By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
SYKESVILLE, Md.—Friendship Baptist Church will host a concert featuring an orchestra from Iglesia Bautista Para Las Naciones, New York City, at 7 pm on Feb. 22. The concert is free, but there will be an opportunity to share a love offering.
Friendship Church ministered with the Hispanic church for several years in partnership with Faith Family Church of Finksburg and the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association. The churches have helped Iglesia Bautista Para las Naciones with construction, and they’ve served teaching Vacation Bible School. Iglesia Bautista Para las Naciones has been blessed with many talented musicians. Th
e church began offering music lessons and started an orchestra with middle and high schoolers. The orchestra has performed for other churches and for the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association.
“The orchestra has really helped them grow their church. The kids tell their friends how they can come learn music,” John Hevey, associate pastor at Friendship Church said. Of course, when the orchestra performs, parents and friends attend to support the musicians. Some of the students have no music background and they begin learning the basics with recorders. Others are more advanced.
Plinio Baez is the pastor of Iglesia Bautista Para las Naciones. His wife Sally and their children, Cindy and Tobias are all gifted musicians and they have used their gifts in the ministry. Baez started the church with just two families and now more than 100 attend and they’re working to plant another church in New York. Now, the New York Church is raising funds to start a new church and the concert is part of that initiative.
The orchestra is comprised of approximately 20 musicians. Members of Friendship Church and Faith Family Church of Finksburg will house the guests. On Sunday, Feb. 23, a praise team from Iglesia Bautista Para Las Naciones, will join the Friendship Church worship team to lead the morning worship. Pastor Baez will share the morning message in Spanish, with a translator.
MMBA is sponsoring a 2014 summer mission trip to serve with Iglesia Bautista Para las Naciones ministering through Vacation Bible School. The trip is from July 19-25. The team travels by train to New York City then takes the local subway to the Hispanic church. Each day they begin with a devotional time and lead VBS. Hevey said they visit Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Bible study on Tuesday evening. They also ride the Staten Island Ferry, see the Statue of Liberty and take a walking tour of Times Square. “We do some fun things in the evening. It bonds the team together.” The cost is $400 for the week and includes transportation, food and lodging. John Hevey will lead the team with co-leader Sarah Sleet, from Faith Family Church. For more information, call Hevey at (410) 746-4361.