“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Disaster Relief assists Maryland’s National Guard
First Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro’s (FBCUM) Disaster Relief (DR) laundry unit is currently supporting the Maryland Army National Guard unit stationed in Westminster, Maryland, while the guard assists in the state’s response to the coronavirus emergency.
National Guard Chief Gabe Garzia filed a request for the laundry support trailer through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and he specifically mentioned “the one from the church in Upper Marlboro.” He recalled the trailer and the DR volunteers from 2015 when the FBCUM Disaster Relief volunteers manned the trailer to provide full-service laundry care for his unit during a time of civil unrest.
“Guests” normally give their dirty laundry to the DR volunteers and then return a few hours later to pick up their fresh, clean folded clothes. The DR volunteers frequently find opportunities to engage with guests to provide encouragement, prayer, and spiritual conversations. But this time, due to the Governor’s stay-at-home order and the need for social distancing, the laundry trailer will be self-serve until further notice.
Steve Caho, a member of Faith Baptist Church in Knoxville, Maryland, works near the unit, so he stops by regularly to ensure it is fully stocked.
The DR volunteers are thrilled that the National Guard chief remembered them and that their unit can again be of service.
(Ellen Udovich, who serves the BCM/D as a church services consultant and community engagement consultant, submitted this story.)
Service under COVID-19 restrictions
First Baptist Church of Waldorf in Maryland, is giving their members an opportunity to be productive while staying home due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The church is leaving salvation bracelet kits in a bin outside the church building. Those who want to make the bracelets can stop by and grab a kit and return them when the restrictions are no longer in place. The bracelets will be used for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
Anniversary celebration video
As part of their second-year anniversary, Redemption City Church in Baltimore (RCC) created a video sharing how God has used the church to reach their community. Members shared their stories, prefacing them with, “RCC has changed my life and here’s how…” Here are a few of the stories:
- “I came from Southern California…without any social support, no friends or family, but RCC has been that and so much more. They helped me and nurtured me, when I need to be picked up from the airport, needed a close friend to lean on when I needed good solid Biblical teaching. RCC has been a place of refuge for me. I can definitely say it has helped me grow in Christ, to be full of wisdom and boldness to go out into this great city. I don’t feel like a stranger anymore. I can go out and display and declare the Gospel in hope of sharing God’s love to a city that desperately needs it.
- The church “has helped me see clearly how the Gospel impacts the deepest parts of my soul.”
- “RCC provided a home and a family for us during an incredibly difficult season of life. Our Gospel community celebrated with us during the highs and lived with us during our lows.”
- For those of you who don’t know us, I essentially spent a year in a wheelchair from a freak nerve injury…and never knew if I was going to walk again. With the exception of our biological families, you, our RCC family, were the only ones who were with us through the whole experience. A huge thank you for your prayers and support. And for those of you who prayed with us through it all…”(in this part of the video the gentleman gets up and displays that he can indeed walk).
In 1856, the SBC Foreign Mission Board appointed Rosewell H. Graves, a medical doctor, as a missionary to China from Maryland.
Maryland Baptists served as the instruments by which the Foreign Mission Board (FMB) of the SBC was preserved through the trials of the Civil War. Of the 38 missionaries overseas, only Graves seemed to have received a steady income throughout the war, probably due to his Baltimore connections.
Rosewell was the son of Ann Graves. In 1868, she invited the Southern Baptist women to meet in support of missions while in Baltimore for the SBC annual meeting. Ann Graves was a dedicated Methodist from a wealthy Baltimore family. She married John James Graves, but would not leave Baltimore or Methodism for him, so he relented and joined her at the Maryland estate, Catalpa. Ann was a skilled writer with interests in literature, education, and especially, religion. She published several books, including Women in America and The Christian Lawyer. She would often host missionaries from various denominations as they came through Baltimore.
In 1927, Joseph Watts became the executive director of the convention and led Maryland Baptists through the Great Depression. He was a man of sound business principles that 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 Maryland Baptist Union Association identified more and more with the Southern Baptist Convention due to Watts’ extensive contacts within the South, along with his expertise in denominational machinery. His forte was training Sunday School teachers. He resigned in September 1947.
Biographies are from You Are A Great People, by W. Loyd Allen and other Historical files of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware
Cover photo: George Blevins, a member of Middle River Baptist Church, Steve Caho, and Gabe Garzia set up DR trailer (photo by Ellen Udovich).