The Clarion Call: Come Home

Home: A Place of Faith

In our community, the word “home” means more than a physical place. It is more than a plot of land, house, city, state, nation, or continent. It is also more than a family, clan, tribe, or church. It is all of that; but it is also much more. To have a “home” to come to means there is a place and a people that have a continuum of experiences–a celebration of memories, stream of interactions, and a cacophony of feelings. It is a line of broken and unbroken relationships, and a circle of life filled with trials, tribulations and hallelujah moments that we have celebrated and triumphed together. Home for us is a symphony of beliefs–a visible and invisible chain of human history that is imprinted on the faith DNA of each of our members. A faith DNA, that provides the compass when home calls us to come, we know where home is located. Home, the dwelling place of our faith, hopes, dreams, disappointments, failures, successes, and achievements–personal and public. It is an ancestral map of those gone before and those still there. It is the place built, brick-by-brick, from one faith level to the next, in each moment experienced by each congregant, family and community. Home, is an old landmark. Home is a place of faith.

Home is a community of believers called the First Missionary Baptist Church.

Home: A Tradition

Homecoming is celebrated differently in different churches across the country. Some congregations celebrate it for a day, and others, for a full week. No matter when, where or how, the service is always rooted in our culture, faith, history and thanksgiving to God. In the Black church tradition, Homecoming is a high day that is among the best attended services on the church calendar. Families, friends and former members flock from everywhere. And, usually, every age group of the church is celebrated, with particular attention given to inclusion of the church’s children and young adults in the Homecoming program. The service is usually culturally rich, blending old traditions with the contemporary to remind us of our journey as a family of faith, lest we forget. The worship service is full of uplifting music and soul-stirring preaching, followed by good food for the body.

Home: A Celebration

The FMBC family is sending out a clarion call to all of our current and former membership, our web of friends, the church’s preaching sons and daughters in ministry, to join us for Homecoming—9 a.m. Sunday, September 30th. Come join us in celebrating home. Come join us in celebrating the people of home. Come join us in this sacred space that is steeped in love, history, tradition, culture and faith.

This call has a special rhythm. It is the rhythm and heartbeat of FMBC. Its call rivals the call of the West African talking drum that our ancestors answered centuries ago. The call goes out in the rhythm of the drum beat and those that are one with us and one with the rhythm, know that it is a call to come home. FMBC is calling for our family to come home.

Submitted by Rev. Terrance D. Vickerstaff