The 183rd annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware was held Nov. 1-12 at the Oak Grove Baptist Church, founded in 1931 in Bel Air, Md.
Messengers elected a new slate of officers and adopted the 2019 budget. BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith announced a new international partnership with the Baptist Convention of Kenya. The convention’s theme was “Maryland/Delaware Baptists United in Prayer: Celebrating God’s Mission in Maryland/Delaware.”
This year’s meeting, attended by 320 messengers and 88 guests included a substantial time of prayer for church plants. Special guests were Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Ga., and the North American Mission Board’s new senior vice president of evangelism and leadership; Christina Edmondson, dean of intercultural student development at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Tony Merida, pastor for preaching and vision, Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, N.C.
Executive director’s report
Kevin Smith recognized new staff, shared some “retooling” strategies to serve churches and introduced the international partnership.
Regarding staff, Smith said, “For the first time since I’ve been here [since June 2016], we have a full complement of church planting catalysts in cooperation with the North American Mission Board,” referring to Rolando Castro, Dan Hyun and James Choi under the leadership of BCM/D state director of missions Michael Crawford.
Smith also recognized creative director Reggie Davis, who joined the staff in September, and two new church service consultants, Mike Trammell and John Gauger, both retired BCM/D pastors. Trammell, the BCM/D’s outgoing president, will serve in the Delmarva area.
Mark Dooley, pastor of Leonardtown Baptist Church, will join the staff in January as state director of evangelism.
Smith emphasized three priorities of the convention: encouraging pastors in every phase of life; ministry support; and church and community outreach.
Pointing to a slideshow of BCM/D church baptism photos, Smith said, “We want to serve churches and increase baptisms, and make our churches fruitful, whether they’re 100 days old or 100 years old.”
Looking ahead, Smith said the BCM/D, in an effort to help revitalize churches, will continue to use the AWAKEN Cohort approach to revitalization. Partnering with the Eastern Baptist Association, a new cohort will soon begin in the Delmarva area.
Also, in cooperation with NAMB and funded by the Cooperative Program, the convention will partner with Thom Rainer’s Revitalize Network, an individualized approach to revitalization providing coaching and other opportunities. The costs will be discounted because of the BCM/D partnership with NAMB.
The BCM/D also will soon offer a sermon-based approach to revitalization in partnership with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
The international partnership with the Baptist Convention of Kenya for 2019-2021 will focus on strategic areas in western Kenya near Lake Victoria, Smith said. It will entail pastoral and ministry leader training; preaching in middle and high schools; orphan care; and infrastructure support.
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Source: Baptist Press