First News

First News | September 9, 2020



One of the most enjoyable parts of what I do here at First is the equipping and training of others so that we can grow in our understanding and practice of caring for one another. For the upcoming fall season, I’ve put together 3 courses. 

CARE FRIENDS is the first and foundational course that looks at themes like: Biblical grounding for caring, listening skills, emotions, self-awareness, and understanding grief.  

The second is a new course and the focus will be on END OF LIFE CARE. How do I spiritually care for someone as they near the end of their life? Sooner or later, you will have a friend or someone close to you approach the end of life. We’ll examine three key areas to focus on. This will be offered twice. 

Third, I’ll be offering the SANCTUARY COURSE once again. This is an excellent video based course on Understanding Mental Health. 

For all of these courses, we will be meeting in person, at Pinder Hall, with steps and precautions taken to ensure Covid safety. The number of participants will be kept to a maximum of 8 people and the actual time spent together has been reduced. To see the dates for these courses please visit our website. To register for any course, please contact John at .

John Tsang
Minister of Congregational Care


FBC Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, September 30 | 7pm | Zoom

You are warmly invited and encouraged to sit at your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone (NO Driving Required!) and JOIN us! It will be the next best thing to actually seeing your FBC family!

It’s an AGM…. so, yes we need a quorum to do the required business!  Everyone is invited to come and participate, but only members will be able to vote.  

Please RSVP here and the meeting link will be included in your confirmation email.

We will have time to pray and reflect on God’s goodness to us, as well as consider special resolutions concerning our Bylaws (read the special resolutions and briefing note here), hear from the Treasurer regarding the 2019 financial statements, consider the report from the Nominating Committee, including the new slate of candidates and “see” how church in a pandemic thrives in God’s grace to us.

Please review the 2019 Annual Report, comprised of the 2019 In Review (from the Winter Business Meeting) and the Financial Statements here. You will also find the nominations for the Nominating Committee and Membership Committee including the candidate bios here.

Questions?  Because we are on Zoom, asking and answering questions from the “floor” is more difficult.  Please send your questions regarding any of the documents provided to this email address,   by September 29, so that we can address them. 

Looking forward to seeing you!

Bless you all!
Claudia Wakeman



Messages on the relationship between God and David from the books of 1 & 2 Samuel.

This year we are going to read the Old Testament books of Samuel, focussing on the relationship between God and David. And the question we will keep coming to in different ways is: What does it mean for God to be sovereign?

Watch a video introduction to the sermon series: Experiencing the Sovereignty of God below:


Saturday, September 12 | 10am-12pm

At our Fall Kickoff, you will hear more about where we sense our Lord is leading us when it comes to our priorities and plans, especially as it relates to our reopening, displacement, and direction. Click here to see more details.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to plan our in-person gatherings abiding to health and safety guidelines, please make sure to RSVP to your area pastor if you plan to attend.

First News | September 2, 2020


Click the video below to watch this week's reflection by Joseph Leong.


Experiencing the Sovereignty of God

Messages on the relationship between God and David
from the books of 1 & 2 Samuel

“David? That’s the fairy tale about a boy and a giant, right?”

David’s story is the most comprehensive human story recorded in the Bible. His entire adult life from adolescence to death is chronicled over the course of forty chapters of the books of I & II Samuel and I Kings, and then retold over nineteen chapters of the book of I Chronicles. An extensive collection of David’s own songs and prayers are recorded in the Psalms, and the events of his life and the prophetic expectation of a new king in David’s line are continually referenced in the Gospels and in Paul’s letters.

Why is this one ancient Israelite so prominent in the Bible?

There are many good answers to this question, but as we read I & II Samuel together as a church we will see that two answers are of paramount importance. The first is the opportunity the account of David’s life affords us to observe the relationship between God and a single human being. The writer of Samuel gives us an honest picture of David, encouraging his readers to relate to him, particularly as David strives to walk faithfully with the Lord. His life is intentionally presented to us as a model by which to examine, understand and deepen our own relationship with God.

The second is the study of sovereignty. The process of David’s elevation to king over Israel, the contrast between Saul and David as rulers, and especially the relationship between David’s sovereignty and the sovereignty of God, all point us to profound truths about God and humanity at the heart of the books of Samuel.

Our messages from I Samuel will begin with the introduction of David in I Samuel chapter 16. In preparation for this you are encouraged to read I Samuel chapters 1 to 15. If you would like to do further preparation then you might like to read the book I & II Samuel for Everyone by John Goldingay, at least as far as the chapter covering I Samuel chapter 15.

Anthony Brown
Senior Minister


The study guides this year are designed to be used prior to the sermon. The guide provided each week will refer to passage of scripture that will be preached the following week to be used in preparation for this. Read this guide on how to use the studies. You can access all the study guides on our website:



Fall Kickoff 2020

Saturday, September 12 | 10am-12pm

At our Fall Kickoff, you will hear more about where we sense our Lord is leading us when it comes to our priorities and plans, especially as it relates to our reopening, displacement, and direction.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to plan our in-person gatherings abiding to health and safety guidelines, please make sure to RSVP to your area pastor if you plan to attend.

West End/Downtown
Location: Stanley Park
RSVP: Justin Kim

North Shore
Location: Hugo Ray Park
RSVP: Anthony Brown

Cambie/South Granville/Oakridge/Kerrisdale
Location: Douglas Park
(by the trees just east of the community center)
RSVP: Stuart Campbell

Vancouver East
Location: Memorial South Park
(Host: Filipe Balieiro. Meet on the Ross side, near the lacrosse rink)
RSVP: John Tsang

Location: Debeck Neighbourhood Park
(from No. 4 Road, turn into Dayton) 
RSVP: John Tsang

West Point Grey/Kitsilano
Location: Trimble Park
RSVP: Rebecca Thornber/Filipe Balieiro

Location: Robert Burnaby Park
RSVP: Daniel Foster Fabiano

FBC Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, September 30 | 7pm | Zoom

Mark your calendars! First Baptist Church AGM is coming! It will be held on Zoom! September 30 at 7 pm. More information will be coming next week. We look forward to “seeing” you all!


Dr. Abe Voth entered into the presence of the Lord peacefully at home, in the company of Erika and his two daughters, on September 1, 2020. Abe was a well-respected and well-loved physician here in Vancouver and a faithful member of FBC. Abe will be dearly missed by his family and friends.  

First News | August 26, 2020



Click the video below for a recap of Kickers Soccer Camp 2020!

Dear FBC family,

We are thankful for the opportunity to serve together in this historical year.

During the past months we have been receiving messages from parents consulting and we have been praying to the Lord for direction. It was hard to think that we would have a summer without Kicker’s Soccer Camp. We are thankful that FBC supported this ministry and we were able to welcome the children for another fun and meaningful time.

I can highlight two things that were important to me. One, was the opportunity to serve the children who participated enthusiastically despite the rain and the challenges of the new protocols. Secondly, the wonderful work of the young coaches who did a fantastic job and were an example of Christian guidance and care to the children. Thank you, Jonathan Lim, Luke Hardie, Melena Hacker, Jonas Kuban. These young people who were once participants are now serving together with me in this ministry.

“Thank you, FBC, for the opportunity to work at Kickers. I greatly value the chance to improve my leadership skills, work within a fantastic team, and have fun with the campers!" - Jonathan Lim

“I would like to thank FBC for providing me, along with the youth of Vancouver with a soccer camp as great and unique as Kickers. For the past 11 years, I have been lucky enough to attend Kickers as either a camper, or as a coach; a camp that truly communicates Christian values and soccer skills in the most joyful way possible.” - Luke Hardie

Thank you, FBC for your prayers, support, and the opportunity to serve together for such a time as this.

Jose Figueroa
Kickers Director 

On behalf of the Pastoral Team at FBC, I would like to say a special thank you to Jose Figueroa for directing Kickers this year! Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there was a great amount of change and new guidelines to implement, and I'm thankful for Jose's hard work to make it possible.

I would also like to thank the FBC family for praying for everyone involved. I trust and hope that the relationships started and fostered this year will continue to grow. Do keep our coaches and campers in your prayers as many of them prepare to go back to school this Fall. 

Daniel Foster Fabiano
Director of Children & Preteens Ministries


Joseph Leong - Interim Director of Children and Family Ministries

We are pleased to let you know that Joseph Leong will come on board as our Interim Director of Children and Family Ministries starting September 1st.

As we prepare to search for a full-time Director of Children and Family Ministries, Joseph will be filling the interim role by overseeing and working with the New Generations MAT and volunteers in various children's ministry areas: Early Childhood, School Age, Sunday weekly activities; mid-week children's programs; baptism classes, summer programs, and special events.

Most of you might have already known Joseph as our Youth Ministry Intern (2018-2020) and Children Summer Program Coordinator (2019 & 2020). He occasionally plays the guitar and sings in the worship team.

Joseph was born and raised in a loving Christian family and was baptized at Philadelphia Church Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at University Tunku Abdul Rahman and a Master of Business Administration at Multimedia University in Malaysia. Joseph went into full-time ministry right after his studies as he has always been sensing a deep call to serve the church, especially the next generation. He has spent over ten years in youth ministry—4 of which as a youth pastor in Malaysia. Currently, he is in his fourth year pursuing a Master of Divinity at Regent College. He is happily married to Angeline Teay (our Communications Design & Strategist) and they have been part of the FBC church community for 3 years.

Let us keep Joseph in our prayers as he enters into this exciting new chapter at FBC this September.


FBC Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, September 30 | 7pm | Zoom

Mark your calendars! First Baptist Church AGM is coming! It will be held on Zoom! September 30 at 7 pm. More information will be coming. We look forward to “seeing” you all!

Zoom Celebration for Bob Swann

This past Sunday, we had an amazing time sharing beautiful stories about Bob and Anne, and witnessing how God has used their lives to impact so many people around the world! It was extra special to gather together as a church family after so many months! It was a really lovely day. You can watch the recorded celebration session by following the link below:


Love Offering

We would also like to show our love and appreciation by collecting a love offering for Bob. If you would like to bless Bob through a financial gift, please write a cheque addressed to "First Baptist Church" and indicate "Love Offering for Bob Swann" on the memo line.

You may mail the cheque to First Baptist Church, 969 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y1 or drop it in the church mailbox beside the office door on Burrard Street. Please make your gift by August 31, 2020.

*Please note that this gift will not be tax-deductible.

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