O God, You have been our help in ages past,
You are our hope for years to come.
Be thou our guide while life shall last
And our eternal home. Amen

-Hardy Clemons
Remembrance Garden Dedication
April 16, 2000

The Remembrance Garden is located in view of the church where so much spiritual nurture has been invested. Whether the celebration of births, dedications, baptisms, marriages or a life coming to the end of an earthly journey, the First Baptist Church heritage of peace, hope, joy and love is conveyed to those who enter the garden gates.

Through the vintage McBee Avenue church gates and into the garden, you will view the beautiful Good Samaritan Statue, hear the laughter of children on nearby playgrounds and experience the steeple bell melodies. The superb trees and landscapes provide a place of peaceful reflection.

Columbarium

The purpose of the Columbarium is to provide a place on the property of First Baptist Church for the permanent interment of cremated remains and the memorialization of others interred or entombed at other locations. The Remembrance Garden is an effort on the part of the church to continue to care for its members and their immediate families who have shared the fellowship of First Baptist Church. It shall be a place especially for those who love First Baptist Church and have a sense of closeness to it, which they would like to preserve even after death. It shall be hallowed ground, sacred to the memory of those who have departed from our midst.

Arrangements for entombment or memorialization can be made through the First Baptist Church Office at any time. When possible, arrangements for the purchase of niches should be made well in advance of need in order that decisions can be rational and without a sense of emergency.

Click here for complete Rules and Regulations and Schedule of Cost.

Labyrinth

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.” –Psalm 86:11a

The Labyrinths of First Baptist Greenville

First Baptist has two Santa Rosa-style labyrinths available for use. The Santa Rosa Labyrinth is a circuit of concentric paths surrounded by an eighth octagonal line. Named “Santa Rosa” for the city of its origin, Santa Rosa, California, the labyrinth was created in the United States in 1997 using ancient concentric designs.

The garden of First Baptist Greenville has as its centerpiece a stone Santa Rosa Labyrinth. In addition, the garden contains space to sit for quiet meditation or journaling. The garden is available during daylight hours each day. Individuals are welcome at any time during these hours. Groups are welcome to use the space by reservation. Use the contact information below to reserve the space for your group.

A Rainbow Santa Rosa Labyrinth is available for indoor use. The portable 24-foot diameter labyrinth is made of canvas, and employs the colors of the rainbow in its concentric path design. When not in use by First Baptist, this labyrinth is available for a small rental fee and is especially useful for children and youth because of its colorful design.

What is a Labyrinth?

The labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool symbolizing the circuitous path of a pilgrim’s spiritual journey that is being widely used today as a form of prayer or moving meditation. Walking the labyrinth is a tangible experience useful for deepening spiritual understanding. The labyrinth creates a symbolic journey that enables walkers to move inward to the center of one’s being and back out again. Many walkers find it a way to step out of the worrisome present and into sacred space for a time.

The History of the Labyrinth

The search for the holy through pilgrimage reoccurs throughout human history. In the Hebrew scriptures God’s people frequently journeyed to holy places. Jesus and his disciples followed the Jewish tradition of journeying to Jerusalem for holy ceremonies. Early Christians followed the path set by Jesus, and were referred to as “people of the way.”

Following Christ’s death, Christian believers undertook pilgrimages to the Holy Land. During the Crusades, these treks became dangerous and the symbolic path emerged as a substitute. Borrowing from other religions, (the earliest datable labyrinth was built in Greece around 1300 BCE) European Christians designated “pilgrimage cathedrals” where walking labyrinths inlaid into stone floors symbolized actual pilgrimages.

Episcopal priest Lauren Artress deserves much of the credit for contemporary rediscovery of labyrinths. While doing research, she visited Charles Cathedral in France where she discovered an 800 year old labyrinth inlaid in the floor that worshippers did not realize was there.

“Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the spiritual journey. It helps [people] see their lives in the context of a path, a pilgrimage. They realize that they are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path.”
-Lauren Artress

Suggestions for Walking the Labyrinth

The experience of walking the labyrinth differs for each individual and for each walk. Often people find peace, solace, release, and a deep sense of joy. When walked with a community, it becomes a shared journey, often unifying the group. There is no right or wrong way to walk, but some simple suggestions have emerged.

Before entering the labyrinth, try to clear your mind and become aware of your breath. You may want to pray. Walk at your own pace; there is no rush. The walk becomes what you focus on, what you bring to the time and what you are willing to receive from it.

Some possible reasons for using the labyrinth include: to gain clarity, to relax tension, to celebrate, to pray, to meditate, to seek wisdom or guidance for a decision, to heal, or to connect with God.

…those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31

The walk into the center is often thought of as shedding, a time to let go details of your life, shedding thoughts and emotions. This empties and quiets the mind to be with God.

The time in the center is thought of as illumination. Stay as long as you like. This is a place of meditation and prayer: receive what is here for you, individually, to receive.

The path out from the center is union, joining your soul with God. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more aware of who you are created to be and more able to find and to do the work God is calling you to do in the world. The labyrinth journey provides space in which you can begin to discover that for which your soul is reaching.

Before entering the labyrinth consider the following:

  • Out of respect for others, always observe silence near the labyrinth.
  • If using the canvas labyrinth, please remove your shoes.
  • Begin only at the entry point.
  • Time your start in relation to others so none feel rushed.
  • Walk the path, not the lines.
  • Set your own pace.
  • Pass others if necessary, and allow others to pass you, avoiding speaking and eye contact to maintain focus.
  • Stay at the center as long as you desire.
  • Return, reversing your path out to the entrance. Journal your experience, your insights, if this enhances your walk. You may want to use the blank page of this brochure.

“Although the discipline of solitude asks us to set aside time and space, what finally matters is that our hearts become like quiet cells where God can dwell, wherever we go and whatever we do.”
-Henri Nouwen