There have been many changes in our Network churches as pastors and leaders retire, are called to other ministries, or are called to serve in our Network. This is just a sampling of those changes as God moves us forward as a Network.
On August 2, 2015, Pastor Ed Jordan retired after 30 years of ministry at Faith Baptist Church, Knoxville. Jordan began his ministry as an intern at his home church, First Baptist Church in Kenova, W. Va., while studying at Marshall University for a bachelor of science degree in psychology. During this time, he was also actively involved in the ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ. He served as Minister of Visitation and Youth at Morton Memorial United Methodist Church and pastor of West End Baptist Church while studying for a Master of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Jordan entered full time ministry on August 1, 1974 as associate pastor at West Lauderdale Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he served until January 1981. He served as pastor of LaVale Baptist Church until he moved to Brunswick to become pastor of Faith Baptist Church on April 21, 1985. His wife, Jo Anne has been a devoted ministry partner and served in many areas of the church, including teaching an adult Sunday School class, helping in the nursery, and singing in the choir.
After serving close to 30 years, Sherrill Dillon will retire as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Cumberland, on Oct. 4. The church will honor Dillon with a special dinner on Oct. 3. Under Dillon’s ministry, Second Baptist Church began a youth basketball league, and members have served in missions near and far, helping with international student ministry in Ocean City, ministering in the Appalachia, and helping in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. The church also has provided many leaders for the Western Association’s annual youth camp.
The Dillons lived in the parsonage for three decades, so they’re not only leaving their church, but their home where they raised five children. Those children are now grown and are living in various locations the United States. After retiring, the couple plans to visit their children and grandchildren, and then they’ll be splitting their time between North Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Terra Alta, W. Va. Dillon plans to provide pulpit supply in the future. Dillon said his wife, Sheila, has been right by his side, involved with all aspects of ministry, particularly the music.
Barnesville Baptist Church honored Pastor Randy Gilliam and his wife Sandy in August. He retired after serving the church for 14 years. On Sept. 1, 2015, Rev. Dan Moore began serving as the new pastor.
Emmanuel Baptist Church, Laurel, Md., will have a fall revival Oct. 7 to 9 and then celebrate their 34th anniversary at a special service at 5 p.m. on Oct. 11.
First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights will celebrate 15 years of the pastoral leadership of Harold Dugger, Sr. and the church’s 107th anniversary at a special gala event on Nov. 21 at the Camelot by Martin’s. The theme for the Anniversary is, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” (Philippians 1:6).
Catonsville Baptist Church called Christopher Snider as pastor effective Sept. 1. Previously, Snider served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church St. Charles and volunteered as a member of the church planting team for the Potomac Baptist Association. Snider felt God’s call to Gospel ministry when he was 14 years old while at a Centrifuge Camp in 1988 and soon began leading youth services and providing pulpit supply. After college he worked as a plumber and bi-vocationally served as a ministerial assistant in a church in Granite City, Ill. Snider received a degree in religion from Missouri Baptist University and a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Seminary with a concentration in pastoral studies. He and his wife, Jessica, have four children: Hope, 13; Hunter, 6; Holly, 2 and Henry, 7 months. Jessica enjoys staying home with the kids. The family homeschools their children.
Grace Baptist Church of Sunset Beach, Pasadena, Md., celebrated Doug Alberts’ retirement as senior pastor, effective Aug. 31. Alberts served the church for 13 years. He and his wife, Iris, plan to spend time in the Caribbean but overall, Alberts plans to stay active in ministry. He will continue to serve with the Arundel Baptist Association, will provide pulpit supply as needed and will continue to serve on a pastoral care team at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. The church welcomed their new pastor, Gordon Fox, who began his ministry at Grace Baptist on Sept. 1. Gordon Fox formerly pastored Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Knoxville, Md. He grew up in New York and served in the Navy. He came to faith when he was 30 years old. Fifteen years later, he felt the call to seminary and received his master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Seminary’s extension program at the Network Center. He and Rina have a grown son, Wellie, who lives in Pittsburgh, and a 17-year-old son, Robert, entering his senior year of high school.
Tim Byer, 33, grew up at Faith Baptist Church (FBC), Glen Burnie, and on August 1 became the lead pastor following in the footsteps of Thane Barnes; James Nichols, David Lee and John Pepper. Byer’s first staff position at FBC was associate pastor, overseeing the sports programs, primarily Upward basketball and soccer. The church built the multipurpose area/gym when Byer was attending University of Maryland Baltimore County and called Tim, in his sophomore year, to serve in the new ministry. He later served as pastor of English Ministry at Abundant Life Korean Church, Severna Park, and then as lead pastor of Crossroads Church, Odenton for almost four years. Byer also began taking seminary classes at Rockbridge Seminary. “I’ve seen Faith be a beautiful family in the past. We can do it again. We’re looking forward to being the church that feels like the family Thanksgiving celebration each Sunday morning when we get together—the one with grandparents, grandkids and the crazy uncle all celebrating together,” Byer said.
Steve Hardnett of Full Circle Church and Ministries will celebrate his 50th year of ministry this October. A celebration is planned on Oct. 24, 2-6 p.m., at DoubleTree Hotel in Pikesville, Md. Cost is $30 per person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. On Oct. 31, 1965, Hardnett was licensed to preach at Thankful Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pa., where he ministered for several years. He then moved to Baltimore, where he served at Beacon Baptist Church (downtown Baltimore) for two years before planting and serving 33 years as senior pastor at New Christian Bible Baptist Church. Presently, he and his wife Brenda are focusing their latest efforts through Full Circle to adopt and come alongside families of various ethnicities to spiritually, physically and mentally assist them in housing and recovery from addictions and joblessness.
Oak Grove Baptist Church had an installation service for Pastor Jim Testerman on Oct. 4. Testerman was licensed and ordained at Oak Grove Church and served as minister to adults since 2009. He is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree and a Bachelor of Science in Religion. He and his wife Becky have a daughter, Amanda.