The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware extends warm wishes to those who are experiencing transitions in their ministries.
John Gauger retired as pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC), Perryville on Dec. 2. He and his wife, Linda, have served together in ministry for 40 years, 27 of which were at FBC, Perryville.
Under Gauger’s pastoral leadership, the church ministered in four countries, developing especially close connections with churches in Mexico and West Africa. In January, the church will send their 26th team to Mexico. Gauger led all of those teams—almost 40 internationally. He will once again lead the team in January.
James Martinez retired as pastor of Agape Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., effective Dec. 31, after serving the church for 26 years.
Martinez said the church began in 1991 as a fellowship of believers meeting at Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church (WABC). WABC eventually sponsored the group as a mission and they became Filipino International Mission, and later, Agape Church.
He, his wife Virgie, and their daughters, Javee and Verily migrated to the United States in 1988, the same year they had their son, Marc Ian. In 1974, Martinez made a profession of faith while attending Clark Field Baptist Church in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines. He was ordained at the church in 1981.
As they move forward, Martinez said his main concern is helping his wife through some health issues. “In spite of this, we are open to God’s leading,” he said.
James Pope, former pastor of North Arundel Church, Glen Burnie, Md. (now known as Bay Life Church), retired this past June after planting the church in 1993 to specifically reach the unchurched, not by being “seeker driven” but rather by being “seeker sensitive.”
This resulted in tremendous growth and a multitude of baptisms over the years. Pope and his wife Sarah now live in Summerville, S.C., near Charleston, where he consults with churches throughout his local association.
Larry Steen, pastor of Westminster Baptist Church (WBC), was elected unanimously as the new director of missions of the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association at its Oct. 2 annual meeting at Bethel Baptist Church, Ellicott City. Steen resigned as pastor of WBC on Dec. 31 and began his new ministry in mid-January 2018.
“Rev. Larry Steen will be a great leader, friend, and pastor as well as a motivator for the association,” MMBA Interim Director of Missions Gary Glanville said, noting Steen has served as pastor of Westminster Baptist Church for 34 years and has been invested in the association as well as his church.
“I believe in the work of associations,” Steen said. “We can better advance God’s Kingdom by networking together on mission, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege to help MMBA to do just that.”
Michael Trammell retired on Dec. 31 after serving as pastor of Mt. Airy Baptist Church for 26 years.
In addition to his pastoral role, Trammell is serving his second consecutive term as Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) president.
He’s served on the BCM/D General Mission Board through various terms for 14 years and was president of the BCM/D’s Pastor’s Conference in 1996.
On the national level, Trammell has served in multiple committees with the Southern Baptist Convention through the years, including ten years on the SBC Executive Committee.
Previously, Trammell served under Adrian Rogers and Ed Young Sr., before pastoring two churches in Arkansas, including Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ark., where he led the church through a major reconstruction.