Instead of hosting dozens of craft vendors for its annual Emporium, First Baptist Church of Gainesville is transforming its banquet hall into the FBC Bake Shop.
Located at 751 Green St., the church will open its doors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, for the event. The Rev. Jeremy Shoulta said all the proceeds will go toward the congregation’s Ministry of Caring, which provides emergency utility and food assistance to non-church members in need.
Because of the pandemic, Jan Hensley, chairman of the church’s baking committee, said her congregation decided to scale down the Emporium and host the Bake Shop, which is a popular part of the event.
FBC Bake Shop
What: Giant baked goods fundraiser held by First Baptist Church of Gainesville to support its Ministry of Caring
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26.
Where: First Baptist of Gainesville, 751 Green St., Gainesville
“We couldn’t have all those vendors and do distancing,” she said. “Normally we get 70 vendors. It’s a big thing. People look forward to the bakery. We've got a reputation now for being a good bakery.”
Through spacing out tables in the banquet hall, Hensley said the church can effectively implement social distancing. During the event, she said all volunteers will wear face coverings and gloves, and all visitors will be required to wear masks.
“We felt like we had to have a strict protocol, so that people would feel comfortable,” Hensley said. “There seems to be a real good spirit among the people.”
So far, Hensley said 82 bakers have signed up for the event, 99% of which are members of First Baptist Church of Gainesville. People can expect to see 148 different types of baked items like cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, cake pops and other scrumptious treats.
"It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a fun thing to do,” Hensley said. “It’s the best bakery you’ll find around.”
Hensley encourages people to show up early to the Bake Shop because they usually sell out before the event ends.
Those who don’t want to purchase baked goods can still support the Ministry of Caring by making a monetary contribution. To donate, visit fbcgainesville.org/give.