September 22: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
September 23: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
About the Emporium
Emporium is the annual shopping event hosted by our women’s ministry and held on the fourth weekend in September. It began in 2007 as a way for the women of our church to minister to people outside its doors. We decided the best way to do that would be an event that would draw people in from the church and beyond for a weekend of shopping for a cause. Since its inception, we have raised and donated over $250,000 to very deserving nonprofits in our community with an emphasis on organizations that improve the lives of women and children. The show generates funds through booth rentals as well as ticket sales and purchases made at our ever-popular Bake Shoppe. Vendors pay $200 for their space but get to keep all their profits.
If you would like to make a donation to Emporium, please click the link below to our church’s giving page and then choose the “Emporium” designation.
Beneficiary Selection Process
The Beneficiary Selection Committee oversees the collection and review of applications. Organizations must complete a new application each year to be considered. After the application deadline, the committee members read each application, conduct any additional research necessary, and narrow the beneficiary pool to their top 3 choices. At that point, each finalist is contacted to arrange a face-to-face interview and a site visit (if possible) for the committee, after which they meet again to make their final decision. Specific questions the committee will be considering in the selection process will include:
1) Does the work of the organization directly benefit women and/or children?
2) Is the organization currently receiving funding from the First Baptist Church budget?
3) Are there ways (other than financial) for the Women’s Ministry to support the organization throughout the year?
4) How significant would a donation of $20,000 be to the work of the organization?
After the selection process is completed, each applicant will be notified of the selected beneficiary. Organizations not selected will be invited to apply again the following year. On the weekend of the actual event, the beneficiary is encouraged to set up a display and schedule representatives to be there to hand out information and answer any questions that shoppers, vendors, and volunteers might have about their organization.
The beneficiary for the 2023 Emporium is Love Your Story, an organization whose mission is to “create spaces of belonging for families impacted by disabilities.” Led by God through her own personal experiences, Abby Burle, Founder and CEO of Love Your Story, operates a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home called “Molly’s House” in Gainesville, designed to be a home away from home for families who travel to our area to receive medical treatment and intensive therapies for their disabled children. At Molly’s House, these visiting families are welcomed without charge for 2-3 weeks at a time. Assistance with meals, transportation, and babysitting are also offered when needed. But, perhaps the most needed gift given to these families is friendship, emotional support, and the building of community with other families who are traveling on a similar journey. Serving the whole family unit is the goal of Love Your Story because they know that a disability of one member impacts the whole family. Molly’s House is a place of physical and financial rest for these families.
Money raised through the Emporium and Bake Shoppe will go directly to Love Your Story to assist with a custom build out of Molly’s House. The families served require unique needs that cannot be met by a typical home. Abby is hoping to modify the home to include easy access in and out of the house, accessible bathrooms, ramps in place of stairs, and wider doorways.
YMCA North Hall Learning Center
Ministry of Caring
Thumbs Up Mission
For Her Glory
Whispering Angels Youth Ranch
Habitat for Humanity
The Partnership for Gynecological Cancer Support
Gainesville Action Ministries
My Sister’s Place
The North House
A feast for the senses and the star of the show, The Bake Shoppe has been a vital part of the Emporium right from the start. Each sweet treat and baked good is made with love and donated by the women (and men) of First Baptist Church as well as other members of our local community, with the proceeds from all sales going directly to our beneficiary. The Bake Shoppe committee begins preparing months in advance for the show and even carried on their labor of love the past two years when the rest of the show had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Because of their devotion and the support of our church members and our faithful shoppers, we were still able to write a significant check to help those beneficiaries continue their important work.
Our Bake Shoppe Donation Form can be found at the bottom of this page, if you are interested in supporting this portion of the Emporium, please complete the form and send to email@example.com or drop the form off at one of the drop off locations at First Baptist Church. If you are interested in supporting this portion of the Emporium by volunteering or if you have additional questions, we will connect you with our Bake Shoppe Chair, Jan Hensley. Donated baked goods can include cakes/cupcakes, pies, cobblers, cookies, brownies, breads, and cheese straws as well as gluten-free and diabetic-friendly options.
If you prefer not to bake and would like to make a monetary donation, you may do so through our church giving page by clicking the link below and choosing the “Emporium Bake Shoppe” designation. With this option, you will also be helping to support local independent bakeries since the The Bake Shoppe Committee will use this money to purchase cakes for resale at Emporium.