By Sharon Mager, BaptistLIFE Correspondent
Here are a just a few highlights from our Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network/BCMD churches.
On July 26, First Baptist Church of Laurel (FBCL), Md., honored Segundo Mir for 25 years of faithful service as the church’s Spanish pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista with a special 2-hour service featuring a slideshow of memories, presentations from community leaders and video messages from Cuban pastors. Many shared how Mir has influenced their lives over Mir’s 40 years of ministry.
Primera Iglesia Bautista will now be under the leadership of former pastor Gustavo Suarez in an ironic, God-planned event. FBCL contacted Suarez 25 years ago to start a Hispanic congregation at the church and, later, Suarez was instrumental in bringing Mir to the church from Cuba.
“This is just an amazing story of God’s grace and leading,” Bryan Patrick, FBC Laurel’s minister of worship and creative arts, said.
Mir joked, “…(he) gave me this church, now I give it back to him.”
Suarez and Mir worked together through July to ease the transfer.
In a moving moment, FBC of Laurel Senior Pastor Stanley Beal said, “I am the senior pastor, but he is my senior, with wisdom, guidance and example. He is a man after God’s own heart. It has been an honor to have Pastor Mir on our staff. He has given 25 years of outstanding service in the name of Jesus Christ.”
The church gave Mir and his wife, Doris, a love offering as well as an anniversary clock engraved on the top: “Rev. Segundo Mir, 25 years devotion to pastoral ministry, First Baptist, Laurel.”
In addition to Mir’s ministry through the church, he has been recognized for establishing a partnership between the local police and community leaders and the Hispanic population. Mir was honored at a special ceremony by the Laurel Mayor’s office on July 28.
Read more about Mir’s ministry at a local racetrack in this recently published Baltimore Sun article: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-04-08/news/ph-ll-racetrack-mir-0410-20140407_1_racetrack-workers-west-laurel-laurel-park
Grace Baptist Church, Cumberland, sent a mission team to help with a community fair at First Baptist Church, Dundalk, during Crossover weekend and came back so excited, pastor Keith Aguila said the members now want to have a similar type event at Grace.
They’re planning a community fair for September 6. Aguila said he is thrilled that the outreach is driven by members who are excited and want to reach their community.
They will have music, games, prizes, free hot dogs and popcorn, and face painting. The youth group is also planning a drama presentation.
Trinity Baptist Church, Waldorf, will have their third annual “Community Day—Back to School Celebration” from 8 am to 1 pm on August 16.
Church members are busy collecting school supplies to share with local community children.
The event will include vendors, music, food, and an outdoor yard sale.
Home-based businesses and yard sale vendors may rent spaces. Inside home based business spaces include tables. The cost is $25. Outside yard sale vendor spots, without tables, cost $20.
For more information, contact the church office, 301-645-7889 or email [email protected].
Grace Baptist Church of Sunset Beach will have their annual Vacation Bible School fair from 10 am to 2 pm on August 2 with games, prizes, food and pony rides. The church always draws a large crowd for the annual event and uses the opportunity to kick off their Vacation Bible School that will run from 6 to 9 pm August 3 to 7.
Lynnhaven Baptist Church will have Vacation Bible School from 9 am to noon Monday through Friday, August 18 to 22. The theme is “Weird Animals,” with an emphasis that Jesus is “one-of-a-kind.”
Kensington Baptist Church’s registration for English As A Second Language fall classes will be from 7 to 9 pm. Classes begin on Monday, Sept. 8 and meet through April 27.
The church also offers citizenship classes at various times through the year to help immigrants prepare to take the United States naturalization test.
Kensington Church is also planning now for its fall flea market from 9 am to 1 pm on Sept. 6. The rain date is Sept. 13. The cost is $15 per space. Funds will be used to support a missionary in Slovakia.
First Baptist Church of North East will have a car show “Cruise Night” from 5 to 8 pm on August 23.
In July, Crossroads Church collected “Shoes4Souls” shoes and financial contributions. The global non-profit organization, based in Nashville, is dedicated to fighting poverty by providing shoes and clothing to the needy. In addition to giving the items freely, the organization helps begin self-sustaining jobs that generate revenue to help communities.
Submit your church news and pictures for possible use in our e-news format to Sharon Mager at [email protected]. If you submit pictures of three or fewer people please identify those in the photo from left to right.