By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
CATONSVILLE, Md.—When Catonsville Baptist Church made a commitment to serve their community, that community responded.
Last fall, Catonsville members served free food to over 300 people who attended the church’s first classic car show.
“For our very first car show the community’s response was phenomenal,” Mark Klimovitz, Catonsville’s senior pastor, said excitedly.
Klimovitz was also thrilled with the church’s willingness to serve. One church member shared her faith for the very first time and as a result, a woman made a confession of faith and is now regularly attending the church. Members are already making plans for another car show this fall.
In June, the church will begin hosting outdoor movie nights. They’ll close off their parking lot and invite people to bring their bicycles, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy free inspiring movies.
It’s all part of the church’s emphasis on reaching their community for Christ.
“Our community sits on the National Highway, Frederick Road. It’s an historical landmark. We want to build off of the history of the community and use that as a venue to engage the community and share the Gospel,” Klimovitz said.
After the car show, about one-fourth of the church turned out for a “More to Life” Bible study, dealing with relational evangelism. Church members went to the second floor of the building and prayed over the city. They drove the church van through the community, sang worship songs and prayed.
Thirty-five people are now attending Wednesday night services. Members meet together for worship music and fellowship and to view the video-based Bible programs. Afterwards, they meet in small groups, then return together for prayer time.
Now they’re forming an AWANA team and plan to kick off the program in the fall. Two people signed up to be AWANA leaders in December and by February God raised up a dozen people to serve on the ministry team.
Klimovitz said the community has a large population of single parents. He hopes the AWANA program during the Wednesday services will encourage single parents to attend, providing a place of spiritual nourishment for themselves and their children. Klimovitz also wants to see the church become intentional about ministering to single parent families throughout the week, discovering their needs and serving them.
The church is preparing to kick off a coffeehouse open mic ministry for young adults. They’ve moved cafe style furniture into two rooms and added coffeehouse type decor. Associate Pastor of Family and Young Adult Ministries, Barry Adamson, who was called to the church this month, will oversee that ministry.
“Many people think of Catonsville as urban because we’re on the city line…but it has a small town flavor. We’re a sidewalk community, which provides us many opportunities to serve the neighborhood around us. And it’s socially and economically diverse.”
The BBA partnered with Catonsville Church providing support in various ways, including mobilizing a mission team from North Carolina that provided 500 hours worth of work on a heating system, saving the church funds they could use towards outreach ministry.