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History Highlights

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Eighteenth Century

1742 Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church founded in Lutherville, MD (part of original building is still being used)

First Baptist Church of Baltimoretowne organized on land by Jones Falls

 (where the Shot Tower now stands)


Nanjemoy Baptist Church was constituted. Four men from Virginia crossed the Potomac and started preaching in the Nanjemoy area in 1790. Nanjemoy was the seventh church to join the Maryland Baptist Union Association in 1837.

1797 Second Baptist Church of Baltimore began a Sunday School, reported to be one of the first to use the Bible as its only textbook and with all volunteer teachers.

Nineteenth Century


Joseph Mettam, in the early 1800s, traveled a thousand miles, preached one hundred and ten sermons, distributed seven thousand pages of tracts, plus Bibles and testament, and baptized nine.



October 27, Maryland Baptist Union Association organized with six churches, at First Baptist, Baltimore (MBUA is now the BCM/D with about 514 churches and missions)
1845 Maryland is one of nine states at the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, GA

MBUA sent $100 to SBC Domestic Board for support of a missionary in Maryland.

Richard Fuller chaired the committee that established the constitution of the new denomination. Known as the "Prince of Preachers," he preached the first convention sermon in 1846 and was elected SBC president in 1859.  He served as pastor of Seventh Baptist Church in Baltimore, and Eutaw Place Baptist Church, which was a mission of Seventh Baptist.


1847 Noah Davis is appointed a missionary of MBUA and SBC among “colored” of Baltimore (Davis was a former Virginia slave, freed with money from Baltimore Baptists)

Franklin Wilson became first Executive Director.



The True Union, Maryland Baptist news journal, first issued in December (now called BaptistLIFE)

The True Union was created and financed by businessman William Crane.  Crane was an active layman in local, state, national, and international Baptist mission work. He taught Sunday School for forty-seven years. He considered Bible study important for every Christian and had cards printed with a plan for reading the whole Bible in a year to hand them out to all who would take them.

1850 Joseph M. Harden, black member of Seventh, Baltimore, appointed by SBC Foreign Mission Board to the Liberian Mission (1853 Harden moved to Lagos, Nigeria)
1853 Southern Baptist Convention met in Baltimore
1854 Baltimore Baptist Church Extension Society formed; MBUA began German work
1856 SBC Foreign Mission Board appointed Rosewell H. Graves to China from Maryland
1862 Provisional Foreign Mission Board formed in Baltimore. MBUA approved William Crane as agent to collect and send funds to missionaries of SBC cut off from Richmond by the Civil War

1868 Mrs. Ann Graves, mother of missionary Rosewell Graves, invited SBC women to meet in support of missions while in Baltimore for the SBC annual convention
1871 Woman’s Mission To Women began with goal to support foreign missions
1882 Woman’s Home Mission Society of Maryland constituted

Mission Rooms opened in Baltimore: MBUA sponsored; Woman’s Missionary Societies operated (forerunner of mission literature departments of SBC)

Oliver Gregory became Executive Director


1888 Woman’s Missionary Union, Auxiliary of Southern Baptist Convention, formed in Richmond, VA, with Miss Annie W. Armstrong of Baltimore as Corresponding Secretary; WMU Headquarters, 1888-1921 in Baltimore

1893 Immigrant mission work began at port of Baltimore when SBC Home Mission Board appointed Miss Marie Buhlmaier for German and immigrant work
1895 Annie Armstrong proposed first WMU self-denial offering for Home Missions (renamed in 1933 to honor Miss Armstrong)


Maryland Baptists gave 76 cents per member to Foreign Missions; south-wide average was 8 cents.



Marie Buhlmaier, a young German woman, worked with the immigrants at the Baltimore port. During the time of World War I she was thought by a German spy. In 1903, the Home Mission Board of the SBC began to support her with a thousand dollars a year.

Twentieth Century


 E. B. Hatcher became Executive Director. His tenure as leader of the MBUA was during the Progressive Era in America. Associational structures for delivering ministry and cooperating with existing ministries began in earnest--an active, hopeful reform spirit. Half of all Marylanders lived in Baltimore. Hatcher initiated a training school for women church workers. Sunday School, evangelism and youth work surfaced. 


1907 Joshua Levering of Maryland proposed that the SBC form a Laymen’s Missionary Movement; J. Harry Tyler, Baltimore, first president, with headquarters in Baltimore (became Baptist Brotherhood in 1926 and Men’s Ministries in 1997).  Joshua Levering united men for missions as Annie Armstrong did for women.
















Baptist Home of Maryland, Inc. formed with W. M. McCormick, President

W. H. Baylor became Executive Director. Baylor led the way for Maryland's own progressive era. The scope of MBUA's ministries increased rapidly under Baylor's leadership. During Baylor's term, Maryland Baptists fulfilled the admonition of Deuteronomy 26:13 by making significant progress in the care of widows and orphans as well as the foreigner and stranger. Baylor presided over the transition to a new age in Maryland Baptist life.



Baptist Children’s Aid Society was organized and undergirded by the financial resources of Willoughby McCormick.  McCormick was one of a number of wealthy, influential Marylanders who not only provided finances, but provided leadership in administrative skills. His tea and spice shop developed into a large and successful manufacturing enterprise.  The business is still in operation today.


 Joseph Watts became Executive Director and led Maryland Baptists through the Great Depression. He was a man of sound business principles which he applied to church organization. During his tenure Maryland Baptists bolstered their progressive reputation for using the gifts of all believers, clergy and laity. The BUA identified more and more with the Southern Baptist convention due to his extensive contacts within the South, along with his expertise in denominational machinery. His forte was training Sunday School teachers. He resigned September 1947.



 Clifton Thomas became Executive Director. During his secretaryship, the number of churches and missions increaed from 105 to 178, membership rose from about 27,000 to 47,000, the newspaper circulation increased more than fivefold from 2,200 to 12,000, and Cooperative Program gifts of $109,000 in his first year reached $350,000 in his last. He also facilitated the move to purchased a building for a new headquarters at 23rd and St. Paul Streets in March 1952. The most significant event in Thomas' term occurred at a church meeting in Annapolis. The College Avenue Baptist Church voted to adopt the Southern Baptist Chapel of New York City as its mission. This vote had such far-reaching effect on Maryland Baptist history that it marks a new chapter in the tradition of the people who had survived the Great Depression, revived during the war years, and prospered in the peaceful decade which followed the fighting.


1950 Camp Wo-Me-To began with purchase by WMU of Maryland of 148 acres in Harford County for $7,655; Miss Marjorie Allen, WMU Executive Secretary Kathleen Mallory Goodwill Center building built in Baltimore for $120,000 investment by Home Mission Board as agent for SBC WMU (Miss Mallory, third Corresponding Secretary of WMU, SBC, 1912-1948)
1957 Maryland Baptists entered Northeast states as College Avenue, Annapolis, sponsored Manhattan Baptist Chapel, New York City (College Avenue is now Heritage Baptist Church)


Roy Gresham becomes Executive Director. Gresham was the first pastor of Middle River Church which was the largest Baptist church in the state when he left to become executive director of the MBUA.  He sought to improve the partnership between the churches and the denomination bureaucracy. Growth was the primary characteristic of Gresham's tenure. Maryland became the main outlet for taking the Southern Baptist program into the Northeast. Maryland's work in the Northeast went from one mission to three state conventions and the Delaware partnership. Gresham's administration added to Maryland's resources a conference, retreat and camping center called Skycroft.


1963 South Burlington Church, Vermont, organized and Baptist Convention of Maryland now had churches in 11 states, and the SBC had churches in 50 states.

1967 Delaware Association formed with six churches and two chapels
1969 Baptist Convention of Maryland consisted of 20 associations in 11 states, 385 churches with 93,897 members

1970 Pennsylvania/South Jersey Baptist Convention formed out of Baptist Convention of Maryland
1972 Skycroft Conference Center grounds purchased

Language Mission Director came to Baptist State staff


In January, William Heaps was ordained as the first deaf deacon in a hearing congregation in the history of Maryland Baptists. He served at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air. Later that year the first Deaf Retreat was held at Western Maryland College.


 Kenneth Lyle becomes Executive Director


1983 Baptist Convention of New England formed out of Baptist Convention of Maryland
1984 Name changed to Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D). Established partnership mission with Burundi, Africa
1987 Established partnership mission with Rwanda, Africa
1989 May 1, BCM/D headquarters relocated from Lutherville to new Baptist Center in Columbia, Maryland

1990 Established partnership mission with Long Island Baptist Association, New York


Established partnership mission with Latvia in Eastern Europe


Charles Barnes become Executive Director




Established partnership missions with Pittsburgh Baptist Association, PA, and Moldova in Eastern Europe


1995 General Mission Board approved the Northeast Baptist Education Consortium. Fifteen new churches were started.
  • The Advancing Christ’s Kingdom (ACK) capital campaign officially began April 28. Money raised through this campaign was expressly used for starting new churches and strengthening existing ones.


  • Nine new churches were started.
  • Twenty-five new churches were started.
  • BCM/D encompassed two states, 12 associations, 430 churches and more than 96,000 members.
  • Looking toward the new millennium, adopted a new mission statement, approved the futuring process and reorganization structure, and created the Center for Innovative Leadership (CIL).


  • Entered into partnership agreements with Ontario, Canada, and Mississippi.
  • Approved $300,000 for ACK projects.
  • Approved the Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Core Values, and Strategies for the futuring process.


  • Adopted the Empowered Team Concept and Structure for BCM/D staff.
  • Twelve new churches were started.
  • Year of transition as the new BCM/D structure begins to take shape.
  • Phase III of Skycroft Conference Center’s expansion project is approved.


  • Changed name of the Kathryn Barnes States Mission Offering to the Maryland/Delaware Missions Offering and Week of Prayer.
  • Changed name of the Baptist Mission Foundation to the Baptist Foundation of Maryland/Delaware.

Twenty-First Century

  • Year of implementation for the new BCM/D structure.

  • Charles Barnes retires on March 31.

  • Dr. David Lee takes the helm as the newly-elected Executive Director on May 3.


  • Began the church planting movement with a goal of 200 new churches by 2010. Twenty-one new congregations started.

  • Moldova partnership ends.


  • Twenty-one new congregations were started.
  • On target to reach goal of 600 churches and 150,000 active members.
  • Acts 15 and the Skycroft Accord initiated to bring unity among churches.
  • More than $87,000 given by Maryland/Delaware Baptists for relief efforts in New York due to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Began three-year partnership with Puebla, Mexico.                                
  • Began Legacy of Faith (LOF) campaign.
  • Effective May 2002, designated Mother’s Day offerings to Baptist Family and Children’s Services.
  • Baptist Home, known as “Rainbow Hall” closes its facility after 86 years of service.

  • Began 30 new congregations.
  • Launched Acts 2 Network. Reached halfway point of $10 million LOF (Legacy of Faith) goal.
  • Began three-year partnership with the Baptist Union of Scotland.
  • Entered a three-year partnership with the International Mission Board to impact the people of Saudi Arabia.

  • Forty-one new congregations started.
  • Disaster relief teams respond to Hurricane Isabel.
  • Entered into Embrace the City process with Baltimore and the North American Mission Board.
  • Charles Barnes named Executive Director Emeritus and re-named the registration center at Skycroft in His honor.

  • Thirty-nine new congregations started, bringing total to 498 with approximately 105,000 members.
  • Began strategic focus on urban ministries.
  • Continued efforts to impact Baltimore.
  • Participated in associational initiatives in Wilmington and Dover, Delaware.
  • Twenty-one new congregations started.
  • Launched the Embrace Baltimore campaign.

  • Celebrated the 170th Annual Meeting of the BCM/D.
  • Three year partnership with Moldova begins. Partnership extended to six years.
  • The name Baptist Center was changed to the Baptist Mission Resource Center.
  • The Strategic Focus Cities Partnership Covenant and ministerial scholarships were adopted. Scotland partnership extended for three years.
  • Urban ministry in Baltimore becomes major focus.
  • This year’s partnerships include Scotland,West Africa and an unreached people group in the 10-40 window. (The 10-40 window includes people groups from Africa through Asia that are between 10 degrees latitude north to 40 degrees latitude north.)
  • Legacy of Faith ended its third year and has raise five million dollars.
  • The convention partnered, provided training, and/or assisted financially in starting 35 new congregations.
  • The Mission Statement was revised to read: The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware will intentionally assist in the starting and strengthening of congregations so that together we can fulfill Jesus’ commands in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.
  • Mississippi partnership ends. Partnership with Canada on free online innovative training called e-quip.net. Partnership missions in New Jersey, Mexico, Scotland and Africa.
  • BCM/D a leader nationally in the SBC church planting movement. Twenty-one new congregations. This decade planted 167 new churches, which placed 14th out of the SBC’s 44 state conventions.


  • Seven of the eleven associations have seen at least one new work in their area. These new congregations include Africans, African-Americans, Anglo-Americans, Filipinos, Hispanics, Indian, Korean and Nepali communities.
  • This year’s partnerships include Scotland, Kentucky, West Africa and an unreached people group in the 10-40 window. Began partnership with Southeast Asia.


  • Embrace Baltimore major ministry initiatives began in January; 24 new congregations; 51 out of 74 Baltimore churches partnered with Embrace; 4118 volunteers worked alongside churches.
  • Began planning for Embrace Wilmington, the largest populated area in the Delaware Association.
  • 28 new church plants
  • New resort ministry in Western Association
  • Growing use of BCM/D e-quip.net, the online training program


  • 3,000 people made confessions of faith in convention


  • Significant progress was seen in all five areas of our strategy during 2009: Church Multiplication; Church Services; Leadership Development and Support; Acts 1:8 Missions Involvement and Resource Development.
  • Partnership with Embrace Baltimore ends; 14 new churches started; over 9,000 volunteers were mobilized for evangelism; 2,030 professions of faith reported
  • New partnership initiative to reach Wilmington, Delaware began January 2010, with emphasis on church starting and strengthening, evangelizing the city and impacting the community by sharing the gospel.


  • Approval to sell just under 9,000 square feet of the convention building, retaining 11,000 square feet. Potential to produce annual interest in the range of $100,000
  • 31 new works started--25 plants and six multi-site congregations. These include African, Anglo-American, Asian, Indian, Burmese, Filipino, Haitian, Hispanic and Korean. The Antioch Institute will begin in 2010 to enlist, equip, cultivate and send out African American church planters. The North American Mission Board recognized the BCM/D with an award as the state convention that is "First in Enlistment," for indigenous recruitment, online training, efforts in assessment and a language training center, the book PlantLIFE, social media and the responsiveness of so many planters to the opportunities for service here at this time.
  • Partnerships with Southeast Asia, North Africa and Middle East area, West Africa, East Asia and Southeast Asia. State-to-state partnership with Kentucky.







  • 2010 is the "Year of Relationships" - emphasis was on full mobilization of ministry staff across the Maryland/Delaware area with assignments to expand direct connect with our churches and church leaders, and an emphasis on BCM/D churches partnering with one another.
  • Disaster Relief leaders obtain chaplain, crisis care unit to provide opportunities to evangelize and open doors to share the gospel. Maryland/Delaware reached out to Haiti's need.
  • Cambridge, Maryland, is first site of Christian Women's Job Corps ministry to women at poverty level, through Woman's Missionary Union.


  • The "Antioch Institute" was created to train African American leaders to be prepared to go out as teams, to evangelize, start Bible studies and begin new self-supporting works. Also initiated was "New Day," a mission to create a new day of spiritual unity and cultural understanding between blacks and whites through the shared Christian values of respect, trust, and love; modeling these values individually and corporately by overcoming ignorance and fear, by confronting issues of poverty and power, and by recognizing, engaging and celebrating the differences.
  • Convention building in Columbia was renovated and includes a state-of-the-art training center, meeting rooms, field offices and work stations. The new spaces accommodate BCM/D's continued mission to strengthen churches and start new churches.


  • Summertime international student missions at Ocean City draws students from all regions of the world who come there for summer work. Young people from 45 nations across several continents participated.
  • BCM/D celebrated 175 years of ministry and the Annual Meeting in November.  In October 1836, six churches formed the Maryland Baptist Union Association, the precursor to the BCM/D. This last decade was the most prolific in the church-planting history of the BCM/D.                             







  • In 2011 BCM/D was faithful to its mission to "intentionally assist in the starting and strengthening of congregations so that  together we can accomplish the Great Commission."
  • In addition to churches being strengthened, 28 new church plants were started.
  • In 2011, over 1,500 students from 49 different countries who came to work in Ocean City for the summer, registered for free dinners. Nearly 2,000 attended Ocean City Baptist Church's "Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse", which opened the door wide for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • In May, 1190 Health Kits were collected that were distributed to the International students in Ocean City, through the Port Ministry in Baltimore, homeless ministries, and other various ministries.
  • Hurricane Irene left her mark. However, through the quick response of the Disaster Relief teams, the BCM/D was able to show the love of Christ and share the gospel in several areas of our state convention.
  • During the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, November 13-15 in Ocean City, Md., the messengers unanimously passed a resolution in support of biblically defined traditional marriage.





  • In one of the most historic meetings in the Southern Baptist Convention’s 167-year history, messengers elected the body’s first African-American president, Fred Luter. During the convention Maryland/Delaware Baptists (a convention of approximately 500 congregations) were recognized as the top giver to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
  • Maryland/Delaware Disaster Relief Teams were very busy in 2012 with relief efforts for Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, as well as other major storms in Maryland and along the East Coast. Efforts continued in to 2013 for Hurricane Sandy victims in Maryland, as well as teams that served in New York and New Jersey.
  • The 177th Annual Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware met at Global Mission Church in Silver Spring from November 11-13. The theme for the annual meeting was “We Can’t Stop” based on Acts 4 and the account of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin and their response to being ordered to refrain from speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus.
  • During this meeting messengers voted to reaffirm the biblical definition of marriage.
  • Michael Mattar, pastor of Hope Fellowship Church in Sterling, Virginia, introduced “Embrace Silver Spring” to the messengers. Silver Spring has been identified as an area of Montgomery County where ninety-three percent of the residents are lost.
  • At the annual meeting, Executive Director, Dr. David Lee, announced his retirement effective July 31, 2013.

  •  BCM/D Executive Director David Lee retired, and former New Orleans Seminary Professor Will McRaney is elected as executive missional strategist. A former church planter, pastor and Florida Baptist Convention evangelism and church-planting strategist, McRaney introduced the “Love Your Neighbor, Share Christ” evangelism strategy.