By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—At the May 8 Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) General Mission Board meeting at Skycroft Conference Center members voted to welcome three churches to the BCM/D:
- Hillcrest Baptist, Temple Hills, Md., led by Pastor W. Clyde Pearson, transferring from Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBC);
- Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., led by Pastor Mark Dever;
- McLean Bible Church, Vienna, Va., led by Pastor-Teacher David Platt, who also serves as president of the International Mission Board.
McLean Bible Church is one entity with several multisite locations led by campus pastors. They will partner with the BCM/D as one entity. Mike Kelsey serves as campus pastor at McLean’s Montgomery County multisite campus. McLean Bible Church will be dually aligned with the SBCV and the BCM/D.
“Dual membership isn’t common; they do this when they’re near the border of two states, or when a state has two conventions like Texas and Virginia, or when they’re near the border of a state,” said Randall Blackmon, pastor of Faith Baptist Fellowship, Cambridge, and chairman of the BCM/D affiliation committee. “Regarding McLean Bible Church, most of the engagement will be with the Montgomery County campus.”
In addition to Blackmon, affiliation committee members are Alan Latham, pastor of First Baptist Church of Savage; J. Derek Yelton, pastor of Hughesville Baptist Church, and Craig Mele, pastor of Maple View Baptist Church.
Blackmon said churches seeking affiliation are placed in one of three categories:
- Full Evaluation—these churches have no previous affiliation with Southern Baptists;
- Second Level —these churches are cooperating with Southern Baptist entities but desire to align with the BCM/D;
- Third Level—these churches are interested in potentially partnering but haven’t begun the process.
Blackmon said doctrinal integrity is a priority when allowing churches to affiliate.
“We go through the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message and also require a written affirmation of an official congregational vote to affiliate with the BCM/D,” he explained.
The committee is currently considering two full evaluations and one potential evaluation.
Blackmon said the committee was “excited to recommend these three churches!”
BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith said receiving the three new churches is indeed “Good news!”
Blackmon urged GMB members to pray that local churches and our network of BCM/D churches will be made stronger and more focused on building and extending God’s Kingdom through partnership and cooperation.