The ties between First Baptist Church in Augusta and Mercer University in Macon are long and strong. Founded by Baptists in 1833, Mercer University has been an outstanding provider of excellent higher education in Georgia and the entire region. Over these years, First Baptist Church has provided money, students, trustees, and prayers to support the academic work of this fine university. As First Baptist now celebrates a Bicentennial Anniversary, it is appropriate to recognize the strong historic connections between the church and the college. We will do that in the next few days.

This Sunday, you will have the opportunity to hear President Bill Underwood of Mercer University. You can find a brief biographical sketch and picture inside this newsletter. He will be speaking in both worship services on March 19. I have heard President Underwood on several occasions and I have always benefitted from what he had to say. That will be true for you this Sunday. In the 11:00 a.m. worship in the Sanctuary you will also be able to hear The Mercer Singers, an outstanding choir from the school who will lead us in worship. This is an auditioned choir of about 40-45 voices. I know that you will be touched by their music.

But that is not all . . . On Wednesday night, March 22, we welcome Dr. Jeff Willetts, the new Dean of the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University. He will be speaking at 6:00 p.m. in the Storey Chapel during the Adult Bible Study time. His topic is “Can I Get a Witness?” Dr. Willetts began his work as the Dean at McAfee last July, coming from many years at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Washington, DC. Many of you know that I am on the Adjunct Faculty at McAfee where I teach Leadership and Pastoral Preaching. I am very excited about our new Dean. He brings a creative perspective and dynamic energy to the fine school that is a part of Mercer University. Because he is new to our state, I look forward to the opportunity that he will have getting to know you and I know that you will enjoy hearing from him. In addition to Dr. Willetts speaking to the adults, he will bring a McAfee student who will lead the youth that Wednesday evening.

I hope that you will join us for a great Mercer Week at First Baptist.