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August 2009 Newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware •


AssociationLIFE..............................6-7 July online issue highlights......12-13 SBC Wrap-Up..............................14-15 Art Murphy: Reaching children......18 Kimball breaks church barriers.....20

Manley Julien sings as part of Englise Baptiste du Calvaire’s spectacular 27th anniversary service. Photo by Sharon Mager.

See story on page 4.


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August 2009

Opportunity, cooperation and possibility


hree words need our immediate attention. The first word is opportunity. Due to the excellent work of the leaders of the Delaware Association doors David Lee have been opened BCM/D Executive to Embrace Director Wilmington. Wilmington is the largest population center in Delaware and, though

unique, experiences many of the same challenges to be found in Baltimore and the other urban centers in our multi-state region. City leaders have welcomed Baptist involvement and have provided us with opportunities to show that we care. The second word is cooperation. Planting new churches, strengthening existing congregations, providing the needed mission teams, and financially underwriting such an effort is too big a hurdle for one association or for the small number of churches in

the Wilmington area. But together we can do this. The Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware has given priority to Embrace Wilmington in our 2009 State Missions Offering. I plead with every church to participate in this year’s offering. The third word is possibility. Baptists are notorious for “underdreaming.” As we have learned in our Embrace Baltimore experience, urban ministry is hard. Yet, just because it is hard does not mean that we can give up and stop dreaming. Despite our challenges

and our failures, it is important that we continue to seek ways to get the love of Christ to the areas where the needs are so great. You know the basic principle that Scripture teaches us. “What may be impossible with man, is possible with God.” If every church seizes this opportunity and we work together, we can see these possibilities in Wilmington and across our multistate convention become realities.

But I am amazed at how many others within our Christian, and, yes, our Baptist community, who seem to be content to let others do it. There even seems to be a confidence that evangelism always trumps social needs. After all, if we save their soul, isn’t that the most important thing? Today as I write this, I recall reading in the Washington Post this morning about the death at age 93 of former Defense Secretary, Robert McNamara. He came to public notice when President Kennedy tapped him for service at the Pentagon. He is widely praised for helping the President navigate the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963. However, this and all of his other positive contributions were eclipsed by his influencing America’s ramp up of the Vietnam War also as Defense Secretary for President Johnson. In his retirement, he wrote in his memoirs of his regret and shame for the escalation of that war. He was so convinced at the time that he was right. But in later life,

he showed a desire to expiate the Vietnam debacle. He admitted he had been wrong on Vietnam. Back to the question: Evangelism vs. Social Gospel? My experience this month volunteering has made me re-think the answer to that question. If we meet the basic needs of hurting people, it will increase exponentially the opportunities to share the Gospel. Sometimes when we feel most confident, we should consider the possibility that we could be wrong. As the singing group ‘Casting Crowns’ so eloquently sings: “But if we are the body Why aren’t His arms reaching? Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching? Why aren’t His feet going?” Great questions! If you are interested in giving of your resources (time/talents/dollars), I urge you to do so. I further urge you to consider the one I mentioned above by calling Becky at (410) 522-0044.

Are you certain to a fault?


his past month I have had the opportunity to volunteer a couple of times for a nonprofit community development organization that is making Bob Simpson a real impact in BCM/D Assoc. the inner city of Executive Director, Baltimore. BaptistLIFE Editor I’m telling you this because I want you to know what a valuable experience it was for me. Going in I knew that it was the right thing to do. To be able to give back in a tangible way is so rewarding. My wife, Lorraine, and I also help support this organization financially. But giving of one’s money and giving of one’s time and talents is two very different things. One morning I was able to help some young men develop their resumes. As a trained marketer, this is something that comes second nature to me. But to two young

men in the poorest neighborhood in the state of Maryland, it was crisis of great complexity. To even get a chance at the few and low-paying jobs that are out there for them, they needed to at least have a current and organized resume to present to prospective employers. I realize that this is only a focus group of one. But I suspect that if we all did our part to help the poor, the homeless, the hungry or the disenfranchised, the sum total would be an incredible impact. I know this is what our Lord was suggesting to us all in Matthew 25 where He said, “When you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matt. 25:40 NLT) I’m not sure why churches and individual believers are not more widely known for the high level of volunteerism among those “hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick and imprisoned” that are everywhere around us. There are those, of course, who are doing much.

BCM/D is now on Facebook and Twitter!


August 2009

In awe of divine appointments


am often amazed at the fact that God has included me in His marvelous plan of redemption. I do not speak of my own salvation though that is wonderful, but that He permits Byron Day me to play a role BCM/D President in His salvation of and Pastor of others. The apostle Emmanuel Church, Paul states that we Laurel, Md. are ambassadors of Christ and we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5: 18-20). The privilege of being the vessel that God chooses to use to share the gospel with someone and observe the Holy Spirit bring them to the point of receiving Christ still amazes me. I do not know how many people with whom I have shared the love of God and His saving grace through Jesus Christ over the 32 years that I have known Him. Nor do I remember how many people with whom I have had the joy of personally seeing accept Jesus as Savior, but I continue to be astounded at how God orchestrates my life to be at the right place at the right time, in the right state of mind (i.e., sensitive to the Spirit’s leading).

Acts 8:26-40 records the account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. I love this passage for a number of reasons, one of which is the divine appointment, which God had set for both Philip and the eunuch. God arranges an evangelism crusade for one (Philip preached Jesus to him) that allows for each man’s personality, personal plans and cultural uniqueness, and yet causes their paths to cross at the appointed time to fulfill His great purpose and plan. Recently, I had the opportunity once again to have one of those divine appointment moments. Every year since I became a full time pastor in 1997 I have attended the Southern Baptist Convention (except the year my son graduated from middle school). This year the convention was later in the month than usual and conflicted with our Vacation Bible School. For some this may not be a big deal, but for our church it is one of the highlights of the year. I considered not attending the convention since I did not want to miss our VBS. However, I had some pre-convention responsibilities and decided to go and come back early even though I would miss most of the convention. On the day of my return after

getting through airport security I had a little extra time and decided that I would get my shoes shined. As I headed down the concourse, I spied a shoe shine stand and noticed that the young man was about to leave his stand but somehow made eye contact with me and he could tell that I wanted to get a shine. As I sat there getting my shoes shined, I pondered how I might get to share the gospel with him. He struck up a conversation and eventually I was able to gear the conversation to church and spiritual things. He finished my shoes and I asked him if he would like to know more about how he could have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus, and he said yes. We sat down at a nearby table and I was able to share Christ with him. He prayed to receive Christ as his Savior right there in the Louisville airport. I was in awe of God who had a plan of which I was unaware that considered my short stay and early return. Remember God has divine appointments for us all. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

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Vol. 93 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 (Fax) 410-290-6627 Send address changes to: or call 443-2502553 BaptistLIFE Staff

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Your Church...

Haitian church draws 1,000 people for celebration out to their community. “We evangelize a lot, share the gospel and encourage people,” St. Ulme said. “On the second Sunday of each month we go out and invite people to church.” St. Ulme said the Sunday school is an important discipleship tool for the church. “It is organized very well. We

studies. The formal church inauguration was on May 16, 1982 with a congregation of 16 adults and three ADELPHI, Md.—Englise children, meeting in St. Ulme’s Baptiste du Calvaire (Calvary home. Baptist Church) is the largest As the church grew, they began Haitian church in the Washington having services in a rented space at D.C. suburbs, drawing over 500 First Baptist Church, Silver Spring. people weekly. Some folks come Ten years later, the congregation from an hour’s drive away to had grown to 250 and they moved to attend services a local school. each Sunday. The When church, started by attendance a Haitian refugee, swelled to Jean St. Ulme, over 550 in recently packed 2006, they their auditorium built their and parking lot current with double its facility. usual number for St. Ulme a spectacular 27th came to the anniversary service United States on May 16. in 1970. He The event, conwas serving ducted entirely in in the Haitian French Creole, was Coast Guard a huge celebration. and was Folks dressed in involved in a their finest, clapped failed coup atheartily, sang with tempt to overgusto, danced and throw dictapraised God. tor, Francois “Haitians, we Duvalier. St. like to be lively,” Ulme fled to said Gerald George, the United The congregation of Englise Baptiste du Calvaire worshipped with joy at the church’s anniversary States. a children’s minservice on May 16, 2009. istry worker and He was a member of the saved in 1972 church for 17 years. have 14 classes,” he said. when the Holy Spirit convicted St. The special service included a A group of church members Ulme after reading his Bible. St. variety of upbeat music by the full prepares a breakfast every Sunday Ulme explained that he was raised youth and children’s choirs, all men’s before classes. in the Catholic Church in Haiti at choir, and a variety of other special “It’s one way of encouraging a place and time when ordinary music and speakers. people to come early for Sunday parishioners were discouraged from “There is a large Haitian popuschool,” Gerald George said with a reading scripture because it was lation here in Maryland, Washingchuckle. considered too difficult for the averton and Virginia,” St. Ulme, pastor St. Ulme came to Maryland to age person. of Calvary, said. Many Haitian imminister to the large diverse HaiHe had been working in a nursmigrants settle in the Washington tian population in 1981. He had ing home in New York, serving in a suburbs. In fact, local store employbeen instrumental in an outreach kitchen. After his confession of faith, ees in the area often speak Creole. mission in Brooklyn, New York in God had different plans for him. Calvary is the largest Haitian the late 70’s. That church began a “God called me to the ministry church in the area. mission ministering to Haitians in of preaching immediately after I acThough the anniversary brought Washington D.C. and its suburbs. cepted Christ,” he said. a much larger crowd than usual, Eg- The Washington Church became St. Ulme is a strong believer in lise Baptiste du Calvaire has grown First Evangelical Church of Washchurch multiplication. He has led from it humble beginnings of less ington D.C. When St. Ulme saw the Calvary to plant two churches in than 20 to over 500 members. need in Maryland he and his family Haiti, one in Kentucky and in St. Ulme credits the church’s moved to minister in the Adelphi California and one in Delaware growth to God’s blessings and anarea. They began visiting, sharing called Haitian Christian Family swered prayers as members reach with local people and hosting Bible Church. By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent

August 2009

BCM/D August, September & October Events August 6-9 Boys Camp, Camp Wo-MeTo, (ext. 231) September 7 Labor Day (BCM/D offices closed) 19 Pinewood Derby and Field Day, Bethel Church, (ext. 226) 21 Language Pastors and Wives Retreat, Skycroft, (ext. 222) 25-26 Breathless: A Gathering for Women, Faith, Glen Burnie, (ext. 211 or 231) October 16-18 MD/DE Baptist Conference for the Deaf, Skycroft, (ext. 222) 24 This Changes Everything - Group Life Conference, Riva Trace Church, (ext. 219) 29 AISI with Mike Huckabee, The Church at Severn Run, (ext. 243) For detailed information, go to or call (800) 466-5290 and dial the extension listed.

August 2009

Your Church...

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Baltimore native commissioned as director of new recovery house By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent BALTIMORE—New Christian Bible Church in Baltimore, Md., commissioned Baltimore native, Vernon Watkins, who will be serving through the Mission Service Corps office of the North American Mission Board, during their Sunday service on June 28. In this self-funded position, Watkins will oversee the development of a drug recovery house to be located on either Walbrook St. or Fayette St. (depending on final negotiations) in downtown Baltimore. The home is projected to be dedicated in September. To be named “I Can’t, But God Can!” this recovery home will offer a Christian residential social and educational program that will help peo-

ple permanently overcome substance abuse. The program will include Bible studies as well as a community outreach component, designed to help residents make positive changes in the neighborhoods around them. “Serving the community helps change you because the addictive lifestyle is so negative,” explained Watkins. “Focusing on positive things gives residents meaningful opportunities to grow.” Watkins has first-hand experience in recovery programs having himself graduated from a six-month secular program in Baltimore called “I Can, We Can.” Though he thought he was recovered, he relapsed and soon found himself involved with Baltimore Outreach Ministries, which offered a yearlong Christian-based program. “They had this thing: ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ all the time,” Watkins

related. “Before, I Watkins, now didn’t realize that 39, grew up in what I needed was Baltimore with Jesus.” his mom, a longWatkins time member at acknowledged that New Christian he always believed Bible Church who in God but he did now serves as the not understand church’s administhat he could trative manager. have a personal “I have a great relationship with mother,” Watkins Him. said. “But it is “I believe that really hard to teach a lot of people a man how to be a believe in God but man.” they don’t have a Without a personal relationfather in the home, ship with Him. Watkins said the That relationship is life on the streets of key,” he said. Baltimore was all As a young about doing what it teen, Watkins took to be cool and Vernon Watkins started out as a accepted by others drug in the neighborhood. dealer in order to fit In his early 30’s, Watkins in with all the African started attending New Christian American teenagers Bible Church, but it took three years around him. Before before he gave a solid commitment to long, he “became his Christ. Now, nine years later, he has own best customer” helped lead mission trips to Gulfport, and found himself Miss., to help in rebuilding after spiraling down. Hurricane Katrina and has been But, as he looks a regular volunteer at Baltimore’s back now, God had His Helping Up Mission and Oasis hand on him. Station. He recalls the day Through a partnership with when two men in a the Kentucky Baptist Convention, U-Haul truck had an Michael Bingham, of Calvary altercation with him, Recovery Home, is mentoring ultimately shooting his Watkins as are other men through car. Watkins sped away the church’s ongoing partnership and pulled into the gas with Friendship Church in station. There, he saw Sykesville, Md. bullet holes in his gas “My passion is ministry. I do can. inventory at Under Armour (in South “Just a few sparks Baltimore), but I do believe that all I could have ignited the have been through is leading to this car!” he exclaimed. point. It’s just my passion,” Watkins “That defies said. natural law. Even a Pastor Hardnett agrees. bullet hitting the car “It’s the pastor’s greatest joy to would have caused an see the fruit. It’s not about the explosion,” marveled paycheck or about the number of Stephen Hardnett, members, but it’s about watching senior pastor of New someone being discipled and become Christian Bible full grown in Christ and able to Church. “When God make disciples themselves,” he said. has a plan, He protects “Vernon supports me tremendously. I you even if you don’t see great potential in him as God know it.” moves in his life.”

Your Association...

Page 6 Arundel Association


The men’s ministry at Faith Church, Glen Burnie, is sponsoring “fishing for rockfish,” aboard a charter boat on the Chesapeake Bay. The church said goodbye to Dale and Christa Pucket in June. Dale, who served as student minister at Fath, accepted a call to First Church of Vandalia, Ohio. North Arundel Church, Glen Burnie, had its 6th annual swap meet and bike show outreach in June. The event draws bikers near and far for fellowship, fun, good food and live bands. New Beginnings Church & Ministries, Pasadena, officially voted to become a satellite church of Streetlite Christian Fellowship. The church is now known as Streetlite Christian Fellowship, Pasadena. The official launch date is Sept. 27. The new church is in the midst of revamping the sanctuary and has a pulpit available for free to any church that needs one. New Hope Community Church, Baltimore, took a bus full of members and friends from both of their church sites to Washington, D.C. to tour the Smithsonian museums on July 14. It started out as a children’s ministry outing but quickly grew to be a big family event. Riva Trace Church, Davidsonville, has an active women’s ministry and ladies Bible study program. The summertime Bible study draws up to 20 women weekly and up to 45 during the rest of the year. Severna Park Church had a youth missions week last month. Teens did a food drive and helped serve at the Maryland Food Bank, they helped at Open Door Ministries and they did a car wash to benefit the Morgan Beverly Suicide Prevention Foundation. Baltimore Association Baltimore First Church, Dundalk, has had a whirlwind summer schedule. In July, the church had a block party, children’s sports camp, cheerleading camp, backyard Bible study, youth camp, children’s movie

night, Vacation Bible School and a puppet night. Reisterstown Church is collecting jars of peanut butter and jelly for families who come to

to Ocean City. The youth worked with Ocean City Resort Ministry helping at Bible clubs at O.C. campgrounds and giving away cold water to lifeguards.

August 2009 but donations are accepted. The conference is partially funded by Cooperative Program gifts and the offerings of many state conventions, associations, churches, entities and individuals. Delaware Association Delaware Ogletown Church, Newark, has had a “love your neighbor” initiative throughout this year. Earlier they collected pillows and pillowcases for a local homeless mission. Last month, the youth participated in a weeklong “love your neighbor” home mission project. Partnering with Embrace Wilmington, the teens helped with light construction projects in Wilmington. They also lent support to local families in the Ogletown area. Eastern Association Eastern

Dee Solomon (center) and his wife, Sylvia (left), were recognized and congratulated on Sunday, May 31 by Earl Hadlock, (right), deacon chair at College Parkway Church, Arnold, Maryland. Solomon retired after nearly 10 years as the church’s minister of music/worship. (Photo by Bob Simpson) the Curtis Bay feeding ministry, sponsored by Inner Harbor Ministry. They are also collecting backpacks and supplies for the children at Curtis Bay for the upcoming school year. Immanuel Church has kickball games every Sunday evening through the summer. The church has two teams, the youth and the “finely seasoned” team. Other churches send teams and they play two games. In between games, a church member gives his or her testimony. The church is using kickball as an outreach to the community. Blue Ridge Association Blue Ridge The youth of Paramount Church, Hagerstown, hosted a car wash on July 4 at the AutoZone on Longmeadow Road. The teens had fun washing about 30 vehicles. Though the car wash was free, the youth received $400 in donations towards their summer mission trip

The ladies of South End Church, Frederick, had a craft fellowship night. They brought unfinished crafts or projects, relaxed together, ate snacks and dinner together and just enjoyed each other’s fellowship. Virginia Avenue Church, Hagerstown, will host the 2009 “Broken Before the Throne” prayer conference August 8-14. This year’s speakers include John McGregor, executive director of Canadian Revival Fellowship; Al Whittinghill, Ambassadors for Christ International; Dan Biser, organizer of “Broken before the Throne” and pastor of Zoar Church and Fox’s Hollow Church, both in West Virginia; Greg Frizzell, prayer and spiritual awakening specialist, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; and Henry Blackaby, of Blackaby Ministries. This is the third year for the conference. More information, devotional readings and registration information is available on the website, http:// There is no charge for the conference

Allen Memorial Church, Salisbury, will host the Eastern Association’s 139th annual meeting from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 25. David Jackson, BCM/D church multiplication missionary, will be the keynote speaker. First Church, Easton, delivered food to a cancer center for 12 families who are uninsured and unemployed. Church members will give out bottles of water at the free concerts in downtown Easton throughout the summer. The church will have a sports clinic for students in grades 3-8 from Aug. 3-7. They’ll offer basketball, tennis, soccer and volleyball. For more information, see www. Mid Maryland Association


Bethel Church, Ellicott City, will host the BCM/D Pinewood Derby and Field day from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sept.19. Boys in first through sixth grades are eligible to participate in the homemade miniature car race. The cost is $8 per person. The registration deadline is Sept. 8. To register online, see www. Westminster Church will

August 2009

Your Association...

have a “Frontliners” conference on from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 led by Mid-Maryland director of missions, Joel Rainey, and his wife, Amy. The Rainey’s will discuss the extent of lostness around the globe, approaches to missions that increase impact and avenues of involvement in international missions. The cost is $10 per person and includes registration, materials, lunch and other resources. Childcare is included. The registration deadline is Sept. 11. For more information, call (410) 290-7156. Montgomery Association Montgomery Kensington Church had a spring festival of flutes in June, featuring church member Amy Thomas and her students. Members of Redland Church are planning a family ministry camping trip to Cunningham Falls State Park Aug. 21-23. Seven Locks Church, Potomac, launched a new young adults group for ages 18-35 with a coffeehouse in July. During that time, the group discussed plans for future gatherings. Potomac Potomac Association Churches in the Potomac Association have been working on several summer mission projects this summer. Callaway, Dunkirk, Bayside and Maryland Point spearheaded the outreach efforts in their areas. Other church members and friends helped. Callaway Church coordinated a soccer sports camp in a townhouse community. Bayside Church, Chesapeake Beach, did a kids’ camp in a beach community. Dunkirk Church hosted a community outreach in a mobile home community. Maryland Point Church, Nanjemoy, hosted missions activities to help with construction at their church and with children and youth ministries in local communities nearby. Youth from Hughesville Church worked with Habitat for Humanity and did ministry at a shelter for abused children, and a nursing home during their recent mission trip to Myrtle Beach.

A group of men from Redland Church, Montgomery Association, helped at Central Union Mission, rebuilding the mission’s storage area. Prince George’s Association

Prince George’s

Faith Fellowship Community Church of Laurel, will have their annual community day picnic on Aug. 15 at T. Howard Duckett Park. Church members and friends will enjoy food and fellowship. They’ll also bring donations of school supplies for Laurel Elementary School and canned goods for Laurel Advocacy and Referral’s food pantry. First Church, Crofton, had a salad luncheon for the area’s business community in May. Church laymen shared testimonies on the topic, “How to Survive the Economic Meltdown.” The Crofton Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the event. The church provided copies of the book, “How to Survive the Economic Meltdown” by Patrick Morley. Members of Kettering Church, Upper Marlboro, will be washing cars and checking fluids as a community outreach from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Aug.15. The church recently had a baptismal service for 24 people. Temple Hills Church will have a block party on Aug. 1, followed by revival services on Sunday morning and evening on Aug. 2. Whitehall Church, Accokeek, collects donations on the first Sunday of each month to send to Pure Water, Pure Love (PWPL). The WMU initiative was originally started to provide clean drinking

water to International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries, their families and those they serve. The program has grown and now provides grants for wells in villages and communities that are without clean water. Whitehall members give to the cause to support the ministry and as a loving tribute to James Carl Johnson, a member who died in 2006. Johnson was a strong advocate for PWPL and is remembered for faithfully encouraging others to help. Susquehanna Association Susquehanna The Women’s Enrichment Ministry of Calvary Church, Bel Air, invited WRBS radio personality, Tracey Tiernan, to be the guest speaker at their June summer meeting. Karen Rickards, a member Oak Grove Church, provided the music. Gary Nelson, USA director of Galcom International, will be the featured speaker at an annual missionary conference to be held at North Harford Church, Jarrettsville, beginning at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17. Galcom International is a non-profit organization that works with churches and other missions organizations to share the gospel using the latest in technology. The organization has provided over 760,000 fix-tuned radios to missionaries around the world.

Page 7 In addition to Nelson, there will be other missionaries sharing about their work reaching the Muslims in the Middle East. For more information call (410) 8366994. More information about both missionary organizations can be found at and Oak Grove Church, Bel Air, will have its second annual “Oak Grove Cruise‘in” from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Aug. 22 featuring a car show, bands, hula-hoop contests and other games, Southern-style backyard barbecue foods, drinks and desserts including ice cream floats. They’ll also have a booth available for those interested in learning more about the church and its ministries. WesternWestern Association Nine Western Association (WBA) churches worked with the Alleghany County Fair last month. The association led the annual vesper services on Sunday, July 19. Sherrill Dillon, pastor of Second Church, Cumberland, led the singing. The LaVale Church’s men’s choir provided the music. Doug White, pastor of Grace Church, Cumberland, was the speaker. On Wednesday night, July 22, Association churches provided home-cooked meals to employees of the Reithoffer Amusements, the midway providers for the fair. Throughout the week, churches manned a baby comfort station, offering moms and dads a clean place to change their babies. Churches also gave away free water and walking sticks. The sticks are unique gifts that also enable the giver to share how to “walk with the Lord.”

Do you have news? Does your church or association have any news you want to share, too? Simply send your news or newsletter to Sharon Mager at 10255 Old Columbia Rd., Columbia, MD 21046. Electronic newsletters and/or announcements may be emailed to Please note: your submissions may be edited due to space and policy considerations.

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Your Church...

August 2009

“Ready—set—DODGEBALL!” By Shelley Mager BaptistLIFE writer ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The pounding of feet to a lineup of balls at center court was drowned out by well over 100 screaming teenagers at the sixth Weems Creek Church Dodgeball Tournament on May 27. At least 156 students attended this creative outreach held at the Annapolis Area Christian School gymnasium, forming 26 teams of students ranging from middle school to college age. In addition to the 156 players, there were dozens of friends who came to show support and socialize. “Most of these kids have never been to church,” said Justin Orr, youth pastor of Weems Creek. Orr was the announcer for the night, calling out each of the teams as their turns came up, and wearing one of the bright yellow referee shirts for the night. Orr recently received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Seminary and took on a job as a coach in a local public school in the area. Orr was one of several church members who launched the first

event in October 2007. Since that time, interest has steadily grown and the tournaments have attracted over 200 participating students. Many of the students come not from the local churches but the local schools. Players on the winning teams of the double elimination tournaments receive free T-shirts and often wear them to school the next day, sparking interest in many of the students. “I came for the heavenly experience of playing dodgeball,” laughed 8th grader Lindsey Missell. This is Missell’s first experience with Weems Creek. “It’s a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of new people.” Missell is an enthusiastic member of team “Black Attack.” Each team creates its own name (breeding titles such as the “Dodgers,” “Rainbow Slugs,” “Black Attack,” “Victorious Secret,” “Sonic Death Monkeys” and many more) and many create their own glittery tshirts or dress in matching colors to

create their own uniforms. While many come enthusiastic about playing, the event is not all fun and games. “I’ve presented the Gospel in pieces to them at each of the [events],” said Orr. “Tonight was the first time I called for a personal decision.” After a short game of Red Robin and the determining of teams, Orr steps to center court to share God’s truth with a group that is largely unfamiliar with biblical ideas. Orr usually incorporates a visual activity to drive home his point. This time he invited several students to play musical chairs to show the students that where they choose to “sit” in life will make a huge difference in

their futures. “I think it’s a really good outreach,” said Rachel Eaton, a team captain of the Dodgers. Eaton is a sophomore at Anne Arundel Community College and, while she is a member at First Church of Waldorf, she attends Weems Creek regularly during the school year. “At every dodgeball tournament the students get to hear the Gospel.” The group is a diverse one. Sixth graders, Naval Academy midshipmen, and every grade and age in between have attended these different events. The church has gained at least two families from this outreach so far. When asked if they would consider visiting the church, several students agreed that they would. “I would definitely consider coming, especially if they have events like this,” said Missell. Weems Creek will host another double elimination dodgeball tournament after the start of the school year. For more information, contact Justin Orr at (410) 266-5527.

VBS kids write and record their own songs at First English, Frostburg By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent FROSTBURG, Md.—First English Church had VBS in July and used the Boomerang Express curriculum. They had fun with the “Aussi” theme and the music at the worship rally, but First English added a bit more. Church member Todd Vogtman owns a home music studio. Vogtman brought his equipment to the church and recorded the children singing praise music and he worked with the youth to write and record their own original song. Brian Alderton, a church deacon and sound technician, then used the recording of the children singing and the youth’s original song as the background for the annual VBS celebration video. “The kids were really excited about it,” David Sandvick, pastor of First English said. “It added a whole

different aspect for them.” Vogtman brought his computer, microphones, mixing equipment, speakers and other equipment and set up his “studio” in Sandvick’s office. “I thought it would be kind of different,” Todd Vogtman, said. Vogtman went to each of the younger children’s classrooms and taught the kids a portion of the song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” He later pulled the segments together at the end for the final recording. During their time with Vogtman, the teens wrote poems based on what they were learning about the apostle Peter. Some of the kids already had an idea of the music they wanted and even sang it for Vogtman, who pulled the lyrics and music together for the song called, “Why Should I Deny?” Vogtman explained that the song was about how Jesus regularly

brings us through troubles that seem like they will overtake us, so why should we continue to struggle and sometimes deny Him ourselves? Vogtman recorded himself singing the song and playing the guitar on a CD and gave the kids copies so they could practice at home. The day before the VBS celebration, Vogtman made the final recording, and then worked on it until about 3 a.m. tweaking it for the program. “Right afterwards, my computer bit the dust,” Vogtman said. He laughed and said he didn’t know if was an attack of the devil, but he just praises God for allowing it to happen after he finished the recording. As parents watched the annual VBS video showing their kids’ activities through the week, they were surprised to hear their children and youth singing in the background. Vogtman is a fifth grade class-

room teacher and a musician. He enjoys using music to teach and inspire others. “It fulfills me to take someone else’s melody and create a song for them,” he said. “That’s more fulfilling than playing out somewhere. Vogtman has played piano, guitar and drums with various praise bands through the years. Vogtman said God has been using his little studio. For the past six years he has been working with missionaries who have been coming to him to record their songs “I help them record whatever God has laid on their hearts,” Vogtman said. Recently he worked with a missionary serving in Lithuania. Vogtman uses his talents as he feels led. During last year’s annual arts walk through Frostburg, the musician sat in front of the church and played his guitar.

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New urban-suburban church, Captivate, gives Second and Fourth Church new life Baltimore, a Strategic Focus Cities effort of the North American Mission Board, was looking for quality church planters to start TIMONIUM, Md.—God is new works in the city and was using a former Baltimorean with referred to Wilgis. a passion for the city, a historic Wilgis submitted a strategy church willing to sacrifice their plan and told how he own comfort and leave a wanted to see an urban spiritual legacy, and bold and suburban church churches willing to step out joined, working as one to and partner with a new work to spread the Gospel. reach a struggling city. “As he expressed his Captivate, a church dreams and his desire operating in two locations, for this kind of church, I Timonium and East Baltimore, thought, this is something under the same leadership I wanted to see,” Troy umbrella, for an urbanBush, Embrace Baltimore suburban connection, will director of church officially launch on Sept. 13. planting, said. “What we’re creating is “We’re thrilled with a city church model, where the idea of a church suburban affluent and engaging the suburbs with urban inner city people on a vision for engaging the fixed incomes can worship, inner core heart of the fellowship, learn, grow and city,” Bush said. be discipled under the same A month after signing church,” explained Tally Wilgis, on with Embrace, Wilgis Captivate’s planter and senior came home. He was awed pastor. at God’s hand moving The Baltimore site is when he heard Second and called East Baltimore Baptist Fourth Church could be a Church (EBBC), formerly Captivate had its first baptism on July 7. Nic Hall, Drew Baker and Andrew Denton (shown left to right with possible Baltimore church Second and Fourth Church. Pastor Tally Wilgis third from the left), were baptized in a portable baptistry at Wilgis’ home in Timonium. Fifty- location for Captivate. The The suburban site in Timonium seven people attended the historic event. historic church had been will provide EBBC funding, wrestling with the idea of staff, technology, material and closing their doors but had whatever else it takes to make no peace about it. if they came to Sunday school at desires of suburban churches. He it a thriving living entity. East Wilgis met with Mark Hudson, Second and Fourth Church. sees the gap and he has a passion Baltimore Church will provide a church trustee and the son of Wilgis was one of the boys who for bridging the great divide. Captivate Church members an took up the challenge. Shortly after Second and Fourth’s long-time Amazingly, the same church opportunity to serve with and he started attending, Wilgis made a pastor Calvin Hudson, to discuss God provided Wilgis for Captivate’s through a city church to reach the Wilgis’ vision. confession of faith in the basement Baltimore connection is the same lost in East Baltimore and beyond. When the congregation one he was saved in. of a row house on Luzerne Avenue, The church is well backed. discussed Wilgis’ plan they which the church was using at the Partnering with Embrace Wilgis was just a young teen, unanimously agreed to turn the time for classes. hanging out on the streets in Baltimore, Captivate is supported church over to their beloved street He preached his first sermon Armistead Gardens with his friends by First Church of Woodstock, Ga., kid turned church planter. They when he was 16 years old during when Don Huffham, a member of Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, Ga., had a celebration service on the last a youth night. Later he served Second and Fourth Church, pulled and The Church at Severn Run. Sunday of 2008 and dedicated the in a Home Mission Board (now up in his Mustang and asked the One of the unique strengths of church to God to continue as East North American Mission Board) boys if they knew where they’d go Captivate is Wilgis’ background. Baltimore Baptist Church. Sojourner’s program, attended when they died. The question stuck The 31-year-old Wilgis grew up as Wilgis is honored and humbled. Liberty University, served on staff with the young Wilgis. the son of a 17-year-old single mom “I view my role as an of church planting teams as a Huffham returned later to see living in the Baltimore O’Donnell ambassador for my generation, to the boys and even rented out a local student pastor and eventually led Heights housing development, honor the legacy of those who have a church plant in Virginia Beach standing in food lines and living off recreation center for them to come gone before me,” Wilgis said. with his wife, Kristy. play basketball. welfare in the 1970s and 80s. In 2008 the staff of Embrace A dozen or so young teens, “I am a product of Baltimore By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent

City,” Wilgis said. He’s spent half his life in the city and half in the suburbs. He understands the struggles city church pastors face and lack of resources they must deal with. He also understands the needs and

including Wilgis, showed up to enjoy the fun and even play some games with Huffham and his friends. After about three months, Wilgis said “Mr. Don” made the boys a deal. He would keep the recreation center open to them,

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Five hundred come to Christ and two churches start as a result of Nepal/India mission trip By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent LUTHERVILLE, Md.—The Chos are a humble, middle-aged, unassuming, soft-spoken Korean couple. They live in an upscale middle class neighborhood in Lutherville. They speak Korean as their first language, English as their second language and work through interpreters to minister where God leads them and He is leading them to places they never dreamed they’d be. God is using the couple to bring hundreds, if not thousands, of people to Christ in America, Nepal, Bhutan and India. Samuel Cho and his wife, Young, began Nepal Church of Baltimore, the first Nepalese church in the United States, after meeting a young Nepalese waitress and sharing with her and her family. That church, which now averages about 40 people weekly, meets at Boundary United Methodist Church on York Road. This spring, the Chos started a Bhutani church and they’re averaging 20 worshipers at a house church in Baltimore. The Chos took their first missionary trip to Nepal last year, visiting church family members and ministering in refugee camps. The couple started Antioch Church in Jamsa, a mountainous region of the country, after one family invited extended family members and friends to hear Samuel preach. Many were saved. Over 200 people accepted Christ during that visit. They returned to Nepal in April, ministering once again to the refugees, starting two more churches and even expanding their ministry to India. Over 500 people accepted Christ—200 Nepalese, 300 Bhutanese and 35 Indians. Samuel and Young arrived in Kathmandu, and then traveled to the Morang region of Jhapa in Southeast Nepal, on the outskirts of a Jhapa refugee camp. They brought with them letters and gifts from

Baltimore Nepal Church members to deliver to relatives still in Nepal. The Nepal families cried as they looked at the pictures of their families in Baltimore. One of the family members in

under the trees and the Holy Spirit kept drawing people to him. Samuel and Young visited a total of seven camps, home to 100,000 refugees. Many recognized the Chos from their last visit and were

Nepal made a confession of faith. The couple then visited the refugee camps. Samuel preached under the trees, as he felt led. “It was very exciting. They would hear me on the street and they would come, one-by-one,” Samuel said. That one-by-one sometimes turned into hundreds. Samuel started Morang Baptist Church, in Jhapa and ordained a young man named Dev, who had been leading Bible studies, as minister of the new church. They invited friends and neighbors to come to a local elementary school and they served pork and other foods at the first service of the new church. One hundred twenty people attended the inaugural service and over 50 people accepted Christ that day. The Chos distributed Bibles and prayed for the sick. The new church hosted a food distribution and celebration and 200 people came to eat and rejoice with the new church. Samuel spoke 12 times, two in churches and 10 times on the streets

overjoyed to see them once more. The camps are where many Nepalis live as a result of the Bhutanese government’s exportation of Nepali people and stripping them of their citizenship in the early 90’s. The United Nations set up controlled refugee camps to help those who were displaced. A huge resettlement program is underway and at least 60,000 refugees are in the process of being resettled in the United States. Many are afraid of the transition. “They heard that it is a slow process of employment, and they had heard of people committing suicide and they say they don’t want to go to the United States,” Samuel Cho explained. The Chos, this year and last, attempted to soothe the refugee’s fears and answer questions about American culture. Three hundred people accepted Christ. Young Cho told of a young girl who sent a follow-up email. The girl wrote, “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you. This is because your visit to my place became

the turning point of my personal as well as my family life. Although I do not know what can be seen and experienced in the real light of truth, I have started to go to church. In spite of the fear, social hatred and persecution, I have decided to accept Christ.” The next step of the journey was to Butwal, in Nepal, near the Indian border. They had intended to visit Antioch Church, but due to a strike they were unable to travel to the area. They did, however, visit a poor area where many “untouchables,” the outcasts in the Hindu caste system, live under and near a bridge. The Chos, working with the International Mission Board (IMB) missionary, Sanford Phowmik, planted a church and called it “Holy Spirit Church.” Seventy people made decisions of faith. Finally, the Chos went to Varanasi in India with Phowmik for a leadership conference. While there, Cho was able to minister to a remote area and 35 people made confessions of faith. A young man named Kamal now pastors Holy Spirit Church, Antioch Church and three others. In fact, Nepal Church, Baltimore, collected funds to buy a motorcycle for Kamal to help him with the travel between churches. Young said that though the days were hot, sleeping space limited and mosquitoes plentiful, the people were very appreciative and receptive. “This was not done by me,” Cho stressed. “This is the Holy Spirit… the Holy Spirit led us…it’s been kind of a miracle…and such a blessing,” Samuel said quietly. “It’s like Dr. Hunt said, God tells us where to go,” Cho said, referring to a sermon given by Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention at Colonial Church in Reisterstown, where Hunt said, “He gives the orders and I need to serve exactly where He sends me.” The Chos are simply being obedient.

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Seventy saved and ‘Holy Spirit Church’ planted in ‘untouchable’ area in Nepal By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent BUTWAN, Nepal—Samuel Cho and his wife Young, during a mission trip to Nepal this April, crossed a chain link suspension bridge in Butwan and entered the world of the “untouchables.” The Chos started the first Nepalese Baptist church in the United States called Nepal

Church of Baltimore. In addition they have planted a Bhutani church in Baltimore. The couple, working with International Mission Board (IMB), missionary Sanford Bhowmik, was overwhelmed with compassion for the destitute, discouraged and hopeless people living under and around the bridge. Deemed the lowest level people of the Hindu caste system,

the “untouchables,” the outcasts, are shunned, despised and left with the dirtiest, unwanted jobs. Many believe this is their destiny and therefore accept it. “They are happy with it. They say, ‘This is who I am,’” Samuel Cho said sadly. “They need Jesus.” The couple saw a woman standing by a fire selling pork and rice wine to people coming home from work. Samuel felt God leading him to preach near this woman and he began sharing the Gospel. Many gathered around and listened to Samuel. Twenty people accepted Christ, including the woman selling the pork. Samuel purchased all the food the woman had and shared it those around him. “I asked them, if we start a

church here, would you come? They responded to me loudly, ‘Yes!’’” Bhowmik asked Samuel, “What do you want to call it?” Samuel looked at the flame on the grill. “Let’s call it Holy Spirit Baptist Church,” he replied to Bhowmik. The missionary agreed and the two contacted Kamal, pastor of four other local churches. Kamal agreed to pastor Holy Spirit Church with the help of Bhowmik. “The next day we had the foundation service of the Holy Spirit Church,” Samuel said. Fifty more people, including some of the “untouchables” accepted Christ. The Nepal Church of Baltimore will support the new plant.

Mid-Maryland Association “Fellowship Open” Date: September 14, 2009 Location: The Links at Challedon, Mt. Airy, Md. Registration: 7:30 am with coffee and donuts Tee time: 8:30 am Cost: $70 includes green fees, riding cart, practice facility use, range balls, bar-b-que lunch and beverages. Registration deadline: September 11 Mulligans will be sold and there will be senior and women teeoffs. Prizes and gift certificates will be awarded! Maybe you can hit that hole-in-one for $10,000! In case of bad weather our rain date is September 21, 2009. Proceeds will benefit MMBA Missions. If your business would like to purchase sponsorships and have your business cards placed in each golfer’s goodie bag or an advertising sign placed at a tee-off contact Michelle or Cheryl at (410) 290-7156. You may register your team online at www. or call Michelle or Cheryl.

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Online July issue of BaptistLIFE If you didn’t receive a copy of the July BaptistLIFE via email, go to to subscribe. However, we didn’t want you to miss the wonderful stories about what God is doing in our convention, so excerpts of the articles are provided below. To read the rest of these articles or to sign up to receive them via email, go to www. The following items can only be found online: AssociationLIFE and Classifieds.

Perspectives Ministers need sabbath rest By David Lee


grew up memorizing the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Some of those verses are so engrained in me that I struggle in reading aloud certain passages from modern translations. Although I use modern translations in both my personal study and my preaching, I still revert back from time to time to my KJV roots. One of those verses that reads well in the King James is Mark 6:31. “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”...

GCR or “denomination in the mirror?” By Bob Simpson


s I write this, the world has just learned of the death of Michael Jackson. Of course it is a vivid reminder of the brevity and fragility of life. Of all his songs the one I have always liked is “The Man In The Mirror.” As I sat through this year’s Southern Baptist

Convention in Louisville, Ky., I kept thinking that, yes, we may need a Great Commission Resurgence (GRC). Yes, we may need to rethink some of our SBC infrastructure. But more than that, we need an old fashioned mega-dose of obedience. ...

Your Church Doing our part in ‘the Master’s kingdom expansion plan’ By Daryl McCready


rowing from a church plant with 15 adults to an average weekly attendance of 320 has been one of the most amazing journeys I have ever experienced. For those who are not familiar with SonRise, we launched in October 2002 as a church plant out of Berlin First Church with 13 adults, my wife and me. We experienced amazing growth and witnessed many God-sized miracles along the way. We are now almost seven years old and it is amazing to see all that God has done. We have shared in the decision of more than 300 people surrendering their lives to Jesus. We have baptized 244 people in baptisteries, pools and the ocean. We have purchased 11 acres of land with an existing small church facility, but are still worshipping in our local high school because of our size. We have thriving ministries for all ages and are evidencing life transformation in many lives. ...

The rain came, the prayers saturated and the Lord poured his blessings down on Curtis Bay during Spring Break Camp

August 2009

poetry about the parables of Christ and Old Testament prophecies. He wrote his first book of poetry, “Poems on Some Parables of Christ,” published in 2007. His most recent book, “Sonnets For Messiah,” was released in May. Harris enjoys the sound of verse and the colorful rich images of words. But he can’t see them. Harris is legally blind. He walks with a cane, guided by his wife, Pam. ....

Your Convention Pass on the passion

By Sharon Mager New Hope Community Church (NHCC) partnered with Embrace Baltimore, a Strategic Focus City effort of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Baltimore Association (BBA) and the Baptist Student Union at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to host a sports camp at the Curtis Bay Recreation Center during spring break in March. By the end of the week, over 114 children came to the camp, 23 people made professions of faith and three young adults on the mission team decided to be summer missionaries. The twenty-three college students and their leaders worked alongside New Hopers leading the camp and doing outreach evangelism throughout the Curtis Bay community....

By Gaya Parker Pass on the Passion…something I was reminded of at the Southern Baptist Convention. As I sat through the numerous meetings I found myself amazed at the God moments in the midst of business sessions. Sometimes the inspiration was in the missionary report, but my surprise was the inspiration that came from the very location of the first gathering. The Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) meeting in Louisville was historically significant. ...

Teens gather to share their talent for God By Shannon Baker

Blind poet praises God for gift to express his praise

By Sharon Mager Matt Harris, a member of Grace Church of Sunset Beach, writes

Along with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Lamplight Artists sponsored a free “How to Share your Talent” student event at First, Laurel, on May 16. “We are living in a visually oriented culture. What are we doing about it?” Del Morgan asked the teenagers who spent the day in a variety of dance, film, praise band, and vocal workshops. “Do we take

August 2009 everything we see as truth? Are there no limits in art? Remember, art is an expression of our thoughts and our imagination, and so art is also subject to the fall.”...

BaptistLIFE online... be ministered to, to do ministry and to strive to be the best Christian soldiers they can possibly be. And God is moving at the Academy. ....

2009 SBC Convention NAMB-endorsed Chaplain and Academy graduate baptizes by immersion for the first time in the history of the Naval Academy Chapel By Sharon Mager

Weems Creek Church member and North American Mission Board (NAMB)-endorsed Chaplain Scott Callaham was recently assigned a three-year tour of duty at the United States Naval Academy. On Easter Sunday, Callaham had the privilege of baptizing by immersion for the first time in the 101-year history of the United States Naval Academy Chapel. Nine Christian midshipmen, six in the morning and three at the evening contemporary service, received immersion baptism in a decorated physical therapy tub. . ...

Attendance higher, younger at SBC meeting By Brian Koonce (BP)

Interest in the Great Commission Resurgence caused an attendance resurgence at the Southern Baptist Convention June 23-24 annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., according to registration secretary Jim Wells. This year’s unofficial messenger count was 8,790, more than 1,500 over last year’s tally in Indianapolis....

Motions: Messengers endorse GCR task force, criticize Driscoll’s entity influence

‘There’s gold in them there pews,’ Hunt tells pastors

By Tammi Reed Ledbetter (BP)

United States Naval Academy Midshipmen growing through one-on-one discipleship By Sharon Mager

Each morning in Annapolis, come rain or shine, hundreds of plebes, brand-spanking new freshmen are rising bright and early throughout the summer to go through their strenuous workouts and training in an effort to become the best possible United States Navy and Marine Corps officers they could be. Just a stone’s throw out of the USNA’s gate there is an unassuming classic historic house, headquarters for the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at the Naval Academy where Midshipmen come for relaxation, to get spiritual questions answered, to

urgency” among the brethren....

GCR task force overwhelmingly approved and appointed By Mark Kelly and BP Staff

On a show of ballots, Southern Baptist Convention messengers June 23 authorized their president, Johnny Hunt, to appoint a task force to study how Southern Baptists can work “more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.”...

Pastors’ Conference looks toward unity By BP Staff On the second day of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville June 22, speakers exhorted pastors to lead with “One Love,” “One Spirit” and “One Purpose.”...

By Keith Hinson (BP)

Messengers offered 31 motions but approved only one during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting June 23-24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. ...

”Getting serious doesn’t mean you adopt something,” Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt said in his presidential message June 23 at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky. ....

Hunt expresses urgency about Great Commission

By Jerry Pierce (BP)

Encouraged by attendance exceeding 8,600 registered messengers on the first day of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 23 -- twice as many as he expected -- SBC President Johnny Hunt said there is a “sense of

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Huckabee laments lack of morality in U.S. By Tim Ellsworth (BP)

An absence of morality, not a lack of money, is responsible for many of the problems facing the United States, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told the 2009 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference June 22 in Louisville....

WMU envisions changed lives & a changed world By Shawn Hendricks

One changed life for Christ can change the world, Kaye Miller said. Miller, president of Woman’s Missionary Union, gave the challenge to nearly 1,200 attendees

on the second day of WMU’s missions celebration and annual meeting, June 22 at St. Matthews Church in Louisville, Ky. The Monday sessions focused on changing lives across America and around the world....

Hispanics get GPS intro from NAMB president By David R. Lema Jr.

Several hundred Hispanic pastors, missionaries and leaders gathered at the annual National Hispanic Celebration June 21 to celebrate church planting and evangelization -- and chart new directions. ...

Korean Baptists reach goal one year early By Karen L. Willoughby (BP)

Members of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America are celebrating the mobilization of 1,000 people for missions service through the International Mission Board....

BP blogging & Twittering from SBC meeting By BP Staff

Baptist Press hosted its Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting blog again this year, and -- for the first time -- sent out Twitter updates about the meeting. ...

Samples of Twitter Entries during the SBC meeting June 24, 2009 - 9:24:00 PM SBC President Johnny Hunt has gaveled the 2009 annual meeting to a close. Next year’s meeting will take place in Orlando, Fla. ...

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WRAP-UP: SBC green-lights Great Commission Task Force By Michael Foust LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--With the goal of finding ways Southern Baptists “can work more faithfully and effectively” together in fulfilling the Great Commission, messengers to the convention’s annual meeting June 23-24 gave the green light to a task force to examine the denomination for one year and report back to the 2010 meeting in Orlando Fla. Debate over the proposed Great Commission Task Force and an Internet document dubbed the “Great Commission Resurgence Declaration” had dominated preconvention talk, with some Southern Baptist leaders backing it and others expressing concern. In the end, though, the 8,700-plus messengers at the annual meeting overwhelmingly supported the task force via a motion that gave Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt authority to appoint the panel -- something he did on the meeting’s final day, naming 19 members. The actual GCR document that had sparked the discussion never was proposed, much less came to a vote. The denomination was meeting in Louisville, Ky., to help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In other top annual meeting news, messengers:

-- received an update about the GPS (God’s Plan for Sharing) evangelism initiative, which aims to see every SBC church planting other churches by 2020. -- passed a resolution that calls the election of President Obama a step toward nationwide racial reconciliation but that heavily criticizes him for some of his policies. -- passed a resolution encouraging Southern Baptist families to prayerfully consider adopting or fostering children. -- approved an Executive Committee recommendation to cease the “cooperative relationship” with Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, over the issue of homosexuality. -- re-elected Johnny Hunt to a

second one-year term as president. this opportunity.” Valley Church, Bakersfield, Calif., But the Great Commission Task In addition to Hunt and Floyd, Executive Committee member; Force was the leading issue, not the task force includes: Page; Robert White, executive director, only in the minds of messengers Mohler; Jim Richards, executive Georgia Baptist Convention; Ken but also for several of the meeting’s director, Southern Baptists of Texas Whitten, pastor, Idlewild Church, preachers. Evangelist Billy Graham, Convention; David Dockery, presiTampa, Fla.; Ted Traylor, Olive 90 years old, even sent a personal dent, Union University; Simon Tsoi, Church, Pensacola, Fla. greeting to messengers in which he first vice chairman, International said he had read about the “call to a Mission Board; Donna Gaines, BelResolutions and Great Commission resurgence” with levue Church, Cordova, Tenn.; Al recommendations much interest. Gilbert, pastor, Calvary Church, Resolution No. 1 - The Obama The task force had the backing Winston-Salem, N.C.; J.D. Greear, resolution -- which passed nearly of Hunt, who is one of the 19 mempastor, Summit Church, Durham, unanimously -- says messengers bers and who named Arkansas pasN.C.; Tom Biles, director of mis“share our nation’s pride in our tor Ronnie Floyd chairman. sions, Tampa Bay Association, Excontinuing progress toward “I feel like the Southern racial reconciliation signaled” Baptist Convention is in what by the president’s election. But we call a defining moment,” the resolution says messengers Hunt said at a press conference “decry” Obama’s assistance to following his re-election. “We “pro-abortion” groups. It also are defining our priorities and expresses “strong opposition” to ... we’re saying to our 43,000 Obama declaring June as Leschurches: The Great Commisbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgension needs a resurgence. We der Pride Month. The resolution need to fund our missionaries. also calls on Southern Baptists We need to have more money for to pray for Obama -- something church planting. We need to be they did immediately after its more intentional with the GPS.” passage, with Hunt leading the Hunt said he has “no desire prayer. whatsoever to touch the strucResolution No. 2 - The proture” of the convention. He also adoption resolution notes that said he hopes to see -- through the world has upwards of 150 the study and the possible million orphans and it calls “on implementation of a proposed each Southern Baptist family to report -- Cooperative Program pray for guidance as to whether giving increase and what he God is calling them to adopt called “overlap” within the deor foster a child or children.” nomination lessen. It also encourages “pastors “Sometimes, the overlap and church leaders to preach has proved to be very healthy,” and teach on God’s concern for Newly elected Southern Baptist Convention officers for he said. “But other times, the 2010 (front to back): Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Church in orphans.” overlap is maybe taking some Resolution No. 3 - The dollars that could be placed Woodstock, Ga., president; Stephen Rummage, pastor of Southern Seminary Sesquicensomewhere else to cause us to Bell Shoals Church in Brandon, Fla., second vice president; tennial Anniversary resolution go further in piercing the dark- John Yeats, communications director of the Louisiana Baptist gives thanks to God for the ness with the Good News.” Convention, recording secretary; and Jim Wells, director of founding of the seminary, its R. Albert Mohler Jr., founding leaders, the faculty missions for the Tri County Association in Nixa, Mo., regispresident of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, made the tration secretary. (Lower right box) John Mark Toby, pastor and administration, its passion for evangelism and missions task force motion from the floor of Beacon Hill Church in Somerset, Ky., first vice president. and asks for prayer for continwhile speaking as a messenger Photo by Matt Miller. ued faithfulness and effectivefrom Highview Church in Louness in raising up sound and isville, Ky. Frank Page, pastor zealous ministry for the churches of First Church in Taylors, S.C., ecutive Committee member; Danny until the Lord’s glorious return. spoke for and supported the motion. Akin, president, Southeastern Resolution No. 4 - The biblical “This is not an effort to reinvent Baptist Theological Seminary; John sexuality and public policy resoluthe Southern Baptist Convention,” Drummond, St. Andrews Church, tion reaffirms our historic and Mohler said, adding, “There is a Panama City, Fla.; Harry Lewis, consistent support for of the biblical generation ready and waiting to be North American Mission Board; challenged to do something great for Mike Orr, pastor, First Church, Chi- definition of marriage as the exclusive union of a man and a woman; the cause of Christ. I say we take pley, Fla.; Roger Spradlin, pastor,

August 2009 encourages all Christians to be salt and light; calls on Congress to reject any attempts to appeal the Defense of Marriage Act; opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; urges US Senate not to pass any hate crimes legislation that would criminalize religious beliefs about homosexuality and other unbiblical life styles in hiring practices; supports the military code barring homosexuality in the military and calls on President Obama to honor Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which precludes homosexual behavior among active service personnel; affirms SBC Task force on Ministry to Homosexuals to encourage churches to engage in loving redemptive ministry to homosexuals; and proclaims that any who practice unbiblical sexual behavior can be forgiven and forever changed. Resolution No. 5 - On appreciation resolution expresses appreciation to all who made the annual meeting a blessing and to Southern Seminary for allowing us to join them in celebration of their 150th anniversary. SBC Executive Committee Recommendation Nos. 1 and 2 2009-2010 SBC Operating Budget and 2009-2010 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget were approved. SBC Executive Committee Recommendation Nos. 3 and 4 - SBC Bylaw 1 and 15(A) Amendments were approved. SBC Executive Committee Recommendation No. 5 on SBC Convention Site and Housing Guidelines was approved. SBC Executive Committee Recommendation No. 6 on The SBC Calendar of Activities recommendation for adoption of the 2013-14 Calendar of Activities and amendment to the 2009-2010, 2010-11 and 2011-12 Calendar of Activities was approved. SBC Executive Committee Recommendation No. 7 - The resolution recommends Southern Baptists cease their relationship with Broadway Baptist Church following a year-long study by the Executive Committee that began with a motion from the floor at last year’s meeting. The congregation has at least two same-sex couples in the church and was embroiled in a controversy in early 2008 as to whether the couples should be pictured in a church direc-

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tory. Supporters of the Executive Committee recommendation said that while the convention fully supports ministering to the homosexual community, the church -- by its actions -- was in violation of Article III of the SBC Constitution, which states that churches “which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior” are not in friendly cooperation. Some of the church’s openly homosexual members serve on church committees. Executive Committee members had suggested a statement from the church condemning homosexuality would have been beneficial; the church, though, decided not to go that route.

In other convention news:

-- Geoff Hammond, president of the North American Mission Board, told messengers that the SBC’s associations and 42 state conventions “have signed up” for the GPS challenge and “joined hands” together with the goal of seeing every SBC church, by 2020, planting other churches. Messengers were given a paperback book by Hammond titled, “God’s Plan for Sharing: North America: Your Mission Field.” “We are about to embark on the largest, most extended, farthestreaching national evangelism initiative that we have ever seen,” Hammond said. -- Thanks to a gift from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and an offering from the SBC Pastors’ Conference, the International Mission Board received more than $100,000 to help fill the gap from its Lottie Moon Christmas Offering shortfall. The Lottie Moon offering fell $29 million short of its goal and $9 million short of its previous year’s total. During the IMB report, messengers heard from missionaries who serve in closed areas of the world; their identities were masked to protect their safety. IMB President Jerry Rankin said more needs to be done to reach a lost world.

“Are we saying that 5,000 missionaries are enough ... to evangelize the rest of the world while we support over 100,000 pastors, church staff and denominational workers in our own country?” he asked. -- Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman told messengers that a fervor for missions trumps doctrinal divides and that Southern Baptists will unite for the sake of lost souls. “The victories of faith in the life of the convention did not happen because men and women loved doctrine,” Chapman, president of the Executive Committee, said during the morning report June 23. “They happened because they loved Jesus.” Chapman mentioned some of the issues that have been debated in recent days, noting first that the convention must “maintain a careful balance between cultural adaptation and Gospel proclamation.” “Some of the church growth methodologies that masquerade under the guise of Bible exposition are increasingly known for the crude themes and the vulgar language of their strongest advocates. The sacred desk is no place for the carnal, the sensual and the sensational,” he said. -- The annual Crossover evangelism outreach that precedes the annual meeting yielded more than 1,000 decisions for Christ. Approximately 3,000 volunteers from 107 churches participated. -- John Mark Toby, pastor of Beacon Hill Church in Somerset, Ky., was elected first vice president, while Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Church in Brandon, Fla., was elected second vice president. John Yeats, director of communications for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, was re-elected SBC recording secretary, and Jim Wells, director of missions for the Tri-County Association in Nixa, Mo., was re-elected registration secretary. Mac Brunson, pastor of First Church in Jacksonville, Fla., was elected to preach the 2010 conven-

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tion sermon in Orland, Fla. -- Two representatives from the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware served on the 2009 SBC Committee on Committees: Steffan Carr, Christ Memorial Church, Westernport, Md., and Scott Hook, High Tide, Rozana, Del. Other BCM/D representatives appointed as Trustees are: Southern Seminary - John Manry, North Harford, Jarrettsville, Md. replaces Stephen Hokuf, First, North East, Md.; Southwestern Seminary - Il Hwan Kim, Tyrannus, Clarksville, Md., is elected for a second term; Midwestern Seminary - Judy Crain, First, Easton, Md., is elected for a second term; Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission - Jeffrey Harris, Calvary, Forest Hills, Md., replaces John Ball, South End, Frederick, Md. -- LifeWay Christian Resources presented the inaugural HCSB Award posthumously to Fred Winters, the pastor of First Church in Maryville, Ill., who was shot and killed while preaching. Winters’ widow, Cindy, appeared on stage and received the award. Their two daughters also were present. The award will honor individuals who have shown a high commitment to the preaching or teaching of the God’s Word. -- The SBC Pastors’ Conference heard from Charles Colson, Mike Huckabee and David Platt, a 30-year-old pastor who previously was unknown to many attendees but whose passionate sermons were well-received. Platt, lead pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., also delivered a theme interpretation during the annual meeting. Next year’s annual meeting will take place June 15-16 in Orlando, Fla. Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press. With reporting by Erin Roach, Baptist Press staff writer.

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August 2009

Ministers’ wives ponder ‘Quiet Influence’ By Shannon Baker Baptist Press LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--An overflow crowd of more than 1,600 women pondered the ways God could use the quiet influence of their lives during the 54th annual Ministers’ Wives Conference June 23 at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky. This year’s luncheon theme -“Quiet Influence: The Romans 12:1 Woman” -- was based on a recently published Bible study of the same name focusing on a Bible passage urging believers “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Every attendee received a copy of the Bible study, which includes chapters by Debbie Brunson,

Bob Simpson, BCM/D Associate Executive Director, BaptistLIFE editor, serving as the 2009 president of the Association of State Baptist Paper Editors, shares a framed resolution from the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky. The resolution acknowledged gratitude for the editors’ role in missions education. Also on the evening’s program was Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, who shared recent trends about the SBC. Photo by Shannon Baker

Jeana Floyd, Donna Gaines, Susie Hawkins and Lisa Young, as well as Diane Strack, its general editor. Strack, who with her husband Jay founded the Student Leadership University, served as president of this year’s luncheon. Drawing on her recent experience with heart disease and triple bypass surgery, Strack moderated a panel discussion with some of the authors of the Bible study, which portrays how great women of the Bible and church history have made an impact by exerting quiet influence. Brunson, wife of Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., shared about Shirley Lindsay, who was the recipient of the 2009 Willie Turner Dawson Award. Brunson noted that personal evangelism and a commitment to visitation defined the life of Lindsay, a pastor’s wife for more than 40 years. “Shirley made sharing Christ the priority of her life,” Brunson wrote as part of the Quiet Influence study. “She did not want to leave anyone without an opportunity to know His love, and she set about praying for, visiting and finding those she could tell the Gospel.” Lindsay’s daughter, Peggy Lindsay Hyatt, accepted the award, which recognizes ministers’ wives who have made a distinct denominational contribution, on behalf of her mother, who died May 1, 2008. Donna Gaines, wife of Steve Gaines, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., shared her identification with Monica, the mother of the great theologian Augustine, who once was a wayward son. Like Monica, Gaines prayed and enlisted other prayer warriors to plead with God for her son’s salvation. A year and a half later, God broke through and Gaines called all the prayer warriors together to pray over her son, who openly confessed and repented before the Lord. He now is working on a doctorate at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Generation after generation has benefited from Monica’s prayers,”

The SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, held June 23 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., featured “A View From the Pew,” a panel of female authors and pastor’s wives who spoke to topics relevant to wives of pastors. The panel included (from left) Donna Gaines; Debbie Brunson; Jeana Floyd; and Susie Hawkins. Gaines said. Jeana Floyd, who ministers alongside her husband Ronnie Floyd at First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., shared about her experience with breast cancer. The cancer became an opportunity to show the world that she could draw on God’s strength during the difficult time, much like the Old Testament judge Deborah did. Deborah “rose to the challenge when God called her, and that decision led her to be victorious as she trusted God and inspired others within her sphere of influence with that same trust,” Floyd said. Susie Hawkins, wife of O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, highlighted the life of Lottie Moon, whose compassion for the Chinese people fueled a vigorous advocacy for missions funds. Hawkins shared how Moon, “a regular person just like us,” silently starved to death, yet “her last meager meal, given in Jesus’ name, was multiplied as the loaves and fishes into a legacy of giving that has garnered more than $3 billion for missions in her name.” In other business, Nancy Sullivan, wife of John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention, reported that

she has raised $331,379 of her $500,000 goal for the Ministers’ Wives Endowment Trust Fund, which enables the luncheon to be affordable for every minister’s wife. Designated contributions to the SBC Ministers’ Wives Endowment may be sent to the Office of the Executive Director, Florida Baptist Convention, 1230 Hendricks Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32207. For the first time, the luncheon was preceded by an expo featuring more than 40 ministries. Sponsors gave away three fivenight “Sailabration” Bible cruises to the Bahamas, 25 “Galatians 6:6” weekend retreats and 1,047 inspirational door prizes. Officers for the 2010 luncheon in Orlando, Fla., with the theme “Mentoring Ministry Marriages,” are Rhonda Kelley of New Orleans, president; Pam Mercer of Oviedo, Fla., vice president; Debra Shaddix of Denver, recording secretarytreasurer; and Beverly Fleming of Houston, correspondence secretary. Next year’s featured speaker at the June 15 luncheon will be Jackie Kendall of Power to Grow Ministries. For more information about the luncheon, visit mwlunch.

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August 2009

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Do people see Jesus in your life?


n occasion my best friend, Jan who lives in Monroe, La., mails me a “goody box” with all of my favorite things. Things like Cold Brew coffee from Gayla Parker New Orleans WMU Executive or my favorite Director/WMU,SBC candle from the Missions Innovator gift shop. At the beginning of Specialist this summer she Missionary for added sandals Missions Education/ to my gift box. It Customization was great! Over the Fourth of July weekend while out and about with family, I wore the sandals from Jan. At the mall, at the restaurant, at Inner Harbor and in Canton women stopped us and asked, “Where did you buy those sandals?” In Canton two women were literally chasing us down to ask me about my sandals. Once they caught up to us they said, “Yes, we are stalking you because we want your shoes.” Before the weekend was over it became the family joke. “Who is stalking you now?” As we walked home I had to wonder, “If people can stalk me down to ask about a cute pair of sandals why are there not people stalking me down because they see Jesus in my life?” So I wondered, what was it about the sandals that caused all the attention? First of all they were unique. They are hand painted wooden sandals. The soles of the shoes are painted with hot pink and lime green flowers. The top of the shoes are lime green with a hot pink flower on top. For you men who are reading this, I can

just see your faces. The expressions on the faces of my three sons were probably the same as yours are now. It is definitely a girl thing. Nonetheless, the shoes are unique. God made each of us unique. We all have different gifts and talents that are ours for the using. When David went to battle with Goliath, he did not rely on the armor of Saul to win the fight. He relied on his skills as a shepherd boy because that was his talent given from God. Was it the expected talent for someone fighting a giant? Probably not. Most would have assumed that only a well trained mighty` warrior could win this battle and that a shepherd boy with a sling shot would be killed instantly. But you see, it wasn’t David that God wanted to get the glory, it was Him. The Israelites had no question as to the power of God at the end of the battle. Only God could have used a slingshot to kill a very large well-trained soldier! When we stray from the uniqueness of who we are in Christ we may

miss an opportunity to experience a victory like none other. It is through our uniqueness that God gets to shine. David said in Psalm 139, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.” If God’s works are wonderful and we are a part of His work, then we are indeed wonderful. In today’s culture everyone is looking for that one thing that makes them unique and wonderful. Look no farther, your very creation is unique and wonderful. When our thoughts, hearts, creativity, personality, appearance, demeanor, actions and reactions are in line with who we are in Christ then just maybe someone will stalk us down to find out what makes us unique and wonderful. Secondly, the shoes looked fun. In today’s economic climate life is stressful and hard. People are looking for any way possible to find relief from the stress. As believ-

ers we have the solution, peace in Christ. Does that mean we will not be affected by the economy? No. One of my friends just lost her job today. But the difference is she knows God has been going before her and He will provide. She is at peace with the situation. In spite of the phone call she received this morning this afternoon she is still smiling. My guess is her co-workers who also received that call today will be stalking her to learn how she has kept her smile and confidence in the midst of loosing a job. Each time I wear my sandals I will wonder if I’m allowing my uniqueness to shine so that God can shine. I will wonder if I’m showing peace and confidence regardless of my situation. I will wonder if I’m showing the world something that is worth stalking. My sandals will be too worn to wear one day but Jesus is for all eternity. There is nothing more worth stalking than that!

Price per ticket: (includes luncheon) $40 by August 15 $50 after August 15

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August 2009

Art Murphy: Reaching children for Christ is crucial By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Ninety percent of conversions (from those who are not Christians and then become Christians) occur by the age of 24, Art Murphy told around 50 children’s ministry leaders on May 21. Fifty percent of these conversions happen before the person is 12 years old! “That means there is only about six years that this will happen, and it happens in one’s childhood,” he stressed. Murphy went on to say that statistics indicate that most conversions (16.7 percent) occur at the age of 12 than any other age. Murphy, who served 17 years as children’s ministry pastor of First Church in Orlando, Fla., was the keynote speaker for a training event sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. Murphy has ministered to over 2,000 children, led a staff of 725 volunteers (starting with just 67) and saw more than 1,300 children came to Christ during his ministry in Orlando. He currently serves as president of Arrow Ministries, which assists parents, churches and childhood educators in raising strong, happy, purposeful children, who honor the Lord with their lives. Murphy shared that of those children around 7½ years old, most tend to make the decision again later, “if they are brave enough,” to receive Christ. In an informal survey, he asked his listeners how many had professed Christ at an early age, but later made an official decision later. Nearly 40 percent responded they had. Though most churches treat four-year olds and fourth graders the same, Murphy noted that there are different stages in a child’s faith. Using the Parable of the Sower, which Jesus taught to the disciples, he explained the four stages: The first is the discovering phase, for children from birth to age five, when it is all about the child’s feelings and preparing the soil. “It’s not about the sower—us,

Art Murphy it’s about the soil. We have to remove the junk because soil only is fertile in one place,” shared Murphy, referencing Matt. 13. “Sometimes, as ministers, we are going to ministered to all the soils (the hard path, the plant that burns up quickly, the thorns that choke out the plant, or the good soil, which produces great fruit). “Our job as the farmer is to prepare the soil and remove the rocks.” “In the preschool years, it’s all about the feelings. If you love children, they know it,” he said, pointing to how one can see how a baby feels by the way the baby moves his toes. Are they clenched? Or are they dancing? Preschool children pay particular attention to the look in people’s eyes and the tones of their voices, he said. The second phase is the discerning phase, for children ages 4-8, when it is all about gathering facts and planting seeds. At this point, children are starting to sort out things and are asking questions, such as, what happens when you die? Where is heaven? “Sometimes we’re the surrogate parents spiritually,” he shared, cautioning against being fearful about the questions, “These first

questions are like kicks in the womb, not labor pains!” These kids are naturally curious, and if they’re comfortable, they’ll tell you anything, he said. The next phase is the deciding phase, for children ages 7-12, when it is all about the faith and protecting the growing seeds. Murphy said that research indicates that kids aren’t ready to accept Christ when they first start asking questions, even though many excited parents automatically assume that they are. “Let’s not think when they start asking that it’s already done,” he challenged. “God is in the rebirthing process, and we are assisting them.” He noted that when children think they already know everything, they don’t go any further. They need to have faith in what they don’t know. He also cautioned that this a critical time when spiritual warfare usually takes place. Some kids may

are done in the childhood years,” shared Murphy, pointing to how mathematical tables, grammar rules and scriptures are learned in this critical time while their brains are developing. He urged his listeners to ensure they allow adequate time to disciple their children and to remove the stumbling blocks in their lives. Murphy also shared ways to discern that a child is not ready to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. When a child puts away the “preschool trinity” (Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy), she may be quick to discount Jesus, too. Explain the difference between the real and the pretend, he said. He also said that children may have a curiosity about Jesus, but they haven’t yet experienced a conviction of the truth. Kids may also believe that being good (or having good works) is what it takes to get to heaven. Gently teach the truth while waiting for God to move in their lives. Murphy encouraged, “After a child’s first prayer to Jesus, other things later seal that process. Later, the light bulbs come on. Sometimes that happens six weeks to two years after the first prayer or the first question.” He added, “It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good your presentation is, sometimes the Holy Spirit has not opened their eyes yet.” He suggested the children’s leaders ask the children if something they are teaching makes sense to them. “If they say, ‘Not really,’ just reply, ‘It will one day,’” he smiled.

take a turn for the worse, may make bad decisions or otherwise wrestle against the darkness right before they make a decision for Christ. The final stage is the discipling stage, for children ages 10 and up, when it is all about being faithful and pruning away the things not of God. “More habits and memory

To learn more or to purchase books written by Murphy, visit online at or contact June Holland, BCM/D missionary for preschool/ children, VBS and weekday education, at (800) 290-5290, ext. 233 or at

August 2009

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New mission partnership in Southeast Asia By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.— Freddy Parker not only prayerwalked during his last missions vision tour; he prayer-“boated” past the shoreline of several Southeast Asian port villages. Parker, Acts 1:8 missionary at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware, and Bruce Glisson, pastor of Immanuel Church in Salisbury, Md., traveled to the region in mid-May to pursue opportunities to develop an ongoing missions partnership. In this partnership, interested BCM/D churches will work the local International Mission Board missionaries in obtaining contacts in the communities and evangelizing the people groups who have migrated to the area from nearby islands. These migrants, primarily fishermen, live off the sea and have entered the country illegally. “It’s a people group with a lot of

needs, but generally, no government recognizes them,” Parker explained. “They are essentially a people with no government, on their own with no one to help them.” These illegal aliens, with a significant amount of children and youth, have no papers or rights under the local government’s constitution and aren’t given access to education. Parker envisions that BCM/D churches can spearhead several short-term projects, similar to Vacation Bible Schools, for education. He suggests that teams emphasize math and reading skills. They may also lead sports clinics, help set up classrooms or teach conversational English. Parker said that these aliens flock to the region because the economy is much better and there are “fewer peace and order problems” due to the more stable country. For that reason, people do relax more here and are more approachable, noted Parker, who anticipates easier opportunities to share about Christ. Yet, many of the residents practice a folk Islam, which basically is “a lot of spiritism (animism) with a veneer of Islam around it,” he said, noting that he saw several “spirit” places, where people placed objects to symbolize offerings for requests. “This is very typical of the various people groups in Southeast Asia,” he said. Parker and Glisson met one gentleman who is a very strong seeker. He showed great interest after reading a portion of Scripture in his language. “I pray that God’s Spirit continues to move in this man’s life,” expressed Parker, noting that it was likely that the man would face persecution as he shares with other people in his community.

“These are precious folks that the Lord loves, that need to hear, that don’t have a lot of access to what Christ teaches. What they do get is often distorted, so there is a lot of misinformation that will need to be explained. The teams who come will need patience and consistency. It won’t change overnight, but as they connect with other believers, God will move.” Since it is technically illegal to lead a resident in the region to Christ, Parker advises that teams work together “as an underground church situation.” He also urges prayer for wisdom and access and for barriers to the Gospel to be overcome. Pray that residents will see how the Lord loves and cares for them and that they would have the opportunity to hear and to respond

to His message. Weather in the region, which is a large urban area surrounded by breathtaking beaches and picturesque nature, is tropical year-round and presents a great opportunity for church members who may want to travel during the wintertime. Parker will lead another vision trip in October. Those interested in discovering more about upcoming trips or to learn about missions, contact Parker at (800) 290-5290, ext. 215,; or Donna Shiflett, at ext. 226,

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August 2009

Former punk rocker seeks to break down church barriers By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Dan Kimball, a former punk rocker turned pastor, believes that younger generations of Americans have respect for Jesus. It’s the church that they don’t trust. Teaching pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., Kimball was the keynote speaker for a training event sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) on May 7. He is the author of several books including “They Like Jesus but Not the Church” and “The Emerging Church.” He writes and speaks about emerging church and culture issues from a missional and evangelical perspective. In his message, Kimball shared his shock upon learning the hostile attitudes toward the church that he discovered while surveying his community. Like a missionary who prepares a letter for going overseas, Kimball studied the local population in terms of values, interests, needs and spirituality. He led his church’s core members to call every single church in their surrounding area. They asked each church how many people in their community are in their church. Of those, how many were children and youth? It took two people about 30 days to call every church in the phone book. They discovered that 90 percent of the community’s population was not in church. A shocking 96 percent of the community’s youth and children were not in church. Moreover, 97 percent college students were not. Then they started doing street interviews, asking participants what comes to mind when they heard of Jesus? Church? Christian? They also asked if the participant was involved in a church, and if not, why? The answers shook him up. “Today, we [Christians] are seen as bad and evil persons by many,” noted Kimball, whose early

year old Stuart Allen, who smiled and asked, “Here for the study?” Kimball didn’t want to hurt their feelings so he joined them. And he kept coming back. “They never once said, ‘Why is your hair like that? Why are you wearing human skull bowties? Where were you last night? Why are you playing in the rock and roll band?’ “They allowed me to ask questions. They never ever once made me feel Dan Kimball, teaching pastor at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif. dumb for asking questions,” Kimball shared. to the unchurched. “It was an 83-year old man with Kimball shared how he had several early concepts of Christians: Christ living in him that drew me to a saving relationship with Jesus,” the “shiny happy people” who wore he added, noting that today’s church pastels—the exact opposite of his leaders believe they have got to have black, punk rock, Mohawk-hair a rock and roll band, lights, a young style—and gathered together to hip guy with cool glasses in order to clap hands and sing; or the quiet, win today’s generation. somber gathering of people with the “This was the opposite. The weird organ music, orange carpet, Sunday church was horrible. Stuart chanting, and robed man offering everyone a “cup of wonder” (the body played the organ, walked slowly with his walker. But, underneath and blood of Jesus); or the angry it’s a guy like him that would reach preacher guy yelling on campus. a guy like me,” he said. “So much Despite these confusing are surface things; underneath it’s personas, Kimball felt compelled to not really that difficult. Underneath search for who Jesus was and what it’s about love and about truth.” the Bible had to say about God. In Kimball went on to explain spite of his friends’ good intentioned that today’s Christian subculture intervention—“they said they were is actually creating barriers to afraid I would become a Christian, reaching new people for Jesus. He and they were there to stop me, challenged his listeners to rethink worried that I would lose all my the Bridge Evangelism Illustration. creativity, because they believed The classic “bridge illustration” Christians were mindless”– Kimball found himself drawn to a tiny chapel represents when human beings recognize the separation between in England. It had a strange sandwich board God and man, and faith in Jesus is “the Bridge” to cross the chasm. with ugly letters, advertising an “The problem is that we now event on Wednesdays. have another chasm to overcome, Three elderly people sat on chairs in the entryway, including 83- which is the creation of the experiences as a non-Christian paved a way for him to communicate

Christian subculture and the misperceptions people have of ‘Christianity,’” Kimball said, noting that there is no respect for sin and scripture today, and there are many things that people have to overcome. For instance, many believe that the church and Christianity is an “organized religion” with a rightwing political agenda, he said. It also is equated with church as a ‘business’ and people after power. “The church on the mission of Jesus does need organization. But organization can be a good thing or a bad thing,” he said. “Teach people that ‘church’ is an organic community. Be ‘organized’ without being organized just as a family dinner is organized; the human body is organized etc. He also shared that many believe that the church is judgmental and negative, that it is dominated by males and oppresses females, or that the church is hateful to homosexuals. “May we instead be a positive agent of change loving others as Jesus would and may we be the Church that holds women in the highest respect and involves them in leadership,” he said. Kimball has worked hard to create the kind of church culture where people can talk about issues such as homosexuality, so that people who struggle can tell others about it. He also teaches what the Bible says about issues. “When I do deconstruction [of arguments against the Bible], it’s because I want to be able to preempt or provide the right responses when the issues arise,” he said. “We must rebuild trust and break the misperceptions they have of Christians and the church. This is what Stuart Allen did for me. He built trust with me. He didn’t put judgment on me,” he said. “When you are immersed in the lives of people outside the church, you become sensitive to these things.”

Your Convention...

August 2009

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“Dear Counselor” with CentrePointe Counseling, Inc.

“What if church members said unkind words about my husband?” Dear Counselor: How do you deal with church members who say evil and unkind words about your pastor/husband? –A Pastor’s Wife Dear Pastor’s Wife: Of course our human response to someone who is being unkind to our loved one is to defend or run away. We might give an emotional response back to the person and, then, avoid them as much as possible. While this response is natural, it misses the opportunity for growth and for the discovery of truth. A different response usually comes with acceptance and preparation; acceptance that the role of a pastor (and pastor’s spouse) will always bring to the surface the unfinished business or “pathology” of other persons (as well as our own), and preparation that is grounded

in daily prayer. I would recommend that the following phrase occur in the prayer life of every minister (lay or ordained) daily: “Lord, help me to remain a curious and nonreactive listener today in the midst of all the problems that come my way.” Remaining curious and non-reactive allows us to use all the parts of our brain and not just give an emotional reaction that comes out of the primitive part of our brain. Therefore, we are not caught in a “triangle” where a person is saying something to us that they really need to say to someone else. To the person who says something unkind about your husband, you can simply say, “I’m sure that my husband would love to hear what you have to say. Why don’t you go tell him yourself?” Such a statement not only follows the biblical mandate of Matthew 18, but, also, if said in a matter of fact way communicates a

sense of power and authority that is grounded in a trust in God and a trust in your husband’s ability to handle the situation. Since most of these unkind comments are about power issues, the very way in which we respond can communicate a form of power that is essential to leaders. If the comments persist, a further response might be to say in a non-reactive and curious manner, “I can see that something continues to bother you, is there anything more that is going on that perhaps we could talk about?” This invites the person to say more. It also alerts them to the fact that you are aware that this is as much about them as it is about the pastor. If you can remain as a listener for a little while, the person may open up about other issues, at which point you may want to refer them to someone else for deeper listening if needed. You do not need to fix it

or to be a counselor for everyone. If the person responses negatively to such an inquiry, you know that you have hit upon an area of growth for them. They will eventually come around, or they will leave. If in fact we are the ones responding negatively, then, we have hit upon an area of our own needed growth which we can take to prayer or to a spiritual friend. Send your questions by e-mail to

site locations to add additional counseling coverage, especially in southern Maryland and Baltimore City. More information is available online at www.

Send inquiries to pastor@, or call (301) 384-9153 for more information. Colesville Baptist Church, 13100 Andrew Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904.


PART-TIME MUSIC DIRECTOR—Christos Baptist Church, Randallstown, Maryland, is looking for a Part-Time Music Director to lead Sunday morning worship and practice session on Wednesday or Saturday. Must be able to read music and play at least one instrument. Contact Samson at

PART-TIME WORSHIP TEAM LEADER— Severna Park Baptist Church is looking for a part-time Worship Team Leader to lead Sunday morning worship team and practicie session on Wednesday evenings. Candidate should feel comfortable with a blend of traditional and cotemporary music; and should be familiar with Media Shout and Power Point. Please contact Steve Prettyman at Severna Park Baptist Church at (410) 647-0765 or email spbcsecy@

CentrePointe has offices in the following locations: Cambridge, Catonsville, Columbia, Crofton, Dunkirk, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Hughesville, Lanham, Laurel, Lutherville, Mechanicsville, Middle River, Odenton, Parkville, Rockville, Severn, Silver Spring, Waldorf and Westminster.

CLASSIFIEDS BECOMING A MISSIONARY— Are you wondering if BECOMING A MISSIONARY is for you? Check out this tool from IMB - http:// or call 1-800-999-3113. Ask about Explore materials in the contact center. CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR—If you are a Master’s or Ph.D. level clinician who is interested in working as a Christian counselor for CentrePointe Counseling Inc., please email your resume to the attention of Kim Cook, LCSW-C, Executive Director at info@, with ‘employment opportunity’ in the subject line. Please indicate your level of licensure in your resume & cover letter. We currently have space available at many of our

PIANIST NEEDED – Colesville Baptist Church is looking for a pianist for services on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, including choir rehearsal.

Deadlines are the first day of the prior 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 us for display ad pricing. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of any advertiser’s products or services. Send your ad to

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Your World...

August 2009

Maryland Baptist helps Sudanese refugees in Egypt By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent LANHAM, Md.—Barbara Davis has a burden for the Sudanese refugee women who are living in perilous conditions in Egypt. She wants to make a difference. The founder of the nonprofit Practical Living Institute, which seeks to improve the lives of the disenfranchised both domestically and internationally, Davis wants to provide the women refugees with spiritual guidance and training for developing sustainable living skills. Davis, who also serves as co-director of Outreach Ministries (Missions) at New Song Bible Fellowship Church in Bowie, Md., has performed ministry in over 35 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. She has been to Egypt three times, where she has met women refugees from Darfur and other parts of war torn Sudan. In 2007, her first exposure to the displaced people was during a mission trip she led to Egypt and Congo in 2007. The next year, she led a mission trip with teenagers who ministered to displaced Sudanese children in Egypt. By 2009, she felt God leading her to serve for a longer period of time. Ironically, Davis was sitting on the front row of her church listening to a guest speaker at a mission conference she organized. His words rattled her. “Are there hindrances in your life that are keeping you from doing what God is calling you to do?” the speaker from Atlanta had asked. Davis, crying, realized that she was allowing her job and her family to stop her—a missions director—from doing the mission God had called her to do. She began praying fervently. Several weeks later, God confirmed through her husband that she was to go to Egypt to serve the Sudanese women. Davis, a systems engineer at

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will leave her job at the end of August to lead Project Destiny, which seeks to bring comfort and provide leadership training for the Sudanese refugee women. She will live in Egypt for nine months. Davis explained that there are tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees in Egypt, most of whom are seeking refuge from ongoing military conflicts in their home country. In Sudan, the women were subject to atrocities, such as the systematic rape, murder, and starvation of over one million civilians belonging

sense out of all that has happened in their lives.” She explained Project Destiny’s three-dimensional leadership training approach. In the autumn, Davis will begin by rebuilding the refugee women spiritually and emotionally. In this phase, Davis and other volunteers also will teach leadership skills in decision-making, conflict resolution and understanding one’s emotions. “I want the women to know that there is a God who understands what they are going through and loves them,” she said. Then, Davis will concentrate efforts on redefining the refugee women for the workplace. Presently, she is recruiting other women who can volunteer to teach computer skills as well as cosmetology, jewelry making, and other marketable skills. “The bottom line is that these women have to develop some kind of skill set to sustain themselves,” she said. Thirdly, Davis will strive to reconnect the refugee woman to the community as a citizen and not as a refugee. She seeks to define what “a good citizen looks Barbara Davis, founder of Practical Living Institute like in Egypt” and will do whatever she can to fato the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa cilitate that for these women. She ethnic groups. knows that the majority of Sudanese Villages and crops have been refugees arrive with what little they repeatedly destroyed, leaving them can carry and are forced to live well uninhabitable and forcing the below the poverty line. Many live in Sudanese to take up residence in a tiny room housing seven or eight the neighboring countries of Chad, people with no air-conditioning. Congo, Uganda and Egypt. “Although Egypt kindly opens its Davis said the biggest challenges borders for the Sudanese to enter, it faced by refugees to Egypt include is unable to provide financial assisunemployment, insufficient educatance to the refugees due to its own tion opportunities, limited access to rapidly growing population,” Davis healthcare, high housing costs and shared. integration difficulties. Though there are thousands “Most of these women have of Sudanese refugee women, Davis lost contact with family members will concentrate efforts on training and friends,” she added. “They are 30 women at first. These women, in strangers in a foreign land with very turn, will serve as mentors for other little or no food or shelter. They are women. desperate for relationships and spiriDavis also will train two local tual direction in order to make some deputy directors to operate the pro-

gram next year. The projected cost for the ninemonth project is $45,000, which includes food for the refugee women, training materials, living expenses and other ministry expenses. Urging prayer for the safety, health and prosperity of the program’s participants, Davis pledged, “Though the task may be difficult for the refugee women being served, it is a goal that can be achieved with diligence and perseverance.” To learn more, visit online at or contact Davis at (301) 794-0211, info@

The Tears of African Women I bring the tears of African Women; of those who survived and those who never made it. I bring the tears of African Women; tears as victims of war and internal conflict. I bring the tears of African Women; tears of women whose story was never told. I bring the tears of African Women; victims of watching their husbands and sons murdered in front of them. I bring the tears of African Women; as their future is ripped away from them, tears of not knowing, but yet knowing, that they will never see home again. I bring the tears of African Women; hoping that someday, somewhere, somebody will say, “We have come to comfort you.” Project Destiny Comes to Comfort the African Women. -- Written by Barbara Davis and an unknown Zimbabwean woman

Your World...

August 2009

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The Helpline is on By Chuck Brooks Baptist Family & Children’s Services


or about five years now, we have dedicated staff time to answer telephone calls from individuals and families in need. We have found that people most often call because of financial crisis, often one that has threatened them with homelessness or utility shutoffs. To respond to all of our callers, we created a database full of contact information for helpful resources like food pantries, homeless shelters, and agencies that offer financial assistance to families in serious financial trouble. Our database also contains helpful resources for those who call needing to be connected with churches or agencies that that will assist them with marriage or parenting issues. We’ve given out our helpline number to churches and community groups, urging them to use it when they come face to face with a family or individual in need. Each year, the numbers of families calling us has increased, and in the last twelve months we fielded 462 calls for help. When a family calls, we offer more than information and referrals. Many agencies do that kind of work. We’re different because we take the time to listen and have committed the time and resources to make sure that each caller gets an individualized response that includes counseling and, where appropriate, prayer. We also follow up with each of our callers to make sure that we made a positive impact on their lives. Recently we took a call from a grandmother whose granddaughter has problems focusing her attention.

The mother of this child has been out of her life most of the time and the father is ill and lives in home. Both parents were drug users. The child went through withdrawal for 15 days after birth. I was able to share with this caller how my wife and I adopted our niece who was born three months early at 1.5 lbs. My daughter too has problems focusing but almost 12 years later, God is still working! The following is taken from a letter the caller wrote sometime after we talked: Dear Chuck, Only God could have connected us this morning. I could feel your warm and concerned spirit the moment you said “hello;” you truly blessed and comforted me. God is truly a loving God and I experience His mercy and loving kindness each and every day. It is so good to be in the “Family of God.” Thank you very much for the counseling agencies information, I will pray before contacting one of them, I prefer the Christian agency. In closing, you are a wonderful encourager, a true blessing to others. I will remember you, Rosie, your wife and your entire family in my prayers and will be sure to mention you to my pastor. Another caller needed transitional housing. She had struggled with drug addiction and as a result, her children were removed from her custody and she and her husband were separated. She could get her children back if she moved into larger living

Maryland students graduate from Boyce College LOUISVILLE—The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary held its 203rd graduation commencement on May 15 outdoors on the seminary lawn. The class included 244 graduates. The following students from Maryland graduated from Boyce College.

Lia Ha Kim from Severn, Md., graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. Derek H Miller from Baltimore, Md., graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Missions. Paul J. Yu from Global Mission Church with a Bachelor of Science in Missions.

quarters. The caller also inquired about an environment that would provide her with a support system—she said that she struggled with emotional ups and downs. I listened and then prayed for this caller. Afterwards, the client asked about the church where I served as a pastor. A couple weeks later she showed up at my church with her family. Several weeks later I received the following email: “Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I have taken over my daughter’s apartment, My husband and I are back together. It will still be at least another year before I will have a chance to get a place big enough for the kids but, my husband is with me and so God is moving on my behalf. I know that healing and rebuilding requires patience and time and so I will allow God to work as he has in my life. I love Him so much for all that he has done already. And I thank you for your extension of love and

understanding.” An elderly woman called with an amazing story. For the last five years she has been enduring the blistering cold of winter with no heat in her home. She is on a fixed income of about $650 per month. One of the ways she gets by is by keeping her BGE bill below $60. She does this by shutting all the bedroom doors of her house and sleeping on the floor in her hallway under an electric blanket. She also lives off “dollar store” food. We got this woman’s information from a concerned Christian who called to tell us that her refrigerator went bad—blowing black soot throughout her first floor. It’s going to cost $5,000 to have a restoration company to clean up the soot. We would love to help this woman but we can’t solve every problem that comes to us. We very often know the way, but the resources are sometimes hard to come by. If you know of a family facing a crisis and they feel like they do not have a safe place to turn, please give them our toll-free Helpline number: (800) 621-8834. We would be happy to offer them information and encouragement.


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 and Encouragement for Life!

Dr. James Merritt is the Senior Pastor of Cross Pointe, The Church at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. His uncompromising preaching and leadership have brought phenomenal growth to the church where thousands attend each week. He is a past-President of the Southern Baptist Convention and is a noted author and speaker. He and his wife Teresa have been married for thirty years and have three sons; James, Jr., Jonathan

and Joshua. The Merritts reside in Dacula, GA. Dr. Merritt is the speaker for Touching Lives which reaches millions around the world every week. His ability to apply Biblical principles to the problems and concerns of everyday life has made Touching Lives one of the most popular and respected broadcast ministries across the nation and around the world.

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August 2009 issue of Baptistlife