Posted on : Monday February 27, 2012

By Randall Blackmon, Pastor, Faith Fellowship Church, Cambridge

Thanks to the generous grant afforded to us by our servant leaders at BCM/D, to the hard-working members of Faith Baptist Fellowship, and the participation of other like-minded, evangelical churches in the Cambridge area, the 2011 Fall Family Festival experienced a blessed time of planting Gospel seed and cultivating potential kingdom citizens!

The Fall Family Festival, held Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, brought over 800 attenders, mostly consisting of our target audience age group – young children and their families.

The outreach was designed as an opportunity for Faith Fellowship to share the Gospel in a multitude of ways with the goal of registering 1,000 guests and building relationships with them through effective follow-up and visitation.

Through a well-organized, planned registration process and creative methods of demonstrating the love of Jesus, we registered 796 people. We paid special attention to having the attenders fill out the registration form thoroughly, knowing this would impact follow-up efforts greatly.

Once the guests arrived and registered, children and their parents were given tickets for free food. The center-piece of the event was the sharing of the Gospel through the ministry of Steve Gambrill, the “Extreme Balloon Man” from western Maryland. Brother Gambrill effectively related to the children Bible stories and truth through balloon art and illusions. As Steve gave an invitation for those to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, several children raised their hands and indicated their desire to know Jesus and learn more about what it means to follow Christ.

Towards the end of the event, a young lady, who had attended one of our participating churches a month ago, gave her life to Christ!

The sharing of the Gospel was complimented by various venues of interest to children and families throughout the day including moon bounces, face painting, games and family pictures.

Another integral part of this event was the intentional effort to share about the churches that organized this event, with Faith Baptist Fellowship as the lead church. Faith Baptist Fellowship, Jubilee Christian Fellowship (non-denominational), and Jesus’ Church of Cambridge (non-denominational) distributed a multitude of carefully designed packets of information about the church ministries that would appeal to children and young families. The information packets included specially designed invitations to church services and activities, Gospel literature, Scripture portions, candy, pencils, etc.

During the event, while drawing for and giving away door prizes each hour, we encouraged folks who wanted and needed prayer and information about the churches to visit the area where tables were manned by members of participating churches.

This event proved to be an effective unifying effort to bring like-minded churches together for the Gospel. Prior to the event, over 200 people gathered at the festival site (Governors Hall, Cambridge) for a combined time of prayer and worship. New Hope Fellowship Church, Trappe, Md., provided worship music and Randall Blackmon, pastor, Faith Baptist Fellowship, delivered a message on prayer based on Matthew 7:7. Other pastors offered prayer during the worship service. All participating pastors felt that it was a good thing for our churches to worship together before we worked together for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.

The offer of free family portraits was a huge component of the follow-up effort after the Festival. We have planned to hand-deliver all 113 family portraits to the homes of each family who had their picture taken. This will give us another non-threatening and caring opportunity to share Christ, call for a response to Christ, and invite them to attend one of the sponsoring churches in the area. These pictures and assignments will be divided equally among the churches according to where families live geographically to a particular church.

God supplied us with the vision and the means to conduct a Great-Commission-type outreach in Cambridge, Md. It is true: where God guides, He provides. As we have seen through hosting this Fall Family Festival, the Lord abundantly supplied what was needed through willing cooperation and participation of Christ-followers.

Thank you, “Strengthening Churches Grant” committee members, for helping us fulfill the vision that Jesus laid upon our hearts to reach this generation with the Good News of Jesus Christ through our Fall Family Festival. Continue to pray with us that we will reap a harvest of souls for Christ and that His kingdom will grow through Faith Baptist Fellowship.

All churches in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware were sent information about applying for a strengthening churches grant.

Grant money is provided through the “Advancing Christ’s Kingdom” fund and is made available to assist churches, missions, associations, BCM/D strategy teams and/or BCM/D staff in their outreach and ministry.

Churches must have been in existence for at least three years. The maximum amount of grant money per project will not exceed $4,000. Due to limited resources, requests for construction or transportation projects will not be considered. First time requests will be given priority.

Applications from churches that do not support the Cooperative Program and/or BCM/D mission causes will not be considered. Churches must also agree to submitting a final evaluation of the project within 30 days of its completion.

The criteria for the grant includes the project’s potential for reaching and discipling the unchurched, potential for continued influence in the church or association ministry, new and innovative outreaches for effectively sharing the Gospel, availability of other resources, and projects that fit into a comprehensive vision strategy.

See for more information.