers; 6 hours a week, 60 minutes daily).  Readers will pick up their level-specific tracking logs on Sunday, June 23rd, or whenever they start logging their time weekly. Adults/Teens who would like to utilize one of the tracking logs for a level are welcome to do that, or they may choose to set a goal of so many books read by the end of the club.

Non-readers will be coloring in smiling fish for each book that is read to them and can count Story Time at the public library.   Come in each week to turn in your tracking sheet, and to “fish” for a prize from our ocean pool courtesy of Miranda Edds and Sue Henry. Now, we all know that summer is for more than reading with vacations, and family events, so do not stress if you miss a day—just make up the total by the end of the week. Life happens, so you can continue to count library books taken on vacation—just bring in the completed tracking sheet or have a parent attest to the amount read, and claim the current week’s prize as well as a named fish for each week completed.

At the end of the club, those who have completed at least 50% of the club will honored. We would like to thank Jessica Preas (for the beautiful flyers and tracking sheets), Miranda Edds (for being our prize lady again), and Sue Henry (for the decorations). There are many others who process books (Grace Brunner, Carol Froelich), staff the check-out desk (Beth Webel, Linda Deppen, Jessica Preas, John Taylor), and work hard to put books back onto the shelves (Makaila Key, Chloe Wilburn, and Drew Caldwell). If your book has a cover, it is thanks to Sara King—and that the books are in the computer at all, we thank Angela Caldwell and Martha Hancock.

Happy Summer Reading!

[View the Full Flyer]

IBC Richmond Book Club 2019

God’s Grace in your Suffering

Michael WilburnChurch Blog

David Powlison tribute from Immanuel Baptist Richmond


Dr. David Powlison died on Friday, June 7, 2019. If you don’t recognize his name, he left behind a trove of books, articles, and lectures on the Christian life for you to learn and apply. Dr. Powlison was the Executive Director of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), a faculty member at Westminster Theological Seminary, and the Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. You can find a summary of his life HERE.

God's grace in your sufferingTributes to Powlison abound in the blogosphere—all worthy of your time. I mention him because I was reading his book, God’s Grace in your Suffering (2016), on the day he died. Immediately his words came through with greater ethos. The book is an exposition of the hymn, How Firm a Foundation, with each chapter applying a stanza to personal suffering in this life. Through the song, Powlison emphasizes God speaking to you, “God’s voice speaks deeper than what hurts, brighter than what is dark, more enduring than what is lost, truer than what has happened.”

If you are hurting, the song and the book will help. It will encourage and comfort you. Read it; sing it; believe it.

How Firm a Foundation Lyrics

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord, 
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! 
What more can He say than to you He has said, 
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled? 
Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand. 
When through the deep waters I call you to go, 
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; 
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless, 
And sanctify to you your deepest distress. 

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie, 
My grace,all-sufficient, shall be your supply; 
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design 
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine. 
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose, 
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes; 
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, 
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. 

“Suffering is both the acid test and the catalyst. It reveals and forms faith. It also exposes and destroys counterfeit faith.”

“You must cast your cares on God, who cares for you, because you’re helpless in yourself (1 Pet. 5:7). Your cares are bigger than you. You are under pressure. You are vulnerable, and you know it. You are burdened about matters you cannot control or fix. Life is hard. You feel crushed, careworn, threatened. You come as a refugee, not boasting of your assets, but bringing your cares. And your Father cares for you. He is strong and good.”

“It’s not pleasant to need help. But it’s sheer joy to find help.”

“As troubles settle in, they claim your thought life, conversations, emotions, future, faith. They occupy wakeful hours at night. If you fall asleep, they wake up with you first thing in the morning. Dismay well covers a whole range of temptations—tendencies from troubled to unglued, from disappointed to hopeless, from worried to panicky, from frustrated to enraged.”

“The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow. Those rivers sweep many good things away. Your deepest distress is deeply distressing. But the God who loves you is Master of your significant sorrow. He calls you to go through even this hard thing. Though woe feels impossible, though woe devastates earthly hopes, God sets a boundary (but not where we would set it).”

“The emotions of Psalm 31 express how faith trusts in the midst of danger and anguish. The emotions of faith run the gamut from fear to courage, from sorrow to joy, from hate to love, from neediness to gratitude.”

“Many psalms capture this tension between our proclivity to sin and our fidelity to our Redeemer from sin.”

“The most remarkable good things that the planet has ever seen or will ever see can only come out in the context of suffering. We will look first at courageous endurance and then at wise love. The refiner’s fire brings forth gold out of affliction.”

“Your entire life is a holy experiment as God’s hands shape you into the image of his Son.”

“Much of how we grow is a matter of slow-forming habits—the accretion of new patterns of thinking, attitude, and response. Much of our growth happens subliminally, the way a child grows.”

“We twenty-first-century people are hasty folk. We like things to happen fast. We want problems to have quick solutions so we can move on to something else. But God has made our souls to work on agricultural time and child-rearing time.”

“If you have “leaned for repose” on Jesus, you will live. Repose here does not mean a restful state of peace and tranquility. It’s the old original meaning: to rely entirely, to depend, to actively place the weight of your life on Jesus. Put your entire faith, confidence, and trust in him.”

“The hymn writer knows our vulnerability to dismay. I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. If you’ve ever sung this hymn with your brothers and sisters, these last lines come out fiercely triumphant.”


Pastor Michael

Pastor Michael Wilburn Immanuel Baptist Richmond


Pastor Michael Wilburn
Senior Pastor
Immanuel Baptist Richmond

Children’s Ministry Volunteer Opportunities

Gloria DuffeyChildren's Ministry

Children's Ministry Volunteer Opportunities

Dear Immanuel Family,

We have a wonderful team of people who faithfully serve our precious IBC children each week and we would like to invite you to learn more about opportunities to serve in this way. We hope you will pray about being involved! View Openings.

What about the perks?

– Instant hero status
– All you can eat goldfish crackers
– Exercise during worship
– Unlimited high fives
– Crayons available any time

More importantly…

Children’s ministry is ministering to a person at the most critical time in their life.  – Dale Hudson

If a child leaves knowing Jesus loves him because you’ve loved him, you’re doing something right. – Klista Storts

You may speak but a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian Church in years to come. – Charles Spurgeon

Families, churches and parachurch ministries must recognize that primary window of opportunity for effectively reaching people with the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection is during the pre-teen years. It is during those years that people develop their frames of reference for the remainder of their life – especially theologically and morally. Consistently explaining and modeling truth principles for young people is the most critical factor in their spiritual development. – Barna Research article, “Evangelism Is Most Effective Among Kids”

The power for good or evil that resides in a little child is great beyond all human calculation. A child rightly trained may be a world-wide blessing, with an influence reaching onward to eternal years. – George Muller

I am ready to serve

Gloria Duffey
Gloria Duffey
Director of Children’s Ministries

Looking Back, with Winnie Minear

Winnie MinearChurch Blog

I was born September 14, 1951, in Maryville, Tennessee, the fifth of six children. My family moved to southeast Iowa when I was three where we lived on a farm. In 1958, we moved to eastern Florida to Vero Beach when I was in the second grade and I finished elementary, junior high and high school there as well. I went to Maryville College in Maryville, TN where I was born. At the end of my second year of college, I came to faith in Christ through the ministry of Campus Crusade. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

After graduation, I was a summer missionary with CEF in the Knoxville area. In the fall of 1973, I attended the CEF Institute in Michigan. In January 1974 I moved to Richmond to work with Mrs. Lola Little with CEF in the Richmond area. I began attending Immanuel Baptist in 1974. In September 1975 I began teaching at Richmond Christian School where I taught for 4 years.

It was in February 1978 during the ministry of Pastor Fesmire in a missions conference that God spoke to my heart to serve Him as a missionary. Revelation 5:9 was the verse God used to speak to me: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy art Thou to take the Book and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe, and tongue and people and nation.’”

I attended Moody Bible Institute in 1979-1980 for my Bible training. During my year at Moody God confirmed my call to missions. The summer of 1980 I went on Practical Missionary Training to Mexico and Central America for two months. In the fall of 1980, I attended the candidate school with CAM International. After being accepted with CAM and God providing my support, I left for a year of language school in San José, Costa Rica in August 1983.

I arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the capital, in August 1984. In my first ministry, I taught English classes and Bible studies at the Penzotti Institute, a Honduran Christian school. I also was involved in ministry in several churches in Tegucigalpa. Most of my time was spent at the Berea Church in Cerro Grande on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. I taught children’s Sunday school classes and ladies’ Bible studies.

I moved to San Pedro Sula in February 1994 to the northern part of the country. In San Pedro Sula I was involved in two churches teaching children’s Sunday school classes and ladies’ Bible studies. From 2001 to 2018 several Honduran Christians and I had the opportunity for ministry at a large public school teaching weekly Bible classes for the 5thand 6thgrade classes reaching over 400 students each year.

Another ministry that I had while I lived in San Pedro Sula was providing teacher training classes in 42 churches in northwestern Honduras. I also had the privilege to teach Christian Education topics from 2002 to 2015 in northwestern Honduras at a Bible Training Center, similar to a Bible Institute, training many pastors and church leaders that couldn’t attend a seminary.

In 2010 I had the opportunity to train teachers in Nicaragua. I also had the privilege of going to Cuba with other missionaries from my mission to train Christian leaders in Christian Education in 2013, 2014 and 2016. We partnered with the New Pines Seminary to provide seminary level Christian Education courses for the Cuban church leaders. I was deeply impacted by the Cuban Christians’ deep joy and love for God and a deep desire to serve Him in the midst of hard times for many years.

Another ministry that I have had throughout my missionary career has been discipling women. I count it a great privilege to have come alongside these women to help them grow in Christ. It has been a joy to see many of them now discipling others. I have also worked alongside several pastors’ wives in church ministries.

Truly God has been faithful to me in all my 35 years as a missionary. I praise God for His faithfulness.  Thank you so much for being co-workers with me in Honduras these many years.  It would not have been possible without you. Thank you so much for your financial support and for your faithful prayers.”

Winnie Minear

Join for Minnie’s Retirement Report and Reception during our Sunday Evening Service Gathering at 5pm.

Family Worship

Michael WilburnChurch Blog

Starting on Wednesday, June 5th, the 3rd summer of Family Worship begins. Family Worship is a weekly gathering dedicated to inter-generational worship and community missions. We are serious about spending our lives around God’s Word and prayer, and sharing the Gospel with neighbors and friends. Every Wednesday, June through August, Family Worship will gather in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm. All people are welcome. All ages are included. All guests are invited.

At Family Worship, we sing, pray, and fellowship. Songs are printed in a booklet for you to sing at home what we sing together. This year, prayer will focus on three monthly themes: prayer for the family in June, prayer for the church in July, and prayer for the nations in August. Fellowship will include introductions and testimonies in the meeting, then staying around for members, parents, students, and children to talk and play together. In addition, you will hear about a summer book club and community projects.

Family Worship ties the home and church together under the authority and unity of Jesus Christ. I love Don Whitney’s motivating words about it. “Having your family in a Christ-exalting, gospel-centered, Bible-teaching local church is crucial to Christian parenting. But it is not enough for conveying to your family all you want to teach them about God and your beliefs. Moreover, it is unlikely that exposure to the church once or twice a week will impress your children enough with the greatness and glory of God that they will want to pursue him once they leave your home.” (Family Worship, p. 14)

I hope you will join us.


Pastor Michael Wilburn

New Leadership in Music

Michael WilburnAnnouncement

Dear Immanuel Family,

Liz Dillon

Liz Dillon has agreed to serve as Immanuel’s Music Director on an interim basis through the summer. Liz is the wife of Pastor Jon Dillion. She will work with Brian Evans through the summer as a transition period until Brian leaves to support a church plant in the Church Hill neighborhood. We anticipate Liz will take the full music ministry responsibilities this Fall. As with all church officer positions, the Music Director is a congregationly-approved position.

Who is Liz Dillon?

Liz started as a junior church pianist at 12 years old. By 15, she was regularly playing for worship services. All of her early music teachers were church musicians, which she considers a great blessing. Along the way, Liz learned to play woodwind instruments, percussion, and organ. She is a 1991 graduate of Bob Jones University in piano pedagogy. She learned choir leadership under the direction of Dr. Fred Coleman at BJU and Mr. Larry Carrier at Morningside Baptist Church.

Liz’s music ministry experience includes teaching music to students of all ages in studio, classroom, and choir settings, serving as church pianist at Community Baptist Church in Bradenton, Florida, and leading as Music Director at Evangel Baptist Church in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Liz also organized the church music as she and Jon planted LifeSpring Baptist Church in Arkansas.

All of her training and experience prepared Liz Dillon for a role as Immanuel’s Music Director working with the pastoral staff to coordinate worship gatherings, overseeing the worship leadership calendar, directing the adult choir seasons, leading the Easter Good Friday service and the Christmas Eve Candlelight service, and mentoring music department leaders and volunteers.

What is Ahead for Immanuel’s Music Ministry?

Liz Dillon will join weekly staff meetings to coordinate congregational music for services. Beginning this fall, Sunday night choir rehearsals will begin involving the choir in Sunday services and practicing for the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. Liz’s input will help the Vision Committee this year to develop a church-wide music philosophy statement.