Letter from Pastor David

First Church Family, Welcome Home! 

 Beginning on June 21st, 2020 we will resume in-person gatherings at all Campuses of First Church.

 While we are not willing to operate in fear, we believe we should operate in wisdom, with caution, and in love. With this in mind, First Church has sought wise counsel from many sources, including: medical professionals, health officials , state and federal guidelines, local experts in infectious disease and the First Church Advisory Council.    

During Phase 1 of reopening, please be prepared emotionally as church services may not look or feel normal for several weeks. The changes you will notice upon arriving at any First Church Campus should be considered temporary. These measures will not become a “new normal” for worship. We believe these steps and requests are reasonable. Please know, it is important for you to return to in-person services when you’re ready. Online worship services will continue to be a robust option at both the 9:30am and 11:00am hours. 

During Phase 1 you can expect:

First Church will continue regular service times at 9:30am & 11:00am for in-person gatherings at the Saint Joseph and Stevensville Campuses and 11:00am at the Benton Heights Campus.

When you arrive on Campus:

-All doors will be propped open (except restrooms).

-Facemasks will be worn by all staff and volunteers. Masks are suggested for all attendees. If you arrive without one, we will provide one for you. 

-The overall capacity of each Campus worship space will run at approximately 25%. This will allow for adequate social distancing, even while in worship services. 

-There will be no coffee or snacks during Phase 1.

-Tithing plates will not be passed. Instead stations will be available to drop off your tithes and offerings.

-Physical bulletins will not be available. All resources will continue to be available online. 

 For the safety of our kids,  all levels of KidZone, including the nursery, will remain closed during Phase 1. 

Families are invited to use the tables located in the back of the Life Center at the Saint Joseph campus and Benton Heights Campuses. Sanitized between each service, the extra space will allow families to spread out and bring extra supplies to keep kids engaged. 

Our top priority is to keep all of you safe as you worship. If you have an elevated level of risk, or still feel uncomfortable with attending in person, please take comfort in continuing to stay home. According to the CDC, older adults should show caution with COVID-19, find more information here. Worship online and stay involved with First Church. We care for you.

Welcome home. You are loved. 

David Colp

Lead Pastor 


All your questions answered here.

Will my family be required to wear a mask in order to attend?

First Church will continue to be a safe place for all people to explore faith, so wearing a mask is highly encouraged. Each of our volunteers and staff will wear a mask in order to provide a layer of protection for our vulnerable attendees, but you will not be turned away for not wearing a mask. If you arrive without a mask, we will provide one for you.

Will there be specific entrances to use?

Yes. For your safety and security, we will continue to limit the number of entrances that are open. Each entrance will be clearly marked and propped open. On Sundays, each campus will follow a one-direction flow.

How will we ensure that the "common" areas are safe and social distancing is being observed?

On Sundays, each campus will follow a one-direction flow. Doors throughout the building will be propped open.Guests will go find their seats and not linger in the lobby area for long periods of time. We want to make the experience as touch-free as possible and we will not have any consumables in any of our services. Restrooms will be staffed with a team member to clean and sanitize surfaces regularly.

Will there be KidZone?

As we “Return to Church” following our Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, all KidZone and nursery rooms will remain closed while we prepare a safe and clean environment. We are carefully watching what schools and other childcare facilities are doing in our communities and plan to reopen this fall.

In the meantime, come and engage with KidZone at First Church by following our social media for activities and join us each weekend for KidZone and Little KidZone at-home worship experiences. These experiences, along with other family activities are sent via email to your inbox each week. To sign up, contact us at [email protected]

What should my family bring with them?

We highly encourage you to bring masks. If you are bringing children, we will provide an activity kit, but you are welcome to bring your own activity bag as well.

Will First Church be providing hand sanitizing stations?

Yes! Located throughout the building will be touch-free hand sanitizer stations.

How will attendees inside be dismissed so that we are staying in compliance with social distancing?

The ushers will dismiss attendees row by row in accordance with social distancing.

Will First Church continue to provide church online?

Absolutely! There are four ways you can tune-into First Church live stream services.

• Subscribe to our YouTube channel and get alerts when we go live.

• “Like” and tune-in live on our Facebook page.

• Visit our website.

• Tune on WSJM 94.9 at 9:30 and 11:00am

How will we give our tithes and offerings?

Offering boxes will be places at the exits of each venue.

There are four other ways to give:

  • Online: myfirstchurch.com click on “Give” under the Get in the Game tab
  • Text: Text GIVE to 269-231-8080
  • Mail: 2627 Niles Avenue Saint Joseph, MI 49085
  • Drop Off: 2627 Niles Avenue Saint Joseph, MI 49085 Sanctuary Entrance
What happens if someone was confirmed to have COVID-19 after they attended a service?

First Church cares for your health and safety. If a guest is identified as a COVID-19 positive we will stand with you. The Berrien County Health Department will interview the guest and notify First Church if needed. First Church staff will identify close contacts based on dates and Save Your Seat registrations. A Berrien County Health Department exposure letter will be sent and they will follow up with interviews and quarantines as needed.