Chatham Baptist Church

Podcast: Worship on Palm Sunday, April 5

Our service on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020, was different for our church, as it was for most. We’re using GoToMeeting because it is secure, and everyone can “attend,” either by dialing in or logging on. Please overlook the technical issues we had, especially with musical transmission, and join us next Sunday as we learn how to navigate our new “normal.” Happy Palm Sunday! 


Palm Sunday worship, April 5, 2020

Join us for worship on this Palm Sunday. We use GoToMeeting. After worship today, I will post the audio recording to this site. If you want to join us live in the future, please leave a comment and I will get back to you with information on how you can join live worship of Chatham Baptist Church in Chatham, VA!

Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 10 O’clock EDT

Welcome and Announcements

  • Good Friday Service, April 10, 7 PM EDT
  • Easter Sunday with Communion, April 12, 10 AM EDT

Organ Prelude by Charlotte Paris

Invocation by the Pastor

Responsive Reading from Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29, Led by the Pastor and Paulette Adkins

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!
Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

 Special Music by Kathleen O’Hare

Prayer for Our World, Our Nation, and Our Community by Ben Davenport, Deacon Chair

Reading from Matthew 21:1-11 by Ben Paris

Pastor’s Message “The Day Everything Changed”

The Lord’s Prayer

 Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Benediction by the Pastor

Organ Postlude by Charlotte Paris



Pastor’s letter for March 31, 2020

Here’s the letter I sent to all of our members today, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Please note that the sensitive information about how to dial in or log on to our online worship has been deleted. You will receive the numbers to call or the site to log on in the mail. Thanks!

From the Pastor

March 31, 2020

Good morning!

I hope this finds you well and adjusting to the new normal of being at home. As I’m sure you know, Governor Northam issued a new “stay-at-home” order for the Commonwealth of Virginia yesterday, March 30. This order is effective immediately through June 10, 2020. So, our church buildings will remain closed until then.

However, we are discovering new ways to stay connected. Last Sunday we worshipped by internet and phone. About 63 people were “present” for worship, with 18 connecting by dialing in, and the remainder connecting by computer, tablet, or smart phone.

This virtual space will be our “meeting place” for the immediate future. However, we are changing the internet address and phone number we used last week. Apparently rude people have intruded into the meetings of other churches and disrupted them. (It’s always something, isn’t it?)

Feel free to give this connection information to people you know, and we will email it to the congregation, but we will not post it on our website! (The letter you receive has the info.)

Our “virtual” meeting times are worship at 10 AM on Sunday mornings, and Bible Study at 7 PM on Wednesday nights.

Here’s how you can connect. These are new numbers, so take note:

  1. You can dial in using your phone. This is the easiest and simplest way to join.
    Dial Toll Free: 1 xxx-xxx-xxxx then, enter the access code (xxx-xxx-xxx) when asked. You should be connected immediately.
  2. If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, please join us by logging into the link which you will receive via email.
  3. Some of you had trouble connecting by clicking on the link in the email I sent. The problem is if you have an iPhone and used the Safari browser, it gave you a message that said something like “the address is invalid.” That is a quirk of Safari. If you know how, you can work around that by any of these methods:
    1. Copy and paste (or type) the address above into your browser search line or address bar. Then hit enter and it should take you to the meeting.
    2. Get the app for your iPhone from the iPhone App Store. The app is “GoToMeeting” and looks like an asterisk * inside an orange circle. You will have to create an account, log in, etc like you do with all apps. When you get in the app on your phone, you can put in the meeting code  and it will connect you. Then, the app will remember this address in the future.
    3. Dial in via any phone by calling the number and entering the access code when requested. Sunday worship will be audio only for this Sunday, April 5, so, you aren’t missing out on anything (except seeing people in their pajamas!)

Included in this mailing is the order of worship for this Sunday, April 5, 2020. Please have this handy when you join worship this Sunday morning. As you can see, there are responsive readings, scripture readings, and the Lord’s Prayer that you can participate in. Please join us when asked by reading or praying aloud with those leading worship. No one will hear you except you and your family members because I will turn off (mute) everybody else’s voice or mic. This is a different kind of way to meet and it calls for a different approach.

I am recording a new devotional every Wednesday, which is posted on our phone line. So, if you want to hear a brief devotional thought, dial the church number, and then press 4 to hear the devotional.

The latest OneCall announcement is also posted there and you can hear it by calling the church number and pressing 3.

You may leave prayer requests by calling the church, and pressing 2 for my voice mailbox. Or you can call or text me directly on my cell phone. If you are dialing me from your home landline you do not have to dial the area code.

Holy Week begins Sunday, April 5 through Easter Sunday, April 12.

  • We will have an online/dial-in Bible Study on Wednesday, April 8, at 7 PM.
  • We WILL NOT have a Maundy Thursday service online.
  • On Good Friday, April 10, we will have an online/dial in Good Friday service at 7 PM.
  • On Easter Sunday, April 12 at 10 AM, we will have a worship service with communion.
    • Please have grape juice (or some other fruit of the vine), or any beverage of your choice ready to drink in a small cup.
    • Please have pieces of bread, crackers, or whatever you prefer to take as the bread of communion.
    • We’ll follow our usual reading which we will mailout and post online, and you can join along either by logging on or dialing in.

Keep this letter handy as a reminder of how to connect with us for worship, Bible study, and during Holy Week. We’ll mail out another reminder next week. Until then, stay well and safe, and remember….we’re all in this…




5 Lessons for a Pandemic

Here’s the link to the text of the sermon I preached this morning, 5 Lessons for a Pandemic from Ezekiel 37:1-14. What a great passage for a critical time!

Church-wide Newsletter for March 25

Here’s the latest newsletter mailed to all church households on March 25, 2020. 

Chatham Baptist Church, Chatham, VA 24531

March 25, 2020

From the Pastor

I miss seeing you! Of course, we are all doing our part to act responsibly and practice physical distancing, but I still miss seeing you on Sundays and Wednesdays. Please call me at any time for any reason or if you need help for anything. We will get through this as a nation and community, but until then here are some of the things we are doing to stay connected to one another.

  1. We are putting messages on our church phone system. Remember when you could call a phone number to get the weather or the time? Now you can call the church number, and leave a message for Martha Crider, our office administrator, by pressing 1. You can leave a message for me my pressing 2.

However, now you can press 3 to hear the latest church-wide OneCall announcement. So, if you miss the OneCall when it goes out, call the church, press 3, and listen to it. Also, you can hear the latest weekly devotional by pressing 4. The devotional is less than 5 minutes, and you can dial in and listen at your convenience. The church has 2 lines, so if the line is busy, call back later.

  1. We are mailing information to you each week, which is what you’re reading now. Please look for mail from the church and open it for the latest news, information, prayer list, birthdays, and more from our church family.
  1. Our church website,, is up-to-date. Please check it for the latest from our church. We will post information there for your convenience. You can subscribe to the church website by entering your email in the subscription box. When you do, you’ll receive any updates to the church site.
  1. Our deacons are calling their deacon families. If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns you can talk to your deacon. A list of our active deacons was included in last week’s mailing.
  1. We are updating our church membership information. Last week we sent out the latest church directory we have. If your information – address, phone number, etc – has changed, please call the church office and give us your updated information. We are also adding email addresses, cell phone numbers, and other information to our church database. Eventually, we will be able to do group emails and text to cell phones. Please know that we will not abuse your information, but we want to be able to communicate in as many ways as possible.
  1. We are working on conducting a “live” churchwide gathering by phone, cell phone, tablet, or computer. We’re not quite ready yet, but we have some promising possibilities. Whatever we do, everyone in our church will be able to participate whether you have a cell phone or internet service. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know as soon as we figure out this next step.
  1. We’re working on some ideas for Easter. We probably will not be able to gather on Easter, but we’re exploring some ideas that we can do together (although not all at the same time) on Easter Sunday. We’ll let you know soon.
  1. We have toilet paper! Seriously, the church has toilet paper which we can make available on a limited basis. Right now we could give 4-rolls to each of our church households, plus a few to our ChristWalk families. I know this sounds silly, but just wanted you to know. Call me if you need some!

Mostly, we need to pray at this time. I encourage you to schedule your day to include an intentional time of prayer, scripture reading and meditation. Pray for each other, pray for those on our prayer list, pray for our leaders, and pray for those on the frontlines of treating coronavirus patients. 2 Chronicles 7:14 promises if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I had always interpreted God’s promise to “heal their land” as spiritual healing. Now, however, we are praying for physical healing as well. Please join me as we pray together for God’s presence and power in our land. Remember, we’re in this….together!

Letter to our Congregation

This is a letter we are sending out to our congregation today regarding what our church is doing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Good morning,

I am writing to assure you that even in this age of “social distancing,” Chatham Baptist Church is alive and well! Here is what we are doing during this time when we cannot gather together –

  1. We will stay connected. We have two reliable ways to communicate with all of our membership – by phone and by mail. We will do weekly mailings to our households. Please open mail from the church immediately so you can read the latest news about our congregation. Also, we will call you personally or using our churchwide calling system, OneCallNow. Please listen to these recorded calls in their entirety. They only last 2 minutes or less, and will convey up-to-the-minute information.


  1. We will care for one another and our community. Being the church does not depend upon our being able to gather together. Instead, we will be the church dispersed in the community. First, we will pray for one another, our community, our state, our nation, and God’s world. Second, we plan to deliver food and household essentials to those who cannot or do not want to get out to shop for themselves. We need volunteers to do this, and will develop this plan quickly and communicate it to you. ChristWalk will continue, and we will communicate those details soon.


  1. We will worship in our homes. The early church began by meeting in small groups and in homes of those who professed faith in Christ. In this packet, we are enclosing a devotional guide. Some are past their date, but the material is still helpful. We will also make you aware of TV and internet programs that you can access during this time. If you have a favorite devotional or worship TV program or internet site, let us know and we’ll share that with others. It is important to gather everyone in your home for regular Bible reading, prayer, and worship. Something as simple as saying the Lord’s Prayer together as a family or individually can provide a structure to your devotional experience.


  1. We will be good stewards of our church finances. During this time, we will continue to keep the essentials of our church budget strong, while maintaining support for our other ministry partners who are also adapting to this new reality. I know you will be faithful in your continued support of our church. Our church is financially strong because we have good financial leadership, and with your help we will maintain that strength.


  1. We will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, the Pittsylvania/Danville Health Department, and other government agencies who are advising us. We follow those guidelines as good citizens, good neighbors, and out of love for the most vulnerable in our church and community.


  1. We will continue to minister to our members and our community. During this time, unless circumstances change, the church office remains open during our regular hours of 9 AM to 1 PM, Monday through Friday. Martha Crider is our office administrator.


I continue to serve on my regular schedule as your pastor, and am available to you anytime you need me. Please call, text, or email me anytime you have a prayer request, question, concern, or suggestion. I am available for prayer, counseling, in-person or telephone visit, or for any other need that might arise. Needless to say, I am taking recommended precautions, have canceled non-essential meetings, and seek to limit my exposure so that I can continue to minister to our church and community.


As I mentioned in my sermon the last time we met, Christians have always responded to social crises with love, compassion, faith and courage. While we do not want to jeopardize health and safety, we are a resilient congregation and will design ways to help each other and our community during this crisis.


Enclosed in this packet is a list of our active deacons. Your deacon will be in touch with you soon, but if you have a need before they contact you, please call on any of them at anytime.


Again, please watch for mailings or listen for phone calls from your church family. We will also post information on our church website,, and our church Facebook page. We will soon start gathering your email and cell phone numbers so that we can communicate in as many ways as we can with you. But, for most of our members, the telephone and mail are the most reliable means we have.


During this crisis, our confidence and faith is in the God of all creation, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Although these are unprecedented times, God is still on His Throne. We have a message of faith, hope and love, and we will continue to share it with the world.


Chuck Warnock



Governor Bans Groups of 100

Gov. Ralph Northam on a conference call to reporters today banned groups of 100 or more from meeting in the state of Virginia until further notice. Northam also said that even if you’re gathering a few people, you should cancel plans to do so. The governor also strongly encouraged Virginia residents to stay away from restaurants, bars, and churches.

Our church had already decided to close for the next two weeks. Although we average about 70 or so per Sunday, we will remain closed for worship and activities of groups within our buildings until health authority guidance says it is safe otherwise.

While our congregation is usually under 100, the point is to avoid crowds, to practice social distancing, and to stem the spread of the coronavirus. As good citizens, good neighbors and a responsible community institution, we will do everything possible to prevent the further spread of this disease. To do less would be to act in a manner opposite Christ’s command to “love your neighbor.”