By Sharon Mager
CLINTON, Md. — Clinton Baptist Church (CBC) members recently called Colin Pugh II as their senior pastor. Pugh, who will continue to serve as the youth pastor at Kettering Baptist Church (KBC), in Upper Marlboro, is both thrilled and humbled.
CBC sits on 12 acres, seats 900 people in their worship center, and has 50 classrooms and a baseball field. But, sadly, attendance dwindled to just nine souls who met weekly for worship over the past few years. Now, God is breathing new life into the church.
A fantastic crowd of six hundred people attended Pugh’s installation service on September 29. Since that time, the church has been averaging over 120 people for worship with weekly visitors. They’ve seen eight people give their lives to Christ and 16 join the church.
Pugh gives God glory. “We haven’t even started to get into the community yet,” he said. The potential is outstanding.
For years God has been preparing Pugh and his wife, Jeanette, for the ministry at Clinton.
“My wife and I gave our lives to Christ at the same time 19 years ago,” he says. “We heard Pastor (Bucas) Sterling say, ‘You’ve tried everything else, try God!'” They had tried everything, he said.
“We gave our lives to Him together, and from that time on, we’ve been committed and faithfully serving God in ministry at Kettering,” Colin expressed.
The couple dove headfirst into all areas of KBC’s ministries. Jeannette helped with the youth, chaired the anniversary ministry, and taught in AWANA.
Colin began taking Bible classes, became a deacon, was licensed to preach and was eventually ordained to Gospel ministry. His primary emphasis at KBC was youth ministry, moving from the roles of helper, leader, and youth minister to become the pastor of youth ministry. He will continue in that role at Kettering, helping to train the next leader, and will transition out in January.
Colin and Jeannette praise Jesus that all of their children, Lamonica, Jasmine, Colin Pugh III, and Jackson came to know Jesus as their Savior.
Now Colin is amazed that God has called him to Clinton and this opportunity.
He’s especially grateful for the “wonderful, loving, older members who want to see God move and bring young people in and grow their church.”
“They’re embracing the change,” Colin said. “They have the wisdom, guidance, and ideas to better the church, and they’re fully invested in what God is doing through me.”
Colin and the church members are seeing God move in tangible ways.
The church had an old boiler system that had been broken for years, and they were struggling to get it repaired. Colin had the experience to know how to handle it. “God knew everything. I was an engineer for 11 years and worked on boilers.” He understood the problem and knew who to call. His repair of that system did a lot for morale.
Church members also saw God working in the area of their media ministry. While attempting to get a website, leaders discovered that a church in Maine had already claimed Clinton Baptist Church as their domain name. A church visitor became aware of the problem and just took care of it. He called the church in Maine and “made them an offer they couldn’t refuse” and then he gave the domain to the church.
“I have story after story,” Colin says.
Vendors happily renegotiated contracts. A local trash company lowered their bill by over $80 a month. The representative is a Christian and told Colin, “I want to see this church live and grow!”
Colin discovered that CBC was one of Verizon’s first customers in the 1950’s. Representatives dropped the phone costs by over $200 a month and provided an updated system with new equipment.
Additionally, people are coming forward to support the church. “They are sending us contributions, even people we don’t know,” Colin said. One woman contacted the church and said, “I heard about your ministry, and God has placed it on my heart to support you financially.” She committed to send monthly support checks.
“God is doing amazing things, and it’s good for people to know God’s hand is here.” Colin is encouraging the church to” keep praying, to keep moving and watch God work.”
Other churches, including Kettering Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Suitland, in Maryland, and Hillcrest Baptist Church, in Temple Hills, Maryland, are partnering with CBC, prayerfully giving of their time, talent, and resources to see the church grow.