Our BCM/D Family Feb. 9, 2024

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Spring is almost here and there’s a lot happening in Maryland/Delaware churches. We’d love to hear from you and share your news! What exciting ministries are happening in your church? How is God moving? Send us your stories and photos. Email [email protected].

Huge Turnout for Men’s Ministry Breakfast
Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, had a men’s breakfast, and at least 30 men showed up at a local Bob Evans Restaurant. Associate Pastor Keith Hartlaub said the church is restarting their men’s ministry, and he and other leaders were encouraged at the large turnout. Since the breakfast, several men have volunteered for various roles within the ministry, now known as ISI – Iron Sharpens Iron.

Compassion a Priority at Berean Church
by Michelle Mackal

Berean Baptist Church, Clinton, is small but mighty! Members have a heart for those who need a helping hand, especially those facing homelessness. They partner with local organizations to serve on a regular basis, and they’re ready to respond immediately when a need arises.

Alec Mitchell, a youth with Berean Baptist Church, packs a hygiene kit. (Photo courtesy of Berean Baptist Church)

Prior to the pandemic, Berean Baptist participated in Prince George’s County’s rotating one-week Warm Nights Program hosted at White Hall Baptist Church, East Accokeek. Due to the pandemic, shelters closed, and the County terminated the Warm Nights Program as it moved its homeless population into hotels. In response, Berean began supporting The Homeless Outreach, Inc. (THOI) serving monthly in addition to their Christmas, Easter, and Back-to-School events involvement.

Since roughly 2015, the church has been an advocate and supporter for THOI. For Minister Jackie Davidson, volunteering at THOI began when she was invited by a friend to THOI’s Christmas Outreach. Volunteers from all walks of life were there to minister and make Christmas a special time for those going through a hard season of life. Davidson quickly explained what continued to draw her back to support THOI and involve Berean Baptist, “It was the picture of the body of Christ working together from different denominations, ages, and races. It was Catholic, Lutheran, non-denominational, Baptist, and beyond; people who just wanted to make a difference. It looked to me like the church body should look. And everyone found their role. There was something special occurring beyond serving the homeless community.”

Ruby McCombs packs bags for The Homeless Outreach, Inc. (THOI). (Photo courtesy of Berean Baptist Church)

When asked how many people from Berean Baptist participate monthly, Davidson shared, “We have a team of four cleared to participate. Three of us go regularly, and as things continue to open since the pandemic, we are praying for more team members.” While only four are cleared to be onsite monthly with THOI, Davidson was quick to point out that the entire church makes the mission a priority. Berean Baptist has a line item in its budget to help fulfill needs that go beyond their monthly outreach, including filling hygiene bags and collecting clothing and blankets. THOI also provides weekly lunches to local shelters. When Carol Leo, director of The Homeless Outreach, Inc., and for whom Davidson speaks highly shares a need, the members of Berean, according to Davidson, “Respond!”

The volunteer time does not take advanced preparation. Davidson specified, “Carol and her team have everything ready for us. We just show up! On rare occasions, we may be asked to fulfill a need that requires preparation, like the interactive PowerPoint presentation I did for the children one month. Typically, a night may be one group sorting donations while another group helps the children with their crafts. However, everyone is together for the worship, praise, and intercessory prayer time.”

Minister Jackie Davidson, (second from right,) leads the Berean Baptist Church ministry with THOI. (Photo courtesy of THOI)

Knowing the Gospel is presented at the monthly and special occasion outreaches, the question was asked, “Do you see people come into a saving relationship with Christ?” Davidson illustrated the picture beautifully, “The Lord’s people are among the homeless, and for whatever reason they are facing homelessness, they are always happy to see us. The work we are doing affirms their faith and that God sees them and has them in His mind and His heart. We have also spoken to family members who know we are ministering to their loved ones, and it brings them comfort to know their family member participates in the outreaches. It is a full circle. The brothers and sisters in Christ we encounter also help us navigate the landscape of homelessness, which enables us to minister more effectively. And I have been privileged to lead several people to Christ over the years. God had their attention, and they were willing to receive Christ when I shared the Gospel.”

Berean Baptist is a small church of thirty congregants navigating transition. They are looking for their next pastor, who will fill the shoes of Pastor Emeritus Reverend Willie L. Lampley, Jr., founder and pastor of Berean for 42 years. Throughout his ministry, Lampley challenged the Berean family to study God’s word and apply it. So, while Berean Baptist Church may be in transition, they have not slowed down from applying God’s word, evident by their work with those in need.

Last Christmas, Davidson and other volunteers provided a pre-Christmas fellowship meal and partnered with THOI to ensure that each woman and child received a Christmas gift with a gospel message of GOD’S love for them.

This November, Berean will again host a “feeding” night to feed those who are homeless, though it is under consideration to add two additional “feedings,” which they did during the pandemic.

Davidson‘s response when asked how we could pray was, “Berean Baptist Church would love others to come alongside the ministry in prayer, with volunteers, and with donations. Donations should be new, like-new, and clean. For more information on how to join Berean Baptist Church and help at The Homeless Outreach, Inc., contact the THOI’s director, Carol Leo, at 240-475-4219.

Members of Kettering Baptist Church gave away Bibles, devotionals and hats at a food/clothing ministry sponsored by Helping Hands for Jesus/Bmore Cares. (Photo courtesy of Kettering Baptist Church

Kettering Baptist Church Missions Outreach
Kettering Baptist Church (KBC)‚ Missions Ministry and members spent a few hours on February 3,  partnering with Helping Hands for Jesus & BKind Ministries in Glen Burnie to share the love of Christ with individuals who are resource-challenged or experiencing homelessness. Seventeen members had the opportunity to share toiletries, Bibles, devotional books, and warm items with over 150 individuals and families who came out to take advantage of the free groceries, warm clothing, and other resources.

During that time, they also had the opportunity to pray with and encourage those who had lost hope, to share the gospel with some who weren’t in a relationship with Christ, and to encourage volunteers who ministered at the designated parking area in Glen Burnie every Saturday. Heather Chapman, KBC Missions Ministry Chair, said, “It was a great reminder that so many people we pass every day need encouragement and God’s love as they traverse this life. We just have to find ways to show it in our comings and goings.”

5 Love Languages
Montogomery Baptist Association, partnering with Olney Baptist Church, will have a couples seminar focusing on “The 5 Love Languages,’ based on the book by Gary Chapman. Learn your own and your loved one‘s love language to learn how best to care for him or her. The cost is $20 and includes the book and meal. The book has been updated to reflect today’s complexities, and it includes an assessment.

Pastoral Care Conferene
Clinton Baptist Church (CBC), partnering with the North American Mission Board, will be hosting our 3rd Annual Pastoral Care Conference on May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church. The theme is “Pastors and their Families.” Speakers are Colin Pugh, the pastor of CBC; Brian Croft, from Practical Shepherding; Dr. H.B. Charles from Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church; and Dr. Curtis Woods, New Life Community Church.

The cost is $20 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Register online.

Gemstones Prom
Grace Seaford Church, Delaware, partnering with many local organizations and businesses, founded and sponsors the annual Delmarva Gemstones Prom for individuals affected by disabilities ages 14 and older. This year’s prom is on March 18 at Atlanta Road Alliance Church: 22625 Atlanta Rd, Seaford.

The prom is sold out, with a waiting list, but there is still room for volunteers.

Learn more and register at https://www.gemstonesprom.com.

Feature photo: Over 30 men attend a men’s breakfast hosted by Calvary Baptist Church, Belair. (Facebook photo used with permission)