Assistant to Church Services Support Team
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Demetra Bennett serves as an assistant to the church services support team, ensuring initiatives and events effectively meet the needs of BCM/D churches.
A native of Illinois, Bennett grew up in a Christian home and went to church regularly. With four children in her family, getting some alone time with her mom was special, and it was during one of those times that God spoke to Bennett’s heart.
“My mother led me to the Lord while out walking one summer night to get an Italian Ice. I was about six or seven at the time,” she said. It was a process though. Her mother, on their fun outing, began sharing about what it would be like if we all knew Jesus and would be saved from sin and one day go to heaven. Demetra had heard the Scriptures throughout her life but thought the message was for adults. Later she prayed, telling God she wanted to be saved and to go to heaven one day. She followed it up by walking down an aisle during a Sunday service to make a public profession, and she was baptized a few years later.
After high school, Bennett earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Illinois State University and then a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois. In the past, she has worked in insurance, automotive, and financial fields. Most recently she worked in a staff support position with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and she served as a church bookkeeper for more than 17 years.
In addition to her current professional role, Bennett ministers as a pastor’s wife. Her husband, Marty Bennett, is the senior pastor of Life Connection Church in Severn, Maryland. She also works 15 hours per week at Life Connection as a bookkeeper, and she serves on the church’s hospitality team, praise teams, and children’s ministry. She and Marty enjoy their family. They have three children — an adult son and two teenagers.
“It gives me joy to have the opportunity to serve in an organization that was so instrumental in helping our church become rooted and established,” she said. “I know first-hand the valuable church support provided by the BCM/D, and I can attest to the consistent wisdom, encouragement, and accountability that is so generously given to those churches within the organization.”
Children's Ministry & VBS Consultant
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Kris Buckman joined the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware as the children’s ministry and VBS consultant.
A Maryland native, she has been a member of Tri-County Baptist Church in Damascus, Maryland, for over 17 years. She has taught Sunday school for children of all ages, directed VBS, planned and coordinated special events, served as AWANA Commander, traveled with kids to summer camp, and, as she says, “cleaned up lots of glitter over the years!” She has also worked with June at children’s ministry events, leading breakout sessions.
As a child, Buckman attended Mt. Airy Baptist Church with her family for more than 15 years. She made a profession of faith in Christ as a child while at a Backyard Kids Club and was baptized as a young teen. She graduated from the University of Baltimore with a degree in communications.
While filling in as a preschool Sunday School teacher when her oldest son, Ben, was two, she realized that God was calling her to children’s ministry.
Looking ahead, Buckman says one of her emphases will be encouraging children’s leaders to help parents to disciple their children.
“A lot of parents know they need to disciple their children at home, but they don’t know how — many don’t know where to start,” Buckman says. She wants to provide encouragement and resources in that area.
She also wants to continue to bring children’s ministry leaders together to meet and to encourage and learn from each other. “We’re all doing the same jobs for the same purpose,” she says. “We can share ideas, learn to go to each other, and bounce ideas off one another.”
Buckman says she loves event planning for kids — VBS, Trunk or Treats, and other fun events where children will hear the Gospel and have opportunities to choose to follow Jesus.
She and Todd, her husband of 22 years, are both lifelong residents of Mt. Airy and have two sons, Ben, 17, and Jake, 12. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and vacationing with her family. She also has a passion for writing children’s ministry curriculum.
Send Network Director for MD/DE
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Michael Crawford leads the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s church planting team that seeks to discover, develop and deploy church planters through church planter assessment and
ongoing church plant support.
He works continually to enhance and streamline church planting procedures, and he is a strong advocate and voice for the planters and for the established churches that support them.
He is a Los Angeles area native and pastored several churches before being called to urban ministry and to Baltimore to plant Freedom Church. Under Crawford’s leadership, Freedom hosts the annual “Unplugged” Conference, an un-scripted, Holy Ghost-led event with the purpose of equipping and encouraging those ministering in Baltimore.
Michael is a triathlete and enjoys golf and motocross. He’s also a big Star Wars fan. He and his wife, Dani, have five children.
He is available to share with pastors and church leaders about the various ways they can be involved in the church planting process.
Evangelism and Pastoral Connection Consultant
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John Gauger, former pastor of First Baptist Church, Perryville, serves on the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s Church Services team as an interim Church Services consultant in the area of evangelism and pastoral connection.
In this role, Gauger visits and connects with senior pastors throughout the BCM/D and will assist congregations in strengthening their capacities and effectiveness in reaching their communities with the Gospel.
Gauger and his wife, Linda, have served together in ministry for 40 years, 27 of which were at FBC, Perryville, where “a high percentage of those we have seen trust Christ have grown to faithfully serve the Lord,” Gauger said at his retirement.
“We have seen a number become pastors, pastors’ wives, missionaries, and one campus missionary.”
Under Gauger’s pastoral leadership, the church ministered in four countries, developing especially close connections with churches in Mexico and West Africa in addition to several local missions efforts, including a Celebrate Recovery ministry, annual block parties, and various ministries of compassion. They also partner with their local middle school and even with church plants in Baltimore.
Send City Missionary, Baltimore
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Dan Hyun, pastor of The Village Church in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, as a church planting catalyst for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, will assist with coaching and training church planters.
Hyun was raised in the greater Philadelphia area, receiving degrees in speech communication from Penn State University and a master of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree in urban missiology at Biblical Theological Seminary.
In 2008, he was privileged to lead a team of 11 from Grace Life Church, Baltimore, to start The Village Church “with dreams of making God famous through a diverse and multicultural expression of the Kingdom of God.”
“We didn’t start off with everything that a successful church plant should have but God has been so faithful,” shared Hyun. “Even through all the ups and downs, we’ve seen God move in mighty ways.”
Accordingly, Hyun hopes his experiences will help the next generations of church planters as they seek to reach their communities for Christ.
An avid writer, Hyun regularly shares his thoughts at LifewayPastors.com. Speaking also is a passion for Hyun, as he leads others on issues including leadership, urban ministry, justice, and church planting. In particular, he founded and directs an annual Ethnos Conference to lead the Church in conversations about multicultural mission and reconciliation.
He and his wife, Judie, have two daughters.
Women’s Ministry Consultant/Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) Executive Director
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Melody Knox serves in a dual role for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. As the church strengthening specialist for women, her role is to encourage, equip and engage women by encouraging women to pray, grow as disciples and use their gifts in advancing the Kingdom. She is responsible for assisting women’s ministry leaders in offering Bible studies and events that will lead the women in their churches to a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
As the Maryland/Delaware Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) Executive Director, Melody encourages churches to live a missional lifestyle. She is responsible for having materials for Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings mailed to BCM/D churches. She is also responsible for the annual Women on Ministry Retreat, Mother/Daughter Camp and Girls Camp held at Camp Wo-Me-To. Melody is also available to share information on human trafficking, which is escalating in our area. Ultimately, Melody’s goal is for all women to leave a godly legacy for those who come behind them.
She has been a federal employee for 24 years and is currently a program management specialist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in its Graduate School.
She and her husband David, have been married for 28 years and have one son, a Marine, and a daughter, who is presently employed with Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also has three adorable grandchildren. In her leisure time, Melody enjoys reading, exercising and spending time encouraging women in all walks of life.
Melody is available to meet with pastors and church leadership or to share at your church about women’s ministries.
African Church Planting Consultant
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Michael Mattar serves as a church-planting specialist for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware facilitating church planting and providing support for the new plants. Michael is also the president of the African American Advisory Council.
In addition, he serves part-time with the Montgomery Baptist Association (MBA), as a language church missionary, focusing on enhancing and developing MBA’s relationship with language mission churches.
He is also the founder and senior pastor of Hope Fellowship, a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic church in Herndon, Va. Interstingly, that church began meeting at the basement of “Woody’s Golf Range.”
Prior to that, he founded and pastored Liberian Christian Baptist Church, later changing the name to Christian Baptist Church, desiring to reach all people, not just the Liberians. The church grew to over 200, drawing people from a variety of ethnic groups.
He is very active in the Liberian Community of the Washington Metro Area through proclamation of the Gospel and community outreach which includes immigration consultation services, funeral services rendered to members of the community without a home church, offering premarital counseling and performing weddings.
He was born in Harper City, Cape Palmas, Maryland County, Republic of Liberia, West Africa. He relocated to the United States in 1980 after the eruption of a civil war in Liberia. He and his wife, Lucretia, have three children, Michael Jr., Liesl Michelle, and Elias Monroe Halim.
He is a board member for “Hindsfeet Ministry,” a United States-based ministry equipping disadvantaged children in Liberia.
Church Services Consultant
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Randy Millwood serves Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware churches in church strengthening, including an emphasis on leaders’ soul care, strategic disciple-making, small groups, and the Awaken church revitalization process. Randy brings to churches opportunities for spiritual depth, honest evaluation, and soothing encouragement. He also helps pastors slow down long enough to truly hear the voice of God.
In addition to his ministries with the BCM/D, Randy serves as a professional spiritual leadership coach with Blackaby Ministries, a Doctor of Ministry field mentor and adjunct faculty for various seminaries, including Gateway (formerly Golden Gate), New Orleans and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries. He also serves on the faculty for the fully on-line Rockbridge Seminary.
Randy has served in some form of ministry for over 40 years in church roles from founding pastor to bus pastor and everything in between. He has also worked with LifeWay Christian Resources and was on faculty with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for eleven years before beginning his ministry at the BCM/D.
In 2012, Randy published his first book, “To Love and To Cherish from This Day Forward: A Portrait of a Healthy Church,” and a related Church Health assessment instrument, “A Portrait of a Healthy Church.” In addition, he has contributed articles to several magazines and journals, hosts a blog site (www.simplymillwood.com), and has written and presented several academic papers.
Randy and his wife, Adele, were high school sweethearts. They have two sons, seven grandchildren, and a beloved Corgi named Elly May.
He is available to meet with pastors and church leaders to discuss areas regarding church strengthening.
Church Planting Coordinator, Facilities Manager, IT Coordinator
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Prior to serving the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Margot taught preschool and elementary school for 25 years in Maryland. She grew up in Babylon, located on the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. She holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Salisbury University but started out studying fashion merchandising at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. She also has completed post graduate work in education from Western Maryland College.
In addition to serving in church planting and operations at the BCM/D, Margot also works with the youth and young adults at Cresthill Baptist Church, where her husband, Jimmy Painter is senior pastor. She and Jimmy have been married for over 30 years and have two daughters, Delaney, a graduate student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and Shannon, who is married and living in Seattle.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and going to the beach. She also enjoys walking and has completed several 5k races.
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Dr. Kevin Smith leads the staff of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. He has experience as a pastor, chaplain, church planter, conference speaker, and short-term missionary. He has studied at Hampton University, the Church of God Theological Seminary, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, subsequently serving on Southern’s faculty for over a decade. In 2015, while serving the Highview Baptist Church in Louisville (KY), he was elected president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Kevin and his wife, Patricia, have three adult children and two great-nephews. His hobbies include whatever sports his kids were playing and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. His ministry is animated by Jesus’ prayer for the unity of His followers in John 17.