UPDATE: Friday, March 27, 2020 @ 8:45 AM
Our plan right now is to follow the school system in regards to social distancing and for returning to gatherings at the building. At this moment we plan to return to our normal schedule on April 26, 2020. All dates mentioned will remain flexible.
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 25, 2020. @ 11:15 AM
In response to the executive order signed yesterday, we are doing our part by closing the church office. The church staff will be doing as much as we can remotely and limiting our time at the building to the most essential things.
The phone line is still being answered and will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member. If you need help with anything please call 662-489-1200.
Our ministries will continue to our church family and our community. We continue to organize different ways to reach out. If would like to help please email or call.
In the case of an emergency at night (death, accident, or dilemma) please call our Minister on Call number 662-308-1289.
* These numbers do not receive text messages*
UPDATE: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 @ 4:30 PM
UPDATE: Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 9:30 AM
I want to keep you updated on steps we are taking to stay on top of keeping our church family connected during this unusual separation.
- The last couple of days our staff has been looking at options for how to effectively encourage our church family during this time. Last night I hosted our first Sunday School Leaders meeting via video conference. We discussed ways to keep our Sunday school classes connected through technology and my hope is that your class will be reaching out in the coming days offering ways for your group to share prayer request, encouraging words, and possibly even video conference together.
- We are currently working on options for live streaming and/or recording bible study options for different age groups that will be posted throughout the week. I will put more information out in the coming days about schedule.
- We have a couple of apps that we want to recommend to you:
- Church Directory App – Our church members have an opportunity to have access to our church directory, church calendar, & online giving through this app. This gives each member easy access to information that will help keep in contact with each other. (Only available to church members)
- Right Now Media – You possibly have a lot more free time on your hands right now. During this time may we not say that we didn’t have time to spend time in God’s Word. Right Now Media is an app that gives you access to thousands of bible studies for adults and biblical kids shows.
- ACCESS TO THESE APPS – If you would like access to these apps send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Below is a tutorial video of how to download and access the apps.
- We have been working to organize our Crisis Serve Teams. Several teams are already working on being a bright light in a dark situation. Please take time to join one of the teams, click this link to view the groups and fill out the form at the bottom of the page: https://westheightsbaptist.org/crisis-serve-teams-2020/
UPDATE: Tuesday March 17, 2020 @ 1:30 PM
UPDATE: Saturday March 14, 2020 @ 3:50 PM
As I mentioned in our previous announcement, this has been a rapidly changing situation. I’ve been on the phone most of the day seeking advice on what we should do as a church.
Just about an hour ago, the Governor of MS made a public statement declaring a State of Emergency. In his address he made a specific call to churches not to have public gatherings tomorrow.
I know that some will not agree with this decision and will consider this overkill for this situation. However, Scripture gives us an answer to how we are to respond as believers. Romans 13 tells us that we should submit to our authorities. Therefore, unless someone is asking us to suppress the Gospel message, we are to respond agreeably to this request.
In response to this request, West Heights will move our services online this Sunday, March 15, 2020. We will stream our service at 11:00am and 6:00pm on our YouTube channel. We will do our best to provide links on Facebook and our webpage that make this easy to find.
During this time, I urge our church family to use opportunities to serve those around us. Many peoples lives will be disrupted by this situation. Even though the numbers of impacted seem low to many of us, please remember that each number represents a life. Each death that is recorded represents a life that will be spent in eternity in either Heaven or Hell. May we be reminded of the urgency to spread the Good News of Jesus to everyone who needs to hear. This week maybe you can help:
- Pray earnestly for those that have been impacted by this virus, pray that they may hear the Good News of Jesus before it is to late.
- Look for opportunities to serve a neighbor. Maybe you could make a grocery run for an elderly person or sick person who doesn’t need to get out in public areas at this time.
- Maybe you know someone who has to be at work and needs help with their children because school has let out for the next week.
- Offer support to those on the frontline. As we all seek ways to stay home more, our medical personnel is ramping up for a very busy next few weeks. Pray for them, send encouraging words to them, offer to bring them lunch, etc.
- USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO POINT PEOPLE TO THE PRINCE OF PEACE!
May God Bless, Bro. Joseph
Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Amidst the rapidly growing discussion about how businesses, organizations, and churches should respond to the pandemic known as COVID-19, we want our church family to know that we are paying close attention. The following is how we are preparing to move forward in the coming days:
Philippians 4:6, Paul writes, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” As believers we are to entrust everything into the hands of our loving Heavenly Father. Together, we pray for wisdom in the midst of a rapidly changing situation. We pray for our national, state, and local leaders as they direct the country in the best courses of action. Our church should lift up missionaries as they serve in places that are experiencing impact from the pandemic. Most of all, may we seek wisdom from God in how we individually respond to our neighbors in the midst of this situation.
THIS SUNDAY (March 15th)
At this current moment we are planning to continue with our normal schedule. If something changes in the coming days, we will communicate with church members via e-mail, text message, Facebook, and our website.
We do want all our members to know that if you are concerned about this virus because you fall within the high risk category, please know that we will be streaming the 11:00 am service on our YouTube channel. We will post a direct link on our website and on Facebook this Sunday so that you can easily find the service. We invite you to join us for worship from your home.
This Sunday, we will make minor changes to encourage good hygiene within our facilities. Here are some of the things you can expect:
- Our greeters will greet you at the door and will be happy to open the door for each person.
- You will find hand sanitizer stations spread throughout the building. Please use as much as needed; but please remember that if you have the opportunity, washing your hands is more effective in preventing the transmission of germs.
- This Sunday, our normal offering will be held at the end of the service. Ushers will be stationed at each exit if you would like to drop an offering in the plate.
- We will not be serving coffee in the welcome center this Sunday. Please make sure you bring your own cup this week!
Finally, a friendly reminder, one of the best ways to stop the spread of any illness is to stay home if you are not feeling well. Here are some recommendations for kids (and probably should be followed by adults as well):
- No Fever over 99.6 currently or within the past 24 hours.
- No vomiting or diarrhea currently or within the last 24 hours.
- No runny nose.
- No cough.
- No unexplained rashes.
- No skin infections.
- No eye infections
WHAT ABOUT NEXT SUNDAY
We place a high priority on gathering together as a faith family each week. As a believer, worshipping together is a major part of our faith. None of us like the idea of rearranging our schedule out of fear or panic. However, we do want to be prepared to respond in a Christlike manner to our community if this virus or any future pandemic continues to spread.
As mentioned above, this is a rapidly changing situation. Our church will be putting together a group of leaders within the church to help prepare a Pandemic Response Policy for the church. This policy will simply outline how we will handle this pandemic and any pandemic in the future. We will be looking at the best way for the church to respond to request of our national, state, and local leaders in these types of situations. Our focus will be how do we best share the Good News of Jesus Christ to our community, our state, our country, and to the world when people are scared of what tomorrow holds. In some cases that requires us to stand strong in our beliefs and at other times calls us to rearrange our schedules to show love to those around us. West Heights is a church that serves the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, and we believe that He will guide our steps as we move forward.
West Heights, lets continue to pray and care for those that are impacted by this pandemic!