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David Tarkington
Orange Park, FL
Lead Pastor at firstFAMILY Church
Recent Activity
I addressed this reality a bit during last Sunday's sermon. We all know people who just love to debate. If you're a Christian who attends church regularly and are part of a small group or Sunday school class, you probably... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at
As a pastor, I have the great privilege of bringing words of comfort and hope to many at times of grief. I have preached funeral and memorial services for dozens and dozens of dear friends and family members of friends... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at
Comic books and modern mythology are big business. After an era where the magazines were losing money, the creation of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes has propelled super-heroes to the forefront of the entertainment industry. Many of these stories... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at
There is no doubt that our culture is sports-hungry. The money spent and made in the professional and college sports world is astounding. It was only a couple of generations that long ago that professional sports leagues were relegated to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at
Once again social media reacts (maybe with some responses) regarding statements made by a Christian leader. Yesterday, the buzz centered on Eugene Peterson's interview with Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Services and his stated affirmation regarding same-sex marriage. Today, Peterson... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at
In the Christian corner of the Twitterverse and blogosphere, there's a bit of a disruption today. Author and pastor Eugene Peterson, in an interview with Jonathan Merritt for Religion News Service shared his current views affirming homosexuality and same-sex marriage... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at
There comes a point in pastoral ministry when people stop referring to you as the new, young pastor. Youthfulness is fleeting and along with the greying of hair, stiffening of joints, and a few more "smile lines" comes, hopefully, some... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at
What if the church engaged this affinity group through story-telling in ways that centers on the Scripture and the Gospel? What if rather than just continuing to add programs and events to reach the already reached, we went to this "Mars Hill" in our culture today? I have talked to a few teenagers specifically about this. Some attend church, but always seem to be on the fringes. Others have no place for church in their lives and basically have denied or ignored the message of the Gospel. I asked if they would consider joining me for a study called "The Meta-narrative of the Gospel as Revealed in the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes?" Yeah - that's what I named it, based on Dr. Jones' articles. However, I may shorten it to "Superhero Sunday Nights." Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at
A few years ago, in one of our network's church planter assessment meetings, my wife and I served as coaches and assessors as we have done for years. At times, we meet men who are wrestling with the call into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at
The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting concluded yesterday with quite a bit of public media attention and continued talk of what is next in the SBC. Steve Gaines, Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee was reelected for a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at
The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting has ended. The second day of our annual gathering traditionally has welcomed less-than large crowds following lunch. In recent years, required business, for the most part, was completed during Tuesday gatherings. Wednesday has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at
I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for our denomination's (Southern Baptist Convention) annual meeting. I am serving as a messenger (a representative) from my church (First Baptist Church of Orange Park, FL.) This is not the first annual meeting I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at
While most of America was watching, or at least aware, of the Senate hearing last week featuring former FBI Director James Comey, there was another hearing taking place in Washington DC that flew under the radar for the most part.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at
While I do not pretend to be up-to-date on all the latest software and hardware features available today, I do try to find best uses for some of the more prevalent ones. On a recent post on Thom Rainer's blog... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at
In a culture that seeks to be spiritual, but not religious (which ultimately is impossible) a certain version of religiosity has developed over the years. In the early 2000s, researcher Christian Smith surveyed adolescents in the United States of various... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at
Students are putting on ill-fitting mortarboards and unattractive robes as symbols of accomplishment throughout our nation. It is that time of year where high school students receive their diplomas and college and university students are honored with their degrees. Commencement... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2017 at
Here in the South, the previously known "Bible Belt," many local schools and youth sports leagues used to avoid scheduling games and practices on Wednesday evenings. Some leagues and schools still avoid this day for sports. For those who live... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at
It seems that as pastors and ministry leaders we continually find a full calendar of events and "opportunities" for those in our church. All this is good, because the ultimate goal is to reach more people for Christ and to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at
It's easy to poke holes in the false "prosperity gospel" that permeates our church culture with "name it and claim it" promises, while taking advantage of the generosity of undiscerning parishioners and television viewers. Yet, there is another false gospel... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at
By now, many in our community know we're launching a new campus of our church in the community known as Fleming Island (yeah, we's not really an island.) When those in our launch team and others in the church... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at
David Tarkington added a favorite at Pastor Ricky Powell
Apr 6, 2017
It seems that we are addressing issues that were never even thought of prior to our current era. While the nuances may be unique, the truth remains. There truly is "nothing new under the sun." We are almost two years... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2017 at
Ashley O'Brien has been active in church her entire life, raised in a pastor's family and now serving on the Leadership Team of firstFAMILY (FBC Orange Park) as Director of Social Media _______________________________ I genuinely get excited when someone surrenders... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at
The Prosperity Gospel As Baptists and Bible-believing evangelicals, the lies of the prosperity gospel are easily identified. This "name it and claim it" theological version of the gospel that lives somewhere at the far-end of DirecTV and on late-night television... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at
As I reflect back to my life growing up in a Baptist church, I am amazed now at some of the things we did that just seem so wrong nowadays (and to be honest, they were likely wrong then as... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at