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Posts Tagged ‘Lewis and Henrietta Shuck’

Story by Jeannie Dortch. Photo by Dean Hawthorne.

Shine down Your light on me
Let the people see
That in Your presence darkness flees
Father of light
Shine down on me
          “Shine Down” by Sandi Patty

December is a time of international missions’ emphasis. In First Baptist’s Chapel, the East Window is a fitting symbol of that emphasis. It reflects centuries of evangelism, missions and Christian education.

In the top circle of the window, Jesus reads from Isaiah 62, revealing that this scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing and that the Lord has sent Him to bring hope to the world.

In the circle below Him, members of FBC’s Female Missionary Society listen to Luther Rice, a Baptist missionary to India and Burma. Their support helped him continue his work and that work, in turn, led to the formation of the Foreign Missionary Society of Virginia.

Chapel east window

The left center shows the 1814 founding of the Goodwill Centers in Richmond. These centers cared for children and provided assistance to the needy. Three centers continue to serve Richmond neighborhoods today.

In the right center children participate in the first Sunday school class in the South, at FBC in 1816. Sunday school was a controversial concept at that time. FBC members disagreed about the idea of launching a Sunday morning Bible study program. The disagreement contributed to a church split and the formation of Richmond’s Second Baptist Church.

In the upper left, Lott Cary, a former slave and member of First Baptist, preaches from the pulpit of Providence Road Baptist Church in Monrovia, Liberia. Having sailed to Africa in 1821, he helped establish this church that continues to thrive today.

The emblem of the Baptist World Alliance is seen in the upper right. This organization began in London in 1902, largely through the efforts Robert H. Pitt, FBC member and editor of the Religious Herald. Dr. Theodore F. Adams, pastor of FBC from 1936-1968, was the first Virginia Baptist to serve as its president (1955-1960).

The lower left depicts Lewis and Henrietta Shuck and Robert and Frances Davenport, who were appointed in 1835. The Shucks were the first Baptist missionaries to China; the Davenports served in Thailand. The Shucks and Robert Davenport were all members of First.

On the lower right is Lottie Moon, after whom the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (the Southern Baptist Convention offering for international missions) is named. She served as a missionary in China for 39 years and is seen teaching some of the women and girls she loved and served until her death in 1912.

The East Window spotlights a 230-year history of FBC members filling the lives of people all over the world with the Father’s light. That legacy continues in the congregation’s daily commitment to the charge of KOH2RVA. The standard set by those commemorated in the window serves as an apt model for FBC members to shine on!

Copies of the fully illustrated Memorial Windows, written by Theodore F. Adams and The Open Door, the church’s history from 1780-2005, are available for checkout or purchase in the church library.


Jeannie DortchJeannie Dortch joined FBC in 1974 after being lovingly mentored by the members of Buddy Hamilton’s Sunday school class. A grandmother of four, Jeannie has served as a deacon, taught in our children’s, youth, international, and adult Sunday school departments, but is presently a member of the WebClass. A retired teacher, Jeannie enjoys exercising, cooking, reading, ringing bells with FBC’s newly formed senior adult Joy Ringers directed by Ruth Szucs, and writing articles for FTF.

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