Over 3,000 people attended a “Decision America” prayer rally on Sept. 13, in Dover, Del., with Franklin Graham. Frank Shelton, a regional coordinator for the event, said the numbers exceeded expectations and represented a variety of races and ethnic groups.

Redland Baptist Church, Rockville, celebrated their 50th anniversary Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. They had a “meet and greet” time to catch up with Redland family members past and present and a concert by The National Christian Choir followed by a catered banquet. On Sunday a catered picnic lunch followed the worship service.

First Baptist Church of Edgewater and Riva Trace Baptist Church have merged. Their first worship together on Sept. 11 was a combined service at RTBC that included the new members from FBC Edgewater and Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva (IBVN), the Hispanic church that meets at RTBC.dsc_0666

Riva Trace Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dennis Gray shared a message in English, and IBVN Pastor Jorge Comacho translated the sermon into Spanish. Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network Executive Director Kevin Smith shared words of encouragement. The congregation observed the Lord’s Supper as one body, and they enjoyed a potluck dinner following the worship service.

David Hemphill, who served as pastor of FBC Edgewater, is now serving as RTBC’s pastor of discipleship and connection. Hemphill explained that the idea for the merge came gradually as he and Dennis Gray spent increasing time together sharing about their churches, the blessings and challenges. Both pastors have similar philosophies regarding ministry and were striving to reach the same community.

In August, SonRise Church in Berlin, Md., welcomed Keith Hammer, former Network church strengthening strategist, to its staff as executive pastor, replacing soon-to-retire executive pastor Jerry Wade. After a three-year capital campaign, the church recently purchased its first permanent campus, the former Merial Select facility in Berlin after meeting the past 13 years in the cafeteria of Stephen Decatur High School.