Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study


200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131

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Cheering For You

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s football season. Of course, every season has its sports, and fans always cheer their team whenever they play. This time of year, however, you just can’t avoid the fandom.  There is one street I know, filled with rather modest homes built close together, where a good percentage of the folk fly the flags of teams: Memphis, Tennessee, Alabama, Titans, Notre Dame, Auburn, Ole Miss, Dallas Cowboys, etc. It’s like a united nations of football.  It’s fun to cheer for your team. It’s necessary to have folks cheering for you.

My Aunt Phyllis died about a month ago. My Aunt Phyllis loved life. She was enthusiastic. She was engaged. And seldom was she ever more engaged than when playing or watching sports.  Aunt Phyllis was a fan. You didn’t have to wonder if Aunt Phyllis was “in the house.” You and everyone else would know that she was present and for whom she was cheering.  And if you were one of hers—her friend or teammate or child or relative, or you played for her favorite team—she was going to be cheering for you. Now, this did not mean, of course, that she would like everything you did, on or off the field. She could and would disagree with you and your decisions. She would not hesitate to offer advice. But she would never let you confuse her critique with her steadfast loyalty to you and love for you. She was for you to the end, no matter what. I knew that. We all knew that.

My aunt was an east Tennessee girl, and as I drove to Oak Ridge for the funeral thinking about how admirably she had lived her life, I couldn’t help but remember another east Tennessee story.   Dana X. Bible was a native of Jefferson City, TN. He played football for Carson Newman and went on to coach football, most notably at the University of Texas from 1937-46.  In 1945, he was on the pastor search committee of First Baptist Austin, and they were impressed with the resume of a minister serving in Padukah, KY, by the name of Carlyle Marney. He saw on the resume that Marney was a Carson Newman graduate and had played football there. He contacted his former pupil, Frosty Holt, the football coach at Carson Newman, and asked him would it be worth his while to go all the way to Kentucky to hear Marney preach. Frosty wrote back, “I don’t know. He wasn’t much of a preacher when I knew him. But you go and hear him preach, and if you determine it was not worth your while, I’ll pay for the round trip...because I’m on his side when he’s dead wrong.”

We all need those kinds of folk in our lives. Folk who may not always agree with us, but will always be for us. Folks who will love us and stick with us and cheer for us, even…if we’re not all we can be or should be all the time.  (And who is?) Marney said such is the epitome of what it means to be a “balcony person,” one of the “cloud of witnesses,” whether present or in heaven, whose voices we need to hear more than any other (Hebrews 12). My aunt was such a person. I hope we are such people for each other at FBC.  

So as you cheer this fall, consider who has cheered for you. Consider who has been on your side when you were dead wrong. Consider the impact that kind of loyal love has made in your life. Consider as well the opportunity you have to be that sort of person in the lives of others. Who needs to hear you cheering for them? Who needs to know that you are for them, even if you do not always agree with them? Can you share such support with someone new? How will you do that? And, if you’re really hard up for pointers…I bet I can find you some video of Aunt Phyllis.

Grace, David


This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the October edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 8:30 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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