“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
Pastor Shane Wilt, the West End Baptist Chapel pastor in Hagerstown, baptized 17 people at a worship service on Oct. 17. Wilt, sharing the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, told the congregation that after Philip shared the Good News with the Ethiopian, the man asked to be baptized. Phillip answered that he could if he believed with all his heart. The Ethiopian replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Those baptized included four from one family, young adults, middle-aged people, and senior citizens. Several had tears of joy as they testified to their belief before being submerged.
Watch the full service here.
To the north in Prince George’s County, Clinton Baptist Church recently had its first baptismal service since the pandemic began. Pastor Colin Pugh baptized Tiera Proctor and her son, Tristen Proctor.
(Cover photo shows Justin Rose, recently baptized at LifeHouse Church in Smyrna, Delaware.)
Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treats draw thousands
Maryland/Delaware churches are finding October a perfect time for outreach and getting to know neighbors. With Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treats, sometimes combined, churches are drawing hundreds and thousands of people.
BCM/D Children’s and Youth Consultant Kris Buckman said churches are leading the way in this area. “The community has come to look forward to these activities. Rather than going door-to-door, they’re finding these events to be a more comfortable, safe way to have fun,” she said.
Northpoint Baptist Church had a Trunk or Treat on Oct. 24 and drew over 300. Cars were lined up and down Northpoint Boulevard for the free event. Kids enjoyed games, hayrides, a petting zoo, music, food, and more. Church members greeted and registered guests for follow-up.
Middle River Baptist Church had over 1,000 people turn out for their Fall Festival. The event featured hayrides, a petting zoo, food vendors, fire truck static displays, and a trunk or treat. Family Ministries Pastor Lonnie Duckett said the church also had a ministry fair table where visitors could learn about the church and the various offerings.
In St. Mary’s County, over 1,200 people attended First Baptist Church of Waldorf’s Trunk or Treat for games, food, inflatables, and candy. They had three food trucks and, through a gift, were able to provide a free meal to all who showed up. The church had the highest attendance yet. Volunteers registered guests, and the church staff is working on the follow-up.
First Baptist Church of Damascus (FBCD) and Tri-County Baptist Church (TCBC) partnered to host a Trunk or Treat together at a local shopping center’s parking lot. The joint effort brought over 1,000 people.
South Columbia Baptist Church (SCBC) had a special service on Oct. 16 to celebrate Pastor W. Stephen Neel’s 40th year of ministry.
Special speakers included Ken White, the senior pastor of Boulevard Christian Church, and Mitch Young, the senior pastor of Maryland City Baptist Church. Both men and their families formerly attended SCBC. White was ordained at the church. Young told the congregation that honoring Neel is a wonderful expression of love. Other former staff and members shared their congratulations via video.
Neel planted SCBC in 1981.
Bethany Church in Ellicott City honored their senior pastor Joseph “Kip” Smith for three decades of ministry at the church. Smith began serving at the church in 1991. Church members presented him with a plaque in honor of his service. The plaque was also printed with Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, t0 gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple” (NIV).
Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Community Engagement Consultant Ellen Udovich presented Smith with a plaque from the BCM/D.
The congregation also had some fun with ten top “Kip-isms.”
Pastor Chris Davis publishes book
Chris Davis, the pastor of Northwest Baptist Church in Reisterstown, recently released his book, “Reclaiming Our Identity.”
Davis’ book addresses who Christians are and how they can and should be living effectively in our current days, facing the way the world is now and its ever-changing complexion.
Davis says, “We forgot who we are,” adding that American Christians are consumed with whatever is pressing for the day.
The more we forget who we are, the less effective we are.
Check out the website for more information about Pastor Davis’ book, and watch his video explaining why he wrote it. You can also listen to Davis share about “The Dynamic Challenge of Christian Parenting” on Peculiar People, the BCM/D’s podcast.
Opportunity to minister to refugees
The Salaam Center in Baltimore, supported by Pleasant View Baptist Church in Port Deposit, is an outreach to refugees from Southeast Asia and Africa. Volunteers provide friendship, English lessons, and citizenship classes. They also help with paperwork, job applications, appointments, communicating with children’s schools, and other areas that can be difficult for those struggling with proficient English.
About 1,200 Afghan refugees are expected to be settled in the Baltimore area within the next six months.
Volunteers from the center will host a Christmas party from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 11. Each child will receive a gift of clothing, and families will receive gifts of food and household staples. This is also a time volunteers may have openings to share the gospel.
Additionally, the center’s newsletter states, “In addition, we have become connected with several patients from various Gulf states who are at Baltimore-area hospitals for serious medical treatments, and we have the privilege to extend kindness to their families during their time of great emotional distress and loneliness.”
Items needed are listed below.
Please put together your choice of these items in a reusable shopping bag or two for each family.
- Jasmine rice (3-pound bag or larger, please – these are large families)
- Olive oil (24 oz. or larger, ideally in plastic rather than glass)
- Dried chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
- Honey (ideally in plastic rather than glass)
- Packaged chocolate or dates, walnuts, almonds, or pistachios
- Laundry detergent (64 ounces or larger; liquid, not pods, please, for child safety)
- Dish soap
- No canned goods, please
More detailed information is available to sponsor a child. All items are needed by Dec. 1.
“Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Oliver Gregory became the (now BCM/D) executive director in 1887. He was the corresponding secretary for the Maryland Baptist Union Association (MBUA) for 14 years, beginning in 1888. That year, the last of the original founders of the MBUA, Joseph Mettam, died. Gregory served simultaneously as a pastor, secretary to the Southern Baptist Convention, and corresponding secretary for MBUA (BCM/D History Highlights).
Cover Photo: We celebrate with Justin Rose from LifeHouse Church in Smyrna, Delaware, who was baptized in October.