Maryland/Delaware Roundup, February 20, 2020

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27.

Letters from Mom

Steffan Carr, the planter and pastor of Bruce Outreach Center (BOC) in Westernport, Maryland, recently published a book based on six decades worth of Christmas letters from his mom, Lola. The book is titled, “Letters from Mom: A Bird’s Eye View of a Family Through the Years.”

Steffan, along with his siblings, has been grieving the loss of his parents, who died within 15 months of each other. William (Bill) Carr, who died in 2016, pastored churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, including his last senior pastorate at Grace Baptist Church, in Cumberland, Maryland. Prior to his illness and death, he served as the associate pastor of BOC with Steffan. Lola, Steffan’s mother, died in February 2018, 15 months later.

As the family began cleaning out Lola’s desk and filing cabinet, they made an interesting discovery. “She had kept every one of her Christmas letters, going back 60 years to when it was just her and dad,” Steffan shared.

He and his brother, Scott, and sister, Sharon, spent long hours together sifting through the letters. “It was like seeing our family grow through the years – little snapshots,” says Steffan.

When asked about any highlights in the letters, Steffan replied, “I don’t know where to begin. She had everything from being a first-time mom and a pastor’s wife in their first church, through seminary, all the way through their first grandchild and taking care of Dad during his ups and downs and his battle with dementia”

The book is a tribute to Lola. “She was always behind the scenes and helping Dad and she was happy to be there, serving,” he said.

In the first letter, Lola wrote: “We have been very busy the past year. As most of you know, if our plans work out, Bill will graduate from Central Baptist Theological Seminary this May, 1961. I believe the exact date is May 25th. The past three years have been extremely busy but happy ones. We certainly have learned much! But we also realize that there is so much more yet to learn.”

In 1962, she wrote about the couple’s first child, Scott: “The new model of the Carr family made his debut late in the year …”

Throughout the letters she shared about the children as they came along and highlights in their lives: “Steffan was two in March and is very sturdy for his age.”

Lola wrote the letters as if she was chatting over coffee. They’re also encouraging. “There are many difficulties and uncertainties in the world today,” she wrote. “But isn’t it wonderful to know the Prince of Peace has the world in His hands!”

The book traces the couple’s life together and their family. The last letter was in 2012, when Bill became ill with an infected pancreas, and a stroke, followed by dementia. Even through that struggle, Lola’s letter showed her abiding faith in Jesus.

Steffan gives an update of the family at the end of the book. He shares with readers, “I hope that you were inspired to cherish your family, see the difference the faithful living of our lives and make in the lives of others, and to commit to building a legacy for your family.

“Most of all, our family truly hopes that you and your family know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.”

The book, Steffan says simply, “is to honor mom.”

It is available on Amazon.

Celebration of Life for Ed Reese

Ed Reese (top), (l-r) his wife Jodi, daughter Brynn, dog Mercy, and son Kyler (provided by the Reese family).

There will be a celebration of life for Pastor Ed Reese on Feb. 29 from 2-5 p.m. at Freedom Church in Baltimore for a time of fellowship and reminiscing. Attendees should  bring a potluck dish if possible.

Reese died unexpectedly on August 17, 2019. He served as the pastor of Hazelwood Baptist Church, in Baltimore, for many years. He was active in the Baltimore Baptist Association and served on the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.

The family requests those planning to attend to RSVP by February 27.

“Be Blessed, Not Stressed”

The women’s ministry of Middle River Baptist Church in Maryland will host a “Be Blessed, Not Stressed” workshop from 7-8:30 p.m. on Feb. 28. Topics will include the effects of stress on physical health, and ways to manage it. Light refreshments will be served and there will be time to practice stress management strategies.

Also, Women on Mission and the Women’s Ministry together are collecting new and gently used purses to help those in need, as well as small soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, disposable razors, deodorants, toothbrushes, toothpaste, notepads, pens, chapsticks, makeup, hair accessories, small packs of tissues, small sewing kits, and first aid items.

Duck Dynasty Stars share at Sportsman’s Conference 

Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, Maryland, will have their annual sportsman’s conference featuring Duck Dynasty’s Alan and Lisa Robertson at 7 p.m. on March 7.

The conference is free. The Robertsons will give their personal testimony of forgiveness and strength in a marriage. The couple will also share at the 9 and 10:45 a.m. worship services on Sunday.

Free Gospel Conversation Training

Haven City Church in Baltimore, will host a free Gospel Conversation Training Seminar at the Fells Point Compassion Center on Saturday, March 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Pastor Josh Turansky wrote the following on the church blog:

“This training is led by seasoned church and ministry leaders.

Your church and ministries will benefit from:

  • We will help develop and equip an in-house Gospel/Disciple-Making training team for sustainable equipping of the church.

  • Unleash the Great Commission potential of your church.

  • Increased Gospel fluency in the Body Life of your church.

  • The obedience-based vs. knowledge-based approach of this training will activate the latent spiritual giftings of the church and empower your spiritual formation process.

  • Release the potential of multi-generational disciple-making.

  • Your members will be equipped and inspired to impact their sphere of influence (neighborhood, workplace, campus, etc…) with an intentional approach to pray – care – share with tangible acts of grace and powerful proven tools.

The session in the morning (8:30 am to 1:30 pm with free lunch included) is focused on the reproducible evangelism tools.

The event will be led by Don Waybright, the Director of Missions at Sugar Creek On Mission in Texas and his training team. The newly revised edition of Gospel Conversation Training with 411 is an engaging, exciting training method to equip you and your family to live a Gospel-centered life. You will leave the training with the skills and confidence to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to anyone who is far from God and begin disciple-making.

The training is FREE, so please register online by March 5th to save your place!”

History Highlights 

From the 1932 Maryland Baptist Church Life, the predecessor to BaptistLIFE:  “The regular monthly meeting of the WMU was at Riverside Baptist Church on November 17, with 29 present. After the regular routine of business, luncheon served, having present with us our new pastor and his wife, Rev. D.W. Littleton, formerly of Pocomoke, who came to us November 1, and whom we believe will be able to lead us to higher things in the work of the Master.

“We had for our speaker, Mrs. J.W. C. Brittingham of the Baptist Children’s Aid Society, who gave an interesting talk on the activities of the Society and after listening to this very interesting talk we passed a resolution adopting one of the little boys, who is a very bright and very interesting little fellow.

“We are trying to follow our watchword and do what we can for the uplift of mankind to a higher plane of service and living for Jesus Christ.

“We are told in Rev. 2-10, ‘Be thou faithful until death and I will give thee a crown of life.’ Mrs. W.H. Wallace, Corresponding Secretary. ”

The Delaware Baptist Association formed in 1967 with six churches and two chapels in 1967.

In 1983, the Baptist Convention of New England formed out of Baptist Convention of Maryland

The BCM/D purchased the Skycroft Conference Center grounds in 1972. Music camp occurred at Skycroft in an old barn.

Randy Stacks

Cover Photo is by Randy Stacks, associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Waldorf