By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—Harold Phillips, senior pastor of Pleasant View Baptist Church (PVBC), will be nominated for president of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) at the BCM/D’s annual meeting at Oak Grove Baptist Church, Bel Air, on Nov. 11-12
Jim Testerman, senior pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church, will nominate Phillips, who has served PVBC for 28 years.
Testerman said Phillips has given “incredible service to the Lord at Pleasant View Baptist Church for many years.” He also referred to the church’s missions outreach, starting 12 churches in the Philippines and assisting with another in Ecuador.
“Harold’s dedication to ministering to those who are far from Jesus, primarily Muslims, has been a tremendous blessing to the Islamic community as well as the Kingdom of God,” Testerman said. “Under Harold’s leadership, PVBC became the sponsoring church of the Salaam Center (which ministers to Middle Eastern refugees). Also, Harold has traveled around the globe preaching the Gospel to and teaching Muslims in countries inhabited by ISIS and other entities hostile to Christianity.”
Referring to Phillips’ leadership roles with the BCM/D and with the Susquehanna Baptist Association, where he has served as a past president, Testerman said, “His leadership skills are exemplary, and his love for the Lord Jesus is a wonderful example to each of us.”
Phillips said he would accept the nomination.
A native of South Carolina, Phillips accepted God’s call to Christian ministry when he was 18 years old. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Biblical Studies from Friendship Graduate School, Russellville, Ky., and a Master’s of Religious Education and Doctor of Theology at Covington Theological Seminary, Rossville, Ga.
Before serving at PVBC, Phillips ministered at Bear Spring Baptist in Dover, TN for four years and at Silvia Baptist in Dickson, TN, for seven years.
Within the last five years, PVBC, with 600 active members, has recorded 140 baptisms. Also during that time, the church, with a desire to reach the lost, has given more than $1.5 million dollars to mission projects in addition to $185,000 to the Cooperative Program, and $30,000 to the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings as well as $75,000 to the Susquehanna Baptist Association.
Phillips’ burden for a Bible school produced the “Michael’s Bible Institute (MBI),” offering a three-year associates degree program.
He authored three books: “The Sinking/Saving of America;” “From Abraham to Armageddon;” and, the newest, “God’s Leadership Codes.”
In addition to his pastoral duties, Phillips has been active for two decades in Maryland/Delaware convention life, serving several terms on the BCM/D General Mission Board (GMB), as chairman of the GMB administrative committee and as a BCM/D officer.
“The state convention has always been a blessing to Baptists in these two states. It keeps us unified, and we’re more potent and powerful if we’re one,” Phillips said.
He speaks strongly about unity, and the challenge it presents.
“It’s a different climate, and the needs of churches are different than they were a few years ago,” he said. For example, the convention and associations have always come together for training, but today, many leaders buy training, and other resources online.
“We still need each other, but differently,” he said. While there’s a lot to access online, we still have disasters, there is a whole world of families with special needs, and churches need planting. There is also the need to fellowship and learn from one another. “We can do a lot more together than we can apart,” he said.
Phillips also wants to continue building relationships with churches and with the local associations. Associations have gone through trying times, he said, and many are without directors of missions and striving to restructure.
Also, Phillips wants to encourage the BCM/D staff. “We want to help them to accomplish the tasks they have been called to accomplish and to give them the support they need.” That’s especially important in light of recent transitions, he said.
Other BCM/D officer nominations to date are:
- First Vice President —Glenn Swanson, pastor of Bayside Baptist Church, Chesapeake Beach
- Second Vice-President — Andy Ehlers, pastor of High Tide Church, Dagsboro
- Recording Secretary — Stephanie Laferriere, life coach, One Hope, a ministry of The Garden Church, Baltimore
BaptistLIFEwill report on additional nominees as names become available.