BCM/D Roundup, October 6, 2022

“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
 Serve the Lord with gladness; 
come before Him with joyful songs.
 Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
 He made us, and we are His —
 His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving
 and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
 His faithfulness endures through all generations.” Psalm 100 

John Mackall to become Mid-Maryland DOM

Mid-Maryland Baptist Association messengers voted to call John Mackall, the pastor of CrossLife Community Church, as the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association director of missions effective January 1. Pastor Mackall will succeed Pastor Larry Steen, who has served since 2018. Steen will retire in December.

Members of the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association pray over John Mackall, who will assume the director of missions position effective January 1, 2023. (Facebook Photo)

In addition to pastoring CrossLife, Mackall has served two terms on MMBA’s On Mission Council, worked as a church planting assessor and coach, and currently serves on BCM/D’s general mission board and on the executive committee. He has always had a focus on missions, with efforts in the Dominican Republic, disaster relief as part of an Associational team, and within his local community. Information based on the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association website. (BaptistLIFE will have a more extensive future article about John Mackall and the MMBA.)

Church Anniversaries

There have been many church anniversaries to celebrate – from a silver 25th to an upcoming 100th. Each story shows God’s hand in the challenges and blessings  Maryland/Delaware churches are and have been experiencing.

Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. They’re in the midst of a week-long revival. Tonight Ron Larson, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Delaware, will be the guest speaker, and tomorrow BCM/D Executive Director Michael Crawford will share. Both services start at 6 p.m.

Beloved former Oak Grove Minister of Worship Ken Tipton will lead a Gospel Songfest at 7 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be a combined celebratory worship service at 10 a.m.

Leonardtown Baptist Church (LBC) in Hollywood celebrated its 40th anniversary at a worship service and dinner on October 2. Chris McCombs, the pastor of LBC’s mother church, Lexington Park Baptist Church, was in attendance, as well as Adam Polk, the pastor of Redeeming Grace Baptist Church in Callaway, which LBC planted in 2015 — a great perspective on the past and future.

Associate Pastor/Staff Elder Allen Acker said the 40-year anniversary refers to when the church was officially founded, but members were actually meeting a decade at the Leonardtown “chapel” prior to the incorporation — so the church has been alive for half a century.

The anniversary theme was Soli Dei Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory, and with that emphasis in mind, they appropriately kicked off the day with a worship service praising God.

The choir sang “Come Holy Spirit,” a hymn that has become the church’s traditional anniversary song.

Glenn Swanson, BCM/D President, shares greetings with Leonardtown Baptist Church on behalf of the convention. (photo by Mark Dooley)

Former Senior Pastor Mark Dooley, who serves as BCM/D state evangelism director, brought the message for the morning.

In the afternoon, almost 140 individuals, including current and past members and guests, met for dinner at Solomon’s Inn Resort and Marina.

Glenn Swanson, the pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach and the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) president, brought greetings on behalf of the convention. There was a time of testimony from current and former members, including Charles Reynolds, a longtime member who has been attending almost as far back as the 80s; Dick Hammett, who has been a member for 30 years; and Mike Williamson, a former member who moved to Pennsylvania. Dooley also shared about more recent church history.

The choir sang “Victory in Jesus,” LBC Senior Pastor /Staff Elder Jason Pamblanco’s favorite hymn. Looking to the future, they closed appropriately with the song, “The King is Coming.”

New Life Community Church in Inwood, West Virginia celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 1-2. 

Senior Pastor James Goforth, reflecting over the years, said the church has baptized 1000 people over the past 2.5 decades. “One year, we baptized over 180  — 97 in one service!” It has been an incredible time, with some tremendous highlights and times of despair for the pastor and the congregation. 

NLCC, like so many churches, had a humble beginning, meeting in James (Jim) and his wife Lori’s living room. They grew and moved to a banquet facility hall. “We found out kids, glass-top tables, and sugar packets don’t go well together,” Jim said with a chuckle. From there, they moved to a middle school, but that came to an abrupt end. “A little girl pulled the fire alarm twice on Christmas Eve.” They transitioned to an older elementary school, where they stayed for six years. The church served the school, helping them with multiple projects, and they developed such a good relationship the school stopped charging them rent. “Two weekends a month, the whole church served at the school all day. We built a huge rapport with the school system.” 

While building their current facility, the congregation moved into a high school, but Jim said, “We completely overwhelmed their schedule,” and the congregation was forced to move into their building before it was actually ready. 

“We’d set up chairs amid the drywall dust and gave people permanent markers so they could write scripture verses on the studs. You could take any wall, and (underneath) it’s been covered in scripture and prayer. It was phenomenal!

“We started with 140 people in the new building and blasted that to over 300 in one year, and we were growing by 100 each year.

New Life Community Church members lay hands on and pray over Jim and Lori Goforth. (Facebook photo used with permission)

“Unfortunately, as many churches do, we split. We were running about 950 people and lost about 500.” That included deacons, elders, and worship pastors. We had to rebuild from the ground up. 

“It was hard. Those were the three worst years of my life,” he shared. But the church has “turned the corner,” and since then, has been growing again and are now pushing 600. “It’s good stuff!” 

In preparation for the anniversary celebration, the church contacted everyone who’d ever been to the church — 24,000 people. Jim said, “It was beautiful. Many (including those who left during the split) came back, and it was healing for the whole community.

“God has been blessing,” Jim said. He believes an essential element for the church has been working hard to reach the community. “We’ve worked in every school in the county. We don’t just show up; we send 150 people to regularly go do work projects. We have a reputation that we’re a church that serves a lot. We love it. It’s what grows our people, and they also develop friendships with one another as they work together.

Jim said another key element is that the church emphasizes that everyone truly is welcome — it’s not just something they say. “People feel that we care.”

NLCC’s mission statement is, Reach our generation with the gospel; teach them to become fully devoted followers of Christ, and send them out to reproduce their faith in others. 

For the anniversary celebration, the church watched videos of times past, and they heard testimonies. A portion of the celebration was outside, so they had blankets available for folks to sit on, and they made s’mores. 

Jim said. “I left them with a challenge — go out from here and reach one person this year, teaching them and sending them. With 410 adults, we’d double the number in one year.

“Jesus’ pattern works. We just don’t work his pattern.” 

Pastor Daryl McCready challenges SonRise Church as they look to their future. (Facebook photo used with permission)

A particularly touching part of the service was when the elders gathered and prayed over Jim and Lori. Jim has stage four cancer and 21 tumors on his liver. “That was a super special time.” Jim said. “They’re scared. There are a lot of things up in the air, but it was such a ‘God moment,’ a healthy time, with lots of tears. 

‘I’m sick, but I’ve never been more excited about what’s coming for our church. We’re drawing so many young families with babies. That’s the healthy part.” 

SonRise Church

From the unusual start of a few folks at Ocean Downs Raceway to an incredible church with a large warehouse turned worship center and land, SonRise Church in Berlin, is a beautiful story of God working above and beyond one’s imagination. The church celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 2 with balloons, testimonies, food, and baptisms. The real theme of the celebration, said Senior Pastor Daryl McCready, was, and is, “keeping folks focused on what God has done.”  

Portable for 16 years, the church moved into its permanent location in Berlin in 2018, and though they were strong before the move, the building has opened up tremendous opportunities to serve its community over and above what they were already doing. For example, during Covid, they gave away close to 200,000 pounds of meat alone. Through a pantry feeding ministry, they’ve given away close to a million pounds of food in ten years. 

The spiritual statistics are astounding — over 1,063 professions of faith; 1093 baptisms; 15 men ordained to gospel ministry — nine of whom they’ve sent out to start new ministries or serve in other churches. Three will be ordained in December. They’ve given 1.4 million dollars to kingdom expansion that includes 25 new churches still going strong. Seven of those are international —  in Guatemala, Peru, Albania, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Canada. They’re currently supporting four church plants and a missionary, giving each $18,000 over a three-year period. 

The church has a huge emphasis on serving and loving the community, as well as discipleship and church planting. SonRise recently merged two multi-sites into one campus in Salisbury and then later released that campus which is now Compass Church, to become a plant. McCready said they are moving away from multisite and concentrating only on church planting moving forward because they have found church planting to be far more effective.

SonRise is currently developing a 6,000-foot youth center on their property that will have seating for 250 students, an indoor basketball court, a game room, a homework area, an arcade, and a snack bar. 

“I have no illusions — this is God, it is not me,” McCready said. He accepted Christ as a young child at Berlin First Baptist Church, as his father, Berry McCready, was the pastor. After high school, McCready served in the military police and later in law enforcement, but God had another plan for his life. “Some people may think I’m not qualified to be a pastor. I don’t know that I’d argue with them. I was a preacher’s kid and was saved early in my life. I walked away from the faith for twelve years, and have no seminary degree. But God called me and has shown His undeserved favor to me and this church. “When someone questions my calling or qualifications, I just have to say, ‘take it up with my boss!’”

McCready tells a sweet story that makes him smile; he feels it’s a good representation of the way in which SonRise is viewed in their community. 

During Covid, the church couldn’t do their usual children’s outreach around Easter. So, they had a scavenger hunt throughout the town. Families came to the church to get clue packets and then had to solve the clues to discover the pit stops, where they’d find church members who would give them stickers. They collected all the stickers, then came back to church and got their bags of candy and goodies. 

“I saw a line of cars waiting to get their packages, and there was an older gentleman alone in his truck, just sitting in the back of the line. I figured he didn’t know what the line was for, so I went to say hi to him. I told him, ‘you know, this is a scavenger hunt for kids,’ and he replied, ‘All I know is that when I see a line at SonRise, I’m gettin’ in it!’  I love the fact that because of our church’s generosity and heart to glorify God, that’s the reputation our church has in this community.”

Kensington Baptist Church

Kensington Baptist Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary on October 16. The theme is “Honoring our Heritage— Forging New Paths.” In preparation for the big day, they are collecting a “century of memories!”

If you have a special memory, photo, or story of KBC that you’d like to share, please send it via e-mail to Diane George.

Clinton Church Offers Free Mammograms

As an outreach and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Clinton Baptist Church, in partnership with GW Rodham Institute and Breast Care for Washington DC, is offering free mammograms from noon – 4 p.m. on October 30 following the church’s worship service.

Members are encouraged to wear pink and stay for a time of light refreshments following the service.

All participants who receive a mammogram screening will also receive a free $10 gift card to a local business.

or Treat Adventures

Southern Calvert Church will have a Trunk or Treat from 6-8 p.m. on October 31. Associate Pastor Eric Brewer said before Covid, in 2019, they had 1,000 people show up. Brewer chuckled as he said the church wasn’t expecting that many. Cars were parking on the highway, and the sheriff showed up to tell them in the future, they needed to contact the police to help with traffic. Last year, when they began again, they had 600, so Brewer said they’re building back up, and they will have police directing traffic this year!

Visitors register online, and the church follows up. Last year they visited over 50 families based on the registration information. They’ve had several visitors, and one family joined the church. Brewer related a story about a couple who, when asked if they attended a church, responded that SCBC was their church – they come each year to Trunk or Treat! Interestingly, they did make professions of faith and eventually joined the church as members, so now, it truly is “their church!”

Quotable Quotes

“Is prayer your steering wheel or spare tire?” — Corrie Ten Boom

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” — Billy Graham

History Bites

On the Discovery of Skycroft in the early 1970s — John Saunders, then BCM/D brotherhood director, learned of the availability of the Skycroft site from a friend of the property’s owner who was conducting a camping workshop Saunders attended in Massachusetts. James Allcock, then BCM/D state music director, discovered the property independently through the associational music director in Frederick. When the men shared their discoveries with Dr. Roy Gresham, then the BCM/D executive director, they all realized that both men had been led to the same piece of property through two entirely different sources — more than just a coincidence. (Based on a framed typewritten document displayed in the Gresham Dining Hall at Skycroft)

We are celebrating Skycroft Conference Center’s 50th Anniversary! 

BCM/D Upcoming Events

Oct. 8 — AAF Presents BCM/D Pathways: Prevention and Protection — We all know that physical, sexual, and emotional abuse occurs regularly, and the church is not immune to this sin. Most of us don’t know how to handle it when it happens, and many churches aren’t equipped with policies or resources to deal with sexual assault or other kinds of abuse. This training session will help equip you with knowledge about how abuse occurs among vulnerable people groups who may be more susceptible to harm from others inside their communities

Nov. 6-7 — BCM/D Annual Meeting Clarion Resort LaFontaine Bleu Hotel,  10100 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD




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