What to do when a loved one dies

Of all life's experiences, the death of a loved one is often the most painful and challenging that anyone can go through. First Baptist Church sincerely understands the pain endured by our families. The pastor, ministers, deacons and pastoral care staff will assist you in planning the funeral service of your loved one. We will provide comfort, direction and support from the initial death notification through the funeral service and after care if needed.

Our prayer is that the information below will stimulate your thinking and assist you in preparing for your loved one's home-going celebration service. The death of a loved can leave the survivors, lost and alone, or just unsure of ….

  • Who to contact
  • What to do and how
  • How to make the funeral arrangements
  • What to do after the funeral

Click here to download our printable document

What to Do When a Loved One Dies

Who to Contact:

  • Family member(s) and/or friend(s)
    • Inform family members and friends regarding the death of your loved one.
  • Funeral Home
    • Contact a funeral home of your choice.
    • If you do not have a funeral home in mind, you can find one in your area on http://www.funeralnet.com .
  • Call First Baptist Church office
    • Call the Pastoral Care staff at (732) 828-2009, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. and on weekends follow the instructions left on the church's voice mail greeting for contacting a deacon (the name and phone number is provided in the greeting).
  • Online
    • Login to http://www.fbcsomerset.com and complete the Death Notification form
    • Provide the following information when reporting a death:
      • Full name of the deceased
      • Date of death
      • Name, address and phone number of the funeral home
      • Interments (burial site)
      • Name(s) of First Baptist Church member(s) related to the deceased and their relationship to the deceased.
What to Do
  • Complete the “Obituary/Life Story” form for your loved one. A copy can be found on the church's website at http://www.fbcsomerset.com.
  • Schedule an appointment with the funeral home director. Ask a close family member or friend to go with you to the funeral home. It will be helpful to take the following information with you when visit the funeral home:
    • Date, time and location the family is requesting for the viewing/wake and funeral service
    • Home-going service request (if available). Information regarding the deceased's wishes for their funeral service
    • Insurance policy(s)
    • Full name of your loved one (no nicknames)
    • Date and place of birth
    • Parents' name, living or deceased
    • Social security card/number
    • List of family members (i.e. spouse, children, brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts)
    • Church Membership name (if applicable)
    • Proof of military service
    • Memorial funds - donations (In lieu of flowers) - name and address of organizations or charities to which donations are to be made
    • Pallbearers - list of people who might be available to serve as pallbearers
  • Make a list of family and friends to be notified of the death of your loved one. Ask a relative or friend to assist with the following:
    • Making telephone calls
    • Answering the telephone or door (keeping a record of calls and visitors)
    • Child care arrangements (if needed)
    • Coordinating the supply of food and the preparation of meals in the home
    • Attending to household chores
Funeral services at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens
Funeral services are designed to meet the needs of the family and every attempt is made to accommodate the family's requests.
  • An Associate Pastor/Minister will meet or speak with the family to review the following:
    • Funeral date: Is the funeral date agreeable to the church, family and the funeral home?
    • Eulogist – The family's request is considered, however the Senior Pastor has final approval.
    • Order of service - A copy can be found on the church's website at http://www.fbcsomerset,com. Please review and/or complete the items below prior to speaking with the minister:
    • Opening Hymn
    • Favorite Scriptures (Old and New Testament)
    • Soloist
    • Soloist Request
    • Favorite Songs
    • Acknowledgements and Reading of Obituary – Person to read
    • Remarks – No more than three (3) people, 2 minutes each. (ex. family, friend, or worker, etc)
    • Location of funeral service –
    • Chapel (Less than 300 in attendance)
    • Sanctuary (More than 300 in attendance)
    • Burial/Cemetery – Name and address of cemetery
    • Family Requests/Needs
    • FBC minister, special guests/speakers
    • Easel for pictures
    • Special sound request - Playing of CD or DVD
    • Ceremonies – such as Sororities/Fraternities, Masonic, Eastern Star, etc.
    • Reserved parking
    • Reserved seating at the funeral (sororities, fraternity, ministries, church, etc.)
    • Church Support:
    • Church staff – Pastoral Care Administrative Assistants
    • Ministers
    • Deacons – The deacons will speak with the family regarding the repast and family needs.
    • Serving ministries - (ushers, hospitality, nurses, musicians, soloist and sound technician).
    • Repast (Collation)
    • Benevolence/deacons will provide the repast/collation for members and their immediate family members (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, children and grandparents).
    • First Baptist Financial Assistance
    • Financial Assistant (Benevolence) - If the bereaved family needs assistance, a reasonable request will be given every consideration
    • The bereaved family can obtain the Benevolence Fund Request Form for the church office which will be completed and submitted to the Deacon Board for review.

  • The Bereaved Family is responsible for the following items below.
    • Church Funeral Support Fees – The policy of First Baptist Church is never to charge families for the use of the church for funerals. However, the family is expected to cover the church's related funeral expenses. Support fees will be discussed during the initial funeral planning and incurred based on the family's funeral services need. The following are the funeral support fees:
    • Eulogist/minister $150
    • Musician $100
    • Soloist $ 50
    • Custodian $150
    • Sound $200 (If the funeral is in the sanctuary)
    • Funeral Programs – Completed by the funeral home or the family.
    • Repast/Collation – The family is responsible for the cost if the deceased is a non-member or is not an immediate family member of a FBC member. The following applies:
      • The cost of food will be on a per person basis.
      • All food items must be prepared in the church's kitchen by the Kitchen Ministry. This in compliance with the church insurance specifications. Food prepared outside will NOT be allowed at the repast. If an exception is to be granted, it must be reviewed and granted by the Board of Trustees.

Funeral Services NOT at FBC - For members
Every attempt is made to accommodate the family's request for support when a member or immediate family member's funeral is held at another location.

Funeral Service for Non-Members at FBC
FBC will consider the usage of the church facility based on availability and upon Senior Pastor's approval.

After Care (After the funeral)
After the funeral services are over, a bereaved member may benefit from participating in some or all the support services below:
  • Celebration of Life – A memorial service designed to celebrate the life of the deceased, while supporting surviving family members.
  • After Care/Bereavement Ministry – A minister will provide counseling, prayer and support to surviving family members.
    • The minister will refer the member to professional counseling, if appropriate. The member contacts the counselor and schedules their own appointment.
  • Christian Wellness Counseling Center – Venita Welcome
  • Ministerial Support – Call the church office
  • Naomi Fellowship – Widows – Betty Lawrence or Willye Mae Lee – Ministry Leaders
    • At this time, there is not a support ministry for Widowers.
  • Prayer Requests – Call the church office at (732) 828-2009 or log onto the church's web at http://www/fbcsomerset.com and complete the prayer request form.
  • E-mail the FBC at care@fbcsomerset.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If I am a member, can my relative's funeral service be held at First Baptist Church?
YES, call the church office for more information.

Q. How do I inform the church of a death in my family?
Telephone the church at (732) 839-2009 OR Log onto the church's website http://www.fbcsomerset.com - Complete the Death Notification Form online.

Q. Who do I ask to speak with when I call the church office?
Ask to speak with the pastoral care staff.

Q. Can I have a funeral service in the sanctuary?
Yes, if the number of anticipated attendees is more than 300 people. Otherwise, the service will be held in the chapel which accommodates approximately 300 people.

Q. What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?
A funeral service is a gathering of family and friends with the decease's body present. At a memorial service the body is not present.

Q. Can the church provide names of funeral homes to the family?
Yes, we can provide the names some funeral homes in the area or you can log onto the following website at: http://funeralnet.com.

Q. Is there a cost to have a funeral at FBC?
Yes, all funerals incur church related funeral expenses (i.e, eulogist, soloist, musician, custodian and sound are applicable). The policy of First Baptist Church is never to charge families for the use of the church facility for funerals. Repast/Collation expenses for the food if the deceased was not a church member or an immediate family member of a church member.

Q. Who selects the FBC minister to do the eulogy?
The Senior Pastor selects and/or approves the minister for the eulogy. Q. Can the family request a specific FBC minister? Yes, however; the Senior Pastor has final approval.

Q. Can the family request a Minister from another church?
Yes, however the Senior Pastor and/or Associate Pastor must speak with the minister before final approval.

Q. Who selects the menu for the repast/collation?
The kitchen ministry selects the repast menu. All menu suggestions/requests are reviewed on a case by case basis.

Q. Can the family prepare/supply the food for the repast?
No, all food items must be prepared by the kitchen ministry on the church premises.

Q. Does the church have a policy that prohibits cremation?
No, the church has no say regarding cremation if desired; the family must make the cremation arrangement with the funeral home.

Q. Will FBC support a funeral service at the funeral home or another church?
Yes, a minister will discuss with the family any needed support.