Posted on : Wednesday April 6, 2016

Church-School_P'ship-1(web)COLUMBIA, Md.—Many Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network churches are located near, or even in, local schools and God is opening those school doors to many, offering a phenomenal opportunity to love this segment of our community. Our Network’s inaugural Church/School Partnership seminar, from 10 am to 1 pm on May 20 at the Network Center, will provide some inspiration, ideas and resources to help churches move forward, and perhaps become a school’s prime partner.

Kevin Palau, president of the Luis Palau Association, based in Oregon, will be the keynote speaker. The association has shared the Gospel throughout the world through the evangelistic ministry of Kevin’s well-known father, Luis Palau.

Palau also authored the book, “Unlikely: Setting Aside Our Differences to Live Out the Gospel,” sharing his experiences as founder of the church/school partnership CityServe. Palau will share how across the Oregon region, a school movement is occurring as over 300 out of 400 schools have requested and are now partnering with a local churches.

Regional pastors and ministry leaders will also share how God has opened doors to their local schools and communities. They’ll tell about their successes, how God has moved, how people are seeing the love of Jesus in action. They’ll also share their mistakes and what pitfalls to avoid.

SonRise Church, Berlin, Md.:

Lead Pastor Daryl McCready has a great story he’ll share about how God allowed SonRise to develop strong long-term relationships with local schools through mentoring, providing food and other supplies for needy students on a weekly basis, hosting fall festivals, providing gifts and supplies for teachers and raising significant funds for the schools. One fundraiser, a simple $1 taco day now raises up to $8,000 each year for a local high school. As a result, the churches are building trust and meaningful relationships with students, teachers and administrators and the community.

Summit Trace Church, Frederick, Md.:

Lead Pastor Dan Housam and administrator Lisa Olson will share about the church’s ministry at a local elementary school. The church recently hosted an Easter egg hunt at the school, and they’ve had chili cook-off fund raisers to help support the school’s after-school program. The most significant impact, Housman said, has been a changed attitude about how the church views their relationship with the school and community. Housam says rather than view their role as “serving” the school and community, their perspective is that the church is part of the community and as such, they want to work together and partner with the school and other community organizations and their goal is to involve 100 percent of their congregation.

First Baptist Church, Easton, Md.:

Pastor of Student Ministry Joe Giles will share a testimony about how God has opened doors for him and for the church. Giles encourages students and faculty, picks up trash in the gymnasium, and even had the opportunity to baptize the son of the school superintendent.

Ashton Baptist Church, Md.:

Youth Leader Jennifer Williams loves to demonstrate God’s love to high school girls through prom dress donations. She formed Dressed in Love Ministries in Spring 2015 to reach girls who would otherwise not be able to afford pricey prom dresses. Williams and other volunteers collected over 200 dresses. They not only gave girls the beautiful dresses, but also offered a free “makeover day” before the prom.

Friendship Baptist Church, Sykesville, Md.:

Outreach/Education Pastor Mark Kilmovitz is a part of the team at the church that regularly reaches out to eight local schools and ministers to many other parts of the community in tangible and helpful ways.

Keith Aguila, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Cumberland, will also share about the mutual benefits of church and school partnership.

Hear the stories, catch the vision and be equipped and encouraged. Register online. The cost is $10 per person and includes lunch.