My BCM/D Family April 21, 2023
“There’s so much going on throughout our BCM/D churches. Did you know that although most of our affiliated churches are in Maryland and Delaware, we also have a few elsewhere, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia? We’re a diverse, multicultural group of autonomous churches – traditional, contemporary, church plants, and established churches filled with individuals from a multitude of backgrounds and cultures and we want to share your news, photos, events, unique ministries, and more. And we’ll also share what the BCM/D offers and how we can equip and encourage you. Feel free to share your news for consideration at email@example.com.
Pastor Mark Adams Retires from Redland Baptist Church
Mark Adams retired as pastor of Redland Baptist Church, Derwood, preaching his last sermon on April 16. The church had a celebratory dinner for Pastor Mark and his wife, Sue, on April 15, and at the worship service the next day, congregants shared memories and thanked the couple for their faithful service and influence on their lives over the last 33 years.
Executive Director Tom Stolle shared greetings from the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and presented a certificate to Pastor Adams on behalf of the BCM/D. Stolle, addressing the congregation, said, “The years come and the years go, but Mark’s service and love for his church, for Jesus and for you has never waned, and in fact has gotten stronger.” As Jesus, the greatest leader, washed the feet of his disciples, Tom said, “Mark has spent 33 years of washing the feet of those God put in his path.”
Mark began his ministry at Redland as a youth pastor. Graham Davis was one of the youth Mark ministered to years ago and shared in a video from Panama. Davis said that when Mark came as a new youth pastor, the youth thought they’d figure him out, and they did, he said. “We figured out you were about joy, community, and Bible teaching — well done!” Davis said that as a kid, he poked and prodded Mark with some pranks, but he’ll always remember a mission trip that changed his life. “You invested your time, and God poked and prodded me about what was the purpose of my life and what was really worth investing in, and sure enough, here I am — God has brought me out to the mission field in Panama, and I’m going to blame you for a good portion for what God is doing in the ministry in Panama and Latin America. I’m so grateful for your investment.”
Sue told the church, “All the loving efforts you put forth to make this weekend happen says we can move to the next chapter of our lives with your blessings and prayer. It also says you are a healthy, thriving body that works together so well and will continue following Jesus and dispensing His grace beautifully; thank you my forever family. You will all always be in our hearts and prayers.”
Addressing the congregation for the final time as the senior pastor, Mark, in his last sermon to the church, reflected back to when he and Sue arrived in 1990. It was near Christmas. “The staff filled up the church bus and came to the house we rented and welcomed us — they caroled us and brought sweets, and we’ve felt welcome ever since.”
Getting a little emotional, Mark shared, “The hardest part of our decision to obey God and retire is because it means leaving you.”
He praised the congregation for their love for one another and encouraged them to continue in that love. He referenced Colossians 3:15-17, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Salvation & Multiplication at Freedom Church, Windsor Mill
Jay Jones, the pastor of Freedom Church, Windsor Mill, shared the following testimony of God’s blessings on the church! “Since the beginning of last year, the elders of Freedom Church, Windsor Mill, have been asking the congregation to personally invite people to our church by using printed invitation cards. A young adult by the name of DJ invited his friend Seth to church. After his second visit, Seth found me after the service and said that he would like to start studying the Bible. I invited him to start studying the gospel of John with me. Seth then invited his friend Blake to church, and Blake said that he would like to be a part of studying John as well. We started meeting at the church weekly to walk through the gospel together. During our second meeting, both Seth and Blake expressed a desire to be saved. It was then that they trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior. We continued to meet weekly, and they continued to bring more and more people with them. It has been a joy to watch the church come alongside not only these two young men but also so many of their visitors. We had the privilege of baptizing both Seth and Blake on Easter after several months of one-on-one discipleship and mentorship. The most wonderful part of this has been to watch them go from having little to no understanding of the Bible to watching them take hold of everything Jesus has for them.”
Worship Night at Freedom Church, Baltimore
Freedom Church, Baltimore, will have a praise and worship night from 6:30-8:30 pm on May 6, titled “Same God,” a Night of worshipping the God who never changes.” Attendees are encouraged to wear Freedom Church’s colors — grey, black, white, and/or red.
Worship Leader Keasha Wormley said the event will feature corporate worship, singing, and prayer, but mostly music! “The theme “Same God” is a reminder to believers that the True and Living God we worship never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He’s still answering prayers, still delivering, setting people free, and still faithful to His people.”
SonRise Church in Berlin will welcome the group Sanctus Real with guests Tim Timmons and Dia Viola on May 19. The multiple award-winning band has had a 25-year career span. They’ve sold more than 1.2 million albums, and their music has been streamed over 210 million times.
Tickets are $35 plus a $1 servicing fee. All seats are general admission, with the doors opening at 6:15 pm and the show beginning at 7 pm. Please print out a copy of your ticket(s) or have it ready to scan at the door. Doors will not open prior to 6:15 pm. For any questions, please call the church office at (410) 629-1901.
Greenridge Baptist Church, Boyds, will welcome Mark Lee (from Third Day) and David Glenn for “The Church Tour” at 6 p.m. on May 7.
Lee is known for his work with Third Day. Glenn is a worship leader in Atlanta. The two have been teaming up for several years to present tours across the United States. Each session includes acoustic worship and stories.
The concert is free, but there will be a love offering.
Stauros at White Marsh Baptist Church
White Marsh Baptist Church will welcome John Burghauser, with Stauros Ministries, with music by Stauros Alive on April 23. Stauros is an addictions ministry primarily focusing on one-on-one mentoring. Additionally, Stauros Ministries assists churches in responding to those with addictions. Stauros Alive is a testimony band sharing music and testimonies about God’s deliverance.
Essential Piece Ministries Offers “On the Field” Missions Training
Essential Piece Ministries International (EPMI) will host a continental breakfast from 9 am-noon on April 29th at Faith Community Church,1306 Riedel Rd. in Gambrills. The purpose is to learn more about this missions-driven ministry that focuses on providing training and opportunities to minister and evangelize around the world. Keiffer Bent, the pastor of Berwyn Baptist Church, College Park, and his wife Martha started the non-profit Essential Piece Ministries, and Keiffer serves as president. Their objective is that Christians should personally and actively share the gospel.
Martha explained, “What we’re finding is that many who are believers and true followers of Jesus may struggle to share their faith, and the need is great for more workers and organizations to share the good news of Jesus Christ and help others to do the same.
“Keiffer and I have noted that there’s a disparity between understanding evangelism and knowing how to share your faith. We help individuals to be able to have a conversation on the street or in the park. You can be prepared wherever you go.” She referenced 1 Peter 3:15-20, “...be ready always to give every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
Through the ministry, Keiffer and Martha work with individuals and with churches to train and lead people out to do missions, walking alongside them to develop their skills. They have various events each year, ministering and doing outreach on college campuses, throughout communities locally, and on the Ocean City Boardwalk. They also partner with organizations for evangelism opportunities, including Open Air Evangelists.
They also serve and train throughout the world. They served alongside International Mission Board missionaries on the ground in Taipei, Taiwan, and Johannesburg, South Africa, to do street evangelism and teach the Bible to students with a team from Berwyn Baptist Church. While on missions, Pastor Bent speaks at churches and shares the gospel with college students, and includes a Q&A format to answer apologetic questions. On one trip, one young man asked him once. “Where was God standing when He created the earth?” Martha said, “That was a long and interesting conversation, which we will never forget. Many numbers of young people were listening to the Biblical and powerful answers they acquired.”
In Rwanda, Keiffer taught Biblical leadership, and the team passed out Bibles and tracts and ministered and taught to hundreds of people in the villages. He also shared the gospel with men who had returned from prison and had been involved in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Martha explained that the horrible acts occurred over a period of 100 days, when nearly a million people were murdered, including babies, small children, women, and men. She said her husband taught and trained a young population where about 60 percent is 35 and younger due to the genocide.
The Bent’s sixteen-year-old son, Johnathan, who is homeschooled, has traveled on each mission trip (except China) since he was six months old. He wanted to be more involved as he grew into a young adult and is now actively involved in the ministry. Jonathan has served as an assistant teacher and played piano as Martha led songs in Manila, Philippines, in 2017; served as a soccer coach to younger kids in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2019; and he served as an assistant teacher to younger students in Central Africa in 2022. He has helped in all of the mission trips teaching Bible verses and leading games ministering in any way he could be useful. For the last two summers, he served as a Child Evangelism Bible teacher in Prince Georges and Anne Arundel County.
Essential Piece Ministries usually travels with a small group, and they also partner with a team on the ground wherever they travel. This helps them to more effectively serve where needed and to minister to large numbers of children and young adults. Keiffer focuses on teaching and training pastors and lay leaders. There is a great need in this area in the majority of countries, Marha said, adding that in some countries, prosperity teaching has been popular.
EPMI also offers acts of compassion serving orphans and widows, which are near to their hearts. Martha said, “It is a joy because young and not-so-young alike have many questions. The children sometimes sit and listen for days, and they ask questions. Many have made decisions to follow Christ. Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve seen people who are thirsty for God’s Word — especially internationally.”
Keiffer has been in ministry for three decades and has a background in apologetics. He often teaches about cults. He also assists with evangelism training with the Prince George’s Baptist Association. The Bent family is praying to be able to expand and offer training to more Christians. Contact them for more information. Keiffer and Martha both attended Bible College and Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. They hold Masters’s degrees from CIU, which is a missions college.
A favorite family verse is, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18. For more information about the ministry or to rsvp for the breakfast to learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo: Mark Adams and his wife Sue look on after planting a dogwood tree, with their family, on the church property as a memorial to the years they pastored Redland Baptist Church. (Photo by Rachel Word)