Posted on : Friday March 15, 2019

Maryland/Delaware churches seek to provide encouragement and support with special conferences and other events, and with an emphasis on prayer and discipleship. This week read about two women’s conferences, opportunities to attend a Christian concert, and a chance to experience “Secret Church.”

“I will thank Yahweh with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works,” Psalm 9:1 (CHSB)

.Marshal L. Ausberry, Sr, president of the Southern Baptist Convention National African American Fellowship, will be a speaker at this year’s “Awareness Conference.”

Speakers at the March 22 “Awareness Conference,” will tackle some tough topics as they focus on “The Church in Action,” a reference to 1 John 3:18. The conference is sponsored by the African American Fellowship (AAF) of the Baptist Convention of MD/DE and will be held at the Baptist Center in Columbia.

Vernon Lattimore, director of the AAF, stated that the purpose of the conference is “…to reach out and inform the universal church to live out the principles of God in deed and truth.”

“The church has been silent for too long on critical issues such as sexual abuse in the church, Biblical illiteracy, racial reconciliation, gender and sexuality, and religious freedom,” Lattimore said.

Conference speakers are Javy Diaz, World Vision senior church advisor; Marshal L. Ausberry, Sr, president of the Southern Baptist Convention National African American Fellowship; and Kevin Smith, BCM/D executive director. Diaz will share about engaging the culture and loving people around the world. Ausberry will discuss sustaining a healthy lifestyle for ministry, and Smith will examine the issue of sexual abuse.

The conference, from 8:30 am to 3 pm, is free and is open to all. A continental breakfast and hot lunch are included. Register here.

Jessica Long

The women’s ministry of Oak Grove Baptist Church, in Bel Air, Md, has two special upcoming events–the annual women’s conference from 9:30 am to 2 pm, on March 30, and a “Going Beyond” simulcast featuring Priscilla Shirer from 9 am to 4:30 pm, on April 27th.

Women’s Conference Guest Speaker Jessica Long participated in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympic games, and is the second-most decorated Paralympian in United States history. She will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games.

Born in Siberia, and adopted by a Baltimore family, Long had fibular hemimelia, and her lower legs were amputated when she was 18 months old.

Even at that very young age, Long had a passion to move forward and was standing on her prosthetic legs less than 24 hours after the surgery. She wrote on Facebook, “we may not know why difficult things happen to us, but be inspired that somehow and in some way, you’re being challenged to be the best you can be. You never know whose life you’re touching through your story.”

She had multiple surgeries but has continued to overcome obstacles, emphasizing that life isn’t always easy but the way a person responds to his or her challenges is essential.

Long will tell how God has blessed her in her journey, and she will share about her autobiographical book, “Unsinkable,” written with her sister, Hannah Long.

Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer is a wife, mother, and sought-after Bible teacher. She has a Master of Biblical and Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, and is the author of best-selling Bible studies and a New York Times best-seller, “The Resolution for Women.”

The cost for the women’s conference before March 19 is $25 for women 26 and older, or $15 for younger women, and $30 after that date. The cost for the simulcast is $20.

As a bonus, the church is offering tickets for both events, the conference and the simulcast, for a total of $40.

Ocean City Baptist Church, in Md., is selling tickets to the Ocean City “Jellyfish Festival” concerts on June 23, featuring Christian bands “Newsboys,” and “David Crowder.” The church receives a portion of the funds from the tickets. See below for a link to a story about the festival, concerts, and fundraising opportunities.

Lifehouse Church with campuses in Middletown, De., and Smyrna, De., will host the simulcast of “Secret Church” from 6:30 pm to 1:30 am on April 26. The Middletown campus will meet at Westown Movies, 150 Commerce Dr, Middletown, De., and the Smyrna campus will meet at Clayton Firehall, 300 East St, Clayton, De.

David Platt, the pastor-teacher of McClean Bible Church and past president of the International Mission Board, started “Secret Church” as a result of his travels throughout countries closed or hostile to the Gospel. He saw Christians faced with extreme challenges and persecution, meeting in small homes as they were able, spending up to 12 hours feasting on God’s word, and praying.

Rob Leight, the worship pastor of Lifehouse Church, Middletown, has attended Secret Church for the past two years. “You never know what to expect, especially the first time. It’s definitely not boring,” Leight said.

“It’s a lot of information in a short period, and it’s laid out well with breakouts, focused time and prayer,” Leight said.

Secret Church raises one’s awareness to the struggles of Christians in countries that are not friendly to the Gospel, and to the freedom that Americans currently possess, Leight explained. “It’s not like showing up for the church at 10, having it end at 11 and eating at KFC by 11:30. It gives you a new perspective for the church in America,” he said.

Register here for Secret Church with the Middletown Church. Register here for Secret Church with the Smyrna Church.

Participants of “Secret Church” uplift in prayer their brothers and sisters around the world, and spend time together intensely studying the Word of God and praying together. Resources are available and churches or small groups are invited to participate.