TIMONIUM, Md. — The Baltimore Baptist Association (BBA) welcomed pastors and wives to a “Night of Unity” dinner with BCM/D Executive Michael Crawford. Sixteen churches were represented at the Bluestone Restaurant in Timonium.
BBA Executive Director Tally Wilgis welcomed Crawford as “one of our very own.” He feels the BBA has “great unity with the BCM/D” with Crawford at the helm. Crawford has been very involved in Baltimore. In addition to planting Freedom Church Baltimore, which planted Freedom Church Windsor Mill, and Love Light City Church. Crawford, in his previous church planting role with the North American Mission Board, was involved in assisting many church planters in the city.
Crawford shared a brief address sharing his vision for the convention, including “strategic and measurable partnerships” with the associations. He spent time visiting with each table of guests to answer questions and hear concerns.
Robert Anderson, the pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Reisterstown, said he was interested in what kind of strategy Crawford has in mind for strengthening existing churches. After meeting with Crawford at a recent African American Fellowship meeting and at the BBA, Anderson said he feels encouraged. Church planting will be a strength for the new director, yet he has a strong heart for established churches as well. “I think there’s kind of a hunger from average churches who give to the Cooperative Program and are involved in what is going on in our state convention that also needs attention and love. While there is certainly still a place for continual church planting, you need strong churches. It seems like Michael has a very good heart to reach out to the average pastor and make himself available, and that is good.”
Michael Wyatt, who became the senior pastor of Middle River Baptist Church in November, said he’s impressed with Crawford’s openness and availability. “I had emailed Mike requesting him to preach at Middle River, and he is very eager to do that. I appreciate that.” Wyatt said especially because he is new to the area, he appreciates Crawford’s background and experience in Baltimore.
“I think Michael is a great fit for our state convention,” said Ken Ledwell, the pastor of Watersedge Baptist Church in Dundalk. “He’s hands-on and wants to go out of his way to be accessible and hit the ground running because that’s how he does things. I’m excited.” Ledwell said he appreciates Michael’s urban ministry background and experience.
Executive Office Administrator and BCM/D General Mission Board Member Theresa Sassard said, “It was a beautiful evening of fellowship. We’re very excited about this new direction with Michael.”
by Kris Buckman and Sharon Mager. Buckman serves as BCM/D children’s and youth ministry consultant and interim communications director. Mager is a BCM/D communication specialist.
Feature photo: Mike Crawford, kneeling, visits with pastors at the tables during the recent BBA dinner (by Kris Buckman).