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News Briefs
November 2014
Latest News, Announcements & Vignettes

"Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV


Annual Gathering Evaluation
What a JOY it was for us to fellowship together during the 138th Annual Gathering of the D.C. Baptist Convention! The final count is in and we had a total of 61 churches represented, more than we've had since 2009. The Convention passed the 2015 budget and added eight new member churches (four as active members; another four who have probationary status until all of their paperwork is completed). We enjoyed great food, moments of inspiration and learning from one another, a lively performance from a multi-church youth choir and lots of laughter emanating from the jokes by Rev. Jason Earls. It was truly a joyous occasion!

For those who participated, please give us feedback on your experience and how we can improve the Annual Gathering in years to come. Click here to complete a short evaluation.

Also, if you missed Rev. Bo Chang's inspiring message on Tuesday morning, you can watch it on YouTube: Part 1 (17:48), Part 2 (1:25).

We look forward to seeing you at next year's Annual Gathering, which is scheduled for October 26-27, 2015. Until then, remember that "The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength!"

Clergy and Law Enforcement Forum
The D.C. Baptist Convention is joining with the Clergy Ambassador Program from the U.S. Attorney's Office and Michigan Park Christian Church to have a Clergy and Law Enforcement Forum on Tuesday, Nov.18 from 9:30 a.m. - noon. at Michigan Park Christian Church, 1600 Taylor Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 

The purpose of this forum is to provide an opportunity for clergy and high level police officials to dialogue about building better and more sustainable police and community partnerships. Eugene Schneeberg, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Justice, and several D.C. Metropolitan Police Commanders (the highest police official responsible for each district in the District) have agreed to be in attendance, and through their insight, this forum will provide clergy access to better understanding the nature of policing in general and within the community.  At the same time, places of worship have long been the conduit of connection between the police and the community, and given the current climate in our community as it pertains to crime and policing, this forum is intended to create a safe space for the police, clergy, and community to identify issues from various perspectives, while developing action items and next steps for fostering better relationships.

In preparation for this discussion, clergy are asked to complete the survey found here. Please RSVP for this important discussion by emailing by Monday, Nov. 17

Upcoming Training for Church Leaders
The D.C. Baptist Convention will host training for church leaders this month. On Saturday, Nov. 8, there will be ushers training from 9:30 a.m. - noon at Purity Baptist Church, 1325 Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, D.C. Training for trustees, deacons and deaconesses will be held on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Baptist Building, 1628 16th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The trustee training and training for new and prospective deacons and deaconesses will take place from 9:30 a.m. - noon. There will also be a workshop for all deacons and deaconesses from 1-4 p.m. that day. For more information and to register click here or call 202-265-1526. 

Food Drive for Thanksgiving Baskets
DCBC is collecting nonperishable items for food baskets that will be disseminated at the Johenning Baptist Community Center.  Please bring donations to the Baptist Building, 1628 16th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009, by Friday, Nov. 21 for distribution at Thanksgiving. 

Office Closings
The D.C. Baptist Convention will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in recognition of Veteran’s Day. DCBC will also close starting at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Nov. 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Metropolitan Baptist Church Calls New Pastor
The historic Metropolitan Baptist Church has called Rev. Dr. Maurice Watson from Macon, Ga. to be its next senior minister. He will succeed the Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., who is retiring after 37 years leading the congregation. Rev. Watson is scheduled to start on Jan. 15, 2015. Click here for the story.

Responding to the Ebola Crisis
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has monopolized the news and caused fear among many communities. Baptists worldwide are responding to the crisis with courage and resources and doing their part to allay fears about the disease. DCBC member churches are encouraged to get involved in efforts to help the communities in Africa most impacted by this deadly disease, which has claimed thousands of lives.

There will be a lecture about the Ebola crisis on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Montgomery Hills Baptist Church, 9727 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring, Md. Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, the Murdock head professor of medicine and health policy at George Washington University and a respected scholar on health issues in sub-saharan Africa, will deliver the lecture entitled, "Doing Health Promotion in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Context of the Ebola Outbreak." Click here to download a flyer.

American Baptists and International Ministries (ABCUSA) have contributed $140,000 from the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) fund to help with the Ebola crisis. They have also developed inserts that can be used in church bulletins to inform members about the virus and how they can assist. Download the bulletin insert here in black and white or color.

In addition, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is collecting donations for Baptist World Aid to provide resources to Baptists in West Africa. Contributions can be made online at or by sending funds to Baptist World Aid, c/o Baptist World Alliance, 405 North Washington Street, Falls Church, Va. 22046.

The Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, requesting help from ministry partners to provide food and sanitary materials for the influx of pastors and persons who have been temporarily laid off and displaced as a result of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. Sacrificial offerings can be made through the D.C. Baptist Convention. Please send a check to DCBC with LBMEC-EBOLA OUTREACH in the memo section. For more information, contact Rev. Justus Y. Reeves, executive secretary, LBMEC, at or visit

The Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention is providing a host of resources to assist churches in West Africa with the crisis including sending nonperishable food items, household sanitation and hygiene products and medical supplies to Liberia last month. Supplies and monetary contributions can be made to assist in their efforts to provide comfort, support and help during this crisis. Visit for more details on how to participate. Valuable information from a teleconference last month can be found here.


 Church Bulletin

Milestone Anniversary
Congratulations to Rehoboth Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., which is celebrating 150 years of ministry and service!

Fall Revival
The First New Horizon Baptist Church, 9511 Piscataway Road, Clinton, Md., is having three faith-building Fridays for its Fall Revival starting on Friday, Nov. 7 with Dr. Jesse Wood from Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo, Md. On Friday, Nov. 14, Rev. Dr. Ernest Trice, pastor of Takoma Park Baptist Church, will be the guest preacher and on Friday, Nov. 21, Rev. Laura Smith, pastor of Gideon Baptist Church will deliver the sermon. The theme for the Revival is “Shaking the Treasure” from 2 Corinthians 4:7. For more information or to get directions visit or call 301-856-9177.

CDC Asks Churches to Disseminate Information about the Ebola virus
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is asking churches to make sure parishioners have accurate information about the Ebola virus. In a conference call that DCBC's Emergency Response Coordinator Jennifer Perry participated in, the CDC recommended that churches do the following:

• Help to dispel rumors about the disease particularly that the disease is airborne and can be spread through casual contact or that Americans should fear a widespread outbreak in the U.S.--neither of which is true.
• Make sure that West African members of the community do not feel isolated.
• While most Baptist churches do not share a cup during communion, those that do should enter into a period of reflection and discernment and consider switching to individual cups when celebrating the Lord's Supper.
• Provide and encourage the use of hand sanitizer.

For more information from the CDC about the Ebola virus, click here.

Groundbreaking Ceremony
Congratulations to Olive Branch Community Church, which held a groundbreaking ceremony last month for its new sanctuary, which will be located on Route 108 in Sandy Spring, Md.


More News…

Mission Summit 2015
The American Baptist Churches USA will hold its Biennial Mission Summit, June 26-28, 2015 in Overlnd Park, Kan. Speakers include: Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, pastor of The Riverside Church in New York; Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA; Rev. Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies; and, Rev. Dr. Don Ng, president of the ABCUSA. For more information, visit

BWA Observes Human Rights Day and Nominations for Human Rights Award
On Dec. 6 and 7, depending on whether Baptists worship on Saturday or Sunday, Baptists around the world will observe BWA's Human Rights Day. The observance coincides with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations on Dec. 10, 1948.

In addition, BWA is now accepting nominations for the Congress Quinquennial Human Rights Award to be presented during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in July 2015. This lifetime achievement award is given to an individual who has shown significant accomplishments in global advocacy for human rights and the pursuit of social justice and peace within the local, national or the wider global community.

The nomination form and its instructions are available on the BWA website at

Past award winners include: Denton Lotz, former BWA general secretary for a lifetime commitment to global human rights concerns; Lauran Bethell of American Baptist Churches USA for her work with exploited women and children in Thailand; Saw Simon from Myanmar, for work in the refugee camps in Northern Thailand; and, former United States President Jimmy Carter, for commitment to human rights causes around the globe.

Deadline for submission is Jan. 16, 2015. Applications submitted after the deadline date will not be processed.

Nominations are now open for 2014 Community Service Award
The D.C. Mayor's Community Service Awards are given to District residents who demonstrate exceptional commitment to District communities through service and volunteerism in six categories, including community service, corporate engagement, education, emergency preparedness and public safety, national service, and youth. Nominees must be District residents and applicable volunteer and service activities must have taken place in the District. To nominate someone, click here.



Worship Pastor. Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Ky. is looking for a Worship Pastor. Please send recommendations or resumes to:

Musician. Olive Branch Community Church in Sandy, Spring, Md. is looking for a musician who can read, play and teach music to serve during their weekly worship service on Sundays. Candidates should also be prepared to hold regular practices with the choir. For more information, please contact Pastor Donald Kelly at







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