By Sharon Mager
Local Baptist associations had their fall meetings, celebrating what God has done through their region, worshipping together and voting on business for the upcoming year.
Here is a short wrap-up from each association.
Arundel Baptist Network (ABN)
The Arundel Baptist Network (ABN) included a “MissionFest” prior to their annual meeting to offer churches an opportunity to share how God is using them to reach their communities and the world.
The guest speaker was an International Mission Board missionary who shared how God is moving in amazing ways throughout the world.
The Network welcomed an international church, Global Worship Center, located in Kenya as a new member. The pastor, Bishop Moses Turere accepted Christ as a result of an IMB missionary sharing Christ. The Kenyan church is not the first international church for the ABN. They also have a member church in China.
In addition to Global Worship Center, the Network welcomed South County Community Church, Brooklyn Park, and Elevate Church, Annapolis. Uplift Through The Word Ministries was voted into the watch care program. Five other churches took the additional steps to become full members of the ABN.
Ellis Prince, lead pastor of Gallery Church, Baltimore, shared his testimony, during the BBA meeting at Parkville Baptist Church. Prince shared the faith journey he and his family have traveled, answering God’s call to start a new church in Baltimore. This ministry has now multiplied into several sites in the Baltimore region and continues to grow.
Chris Gudmundsson, pastor of Dundalk’s First Baptist Church and moderator for the association, led the meeting. Messengers heard annual reports from BBA’s Port Ministry, Inner Harbor Ministry, Disaster Relief, and Campus Ministry, as well as other state and national ministries.
Executive Director of Missions Bob Mackey shared the results of Crossover Baltimore, which took place just prior to the SBC’s annual meeting in Baltimore. There were 63 evangelistic outreach events, 55 participating partners, with 2330 volunteers (including 210 students from 6 seminaries) participating from 32 local churches and 18 states serving 15,585 people in Baltimore, resulting in 234 known professions of faith.
Ron Larson, Send City Coordinator for Baltimore and BBA Church Planting Catalyst, challenged BBA churches using scripture from John 11. Larson said sometimes pastors and churches face dead-end situations, but as in the case of Lazarus, Jesus can raise them to new life.
Blue Ridge Baptist Association had over two dozen ministry resource tables featuring LifeWay, seminaries; the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network; My Hope with Billy Graham; National Alliance of Mental Illness; Young Life; Military Support Network and many more.
The worship was led by a 38 voice mass choir. BRBA churches celebrated how God is working through disaster relief ministries; how He is blessing the summer missionary program ,and how He is using BRBA to minister in the Dominican Republic.
Bruce Conley, BRBA director of missions, said he is very excited that two summer youth missionaries who served in the Blue Ridge Association ministered in the Dominican Republic and both are feeling called to full-time missions.
The celebration also featured a video from Grace Schofield who served in various ministries in the association, ministered at Skycroft Conference Center and the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network and now serves as a missionary in Kenya.
The Delaware Baptist Association voted to form a “Go Forward” team led by Curtis Hill, senior pastor of Ogletown Baptist Church. The team will evaluate the purpose, strategy, leadership structure and partnership opportunities of the association and will present their report to the association leadership then a special meeting of messengers will be called.
Messengers voted to sell the DBA office property. Funds will go into a special fund and will be used to strengthen and start churches and make disciples.
Will McRaney, Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network’s executive missional strategist and Reid Sterrett, EBA’s director of missions, shared the vision of the association moving to a new level of partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, sharing staff and resources in a pilot project. Messengers responded favorably to the recommendation but there are by-law studies to be made before moving forward.
William Warren, senior pastor of Allen Memorial Church, announced his candidacy for president of the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network. Elections will take place at the Network’s Annual Celebration Nov. 9 to 11 at The Church at Severn Run.
In addition, two of the association’s newest church planters, Tim Mull and Bryan Lloyd, shared about their churches and their God-given visions.
Mid-Maryland Baptist Association’s meeting was held at Bethany Church, Columbia, a new satellite church of Bethany Church in Ellicott City.
Marty Duren, LifeWay social media strategist, was the general session speaker also held a special breakout session on the church and social media.
Various MMBA ethnic congregations provided food from their respective countries.
Ministries and missions supported by MMBA displayed information about their ministries and work throughout the world.
Ron Blankenship, Montgomery Baptist Association said this year’s annual meeting was the largest in MBA history. The meeting was held in conjunction with an annual association revival with former BCM/D Executive Director David Lee as the guest preacher. A light dinner was served.
The association celebrated Ron Blankenship’s 15 years’ anniversary as director of missions/church planting catalyst and Treasurer Leonard Raymo for 26 years of faithful service to the association.
The Potomac Baptist Association voted four new churches into the PBA: Faith Temple Baptist Church, La Plata; La Plata Baptist Church; West Charles Community Church, Nanjemoy; and Redeeming Grace Baptist Church, Callaway (effective January 1, 2015)
Thirty mission scholarships were granted to individual members of PBA churches who touched seven different nations: Burkina Faso, West Africa; Ghana, Africa; India; the Dominican Republic; Guatemala; Haiti; and Thailand.
Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network Executive Missional Strategist Will McRaney delivered the message; “Developing a Church Worth Returning To,” referencing Luke 15.
The Prince George’s Baptist Association had their annual meeting at Maryland City Baptist Church. Mitch Young, pastor of Maryland City Church, preached the annual sermon. Juanita Mitchell-Brower, of Forrestville New Redeemer, provided the music.
Messengers voted one church into the watch care program.
Susquehanna Baptist Association approved their 2015 budget and new officers and committee members for 2015. Chris Moyer, Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Perryville, will be the new Moderator, and Rev. Craig Mele, Pastor of Maple View Baptist Church, will be the Associate Moderator.
Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network President, and Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church, Dr. Robert Anderson shared greetings from the Network. Dr. Allen Carter, former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, and former Moderator of the Association delivered the Annual Message.
Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network President Robert Anderson and Missionary for Student Evangelism Doug DuBois brought greetings from the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network.
Dan Biser, founder of the prayer ministry, “Broken Before the Throne,” shared the message for the evening.