Worshippers from many languages and tongues belong to many churches in the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network/BCMD, making it one of the most diverse conventions in the country. Each year, the multi-state network supports around 45 language groups through planting language churches, leading ministry training, and hosting concerts of prayer, language music celebrations, and a variety of other gatherings designed to help language ministries go forward.
Language Church Planting
Since 2013, the Network officially has planted 13 new language churches, including six Hispanic churches, five Korean/Asian Korean churches, one Chinese church, and one multi-cultural church, with more on the way (see sidebar).
“Among our Asian churches, we have kind of a movement arising among us,” said Robert Kim, missionary for language churches and Asian coordinator for church planting/evangelism for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network/BCMD, explaining existing language churches are asking themselves, “Why don’t we be church-planting churches?”
Several clusters of Korean and Chinese churches are getting together, locking their arms to plant churches,” he said.
Kim said the Network provides a lot of resources for the church planters who are coming in—including information on how to plant a church well as well as financial resources. “Now we see the Lord is at work among us planting Asian churches. It’s exciting!” he said.
“The vision of the language ministry is to facilitate healthy churches, through the planting and strengthening of congregations, among as many language groups in the area as God gives the opportunity,” said Rolando Castro, missionary for Hispanic churches and Hispanic church development for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network/BCMD.
“We even have new churches started by our own church plants and also we have new church planters coming to the area,” Castro added. “Our dream is to expand into two new language groups annually.”
Please pray for the following language church plants started in 2013-2014:
- ADV Yahweh Church, Annapolis, Md. (Spanish)
- Church of Abundant Ark, Laurel, Md. (Korean)
- Edgewater Bible Church, Edgewater, Md. (multi-cultural)
- Iglesia Biblica Bautista Peniel, Wheaton, Md. (Spanish)
- Korean Hope Church of Maryland, Glenwood, Md. (Asian Korean)
- Iglesia Bautista de Solomons, Lusby, Md. (Spanish)
- Iglesia Bautista Roca de Salvacion, Landover, Md. (Spanish)
- Life Fountain Community Church, Highland, Md. (Korean)
- New Hope Baptist Church, Centreville, Va. (Asian Korean)
- New Life Korean Baptist Church, Silver Spring, Md. (Asian Korean)
- Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana Emanuel, Salisbury, Md. (Spanish)
- Redencion, Silver Spring, Md. (Spanish)
- Rock Church of Christ in Clarksburg, Md. (Chinese)
Asian Concerts of Prayer
Asian churches participate in annual Asian Concerts of Prayer at Hahnuri Korean Church in Silver Spring, Md. Churches earnestly pray in their native languages while English subtitles are displayed on big screens. They pray on the topics of repentance, spiritual awakening, church renewal, kingdom growth and church growth. Each people group also focuses on their own specific needs.
Robert Kim, language missionary, shared that participants spend three hours in worship and prayer in a special effort to strengthen prayer in the churches, both corporately and individually. The next Concert of Prayer is scheduled for Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Hispanic Ministry Training Center
As planters start churches, pastors and leaders are needed to staff the new plants. The Network’s Hispanic ministry training center is filling that need.
The Hispanic seminary now has a record number of students, shared Language Missionary Rolando Castro, explaining more than 50 enrolled in the Spring 2014 semester. These students attend one of the three centers—in Baltimore, Silver Spring and Cambridge. They study topics, such as the foundations of ministry, and surveys of the Old and New Testaments. Classes are offered in eight-week modules.
Students can choose from three certificates: biblical ministry, church planting, or pastoral ministry. If students complete all three certificates, along with three other required courses, they receive a diploma in theology. The first graduation was held in December 2013.
Language Music Celebrations
Language Church Music Celebrations are held annually on Palm Sunday at Global Mission Church in Silver Spring. Fifteen to 20 different language people groups gather together to sing worship songs to the Lord in their own languages, followed by a multi-cultural dinner.
“It is a great, great event for language churches to get together and to sing joyful noises to the Lord in their own languages,” Robert Kim said.
Tour for Language Pastors, Oct. 6
To assist language churches, the Network hosted a “Tour for Language Pastors” at the Baptist Network Center at 10255 Old Columbia Road in Columbia on Monday, Oct. 6. There, network leaders introduced language pastors to specific ministries, leaders, resources and training available for them.
Throughout the years, the Network has also provided language pastors’ retreats, immigration conferences, and English as a Second Language ministry training. Every effort is designed with a forward hope of “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9).