First India Baptist Church

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.

Phone: 404-636-6595
Email: pastor@firstindiabaptist.com
Website: http://www.FirstIndiaBaptist.com

Activities and Schedule

Sunday 11 a.m. - Worship Service, Youth Bible Study, Children's Sunday School
Wednesday 6:30 p.m. - mid-week Bible Study
Thursday 7 p.m. - Conversational English Classes
3rd Friday of the month 7 p.m. - Fasting and Prayer Meeting
Saturday 6:30 p.m. - Monthly Prayer Meeting (at member's homes)

History

There was no church in the metropolitan Atlanta area for the Indian community so Mr. and Mrs. Raiborde started a fellowship with give people. The Reverend says that whenever he passed the corner of Clairmont Road and North Druid Hills Road and saw the Clairmont Hills Baptist Church he would think that this is where God meant for them to start their own church. Clairmont Hills had the space for them so they started worshiping there in 1991.
The most difficult challenge for this group is the geographical distance between the church and most of the congregation. Although the church is somewhat centrally located (that is, it is inside the Perimeter), many people have to drive long distances to attend church. Additionally, the church members come from all over India so while they might sing some hymns in Hindi, most of the service is in English. Mrs. Raiborde mentioned that there was now a Pakistani Christian group that met in Marietta.

Demographics

Members come from all over India although they all seem to know English and most seem to know Hindi. The service is mainly in English but the congregation does sing some hymns in Hindi. All age groups are represented as there are many families with children of all ages as well as younger single people and older couples. The minister's wife told me that about half of the congregation was raised Christian and the other half converted to Christianity.

Description

The First India Baptist Church is actually houses in the Clairmont Hills Baptist Church. The Indian congregation has a sign on the corner of the property in Hindi with information about the church. The service was in the chapel at the back of the church. As we walked in for the 11 a.m. service, white high school-age teenagers who had used the space earlier were starting to leave. The chapel tapers in from the doors in the back to a small stage in the front of the room. About one hundred cushioned chairs are lined up facing the stage with an aisle down the center. A podium stands at the front center of the stage with various instruments behind it- two drum sets, a keyboard in between them, a soundboard to one side and a table to the right. One church member had brought a guitar, which he set up as the congregation slowly filtered into the room.
Behind the stage is the back wall, in the center of which is a stained glass window with a cross as its centerpiece. Two banners hang on either side of the window. The first says, "Bless the Lord, O My Soul, and Forget Not All His Benefits," and the other reads, "Jesus Said, 'I am the Way the Truth and the Life." An overhead projector had been set up in front of the chairs on the right side with the screen on the right side of the room.
A girl distributed programs as the congregation walked into the toom. The service began and each speaker took his place behind the podium to use its microphone. The pastor, however, had his own cordless microphone that he used, moving about the stage throughout his "Message" and during the rest of the service. After the "Welcome" and "Announcements" the entire congregation stood up to sing hymns. Some congregation members took their places on the stage with instruments or with a microphone to lead the singing. A woman projected all of the Hindi hymns onto the screen as they were not in the Baptist Hymnal. The children left the room for Sunday School and Bible Study about halfway into the service. This particular Sunday, Rev. Raiborde read 2 Timothy 1:7 and delivered a message about fear, distinguishing between good hear and bad fear as many members of the congregation took notes. The service ended around 1:30 p.m. and the congregation spent the next half hour or so speaking with each other and collecting their children from the classrooms around the corner from the chapel. There was little interaction between the congregation and members of the Clairmont Hills Baptist Church, as few of the latter passed through the hallway outside of the chapel after the First India service.

Center Activities

Sunday morning worship is at 11 a.m. and mid-week Bible Study is on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. They hold a Fasting and Prayer Meeting on the third Friday of the month at 7p.m. and a Monthly Prayer Meeting on a Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in a member's home.
They hold Youth Bible Study and Children's Sunday School on Sundays and Conversational English Classes on Thursdays at 7 p.m.
On August 27, 2000 they were holding a Youth Service led by the children of the community. They celebrate the church's anniversary the first week in October, Indian Independence Day on August 15, Mother's Day , Father's Day, Christmas with a program for the entire community and carol singing during the day, and Easter.
They publish a quarterly newsletter called Victory.

Other

For more information, please visit their website, listed above.
Researcher: Jennifer B. Saunders, August 30, 2000