Southern Baptist Church Planters on the Front Lines, Ministering to the Community in Baltimore

Kevin Ezell, NAMB president, shares about how church planters like Michael Crawford, pictured, have ministered to their Baltimore community, following last month's rioting.
Kevin Ezell, NAMB president, shares about how church planters like Michael Crawford, pictured, have ministered to their Baltimore community, following last month’s rioting.

When Southern Baptist churches send church planters to the cities of North America, the goal is always to see them become part of their communities. Increasingly we are cultivating indigenous planters who have spent their lives in the area in which they are planting.

These men not only commit to investing their ministries in the places they’ve been sent, they invest their lives and many have wives and children who invest as well. When their communities experience joy, they do too. But when pain comes to our cities, they experience that as well.

This was demonstrated in a high profile way with our church planters in Baltimore recently when the death of Freddy Gray sparked tension and unrest that unfortunately led to violent riots.

I’m happy to say that among those first offering help and hope were Southern Baptist church planters. Alongside other Southern Baptist pastors, they led their churches to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the midst of this chaos. Michael Crawford, pastor of the 5-year-old Freedom Church in Baltimore, mobilized his congregation and others to feed children in the city that may not have otherwise eaten when schools closed the day after the riots. They used Southern Baptist Global Hunger Relief funds to do it.

These efforts have given Michael and other church planters a platform for sharing Christ with children and parents who need a lot of hope right now.

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SOURCE: Kevin Ezell
Baptist Press

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