Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
It has been a while since I have sent out a status of what’s happening at Meadows Baptist Church. God, however, has never ceased being good to us. One off the many blessings He has provided is Tony Contee, a gifted guitarist and vocalist who joined our Praise Team last year. God is also still blessing us in our regular summer outreach activities, too, like Missions VBS and Satellite Sunday School. But He has blessed us to start other ministries as well.
We have a team that conducts service at the Clinton Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center once a month. They always return with an amazing testimony about what God is doing there. And God has moved on the hearts of some of the women of the church a few years ago to form a separate 501(c)3 organization, Inner Light Family Ministries, whose purpose is to help individuals suffering from the effects of domestic violence.
For the past six years, we were always almost ready to build on our church site, but with the housing boom, our builder put us at the bottom of his list. Now that the economy is experiencing the housing bust we are in real good favor with the builder and it is finally happening. Phase One is well under way. It will be completed within a few months and will serve among other things as a day care and temporary place of worship while we proceed to Phase Two, a completed sanctuary.
6600 Croom Station Rd, Upper Marlboro
will be our new location and we expect to invite everyone to special services there sometime in April 2011.
Looking back we definitely see the handiwork of God in granting us many blessings during this building program:
- No upfront cost to us for the engineering and site development work—the builder paid over $80,000 up front, money that, under normal conditions, we would have paid.
- After six years there was no increase in the construction cost of the home.
- After the housing bust, the lender had only two bad loans on his books, both churches, and was reluctant to lend to us. He was willing to make other arrangements for us to guarantee the loan, especially since we’ve had a good relationship with him and the bank with respect to the Marlton house for over six years.
- Once when we had considered selling the land, a potential buyer was warned not to go forward with the purchase because the buyer’s engineering study indicated that the property was unbuildable or the cost too prohibitive. But we are building now.
- At the same time when we had considered selling, a realtor presented to us a fake buyer whom he said had already bought building material to build his house on our property, before we even had a sales contract. God had given us wisdom all around to not take the offer.
- The same realtor had a representative from MD State Department of Transportation to make an offer to buy our property for next to nothing. He had intended to buy it back for himself. The offer wasn’t much, but it was enough to serve as collateral for our purchase of the Marlton house, which was just appraised at twice the price we paid.
I am sure there are many other blessings we are unaware of and many more to come. You can follow our progress at www.MeadowsBaptistchurch.org
Soon our Design Team will present a comprehensive plan for what we will need to do to turn our new home into a house of worship. However, here are some of the needs that we are currently aware of:
1. We are going in with just ourselves and will almost have to start from scratch after having benefited from the school’s resources. We will need to purchase among other items:
a. Materials and labor to finish the lower level
c. Furnishings and decorations
d. Materials and labor for landscaping and parking
2. Seed money to begin the next phase—the actual sanctuary
a. Upfront legal fees to verify maximum size of the sanctuary
b. Upfront architectural fees to develop a model of the master plan
3. Reserves to show the lender that we are in a strong position to handle another project. To accomplish this, we only have to show an increase in giving year-over-year, however small.
I know many members and friends in the past have wanted to help us get this far, but were not able to do so financially. But your support in other ways and especially your prayers were invaluable. We will have a special service—the Sunday before Christmas—when we celebrate all that God has given to us. If you are free, please, join us.
Another reason to offer up praise is the publication of the church’s first book, Words Of Inspiration: MBC’s Book Of Psalms. This is a collection of member’s original writings and songs patterned after Psalms in the Bible. Along with beautiful photographs, Words Of Inspiration captures some of our members’ expressions of faith and love born out of their personal experiences that brought forth testimonies of God’s goodness, testimonies as compelling as those recorded by the men and women of the Bible.
The current economic recession has generated some heart-wrenching statistics. Not only is the unemployment rate hovering at historic levels, but we are also seeing many churches having their properties foreclosed. Churches were once considered a low-risk investment, almost recession proof. However, Reuters news service recently reported that in one city as many as 400 churches were in various stages of foreclosure.
We at Meadows conducted our first financial workshop to address this issue and will conduct more to help those in our communities who are struggling regain their financial footing. The workshop was held by the pastor who also holds an MBA from The Wharton School.
Staying In Touch
We would love for you to share in this ministry with us and there are many ways available now. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter and receive almost daily inspiration:
You may also visit our web site at www.MeadowsBaptistChurch.org. Here, if you’d like, you may make a directed contribution to our ministry. Or more importantly, submit a prayer request or a prayer for us as a great way to support what God is doing here at Meadows. Simply follow the link to the Prayer Requests page. And at the same site you can find out how to get copies of our book, Words Of Inspiration: MBC’s Book Of Psalms, and find out when our next financial workshops will be scheduled. Hope to hear from you soon.
Dennis V. Jefferson, Pastor