At some point, they changed their name to “First Baptist Church of Tyler.” Starting almost immediately, that church began to plant other churches, including Calvary Baptist, Green Acres, and Friendly Baptist Churches. In 2000, FBC planted a second campus in the south part of Tyler. For about 15 years, people gathered on the grounds of FBC’s South Campus to worship.
In 2011, Pike Wisner was called to be the Senior Pastor of FBC Tyler. Later that year, Chris Legg was hired as the Campus Pastor for the South Campus. For the next few years, Pike preached at the service at 9am and then drove to the Downtown Campus to preach again! Later, when the South Campus added a second service, Chris preached that one after Pike headed Downtown.
In 2016, the whole church voted overwhelmingly to plant the South Campus as an independent church, the new name was chosen and the entity established. Early in 2017, Chris, the rest of the staff, leadership, deacons and members were called to move membership to South Spring Baptist Church.
The grey rocks show the condition of the heart of each of us when we were resistant to God and truth.
The prophet Ezekiel tells us that God told His people this promise: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek 36:26)
They also represent the condition of anything in its potential state. Alone, we are merely stone – which has some good qualities, but offers little life for a person in the desert.
But even with just rocks, God can perform a miracle:
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Ex 17:6-7
The blue stone represents the change that happens in our identity when we accept the free gift of Christ. Something begins to move inside of us. The Hebrew mindset was to see water that moved or sprung up as “living water”. Look at another prophecy from God about what He would accomplish among His people.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise. Is 43:19-21
This is a prophecy about the confidence of God’s redemption of His people. In fact, God’s language here is in the past tense. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Is 43:1)
Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this Isaiah prophecy. God was doing it in a new way. He was going to provide, even in the dessert; even in the desolation; even in contention and struggle. Jesus met a woman in a situation just like this:
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Other people find refreshment in what God is doing in us. We can be filled and become a provision for others. The gospel is in us now; God’s Spirit is inside of His people and His love flows into the community in and around us!