Archive for July, 2010

Passing of the Baton at Ducklington

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

On Sunday July 11th the baton was passed from Dennis Greer to Brian Brewer to continue American interim pastor ministry at Ducklington Baptist Church in Oxfordshire, England.

Ducklington Baptist Church
Ducklington Baptist Church

Dennis and Brenda Greer from Abilene, Texas finished their 6 month assignment and Brian and Paula Brewer from Pinckneyville, Illinois began their stint at Ducklington. In fact, part of the service was an enactment of passing the baton.

Chris Mepham, retired Administration Manager at the Baptist Union of Great Britain and currently a volunteer with AIPM on “the other side of the pond,” wrote about that service: (more…)

Middlesbrough Baptist Church

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Write about the Middlesbrough Baptist Church’s completed ministry here.

Henley-in-Arden Baptist Church, Warwickshire

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Here you can post about Henley-in-Arden Baptist Church Opportunities

Ducklington Baptist Church, Oxfordshire

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Here you can post about Ducklington Baptist Church’s opportunities.

AIPM–An Overview

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Here you can provide an overview of AIPM.

AIPM-the first 8 years

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

AIPM has created a booklet covering the first 8 years of this ministry.

[Download this document here]

Voluntary Pastoral and Youth Work in the UK

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Thornaby Baptist, Stockton
Pastoral—2001 to 2005
Youth Work—2002 to 2005

After observing American interim ministry at CRBC, David Hunt recommended AIPM to four NBA churches in August 2000. Thornaby Baptist in Stockton-on-Tees accepted the offer. This began the search in the USA for retirees and others who could be self-supporting to volunteer as interim pastors (and the search for candidates goes on!). It also began the spread of word in the UK that Baptists from America were willing to help and the partnership began.

Thornaby Baptist had been without a pastor for about five years when AIPM began in June 2001. AIPM continued until July 2005 when AIPM’s goal was reached—the church was able to afford and locate a British Baptist pastor and David Whitehall was called. David is the first British pastor at TBC in almost ten years.

A series of American interim pastors on six month assignments served at TBC those four years. They were (in the order served) Bill and Bartie Standley, Chuck and Pat McComb, Ken and Liz Bugh, Luther and Betty Scarborough, Charles and Dorcille Vanderslice, the McComb’s a second
ime, Jim and Brenda Martin, and James and Jo Still.

David and Mandy Whitehall began ministry at TBC in August 2005. High water marks of AIPM at TBC were two baptismal services, conducted by lay preachers serving as interim pastors. Nine adults were baptized at TBC in the four years of AIPM.

Nine were baptized at Thornaby

While serving at TBC, Charles and Dorcille Vanderslice and TBC members began repainting the window frames at the church. When Charles and Dorcille returned home in December 2003, they assembled a dozen men and women to return in April 2004 to finish the job. Their group included workers with considerable skills–some having served with Texas Baptist Men’s “Retiree Builders.” TBC capitalized on these skills and the group converted two toilets for use by disabled people to meet UK regulations.

The window frame painting, toilet revisions and new floors saved TBC at least $30,000. That is a great return on an investment of two weeks time and the Lord must be very pleased. This is one more way that “the vast pool of retirees” can serve Christ in the UK.

TBC had seven American youth workers between 2002 and 2005. One served solo but the others were pairs and one married couple served five months. The American young people helped at youth club meetings and summer Holiday Clubs. Some worked in the schools in religious education classes and helping classroom teachers. School work is a good way to contact youth in the community. American youth workers who served at Thornaby Baptist were Sarah Bodie, Curtis and Amanda Jones, Christy Brashier, Amy Shelton, Christine Hand, and Amy Atkins.

Oxford Road Baptist, Hartlepool
Youth Work—Summer 2005

AIPM youth work at Oxford Road was a “one summer only” ministry. Amanda Haney served ten weeks during her summer break from Dallas Baptist University. This time frame is an ideal time to serve British churches because the summer days are very long. Summer weather is nicer and there is a lot of scope for outreach activities.

Holiday Clubs (Vacation Bible School equivalent) are conducted during the British school’s six week summer break from around July 20th to September 1st.

American youth workers are extremely valuable because Holiday Clubs are very popular with kids in the community and energetic helpers are most welcome. Accommodations and meals for Amanda were provided by two different church families. Amanda spent two weeks each month with the two different families. Most of the other American youth workers serving other churches lived in the same home for their entire stay—some ten weeks and some six months.

Living in homes works, but it can be stressful on all concerned. If the church can afford to do so, rental of a flat for the use of longer term youth workers is a great solution.

AIPM prefers to have American youth workers serve in pairs. This provides companionship, additional sources of ideas and, importantly, a visitation partner when visiting minor children, especially in a different culture. If the church rents a flat rather than have the youth workers stay with families, the pair of workers must be the same gender.

Owton Manor Baptist Church,
Youth Work—2004 to 2006

Youth Ministry at OMBC is an interesting story. The church’s leaders had a vision for reaching
neighborhood teenagers. Their goal was to reach out with a combination computer room, game room, and café with lots of interaction with dedicated Christians. lacked funds for the building, equipment, and staff.

In Great Britain it is possible to get funds by way of grants from the government and private foundations. Under certain circumstances the UK government will approve grants even to churches when it is demonstrated that the funds will be used to benefit the general public. Such is the case when churches run children’s clubs, youth centers, senior citizen groups, mothers and tot’s ministry, etc. OMBC got funds to build the “Solid Rock Cafe” and there was enough to help fund staff for the first few years.

Some church members were able to work at the Solid Rock Cafe, but their availability was limited. They chose to call Toby Tull, a Baylor student, to help at the cafe. The Lord led Toby to stay a full two years! During Toby’s ministry at OMBC, God led the church to call Baylor student, David Aycock, to work alongside Toby and OMBC members. Toby and David have been back in America for a couple of years, but the good news is that the “Solid Rock Cafe” is still going strong!

Pam Harkness, Solid Rock’s Director said, “Toby and Dave were a core part of the sowing process as well as much esteemed colleagues and brothers in Christ.”

Hamsterley Baptist, County Durham
Pastoral—Jan 2005—On-Going
Youth Work—May to July 2008

Hamsterley Baptist has a fascinating history. The church was established in 1652, just fifty years after the first Baptist church on British soil in Spitalfields, London. Hamsterley was a mission church from Stocksfield Baptist located thirty miles north. Stocksfield started in 1650.

Praise the Lord for those mission minded Baptists! Hamsterley’s current building went up in 1774.

In 2003 HBC had dropped to three members and only five attendees on Sunday. HBC then asked the Northern Baptist Association to take over administration of the church. AIPM and the NBA discussed a partnership with HBC, but realized that HBC could not support AIPM (airline tickets, local transportation, utilities for the parsonage, etc.).

AIPM set out to raise funds in the USA to support the ministry at Hamsterley Baptist. The Lord answered prayers! Three USA Baptist Churches and six American families have supported AIPM at Hamsterley for four years. The support continues and the ministry is growing!

The USA supporting churches are (in alphabetical order) FBC Mineola, TX, FBC New Braunfels, TX, and FBC Risco, MO. Start-up funds were raised and AIPM began at HBC in January 2005.

In the summer of 2005 the retired British lay- preacher at Wolsingham (WBC), five miles from Hamsterley, became ill and resigned. WBC invited the American interim pastor to serve as their pastor as well. Services at WBC are held at 3:00 PM on Sundays so there is no schedule conflict.

In 2006 the pastors of two nearby Baptist churches, Bishop Auckland and Crook, were called to serve elsewhere in Britain leaving those two churches without pastors. In late 2007, BABC and CBC invited Jim Williams, American interim pastor of Hamsterley and Wolsingham, to also serve as their pastor.

At the present time Jim serves the four churches which we refer to as the “mid-County Durham ministry.” Jim holds Sunday morning services at BABC twice a month. He holds services Hamsterley and Crook once per month and every Sunday afternoon at Wolsingham.

In August 2004, Hamsterley and two other churches in the Northern Baptist Association received help for their ministries from Texas Baptist Men’s Retiree Builders.

George Shafer (wife, Barbara) led a group of eight couples to do project work in the three churches. They installed a new floor in Hamsterley’s manse (parsonage).

They also equipped toilets for use by disabled persons in Berwich Hills and Easington Colliery Baptist churches. Toilet conversions were required by law by October, 2004, so their work was timely!

Bishop Auckland Baptist Church We will be eternally grateful for Texas Baptist Men’s support for these three churches, the NBA, and AIPM.

Crook Baptist meets in a community center for worship services. Bishop Auckland Baptist meets for services in its own premises.

Those Americans who served the mid-County Durham churches are Bill and Margaret Taylor, Darrell and Faith Grice, Shannon Duncan, Gregg Trickett, and Jim and Sally Williams. Jim has answered God’s call to pastor these four churches for four years—2007 through 2010. continuity of ministry is priceless!

In May 2007 the four churches in mid-County Durham called their first youth and children’s worker, Angel Curry, a recent graduate from Dallas Baptist University. Sadly, Angel became ill and had to return to the USA in July after only two months in the UK. A search is being conducted for a replacement for her.

Durham Road Baptist, Gateshead
Youth Work—Jul. 2008–On-Going.

Like so many churches in Great Britain, Durham Road Baptist experienced steep decline in the last half of the 20th century. In the mid 1950’s DRBC was considered one of the strongest evangelical churches in the north of England. Membership in 1954 was 329 and Billy Graham preached there in that year. By 2001 membership had fallen to 28!

In 2001 David Hunt began working with DRBC on a vision and strategy. In January 2002 the church took the bold step of calling David as pastor, their first full-time pastor in over thirty years! Between 2002 and 2006 attendance in worship tripled, from twenty to sixty. Youth work was also emphasized. DRBC’s youth program grew from one to two youth clubs. DRBC also added two mixed gender “five-a-side” football teams.

In 2007 DRBC voted to partner with AIPM and receive volunteer youth workers from America. DRBC committed funds from their offerings and wrote grant requests to provide housing and a food allowance for American youth workers. Youth workers will pay for their own transportation and visas. They will receive no salary.

As has been the case in so much of our ministry in England, we have had invaluable help from others. In the spring of 2008, AIPM and DRBC began working with Go Now Missions, a ministry of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Go Now appoints university students from all over Texas to serve as missionaries. Their assignments may be a few weeks, an entire summer, or for periods of up to ten months. Go Now recommended Matt Johnston, a student at Wayland Baptist University. DRBC called him to serve. Matt arrived at DRBC on July 12, 2008. He got this new AIPM effort up and running.

Matt remained at DRBC until mid-December 2008. In January 2009, Travis and Hannah Shelburne, recent graduates from Montreat College in NC, will go to DRBC with their young son, Tristan. Travis and Hannah will serve in DRBC’s youthministry for twelve months in 2009. Word has spread that American university students and recent graduates can be of tremendous service to British Baptist churches. In addition to DRBC, there are three other churches in the Northern Baptist Association which have requested AIPM help with their youth work. The need for candidates is urgent!

UK Church Provides

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The title can be changed, but this should give more detail about the home page image that talks about what “UK Church Provides…”