By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.–The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) has a file on your church. Actually, it’s really for you. Each BCM/D church has a file designated for them in the Baptist Mission Resource Center’s (BMRC) History Room where individual church historians may store their anniversary bulletins, newspaper clippings, pictures, copies of important documents and significant business meeting notes. The files are arranged by Association.
Along with the files, the room houses a treasure trove of historic “goodies,” including a 1546 Martin Luther translation of the Bible printed in Nuremburg, Germany. The Bible is protected in a display case in the BMRC near the auditorium.
There are shelves of hardbound copies of BaptistLIFE, known in the 1930’s as “Maryland Baptist Church Life” that date back to January 1932. That edition included an article about The Baptist Home (formerly a BCM/D agency):
“Scott Street held the weekly service, the choir provided special music. The theme of the meeting was ‘Love.’ The ladies brought to the Home a gallon of peach preserves, and cream puffs.”
In the same edition, “Sunday, December 6, 1931, the First English Church at Frostburg reopened its house of worship, after extensive improvements. The front of the edifice has been remodeled and beautified and other changes have been made to provide more adequately for the Sunday School.”
The History Room has a variety of artifacts, including a large trophy from 1921 for the Maryland Members of Executive Committee Woman’s Missionary Union and a statue made of coal from a former BCM/D partnership with the Appalachian Regional Ministry. Hundreds of books are on shelves, and more in boxes in a closet. The room is also home to some items belonging to Annie Armstrong, including one of Annie’s tables and a desk. Some information is stored on microfiche.
BCM/D Accounting Specialist Margot Painter acts as a liaison to the BCM/D History Committee and oversees the room.
Terry Davis, former pastor of Ocean City Baptist Church and chairman of the BCM/D History Committee, said, …“remembering our history is a testimony to what God has and is doing…”
“We encourage pastors and church historians to take advantage of this,” Davis said.
Davis said that besides providing research material, the information is also safeguarded from theft and fire.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to visit the history room, contact Margot Painter, (800) 466-5290, extension 204.