Media & Events


Concert Series


Love Orlando Concert Series Featuring Country Artist Bryan White February 24th 5PM on the campus of First Baptist Orlando.

Help our community and enjoy an evening of fun! Food trucks and kids activities at 4pm. Concert at 5pm featuring Country Music Artist Bryan White, Good Luck Penny, & Gracyn DenBesten. Admission is free with a donation of a hygiene item for the homeless.


2011 Community Partner Award of the Year

First Baptist Orlando was presented the Community Partner Award by COMPACT, an organization committed to make a difference in the lives of students for over 22 years. COMPACT is supported through the efforts of Love Orlando, a movement started by First Baptist Orlando. First Baptist Orlando has supported the efforts of COMPACT by providing mentors to students in Orange County, as well as financial assistance to support the program. The award was presented during the 17th Annual Salute to Compact Banquet on September 15, 2011, at the Rosen Center Hotel.

About COMPACT:

The Orlando/Orange County COMPACT program is an education and business partnership aimed at addressing this issue, reducing the number of student drop-outs by providing mentors who challenge students to succeed and reach their maximum potential.

By creating positive relationships, concentrating on academic excellence and community service, the COMPACT program prepares students to become responsible, contributing members of society.

COMPACT is the longest, continually operating in-school mentoring program in the state. The relationship with the Orange County Public School System ensures that each mentored student receives approximately one hour per week with his/her mentor in a classroom setting, and fosters a learning environment that encourages students to concentrate on academic, behavioral and social skills.


2011 Orange County Citizen of the Year Award

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs presented the congregation of First Baptist Orlando with the Orange County Mayor’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award on August 5, 2011. Mayor Jacobs noted the efforts of Love Orlando, a movement started by First Orlando, to ignite community transformation in Orange County. Love Orlando is committed to helping families affected by today’s economy move towards self-sustainability.

About the Orange County Citizen of the Year Award:

Announced August 5, 2011, at the Orange County Community Conference, the Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Division recognizes the talents and accomplishments of individual citizens and community organizations for their efforts in making Orange County a great place to live. The Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award is selected by the Orange County Board of County Commission.


First Orlando Raises 5.6 Million for Homeless

March 14, 2011  By David Ettinger

Sometimes when hearts are broken, people bring out their best. Such was the case on March 12-13 at First Baptist Orlando when the church raised an astounding $5.6 million in donations and pledges for the needy of Central Florida.

“We’ve had a stirring in our heart and spirit that God placed the church here for this time because of foreclosures, because of this new homelessness,” Senior Pastor David Uth said. “We believe we were put here by divine choice and we have got to make a difference.”

And make a difference is what the people of First Orlando did. “I am completely overwhelmed by what our people have done,” said Danny de Armas, Senior Associate Pastor at First Orlando. “I never expected this kind of number.”

The outpouring of love and generosity was a result of a March 6 story on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. “The story was about a ‘new’ kind of homelessness in Central Florida,” said Liz Butler, First Orlando’s Marketing/Communications Manager. “Families are living in motels because they lost their jobs, their homes to foreclosure.” The news report was seen by millions of viewers across the country. One of them was prominent Christian author and teacher Bruce Wilkinson who was already scheduled to speak at First Orlando during the March 12-13 weekend.

“He saw the story while he was working on his message,” Liz said. “When he saw the interview, he said, ‘Wow. We have to do something.’ He then called Pastor Uth and said, ‘Your people are going to bring in $1 million to help these needy families.’”

First Orlando has had a history of raising large sums of money following national and international disasters. The church raised hundreds of thousands of dollars following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake of 2010. But even Pastor Uth was skeptical about raising $1 million in just one weekend.

“He said, ‘I don’t know if we can raise that much.’”

He would be the first to admit that he happily underestimated the giving spirit of First Orlando.

Speaking passionately and with tearful conviction, Wilkinson clearly laid out the dire need of the people of Central Florida and urged the people of First Orlando to contribute whatever they could — no contribution would be too small. The congregation opened up their wallets and checkbooks and came through in a huge way, with individual contributions ranging from one dollar to thousands of dollars to even one as a high as $1 million.

“We’ve got to help Orlando and let them know there is help,” Pastor Uth said. “We have to say to them God placed us here for you. This church started in 1871 and we believe God started this church here for a reason. I believe He knew this day was coming and He positioned us so we could make a difference.”

That “difference” still has Danny reeling, especially because it required a major sacrifice.

“What is really shocking about how much we gave is that our people are really struggling now,” Danny said. “Our people are hurting. I thought there was no way they could give $1 million for the homeless, let alone $5.6 million.”

According to Danny, it is one thing to hear about what happened, but completely another to have been there and seen it taking place.

“Seeing a miracle happen is an amazing thing,” he said. “As the donations and pledges were coming in, I felt as if I had a grandstand seat to see God at work in the hearts and minds of the people.”

The outpouring of giving has been a converging of events.

“We have a local missions task force who has been at work for some time,” Danny explained. “Their number one initiative was for us to deal with homelessness and the ‘new’ kind of homelessness — families in transition. It was a ripe field and Bruce plowed into that field. The fruit it produced has been amazing.”

First Orlando has had a long partnership with numerous Central Florida Christian organizations, just about all of whom will be receiving funds from the money raised over the miraculous weekend.

“These ministries are equipped to help with the issue of homelessness,” Danny said. “Some of those organizations include the Coalition for the Homeless, Orlando Rescue Mission, and Christian Service Center. All of them are really trying to help people who are facing the problems the 60 Minutes story highlighted.”

Besides distributing the money to those who can best get it to those in need, Danny also wants to see the people of First Orlando getting involved.

“We’re looking to deploy our people,” he said. “We have an army of them who want to serve and we’re going to give them a way to do it.”

For Pastor Uth, the enormity of the money raised was matched only by the outpouring of love demonstrated by the congregation.

“[Our people] are willing to sacrifice so that others may be blessed,” he said. “That’s really what First Baptist Orlando is all about. That’s how we want to be known and how we should be known. Our people were absolutely amazing, unbelievable.”


First Family Helped – Partnership with CSC

 

God’s glory is being felt in a powerful way. Because of the partnership with the Christian Service Center, families are already being touched. This is this first family that has been helped at the Christian Service Center through the Love Orlando Fund to prevent homeless families provided by the congregation at First Baptist Orlando. Thank you for letting us share this story with you. Without this assistance, this would have been another family displaced from their home.

Tamisha’s Story:

When Tamisha received the eviction notice, she wasn’t surprised. She knew she was behind on her rent. Her landlord had been very sympathetic, but was still running a business.

After the Christmas Season was over, Tamisha had lost her job as a customer service representative at a local department store. Her new hourly wage job at a cleaning supply company was almost half her previous salary. As a divorced mother, she couldn’t cover rent and support her two children, D’Andre and Shania. Last week, Tamisha pawned her wedding ring just to pay for bus transportation to get to work. Now what was she going to do?

A friend told Tamisha about 211. The 211 operator referred her to the Christian Service Center. She made an appointment with Luis, a case manager. He sat down with her in a comfortable setting and discussed what her family needed. Because of the Love Orlando Prevent Homeless Families Fund, the Center was able to help her with rent assistance to avoid the eviction notice.

Tamisha is still looking for another job, which she knows will happen. She can’t give up. “This is the first time I have ever had to ask anyone for help.” Tamisha says, “I tell my children, don’t put the word ‘can’t’ into your vocabulary. ‘Can’t’ is a failure. Believe in yourself.”

Tamisha would like to be able to tell the people at First Baptist Orlando a big thank you for helping her family. “Don’t give up on us. You gave a gift from your heart that I can never repay. You gave me renewed hope.”


First Orlando Responds to Local Need

First Orlando Responds to Local Need

Full Story: By David Ettinger

Sometimes when hearts are broken, people bring out their best.

Such was the case on March 12-13 at First Baptist Orlando when the church raised an astounding $5.6 million in donations and pledges for the needy of Central Florida.

“We’ve had a stirring in our heart and spirit that God placed the church here for this time because of foreclosures, because of this new homelessness,” Senior Pastor David Uth said. “We believe we were put here by divine choice and we have got to make a difference.”

And make a difference is what the people of First Orlando did.

“I am completely overwhelmed by what our people have done,” said Danny de Armas, Senior Associate Pastor at First Orlando. “I never expected this kind of number.”

The outpouring of love and generosity was a result of a March 6 story on the CBS news program 60 Minutes.

“The story was about a ‘new’ kind of homelessness in Central Florida,” said Liz Butler, First Orlando’s Marketing/Communications Manager. “Families are living in motels because they lost their jobs, their homes to foreclosure.”

The news report was seen by millions of viewers across the country.

One of them was prominent Christian author and teacher Bruce Wilkinson who was already scheduled to speak at First Orlando during the March 12-13 weekend.

“He saw the story while he was working on his message,” Liz said. “When he saw the interview, he said, ‘Wow. We have to do something.’ He then called Pastor Uth and said, ‘Your people are going to bring in $1 million to help these needy families.’”

First Orlando has had a history of raising large sums of money following national and international disasters. The church raised hundreds of thousands of dollars following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake of 2010. But even Pastor Uth was skeptical about raising $1 million in just one weekend.

“He said, ‘I don’t know if we can raise that much.’”

He would be the first to admit that he happily underestimated the giving spirit of First Orlando.

Speaking passionately and with tearful conviction, Wilkinson clearly laid out the dire need of the people of Central Florida and urged the people of First Orlando to contribute whatever they could — no contribution would be too small. The congregation opened up their wallets and checkbooks and came through in a huge way, with individual contributions ranging from one dollar to thousands of dollars to even one as a high as $1 million.

“We’ve got to help Orlando and let them know there is help,” Pastor Uth said. “We have to say to them God placed us here for you. This church started in 1871 and we believe God started this church here for a reason. I believe He knew this day was coming and He positioned us so we could make a difference.”

That “difference” still has Danny reeling, especially because it required a major sacrifice.

“What is really shocking about how much we gave is that our people are really struggling now,” Danny said. “Our people are hurting. I thought there was no way they could give $1 million for the homeless, let alone $5.6 million.”

According to Danny, it is one thing to hear about what happened, but completely another to have been there and seen it taking place.

“Seeing a miracle happen is an amazing thing,” he said. “As the donations and pledges were coming in, I felt as if I had a grandstand seat to see God at work in the hearts and minds of the people.”

The outpouring of giving has been a converging of events.

“We have a local missions task force who has been at work for some time,” Danny explained. “Their number one initiative was for us to deal with homelessness and the ‘new’ kind of homelessness — families in transition. It was a ripe field and Bruce plowed into that field. The fruit it produced has been amazing.”

First Orlando has had a long partnership with numerous Central Florida Christian organizations, just about all of whom will be receiving funds from the money raised over the miraculous weekend.

“These ministries are equipped to help with the issue of homelessness,” Danny said. “Some of those organizations include the Coalition for the Homeless, Orlando Rescue Mission, and Christian Service Center. All of them are really trying to help people who are facing the problems the 60 Minutes story highlighted.”

Besides distributing the money to those who can best get it to those in need, Danny also wants to see the people of First Orlando getting involved.

“We’re looking to deploy our people,” he said. “We have an army of them who want to serve and we’re going to give them a way to do it.”

For Pastor Uth, the enormity of the money raised was matched only by the outpouring of love demonstrated by the congregation.

“[Our people] are willing to sacrifice so that others may be blessed,” he said. “That’s really what First Baptist Orlando is all about. That’s how we want to be known and how we should be known. Our people were absolutely amazing, unbelievable.”


Watch the 60 Minutes Special