Chester 1st Baptist | Ministries
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The Preschool and Children’s Ministry

of FBC is a vital ministry in which we seek to partner with parents to help children grow in their understanding of what Christ means in their lives. We offer many different opportunities for children to learn about God’s unconditional love, and to share that knowledge with others. The Preschool/Children’s Department includes birth through grade 6.

A nursery is provided for infants and toddlers on Sundays and Wednesdays as well as for special events.  The nursery is not a “baby sitting service” but rather a time when our youngest children can learn and can experience a peaceful, loving, Christian environment with Christianity modeled. 

Bible Study is offered through Sunday School, Children’s Church, Vacation Bible School, and special study series.

Children are exposed to their part in spreading the Word through mission’s emphasis on Wednesdays at RA’s, GA’s, and Mission Friends. They are also encouraged to attend summer mission’s camps at Camp McCall and Camp LaVida.

Graded choirs, a children’s hand bell choir, and special musical events give children a chance to grow spiritually through music and drama.

A time of fellowship is enjoyed by 1st through 6th graders in Kid’s Klub on Wednesday afternoons and during the summer. Special events throughout the year also allow children to meet new friends, enjoy time with established friends, and see positive role models in leadership.

A special Children’s Day is held during worship on a Sunday in May.  Children and families are emphasized and help to lead in worship.

The Preschool/Children’s Ministry is led by Mrs. Flora Heinlein and a large number of dedicated, Christian volunteers who have a heart for children.

One generation will declare your work to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts (Psalm 145:4).

The youth ministry of FBCC exists to reach youth with the gospel of Jesus Christ, to teach God’s Word, to help youth discover their spiritual gifts, connect them with other believers, and to glorify God.

We have a variety of activities available to youth in grades 7-12. Weekly activities include Sunday School at 10:00 am in the youth center, morning worship at 10:55 am in the sanctuary, and youth choir, Bible Study, and various activities beginning at 4:00 PM on Sunday afternoon.  We also have Bible Study and worship on Wednesdays at 6:45 in the youth center,

Our youth participate in church wide mission trips, go to
summer camps, attend various Christian concerts, go on a Fall Retreat and a Spring Retreat, and do other activities and ministry projects.

Our youth ministry is under the leadership of David Edwards. David and John Neely Gaston, our Minister of Music, work closely together to provide many opportunities for worship, Bible Study, and fellowship.  Our ministry could not function without the help of many adult volunteers.  These invaluable adults help by teaching Bible studies, chaperoning trips, and praying for our youth on a weekly basis.


There are Sunday School Classes for all ages. The purpose of Sunday School is to provide Bible Study in a small group setting.  In addition to the Bible Study, these groups enjoy recreational and social events together.

At various times throughout the year, special Bible Studies and seminars are held. Many adults participate in the church sponsored mission trip each year.

The Church also provides many opportunities for fellowship and recreation.  For more information about these events see fellowship under ministries. 

Senior Adults

The Senior Adult Group at First Baptist is a very active group. The group meets the third Thursday of each month at 11:00 AM in the social hall for a program and a covered dish meal or to go out to eat together.   This group plans day trips to places of interest throughout the year. The Senior Adults take longer trips on occasion.

Senior Adult Day is held each spring. On Senior Adult Day, the senior adults lead in worship and enjoy a meal together following worship.

Prayer Ministry

First Baptist has an active prayer ministry. Each Wednesday night at 6:45 PM there is a Prayer Service and Bible Study. During the prayer service the names of all those on the prayer list are read, and they are lifted up in prayer.

The church has a prayer chain that is activated in times of crisis or special need.

The deacons lead a time of prayer each Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. This prayer time is held in the sanctuary in the small room located to the right of the pulpit area.  (It is on the same side of the sanctuary as the piano.)

There is a prayer walk the second Tuesday of each month at Chester High School.  The prayer walk begins at 5:00 PM.  All are invited to come and join in this time of prayer for the students, teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff at Chester High School.  Also, there is a prayer walk at the church on the second Wednesday of each month.  Meet at 5:00 PM in the Children’s Activity Room to walk throughout the buildings and grounds to pray for all the ministries of the church. 

Music Ministry

Many musical opportunities are available here at First Baptist…

John Neely Gaston came to Chester First Baptist in the summer of 2013.  He accepted a call to go to seminary at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte in hopes of deepening his relationship with Christ.  Having a deep passion for serving God through music, John Neely longs to provide servants an opportunity to lift up Christ through song and praise.  John Neely had an extensive performing career in the field of opera, as well as received his musical training at some of the finest institutions in the United States.   His greatest opportunity of all, however, has been as a vessel in song through God’s grace.  He welcomes all people who feel led to share their gifts to Christ.

Preschool Choir (Wednesday @ 5:00 pm)
This choir for children in K-4 and K-5 sings at various times throughout the year and on Children’s Day.

Music Makers Choir and Young Musicians Choir (Wednesday @ 5:00 pm)
These choirs are for  children in Grades 1-6. The choirs sing at various times throughout the year and on Children’s Day. The two choirs also join together and present musicals at Christmas and in May. 

Youth Choir  (Sunday @4:00 pm)
This choir rehearses on Sunday afternoon and leads in worship on Youth Sunday and at various times throughout the year. The Youth Choir presents a Dinner Theatre at Christmas and in May to help raise money for their Summer Youth Choir Tour. The Youth Choir ministers through song in different venues and in various locations each summer.

Chancel Choir (Wednesday @ 7:30 pm)
The Chancel Choir leads us in worship each Sunday by lifting Jesus up through beautiful music.  The Choir also leads in special times of worship both at Easter and Christmas.

Handbell Choirs include…

Jubilee Ringers – A Children’s Handbell Choir (Mondays @ 4:00 pm)

The children’s handbell choir plays numerous times during the year for Worship Services.

Joyful Sound Ringers (Mondays @ 5:30 pm)
Plays numerous times during the year for Worship Services.

First Baptist Instrumental Ensemble
The ensemble is composed of anyone who plays a band or orchestra instrument, who would like to play for the Worship Services.  The group meets on Sunday mornings at 9:15 AM to review the music for worship.

First Baptist Church Praise Band

The Praise Band meets Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM to prepare music for worship on Sunday.  The praise band leads at least one song on Sunday mornings as contemporary and traditional elements of worship are blended together to lift up Jesus.

The Music Ministry also features numerous soloists, duets, trios, and quartets of all ages who participate in the musical life of the church and the community. We are blessed with many talented individuals who sing, play the pipe organ, the piano, band instruments, guitars, drums, handbells, and tone chimes and who love to use their talents to glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Varied fellowship opportunities with informal settings offer the chance to meet with Christians who have a desire to share God’s love. Strong bonds are formed and genuine love, support, and caring are felt.

Special times of fellowship include:

Souper Bowl Luncheon at the first of the year in which a soup lunch is offered after church on Super Bowl Sunday. All proceeds are divided between World Hunger causes and local food pantries.

A spaghetti dinner in February features entertainment which varies from year to year. This has included a womanless wedding, womanless beauty pageant, and game night.

A Birthday Bash is held each year to collectively celebrate the birthdays of all of our members. Steak dinners are enjoyed, followed by a lively evening of entertainment, featuring the talents of many of our own.

The annual Men’s Master Chef event is held in the summer, with the coveted green apron awarded to the man or boy who prepares the best dessert.

The Independence Celebration in July allows us to meet as a church family for a cook-out, to honor our veterans, and to refelct on our blessings as Americans.

A Church-wide Lake Day is enjoyed during the summer months with an afternoon of swimming, boating, skiing, a hot dog supper, homemade ice cream, and Vespers service by the lake.

A Fall Outreach Fellowship at the park provides a wonderful opportunity for church family and guests to gather after morning worship for lunch and a time to get to know each other better.

Homecoming in the fall is an opportunity for former members, current members, and families to return to their roots for worship and a covered dish meal.

The annual Thanksgiving Dinner affords us the chance to gather in thanksgiving for God’s goodness to us. Music and testimony to God’s greatness are included in the program.  This dinner is held the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving.

Church-wide caroling and a fellowship soup supper gives us time to share Christmas with shut-ins and to gather back at the church for fellowship.

Other opportunities are enjoyed periodically throughout the year.


The FBC Kindergarten was opened in 1960 to provide a place for children to receive a quality education in a Christian environment.

Opportunities are given each day to enjoy directed play, learn desirable habits and attitudes, understand feelings, experience the joys of nature and God’s beautiful world, increase self-confidence, extend skills, and prepare for the education journey.

FBCK follows the traditional public school schedule from August through May. Hours of operation are from 9-12 Monday through Friday. Children must be 4 years old by September 1st of the year they will begin the program.

Extended Care (for those enrolled in the kindergarten) is also available from 7:20 AM until 5:00 PM following the same school schedule.

Mrs. Charli Smith is the Director/Teacher.  Mrs. Smith served as the assistant teacher for several years before being named the Director in 2015.  It is her desire to make sure every child leaves this center with new skills, extended knowledge, and most importantly the understanding that they are unconditionally loved by their teacher and by God.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Local Missions

First Baptist participates in a number of local mission opportunities. We help to support and volunteer at the Chester Ministerial Association Food Pantry which is housed at Purity Presbyterian Church. First Baptist has a group that presents programs on a regular basis at Palmetto Village, a residential care facility in Chester. We also support the work of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Christ Central Ministries of Chester.  We have built ramps for people in the community and have worked on several houses and buildings through the years to help share God’s love through local missions.  First Baptist seeks to be involved in the community, impacting our community in various ways.

First Baptist actively participates in the work and ministry of the Chester Baptist Association.

State Missions

FBC Chester is actively involved in reaching the state of South Carolina for Christ through its relationship with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

National Missions

First Baptist supports mission work through cooperation with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  FBC Chester has also gone on mission trips to various places in the United States.

International Missions

We support international mission work through our giving to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  We also partner with a missionary family serving in Africa through a quarterly love offering and regular prayers.