Valdosta’s Northside Baptist, like many churches, makes much of Christmas


VALDOSTA, Ga. – It would appear to the most casual observer that Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta exists to reach unbelievers. Northside’s Pastor, Robby Foster, is a Gospel preacher and has led his church to focus on the value of the reaching the unreached.

A recent conversation with Pastor Foster brought to mind Charles Spurgeon’s words, “Let the sun stop shining, and we will preach in darkness. Let the waves stop their ebb and flow, and still our voice shall preach the Gospel. Let the world stop its revolutions, let the planets stay their motion; we will still preach the Gospel.”

At Northside, the gospel is preached from the pulpit, but the good news of salvation is presented in a myriad of ways at the Valdosta church. This Christmasn the campus of the church vibrates with the message of redemption.

The music ministry of the church presented its annual “Christmas at Northside” in two services (afternoon and evening) on Sunday, Dec. 10. Jeff Scoggins, the worship pastor, explained, “As in previous years, our Christmas music included our graded choir ministry with children from 1st-5th grades, youth choir ministry from 6th-12th grades, our adult choir, band and orchestra, drama, and media ministry. Around 200 members of our congregation join together to serve our community through ‘Christmas at Northside’.”

Scoggins continued, “At Northside Worship we have a motto: 'Ministry's the win.' This means more to us than just making good music. Yes, we make good music. Yes, we strive for excellence. But our motivation is ministry. Ministry to God - worshiping Him in Spirit and truth, ministry to the church - building up the body of Christ, ministry to the world - sharing the good news so others can give their lives to Jesus.

That Sunday, heavy storms passed through Valdosta dumping 1.39 inches of rain (a record for December 10) at the time of the musical production. However, 1300 people attended the two worship services. Pastor Foster commented, “The choir led us in worship with an incredible performance and two packed houses.”

Scoggins stated, “We had three people give their life to Christ on Sunday, were counseled by our staff, and want to follow through with baptism. We also had several express their interest in joining Northside. 

“One choir member had been repeatedly inviting a friend to our musical. When the friend didn't show up for the 3pm service, our choir member messaged him the livestream link. After watching some of our livestream, the friend told his family to get ready and they were present for the 6pm program. They now want to know more about the church and joining our faith family.”

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 13, the church constructed a make-shift Bethlehem that pointed the city to a simulated birthplace of the world’s Savior. Foster added, “The walk through Bethlehem had a wonderful draw as people were lined up all the way around the building to see a replica of what happened long ago under the starlit sky in the little town of Bethlehem.

“Both the ‘Christmas at Northside’ presented by our music ministry and the ‘walk through Bethlehem’ impacted our church tremendously as we continue to reach Lowndes County with the Gospel.”

A walk through a reproduction of Bethlehem is a wonderful way to call attention to the real meaning of Christmas. Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ the Old Testament prophet Micah declared that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Bethlehem reminds us that what God promises, He performs.