Posted on : Thursday March 31, 2022

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. 

Cresthill Church (CC) in Bowie has partnered with the Bowie Baysox team for years but recently became “official” partners, which opened some exciting doors. Members were able to set up a table last weekend, play some live praise music, and meet and chat with passersby. Gene Meacham, the church’s outreach minister planned and oversaw the event.

Margot Painter, the wife of CC’s Pastor Jimmy Painter, said the church already had a connection with the team. The church members often go as a group to games and Meacham has developed friendships with a lot of workers. The team’s local mascot, “Louise,” visited the church multiple times when CC hosted Night to Shine proms for those affected with disabilities.

Guzman baptizes June. June was introduced to Jesus at a Grace Seaford recovery program that Guzman had designed (Facebook photo used with permission).

“It was freezing cold,” Margot said, but they stayed for hours and had a blast. “A lot of people stopped, and we reached out to them in one way or another and witnessed to them.” The volunteer team had a banner with a QR code folks could scan to get information about the church. Meacham used butterflies crocheted by CC member Pam Philyaw and explained that when we accept Jesus, we are new creatures in Christ.

The Gathering Place (TGP), a church for special needs that meets at CC, also had a table, and members from both churches used the opportunity to invite folks to the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s (BCM/D) upcoming Special Needs Conference on April 1.

Margot said there were so many connections as she and church member Carla Hairston strolled around the stadium: They saw two security guards who attend Night to Shine and an ambulance driver saw the CC T-shirts that volunteers wore and remembered that he went to preschool at the church.

The best part, she said, is that now that they are “official” Baysox partners, they’ll be able to go back and minister throughout the summer.

Grace Seaford baptism
Since the beginning of the year, at least eight people have been baptized at Grace Seaford Church (GSC) in Delaware. Three were baptized in March. GSC Family and Recovery Pastor Danny Guzman baptized Joshua June. Guzman introduced June to Jesus at a recovery program at the church, and June made a confession of faith.

Guzman designed a Christ-based recovery program called “Stepping Stones Ministry.” Participants meet on Fridays for worship, testimonies, and topical based studies. There are in-person and online studies.

Christian conference for working women
South Shore Church is the venue for the SWHW (She Works His Way) “Narrow 2022” Conference on April 22-23. The conference is designed to provide working women a time of godly refreshment. The website states that “‘Narrow’ is a weekend of worship and workshops where we’ll remind you of what God has already said rather than trying to shout something new. Instead of returning home with a running task list, you’ll return home rested and refreshed to do what matters, to step into your calling with clarity and purpose as you stay in step with your Father.”

Jamie Caldwell, the senior pastor of SSC and BCM/D church planting catalyst, will be the keynote speaker on Friday.

Doors open at noon on Friday, and the conference is from 2 to 8:15 p.m. On Saturday, doors open at 8:30, and the conference is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dinner is provided on Friday and lunch on Saturday. The cost is $199.

The SWHW Network includes live monthly workshops, encouraging texts and a newsletter, weekly training, and more.  For more information, visit their website.

April “shower”
Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury will celebrate April with a shower of blessings for the Pregnancy Care Clinic of the Eastern Shore. Attendees will bring new or gently used gifts for the center. They’ll also enjoy a time of fellowship and food and hear updates from Jacquelyn Seldon, the pregnancy center’s director.

Collegiate ministry update
Jessica Senasack, the director of Baptist Student Ministry at the University of Maryland, College Park, wrote, “Our three weekly Bible studies and worship gatherings are going strong, and we have seen a handful of new students come out! This is great for the spring semester, especially since we had to do the student activities fair on Zoom. Our new student leaders have jumped into teaching Bible studies and bravely gone out with returners (veteran leaders) to share the gospel, and they are doing an amazing job. They are hungry to grow, eager to serve, and are a ton of fun.“But the biggest theme so far this semester is the power of the gospel. We have spent more time in the last couple of weeks gospel sharing on campus than we have been able to for the last couple of years, and students are hungry to talk. We have had some great conversations around campus and several students who have wanted us to follow up. Pray that we see some salvations soon! “And in addition to seeing non-believers engage with the gospel for the first time, we also have believing students needing a good reminder. I have had so many students coming to me with their struggles, either personal or theological, and what they need is a good reminder of what they already know to be true: the good news of Jesus. It is amazing how it never gets old and never stops working. It really is true and really is that good.”

The Mark Trammell Quartet will kick off the Unite Music Festival in Cumberland on April 23.

Unite Music Festival
The Unite Music Festival will kick off a new season this spring, starting with the Mark Trammell Quartet (MTQ) on April 23 with special guest, “Generations.” The concert will take place at the Grace Memorial Community Church in Cumberland. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will start at 7 p.m.

The MTQ travels across the nation and around the world with one message — Jesus Christ. Legendary baritone Mark Trammell leads the quartet with the wisdom of 45 years of experience in gospel music.
Jim Jeffries, who pastors both LaVale Baptist Church in Cumberland and Zion Community Church in Wellersburg, Pennsylvania, is a founder and core leader of the Unite Music festival. Jeffries and a diverse group of local pastors and lay leaders meet together regularly for fellowship, prayer, and encouragement and they organize the event each year.
Visit Unite Music Festival for more information, tickets, and updates on upcoming music groups.
Grace Baptist Church says goodbye to the Aguila family
March 13 marked Keith Aguila and his family’s 10-year anniversary as pastor and family of Grace Baptist Church in Cumberland. But it was also their last Sunday in that role as Keith resigned. The church had a dinner for the family and prayed for them for future ministry.
Kettering Baptist Church’s “3 for 3” challenge
Bucas Sterling III, the pastor of Kettering Baptist Church (KBC), has challenged the church to a “3 for 3” challenge — lead three people to Christ and baptism; lead three people to church membership (it doesn’t have to be at KBC), and lead three people to commit to serving in a ministry. The challenge is in conjunction with the church’s 2022 theme of “Achieving Our Full Potential in Christ.” Those who are working to meet the goal are asked to take photos and post them to their social media account and tag the posts for the challenge. Forward movement in this way will be huge for the kingdom of God, Sterling said.

The church will celebrate the 22nd pastoral anniversary of Sterling and his wife, Carolyn, on April 3. Frank I. Williams, pastor of Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church and lead pastor of Bronx Baptist Church in Bronx, New York, will be the guest speaker.

One-day men’s retreat
The Potomac Baptist Association (PBA) will have a free one-day Men’s Retreat on May 21. Rick Hancock, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Huntingtown; Chris McCombs, pastor of Lexington Park Baptist Church; Glenn Swanson, pastor of Bayside Baptist Church; and Fred Caudle, pastor of The Church @ St.Charles; and the PBA’s director of missions will be the guest speakers.

Michael O’Brien will lead worship. O’Brien, a 20-year music veteran, was the lead singer for the Christian band Newsong. Read his testimony and more on his website.

Visit the PBA’s event page to register.

Breakfast with the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunt
Saints Church in Severna Park is partnering with the Severna Park Elk’s Lodge to host a breakfast with the Easter Bunny and an Easter Egg Hunt from 9-11 a.m. on April 16. Additionally, they’ll have free books and giveaways. The event is an outreach to get to know their community and to share about the church and the love of Jesus.

History highlights
“In 1956, the Baptist Convention of Maryland (BCM), now BCM/D, had recognized their first non-Maryland church, Bethany Baptist Church in Newport, Delaware, which had been started five years before by Immanuel Baptist in Wilmington. And this outward expansion continued. In what would be remembered as an historic move, the very next year, another BCM/D church — College Avenue Baptist in Annapolis, Maryland — began sponsoring the mission chapel in New York, which soon became the Manhattan Baptist Church. Over the next ten years, the BCM “became the main outlet for taking the Southern Baptist program to the northeast, expanding from one state to eleven and from seven associations to 20” (Adapted from “Age to Age,” by Champ Thornton).

“In 2005, the Rev. Samuel Cho, a Korean pastor, seeing a need to reach the Nepalese people in Baltimore, planted The Nepal Baptist Church, the first Nepali Baptist church in the United States” (Baptist Press).

Quotable quotes
Maryland/Delaware Baptists are an Acts 1:8 people. I believe you start in Jerusalem. You expand to include the regions near you. You do not neglect the hard places that constitute your Samaria. And you do not stop until the gospel reaches the uttermost parts of the earth”— David Lee, former BCM/D executive director, in BaptistLIFE 2011.

“If God gives you a platform where you’re influencing others, you need to steward it well”— Johnny Hunt.

Upcoming BCM/D events
  • Every Child Belongs: Special Needs Conference — April 2, Cresthill Church. Sponsored by the BCM/D, The Banquet Network, CC, and TGP, this annual event is designed to equip churches to start and strengthen their ministries to those with disabilities.
  • Connect Lunches! (for children and youth ministry leaders) — Let us take you to lunch! You deserve it! Take a break and meet with the BCM/D’s Children & Youth Ministry Consultant Kris Buckman. Check out new and upcoming resources, network with other leaders, and enjoy lunch. Pick from one of multiple locations in 2022. All lunches are from noon to 2 p.m.  The next one is on April 27 at Mission BBQ, 627 Bel Air Road, Bel Air. Visit the website to check out other dates and times.
  • 2022 Women’s Spring Retreat — April 22-23, 2022. Ladies, mark your calendars for this refreshing retreat at beautiful Camp Wo-Me-To at 1200 Knopp Road, Jarrettsville. Bring a friend! This year’s Scripture is “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15, NKJV).
  • Pathways: Prevention and Protection — This training will equip church leaders and workers, including those who may serve in counseling, administrative, and children’s and youth ministries, as well as other areas, with comprehensible insight into creating safety in multiple areas of church life. Protect the most vulnerable in your church. April 30: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., CC, 6510 Laurel Bowie Road, Bowie; June 4: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Mountain City Church, 19 Beall Street, Frostburg.
  • Teaching Roundtables — Join fellow BCM/D Bible teachers to hear from and dialogue with nationally-known preaching leaders and to strengthen your teaching and preaching skills in various genres of Scripture. Register today and join us to discuss the essential task of pastors, Sunday School teachers, and small group leaders — rightly dividing and declaring the whole counsel of God. The May 2022 Teaching Roundtables will focus on the topic of spiritual warfare. May 19: 5-9 p.m., New City Church 761 South Little Creek Road, Dover, Delaware, May 20: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., First Baptist Church of Waldorf, 10045 Bunker Hill Road, May 21: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., West End Baptist Chapel, 59 Winter Street, Hagerstown.

Feature photo: CC members shared music at the Bowie Baysox stadium and other members chatted with those who stopped to listen (Facebook photo used with permission).