Mt. Airy, Md.—Michael Trammell will retire on Dec. 31 after serving as pastor of Mt. Airy Baptist Church for 26 years. He and his wife, Pam, came to the church in 1991 and faithfully served through the good times and the challenging times, and they trusted Jesus through it all.
God used some interesting ways to confirm the couples’ call to Maryland. Mike shared that while interacting with the search committee from Mt. Airy Baptist Church and praying about God’s will, he and Pam, after returning from church, were briefly watching a football game. Mike said, “The Cowboys were playing and Russell Maryland was making every tackle. Every time they would show his jersey, it would say, ‘Maryland.’ When I turned the channel, there was a program on called, ‘All you ever wanted to know about Maryland.’ I thought, this is getting weird! I turned again, remember there were only three channels then and I promise, I’m not exaggerating, it was the Maryland Million horse race. I looked at Pam and said, ‘It looks like we’re going to Maryland!’
“I tell people, joking, if you were to ask me to point which state was Maryland and which was Delaware on a map, I would have flipped a coin. I grew up in Arkansas,” he said. But the call was strong. “[God] confirmed it in my spirit,” Mike said.
“We’ve had a wonderful time here. This is our home,” Mike said. While he’s been pastoring, Pam has been teaching school.
Reflecting on the decades, Mike said seeing men step forward and answer the call to ministry has been one of the most exciting blessings.
He pointed to Barry Whitworth, his associate pastor in the 90s. “We ordained him and sent him to seminary. He became a church planter in Pennsylvania. Today, he’s the executive director of the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey. We’ve maintained a good friendship over the years.”
Mt. Airy Baptist Church member Larry Hall Jr., also answered the call to ministry. The church sent him to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Hall became an International Mission Board missionary.
Church member John Holmes, chairman of the deacons, surrendered to full-time ministry and is preparing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Mike said the church also has had a strong ministry in South Asia working with the Van den Akker family. “They’ve had a tremendous ministry, and our church, in addition to giving to the Cooperative Program, has funded special projects with them.”
In addition to his busy pastoral role, Trammell is serving his second consecutive term as Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) president. He’s served on the BCM/D General Mission Board through various terms for 14 years. He was the president of the BCM/D’s Pastor’s Conference in 1996. In addition, he was chair of the “Advancing Christ’s Kingdom,” effort under the tenure of former BCM/D Executive Director Charles Barnes.
On the national level, Trammell has served in multiple committees with the Southern Baptist Convention through the years, including ten years on the SBC Executive Committee. He’s ministered throughout the world on mission trips.
“I’ve always tried to be faithful where I’ve been asked to serve,” Trammell said.
Trammell grew up in a Christian home and made a confession of faith at Second Baptist Church, Hot Springs, Ark. After high school graduation, he attended Ouachita Baptist University, where he met his wife, Pam.
“She thought she was marrying a lawyer,” Trammell chuckled.
But instead of law, Trammell earned a military commission as a result of his Army ROTC participation and after graduation, he served as Lieutenant, stationed at Fort Knox, Ky.
That’s when God began to speak to Mike’s heart, calling him to Gospel ministry. “I had an older brother who was a missionary in the Philippines. I always thought one preacher in the family was the quota, but God had something else in mind,” he said.
Mike surrendered to God’s will, and he and Pam headed to Memphis, Tenn., where he earned a degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary while working on staff at Bellevue Baptist Church, under the leadership of Adrian Rogers. Rogers made a huge impression on the young Mike Trammell.
“He ordained me. That was one of the highlights of my life,” Mike said. “I got to know him, and spend time with him. To be in his home, outside of the pulpit was special.”
Mike and Pam also spent two years in the megachurch, Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, where Mike worked as minister of church programs. His call to preach was strong, and they left to pastor two churches in Arkansas, including Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ark., where he led the church through a major reconstruction.
Mike went on to earn a doctor of ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. He and Pam later moved to Maryland in 1991, where they stayed over two and a half decades.
Members of Mount Airy Baptist Church had a retirement dinner for Mike and Pam on Dec. 1 at the New Market Volunteer Fire Hall. They presented Mike and Pam with several gifts, including a commemorative clock, engraved with Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Executive Director Kevin Smith, Gary Glanville, who recently retired after serving 37 years as pastor of Northwest Baptist Church, and Mark Massey, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, each shared a short message during the party.
Glanville quoted the well-known portion of Joshua 24:15, “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
“That is the example that Mike and Pam have given to us, to me, Debbie [Glanville’s wife], the church, and his family. I think that says it all,” he said. The Trammells chose to serve Jesus. “What you see in the church is what you see in the home.”
Massey, addressing the couple, said, “Mike and Pam, you have never settled for less than God’s calling.” Massey recalled reading an article by Keith Parks, who many years ago served as the president of the Foreign Mission Board (now known as the International Mission Board). Massey said that Parks described God’s calling in a way that he will never forget. “The call of God is that inner sense of ‘oughtness’ that you can never get away from until you say, ‘Yes.’
“Many years ago, Mike and Pam had that inner sense of ‘oughtness,’ and they came to this church and they have been faithful stewards of God’s work,” Massey said.
Kevin Smith praised God for the longevity of Mike and Pam’s ministry. He preached a message on 1 John, encouraging the church to continue in genuine, truthful commitments to Jesus Christ and to share the word about who Jesus is and what He has done.
“These 26 years have been about a lot of stuff. But they have definitely have not been about anything less than being genuine in your obedience to Christ, being genuine in how you think about yourself as a follower of Christ, being genuine in your love for one another as brother and sister in Christ, and being bold in your declaration of who Jesus is and what He has done,” Smith said.
“Over last few weeks, I have been freshly encouraged to have a pastor say to me, that at this banquet celebrating my retirement—in this banquet focused on me—I want you to say something about Jesus. So, on behalf of the Holy Spirit, the Father, the Son, the Triune God, on behalf of your pastor, be genuine and be true. God bless you.”