“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains in us and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
RGBC breaks ground
In 2009, Leonardtown Baptist Church in Maryland planted Redeeming Grace Baptist Church (RGBC) in Callaway, Maryland. A decade later, RGBC had 250 members who dreamed God-sized dreams, purchased ten acres, and started a building campaign.
On June 6, 2021, they broke ground, praised God, and celebrated with an afternoon luncheon.
Senior Pastor Adam Polk wrote on his Facebook page, “We had the joy of breaking ground today on our new facility to be constructed over the next year! I’m thankful for the Lord’s work among this family of believers.” Polk said the church plans to build a 20,000 square foot facility that will include a 400-seat sanctuary, classrooms, and church offices. They expect it to be complete by the summer of 2022.
Read more about Redeeming Grace Baptist Church’s journey here.
“Smithsburg Days” bring Gospel opportunities
June in Smithsburg, Maryland, means the usual warmer days, lightning bugs, and this year, cicadas. It also means the annual “Smithsburg Days” celebration, bringing the community together for food, games and fun.
Smithsburg Valley Church (SVC) members are always part of the festival, overseeing the “KidZone” area.
“We’ve been doing this for years, but I believe this was the best yet,” said Debra Youngbar, the wife of SVC Senior Pastor Allen Youngbar. “It was so hot, but the kids loved all of the water play.” While kids played, moms and dads enjoyed grabbing a respite in the huge tent and it gave church members opportunities to interact with them. “We had great conversations,” Debra said.
Volunteers manned game stations such as “fishing pool” and knocking down cups and bottles with water guns. They also had crafts like a “turtle glam-out,” decorating a fish, and sand art.
Members gave away bags of food and offered opportunities to take pictures at a starfish photo booth.
Debra said the event has generated multiple visitations to SVBC. “It’s also a positive representation of the church,” she said. Members are planting seeds, and Debra said, “loving on the community.”
She added, “We worked and played all day and God was glorified!”
In August, the church will have a “Five-Day Club” with about 60 kids at the Erin Youngbar Pavilion on the church’s property. The club will include Bible stories, games, and music.
Opioid Epidemic Awareness Workshop
Trinity Baptist Church in Waldorf will have an Opioid Epidemic Awareness Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 26.
This is the first such event for the church, said Associate Pastor of Youth Ebonie Davis. The church, aware of the opioid epidemic, began planning the event in 2019, but had to postpone due to COVID-19. Davis said that COVID-19 unfortunately worsened the opioid crisis.
The purpose for the workshop, Davis said, is to provide ministry to those with a desire to help loved ones dealing with addiction. “We want to give them tools to help equip them,” she said.
The workshop will feature a variety of offerings. Anthony Greene, an educational outreach volunteer for PositiveVibes, will share an educational presentation. Following Greene, Swaysen Talbert, from the Charles County Health Department will provide Narcan Kit training. (Narcan is a medication used in the event of an opiod overdose). Also during the workshop, two individuals will share their addiction stories.
Davis said one of her favorite parts of the event is a “Hidden in Plain Sight” room for adults only. “This allows parents to come into a staged bedroom and see the various places kids might hide drugs,” she explained.
The event will end with a panel discussion with questions and answers.
Davis said that, thanks to a Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Strengthening Churches Grant, the workshop, which includes lunch, is free.
For more information or to register, visit the church website.
SBFC Celebrates anniversary and new ramp
Sharon Bible Fellowship Church (SBFC) in Lanham, Maryland, recently celebrated the church’s 23rd anniversary, Senior Pastor Victor Kirk and First Lady Vallie Kirk’s 17th pastoral anniversary with SBFC, and a ribbon cutting for the church’s new handicap ramp.
The event started with an outdoor worship service with special speaker Patrick J. Walker, the senior pastor of The New Macedonia Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. The Roderick Giles & Grace band provided music.
The church presented the Kirks with flowers and gifts. Victor thanked God for goodness, mercy, and grace during the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic. He thanked God for allowing SBFC to persevere.
“Last year, I lost my dad to COVID-19. People lost their jobs,” Victor said. “I didn’t feel as a church we should celebrate, so we didn’t have an anniversary celebration last year. But this year we’re coming out. God is good. And so we celebrate and thank the Lord for what He has done collectively.”
The church also praised God for being able to construct a ramp in the front of the church during the COVID-19 shutdown.
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.” — Augustine of Hippo
In 1949, Clifton Thomas became the executive director of the now Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. During his secretaryship, the number of churches and missions increased 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 purchase 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 (adapted from BCM/D’s history highlights).
Cover photo: RGBC had a ceremonial groundbreaking celebration on June 6, 2021 (Facebook photo, used with permission).