Maryland/Delaware Roundup, June 3, 2021

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Celebration Sunday
Members of Northwest Baptist Church in Reisterstown, Maryland, are rejoicing over their May 30 Celebration Sunday. Senior Pastor Chris Davis baptized seven people, and officiated a child dedication. Members participated in the Lord’s Supper together.

Davis explained that the church has the celebration each month that has five Sundays, with baptisms, dedications, and communion. Those who come forward for baptism are from a variety of walks of life and spiritual journeys. Three youth who had been saved and decided to go forward publicly were part of the group which was baptized.

In addition to those who were recently saved, Davis offers baptism to those  “prodigals” who fell away, repented and have returned. Additionally, he encourages believers to consider the ordinance if they were baptized as babies or were too young to remember or understand its significance.

Since COVID-19, ten people have been baptized. Looking ahead, Davis is excited that four people have already registered for baptisms in August.

Sending out midshipmen
Dr. Jamie Caldwell, the senior pastor of South Shore Church (SSC) in Crownsville, Maryland, prayed for graduating midshipmen at the church’s May 30 worship service.

Graduating Naval Academy Midshipmen gather as Dr. Jamie Caldwell prays for them, asking God to help them find home churches and to continue to make and disciple new believers.

Caldwell prayed that the midshipmen would find new local churches and continue making disciples. The church has a strong relationship with the Naval Academy and with Academy Chaplain Justin Woods. Woods served as part of the ministry team of Redemption Church (RC) and helped facilitate RC’s merge with South Shore Baptist Church. The two churches became SSC. Read about the churches’ merge here.

Block parties and other “Funday” activities
Allen Memorial Church in Salisbury, Maryland, will have “Funday” following a 10 a.m. worship service at the outdoor pavilion on June 6. They’ll have a family-style cookout and fellowship. The Venderwende Creamery Ice Cream truck will be on site too for frozen goodies.

First Baptist Church of Savage in Maryland will have their annual “Neighborhood Block Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 9. There will be food, games, and prizes. A Christian DJ, “Danny T,” will “spin” some tunes.  The church uses the event to fellowship, get to know friends and neighbors, show love to the community and to register families for their upcoming Vacation Bible School.  The rain date is July 10.

Join ONE HOPE in Nashville
Headed to the annual SBC meeting in Nashville? Join The Garden Church’s (TGC) ONE HOPE dinner and workshop at 6 p.m. ONE HOPE is a ministry of TGC in Baltimore, Maryland. The following information is from ONE HOPE’s online newsletter: “Low income communities are less likely to attend church. Additionally, churches in poor neighborhoods are often unable to pay a pastor. In many areas, churches are either closing or filled with outsiders who do not live in the community. While needs increase, resources and workers are few.

“Most every church in every community (yes, even middle and upper class communities) have people near them who have been neglected by society. This ONE HOPE workshop focuses on the theological reasoning and practical tools to care for everyone in our communities and world. We will explore how the church can effectively serve those from broken and difficult backgrounds.”

Book Drive
The Transformation Center (TTC), a ministry of Streetlite Christian Fellowship (SFC) in Baltimore, is collecting gently used books for kids through age 14. Drop off donations on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at  TTC, 3701 4th Street in Brooklyn, or from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at SFC, 1121 Riverside Avenue, Baltimore. The books will be distributed at TTC’s Summer Nights Block Party on June 16.

Members of STC and TTC have been, and are, continually active in their community. Some of their recent outreaches have included a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, continual food and clothing distributions, low-cost pet vaccinations and chipping, counseling, free Wi-Fi service, and even more.  Check them out online or on Facebook to see even more outreach and ministry.

Bethany Church Welcomes Don Piper
Bethany Church (BC) in Ellicott City will welcome author and speaker Don Piper live at their 9:30 and 11:00 am. worship services and 2 p.m. student worship event on June 13.

Piper is known for his book, “90 Minutes in Heaven.” He was on his way to church on a Wednesday morning when a semi truck hit him head-on. Medical officials  pronounced him dead on the scene and placed him in a body bag. A passing minister prayed over Piper’s body for 90 minutes. Piper shares that 90 minutes later, as the pastor began singing, Piper began to sing with him.

As a result of the accident, Piper lost his left leg and an arm (which was later re-attached) and his right leg was crushed. He was impaled on the steering wheel and had brain damage. Following 34 surgeries and years of difficult, painful rehabilitation, Piper is able to walk and share his story. An ordained minister, Piper now shares with people that they never know when they can die suddenly, and they must be ready.

While preparing for Easter, BC’s Senior Pastor Kip Smith was focusing the annual theme, “Hope Realized.” He felt led to do a three-part sermon series on heaven and life after death. Smith said he used Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,” and David Jeremiah’s “Answers to Your Questions on Heaven” as primary resources. During his research he also listened to Piper’s audiobook version of  “90 Minutes in Heaven” and was intrigued.

Smith saw on Piper’s website that he was available for speaking and discovered that he shared his story all over the world. Smith said he had little expectation that Piper would be available or that Bethany could afford his fee. “I wondered, however, if pandemic cancellations might offer an opening,” said Smith.

“I was finishing the Heaven series so I only wanted him to come if he could come soon. By the summertime, I felt his visit would also coincide with our next focus – spiritual revival and awakening. Don Piper’s testimony could not be more relevant to helping an unbeliever know the reality of the after-life. What better way to help people know they need Jesus than to hear someone give testimony about his actual “near-death experience” at the gates of heaven! So, I voiced a prayer for God to do a miracle and hit the ‘return key.’ My request was in the hands of God!” Smith recalled.

Smith was thrilled when he received a call to discuss dates. He discovered that Piper indeed received 30 cancellations over the year due to COVID-19.

Piper will speak to the adults in the morning and to students in the afternoon. “What is also amazing is that our students were already planning a student worship event on June 12. We saw the two events as orchestrated by the Lord and we changed the student date to June 13 and decided to combine their worship time with Piper’s testimony.

“God is good,” said Smith. “He is up to something. By His grace, we are going to be a part of it!”

Quotable Quotes

“Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard. Tell how the angels in chorus, sang as they welcomed His birth, ‘Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.’”  Frances J. Crosby

“We’ve been called to give away the Gospel … and that starts with sharing Jesus. That doesn’t start by giving your theology, that doesn’t start by giving away your eschatology, and that doesn’t start by giving away your ecclesiology. Just give away the Gospel. You can theologize, and eschatologize, and ecclesiologize, and catechize after they’ve been Holy Ghost baptized! We’ve been called to give away the Gospel.” Paul Chitwood

History Bytes

“(The Baltimore Baptist Association) was formed in 1792 and, for a number of years, at first, included all the associated churches in Maryland, on the western side of the great Bay, which divides the State, except the one called Nanjamoy, which belonged to Ketockton, in Virginia. Its constituent churches were those of Harford, Fredericktown, Seneca, Taneytown, Huntington, and Hammond’s Branch. John Davis, Samuel Lane, and Absalom Bainbridge were the only ministers present at the time of its organization; the last of whom, afterwards removed to Kentucky. The old Harford church did not leave the Philadelphia Association until three years after the formation of this body.” Read more here.

Oak Grove Baptist Church “ … began almost a century ago, when several families from western North Carolina and Virginia left their homes in the Appalachians and moved to Harford County in search of economic opportunity. They found Maryland’s farmland to be rich but soon became homesick for their churches back home.  After two revivals during the summer and winter of 1931 at the Women’s Christian Temperance Union Hall on Churchville Road, thirty-nine men and women established the Oak Grove Baptist Church on December 13, 1931, as an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.” Read more here.