August 2010 | Newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware | www.baptistlifeonline.org
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Penetrating Lostness .....................2 ‘It’s a New Day’..............................10 AssociationLIFE.......................12-13 Orioles’ Luke Scott has joy .........22
At Northwest Church, Westminster’s Mega Sports and Arts Bible Day Camp in June, 73 percent of the campers were from outside the church. See AssociationLIFE on pages 12-13.
Penetrating lostness drives our strategy
here are times when I don’t like what is happening around me. And then there are times that I do. There are times like waves that carry us to where we need to go. David Lee Other times we BCM/D Executive Director feel the force of the “tsunami” carrying away from us things that are precious. There are times that test us and times that prove we are right where we need to be. I feel at times like I am on a roller coaster. And the last thing I want to do is ride a roller coaster. In fact, on Thunder Mountain at DisneyWorld many years ago, I promised God that if he would just let me hit bottom and allow me to walk away from that ride without losing my stomach or my heart, I would never again get on a roller coaster. Promise kept! Sometimes, however, life doesn’t give you that choice. You are there, and you either hold on for dear life, or you find a way to enjoy the ride. With all that said, amidst the changes that are swirling in Baptist
circles these days, there are parts of this ride that I believe are worthwhile and can even be exhilarating. Many words have been spoken and written recently about our direction as Baptists. Yet, there are two words that I believe can become rallying points around which each of us can surge or re-surge toward the accomplishment of the Great Commission. Those two words are “penetrating lostness.” Expect to hear those words often in the short term as we move forward together as Southern Baptists. That concept will drive our strategy, as it should. It leads to two important questions. The first is this. What are the largest pockets of lostness in our Maryland/Delaware region? I addressed our General Mission Board recently giving the short answer to that question. I identified five pockets. I share them with you in reverse order as to the degree of challenge I think each represents to us based on numbers of churches and resources targeted in the direction of each of these pockets. No. 5 on my list is our bedroom communities. This is where most of our churches and resources presently exist. No. 4 is our pocket of lan-
guage and cultural diversity. Our convention is one of the most diverse in the nation. This is a growing area of our cooperative work, yet there is so much to be done just to keep up with the ever-expanding population. No. 3 is our college and university campuses. On each campus in Maryland/Delaware, the larger majority of the students do not have personal relationships with Jesus Christ. We need more missionaries on these campuses and more churches that see this as part of their “Jerusalem” ministries. No. 2 is the poor and hurting in our communities. Some of our national leaders have suggested that we need to target more resources to reach the “underserved.” That term fits no group better than those who not only struggle economically, but deal daily with deep-seeded feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The No. 1 pocket of lostness in our region is our cities. The reason why the cities most represent lostness is because from Baltimore to Wilmington to Silver Spring to Cumberland our cities are comprised of concentrated pockets of each of the other four. Going forward together, if we intend to penetrate lostness in Maryland/Delaware, we
must strategically target our praying, our going and our resources in these five pockets and in this order. The second question is this. Where are the major pockets of lostness in the area where you live and go to church, and what is your strategy for penetrating those pockets of lostness? I can think of no more important discussion in your next business meeting than an open and honest response to these questions. Understand, I am an Acts 1:8 guy. I know that some of the greatest pockets of lostness are to be found in the “uttermost parts of our earth.” We are not exempt from taking the Gospel there as well. That means that we must include this in any discussion about penetrating lostness. Here is the chief question on my mind these days. What are we going to do cooperatively as Maryland/ Delaware Baptists to penetrate the lostness in our world starting with Jerusalem, expanding to Judea, not neglecting Samaria, considering our mandate to make disciples of all the nations? Now that is a Baptist conversation I look forward to having with you.
changing in nature. I mention the work of the Holy Spirit because, as Jesus said in John 15:5, “without Me, you can do nothing.” To me, the ultimate influence is what the hand does within the glove. A glove is useless without the influence of the guiding hand. The presence of a person makes a difference. It influences. That’s why Paul wrote to that very conflicted church in Corinth and reminded them, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple (sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit who is in you…?” While I think we believe this theologically, I’m not sure how practically we believe it. It becomes very
practical when we fully grasp that He goes everywhere we go. He sees everything we see. He hears everything we hear. He’s a part of everything we do. Now that’s influence! Jesus calls each of us to be influencers. He wants us to influence everything in our lives in a positive way. He wants us to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime by leveraging all the influence we have with everyone we come in contact with. He even promised His presence as we do it. Wow! We can learn so much from Him, the master influencer. Maybe that’s why people He encountered often dropped everything and followed Him immediately.
How’s your influence with others?
ately I’ve thought a lot about the legacy I am currently crafting that will some day be left for others to judge. It is my sincere hope that when they read it, Bob Simpson one thing will be BCM/D Assoc. obvious… I tried Executive Director, to live my life in BaptistLIFE Editor such a way as to be a positive influence on any and all that came my way. Have I been perfect at it? No, of course not. But I firmly believe that the preponderance of the evidence will show that
I succeeded at it more times than I failed. Influence… what exactly is it? Some think of it as manipulation. The dictionary defines it as “the capacity or power of persons to be a compelling force on or produce changes in the actions, behavior, opinions of others.” One way to look at it is to think of it as a tool that can be used for either good or bad. I can use a hammer to build something in my home, which would be a good use of a hammer. Or I could use the same hammer to vandalize all the car windows on my street…a bad use of a hammer. Influence, with the help of the Holy Spirit’s power, can be life
A joyful life is achieved not by striving, but dying
have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and Byron Day BCM/D President gave Himself for and Pastor of me (Gal. 2:20). Emmanuel Church, Most people Laurel, Md. desire to live a good life. They want to enjoy life and try to do so by endeavoring to live life to its fullest. Some believe material possessions will enable them to get the most out of life. Some believe by doing extreme things this will allow them to experience the best life has to offer. Thus, most people spend their entire lives searching for life. The Apostle Paul, however, reminds Christians that a truly abundant, successful, and joyful life is achieved not by striving but by dying. Note Paul’s attitude. He says, “I
have been crucified with Christ.” Paul had made up in his mind that the life that the world pursues is not really life. This is a life apart from God and full of hopelessness. He considered himself dead to that life. In other words, to Paul that type of thinking no longer existed, it died with Christ on Calvary. Not only did Paul consider his old life as dead, but also he considered new life as allowing Jesus to live in him. Jesus now makes the decisions and sets the course. “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” How totally opposite of the present day philosophy, which tells us to seize control of our lives and chart our own course apart from God. Jesus has plans for us and desires to live in us that we may glorify our heavenly Father. Paul goes on to point out that his remaining days on earth since his new birth are lived by faith in God rather than faith in himself. He had determined within himself that he would live the rest of his days completely submitted to the will of God.
His motivation for allowing Jesus to reign in his life is found in the last phrase: “...who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Paul says he lives this way because Jesus sacrificed His own life for him on Calvary. Jesus died that Paul might live and this incomprehensible love stirs him to surrender his life to the Lord. The completion of the 2010 SBC Annual Meeting has brought change to the Southern Baptist Convention. We have a new SBC president and the GCR Task Force Report has been adopted. While change is good, we should consider that resurgence will not come simply from changing methods and strategies, but from confronting the people of God with the Savior’s love and challenging them to consider that love and sacrifice. The response to God’s love ought to be a life surrendered completely to the service of the Savior. The motivation for witnessing, giving, and serving is born out of a deep abiding love for Jesus and a life fully surrendered to Him.
LATEST BCMD.E-QUIP.NET TRAINING RESOURCES AVAILABLE MOST RECENT ADDITIONS • Women Mentoring Women • ImbCONNECT - Connecting Your Church with Missions • Holistic Women’s Programming • Breaking the 100-125 Barrier (Korean) • Infant Brain Development 1 & 2 • Changing from Children’s Ministry to Family Ministry • Teaching Teachers to Teach • Special Needs: Making Good Decisions for Children with Special Needs
Vol. 94 No. 4 Serving Baptists since 1849 BaptistLIFE (ISSN 331-640) is published bimonthly except for January as a Cooperative Program ministry of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. BaptistLIFE 10255 Old Columbia Road Columbia, MD 21046-1716 (Phone) 800-466-5290, ext. 245 (Fax) 410-290-6627 Send address changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org BaptistLIFE Staff
Bob Simpson Executive Editor Iris White Managing Editor/Mailing/Billing Shannon Baker Design Editor/ BCM/D National Correspondent Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent Lauren Rodriguez Media Specialist
Address change: Send the new address with the old mailing label at least three weeks prior to move or send an email to email@example.com with your old and new information. Advertising rates are available. We do not automatically accept all advertising. We typically accept ads for services provided to Maryland and Delaware Baptists related to or assisting in starting new churches and strengthening existing ones. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of any advertiser’s products or services. The deadline for news and advertising is the first day of the month preceding the next issue. Subscription: free of charge by request.
ONGOING SUBJECTS: Church Planting Mentoring Ministry to Children Music and Worship Pastors/Pastoral Staff Sharing Christ Single Adults Small Groups Technology WMU Resources
Press Releases and Photos: We welcome letters from readers, press releases and photos of topics of interest to Maryland/ Delaware Baptists. Digital photos sent electronically are preferred. If you send glossy prints, please include a SASE for return. Letters to the Editor (LTTE) do not reflect the views or opinions of BaptistLIFE. We prefer letters from Maryland and Delaware. Only letters marked clearly for publication as a LTTE, signed with addresses will be considered. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. Letters may not exceed 300 words. Letters attacking churches or individuals will not be published. Letters will be edited for clarity, BaptistLIFE style and space considerations, but not for content. We regret that we cannot respond to all letters not accepted for publication. BaptistLIFE is a member of the Association of State Baptist Papers, Baptist Press News and Evangelical Press Association and is printed by Carroll County Times, Westminster, Md.
God tells pastor to die with church and be resurrected together Sharon Mager BCMD/Correspondent ESSEX, Md.—First Church, Essex pastor John Smith looks and sounds like a young Jimmy Stewart or Nicholas Cage, depending on one’s generational perception. The 34-year old pastor paces from one side of the podium to the other, waving his hands expressively as he preaches about stepping out of comfort zones and unleashing caged Christians. God is blessing that contagious enthusiasm. In the past month the church has been averaging ten visitors and one confession of faith each week. Attendance has soared growing from about 35 in February to 100 in June. On July 4, the church drew 140 people for worship and another 100 for their “Freedom Festival” with food, games and prizes. “I don’t know if our people have ever been that energized. It was everything we prayed and hoped for and God just showed up, especially for the Fourth of July!”
Smith said. One woman walked Wilgis, an old friend, called to the aisle during altar call to ask him to consider coming to give her life to Christ and anFBC Essex. Smith was hesiother man showed interest in tant. Smith had aspirations of learning more. starting a church. “It was the coolest thing. Even after visiting, Smith There was this self-proclaimed didn’t think this was ‘the’ ‘never walk into a church’ guy place for him. He goodheartwho came up to me and said, edly thought he’d share some ‘Pastor, I know people told you “words of wisdom” with the I don’t like church…but there’s church body and help them something different here. I’ve determine the type of leader got a lot of questions.’’ Smith they really needed. He chalsaid the man has not made a lenged them, telling them that confession of faith, but feels if they were not willing to die he’s close. as a church and commit to Nine local businesses supthe changes God was callported the festival, donating ing them to make then they food and prizes. That’s sigweren’t going to make it. In nificant because the church is fact, he told them, if they can’t situated in an old established do that, they’ll probably close area in Essex with well-known John Smith, pastor of First Church, Essex, is leading their doors in six weeks to six family owned landmarks like months. members to engage their community. He and his wife, Dudek’s butcher shop, Connel“They all looked at me Amber and their children five-year-old Lawton and twoly’s Funeral Home and Salvo’s and said, ‘We agree. We had Auto Parts. By partnering with year-old Landon moved from Lynchburg, Va. other people tell us that, but these companies, Smith hopes we weren’t ready. Now we’re on 100 doors a week— letting folks to show that the church is also ready,’ ”Smith recalled. know the church is in the coma stable piece of the community. As Smith was driving away, he munity and leaving information. Smith and other leaders knock heard the still small voice gently Smith began by visiting inactive saying, “John, you’re asking that members and shut-ins, resulting in church to die. Are you willing to several returns and some curious die?” Smith was astounded. “God visitors. told me that First Church of Essex The mostly middle-aged and was the place and that if we died older congregation is catching together, we could have a resurrecthe vision and excitement of their tion,” he said. Smith obeyed and young pastor and the influx of visi- he and his wife, Amber and their tors. Smith seems very comfortable children, five-year-old Lawton and in his new church though it wasn’t two-year-old Landon, made the how he envisioned God was going move. to use him. Smith looks to his heavenly FBC’s prior pastor left a year and earthly fathers for guidance. ago and members were careworn. Gary Smith has been instrumental Various pastors provided pulpit in church revitalization in upper supply, including Tally Wilgis, pas- New York and the younger Smith is tor of Captivate Church. using his father’s techniques. Most “Tally told it like it is, in love,” importantly, he follows his dad’s Smith said. Wilgis was preparlead in making prayer a priority. ing the church for the inevitable “It’s unbelievable what an change required—not going from impact this has made on my life,” traditional to contemporary, chang- he said. Originally, Smith detering the music, becoming young mined he would prayer walk and hip, rather, changing from the Monday through Fridays and give inside out, being willing to go out himself the weekends off, but he of the church and engage a lost and usually does it on the weekends dying world, starting with the com- too. “Now I can’t live without it! It munity that surrounded them. may not make for an exciting story, Smith was working for Fambut it does make an exciting ily Foundation of Virginia when church,” he said.
Knit Wits are multiplying there’s something about something homemade especially for you.” Eligson sends the knitting FREELAND, Md.—Gunpowprojects away to meet needs nationder Church’s Knit Wits knitting ally and even internationally. Last group is so popular spin-off groups Christmas, the group sent 20 boxes are forming including a prayer with 350 knitted pieces, to low shawl ministry, a group that meets income people in the Appalachia in a senior adult complex and one area. Gunpowder Church paid for that meets at a coffee the postage. They also sent house. large boxes of knitting to Church secretary, Afghanistan, Peru, TanzaIris Singleton, started a nia and Ghana. Locally they prayer shawl ministry. sent baby caps to Carroll “Some of their group Hospital Center in Westlearned to knit as Knit minster and to a special Wits had assured me they cancer care center. could never learn to knit. The Knit Wits group They tried to learn as also responds to needs as kids and it did not work they arise. When Knit Wit, out. Now they’re knitting Carol Angelossi, visited her prayer shawls!” Pat Elligson, Ben Gruver, serving in son, founder of the Knit the Peace Corps in MicroWits laughed. nesia, she discovered a need Singleton was one of for reading glasses. The those who didn’t think grandmother of Gruver’s she’d be able to knit. She host family was thought to was left-handed. Eligson be partially blind because encouraged Singleton and she couldn’t see anything put the knitting needles close up. After trying on in Singleton’s right hand several pairs of reading and before long Singleton glasses that Angelossi was amazing herself by brought the grandmother knitting. could suddenly see. Knit Wits Joyce “That lit up her world,” Moore, Catherine BenEligson said. The first thing shoof and Mary Louise the woman did is go in her Smith live at the Courtroom and get her Bible. yards Retirement ComAngelossi and her son munity in Shrewsbury, realized that there were Pa. Benshoof, who relomany others like the grandcated from the Freeland mother. Angelossi told her area to the retirement fellow Knit Wits and they community, started a collected about 30 pairs of Sister Knit Wits there for reading glasses that they women unable to travel sent to Micronesia. to Freeland. Each month, Pat Elligson, founder of the Knit Wits, is amazed at how God has blessed her group that now has several sister groups “I never dreamed the Benshoof delivers a big Knit Wits would go to the in Maryland. bag of knitting items back heights and accomplish all to Elligson. we have. This was just Benshoof said she knew several ‘before I die you have to know how “The group gathers their completed supposed to be a simple knitting women who lived in her retirement to knit.’” Lewis remembers trying crafts and gives them to Lewis’ class for six to eight weeks. Now we community who wanted to particiher hand at knitting on a Christdad, who delivers them to Eligson will be four years old in January, pate but couldn’t—some were in mas Eve and she couldn’t even hold at church. and have donated over 2,000 items wheel chairs or used walkers. So the needles, but she persevered and Sometimes the group makes to charity. There is no doubt that she brought the Knit Wits to them. soon she was knitting hats. Hughes specific items, such as blankets, we are in the will of God! Now they have a time of fellowship wanted Lewis to come to the Knit for people they know who are ill or and they enjoy doing something for Wits group at Gunpowder, but it going through trying situations. others. “One lady said, ‘If I read a was difficult for her to drive the 70 “I made one for my mom and we book, that’s for me, but I’m doing miles round trip with a busy sched- prayed over it,” Lewis said. “… By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent
this for someone else,’” Benshoof said. Another “Sister Knit Wits” group meets in Perry Hall. It was formed by Gwyneth Lewis, whose mother, Dorothy Hughes, was in the Gunpowder group. “‘My mom died last year, but about five years ago she told me,
ule and three teenagers so Lewis decided to start her own group. She asked around at her home church, Loch Raven Presbyterian, to see if there was interest. Now about eight ladies, ranging from age 12 to 70 meet twice a month at a local Starbucks. They find a corner, drink their coffees and knit away.
Local Christian band, LifeBlood, opens on first national tour tioning it from a combination of rock and rap musicians into a hard rock/ metal band. With the new style also came a new identity: LifeBlood. The LifeBlood rockers say that bringing the life-changing power
since. They released their first full-length, independent album, “Can U Hear Me?” in May of 2006, and in May of 2008 released their single, “A Shot Heard around the World,” recorded and produced by
“He had everyone’s name on His heart.” Noting that the band’s songs’ LAUREL, Md.—A local Chrislyrics also reflect the struggles that tian band with ties to the Baptist young people face, Ephraim said Convention of Maryland/Delaware he hoped that the songs encourage and First Church, Laurel, their listeners to stay on played its first national tour fire and to stay focused on this summer. God, even when they fall. LifeBlood, a hard rock/ “It has to be a choice evmetal Christian band from eryday,” he stressed, noting Laurel, Md., opened for Spothat many of the songs have ken, a Christian rock band arisen out of the band’s perfrom Fayetteville, Ark., in sonal life experiences. what was dubbed “The Lion “Goodbye for Now” Tamer Tour.” chronicles the hope that LifeBlood, with front God gives believers in the man Jeremy Ephraim, who face of unexpectedly losing serves as a graphic designer someone close. The song is for the convention, has a tribute to bass guitarist played for many BCM/D Jeff Grove’s twin brother events, including the annual Jay, who was killed in a car meeting of the convention in accident in July 2006. 2007. “For a believer, death is The band, much loved not final, but is just ‘goodby students throughout the bye for now’ because we multi-state convention, will know that we will all be reperform a concert at the united in heaven,” Ephraim Nov. 5-6 “Uncharted: Crazy explained, noting that the Love” youth evangelism conband members strive to be ference at Ogletown Church examples of their faith as in Wilmington, Del. they live and share their LifeBlood is comprised music. of Ephraim, who sings As their music resounds vocals and plays guitar; in ever-widening circles, the Daniel Pearson, husband of group hopes to share the Misty Pearson who works Gospel with as many people with the BCM/D’s church as they can. And now with multiplication team, who experience in their first naplays guitar; Jeff Grove, tional tour, traveling from who plays bass; and Taylor New Mexico to Oklahoma Herring, who plays drums and back to the East Coast Taylor Herring, Jeremy Ephraim, Jeff Grove and Daniel Pearson, members of LifeBlood and First Church, Laurel, Md., again, LifeBlood believes and sings vocals. played its first national tour this summer. They will also perform a concert at the Nov. 5-6 “Uncharted: Crazy Love” Though the band, who that God has a big plan for youth evangelism conference at Ogletown Church in Wilmington, Del. originally came together in their ministry. 2001 under the name Soul Even though it has been Fire, has played many local venof the blood of Jesus Christ to the CR Pendleton at Pendlwood Studios hard to juggle the ministry with ues, including churches and coffee world is what they are all about— in Columbus, Ohio. their full-time jobs, each member houses, their May and June tour and is what their band name is all Their EP, also recorded at has committed to following Christ, was their first national tour. about. Pendlwood Studios, “The Storm wherever He leads them. Ephraim, now 31, joined his “As the blood that courses Is Coming,” came out in the fall of Want to join in the journey? youth group band at his then-youth through our veins brings life to our 2009. Join LifeBlood’s official Fan Group pastor Ralph Batykefer’s invitation. bodies, Jesus must be the course of Their latest project, a fullon Facebook or visit online at www. He played keyboard and later picked our hearts that brings life to our length album entitled, “Names on myspace.com/lifebloodband to check up the guitar. souls. By His blood he has given a Heart,” released this past spring. out their latest show schedule, get “From there, God pulled on my us life,” the band acknowledged in The title track depicts the story of updates, and show your support to heart, and I knew this is what God their biography. Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, their ministry. To contact the band wanted me to do,” he shared. In 2003, LifeBlood released an where He confronted the weight of directly, email them at LifeBlood_ Over time, Ephraim gradually independent, three-song demo and the world … “not for one person, but firstname.lastname@example.org. grew a new Christian band, transihave been steadily moving forward for everybody,” Ephraim explained. By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent
First Church Beltsville’s video game tournament challenges youth toward extraordinary faith and how important it was to Troy that we meet her that day,” Lang remembered. To honor the young man’s memory, FBC Beltsville youth and college and career ministries hosted a video game tournament and worship rally on June 5, 2010, Terawaki’s 21st
them to come. “It was truly phenomenal,” Laing said. The youth played video games, BELTSVILLE, Md.—First ate food and enjoyed the evening. Church, Beltsville, had a video game One youth won a new Xbox 360, dotournament to honor the memory nated by a church member who was of one of their young adults and to very close to Troy. encourage others to be bold for Jesus. The worship rally was led by Troy Terawaki, a “The TNL praise band,” a member of First Church, Waldorf-based music group. Beltsville, was a young man Following Bible readings, who glorified God—in the teens listened to Troy’s favormidst of his losing battle ite music including the Castwith cancer. Terawaki had ing Crown’s song, “Who am been active at the church I.” Laing spoke of people who since he was in the 7th grade demonstrated extraordinary and he continued attendfaith throughout their lives ing the college and career including Martin Luther, class when he became ill. Martin Luther King Jr. and In 2006, while on a student Columbine martyrs Cassie exchange program in Japan, Bernall and Rachel Scott. the young man had intense Laing turned off the lights pressure in his eye and flew and designated youth shined to Hawaii for diagnosis. He flashlights up to the ceiling discovered he had cancer to represent each life and how of the nasal cavity and was God used them as lights in transferred to Washington’s the darkness. Then he told Walter Reed Medical Center about Terawaki. for chemotherapy and radiaLaing said the young tion. Though he had a brief man acknowledged his remission, he died April 3, struggle.”I don’t like the 2009, just two months shy of treatments and I don’t like his 20th birthday. sickness,” Terawaki told La“He carried himself with ing. an exceptional level of faith “But Troy stood firm on and courage, and not only his faith and never doubted,” held tight to his faith during Laing said. “I asked him his ‘journey,’ but used his on more than one occasion, experiences as a vehicle to ‘Dude, are you mad at God?’ share his faith in God with and he said, ‘No, God put me others,” FBC youth director here for a reason and gave me Robbie Laing said. Those Troy Terawaki, a member of First Church, Beltsville, glorified God opportunities I wouldn’t have “others” included doctors, had if I wasn’t in this situain the midst of his losing battle with cancer. nurses and fellow patients at tion. And you know what? I Walter Reed and at Tripler plan on hanging around as Hospital in Honolulu. birthday. long as I need to.’ If he ever quesLang said when he visited TerLaing said Terawaki loved tioned God, you’d never know it.” awaki, the young patient took Lang playing video games and even in the Marvin and Cindy Terawaki, around the hospital to visit, pray hospital would always be in the game Troy’s parents, were very supportive with and encourage other patients. room if he was able. The youth leader and encouraging regarding the “We met this one girl named thought a tournament in Terawaki tournament. Laing said that at the Hannah that Troy really wanted me honor, along with a worship service, end of the evening, the couple hugged to come talk to. Troy had been prayhonoring God and sharing Terhim and said that they thought Troy ing with her and trying to encourawaki’s story with others would be would have enjoyed the event. Laing age her, and had asked me to help an appropriate memorial. Laing sent is already planning the 2011 annual him find some scriptures for her. I letters out to church members, fam“Troy Terawaki Video Game Tournaremember how cool it was to get a ily, friends and other church youth ment and Worship Rally.” chance to visit and pray with her, and young adult groups, inviting By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent
How to become a Christian God’s Initiative: God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for your sins, and promised “everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. Our Response: Admit...that you need to be rightly related to God. Understand that you are a sinner. Pride keeps us from doing some of the most important things in life. Without God’s intervention, your sin will ultimately lead to death and eternal separation from God. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” Romans 3:23. Repent...from your sin and turn to God accepting by faith His gift of salvation. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. Believe...that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, makes it possible for you to have a relationship with God. “This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” 1 John 4:10. Confess...your sin to God. If you want to make this choice now, you can express that desire to God in a prayer similar to this one: ���Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus shed his blood, died and rose again to take the punishment for my sin. I accept your offer of forgiveness and eternal life. I thank you for what you have done for me, and I give you my life from this day forward.” Express...your faith publicly. Share it with a Christian friend or a pastor. You will want to become involved in a local church where you can grow in your knowledge of Christ. If you choose a Baptist church, you will be encouraged to be baptised as a public expression of your faith. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed” Romans 10:9,11. Scripture from the New Living Translation
Baptists serve international students in Ocean City recently-retired pastor at Ocean City Church, and Lynn had considered becoming international missionaries years ago, but lacked the language skills. Now, Lynn said, the international program has come to them. To illustrate how far-reaching
help this year. These missions workers, students themselves, also assist OCEAN CITY—Who would in other outreach under Central have guessed that French fries could Atlantic Leisure Ministries (CALM), open the door for ministry to thouwhich Lynn directs. sands of students from all over the When international students atworld? tend a dinner for the first time, they It happened are registered that way at Ocean by computer and City Church, howgiven a badge to ever, when several present on future years ago it was visits. Each decided to cook student also is French fries in presented with front of the church a free health on Baltimore kit containing Avenue in hopes soap, shampoo, a of attracting local towel, toothbrush teenagers. The and other toiletlocal young people ries. Churches didn’t respond, from the Baptist but international Convention of students did and a Maryland/Delanew ministry was ware supply the born. kits, Lynn said. That experiAfter regence marked the istering, the beginning of the students can be summertime intercontacted by enational student mail and this is missions program important, Lynn at the church in noted, because Maryland’s largest the relationship resort city. The stuwith the young dents come there Terry and Lynn Davis minister through international student missions in Ocean City, Md. In the people does not from all regions of summer of 2009, students from 45 different countries came to Maryland’s Eastern shore to necessarily end the world for sumwhen they return work in hotels, restaurants and other businesses. mer work in hotels, to their home restaurants and countries. Lynn other businesses. When they arrive, the program has become, she said explained that she still receives church members and other Baptists that last year young people from 45 almost daily e-mails from a young are there to minister to them. nations across several continents Romanian woman who was in Ocean It is no surprise that food participated. Total attendance was City three years ago. Such ongoing continues to be a primary way of nearly 4,000. contact is one of the hopeful signs reaching the young visitors. Dinner This ministry is one of many from the program. Another is church is provided in the church fellowship ways in which the Davises have seen attendance by the students while hall every Monday evening during God work. “You can do all the planthey are in the resort city. the summer season and the students ning you wish, but God must provide Lynn’s hope is that the intercontinue to respond in large numthe way,” Lynn said. And with international students will continue to bers. Lynn Davis, who leads the pro- national student missions, “God has attend church when they go home or gram and has been involved in resort opened that door.” that they may seek out a missionary missions for years, explained that Ocean City Church is not alone working in their country. “You have attendance ranges from about seven in this ministry. Churches from the to trust God to continue it,” she said. at the first dinner in June to 300 or Eastern Association provide and In order to further encourage more in mid-summer after the word serve dinner throughout the summer attendance, Ocean City Church has has spread more completely. schedule, signing up in advance to begun a new 8 a.m. Sunday worship It is fitting that Lynn and her help. In addition, nine Baptist sumservice this summer, directed in husband, Terry, would be involved in mer missionaries from various parts large part at these students. Also, an such a ministry. Terry, long-time and of the United States are on-site to Internet room has been equipped for By Walt Scarborough
them in the church basement. The students possess some English skills when they arrive in Ocean City, but an attempt is made to reach as many as possible in their first language. Therefore, Christian literature is made available to them in 27 languages, Lynn said. They are not forced to accept the literature, but it is there for them. The Davises talk to the students and answer questions, planting spiritual seeds that they pray will one day grow. Some made professions of faith and the Davises are praying that those students will share their faith when they return to their home countries. Terry and Lynn Davis see the ministry as a gift from God. As they minister to this diverse group for the seventh year, they realize “the Lord has placed them here,” Lynn said. “It is a very special privilege,” she added. “It will be exciting to see how He uses it from here.”
Sundays at 8:30am EST over The Trinity Broadcasting Network (DIRECT TV Ch. 372) Sundays at 8:30pm EST over The Church Channel (DIRECT TV Ch. 371) Consult local cable affiliates in your area for channel allocations
Hope & Encouragement for Life!
‘Amazing Grace’ visits Tabernacle Church By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent ESSEX, Md.—Hollywood came to Tabernacle Church, Essex, to help promote the church’s annual Vacation Bible School. One of the co-stars of the new move “Get Low,’ starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray, Amazing Grace, showed up to entertain the community. Of course Amazing Grace is as mule. “She ‘kicked it off,’” Suzanne McHenry, the church’s VBS director said with a laugh. “We thought she would go perfect with the Saddleback Ranch theme.” “It was great. The whole community came out,” she said. The friendly donkey shot hoops, pushed a baby carriage around and even knelt at a cross. The mule’s owner, Steven Foster, McHenry’s brother-in-law from Front Royal, Va., shared his testimony with the crowd. Foster is a gentle man, with a southern twang. He’s trained mules and rode in rodeos throughout his life. But Foster struggled with addictions for years and it was ruining his life. “One morning I woke up and caught myself crying. I never do
that. I began to think of my kids, her and me to do a ministry,” Foster and he has Grace paint for them. the past, people I hurt…I knelt said. He trained the mule to do inThey can then buy the painting. down and put my face on Foster also sells the my hands and I said, ‘God, paintings at auctions to If you’re real, I need you benefit a variety of chariin my life. I felt a presties. ence coming over me. I had “Robert Duvall said peace I never had before.” Grace is smarter than a Foster walked into the lot of people he knows,” kitchen and told his girlForester laughs, adding friend Pam, now his wife, that the actor has really what had happened. “I told enjoyed being around the her I gave my heart to God mule. and I will serve him all of Foster just praises my life.” the Lord. “I have my kids God blessed him with back in my life, and my “Grace.” Foster didn’t grandkids…the Lord think he wanted any just started my life over more mules after the again.” heartbreaking loss of his At the end of the favorite mule, AJ. But a performances, Foster friend came along with a and Grace kneel at the baby that captured FosAmazing Grace, a mule, shoots hoops, pushes a baby carriage and even cross and Foster tells the ter’s heart and he took crowd, “This is where kneels at a cross, as he and his owner, Steven Foster minister and testify you truly find amazing her home. He named her about God’s amazing grace. “Steve’s Amazing Grace.” grace.” Foster and “Grace” In addition to the rode around in his truck, with the credible tricks—play music, retrieve movie “Get Low”, playing in thelittle mule sitting on his lap. “She mail, smile, yawn, kiss, hug, and, of aters now, Amazing Grace will comes in the house and we’ll sit on course, dunk baskets. After sinking appear on “Only in America” on the the porch together. She’ll drink her a basket, she goes to her cooler and History Channel in September in a coffee and I’ll drink mine,” Foster downs a sports drink. skit with Larry the Cable Guy. laughed. The mule even paints. Foster “I felt God opened the door for tells people to pick out the colors
NAMB appoints new missionaries in Maryland ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The North American Mission Board has appointed four new missionaries in Maryland. Lindsey and Brandon Shaffer are serving in Columbia, where Lindsey has been appointed by NAMB as an evangelism specialist. Prior to her new assignment, she served as a pre-K teacher at the Raleigh Rescue Mission in Raleigh, N.C. Lindsey holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in education from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., and a M.A. degree in Christian ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. Also appointed to serve in
Brandon and Lindsey Shaffer
Columbia is Justin Woods, who will work as a local collegiate evangelism missionary. Prior to his new post, Justin served as assistant director of admissions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He holds a B.A. degree in English/communication from Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, and a M. Div. degree in Bible and a M.T. degree in pastoral ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Woods and his wife, Tera, are the parents of a daughter, Anna. Tera holds a B.S. degree in applied mathematics from Texas A & M.
‘It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom’ seminar By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent GLEN BURNIE, Md.—True financial freedom is to be able to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He prompts you to do what He’s placed you on this earth to do, shared Dave Scobey of Crown Financial Ministries. “That is freedom,” stressed Scobey, who will be the keynote speaker at a “It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom” seminar offered Friday, Oct. 29 by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware. The seminar, held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Faith Church in Glen Burnie, Md., will present biblical principles about stewardship and offer lessons in money management, such as budget planning and how to handle credit cards, cars and housing expenses. The sessions cost $20 per person to cover materials and lunch, and spouses are encouraged to attend for free. Church leaders who attend the seminars will leave at the end of the day certified by Crown Financial Ministries to teach the 10-week Life Group Study at their churches. In his testimony, Scobey shares about he and his wife’s decision to retire their mortgage debt in four years while on a reduced retirement income. In 45 months, three months earlier than expected, the couple had a debt-free home. “Now, I don’t know how God did that because my calculator and His calculator work differently,” Scobey explained. “But He honored that commitment.” Shortly afterward, Scobey heard God’s call to move to a new location. And because the couple was free from debt, they were able to obey quickly.
“I can’t tell you the freedom— the lightening—that it has given us to be able to respond,” he said. “That is true financial freedom.” At the 2006 SBC meeting in Greensboro, N.C., a decision was passed to move the overall teaching of stewardship from LifeWay Christian Resources to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee.
As a result, the Executive Committee selected Crown Financial Ministries to be the program of choice in teaching and delivering a comprehensive program of stewardship to the many Southern Baptist churches across the nation. This alliance has a multipurposed approach that will include Crown teaching solutions, high impact pastor’s conferences, ongoing stewardship teaching for churches, online budgeting resources and much more. “Because of the climate that we live in, there has never been a better time to have a conversation in church about money than right now,” Ashley Clayton, associate vice president for stewardship at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, told Baptist Press. “Why wouldn’t a pastor address that? It could be that the people in our churches wonder why their pastor never talks about money when it’s clearly in the news all the time,” said Clayton, adding that many people in the pews are preoccupied with job security and how to pay their bills.
Church leaders must begin to see stewardship in a different light, he said, because Jesus spoke frequently about money, a tool that enables ministry. “Even as a denomination, we spend way too much time trying to divide the Cooperative Program dollars when what we should be doing is trying to grow the Cooperative Program dollars, and you do that through stewardship,” Clayton said. Clayton noted that most churches lack a consistent plan for helping people deal with money, and that one of the main benefits of such a plan is that it changes lives on an individual level. “The person who is worried about their future, who is failing to invest in their future, who is struggling to pay their bills, who is struggling to give often can’t see beyond that,” Clayton said. “It colors their whole world. So a consistent stewardship plan in a church changes lives.” Also, a consistent plan for helping people deal with money is a cultural bridge from churches to their local communities. “If you want your church to get a toe hold in your community, if you want people in your community to see your church as being relevant and a place of hope and a place of help, hang out a sign that says, ‘Get out of debt here.’ It’s a strong cultural bridge,” Clayton said. It’s a new day. How will you spend it? Start by attending the “It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom” seminar on Oct. 29. For event registration and details, you may now register online at www.sbc.net/newday/events/ registration.asp or contact Terry Doherty at (615) 782-8680 or email email@example.com. With reporting from Erin Roach, Baptist Press.
‘It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom’ seminar on Oct. 29 is designed to teach:
Fundamental, biblical principles of managing resources, saving, debt and setting priorities. God’s nature and how He uses money in your life to lead you to financial freedom. Practical steps to establish a plan to properly manage resources.
Lessons from the Great Recession By Chuck Bentley GAINESVILLE, Ga.(BP)— Recently, on “MoneyLife,” Crown’s nationally syndicated radio program, I had the opportunity to talk with a few of our 10,000-plus Facebook fans. We had posted the question, “What have you learned from the Great Recession?” and many Crown fans contributed to the online discussion. I’d like to share with you a few of their responses, compiled by our program writer, Jim Henry. – Leanne Suttles:”Our income decreased by 65 percent from 2008 to 2009. I lost my job first, and then my husband lost his job. So we were definitely down to nothing and we have seven children. We were both out of work and I was pregnant with our youngest child. Four weeks after she was born, I went back to work. I have a teaching degree, and I had
lost my teaching job, so I went back to substitute teaching and my husband was at home. “God had called him several years ago to return to college, but with seven children and working, he just didn’t have the time. So while we were out of work, he was able to go back to school while staying home with our younger children. There was no next paycheck or overtime pay coming, but God provided, sometimes just when the mortgage was due. My faith has moved to a whole new level. God is faithful. I struggled with the bills and the monthly budget, but God was with me. He has never left me or forsaken me! “God has moved us and grown us in areas of faith that I would never imagine. He is my Source and my Provider.” God uses difficult economic circumstances to cause us to be-
come more dependent upon Him, to be more reliant on His financial principles, and to reprioritize our lives. I trust that you, too, will be encouraged to embrace the lessons that God has for each of us as we journey through the Great Recession together. Remember, He has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (See Hebrews 13:5). That is certainly a lesson we all need to remember. – Bill Wade: “The lessons have been many. I’m the Crown coordinator for my church here in St. Cloud, Fla. My wife and I took the Crown study in 2002 and we’ve been blessed on the journey and we’re on our final destination on the Crown Money Map. We’ve paid off our mortgage; we became completely debt free in December 2005. Thank you, Lord and Crown. “I have learned to be more con-
tent and that the NEED is great to teach others God’s way of handling money, especially now. Because of the recession, people are so open to hear what we have to say and they’re seeking counsel. Many of them are turning to the churches and asking, ‘What can I do?’ but unfortunately, many people wait too long to seek help and counsel. We have a class of high school students that are learning God’s ways of handling money, and they’re being taught by previous students of the class.” – Jim Podraza: “I would say my wife and I have really fine-tuned the ‘needs versus wants’ scenario. Also while it is hard sometimes, I am holding the line on not taking on any new debt, even when there is a 0 percent financing offer available!” Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries and host of Crown’s MoneyLife radio broadcast.
SBC Pastors’ Conference inaugurates adoption fund for pastors By Michael Foust ORLANDO, Fla.—With the belief that pastors who adopt children inspire their congregation to do the same, the SBC Pastors’ Conference will use its surplus offering funds to provide a series of $2,000 adoption grants for Southern Baptist ministers and missionaries who want to adopt. Funds are limited and interested families can obtain more information at SBCAdoption.com. A home study must be complete before applying. SBC Pastors’ Conference President Kevin Ezell and his wife Lynette have adopted three children in the past six years, adding to a family that already included three biological children. Ezell is pastor of Highview Church in Louisville, Ky. “Pastors impact churches, and churches impact communities,” Ezell told Baptist Press. “Since we adopted our daughter, we’ve had 130 children adopted in our church [by about 85 church families]. When a pastor does it, it impacts the church. It sets tones of acceptance and leading by example.”
pastors can serve as a “multiplier effect.” “Frequently, when a pastor and their family adopts a child, an average of five families in the same church will also adopt,” the Bethany release said. Adoption costs vary widely, but typically cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. Ezell said he knows the PasBuff and Cissy McNickle, a Florida couple who adopted twin boys, tors’ Conference are the first recipients of a $2,000 grant from the SBC Pastors’ grant will pay for Conference to be used toward their adoption expenses. They also only a portion of unexpectedly received $10,000 from Pastor’s Conference program costs. sponsors. Photo by Shannon Baker “When God is leading someone Meanwhile, Bethany Christo adopt, finances typically are the tian Services says it will provide a greatest hurdle,” Ezell said. “It’s matching grant for the first 25 pasnot their heart, it’s their wallet. We tors who are approved for the Paswant to in some way help, and by tors’ Conference funds and who use doing that it will encourage others Bethany for their adoption service. to help.” A news release from Bethany said The Pastors Conference award-
ed the first grant during its June 14 afternoon session to Buff and Cissy McNickle, a Florida couple who adopted twin boys and appeared on stage. Buff is a minister at Idlewild Church in Lutz, Fla. “Adoption is not God’s Plan B ever. Adoption is always God’s Plan A, if that’s what He’s called the family to,” Cissy McNicle said during a short video that told their adoption story. The couple unexpectedly received an additional $10,000 given by the SBC Conference program sponsors. Ezell’s three adopted children are from China, Ethiopia and the Philippines. “I would adopt all over again based on the impact it’s made on my biological children,” he said. “They are so much more informed and the world is a much smaller place to them. They better understand the love of God and how it crosses nationalities.” Obviously, it’s also impacted his church. “It’s been sweet to watch our people, opening their hearts,” he said. Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.
Glen Burnie Church is accepting registration for their Upward Soccer program for children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade through Aug. 8. The season begins on Aug. 28. Linthicum Church had a community summertime ice cream social with antique cars, a moon bounce, western dress and calling contest and a white elephant table. They also offered free hot dogs, cotton candy and soft drinks. Severna Park Church members will head to West Virginia this month to do missions work in a small Appalachian area Southern Baptist church doing prayer walking, light construction, visiting nursing homes and other outreach ministry. The church had VBS in July featuring the Saddleback Ranch theme. They used the VBS as an opportunity to get a head start on collecting shoeboxes and supplies to participate in Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. Baltimore Association Baltimore Grace Place (GP), Dundalk, had a “day of praise” in June. The church had live bands and summer food including hot dogs, cotton candy and snowballs testimonies. Dallas Bumgarner, campus pastor, wrote in the North Arundel Church’s (NAC) newsletter (GP is a satellite church of NAC): “It was awesome as we let the people of Dundalk know that Jesus is alive through good music, food and a children’s fair. From 1-5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, everyone driving or walking down Delvale Avenue and all the people living around the church heard testimonies and songs about the love of Jesus.” David Schell retired as pastor of Parkville Church after serving for 28 years. The difficult decision was due to pressing health concerns. Schell began preaching regularly at the age of 12-years-old, went on to become licensed and began church ministry at the age of 22. He is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Schell and his late wife, Brenda, came to Parkville from Union View Church, Franklinton, N.C. in May,
Eastern Eastern Association
Immanuel Church, Salisbury, deacon chairman, Robert Shores, presented an award to Woodrow Crouse as Pastor Emeritus saying the award was given from the heart “to honor one who served long and well.” 1982. Family and friends gathered for Schell’s retirement dinner. The theme was “A pastor and his sheep: Psalm 23.” His final service at Parkville was June 27. He will reside in Maryland with his son, Nathaniel and his family. Riverside Church will host a Vacation Bible School at Riverside Park this month with the help of a youth mission team from White Marsh Church The Church on Warren Avenue’s new youth group “PRIME” is flourishing. The group kicked off with a launch party in March and in addition to regular “Omega” Bible studies, they’ve gone on to take fun trips to the Inner Harbor and out for ice cream. The group needs a variety of equipment including a video game system, sound system and a van. Blue Ridge BlueAssociation Ridge Fellowship Church, Middletown, had its annual Children’s Carnival on July 17. The free festivity featured food, games and pony rides. Local non-profit organizations were invited to have displays to inform the community about the services provided. The Catoctin Promise Band, a non-denominational Thurmont band
played throughout the festival. Delaware Association Delaware Harrington Church is growing. Sunday school attendance has jumped. In fact, recently, the young adult class, which averages seven had 18 students. The church, in an effort to reach out to the community, had a free oil change day this spring for young single mothers. Clayton Clarke, pastor of the church, said he was thrilled with participation. Kids under nine years old helped by leading other children to classrooms where they could play games or color. Members in their 80’s volunteered to be “runners,” heading to the auto parts store for parts when needed. The church plans to offer the service again in October. Members of Harrington had a hymn sing and celebrated baptisms with a local non-denominational church. Harrington and Grace and Truth Community Church joined together for the evening service and then had a fellowship time afterwards. Youth from First Southern Church went to Ocean City last month. They ministered with international students, kids’ camps and lifeguard ministries.
First Church, Easton, has had a busy missions emphasis summer. They sent a mission team to Ocean City in July to work with BCM/D’s resort ministry outreach to international students, ministered to migrant workers on the Eastern shore and collected sunscreen sticks for adults and children for a mission team to take with them to Turkey. First Church, Easton, has Xtreme Kid through Aug. 11. On Wednesday nights, children enjoy arts and crafts, cooking, water games, tennis, soccer, drama, video making, flag football, music and more. The program kicked off with a family fun night cookout with games and ice cream. Kids picked out the tracks they wanted to follow for the six-week program. Immanuel Church, Salisbury, honored Woodrow Crouse with the title Pastor Emeritus. Crouse served the church for 27 years, from March 1979 to May 2006, the longest serving pastor in the history of the 50-year-old church. Prior to his ministry in Salisbury, Crouse served churches in California, Louisiana and Baltimore for a total of 40 years. Church members presented a plaque with a picture of the church building and “Deep appreciation for faithful service” engraved upon it. Deacon Chairman Robert Shores said the award was given from the heart “to honor one who served long and well.” Crouse presented the sermon and preached about commitment and loyalty. Over 125 people attended the special worship service. Gail Crouse, Woodrow’s wife, was also recognized with an award for her work in many ministries at the church through the years. Wanda Ferrier, who organized the service and a dinner the previous evening, presented the award. Mid-Maryland Association Mid-Maryland Mid-Maryland Association will host its annual golf open on Sept. 21 at the Oakmont Green Golf Club in Hampstead. The cost is $75 and includes fees, cart, light lunch, steak dinner and beverages. Prizes will be available for first, second and third place and cash prizes for a hole in one. Proceeds will
be used for Haiti relief. Sponsorships are also available. Nigel Black has been called as pastor of Hope Fellowship Church, Greenbelt. His wife, Eva, directs the young children’s ministry of the church. The couple has three children. Two hundred ninety five elementary school aged children and 26 preschoolers participated in Northwest Church, Westminster’s Mega Sports and Arts Bible Day Camp in June. That’s the highest attendance ever for the annual event. Seventythree percent of the campers were from outside the church. The camp featured praise and worship, Bible stories, a sports story and lots of high-energy sports and arts activities including basketball, flag football, baseball, dance, cheerleading, soccer, cooking, art and theater. Breakfast and lunch were provided each day. Campers returned for a finale program to show parents on Thursday evening and the sanctuary was packed. Local businesses donated a variety of supplies for the event. A camp reunion was held on July 30 featuring an all-day “run for the son” one-mile fitness walk at the church. Montgomery Association Montgomery Georgia Avenue Church had a workshop on inclusion of people with disabilities and their families. The event focused on informing “how to be an eye, a voice, and an ear for those in need.” Redland Church and First Church, Rockville, are partnering to host Upward flag football and cheerleading. Practice and games will be at Redland Church. For more information see the church’s website, http://recreation. redlandbaptist.org. Potomac Association Potomac Trinity Church, Waldorf, has had a “summer of outreach” for teens. In June they had “messy games”—fun times with jello, chocolate syrup and bananas. In July teens came for an outdoor evening movie with free popcorn and snow cones and this month they’ll have a skate party with Christian hip hop, rap and rock music. The church sent a mission team
to Pikeville, Ky., last month to distribute school supplies and other needed items. They will return in December to deliver Christmas gifts and winter supplies. Waldorf Church had a farewell reception and wedding shower for Shelley Mager, the church’s family ministry associate. Mager is leaving to get married and move to Las Cruces, N. M., with her husband, Joshua Allen, pastor of Grace Bible Church. Prince George’s Association Prince George’s Kettering Church, Upper Marlboro, had a young men’s conference called “Preparing for Kingship.” The all-day event was for young men ages 11-25. Unity Church, Forestville, celebrated their 20th anniversary last month with a special gala event at the Lafontaine Bleu in Lanham. Susquehanna Association Susquehanna Calvary Church, Bel Air, had a “law enforcement recognition day” on May 16. The church had a large poster-sized Thank You card for each agency, signed by the congregation. Law enforcement personnel were recognized and given gift bags. Each bag contained a New Testament designed for law enforcement workers, and a mini flashlight. Ralph Green, pastor of Calvary, preached
from Romans 13 and shared what the Bible says about law enforcement officers. The service also included a role call of Maryland officers who died in the line of duty. Calvary will present the musical “The Sermon on the Mound” at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 25. At Northwest Church, Westminster’s Mega Sports and Arts Bible Day Camp in Children in first through June, 73 percent of the campers were from outside the church. sixth grades have been practicing for months in Western preparation for the energetic musical, directed by Ken Tipton, minister Christ Memorial Church, of music. Westernport, recently returned The play is about Mac Wire, a from a mission trip to Alabama, rookie in training who is terrified of working with Millbrook Church. dropping the ball, or tripping on the The team participated in worship, field. He learns baseball lessons on the did backyard Bible clubs, prayer walking, visited nursing homes, field but also spiritual lessons about passed out flyers and helped with a playing on God’s team, suiting up block party. They also did yard with the armor of God and spending work, some random acts of kindness time with the “head coach.” and hosted a movie night featuring “Facing the Giants.”
Remembering Beryl Dean Little (1944-2010)
eryl Little was known throughout the BCM/D for his years serving with the Sunday School conference, now known as Horizons, providing guidance and his support for church leaders as an adult trainer and resource consultant. He also served as director for Skycroft Conference Center for four years. Little was born in Amarillo, Texas, though he spent most of his life in the East. He studied journalism at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and then was drafted in the U.S. Army. He continued his studies after the army. His job with Faith at Work Magazine brought him to Columbia, where in 1973 he joined Columbia Baptist Fellowship (CBF). As CBF’s Sunday School director and teacher, he produced memorable Sunday School programs, combining his love of writing and teaching, to serve God. He is remembered by his CBF family as an encourager and organized many CBF activities including the
men’s ministry. He served with the people’s resources committee, and he helped organize the church’s annual Angel Tree activity and a winter coat drive. Through his own company, The Training Group, Little worked with seniors through Florence Bain’s senior center, producing senior-oriented programs for SPRING (Senior Peer Resources: Individuals, Networks and Groups) for 24 years. Near to his heart was another self-founded company, Little Ideas Publishers, through which he self-published and marketed materials on thinking, learning, teaching and personal developments. Little also taught middle school at Glenelg Country School. Of course we cannot forget Little’s other loves: cats, teddy bears and the Cowboys! Little is survived by an aunt, Marcie Harper, and two cousins: Thomas L. Harper and Judith E. Pybus, all of Amarillo. By Rebecca Canfield, Columbia Baptist Fellowship
“Dear Counselor” with CentrePointe Counseling, Inc.
“What do we do when the church seems toxic?” (Part 2) Dear Counselor, My husband and I have been in ministry for five years. While we have had many blessed days in ministry, more recently as we have tried to make some changes, the church just seems toxic and I worry about its impact on our family. How can we learn to survive in such an environment? “Learning to Survive” Dear “Learning to Survive,” I began to address your issue last month by taking introducing an approach from a workshop I did with ministers’ spouses entitled, “Building an Immune System to the M1N1STR1 Virus.” Using the metaphor of a virus we found that a virus in ministry is any source of stress, conflict, negativity or irritation. Viruses are always pres-
ent. Viruses only reproduce and take over when there is a “host” cell. With an immune system, viruses are hardly noticed. Prayer is a way of building an immune system and we looked broadly at various ways of praying. More specifically, there are ways of praying that move one from a “quiet time” to a “quiet life” because we are changed so deeply in the process and because we begin to approximate Paul’s admonition to “pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). Some early Christians developed a school of inward prayer (hesychia) which meant to be still and to concentrate. Others followed a four-fold approach to reading the scriptures – Reading, Reflecting, Responding, and Resting – in which the final stage was simply to be still and silent in the face of the scripture. In such silence, things change.
Out of the silence there often emerges a phrase from scripture or an image of God with which one can journey throughout the day. John Cassian (fourth century), for example, took as his single focus a verse from scripture to which he would come back to in prayer over and over again during the day and in the face of any difficulty. His verse was from Ps. 69:2 (translated from the Greek version of the Psalms where the numbering is slightly different): “Come to my help, O God; Lord, hurry to my rescue.” With such a focus of the mind that originates in a stillness before God one becomes watchful, sober, and awake (I Thess.5:6-8; I Peter 5:8) in all circumstances. It is the best immune system one can have.
Send your questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. CentrePointe has offices in the following locations: Bel Air, Canton, Catonsville, Charles Village, Clarksburg (Germantown), Columbia, Crofton, Dunkirk, Eldersburg, Federal Hill, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Hughesville, Lanham, Laurel, Lutherville, Mechanicsville, Middle River, Odenton, Parkville, Port Deposit, Rockville, Severn, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Westminster. (410) 882-1988 or (800) 491-5369
CentrePointe Counseling receives accreditation CentrePointe Counseling, Incorporated has been awarded Full Accreditation for January 2010 to July 2013, The Samaritan Institute, located in Denver, Col., announced today. “Accreditation is a major accomplishment and demonstrates a Center’s commitment to excellence,” according to the Reverend Dr. Paul Bretz, Vice President of the Institute, which is the headquarters for an international network of Samaritan Centers. “The accreditation process indicates that Centers offer professional services within a framework of quality organizational, administrative, and financial practices,” Bretz said. CentrePointe Counseling was established in the early 70’s by an independent board
representing a cross-section of the community and is supported by 28 congregations. Other key community supporters of the Center include Arundel Baptist Association, Millersville; Baltimore Baptist Association, Baltimore; Blue Ridge Baptist Association, Boonsboro; Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church, Lutherville; Crossroads Church, Odenton; First Baptist Church, Crofton; Mars Hill Baptist Church, Essex; Montgomery Baptist Association, Gaithersburg; Parkville Baptist Church, Baltimore; Patterson Park Baptist Church, Baltimore; Potomac Baptist Association, Hughesville; and Prince George’s Baptist Association, Lanham. The Center provides a wide range of outpatient counseling
services, including counseling for individuals, couples, and families; educational programs; and consultation for professionals and organizations. The Samaritan Ministry advocates the concept of interfaith, team-oriented, and cost-efficient counseling, emphasizing the interrelatedness of mind, body, spirit, and community. The Executive Director is Kim Cook, MSW, MA, LCSW-C. The Center is staffed by Marlene Backert, MA, LCPC; Terry Bates, MS, LCPC; Theresa Baxter, LCSW-C, MSW; Richard Beacham, MS, MDiv, LCPC; Lynnda Bird, MS, LCPC; Olga Booth, PhD, LCPC; Ron Brown, BD, ThM, DMin; Carolyn Buresh, MS; David Burt, MA, MRE; Eliza-
beth Devilbiss, MA, LCPC; Elinor Dichshinski, MS, LCPC; Daniel Holler, MS, LCSW-C; Toni Kelley, MS, LCPC; Dawn Lewis, MS, LGPC; Patsy Mengiste, MA, MBA, LGPC; Julie Pratt, MS, LCPC; Melvin Pride, MS, LCPC; Matthew Reader, MSW, LGSW; Thomas Rodgerson, PhD, LCPC; Daniel Stinchcomb, MRE, MS, LCPC; and Frankie Wright, MA, LCPC. The Board of Directors includes Mrs. Doris Burch, Dr. Rev. James Dixon, Jr., Mrs. Carole Frank, Ms. Barbara High, Rev. Kevin Holder, Ms. Joan LeFaivre, Mr. Robert Michael, J.D., Dr. Emily Ulmer Michelsen, Rev. Larry Sharrow, Mr. Don Sweeney, CPA, Ms. Barbara Taylor, and Dr. Rev. Nathaniel Thomas, LCSW-C.
Social Media – A new method for sharing the Gospel By Larry Miles Inviting friends and neighbors to church was one of the original tactics of local evangelistic efforts. Later, the advent of television brought new and effective methods to the efforts of men like Billy Graham. More recently, groups like Promise Keepers have taken advantage of large venues and effective networks of highly organized disciples to reach the hurting and the lost. In spite of these efforts, however, those who truly have a heart for reaching the lost and fulfilling the Great Commission never tire of seeking new methods to make their labors more effective. One method that has recently received much attention is called social media. What in the world is social media you ask? Have you ever heard of Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? Chances are you have (since by the end of this year experts predict nearly 1 billion people will be connected via some form of social media). Nonetheless, in spite of having heard of them, you still may have no real understanding of exactly what they are or how they work. At this point a few definitions are in order. Let’s start with social media. One of the most basic definitions available on the Internet states: social media is primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among hu-
CLASSIFIEDS CHILDCARE WORKERS—Faith Family Church of Finksburg, Md., is looking for qualified, dedicated childcare workers 18+. Regular, paid position. Tuesdays. 9-11:30 a.m. Sept - June. Call Sarah at (410) 552-9522 ext. 8. ASSOCIATE PASTOR—For music and faith development – College Parkway Baptist (Arnold, Md.) is seeking candidates for this full time position. Responsibilities include music leadership, worship planning (with Senior pastor) and oversight
Larry Miles man beings. Going further, Facebook is: a social networking website - a gathering spot, to connect with your friends and with your friend’s friends. For good measure let’s also throw in YouTube and Twitter. YouTube is: a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. And finally, Twitter is: a social networking service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Now with at least a basic understanding of social media, you might be tempted to wonder (even if only to yourself)… So what? How is this relevant? In some ways the relevance of social media is defined by its size and speed of adoption. A few points of comparison might
of faith development programs for all ages. For more information, visit www.collegeparkwaybaptist.net. Please send resumes by Aug. 31 to email@example.com. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR—The Baptist Convention of New Mexico is currently receiving resumes for the position of executive director of the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, which is located in Portales, N.M. Resumes may be sent to the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, P.O. Box 94485, Albuquerque, NM 87199 to the attention of Children’s
help. It took 38 years for radio to attract 50 million listeners, 13 years for television to attract 50 million viewers, and in just 4 years there were 50 million people surfing the Internet. By comparison, Facebook alone garnered more than 300 million members in a little over three years! Well those stats are fine, you might say, but I’m just not sure about this whole social media thing. Before you get tempted to write off social media as some new-fangled digital amalgam, remember these important words and relax What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc 1:9 [NIV] Social media is not new, they’re just different, from what a lot of us are accustomed to using. If you decide to explore them – and even to develop a proficiency in using them –think of it as a lot like using the telephone, an ordinary communications tool, but one that in the right hands can become a powerful means of sharing the Gospel with the lost. If you’d like to learn more, check out the following website: http:// www.facebook.com/mybcmd.
Baptist churches, teaches an adult Sunday School class and a Bible Study for a local prison ministry. He is also a published author of Christian fiction. He resides in Crozet, Va., with his wife Michelle, and two daughters, Bethany Grace and Anna Faith. “Like” BaptistLIFE on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest news and events.
Larry Miles currently works as a marketing consultant for McClung Companies, a media company in central Virginia. He has served as the Chairman of Deacons at two
Home Search Team. For more information on the Home, visit its website at www.nmbch.com. MAIL, E-MAIL OR FAX YOUR AD Deadlines are the first day of each month for the following month’s issue. Classified advertising is 75 cents per word ($18.00 minimum) for BCM/D churches and church members; 85 cents per word ($20.00 minimum) for non-profit organizations; and 95 cents per word ($25.00 minimum) for commercial organizations. Word count does not include words with two letters or less. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for display
ad pricing. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of any advertiser’s products or services.
For more, visit online at www.bcmd.org/ resume-center
Checking the foundation
t was recently pointed out to me that a building I was visiting had a telltale crack that had appeared in one of the corners where two of the walls came together. David Jackson The building was older, perhaps a BCM/D Missionary hundred years in for Church age, and from all Multiplication appearances on the outside, was quite beautiful and impressive. However, I was told that the crack—visible only from the inside—indicated a more serious problem than was even evident to the naked eye. The foundation was flawed, cracked as well, and that this would eventually bring about the demise of the building itself. Can I state the obvious? Church planting doesn’t always encourage the construction and building of the planter’s own spiritual life. In fact, ministry in general often fights against the necessity of personal spiritual formation in the life of all Christ-followers. I find this especially true, at least anecdotally, among leaders in church life. I have no doubt that the Enemy is behind a lot of this. He is “looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Sometimes it’s an all out, frontal assault, but often times it’s not. He’s usually subtler than that. If he can get church leaders to focus on “the good” rather than “the best,” he can neutralize their development or at least encourage a crack to appear in it. In church planting this is often compounded by the fact that egos are large and resources are small. Planters sometimes think too much of themselves or they have limited options to assist them in the work of ministry. In either case, they often try to do it all themselves. Since everyone, including the planter, has the same amount of time, then something has to give. Unfortunately, it’s often their own spiritual development that suffers as a result. This past month, the BCM/D granted me a sabbatical, for which I
am thankful. My intended purpose for this experience was to retreat, reflect, renew and re-engage, all in the midst of life and ministry learning with family and friends. During this time I was reminded of several keys that are essential for church planters—and all Christian leaders, in fact—to remember as they seek to build strong, healthy spiritual lives while ministering. Being before Doing. In God’s eyes, who I am is more important than what I do. If I forget this, I negate the work of grace in my life and attempt to earn God’s favor through my service. In addition, who I am (or may not yet be) will directly impact what I do. If I am to develop as a leader like I should, I must cultivate my spiritual walk with God; it will affect everything else. Relationship not Religion. Christianity is not a bunch of rules, tasks and obligations. It is a relationship with the living Lord. Our Father desires to develop intimate communion with His children, but religious responses crowd Him out and make the “forms” more important than the “function.” In other words, relationship makes it personal; religion, impersonal. Love trumps Duty. What motivates you in your Christ-life? While responsibility rightly ought to move us to behavior in our ministry, the ultimate motivator in our lives should be love. Jesus taught us the importance of such love in our walk with God and in our connections with others (Matt. 22:37-39; John 15:12-13). Love is a relational motivator and thus, nurtures our life in Christ. Duty alone, on the other hand, brings burnout and a judgmental heart. Priority above Activity. To put this another way, quality is more important than quantity in our lives. Even Jesus didn’t try to do “everything.” He instead chose to do what was most important at all times. He reminded busy, hardworking friend, Martha, that her sister, Mary, who sat at His feet, had “chosen what is better” (Luke
10:42). Doing the right things is always more important than doing more things. People over Assignment. With so many needs in ministry, it is easy to forget that our assignment is not just checking off everything on our “to do” list. Tasks are not the objective; they are means to an end. The end in our service is always people, God’s choicest creation. Every job and assignment we have is done for the purpose of helping others and the calling God has placed upon their lives. If we forget the objective, our hearts become pharisaical and will harden. Community rather than Isolation. You can’t be a solitary follower of Christ and grow your soul. The Godhead experiences community; Jesus exemplified it here on earth. We are created for community and need it desperately to thrive spiritually. While leadership in ministry often wars against close “common unity” with others for a variety of reasons (most are self-imposed), the growing disciple will allow “iron to sharpen iron” and will learn the necessity of interdependence in the Body of Christ. Oswald Chambers reminds us all, “The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him… The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him” (My Utmost for His Highest, January 18). In fact, if not careful, we can all too quickly neglect this essential foundation to work on the superstructure. And while superstructures can impress those who view them, the ultimate ability of the building to accomplish its intended purpose depends on what is inside and more specifically, what is unseen. David Jackson serves the Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware as the Team Strategist for Church Multiplication. He can be reached at (410) 977-9867 or at email@example.com.
BCM/D August - October Events August 5-8 Boys Camp, Camp Wo-Me-To, Thursday 5 p.m. - Sunday 2:30 p.m. (ext. 215)
6 Labor Day - BMRC Closed 10-11 Focused Living for Church Planters, BMRC , Friday 5 p.m. Saturday 5 p.m. (ext. 222) 12 Asian Concert of Prayer, Hanuri Korean Church, 5:30 p.m. (ext. 228) 16 Children’s Ministers Seminar, BMRC, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ext. 233) 18 RA Field Day, Bethel Church, Ellicott City, Md., 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (ext. 215) 20-21 Language Pastors and Wives Retreat, Skycroft Conference Center, Monday 1 p.m. - Tuesday, 1 p.m. (ext. 221)
8 Weekday Education Director’s Support Network, BMRC, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ext. 233) 8-9 Breathless: A Gathering for Women (ext. 231) 16 Bible Teaching Resource Team Seminar, BMRC, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ext. 222) 22-24 Deaf Retreat and Interpreter’s Conference, Skycroft Conference Center, (ext. 222) 22-24 Ministers Family Getaway, Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center, Lancaster, Pa., (ext. 211) 29 It’s a New Day Seminar, BMRC, www.sbc.net/newday/events/ registration.asp or (615) 782-8680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For detailed information, go to www.bcmd.org/calendar or call 1-800-466-5290 and dial the extension listed.
‘I am lost and looking for where I’m from…’
hile in high school my youngest son, Jesse, was asked to write a poem using a particular structure. The topic was irrelevant. As you might imagine, writing poGayla Parker ems was not on his WMU Executive Director/WMU,SBC top ten (or even top Missions Innovator 100) list of things “I want to do today.” Specialist Jesse played on the Missionary for Missions Education/ varsity basketball team and would Customization have much preferred a little b-ball with his teammates. But the assignment was due and to stay on the basketball team, grades had to be maintained. There is nothing like a little incentive to get an unwanted job done. This is the poem
that Jesse wrote that afternoon: Running here and there Looking for where I’m from Going to the very depth of the earth Looking for where I’m from I’ve searched the deepest cave And looked over the highest cloud Running here and there looking under this and that I’ve gone to the depth of the earth and to the farthest star I am lost and looking for where I’m from I’ve searched the deepest cave and looked over the highest cloud Swam to the bottom of the sea And climbed the highest mount I am lost and searching for where I’m from I’ve looked under every rock and in every tree I am lost and searching for where I’m from Then on a hill with a cross called Mount Calvary I find my home.
By the time you read this article the Southern Baptist Convention will be over. There will have been much said about the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) Report. There are and will be varying opinions on the GCR report. But my prayer is this, when it is all said and done we can all agree on this, there are many in our world who are lost and dying without the eternal life that can be found in Jesus Christ. There are billions who are searching for “where I’m from.” We can be the GPS in their lives. We can lead them to Mount Calvary, the place that offers eternal life for all. Over the next few years The North American Mission Board will be talking about GPS (God’s Plan for Salvation). Perhaps your church is already participating. If not, maybe now is the time to agree to be the GPS for someone who is lost and
searching. I’m forever grateful that Jesse found Mt. Calvary and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. But there thousands of children, students, and adults who are still wandering, “running here and there.” They have “searched the deepest cave” in the drug and alcohol world. They have looked “over the highest cloud” in the financially successful world. They have “swam to bottom of the sea and climbed the highest mount” in the sports world. They have looked “under every rock and behind every tree” searching in books and false religions. But they are still lost, running here and there searching. Take time today and be the GPS for them and help them find Mt. Calvary and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Newest BCM/D missionary, Lindsey Shaffer, called to poverty ministry By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Lindsey Shaffer, BCM/D’s newest missionary, knows her calling—to minister to those in poverty. The recent graduate and young newlywed graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in special education, but halfway through her graduate studies she realized that teaching was not where God was calling her. She worked with schools where families were economically comfortable and with schools with children living in low-income housing. Her heart broke for the struggling families and she became aware that poverty ministry was where her passions lay. She also knew God was calling her to seminary. “I didn’t want to go,” Lindsey said. The young woman said she told God she wasn’t going to be a statistic. She wasn’t going to be one of those women who go to seminary only to meet a man and get married. She wasn’t going for her “MRS” degree. “I met my husband on the first
day,” she laughed. “It was like God was laughing at me and saying ‘so, you think you’re going to tell me something!’” In 2009 she graduated from Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., with a Master of Arts in Christian ministry and she married her husband, Brandon, one month after graduation. As Lindsey pondered how God would use her various degrees and experience, her father, Mark Lydecker, a collegiate coordinator with the North American Mission Board, met with BCM/D Executive Director David Lee and Associate Executive Director Bob Simpson. As the men discussed various ministry business, Lydecker mentioned his daughter and her recent graduation. The BCM/D had been seeking an associate missionary to come alongside BCM/D lay mobilization missionary, Ellen Udovich, to expand lay mobilization. They encouraged Lydecker to have Lind-
sey submit her resume. She did and the week after the young couple returned from their honeymoon they were in Maryland discussing the possibilities with Lee and Simpson. “We weren’t sure what the explicit duties would be. We both felt that God was calling me to poverty ministry so we said, ‘If they offer me that, we’ll know it’s God’s will’,” she said. The call came. “It was exactly what they wanted to bring me here to do,” Shaffer said. Her new role is to make churches aware of the need for poverty ministry and to come alongside churches to help them develop ways to begin and develop those ministries. She will also supervise summer missionaries, oversee English as a Second Language programs and help with lay mobilization. Shaffer made a confession of faith when she was four-years old. She heard Bible stories throughout her very young life. While in Connecticut, the family didn’t have tele-
vision. Her parents ordered Uncle Charlie’s Bible hour tapes. “I was listening to one about heaven. My mom came into the room and I asked her how I can get to heaven. I remember kneeling and praying. I was baptized several years later.” Unlike many who become believers as small children, Shaffer didn’t fall away or feel a need to later recommit. She knew it was a sincere conversion. When she went to college, she was no longer under her parent’s authority and had to make her own decisions about her beliefs and her church attendance. In that respect, she said, she took responsibility for her own faith. The Shaffers have been in a whirlwind of change, but they’re excited. “We love living in Baltimore,” Shaffer said. “We love the culture and the sporting events.” In their spare time, the energetic couple enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities. They’re busy exploring their new world and ready to channel their youth, energy and excitement into ministry in Maryland and Delaware.
Students get ‘amped’ up through BCM/D and Skycroft partnership By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent MIDDLETOWN, Md.—It’s a beautiful formula. Cardboard boat regattas, wacky wigs, a zorb coaster, which World of Weird Sports defines as “the sport of rolling down a hill at speed inside a giant inflatable ball,” Damascus Road, the seven-story waterslide, and Peter, “the reCHARGE” reporter, plus intense worship, incredibly gifted youth speakers and extreme Bible devotions on a mountainside in Western Maryland equals Amped, the new student ministry of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D). Nestled in the mountains, Skycroft Conference Center is the perfect locale for student camps, retreats and mission experiences. Skycroft’s executive director, Doug DuBois, was already hosting summer and winter camps and mission experiences for teenagers throughout the year so it made sense for him to become BCM/D’s missionary for student evangelism. In fact, just this summer, Amped held three reCHARGE summer camps with 697 students from 39 churches attending. In the winter, Amped will host student winter breakout weekends in coordination with local Baptist associations, and will handle the logistics and coordination of an annual convention-wide student mission trips to Guatemala. The goal is to take missions offerings throughout the camps and impact weekends to help raise money for this mission trips, DuBois said, explaining that the offerings will be used to help build churches and otherwise minister in the Central American locale. In addition, Amped staff (DuBois, Grace Schofield, and Peter Odulana with the addition of Lauren Rodriguez, communications
manager at the BCM/D who will now serve as associate director at Skycroft) will organize the annual Youth Evangelism conferences. The next YEC event, “Uncharted: Crazy Love,” will be held Nov. 5-6 at Ogletown Church in Wilmington, Del. Rodriguez is super excited about working with the Skycroft staff, she said, “because they are innovators. They don’t want to maintain the status quo. They want
to keep being innovative to reach as many people as they can for Christ.” Some of these innovations include the building of a super-sized Hollywood Squares set for a game show review of the day’s lessons; or the hosting a “reCHARGE’s Got Talent” talent show, with no judges, to showcase student talent. Noting that the staff is “a big family who puts its all into the ministry,” Rodriguez also shared how Skycroft emphasizes making camps personal for the students. Most camper-counselor ratios are one to 30 students, she explained, but at reCHARGE, the ratio is two to 25 teens. “I knew every student’s name— and their story,” Rodriguez said, explaining that she cherished the time to sit with students, many of whom are now her Facebook
friends, and hear what was going on in their hearts. For DuBois, the ministry goes beyond just the students. He wants to minister also to the student ministers. Presently, he is working with High Tide Church on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to develop a “Shepherds Rest”-type home for youth leaders to use for free. The house, to be avail-
able in the off-season, will give youth ministers a place for retreat and rest. DuBois and the Skycroft staff also are developing a “studentintern family” to send out interns to churches with little or no student programming to help develop student ministries and/or special events. In addition, the Amped student ministry will feature an ongoing unique ministry presence at a missions house located in a low-income housing area in south Frederick, Md. DuBois encourages student ministers to sign their youth groups up one weekend a year to
serve in the community—prayerwalking, hosting Bible studies, tutoring students or doing light construction projects. “The goal is to have 40 weekends filled with student ministry groups who are maintaining a Christian presence in this hurting community,” DuBois shared. Though no overnight stays are allowed at the house, student groups who minister there can receive a discounted rate at Skycroft, he said. During this summer’s reCHARGE camps, students replaced some of their recreational time to go and make a difference in the community. Neighbors, who took notice of the ministry taking place, asked for Skycroft to come help them, too. DuBois also is working with associational directors of missions to provide incentives for assisting in the promotion of Amped events. “The goal is to get churches to call directors of missions for the things to do,” shared DuBois. To encourage the partnership, DuBois envisions giving associations a portion of the event fees for every child who comes to the event. “For instance, if we give $5 for each child who shows up, and 1,000 people come, that would be $5,000 that we give to the association for their ministry efforts,” he said. With all these possibilities in front of them, the entire Amped student ministry team is charged up. For more information, visit online at www.facebook.com/ ampedministry, www.skycroft.org or http://bcmd.org/youth, or by phone at (800) 536-6759.
Fellowship seeks racial reconciliation the Home Mission Board, now the North American Mission Board. Today he is an adjunct professor ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)—Racial at Mercer University and pastor of reconciliation is his agenda, James Fellowship Group Baptist Dixon, incoming president of Church in East Point, Ga. the National African AmeriNew officers for twocan Fellowship of the Southyear terms included Dixon ern Baptist Convention, said as president; A.B. Vines at the group’s gathering June as vice president; Mark 14 in conjunction with the anCroston as treasurer; nual meeting of the Southern Bryon Day as secretary; Baptist Convention in OrK. Marshall Williams as lando, Fla. parliamentarian; Robert “I’m discontented with Wilson as historian; Brian the church I’m at because I’m King as east region direcpreaching to folk who look tor; Roscoe Belton as cenlike me, and I’m not prepartral region director; and ing for the place I’m going to,” John Wells as west region Dixon said, referring to heavdirector. en. He has been pastor for 17 Vines is pastor of New years of El-Bethel Church in Seasons Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Md. Spring Valley, Calif.; Cros“God wants us to bring ton is pastor of East End about a unified body not only Baptist Church in Suffolk, in the United States but in Va.; Day is pastor of Emthe world. Racism -- until we manuel Baptist Church in deal with that, the Kingdom Laurel, Md.; Williams is of God is hindered,” Dixon pastor of Nazarene Baptist said. “I’m looking at God to do Church in Philadelphia; some amazing things to get Wilson is pastor of Sandpeople together.” town Baptist Church in The NAAF annual meetAtlanta; King is pastor of ing and banquet also honored Ezekiel Baptist Church three stalwarts: Elgia “Jay” in Philadelphia; Belton Wells, David Cornelius and is pastor of Middlebelt Emmanuel McCall. Officers Baptist Church in Inkster, were elected and reports were Mich.; and Wells is pastor heard from representatives of of Mountain View Baptist SBC entities and from JoChurch in Temecula, Calif. seph Gaston, president of the NAAF’s $4,665 budget National Fellowship of SBC Michael Pigg, right, current president of the National African American Fellowship (NAAF) of the Southern Baptist is unchanged from last Haitian Churches USA/Cana- Convention and pastor of Philadelphia Church in Lithonia, Ga., introduces James Dixon, left, president-elect of da. Three of the nominees for the NAAF and pastor of El Bethel Church, Ft. Washington, Md., during the annual banquet June 14 at the Orange year, Croston said. Three candidates for SBC president also addressed County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Photo by Kent Harville. SBC president introduced the fellowship. themselves to NAAF: Wells, of LifeWay ChrisJimmy Jackson of Alabama; Bryan to “move into another area of min“The well is deep,” Crostian Resources, received the Friend Wright of Georgia and Ted Traylor istry” after serving with the IMB ton said. “Jay has a deep, quiet of Pastors award, established last of Florida. Wright was elected for 21 years. year by NAAF to honor individuals strength, deep creative thinking president the next day by messen“Because of David Cornelius’ -- deep with a committed life. He who have had a longtime, signifigers to the SBC annual meeting. untiring efforts, there is a rishas a clear passion for educating cant impact on pastors. and discipling people. He’s a well of ing number of African American “He influences all the work at Karen L. Willoughby is churches going on mission trips,” fresh ideas,” Croston said. LifeWay,” said Selma Richards, managing editor of the Louisiana Pigg said. “We want to celebrate Two other men were honored vice president of the leadership Baptist Message, an affiliate that. He’s been blowing the trumteam at LifeWay. “For 21 years he’s at the meeting: David Cornelius of newsjournal of the Louisiana pet for missions.” the International Mission Board shown great strength and great Baptist Convention. McCall, first African American and Emmanuel McCall, who taught resolve. Jay led in the development most of the African Americans who to hold a national leadership role in of the new ‘You’ urban curriculum. today are in leadership positions in the SBC, served for 23 years with We have run out in both of the last By Karen L. Willoughby
two issues, which tells us it’s being very well received.” Virginia pastor Mark Croston presented the award to Wells.
the SBC, said NAAF President Michael Pigg, pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. Cornelius has announced plans
Spend your semester shaping public policy through ERLC internship By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent WASHINGTON, D.C.—Exemplary college and seminary students interested in addressing today’s cultural issues from a biblical perspective have the opportunity to become directly involved in issues that impact millions of people through the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. “We offer volunteer internships, providing students hands-on experience in the fields of communications, public policy and administration,” shared Bobby Reed, who directs the program. Noting that an internship can be a tremendously formative experience for students as they prepare for their careers, Reed shared that the ERLC seeks to design each experience around the individual’s gifts and interests. “Our staff is committed to the success of each intern and will mentor him or her during the internship program and beyond,” he added, explaining there are internships available for qualified students throughout the year in both ERLC’s Nashville, Tenn., and Washington D.C. offices. The ERLC office in Washington is located at just four blocks from the Capitol in a house called the Leland House, named for John Leland, a Baptist minister who championed the cause of religious liberty in colonial America. There, the ERLC interacts with senators and members of the House of Representatives on a daily basis to urge their support for issues that relate to faith and family. Clifton Drake had just graduated from law school at Georgetown University when he decided to pursue an internship with the ERLC in 2008. Placed through the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a ministry of the Alliance Defense Fund, Drake spent six weeks in ERLC’s D.C. office working on public policy issues of interest to Christians. The main issues that summer ranged from global warming to broadcast indecency to internet
gambling and FDA’s regulatory authority over the use of tobacco. “I could not believe the types of things I was able to do,” shared Drake, a prosecuting attorney in Florida. He attended Senate hearings, took notes and even debated policy with staffers, exposing them to the SBC’s positions. “From Day One, I got to interact with really high profile cases and people,” he said, explaining that he read the existing bills, analyzed them and presented them to Barrett Duke, vice president for Public Policy and Research with the ERLC, who manages the D.C. office. In return, Drake received an interesting insight into the political process, particularly with the Christian perspective. As a 20-something student, he found himself constantly marveling, “I can’t believe they’re letting me do this! I am actually debating public policy for the SBC!” In addition to his other responsibilities, Drake drafted letters and action alerts, including content for ERLC’s 2008 “40/40 Prayer Vigil” that focused 40 days of prayer on personal, church and national spiritual revival. In a similar way, Natalie (Kaspar) Bunch’s work involved a lot of research and personal interviews. In ERLC’s Tennessee office, located downtown Nashville, she observed the editing and recording of the “Richard Land Live” radio program hosted by ERLC President Richard Land. Serving as an intern while a student at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, Bunch said, “The ERLC got me out of the college-writing bubble and into the bigger ministry bubble.” Now a freelance writer for the “Upstream Collective,” a nonprofit organization that challenges churches to be more missions-minded, Bunch remembers how hard it was at first to interview nationally known figures, such as Vicki Courtney (author of “5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter” and “Your Girl”). “I remember being terrified, but now it’s just part of my job,”
said Bunch, who once served as an International Mission Board Journeyman and continues to write for the IMB on a freelance basis. “The ERLC was a great stepping stone for me—and for me to learn how to do things well.” Brandon Bryant also helped research news stories for ERLC’s radio programs. While involved in the technical editing, he gained great experience in media “that I wouldn’t have had otherwise” during his internship as a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He now serves at “Overseas Radio and Television,” a nonprofit Christian multimedia company in Taiwan that uses magazines, radio and television to teach English and to share Christ with the Taiwanese and the greater Chinese population. Bryant said it was the unexpected blessing of a mentorship at ERLC that propelled him into ministry. He credits most of his growth to the long talks he shared with his host family member, Harold Harper, executive vice president of the ERLC. “It was the coolest experience, much more than the job itself,” he shared, explaining that Jesus was very apparent in Harper’s life. “In our discussions about personal life matters, Harold was instrumental
in helping me grow spiritually.” Reed urges students interested in current social, moral, and public policy issues to give serious, prayerful consideration to the opportunity of an ERLC internship. Applicants should provide the following: résumé, brief personal testimony (page or less about spiritual journey and passions), paragraph about goals and expectations of an internship, time frame of availability (spring, summer, or fall) and samples of writing abilities. These items may be sent electronically to email@example.com. For more information, contact Reed at 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN 37203 or (615) 782-8407. For more information, visit online at www.erlc.com and click on the internship tab.
Oil-spill ministries launched on Gulf Coast By Karen L. Willoughby GULF COAST (BP)—As the oil spill crisis drags on along the U.S. Gulf Coast, Southern Baptists are ministering to people who live on the coast in two main ways – with on-site chaplains and with “Buckets of Hope.” As much as 200 million gallons of British Petroleum unrefined crude oil has been escaping into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank April 22. The fishing industry has been crippled, as has tourism and local economies in many places across the Gulf. Tar balls have been found on beaches in all five Gulf states. About one-third of Gulf waters have been closed to fishing, and in some cases – such as Grand Isle, La. – the beach itself is closed. The disaster relief department of the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board convened a three-day June 30-July 3 conference in New Orleans that included Baptist disaster relief leaders from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, plus regional and national leaders from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A July 7 conference call also was held to follow up on the discussion and plans. The group decided that six disaster relief-trained chaplains would be onsite – two in each of three locations – by July 11. Summit participants also decided to conduct a “Buckets of Hope” food ministry to permanent residents of Gulf Coast towns. “For the rest of the world, everything is normal. For the folks down here, it’s a reality that life is not going to be the same anymore,” said Joe Arnold, director of missions for Bayou Baptist Association in Terrebonne Parish, south of I-10 and west of Plaquemines Parish, where Port Arthur and Venice are located. Venice is 52 miles northwest of the Deepwater containment efforts. “These are people who are losing their heritage and losing their future,” Arnold said. “They’ve
trained 2,000 or more, and yet only 500 are working on ‘vessels of opportunity.’ The ‘vessels’ are boats owned by the fishermen, assigned to the task of skimming oil from Gulf waters. “The support personnel is where the despair is coming in,” Arnold continued. “These people who were supplying these boats and rigs, they’re the ones feeling the crunch. It’s always the bottom man on the totem pole who gets crushed first. ... More than anything else, the frustration is from looking to see what tomorrow holds, and not being able to see anything.” Just the day before, Arnold had talked with a welder, a man who works for a wage in an industry that primarily serves the oil industry in Terrebonne Parish. “He said business is slower all the time,” Arnold said. “He goes in every day, wondering if today is the day he’ll get a pink slip. It’s hard to live like that.”
Buckets of Hope While chaplaincy ministries require intensive training and experience, a wide range of Southern Baptists can help Gulf Coast residents through the “Buckets of Hope” initiative, said Gibbie McMillan, disaster relief director for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. “When Christ saw the needs of people he was moved with compassion and did not wait for them to ask for help,” McMillan said. “He asked, ‘What do you need?’ Because of that model, we, too, need to be Christ to these hurting people of the Gulf. “One way of offering hope is a small bucket of food that could keep some families from doing without at the same time it would remind them that they can have hope because people do care about them,” McMillan said. “It would be my prayer that Southern Baptists would stop for a moment and ask themselves a question: ‘How would I feel if I were in their condition?’ I know I’d want someone to care.” The buckets were expected to include pasta and sauce, rice and
beans and other non-perishables Gulf Coast residents would want to eat. “We’ve made the plea for people to stop and realize there is a need,” McMillan said. “This is a way people in our churches can have a part in bringing hope to people in the afflicted areas of the Louisiana coastline. With the Buckets of Hope, we’re providing a way for God’s people to be involved in giving an offering that hopefully will restore hope.”
Chaplains Ministries Participants in the recent Deepwater Horizon Summit spent at least two sessions talking about the need to minister on an emotional/spiritual level to the people of the Gulf Coast. The oil spill has affected people on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast to date more than in any other state. But as the oil slick spreads to all five Gulf Coast states -- affecting tourism, local economies and fishing – similar stress-level indicators alert Southern Baptists and their partners in disaster relief, The Salvation Army and American Red Cross. U.S. Coast Guard chaplains also see the stress. “I was at the beginning of this, when the phone rang at 4 a.m.,” said Commander Tim White, who supervises Coast Guard chaplains in 26 states. “Every day it got bigger and bigger, every single day. “This is not just event stress,” White said. “The scope is so big, so much oil, the coastline so vast ... there’s so much going on and they can’t fix it. That’s cumulative stress. It wears people down. ... How do you clean up a marsh? They’re out there with paper towels and Shop-Vacs. It breaks your heart to see this. “They’re fighting an enemy they can’t see,” the chaplain said. “You can see the evil in a natural disaster, not in this. And yet it keeps coming. People think not a lot of progress is taking place. And the heat. It’s jungle hot.” The people of the Gulf are hurting economically, mentally, spiritually, financially and in their day-
to-day lives, White said. “And then there’s the mental disconnect,” he said. “They’re going to BP – who on one level they’re seeing as the bad guy who caused all this – for help.” Mickey Caison, adult volunteer mobilization team leader for the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board, emphasized the fragility of human life. “As human beings we can snap and break under the circumstances of life,” Caison said. “As Christians, we can offer the hope that is found in Jesus Christ to people so they can bend in this wind, and not be broken by life.” During the conference call July 7, the decision was made to place three trailers onsite for chaplains ministering in Gulf Coast towns. One trailer is to house two disaster relief chaplains – rotating in a new team each week for 12 weeks – in Venice, Grand Isle and in Houma. Local chaplains are serving until DR-trained chaplains arrive. “We’re looking for listeners, people with a calming nature,” said Joe Arnold, director of missions for Bayou Baptist Association. “Life is upside down for the people here, basically because of the uncertainty, not knowing what tomorrow holds.” In addition to the need for trained DR-trained chaplains, there’s the need to provide sustenance for them. The disaster relief chaplains will support the local churches and pastors as they provide ministry to the people in the affected communities. “What we need is for churches or Sunday School classes to provide the means to feed these chaplains,” Gibbie McMillan said. “We figure it will take about $100 a day to provide the food for these six chaplains.” Checks to help feed chaplains can be mailed to DOM Joe Arnold, Bayou Baptist Association, 440 Magnolia St, Houma, LA 70360. Note on the check that it is to feed the chaplains. Karen L. Willoughby is managing editor of the Baptist Message, newsjournal for churches in the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Orioles’ Luke Scott, the ‘Home Run Monster’ has joy in the Lord By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent BALTIMORE, Md.—There is something that sets designated hitter, Luke Scott, apart from the other players on the Baltimore Orioles. His passion for the game is uncontainable; shining from every inch of the huge grin he flashes the crowd as he rounds the bases. His friendly demeanor portrays a downto-earth, genuinely nice guy as opposed to a conceited celebrity. But Scott will be the first one to tell you that it’s his relationship with Christ that fills him up and drives him forward each and every day. But even with unspeakable joy deep inside, Scott can’t help but agonize over this year’s pitiful season with the O’s, trailing the league at 25 wins and 57 losses a week before the mid-season All Star Game. Sitting at his dining room table, dropping his head in his hands, he admits, “This has been the season from hell.” Scott said he’s been doing spiritual battle like never before, but, by leaning on the Rock, he’s staying the course. He knows his struggle is not just with an opposing team, but with the “powers and principalities of this world.” “Satan is attacking me at my heart’s desire—baseball,” he said. Scott said he feels it when he steps up to the plate and is continually praying, asking for God’s help. He acknowledges that there is a clear parallel between his spiritual walk and his game, citing more “clarity” on the field and less oppressive warfare during those breakthrough periods. Scott was instrumental in reviving the team for a short-lived rally this spring when he hit a grand slam against the Mariners, bringing the team up from a 4-0 Mariner lead. The “O’s” went on to win that game and he hit three more homers within the week. He goes through periods of success and challenges, however, and believes there’s no question as to the reason for the satanic attacks. “I’m bold. I think that’s why he comes at me so hard. He knows I
freely talk about my faith and God, who He is and what He’s done, without hesitation,” Scott says. The powerful athlete, who has been referred to by radio commentators as the strongest man on the team, is disciplined in all areas of his life. He eats healthy, avoids sugar, filters his water, takes supplements and rides his bike to Camden Yards. He’s got a “work hard to get what you want” ethic. Physical discipline and ethics carry over into his spiritual life— and visa-versa. Scott continually prays, journals, memorizes scripture, takes his Bible to “work” and speaks Scripture over himself. “The Bible talks about the temple— God anointed the hands of the workers.” Scott relates that to God’s anointing over his body and soul. He takes a beating for his passionate stand for Christ, for his vow to remain abstinent until marriage and for his propensity to “tell it like it is.” “Right is right and wrong is wrong,” he states. He shares that philosophy with youth groups he has the opportunity to address. “Fame, wealth and power should never come at the cost of integrity honor and character. You can… write a check to get what you want, but having a good name can’t be bought.” Scott also freely shares his struggles and victories. One of his most poignant memories was not close to the harbor in Baltimore, however, but instead on the South American continent. Scott travelled to Venezuela more than five years ago. He played there to improve his game, but it was also, he feels, because God had a mission for him. God blessed Scott in an incredible way during his first season in 2005 playing for the Navegantes del Magallanes. He came late to the team, fresh from the World Series with the Astros,
and had to leave early to prepare for the upcoming 2006 season. During this short season, however, he played like never before, hitting 12 home runs at his first 88 at bats— breaking a record and earning the nickname “el monstruo de cuadrangular” which translates to “The Home Run Monster.” “It was the best time I ever had in my life,” Scott said. He not only took joy in the game; he also
took every opportunity to talk about Jesus on television, on the radio and to people in the crowd. “There’s nothing like it when God takes your passions and your talents and uses it for His glory. It’s the greatest sense of fulfillment. That’s when it’s the best!” On a more personal level, Scott had the opportunity to be an example to other players as he stood firm on his convictions, passing up opportunities to party and even beautiful Venezuelan girls waiting for him at his hotel. He admits it was only with God’s strength he was able to resist. “I took a lot of heat,” he acknowledged. Scott’s return visit to Venezuela in 2007 did not yield such successful results on the field, but he continued to publicly glorify God in the good and bad. “My performance was miserable,” he said. “(But) God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and I love Him.” From his initial climb to suc-
cess in Single-A teams in 2003 to his current status in the Major Leagues, Scott has found comfort in the fact that God has a plan and is his biggest fan. One of his hardest challenges was moving from high A ball with the Cleveland Indians to Double-A then being demoted back again. He was having a great run in 2003, finishing the season with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs. He even won the home run derby. But the following year he was traded to the Houston Astros who sent him back to Salem, the High A league where he had been an all-star. “It was a tough mountain to overcome. I spoke the right things, prayed, and really sought after God…and His anointing came on me in my games.” Almost three months later he moved to Round Rock, Houston’s DoubleA league in North Carolina where he excelled, hitting 19 homeruns and scoring 62 RBIs—added to eight homeruns and 35 RBIs at Salem brought him to a total of 27 homeruns and 97 RBIs ending with a .298 batting average. Nolan Ryan, who owned the Round Rock team, vouched for Scott and the homerun monster moved to the Astros 40 man roster. Scott continues to ride a roller coaster of victories and struggles. His most recent challenge came on June 30 when he pulled a hamstring rounding the bases of a homerun and was sent to the Oriole’s spring training camp at Sarasota, Fla., for recovery. He said he doesn’t understand, but knows God has a plan for all things. He is praying that God makes up the time for him. Last year he was on the disabled list from May 11 to 24. When he returned, he hit six homers and 15 RBIs in four games—less than a week. “He gave me a month worth of numbers just like that. I don’t put limits on him. I just choose to get out of His way.”
All Star anchored in Christ By Tim Ellsworth ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP)—One ... two ... three ... As the pastor stepped to the pulpit, a young Adam Wainwright began counting. 74 ... 75 ... 76 ... The preaching continued, and so did the counting inside Wainwright’s head. 328 ... 329 ... 330 ... “As long as he kept talking, I would keep counting,” said Wainwright, a member of the National League team in tonight’s All Star Game. “There were times when I got up almost to 1,000, which is really embarrassing. I’m so competitive, and I was so lost at the time, that going to church was a game. That was the only way that I could make myself sit through it without complaining and whining and fussing, was to make a game of it. So I made it a counting game.” That competitive fire may not have been appropriate for the setting, as Wainwright now ashamedly admits, but it has served him well atop the mound. Over the past few years, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Wainwright has become one of the game’s most dominant pitchers. He won 19 games in 2009 and finished third in Cy Young balloting in the National League. So far in 2010, he’s second in the league with 13 wins and a sparkling 2.11 ERA, good enough to earn his first All-Star spot in a game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Wainwright still competes fiercely on the diamond, but now Wainwright has a different attitude when it comes to attending church and hearing the Bible preached. He grew up in a single-parent home in Brunswick, Ga., where his mom made sure he went to church every Sunday. He heard the Word of God preached year after year, but it didn’t sink in. “I hated going to church,” he said. “I didn’t let anybody know that, but it was the most boring thing in the world to me.” His counting games during the sermon continued until middle
school. He then started attending regular Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings, primarily because of his friends and the pretty girls who went. “High school came, and I started to get farther and farther removed from the Christian way,” Wainwright said. “I grew up going to Vacation Bible School. I could tell you about the Bible and all the parables and the stories and all that. But to me at the time, it was really
calling Wainwright, offering their services. Wainwright was drawn to Steve Hammond, an agent from a smaller firm, but someone that Wainwright thought was a good fit for him. Hammond, also a Christian, signed Boyer as a client as well, and the two of them began tag-teaming Wainwright in their witnessing to him. “They knew I had questions,” Wainwright said. “I was coming to them all the time with questions
about before. “The message had probably been given to me a lot of times before, but my ears weren’t ready to hear it,” Wainwright said. “At this particular time at PAO, my ears were finally ready to listen.” On the second day of the conference, Wainwright repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus Christ for his salvation. A year later, the Braves traded him to the Cardinals. He debuted with the team in 2005, and took over as the team’s closer late in the 2006 season and during the playoffs. He struck out Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers for the final out in the 2006 World Series. Wainwright moved into the St. Louis rotation the following year and has been an anchor for the Cardinals ever since. His success has allowed him to earn a healthy living, which he acknowledges can be a potential pitfall for a Christian. “Doing what we do, the reality of the money that we’re able to make and the obstacles we’re faced with -- temptation-wise -- are tremendous,” Wainwright said. “We’re given a platform that’s unlike many others. We’re also given more temptation than probably most others. Adam Wright, a member of the National League All Star team, has learned that Jesus will “love us The money side of it, Jesus said that it’s easier for a camel to pass the same” win or lose. Photo by Tim Ellsworth. through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven.” a history book and not something about eternity and how do you That’s why Wainwright said it’s that was talking about a messiah.” know you’re right, how do you know important for him to stay focused on The Atlanta Braves drafted Christianity is the way and not Christ as his ultimate meaning and Wainwright in the first round of the Buddhism or Islam or any of these purpose in life. 2000 amateur draft, and in rookie other ones.” “Without God, without Jesus ball his first roommate was Blaine The two convinced Wainwright in our life, it’s always going to be Boyer, now a relief pitcher for the to attend a conference sponsored empty,” he said. “We’re always going Arizona Diamondbacks. In Boyer, by Pro Athletes Outreach (PAO) in to be striving to get to that next plaWainwright found someone who 2002. They told him he could leave teau, and then when we get to the was a committed Christian and who anytime if he didn’t like it. top plateau, there’s nothing there. lived a godly lifestyle. Wainwright “OK, fine, I’ll do it,” Wainwright “With Jesus in our life, He says took notice, and began talking to thought. “I might leave, but I’m gono matter what we do, whether we Boyer about why his life was differing.” fail or have the most success, He’s ent. The headline speaker for the going to love us the same. That Boyer told Wainwright about conference was Joe Stowell, former message, to me, is so huge for this the change that Jesus Christ had president of Moody Bible Institute lifestyle we’re in.” Tim Ellsworth is director of made in him, and though Wainand now president of Cornerstone BPSports (www.bpsports.net), the wright admits that he was interestUniversity in Grand Rapids, Mich. sports website of Baptist Press, and ed to hear Boyer’s story, he wasn’t Wainwright remembers hearing director of news and information at willing to make that commitment to Stowell talk about the relationship Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Christ himself. side of Christianity. That was someAbout that time agents began thing he never remembered hearing
10255 Old Columbia Road Columbia, MD 21046-1716
Non-profit U.S. Postage PAID Columbia, MD Permit #350