“‘Come, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool.’” Isaiah 1:18
Delaware Raceway Ministry Opportunity
The race is on for Delaware Racing Ministry (DRM) Director Jim McBride Jr. to double his volunteer numbers for the 2022 raceway ministry. That’s because, as McBride explained, there are some exciting new volunteer opportunities.
McBride said that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the campgrounds around Dover International Raceway (DIR), where Maryland/Delaware volunteers ministered, were closed. Volunteers did, however, get another assignment — they helped man five information booths at various areas around the track. In addition to meeting and chatting with race enthusiasts, McBride said the experience also strengthened the DRM’s relationship with the DIR staff. In fact, the volunteers did such a great job that Pat Long, the Dover Downs vice president, called McBride and complimented the volunteers. He also asked if the volunteers could help transport people with disabilities into the race track area this year, using golf carts, during the Nascar races from April 29 to May 1. To make that happen, McBride said he needs a minimum of 21 people for each shift. He’s also hoping to work the normal campground area as well, which takes at least another 20 volunteers.
“Even one shift would help tremendously,” McBride said. The only qualifications for volunteers are to be at least 18 and have a valid driver’s license in their home state.
The DRM has been active for almost three decades. Many have made professions of faith during those years. Also, fans have gotten used to the raceway volunteers and look forward to the camaraderie as well as the homemade cookies. Volunteers serve free food — sometimes sausage and eggs, hamburgers and hot dogs, barbecue, and lots of cookies. There are activities for children, all with a gospel focus. They’ve partnered with other organizations to host free concerts. McBride also hosts a chapel service for raceway workers and volunteers on Sundays.
Bring on the cookies!
Cookies are always needed, McBride stressed. They never have enough. Each year dedicated churches make homemade cookies and bag them for the ministry. Volunteers give them to passersby and walk around to campsites. McBride said the cookies are great opportunities to start conversations and invite people to worship services.
If you or your church would like to help with cookies, drop-off points are at Skycroft Conference Center or New Harvest Baptist Church in Dover, Delaware, by April 27. If you are unable to get them to those locations, contact McBride for arrangements.
Read more about DRM here.
Bayside Baptist Church observes Sanctity of Life and March for Life
Each year, Bayside Baptist Church (BBC) in Chesapeake Beach installs small white crosses on the church’s front lawn, representing the years since the legalization of abortion on demand in 1973.
The church faithfully observes Sanctity of Life Sunday each year, and a group from the church will participate in the national March for Life in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21.
Clinton Baptist Church Provides COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
Clinton Baptist Church (CBC) in Upper Marlboro is hosting rapid and PCR COVID-19 testing from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 17 and 24. Additionally, they’ll have COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots for adults and youth ages 5-11 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month, starting Jan. 29. Pre-registration is not required.
CBC Senior Pastor Colin Pugh said most of the work is handled by Maryland Department of Health staff, so few volunteers are needed.
Three hundred people attended the church’s health fair in December. The comprehensive fair included flu and shingle vaccines as well as COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Additionally, they had mammograms, AIDS testing, blood tests, therapists, and much more. “I wanted to make sure that a person who was homeless could walk away with a full physical,” Pugh explained.
Prior to entering the health fair area, Pugh addressed all the groups of attendees who entered the front of the building area, sharing about the church and praying with them before they entered the fair area. Six people visited the Sunday following the fair, and a vendor has been attending weekly.
Pugh said the church plans to host another health fair in May.
First Baptist Church of Girdletree’s Christmas cookies bring fruit
First Baptist Church of Girdletree (FBCG) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore distributed homemade Christmas cookies throughout their community as an annual outreach. Every year, Senior Pastor Keith Homer writes his annual “Cookie Letter,” introducing the church, letting people know they care, wishing them a Merry Christmas, and inviting them to services. Adults and youth participate in baking, sorting, and packing, so it also serves as a fellowship opportunity. Though primarily a seed-planting outreach, Homer said they have had some spiritual fruit from the ministry.
Homer said the cookie giveaway is the second of two of the churches’ largest outreaches. Prior to COVID-19, the church partnered with the local fire company and hosted a yearly community day with music, games, water slide rides, and free food. The church also had a corn hole game and gave away trophies. Also, FBCG had a registration table and distributed bags containing a variety of goodies with the church’s logo and information about the church.
Church members also regularly go door-to-door, introducing themselves and sharing about the church. They have had good reception. But the biggest response to outreach lately, Homer said, has come from posting their services on Facebook. Before COVID-19, the church was averaging 60 attendees and starting to grow but has dropped to 20-40 attendees. However, when they began streaming, up to 600 people began watching. Those numbers dropped as restrictions lifted, but now they still average an additional 100 viewers online.
Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware events
Plan now to attend the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s (BCM/D) Annual Ministers’ Tax Seminar from 9:30-noon on Jan. 25. The popular seminar is available in-person and online. The cost is $25. Visit us online for more information or to register.
“If all struggles and sufferings were eliminated, the spirit would no more reach maturity than would the child.” Elisabeth Elliott
BCM/D purchased Skycroft Conference Center’s (Skycroft) grounds in 1972 (adapted from BCM/D’s History Highlights). The center opened in 1977. Skycroft is located on the historic South Mountain, where a significant Civil War Battle occurred prior to Antietam. More importantly, Skycroft has been the location where many young and old souls alike have decided to follow Jesus, recommit their lives to Christ, or turn to vocational ministry.
Cover photo: Arnie Harju, an Ogletown Baptist Church member, has volunteered with DRM for years (photo by Sharon Mager).