By Sharon Mager
With the kids out of school and the weather warm, Network churches are busy with a variety of summer outreach ministries. It’s a time of VBS, sports camps, drama programs, block parties, car shows and partnership missions near and far.
Early in July, Graffiti Church, a new plant in Baltimore, hosted a block party in Mund Park, near Greenmount Avenue. Church members, volunteers and ministry teams from partner churches, including Dunkirk Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, Edgewater, offered free food, games and music to those in and around the park. The church used the block party as an opportunity to pre-register kids for football, basketball, soccer and cheerleading camps.
Parkville Baptist Church also used sports camps as a bridge to the community. Members had a family fun day in the spring and used the event to register kids for a baseball clinic, working with the Hamilton Little League Club.
More than a dozen volunteers from First Baptist Church, Monroe, Virginia, helped with the fun day and the clinic. The Virginia mission team ministered with Parkville Church last year during Crossover Baltimore prior to the annual Southern Baptist Convention. The churches plan to partner with Parkville again next year.
Many churches do community outreach through car and motorcycle shows. Dunkirk Baptist, Freedom Biker Church, DE and Severna Park Baptist Church are a few of the churches in the Network that host car and bike shows. This year, Severna Park Church will honor the memory of church member Scott Murphy at their annual car and bike show on August 22. Murphy began and organized the annual car shows and was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident last year.
The youth of Cresthill Baptist Church, Bowie, participates in national and international mission trips but this year their youth team stayed close to home and partnered with Myersville Baptist Church. The Cresthill team planned to play a concert in the park, but the threat of rain made them seek a last minute plan “B.” That turned out to be cleaning the church.
Margot Painter, wife of Cresthill Church Pastor Jimmy Painter, said the teens and adult volunteers worked hard.
“We cleaned every inch of the church for them,” she said. “When there was a short break in the rain, the kids went into the neighborhood behind the church and handed out promo materials for VBS.”
On Sunday morning, the Cresthill Church youth praise team led worship at Myersville Baptist Church, singing, praying and scripture reading.
There are several milestone happenings in our Network churches. Deep Creek Baptist Church had a special farewell luncheon July 19 to honor the work of Bill and Julie DuVall through their ministry with Deep Creek Lake Resort Ministries. Bill has accepted a position as a psychology professor at Southwest Baptist University and the couple will move to Missouri.
Marbury Baptist Church celebrated their 100th anniversary on June 14. Special guests included Potomac Baptist Association (PBA) Director of Missions (DOM) Keith Corrick and former DOM Richard Logsdon. They also had a letter of congratulations and encouragement from former PBA DOM William Barkley, Jr. The festivities included a children’s historical skit, special music, videos, a catered dinner and a 100th anniversary cookbook.
Elders Baptist Church, Sykesville, will celebrate their 50th anniversary on August 2. There will be one combined worship service that begins at 10:30 am. Rick Hancock, who begins his ministry as Mid-Maryland Baptist Association Director of Missions on August 1, will deliver a Great Commission challenge to the church. Western Baptist Association Director of Missions and former pastor of Elders Church, Kenny Heath, will share about the church history. Gary Scarborough, pastor of Ashton Baptist Church and Mike Knight, pastor of Valley Baptist Church, Middletown, will share in prayer. South Columbia Baptist Church Minister of Music and Worship and former Elders Church Pastor of Music Mitch Camp will share special music.
The Network of Gallery Churches in Baltimore hosted its sixth annual City Uprising, a three-day service project event, focusing on creation care, education, health/wellness and community created service projects, on June 26-29. Volunteers worked in schools, worked in community gardens, held block parties and so much more.
And finally, there’s nothing that says summer like a trip to the beach. As tourists pour into the small town of Ocean City, Md., international students are recruited to help fill the job openings in the stores and restaurants. Ocean City Baptist Church, partnering with Central Atlantic Leisure Ministries (CALM), led by Resort Missionary Lynn Davis, befriend these students, help them acclimate and provide free meals and other services as a ministry. Many students have been led to Christ through the ministry and are serving in their home countries. Pastor Sean Davis said over 600 international students have been attending the weekly free dinners offered by the church and CALM.
Please send your church news items to Sharon Mager at Smager@bcmd.org. News items may be used future Church News columns, in an article in our quarterly magazine, or on our social media sites or e-news. Please send photos with your news item, if possible.