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Inside This Issue:
Human Trafficking, p. 6 • Hurricane Sandy, p. 8 • Muslims, p. 10 • Sikhs, p. 12
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VOLUME 98 ISSUE 1/ February 2013
CONTENTS p. 6
LOVING THE HURTING: HELPING VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING p. 6 The Samaritan Women (TSW) operates a residence program in Baltimore for women recovering from trauma and trafficking.
DAVID LEE p. 3 BOB SIMPSON p. 4 ROBERT ANDERSON p. 4 DAN HYUN p. 5
LOVING THE HURTING: HELPING HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS p. 8 A team from South Columbia Baptist Church, Friendship Baptist Church and Crossroads Church worked along side Samaritan’s Purse to mud-out homes, ripping out water-damaged walls and discarding ruined belongings. LOVING PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS: MINISTERING TO THE SIKHS p.10 International ministry can be as close as your backyard, or in the case of Grace Place, across the parking lot.
In a month dedicated to many expressions of love, this edition of BaptistLIFE focuses on God’s charge for Christians to love our neighbors—more specifically, the hurting, and people of other faiths.
LOVING PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS: MINISTERING TO MUSLIMS p. 12 Joel Rainey and other pastors’ dialogue with local Muslims leads to an interfaith tour of Turkey
ON THE COVER:
Joel Rainey, director of missions for the MidMaryland Baptist Association, on a vision tour of Turkey, hugs Ramazan, who owns a pharmacy in Sanliurfa. The men experienced a shared hope for their country’s future. February 2013
PERSPECTIVE BY DAVID LEE
Worth talking about...
ave you ever heard the old saying, “Your ears must have been burning. We were just talking about you”? People talk. They talk about you, and they talk about me. And regardless of what we say, most of us think it is important what people say about us. Companies, for example, spend millions of dollars trying to find out David Lee what people are saying about BCM/D Executive Director them and their products. I even know of churches that have invested in research as to what the people in their communities were saying about them. What do you think people in your community are saying about your church? I hope they are saying the same things that were said about the churches in the First Century. I hope they are saying what people said about the church at Antioch in Acts 11:26. There, the believers were first called “Christians.” The people in the community were mocking them. But in mocking them, they paid them the greatest of compliments. These early believers were behaving so much like Jesus that the people who saw them associated them with Him. I hope the people in your community are saying about you what was said about the men sent forth from the Jerusalem Conference in Acts 15. “These men risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Literally, they “gambled away their lives.” Imagine what could happen if every believer in our churches put it all on the line for Jesus. I hope people are saying about your church what Paul said about the Macedonian churches in 2 Corinthians 8. Paul’s collection for the struggling saints in Jerusalem in the predominantly Gentile churches is a prototype for our Cooperative Program. Even in the midst of hard times and persecution, the Macedonian churches gave liberally to the point of sacrifice. It was a spontaneous giving motivated by the grace of God and their sensitivity to the needs of others. I hope your community is saying about your church what Paul said about the Corinthian church’s effect on the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 9. Again, the backdrop is the collection. Because of the Corinthian believers “enthusiastic” giving, they had inspired other believers in Macedonia to give sacrificially. “Enthusiastic and cheerful giving” is contagious. We should be at least as enthusiastic about Christ and the work of his church as we are about the Ravens and the Redskins! I hope they are saying about us what they said about Paul and Silas in Acts 17:6. The King James Version refers to them as “these who have turned the world upside February 2013
down.” The impact the early church made on the First Century world is amazing. I wish we were so vibrant, so Spirit-led, so committed to Christ, that our churches would become the primary topic of conversation—not because of our problems, but because of our impact on peoples’ lives. T. R. Glover, in his book The Jesus of History, discusses the triumph of Christianity over the ancient world. He said that those early believers were enabled by the grace of God to do three things: 1) They out-lived the world. 2) They out-died the world. 3) They out-thought the world. That may still be our best strategy. I have an idea. Why don’t we start living such Christlike lives that folks identify us with Him? Why don’t we take some risks for the kingdom? I mean let us actually do some things that may cost us and may not even work! Yet, we are willing to be obedient and take the risks anyway. Why don’t we motivate statements from our community such as, “You are not going to believe what those Baptists are doing now”? Why don’t we become so generous that our churches become known throughout the region as “churches that really care”? Why don’t we get so excited about the work of Jesus that the biggest thing happening on the weekend is not a sporting event but worship at our churches? And why don’t we set out today to turn this world upside down for Jesus Christ whatever it takes? Enough said!
Friday, March 1, 2013 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Oak Ridge Baptist Church 161 Tilghman Road Salisbury, MD 21804
$50 per person $40 per person for groups of 3 or more (lunch is included) Register now at http://www.orbc.net/dream (410) 742-4424 Page 3
PERSPECTIVE BY BOB SIMPSON
Loving through words and actions
ebruary has always seemed like an odd month to me, nestled in between dark January and blustery March at least in the Northeast where I live and write this. It’s that strange time between football’s playoffs and the beginning of baseball’s spring training. February is known as the Bob Simpson “Love Month.” Saint ValenBCM/D Associate Executive tine’s Day, commonly known Director/Chief Operating as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast Officer and Editor of of Saint Valentine, is observed BaptistLIFE on Feb. 14 each year. As a child growing up in the late ’50s and early ’60s, early Valentine’s Day memories were of the big decorated box in our grade school classroom that became the repository of little envelopes from friends. I learned early that the number of Valentine cards that one received measured one’s popularity. As I got older, it became all about romance and that special someone in my life. The commercialism surrounding the holiday grew to epic proportions, as did sales of chocolate, red roses and romantic greeting cards. February is also National Heart Month. The heart is my favorite part of the body. It’s where we feel love.
Everyone wants and needs love. It is the universal medium of exchange. Is there anything more satisfying than being fully present in the moment, with the people that we care about? I read about a woman who told her husband, “Bill, I’ve been watching that young married couple across the street. Every morning when the husband leaves the house he kisses his wife good-bye, and every evening when he gets home he kisses her again and hugs her affectionately. Now why can’t you do that?” Bill replied, “Well, honey, I can’t do that. I hardly know her.” He missed the point, but a lot of us miss the point. Best-selling author, Gary Chapman, reminds us in his book The Five Love Languages that there are five love languages that human beings use to communicate their love. While all people enjoy each of these languages to some degree, a person will usually speak one primary language. One of those five is ‘physical touch.’ Loving words and actions reach faster and go farther when they are delivered live. In Mark 3:10 it says, “All who had diseases were pressing toward Him to touch Him.” Now I realize that some people are “huggers” and some are not. But I’m sure that Jesus was one. He knew the power of an appropriate, human-to- human, affectionate touch. Make a point this month…this week…this day to hug your parents, your spouse, your kids, your grandkids or even a good friend who needs a warm hug from you! They will not always be there for you to hug.
PERSPECTIVE BY ROBERT ANDERSON
ebruary is a month known for love. Thanks to Valentine’s Day, we are forced to remember the one we love in very tangible ways, and whether it is through a card, flowers, chocolate, jewelry or a night out on the town, these expressions of love are treasured and appreciated. However, as I reflect on this, the question that comes to my mind is, how can we communicate love for our spouse in a stronger way? Perhaps, on a lighter note, the late Milton Berle illustrates love, “Love is when a man takes out the garbage and his wife goes with him!” Being together and doing things together, no doubt, helps to foster stronger love. Nevertheless, the Bible lays out a beautiful picture of love in Song of Solomon, “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death; ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol. Love’s flames are fiery flames-- the fiercest of all. Mighty waters cannot extinguish love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned.” (8:6,7 HCSB)
Love strong! This glorious passage is the equivalent of 1 Cor. 13:1-8, and it points out four aspects of love: First, love is relentless in marriage, as death is to life (we can’t quit loving!); Secondly, love is intense as fire (we can’t quit fanning the flames); Thirdly, love is unstoppable, even in Robert Anderson the worst of times (remember, BCM/D President and “love never fails” 1 Cor. 13:8); Pastor of Colonial Baptist and lastly, love is so invaluable Church, Randallstown, Md. that it can not be bought, it must be freely given away. To this point, an unknown author said, “Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy.” As we think about loving others, and our spouses in particular, let’s remember to ‘love strong’ and grab every opportunity to let God’s love flow through us making our marriages, churches and communities a much better place. February 2013
No other reason but Jesus
By Dan Hyun
he Village Church came to life when 11 of us, sent by Grace Life Church in 2008, started a new faith community centered in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. Hampden is culturally rich, represented by an eclectic mix of hipsters, urban professionals, young families and multi-generational locals in a burgeoning dining and indie music scene. However, it has also been known as an area of extreme spiritual darkness. To us, this was all the more reason why we were led to plant a church there. We purposely implement a simple approach hoping that our strength is not found in glitz, but in the experience of genuine gospel movement one person at a time. So our story is not the sexy church bursting at the seams overnight, but rather a tale of steady faithfulness in transformed disciples who make God famous. From humble beginnings and through both victory and challenge, we praise God that we recently celebrated our fourth anniversary as a growing community with some good, humbling lessons learned along the way. One is the nature of discipleship. My personality is to desire results instantly, whether losing weight or seeing my daughter learn how to read. I often bring this same mentality to making disciples. Don’t misunderstand: I fully believe God can transform someone in an instant. However, the process of sanctification into a mature follower of Jesus will require more than a powerful Sunday sermon. One man discovered The Village before we even had public wor-
ship and immediately joined us. He was active in serving, invited friends and was baptized. Then literally he disappeared, not responding to any efforts to contact him. We didn’t see his face again . . . until two years later when he asked to meet. His words to me: “I want to come home.” Since then, he has re-engaged The Village community and is being trained as
a leader, almost as if the previous two years didn’t occur. Discipleship with young Christians is a day by day battle, trudging through the trenches arm in arm, celebrating their highs and wrestling through their lows. We’re discovering that in our environment, this is more the norm than the exception. We must keep this in mind, both for our own perseverance and also so that we will give continually, persistent grace to others. Another lesson has been the call to reach those very different than ourselves. Realistically, my most effective plan for church growth would have been a strategy on how to best reach those fairly similar in demographic makeup to me and our core group: Asian or white, middle-class, suburban roots, educated, etc. However, we decided early that we would preach the gospel and love whomever God led our way. As a result, we have made intentional decisions to reflect this philosophy. I would love to say this choice led to rapid overnight growth, but it didn’t. In fact, growth has
sometimes seemed painfully slow because of these choices. Idealistically, we dreamed of a wide diversity of people brought together in the gospel, but we were confronted with the inherent, practical challenges this presented. Still, I look around our community today and here’s what I see: there’s an older, blue-collar, newlysaved local, sitting next to a churched Asian-American student chatting with an AfricanAmerican woman who is curious about our community. There are clean-cut Ph.D. candidates eating lunch with 8th grade level educated ex-cons. There are men with 401Ks, listening to those wondering how to buy dinner for the family that night. And there are parents, wondering which charter school to choose, who are praying with a single mom who hopes to reunite with her kids lost because of her long drug history. It’s not easy. At times I look around with the crazy realization that there are really very few people like me in my own community. Realistically we understand that some people feel uncomfortable in a setting like ours and as a result, they purposely choose not to join us. But we also know that some people are drawn to The Village precisely because of the unique nature of our community. We give praise for a powerful God who gathers together those who have no other reason to be together than Jesus and their unity in Him. It’s the gospel displaying itself through a community. Dan Hyun is the church planter/pastor of The Village Church in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. Dan can be reached via phone or text at (443) 534-4593 and via email at email@example.com. Page 5
The Samaritan Women provides refuge for victims of human trafficking By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent BALTIMORE—In a selfdescribed Solomonic moment, Jeanne Allert hit “a wall of affluence.” She amassed a great deal of worldly success, but inside was wrestling with, “What’s the point?” The former Internet consultant realized she had experienced much entitlement and joy, but what was she doing to help others? Surrendering all that she’d accumulated, she sought to purchase 23 acres of disheveled farmland, tucked inside the Baltimore city line, with the goal of creating a place of heal-
ing for women. The property appraised for $14 million, but was put on the market for $1.6 million. Allert and her business partner offered $550,000. But, three days before the settlement, Allert’s business partner excused herself from the deal. “I went to my knees and bawled for two days,” Allert recalled. She herself was prepared to walk away, but God—and the landowner— had other plans. The owner was moved by the mission, accepted her price, and proceeded with Allert on a good old fashioned handshake. That weekend, Allert blurted out a confession of what she’d done during an adult Bible study. There, a 20-year old woman offered to help. The following Saturday, the
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Prov. 31:8)
woman brought 30 people to work on the property. The group, growing in number, came every Saturday for the next two years, clearing the land and repairing the old farmhouse and former nursing home on the property. Other volunteers heard of the effort and soon, churches and corporate giants, such as the U.P.S., Constellation Energy, T. Rowe Price and Johns Hopkins University, were sending volunteers. Thousands of volunteer hours later—already 457,000 volunteer hours clocked in the past six months!—The Samaritan Women (TSW) now operates a residence program for women recovering from trauma and trafficking, one of the only programs of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic. The non-profit also offers a vocational program in culinary arts and manages the large urban farm, February 2013
complete with greenhouses, to grow produce to support their programs. TSW expanded its scope through the Maryland Rescue & Restore Coalition (marylandcoalition.org) to provide public awareness, caregiver training, and collaboration with law enforcement on prevention and intervention of exploitation. Their ultimate goal is to unify the Church around a shared vision of eliminating slavery and exploitation in our lifetime. Included in the education: BWI Airport in nearby Linthicum is one of the United States’ largest hubs for moving human trafficking victims (surpassed only by New York and Chicago). The newly voted-in casino in Hanover, Md., will invariably result in an increase in sex entertainment, and the demand for illicit services. Since opening, TSW has expanded its staff to include former trafficking victims who have a unique ability to minister to hurting women. Allert is the first to tell you loving hurting women isn’t easy. She offers these lessons learned:
Love with less.
With a culture of accumulation and possession that is particularly skewed for those who have had less, victims try to hoard whatever they deem necessary for their survival. “We have to prove that such thinking is faulty, and it’s antithetical to Scripture,” Allert said, adding they can learn to trust in His provision.
Rules mean love.
Our impulse as care-givers is to freely and abundantly allow whatever the survivor says she wants. But she may not yet understand structure and boundaries are also forms of love. The best advice I ever heard from a survivor was, “Rules mean love, because if you care enough to have boundaries, then you must really care about the person.”
Keep a long view.
If she’s been trafficked since she was five years old, Allert said, “We have to be patient. In many ways, she’s going through those childhood developmental stages as a grown woman.” We need to be patient and celebrate simple milestones.
Let her do it for herself— even if it seems small.
It is arrogant to assume women have been taught even the simplest things, like how to vacuum or care for their bodies. If she’s struggling, we have to first ask, “Does she know how?” Teach them how to do it. Find ways for them to serve alongside you. During their period of victimization and trauma, so much of their own autonomy and agency was taken away. Help them rebuild confidence and strength by patiently guiding her to selfsufficiency.
Right: Jeanne Allert
Want to learn more?
The Maryland Coalition will host a free Church United seminar on Feb. 23 at Heritage Community Church, 8146 Quarterfield Rd., Severn, Md., for congregations to learn how to be involved. Email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http:// thesamaritanwomen.org for more details. Also. the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware provides four Introduction to Human Trafficking training videos by The Samaritan Women’s Jeanne Allert: Definition and Scope; Victims and Perpetrators; The Church’s Response; and Talking to Youth about Human Trafficking at http://bcmd.e-quip.net.
Need help? Know someone who does? Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 February 2013
Ministering to victims of Hurricane Sandy
By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—When Hurricane Sandy mostly dodged Maryland, Brian Paskill felt immediate relief. But as news reports revealed extensive damage in New Jersey and New York, he wanted to help. The Mid-Maryland Baptist Association offered the perfect opportunity. From Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Paskill traveled to Long Island, N.Y., with others from South Columbia Baptist Church, Friendship Baptist Church and Crossroads Church. His brother even flew in from Corpus Christi, Texas. The team worked along with Samaritan’s Purse to mud-out homes, ripping out water-damaged walls and discarding ruined belongings. “I felt I was throwing away memories,” Paskill said sadly, a deacon at South Columbia. Joe Andrist, South Columbia’s head trustee, led prayer at each home. When the team offered Bibles and WalMart and Lowes gift cards, the homeowners often broke down while expressing thanksgiving. One international couple (pictured above) was hungry to learn about Jesus. The team shared their
faith, and the couple accepted Christ as their Savior. But it wasn’t just the homeowners who experienced such gifts. Paskill’s brother, Robbie, was touched so deeply, he surrendered his life to Christ. Stuart Pulliam, who had just started attending South Columbia and had accepted Paskill’s challenge to “get out of the pew and do something,” also accepted Christ, as did another man from Friendship Baptist. Paskill’s team crossed paths with a Delaware church serving there. It was Brandywine Baptist Church—the same church his wife had tried to drag him to earlier in their marriage. “It was God’s funny joke of putting into perspective where I was and where I am now,” Paskill said. This effort was one of many touches from Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware churches. For instance, Maryland City
Creek Baptist and Pleasant View Baptist in Garrett County opened as warming centers/overnight shelters, and provided meals for people who lost power during the snowstorm following Hurricane Sandy. On Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore, which sustained the most local damage from the hurricane, Marion Baptist prepared and served 300 meals for storm survivors at the Crisfield Civic Center. Bayside Community Church in Pocomoke, Md., did mud-out work and other ministry in Crisfield. First Baptist Church of Princess Anne helped a family affected by the storm. Lynnhaven Baptist Church volunteers also did mud-out and housed Disaster Relief teams from Maryland/Delaware, Virginia, and Florida for two weeks. The BCM/D Disaster Relief mobilized Incident Command volunteers, damage assessors, recovery, feeding, shower/laundry and chaplain volunteers. Community feeding and mudout operations were coordinated with the Town of Crisfield, Somerset County Emergency Operations Center, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Department of Human Resources, the Virginia towns of Sanford and Saxis, and faith community partners. Command Incident Officer Carl Brill noted there The Mid-Maryland Baptist Association and Samaritan Purse team members minister was quite a bit of reluctance to a couple affected by Hurricane Sandy. from Crisfield residents when offered assistance “notwithBaptist Church in Prince Georges standing the fact mold was already County set up as a storm shelter at growing.” Many residents, who live the request of the county emerwell below the poverty line, knew gency management office. Deep to remove carpet, but Brill equally
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm…” (Isaiah 25:4)
was concerned about the damaged walls. “It is concerning because we don’t like leaving work undone,” agreed Terry Davis, a volunteer from Florida. But she held onto hope. A fellow team member, when cutting a tree, discovered a “pancakesized chunk” of the tree with a red cross in the center, she said. Other Disaster Relief volunteers assisted several local churches in ministering to their communities. The Eastern Shore feeding unit served meals at the Red Cross
Want to learn more?
Photo courtesy of Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware provides Disaster Relief training videos, including: Before Disaster Strikes: Basic Preparedness for You and Your Family and Maryland/Delaware Disaster Relief Overview at http://bcmd.e-quip.net.
emergency shelter in Salisbury before, during and after Hurricane Sandy; two small feeding teams deployed to New York supporting Red Cross mass care community feeding; and two small recovery teams deployed to New York, supplementing teams from other states. First Baptist Church, Waldorf; Emmanuel Baptist Church, in Huntingtown, Md.; and Dunkirk Baptist Church, among others, also sent teams. The Arundel Baptist Association assisted the Sector N.Y.
Coast Guard unit in distributing donated items to families in need. Presently students from area colleges are ministering in Staten Island through a North American Mission Board project. Ellen Udovich, BCM/D Missions Involvement team leader, feels strongly God was really working through the storm, especially in the larger metropolitan areas. “God opened amazing doors. We were praying hard for spiritual opportunities in [New York]—a city that is very hard to reach,” she said.
Loving people of other Faiths Grace Place ministers to Sikhs in Dundalk By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent DUNDALK, Md.—International ministry can be as close as your backyard, or in the case of Grace Place, across the parking lot. Troy McDaniel, pastor of Grace Place began ministering at the church a year ago. Just before he officially began his work at Grace Place he discovered a Sikh Temple adjacent to the church’s parking lot. He watched as men with turbans came and went. McDaniel was intrigued, and began praying about how God
wanted him to minister to these unique neighbors. He discovered that barriers had to be torn down before he could form any relationships with the Sikhs. McDaniel tried to make contact waving and sending over food, but the response was nonexistent as the Sikhs would look away. Some of the church’s congregation had grown to distrust the Sikhs, believing them to be associated with Muslim extremists. There were even rumors of the Sikhs praying against the church. “Their attitude toward us was a result of our attitude toward them,” McDaniel said. In the past, years before McDaniel became pastor, the church put up “no parking” signs in their lot and even called the police to tow the Sikhs and others who disobeyed the signs. “It sent a contrary message to what we, as Christians, are really about: ‘We don’t want you here.’” Now, the church welcomes the Sikhs and others to park in their lot, and they’re intentionally opening their arms to others in their neighborhood. Change came unexpectedly. McDaniel was in the parking lot the same evening as the
Sikh priest and was amazed when, after months of avoidance, the priest waved, and the two met face-to-face at the border of their property lines. He looked McDaniel in the eye and told him, “We are Sikh. We are not Islam.” McDaniel told the priest he was sorry for how his people had been treated in the past and that “Our book tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We want to serve you and be your friends.” McDaniel said the corner of the priest’s mouth turned up slightly in a small smile. McDaniel mirrored the priest, shook hands, and remained reserved. He laughs as he said afterwards he walked in the church and jumped up and down with excitement while thanking God. Slowly, the two leaders began to talk, chatting about their families and friends and everyday life stuff. McDaniel prayed for God to open doors. The real turn came when McDaniel spoke with
Lisa Mele. Mele leads the South Asian Fellowship in partnership with the North American Mission Board and the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. NAMB Missionary Aslam Masih encouraged Mele to find partners and build relationships. “Aslam challenged Lisa to find a Sikh temple in Baltimore that NAMB could visit and conduct a Vision Tour. At the same time, I had been in the church parking lot for six or seven months trying to connect with the Sikh priest,” McDaniel said. In a three way conversation between Masih, McDaniel and the priest, Masih asked the priest if McDaniel and Mele could bring a few from their churches to visit the temple and learn about the Sikh religion. The priest immediately accepted. In August, Grace Place hosted a Sikh Temple Vision tour. Masih led a brief introductory session, before leading the group of about 20 across the lot to the temple. Participants hesitantly entered the Gurdwara. The Sikhs provided head coverings for everyone before
Want to learn more?
entering the worship area - a large open room with sheet type floor covering on each side. Women sat on one side, men on the other. Masih translated as the priest shared Sikh beliefs and answered questions. Afterwards, the Sikhs provided light refreshment and Indian tea. Last year’s shooting in the Wisconsin Sikh temple offered another opportunity for Grace Place to reach out to the Sikhs, offering prayer and support. “We extended our condolences for their people and explained how that action, in no way represents what we’re about as we offered our support,” McDaniel said, noting the Sikhs were very appreciative. On Dec. 23, the Sikhs initiated and attended a joint prayer service at Grace Place to pray for the victims and families of the Connecticut shooting.
The next joint event is a dinner Grace Place has planned for Sikh Temple leaders. Lisa Mele and volunteers from her church, Maple View Baptist, where her husband Craig is the pastor, will work with Grace Place members to host the event. The dinner will be catered, prepared according to Sikh dietary requirements as the atmosphere will be established with the Sikh’s customary Indian music. The two groups will fellowship and share ideas for continuing to build the relationship. “I want to erase any previously erected walls,” McDaniel said, adding that his next step is to bring the congregations together. “I believe they want to do the same thing now. Then, I want to work on evangelizing and bringing souls to Christ.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware provides several evangelism training videos, including: Becoming an Externally Focused Church by Eric Swanson and From Mormonism to Christianity by James Walker at http:// bcmd.e-quip.net.
(Photo above) A leader of Dundalk’s Sikh Temple shares about the Sikh religion. (Photo inset) Troy McDaniel (right) and Aslam Misah (center) enjoy a light snack after a vision tour of a Sikh Temple February 2013
Loving people of Other Faiths Pastors’ dialogue with local Muslims leads to tour of Turkey
By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent PIKESVILLE, Md.—It was an opportunity of a lifetime. On Nov. 29, Joel Rainey, director of missions for the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association, presented the gospel freely in a room full of Muslims, secularists, state political leaders, educators—and some invited Christians, too. Rainey was one of several interfaith speakers at the fifth annual dialogue dinner sponsored by the Maryland Turkish American Inhabitants (TheMARTI.org), one of a number of institutions inspired by Fetullah Gülen, a Turkish author/ educator, Muslim scholar and founder of the Hizmet (or Gülen) movement. Of note, Gülen believes the Muslim community is obliged to conduct interfaith dialogue with “People of the Book” ( Jews and Christians). Previously, a Maryland state legislator who is a member of one of Mid-Maryland’s churches traveled to Turkey as part of an eventual “sister-state” agreement between Maryland and a Turkish province. In the process, she learned many Muslims believed Christians hated them. Concerned, the legislator contacted Rainey and challenged him to help change this perception. Over time, Rainey met Murat Ozbas, an engineer who works just around the corner from his office in Eldersburg, Md. A student of the Hizmet Movement, Ozbas was equally desirous of countering wrong perceptions between the two faith groups. Page 12
“There’s a thousand-plus years of history between these two religions. We haven’t always been nice to each other,” Rainey admitted. “We just wanted to eliminate that, if we could.” Rainey was all in, given one condition: that he would be able to express his faith freely. He explained, “We want to reach out to people. That is in our nature as evangelicals. We want the gospel to
Jim Edmonson, senior pastor of Elders Baptist Church in Sykesville, Md., went because he felt he was getting a slanted view of Islam. “What we are hearing is not the full story,” he said. “I wanted to go and experience the Muslim culture and meet Muslim people because they are a growing influence in our nation, and Christians and Muslims, as well as other religions, are going to have to learn to get along and be able to dialogue together and discuss different viewpoints.” Chris Grella, associate pastor Above photo: Joel Rainey hugs Ramazan, at Westminster who owns a pharmacy in Sanliurfa. (Md.) Baptist Church, had Left photo: (back row) James Pope, Jim Edmonson, Joel Rainey, Paul Viswasam, just completed a “Finding Comand Chris Grella, (front row) David mon Ground” Jackson, John Gauger and Murat Ozbas training in his church. When go forward. he learned of the opportunity and But how can you possibly share your heard about the number of Muslims faith if you don’t know them, and living in Maryland, he felt chalthey don’t know you?” lenged, “What do I really believe and The two men became fast how do I communicate it?” friends, ultimately leading to an For James Pope, senior pastor invitation for Rainey to join Ozbas of North Arundel Church in Glen in a Cultural-Touristic-DialogBurnie, Md., the appeal of the tour Education-Media tour of Turkey. Six came down to peacemaking. pastors from the Baptist Convention “In the Beatitudes, Jesus says, of Maryland/Delaware also were ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for invited to the tour, which covered they’ll be called the sons of God’ four cities—including places of (Matthew 5:9),” said Pope, who saw significance to Christians—as well the role as peacemaker a repeated as hospitality visits with Turkish pattern in his life. He was thrilled to professionals. “be invited to the table of dialogue February 2013
Want to learn more?
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware provides several mission training videos, to be viewed individually or in groups, including IMBConnect: Connecting Your Church With Missions. and Kingdom Matrix: Kingdom Principles Reaching a Secular World at at http://bcmd.e-quip.net.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
with Muslims, who in American culture and press have been sort of disenfranchised because of the radical element of their faith.” John Gauger, senior pastor of Perryville (Md.) Baptist Church, had traveled to West Africa a number of occasions to minister among Muslims. He joined this group out of his growing love for the people whom he calls “incredibly hospitable and warm.” Others who traveled included David Jackson, BCM/D church multiplication team strategist, and Paul Viswasam, senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Ellicott City, Md. All the men were blessed immensely to see places where the Apostle Paul traveled as well as other biblically historical sites. Through the tour, Ozbas learned about Christianity; in particular, he never knew Christians knew about the story of Job (“Eyyub”) until the team visited a place in Turkey, “the Place of Patience,” where it is said Job suffered. “There’s so much similarities between us,” Orbas said. Rainey also stressed, “Obvi-
ously we have some very strong beliefs—on both sides—and we’re honest about those differences and have been since the beginning, but not to the exclusion of saying, ‘We can be friends, and we can walk together as leaders. Everything from poverty to pornography, we can battle together.’” He added, “We have communicated clearly to our Muslim friends that our greatest desire would be for them to know Jesus Christ as we know Him. But we have also committed to not allow our mutual friendship to be affected, regardless of whether they decide to become Christian. After all, Murat isn’t my project. He is my friend.” Rainey shares three dominant principles for loving people of other faiths:
Don’t compromise your faith.
“What I’ve found in this experience is that our Muslim friends have much more respect for you if you are simply honest about
what you believe. Just be sure when that truth comes out that it is accompanied by the ‘gentleness and respect’ 1 Peter 3:15 demands,” Rainey said.
Seek to understand the real distinctions.
When it comes to people of other faiths, spend time with them. Live life with them. Assume you don’t understand where they are coming from, ask them questions, and LISTEN.
Commit to a friendship that is unconditional.
We are tied together by our common humanity. They are created in God’s own image and likeness, and we should love them unconditionally. That kind of love and acceptance is the ideal atmosphere in which genuine friendships can be developed, and our faith can be shared. To learn more, contact Rainey at (410) 549-7156, wecare@ wecare.org.
Lee declares 2013 as the ‘Year of Adventure’ By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—BCM/D Executive Director David Lee labeled 2013 as “The Year of Adventure,” at the General Mission Board meeting on Dec. 4 at the Baptist Mission Resource Center. Robert Anderson welcomed returning and new General Mission Board members. Mitch Camp, South Columbia Baptist Church’s Minister of Music, led GMB members in worship, singing a medley of “Glorious Day,” “One Small Child,” “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Darline Ballou, GMB Nominating Committee Chair, recognized Administrative Committee members. Kerry Hinton, Administrative Committee President, introduced BCM/D Executive Director David Lee. Executive Director’s Report Lee reiterated BCM/D’s mission statement. “We exist to intentionally assist in the starting and strengthening of congregations so that together we can accomplish the Great Commission as given to us by our Lord in Matt. 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. “We are about proclaiming the message of hope. That message is amplified this season of the year as we celebrate the birth of hope,” Lee said, referring to a message he recently heard preached by The Church at Severn Run Senior Pastor Drew Shoffner. Lee said the convention’s methods and approaches will change, but all change must by gauged by the Word of God. “I have always contended as a leader that the Word of God is never open to compromise or change, but all of our methods must be placed on the table for constant evaluation. We have this moment. We cannot afford to waste it or to miss opportunities to witness for Him because of our stubbornness or unwillingness to change, even when change is uncomPage 14
fortable,” he said. Lee said he appreciates the openness of the GMB to change. “There is a world to be changed,” Lee said. “This is a time of transition,” Lee told GMB members, referring to his recent announcement that he will retire effective July 31. “I am at peace with that decision, believing that it is the right time for me and for this convention. It has not been easy. Disconnecting from this tremendous opportunity to serve will not be easy. I am convinced, however, that God knows exactly what is best for all of us.” Lee told board members that it will be part of their responsibility to hire a new executive director. “We need to begin now covering that process with prayer. God gives His people leaders with just the right gift mixes to lead in His time. “God is already preparing that person,” Lee said. Lee announced the resignation of BCM/D missionaries Freddy and Gayla Parker. Freddy will serve as pastor of Lifeway Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark. “We will miss Freddy and Gayla. They have left an indelible imprint on the cause of missions in our convention,” Lee said. “As is our practice, we will evaluate the positions vacated by the Parkers before proceeding,” Lee said. Progress is being made with an African American Church Planting missionary candidate. There is also an evangelism position to be filled, funded jointly by BCM/D and the North American Mission Board. The GMB administrative committee will work with the BCM/D on these searches. “I choose to call the coming year ‘A Year of Adventure,’” Lee said. “We are at a good place as a convention. I am not satisfied. I hope you are not either. There is so much work to be done. It will require that we work together. I appreciate so much the prayerful support of all our churches. I will always contend that we can do more together than we can individually.” Kerry Hinton, returning to the
podium, smiled and said, “Welcome to the adventure!” Hinton introduced BCM/D Chief Financial Officer Tom Stolle. Financial Report Stolle said the numbers are encouraging. Cooperative Program receipts of $3.5 million trail $33,000 from last year, which is .9 of 1 percent, almost tracking with last year. Stolle projects that by the year’s end, CP, if the giving level for November and December approximates 2011, will trail the budget at about 4.2 million, a little less than last year. Stolle said the good news is that all major ministry categories are within budget with the exception of the Baptist Mission Resource Center operations, which is running barely ahead by 1.6 percent or $4,650. This is primarily due to technology upgrades including a transition to extensive use of Macs rather than PC laptops. “That is actually at a pace a bit better than last year,” Stolle said. ”I do expect operations will break even, assuming CP receipts run the same way as 2011 for the remainder of this year. So much hinges on that seventy cents on every dollar that comes from CP.” Stolle explained that last year’s state missions offering funds this year’s efforts and that the BCM/D is on track to expend what has been taken in. “BCM/D is in a good ready cash position with bills paid in full and on time,” Stolle said. Concerning Skycroft Conference Center, its current earnings are $20,252.49, through ten months. Stolle said management expects that barring unforeseen events, Skycroft operations are expected to break even at the year end. “It has been a good year. God has blessed. I pray that God is pleased at what’s happening in His convention.” Messengers discussed how to address the legislation regarding same-sex marriage. Hinton said he believes if churches do not have something in their bylaws stating that they refuse to perform same-sex February 2013
marriages, that they should do so as Ministries was a food ministry for “Effective strategies win people to soon as possible. the poor, serving 220 to 250 people Christ, disciple them, plant churchIn other business, BCM/D’s and out of that ministry came a es.” attorney, Jeffrey Agnor, said the law church. Udovich said some may think making same-sex marriage legal has a Ken Stalls prayed for the church their church is too small, too poor or strong exception for churches. planting ministry. “Let us never hesi- not ready to plant churches. “Any church can refuse to marry tate to follow you eagerly. Bless our “But if you’re giving to state people of the same sex,” Agnor said, efforts to plant churches. We know missions, Annie Armstrong Easter adding that there Offering, or the is a “huge carveCooperative Proout” for churches. gram (CP), it’s too Steve Hokuf, late. You’re already pastor of First part of church Baptist Church planting!” she said. North East, asked “We can help about the convenyou discover the tion’s policy. people groups in Agnor said your community, if someone is in a she said. Are they ministerial role, the guys at the there would not firehouse, the be a problem. Benursing home, yond that, Agnor military families, said it is someteens? How do thing he will need you learn about to deal with. them and their Ken Stalls, Pastor of South End Baptist Church, Frederick, prayed for the church culture? Why do Hinton asked the Bylaws planting ministry. you hire a youth Committee to pastor - because we consider those issues in their discusthis is your will.” need someone who can understand sions. Ellen Udovich reported for teenagers and speak to them “in their the Acts 1:8 Missions Involvement language.” Team. A lot has changed in the last Strategy Team Reports “Our team assists churches in generation. There was a time when David Jackson, reporting for the developing and implementing effecwe thought of ministry to people Church Multiplication Team, said tive missions strategies so together from other countries, we though of God is doing “marvelous and wonwe can fulfill the Great Commission getting on a plane. Now, if you want derful things,” with a banner year and Acts 1:8. Our goal is to see to do international missions you can of over 50 church planting efforts every church involved in “glocal” go to West Africa. But we also have a underway. All eleven associations congregation of West African people were involved in one or more church missions – that is, reaching lost neighbors wherever they are: next right here; the same people group, plants for only the second time this door, across the state, across the nabut here in our backyard. Instead of century. New works are reported in tion, around the world. ministering to them in Africa for a a variety of ethnic groups including “Effective mission strategies week, you can minister to them on African American, Anglo, Filipino, engage the giftedness, the passion of an ongoing basis throughout the Haitian, Hispanic, Korean and every believer,” she said. The team year. The people in our language Nepalese. wants to help churches lead their churches need help with English, Jackson, quoting Theologian members to see themselves on misSunday school and leadership develPeter Wagner, said, “Church plantsion for Jesus at the ballfields, in the opment. Those are things you are aling is the most effective evangelistic ready doing in your own church—it’s methodology known under heaven.” schools, at work, wherever they are. Udovich said we share the love just another step to come alongside Jackson told of new churches of God in practical ways because and assist a church plant with these bearing fruit almost immediately. effective missions follows the model things. Steffan Carr, who planted “Bruce of Jesus, who met people’s physical “There are many ways to be Outreach,” had 105 in attendance as well as spiritual needs. But misinvolved in missions. Expand your at their November launch. Campus sions doesn’t stop with good deeds vision...what is God putting on your Pastor Adam Muhtaseb baptized alone—people need the gospel as heart? seven new believers in December. well. “The world is a really big place, Phil Meekens, who began “Good deeds are good things and if we’re to share the gospel with New Beginnings Church in Elkton, but we’re not the Girl Scouts, we’re every single person, hit or miss ranstarted a church through a ministrythe people of God,” Udovich said. dom based operation. Amazing Grace
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Lee declares 2013 as the ‘Year of Adventure’ (Continued from page 15
acts of kindness are not going to do it. We need every church to be actively engaged in effective mission strategies.” Randall Blackman, pastor of Faith Baptist Fellowship, Cambridge, prayed for the team. “Lord, we don’t know what to do but our eyes are fixed on You...help us not to feel timid or to shrink back in what You’re calling us to do...help us lean solely on You for power...Lord, we need Your power to reach these people.”
return on the portfolio. The oneyear profile performance reflected a return of 17.2 percent. The Foundation has grown from 2008 to this year from $5.2 to over $6.8 million. “That’s a good feeling, but God gives us more not to be independent, but to be dependent,” Schoff said. Schoff said that over the next two decades, as baby boomers age, more assets will be available. We should not let those assets drift away from our churches, he said.
their space at the Townsend firehouse and now meet at Everett Meredith Middle School. They have baptized over 60 believers this year and will have another baptismal service in January. Dowell introduced Rashad Gibson, a young man in the final stage of church planter assessment, who wants to plant a church in Wilmington and needs a site and a sponsoring church. Gibson said he feels called to build community within a church, a church on mission where every disciple is a missionary. “We’re going to Agency & Committee Reports Other Business be aggressive. We have to be aggresRobin Shifflett, chairman of the Mitch Dowell, executive direcsive in Wilmington,” he said. Gibson History Committee, reported for tor of Embrace Wilmington and the committee. Delaware Baptist Association Direc- said before launching he wants to work getting the church known Shifflett told GMB members tor of Missions gave his final Emthrough street evangelism, door to they need volunteers to help get brace Wilmington report. Dowell historical material catalogued in the said, “God is doing great and mighty door ministry and other outreaches. Responding to Mitch Dowell’s computer database. They are hoping things” in the city. Dowell said God statement that Wilmington earned to bring youth groups in to do the has answered prayers to send church the distinction of the most violent work. planters. city under a populaThey are also tion of 100,000, working to develop Gibson said he policies about what knows about rough material people can areas, having grown and can’t check out. up in North Jersey. Shifflett said every Gibson said he church has a file in the needs churches to history room. What’s partner with him. in that file depends on Bethany what material churches Baptist Church have sent in through sponsored Embrace the years. Wilmington’s first “We encourage Hispanic work churches to send us under the leadership information,” Shifflett of church planter said. If a church burns Alexis Vides. His down, those records church “Nuevo could be lost, but havAmanecer” contining them in the history ues to grow as they room is great backup, Mitch Dowell, Director of Missions for Delaware Baptist Association, introduced Rashad Gibson, a young man in the final stage of church meet in homes for Shifflett said. Bible study and at planter assessment, who wants to plant a church in Wilmington and John Schoff Bethany Baptist for reported for the needs a site and a sponsoring church. worship. 2013 will Baptist Foundation. mark their second year. Schoff reported 16 churches have Dowell said Hockessin Baptist Mike Solomon, a new church outstanding loans from the church Church commissioned and sent out planter, recently completed his loan funds. Six have outstanding their core team to begin worship loans from the Arthur Nanney fund, services at The Church at LOMA on assessment, and hopes to plant the which is used for small emergency Market Street. They conducted their “Rock Church” in the Newark area. “Embrace Wilmington officially loans to churches. first service in LOMA Lounge in ends in 2012; however, our desire As of Sept. 30, the market value October. On Dec. 2 they called Jefand efforts to embrace the city will of the investment portfolio was $6.8 frey Keith to pastor the new church. not end,” Dowell said. “I’ve seen the million, reflecting a 10.4 percent LifeHouse Church outgrew Page 16
Lord do some amazing things in the Metro Wilmington area, and I’m convinced that that He’s not finished yet.” Remaining Embrace Wilmington funds have been redirected to church multiplication. “It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as Embrace Wilmington’s director, and it will be am honor to continue to serve this great convention in its continued efforts to reach the lost of our cities,” Dowell said. Skycroft Conference Center GMB members voted to call a special meeting of messengers for the purpose of considering the sale of a perpetual conservation easement on the Skycroft Property to the State of Maryland. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, January 14, 2013, at the South Columbia Baptist Church. The State of Maryland has offered $1.1 million for a perpetual conservation easement on the Skycroft property. This offer is due to Skycroft’s land being the location of the historic battle of South Mountain. In September 1862, General Robert E. Lee led the southern army into western Maryland as Stonewall Jackson tried to capture the northern arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Union Commander George McClellan discovered Lee’s mislaid battle plans, and McClellan forced his army through three passes in the South Mountain range. The armies fought in the areas of Fox’s, Turner’s and Crampton gaps. The Union army gained control of the passes, but the southern resistance allowed Lee to regroup and set the stage for the Battle of Antietam. Skycroft is located on Turner’s Gap, a 1,500 foot elevation–the highest spot looking down on two roads. David Sutherland, a representative of the Civil War Preservation Trust, said the perspective helped the Confederate army block the transportation of the Union trying to get to Antietam. “What we presented here has been a conservation easement with an historical twist. It affects the entire property. Skycroft would continue to operate and expand to benFebruary 2013
efit the operation,” Sutherland said. who will be ruler over Israel, whose The only limitations are whatever origins are from of old, from ancient the state and county allows, which times.” are the current limitations. In a time of despair, Micah This refers to the developmental wanted to give hope, Anderson said. envelope - apBethlehem means proximately “house of bread,” 25 acres that he explained. the facility Ephrata means now occupies. “fruitful, fertile.” Under the Here’s a little easement, town, little in geBCM/D ography in populawould still tion and yet...hope own all of the is on the way. property, but “It’s going could only to come out of expand within this little place the “developcalled Bethlehem,” ment enveAnderson said. lope.” All of Bethlehem where the property “...from you shall could still be come one who will maintained. be ruler in Israel BCM/D President Robert Anderson The propwho comes from erty could not and is of old— be subdivided. If the property is sold, from ancient of days,” Anderson said. it must be sold to an organization “Wow, I’m not a Greek or that will operate it as the same type Hebrew scholar but this excites me. of business it is now. From eternity past, someone is going Sutherland said the historic to come at a time of desperation, areas would have markers with maps, and they’re going to change the way for Civil War enthusiasts. Skycroft’s things are.” Executive Director Doug DuBois “People need hope today...,” said Civil War buffs visit the SkyAnderson said. croft area regularly and never cause “I don’t know how it all works. problems. I just know God said that His Holy The first motion is: “Motion Spirit would hover over a young to refer to the messengers at a called teenage girl, a virgin, and that she meeting on January 14, 2013 that we will give birth to a little baby who agree to the sale of a perpetual conis from eternity. Folks, can you get servation Easement on the Skycroft that!” property to the State of Maryland “Something infinite became for $1.1 million, in accordance with finite and found a resting place in a the terms presented to the General little girl...” Mission Board by a representative of That would change the hope of the Civil War Preservation Trust.” the world. The second motion is: “Motion “If God can do something like to put $1.1 million (less transaction that, He can do something in your costs) into the Skycroft Developlife, in your ministry. ment fund to be used for Skycroft Wherever your Bethlehem is, maintenance and development as it’s significant, Anderson said. authorized by the General Mission “Christmas is about Someone Board.” coming, stepping on eternity, landing on this planet and changing the world for His glory.” President’s Remarks BCM/D President Robert Anderson referenced Micah 5:1, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one Page 17
Messengers approve perpetual conservation easement at Skycroft By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Messengers met for a special called meeting on Jan. 14 at South Columbia Baptist Church. They voted to approve a motion to allow the sale of a perpetual conservation easement on the Skycroft property to the State of Maryland for $1.1 million, in accordance with the terms presented to the General Mission Board by a representative of the Civil War Preservation Trust. They also voted to put $1.1 million, less transaction costs, into the Skycroft Development fund to be used for Skycroft maintenance and development as authorized by the General Mission Board. BCM/D Executive Director David Lee thanked messengers for making the effort to attend the meeting. He shared that the special meeting was necessary due to the BCM/D not receiving the formal final offer until immediately before the annual meeting. With the need to prepare documentation and get it to the lawyer, Lee said they just couldn’t complete the process and have full information and disclosure at the annual meeting. Skycroft Executive Director Doug DuBois gave messengers an overview of Skycroft’s history and the proposal of the easement. There has been discussion about finding a way to sell the land as part of a historical trust for over a decade but it wasn’t possible. Now, the state has approached Skycroft. DuBois said the land where the easement will be effective will not pass a perc test, which determines suitability for a septic system, due to very stringent state standards. The property also lacks public water. The closest public sewer and water is five miles away in Myersville, which would cost approximately $5 million to pay for the easements to cut across the land. DuBois also said he wasn’t sure if Myersville’s facility Page 18
could handle the addition of Skycroft. Regardless of the easement, Skycroft, as it stands now, would not be able to make improvements/build in those areas. areas. DuBois said if the easement was signed in the mid-seventies, before the motels were built, there would be no changes. With the easement, Skycroft can develop area within the 27-acre development envelope. Skycroft can also maintain the property in the remaining 250 acres, they just can’t improve it. It can never be subdivided and if the property is sold, there are only four uses allowed: • it can be sold as one single family dwelling; • it can be used in a similar manner as Skycroft–like a camp, or boy or girl scout groups; • it can be used for light commercial business, such as a retirement home; • It can be used for agricultural purposes. DuBois contacted a real estate agent who said if the property was sold, it would possibly be worth up to $8 million. There were several questions about whether receiving state funds would require the convention to permit same sex marriage at Skycroft. BCM/D’s attorney, Jeff Agnor, said no, the referendum makes it clear that religious orders of all kind are not required to offer marriage ceremonies or receptions. Regarding the second motion, DuBois said he roughly estimates
Doug DuBois explains, with the easement, Skycroft can develop the area within the 27-acre development envelope (green circle).
needing approximately $750-800,000 to upgrade Skycroft. That includes replacing kitchen equipment made in the 1970’s, new mattresses, beds, roofing, siding, asphalt parking lots and audio visual equipment. Joseph King, messenger from First Baptist Church, North East, proposed using men and women throughout BCM/D churches who can expertly provide those services. DuBois said directed messengers to a link on the BCM/D website to volunteer (http://bcmd.org/iso). Mike Logsdon, pastor of First Baptist Church, Easton, made a motion to send 10 percent of the final cost to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. “We would still have $990,000,” Logsdon said. “We will have an incredible opportunity to do something amazing with billions in darkness.” Logsdon referred to missionaries ready to go into the field but lacking funding. Jim Jeffries, pastor of LaVale Baptist Church, spoke against the motion. Jeffries said Skycroft is a mission. “I feel we are investing 100 percent to missions on our local mission field.” Messengers voted to use the funds for Skycroft maintenance and development, as authorized by the General Mission Board.
Strengthening Churches Grant recipients focus on outreach Northpoint Church reaches community for Christ Northpoint Baptist Church in Dundalk, Md., had several goals for using Strengthening Churches Grant funds: to promote a new website and to obtain resources that would help the church become intentional in outreach. After receiving the funds, Northpoint bought a banner for the church sign structure, advertising their new website, http://npbcdundalk.com. They also bought 1,500 door hangers directing neighbors to the new website and they bought Bibles. The results from the sign were almost immediate. “It has been really effective,” Swan said. “We have had visitors who saw the banner, went to the website, liked what they saw and decided to come and check out the church.” Some have become regular attenders. The door hangers, also promoting the website, also brought results, including a visit from a 20-year-old man who made a commitment to follow Jesus. A group from the church canvassed the community, chatting with neighbors, and leaving door hangers. Swan said almost everyone they spoke with was welcoming. Dundalk resident Tom Dimattei said the door hanger was confirmation to him that he should visit the church. He drove by several times, thought about visiting, but hadn’t taken that step. Dimattei called Swan and asked him about the church. Swan invited Dimattei to come to the church for a tour. Dimattei said that helped alleviate his anxiety about visiting. Swan spent three hours with Dimattei, told him everything Dimattei wanted to know about the church and shared the plan of salvation with the young man. “I felt comfortable,” Dimattei said. We talked for a long time and he asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus in my heart. I didn’t feel pressure. I felt comfortable doing it. February 2013
In addition to reaching out to the community, Swan said distributing the hangers is helping the congregation become intentional in reaching their community.
Sharon Bible Fellowship Church’s Lighthouse Ministries of Compassion Sharon Bible Fellowship Church in Lanham, Md., used Strengthening Churches Grant funds to help start Lighthouse Ministries of Compassion, a 501c3 ministry designed to help people in transition. The church is partnering with Global Mission and New Revival Center to provide resources for people coming out of incarceration or rehab. Victor O. Kirk, pastor of Sharon Bible Fellowship Church, said the church wants to be a resource center, helping people get back on their feet by assisting through tutoring, helping them get social service assistance and clothing. “We also want to help with housing. That’s one of the biggest needs,” Kirk explained. Kirk said the ministry includes entrepreneur training. “One thing we found out it is that many of them can’t get blue or white collar jobs, but they can start their own business.” “We just became a 501c3 last year so we’re still growing and transitioning into what we would like to become,” he said. Kirk is also working on encouraging the church to be a healing community, open to ministering to those who have made mistakes in their lives and are trying to get back on their feet. Kirk said the church has been inspired by several church members who have seen their lives change through the love of the church and committing their lives to Jesus. Diana Brown is one of those individuals. Brown said she struggled with drugs since she was 17 years old. She hit rock bottom 32 years later and ended up at a detox program
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO APPLY FOR A STRENGTHENING CHURCHES GRANT, go to http://bcmd.org/ financial Maximum amount per grants: $4,000. Deadline for submission: 02/13/13
in Washington, D.C., who referred her to Fulton House of Hope. That’s where she discovered Sharon Bible Fellowship. “Every Sunday they would come and minister through the Word and in singing and praise. They brought my attention to God.” As Diana worked through the drug program at Fulton House, she was allowed to pick a church to attend. It was an easy choice. She chose Sharon Bible Fellowship. Brown made a commitment to follow Jesus and has been sober for five years. “This is not just a ‘three hots and a cot’ program. My pastor’s goal is to give strengthening tools...to be there for them and keep them lifted up. Sherrise Hall was released from prison in 2007. “When I got out of prison, they didn’t give me a handout; they gave me a hand up,” Hall said. She said the church helped her find a job when she had exhausted all of her possibilities and cried out to the Lord. A “wounded women” ladies group helped her form relationships and provided accountability. “They became my sisters,” she said. She and Diana Brown both minister at Fulton House, sharing their stories and sharing Christ. Both women are anticipating seeing the new ministry be a true lighthouse, leading struggling, hurting people to Jesus. Page 19
Freddy and Gayla Parker return ‘home’ to pastor a church in Arkansas By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Following seven years of faithful service, Freddy and Gayla Parker have resigned from the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware effective December 31. Freddy has served as BCM/D missionary for Acts 1:8 and church ministry relations. Gayla has served a dual role as executive director of the BCM/D Women’s Missionary Union and as missions innovation specialist with the national WMU. She has also served BCM/D as missionary of missions education and customization. Ironically, the couple is returning home to pastor the very church where they met. Freddy grew up attending Lifeway Church in Little Rock, Ark. Gayla was invited to attend the church as a teen, and it was there she made a commitment to follow Christ. She was in her last year of high school, and Freddy was graduating college. “We’re coming full circle,” Gayla said. Freddy left to study at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and two years later returned to Little Rock and married Gayla. They moved to Kentucky then to Alabama, where Freddy pastored his first church. At the encouragement of an IMB missionary, Freddy began praying about international missions and felt God’s draw. God led them to choose the Philippines. Their oldest son, Allen, was eight; Nathan was five and their youngest son, Jesse, was 18-months old. They ministered there for 14 years. In that time, they planted 13 churches within the indigenous B-laan people groups in southern Mindano and started an association of 23 churches. The couple also ministered to a small Philippine Muslim group, teaching life skills and values education using chronological Bible stories to share biblical values. February 2013
Due to health issues in Freddy’s family, the couple returned to Arkansas where Freddy pastored a church, and Gayla began working with the Arkansas WMU. In 2006, Freddy and Gayla came to Maryland to serve the BCM/D. Gayla smiled as she told how BCM/D Executive Director David Lee called WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee, asking if she would consider partnering with the BCM/D. David Lee told Wanda Lee he was looking for someone who had lived overseas and “thinks differently” and perhaps was married to a man who would be interested in serving with the BCM/D. She immediately thought of Freddy and Gayla. “I’ve really enjoyed our time here, helping people be aware of how they can be a part of what God is doing world-wide,” Freddy said. Freddy said he also working with boys in the Royal Ambassadors, and boys’ camps, and watching boys mature both physically and spiritually. Gayla said she too enjoyed watching young women grow and mature. She, like Freddy, saw girls who were campers grow to be camp counselors. Her most visible role has been leading the WMU. “It has been a lot of fun to work with women, putting a new face to WMU and seeing WMU, Women’s Ministry and Ministers’ Wives come together and see themselves as not separate teams but as one holistic team. Gayla said part of that change has been through “Breathless,” a women’s conference that helped change how women perceive WMU. “It was exciting to see the new WMU groups that have come out of
that as women began to realize that is what WMU is. The basic idea of WMU is for women to be involved through praying, giving, and going locally, nationally and internationally.” Gayla also noted that the partnership between the national WMU and BCM/D was the first of a convention partnering with the national WMU, but it probably will not be the last. Having someone on the field to help determine what programs and materials “work” and which don’t is valuable, especially in a non-Bible belt area. In reflecting on the past years in the Baltimore area, Gayla said that this is a challenging area of the country to minister. “I’ve been blessed to watch dedicated believers as they try to reach an area that is incredibly lost and diverse...and have tried to live out their faith. Often times they are in very small churches making very small salaries in an area that requires more dollars than most any place else to live. When you’re not in this region, you don’t realize the sacrifice by the men and women living and serving here. I’ve been blessed by their dedication.” Freddy and Gayla both said the friendships they’ve developed while serving alongside churches have been incredibly special. “God has used them to bless our lives, all the way from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore,” he said. The couple is excited to begin their ministry in Little Rock. Interestingly, Little Rock is now more diverse with a growing population of South East Asians, and the Parkers are looking forward to developing an international ministry. Page 20
New law on Same Sex Marriage — How will this affect your church? BaptistLIFE recently contacted BCM/D’s attorney, Jeff Agnor, regarding the recently approved law permitting same-sex marriages in Maryland. In particular, we asked how this new law will affect churches. What are the key points in the same sex marriage law that pastors and church leaders need to know? On November 6, 2011, Maryland voters approved Question 6, thereby allowing the Civil Marriage Protection Act to become law on January 1, 2013. The Act allows individuals of the same sex to marry in a civil ceremony and enjoy all of the benefits of a married couple. The law, however, includes strong protections for churches and religious organizations. A pastor or other church official cannot, under any circumstances, be required to perform a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples. The Act unequivocally states that “Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, policy teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that faith.” Should churches add anything to their bylaws in response to the new law? That would be an internal decision to be made by the individual church. There is certainly no legal requirement that a church’s governing documents contain any particular provision. That said, it may be good practical advice for a church to amend its constitution or bylaws to state that the church will only recognize a marriage between a man and a woman and that the church will not solemnize or celebrate same-sex marriages. This would be particularly important if the congregation is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage. A minister should feel he is on sound ground in refusing to marry same-sex couples if that is the church’s policy, without fear of reprisal from a faction within the church that may oppose that doctrine. Of course, any such division in February 2013
the church would come to the surface in the process of approving the policy statement. Will this law affect the renting of church facilities? Can churches choose not to rent to same-sex couples who want to use the facility for weddings or receptions? The Civil Marriage Protection Act clearly states that churches and other religious organizations cannot be required to provide any facilities or services for the purpose of performing or celebrating same-sex marriages. In fact, this provision extends not only to churches but also to any other “religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization, association, or society.” This would include, for example, facilities (including camps) owned by the Baptist Convention as well as the various Maryland Baptist associations and agencies. A church can refuse to allow its facilities to be used for same sex marriages even if the refusal would otherwise violate public accommodation laws. It does not matter if the church routinely rents out its facilities to secular organizations, such as scouting or school groups. Will it affect pre-marital counseling? Under the Act, no minister or other church official can be required to provide pre-marital counseling to same-sex couples. For the same reasons discussed earlier, it may be advisable for the church’s governing documents to make clear that premarital counseling will not be provided for same-sex couples, if that is the church’s policy. How does this affect chaplains? Chaplains can refuse to perform
same-sex marriage ceremonies if this would be contrary to their religious beliefs. Any chaplain recognized by a religious order or body to perform marriage ceremonies would be treated the same as the minister of a church under the Act. Would the result be different if a church had accepted state or federal funds? A church would not be required to perform or allow its facilities to be used for same sex marriage ceremonies simply by accepting government funding. If a church accepts state or federal funds for a specific program or service “related to the promotion of marriage,” that government-funded service or program would have to be made available to same-sex couples. For example, if a church provides a marriage counseling program and accepts a state or federal grant for that program, the church would have to allow same sex spouses to participate in that program. This requirement, however, would be limited to the specific program for which the grant was received. It would not extend to any other programs, services or facilities of the church. It would also not apply to any government-funded program that is not related to “the promotion of marriage.” Jeff Agnor is an attorney with the firm of Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC in Columbia, Md. He can be reached at (410) 995-5800 or by email at email@example.com
Sportsman’s Banquet Hughesville Baptist Church will have its third annual Sportsman’s Banquet on Mar. 9. Guest speakers will be R.G. Bernier and John Akehurst. Bernier is an award winning sports writer and photographer. His articles have appeared in “Quality Whitetails,” “North American Whitetail” “New England Game and Fish,” “Outdoor Life,” and “Field and Stream.”
Port Deposit, has a grief share program on Mondays from 6-8 pm beginning Feb. 18.
The Storyteller by Lois Marciniak Women’s Fellowship Clothing Lucille Johnson from Beacon Exchange Baptist Church, White Marsh, is the The Village Church had a ‘storyteller lady’ at LifeWay Christian women’s fellowship clothing exBookstore in White Marsh every change. The ladies cleaned out their Friday at 11 am. Johnson has been the closets and exchanged them with each resident storyteller for six years. Atother. Everyone enjoyed a time of fun tendance and participation continues and fellowship and left with a “new” to grow. wardrobe. Children of all ages arrive with parents or daycare Ministering to Muslims providers to sit and listen to The Maryland Bible Society, ‘Ms. Lucille,’ as she sits in a big Christ Fellowship Church, and rocker and shares the story of Grace Community Church, will the day. Johnson sometimes host “The World of Muslims,” a uses puppets to add a bit to the conference covering the funstory. damental beliefs and practices The kids also enjoying of Islam and how to share the singing their special songs. Gospel to and disciple Muslims. Lots of ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ and The conference will be from 9:30 ‘My God Is So Good,’ can be am to 4 pm at Grace Community heard through the store. Photo by Rachelle Miller Church, Bel Air. The speaker is Johnson gives each child Asif Mall. Mall To register, go to Lucille Johnson from Beacon Baptist Church is the http://engagingwiththeworldoflollipops and stickers as they leave and invites them back for ‘Storyteller Lady’ at LifeWay Christian Bookstore in muslims.eventbrite.com. the next week. White Marsh. Missions Conference Colonial Baptist Church, Randallstown, will host its 14th annual Missions Conference Saturday, Mar. 9, through Monday, Mar. 11, 2013. This year’s Conference theme is, “God’s Call: Wanted......Committed Christians (Isaiah 6:8.)” The guest speaker will be Keithley Saunders, Pastor of The Lighthouse Baptist Church, St Kitts, Caribbean. The conference will feature international Missionaries serving in Kenya, St. Kitts, the Central African Republic, the Congo, and more. In addition, many local Missions efforts will be represented including Child Evangelism Fellowship and Mission Possible. Other workshops will be conducted by IMB missionaries Keith and Debbie Jefferson; Pastor John Geeter, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Vickie Stewart, Morgan State University campus minister; and many others. Workshops will be available for adults, children, and youth. For more information, contact Colonial Baptist Church at (410) 655-1080.
John Akehurst began an organization called “A Higher Calling Huntin’ Team.” The “team” goes to churches and other venues to share goose hunting and other hunting related seminars and to share Jesus. For more information, call (301) 274-3672. Chemical Dependency Recovery Bruce Outreach Center has a chemical dependency recovery group that meets at 7 pm on Mondays. Concert Faith Baptist Church, Glen Burnie, will host the band Sanctus Real, with JJ Heller, Unspoken and Bread of Stone in concert on Feb. 25. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance or $17 at the door. Tickets are available at http://itickets. com, at the Faith Baptist Church office or at His Way Christian Bookstore locations. Grief Share Program Pleasant Valley Baptist Church,
GED Classes First Baptist Church of Suitland offers GED preparation classes from 6:30 to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Unplugged Baltimore The Mid-Maryland Baptist Association is partnering with Freedom Church of Baltimore to present a one-day conference designed to equip Christians to understand, serve, and positively impact the city of Baltimore. There will be breakout sessions with urban and suburban pastors, sharing effective strategies for reaching the lost. For more information, see https://www.wecare.org/unplugged. Simple Giving - Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Members of Cresthill Baptist Church, Bowie, meet every other Monday and make over 500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to support SOME (So Others Might Eat), an interfaith community based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless in Washington, D.C. February 2013
CLASSIFIEDS CHURCH MAINTENANCE—
We do anything that your Building and Grounds people can’t , such as , siding, windows, painting, carpentry and roofing. We will respect your budget. References. ames Dean, Unique Construction (301) 2582819 DIRECTOR OF MISSIONS—
The Potomac Baptist Association (PBA) located in Hughesville, Maryland is searching for a Director of Missions. The PBA consists of 37 churches and missions and serves Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties in Southern Maryland. Qualifications include a proven ability to strengthen existing churches, to lead in the church multiplication process, and to develop an Acts 1:8 mission strategy. The PBA is affiliated with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and the Southern Baptist Convention. For more information about the PBA and the ministry opportunity please visit www.potomacbaptist.net. Resumes should be submitted to the website or by mail to Potomac Baptist Association, 8468 Leonardtown Road, Hughesville, MD 20637. MAIL, E-MAIL OR FAX YOUR AD: Deadlines are the first day of each month for the following month’s issue. Classified advertising is 75 cents per word ($18.00 minimum) for BCM/D churches and church members; 85 cents per word ($20.00 minimum) for non-profit organizations; and 95 cents per word ($25.00 minimum) for commercial organizations. Word count does not include words with two letters or less. Contact us for display ad pricing. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of any advertiser’s products or services.
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February - April 2013 BCM/D Events (www.bcmd.org/calendar or 800-466-5290 + ext. below)
FEBRUARY ___________________ 2 Kids’ Ministry Conference, The Church at Covenant Park, (x218) 5 BCM/D Tour for Language Pastors, BMRC (x222) 8-9 Leadership Lab for student leaders, Skycroft (800-536-6759) 10 Racial Reconciliation Sunday 11-17 Focus on WMU (x218) 23 VBS Expo/Celebration, The Church at Severn Run (x218) 24 The Baptist Foundation of Maryland/Delaware Sunday 25-26 Soul of the Servant Retreat: Spiritual Leadership, Skycroft (x217) MARCH ___________________ 1-2 Women on Mission Retreat, Camp Wo-Me-To (x218) 3-10 Week of Prayer for North American Missions (x218) 8 African American Awareness Conference, BMRC (x218) 15-16 RA Congress, Middle River Church (x226) 21-22 Free My Soul Retreat, Skycroft (x217) 24 Language Music Celebration, Global Mission (x222) 29 BMRC Closed - Good Friday 31 Easter Sunday APRIL ___________________ 5-6 Ministers Wives Retreat, DoubleTree in Annapolis (410-977-9852) 14 Cooperative Program Sunday (x207) 15 Weekday Education Directors Network, BMRC (x218) 18-19 Restore My Soul Retreat, Skycroft (x217) 19 VBS Rally, First English, Frostburg (x218) 20 Medical Missions, The Church at Severn Run (x226) 29 AISI Pastor Appreciation Golf Tournament (x245)
INTERESTED IN TAKING A SEMINARY CLASS, BUT CONCERNED THAT THE COST OR TIME REQUIRED IS TOO GREAT A SACRIFICE? Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) is now opening up its extension classes to anyone interested in taking them. The classes are taught at the Baptist Mission Resource Center in Columbia by Columbia Extension Center SBTS proBaptist Mission Resource Center • Columbia, MD fessors and Fridays 7:00-9:30 pm • Saturdays 8:30 am-4:30 pm offered free of charge to SPRING 2013 Session 2: Mar. 1-Mar. 23 Intro to Missiology anyone who Session 1: Jan. 25-Feb. 16 Leadership & Family Session 3: April 8-May 4 wants to Ministry Biblical Hermeneutics audit them. Prior regFor more information: contact Ken White 443-745-2904 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: istration is www.sbts.edu/extension/centers/columbia-md/ required. Page 23
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