By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Staff Correspondent
DOVER, Del.—James McBride, Sr., the cheerful face of Delaware Association (DBA), retired on Dec. 31 after serving the association as director of missions for 18 years.
Reflecting over those years, McBride said he praises God for the blessings on the association and the visions he’s felt God gave him for the DBA, including doubling the number of churches, obtaining an office the DBA owns instead of rents and being an association primarily supported by churches and not outside resources.
Other highlights during McBride’s tenure include the raceway ministry which began as a result of McBride’s son, Jim Jr.’s, vision in 1992 when the younger McBride asked his father if any group had considered the ready-made congregation waiting at Dover Speedway. McBride is excited about acquiring a Baptist Family & Children’s Services presence in the area. The DBA and Delaware churches host good harvest stores in conjunction with BFCS to serve the needy in the area.
McBride has a passion for Embrace Wilmington and is thrilled to see that effort to surround the city with God’s love.
“That’s always been a burden to me,” McBride shared. He felt discouraged that enough wasn’t being done to reach Wilmington but now he’s invigorated at the possibilities. “I’m excited about what is already taking place and what the future holds for that city,” he said. McBride will continue to be the consultant for Embrace Wilmington until permanent leadership is in place.
Now that he’s in his official “retirement years,” McBride and his wife of 41 years, Daphne, are asking God’s direction.
“We want to take 2009 and not commit to long-term projects, but seek God’s will and what He would like for us to do in retirement,” McBride said.
He did share that he has a passion to get more involved in disaster relief ministry and to stay involved with raceway ministry. He’ll also continue his involvement in Embrace Wilmington and hopes to become more active with his home congregation at Ogletown Church.
The couple plans to spend more time with their grandchildren. They’re taking a month to visit their daughter, Tanya Robles, her husband Michael and their grandchild Samuel, in Japan. Michael, a Navy Commander, is stationed in Misawa, Japan.
James Sr. and Daphne also look forward to spending more time with James McBride, Jr.’, his wife, Patti and their children, Hannah, and Benjamin.
The elder McBride also looks forward to playing a little more golf and slow pitch softball, getting involved with senior Olympics and working on a scrapbook of pictures and other news clippings for his family. He laughs when referring to his tubs of pictures he’s been waiting to get to.
So what are his personal thoughts on his years spent as Delaware’s DOM?
“I think I can sum it up this way: Ministry here in Delaware has been so positive and meaningful to Daphne and I that we have decided to retire and stay here. I think that speaks volumes about our association and people here that we want to make this our home for the rest of our lives.”