I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. (Phil. 1:3-5 HCSB)
In 1979, Jimmy Carter was president, disco music was going strong and Gary Glanvillle began his ministry at Northwest Baptist Church (NWBC). Now, after 37 years, Glanville is preparing to retire in December. His last sermon as pastor will be on Christmas. It’s the end of an era for NWBC.
Glanville attended Middle River Baptist Church as a child before moving to Woodlawn and was dedicated by Roy Gresham, then pastor of MRBC. He accepted Christ when he was nine years old. His third grade Sunday school teacher was preparing to go to seminary to become a missionary. “She said that it would be such a blessing to see one of her students invite Jesus into his or her heart before she left. I said, ‘I will,’” recalled Glanville.
Glanville pastored Van Buren Street Baptist Church, Annapolis, for a year before arriving at NWBC and he felt God’s call to invest his life into the church. The first year at NWBC he baptized 63 people.
Reflecting on the past almost four decades, Glanville sees God’s work in so many ways. He’s especially happy and humbled to have seen multiple people God raised out of the church as missionaries, pastors and leaders of other Christian ministries with the full support of the NWBC. He’s led in planting new churches and supporting other plants and the church has participated in international mission trips including Grenada, Argentina and Scotland.
Under Glanville’s leadership, the church took a godly stand in the community when Planned Parenthood wanted to locate an office in the community to perform abortions; Glanville led the church in successfully opposing the move. Shortly thereafter, Debbie Glanville, Gary’s wife, and other women in the church began Alpha’s Pregnancy Center.
As the church grew, they expanded their property to accommodate the growth.
In addition to his ministry with the church, Glanville served as president of the then-called Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and as a trustee on the Southern Baptist Convention Annuity Board.
God blessed Glanville in 1992 when his lifelong best friend, Grant Lauterbach, was ordained as music minister at the church. “We’ve been a team a long time,” Lauterbach said.
Several other staff members have served with Glanville for decades including Shannon Reinhardt, Greg Topolski and Patricia Kirk.
One of his biggest challenges came in 2014 when Glanville discovered he had colon cancer. He had almost four feet of his lower intestine removed, followed up by chemotherapy. For five months, elders of the church filled the pulpit. On June 28, 2016, Glanville celebrated being two years cancer free.
After retiring, Glanville hopes to travel with his wife Debbie, to provide pulpit supply as needed and to serve in interim pastoral roles. He will also spend more time indulging in his hobbies, painting, model trains and ham radio.
Lynn and her husband Terry Davis, former pastor of Ocean City Baptist Church (OCBC) and now the principal of the church-sponsored Seaside Christian Academy, started OCBC in 1979. They were new graduates from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and thought they were going to plant a church in New England, but God had other plans. The couple discovered a year-round church was needed in Ocean City and felt called to change their plans and move to the beach.
Lynn was officially commissioned as a resort minister in 1985. Knowing a resort minister was needed in the area, she approached Mike Robinson, who worked with special ministries with the North American Mission Board, then known as the Home Mission Board.
Lynn was surprised when Robinson suggested she take on the role.
“He said, ‘Why not commission you?’ I looked at him funny. I remember he had a turtle figure in his pocket and pulled it out and said, ‘You never get anywhere unless you stick your neck out. Stick your neck out.’” And she did.
She began offering activities at campgrounds, which grew and expanded. Summer missionaries came to help and Lynn taught and mentored them. Several, who served with her decades ago, came to her retirement party in September to share how Lynn had impacted their lives. They spoke of her confidence in them, her challenging them to be flexible and her infectious laugh.
More recently, God has used Lynn to reach the world through an international student ministry that began in 1999, overseeing weekly dinners, coffeehouses, trips and other services for students from all over the world, Romania, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Poland, China and more.
She’s seen international students baptized in the Atlantic Ocean, and she’s seen them go back to their countries connecting with other Christians and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus.
Looking ahead, Lynn plans to enjoy her family and write. She has several historical fiction novels she’s been developing and wants to move ahead and pen them. And she’ll continue to help with the ministries at OCBC, now pastored by her son, Sean Davis.