Archive for March, 2017

AIPM Invited to Serve at Morley Community Church in Yorkshire

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

AIPM has been invited to supply volunteer interim pastors for Morley Community Church (MCC). MCC is a conservative evangelical Congregational Church near Leeds in Yorkshire. It was started in 2000 by a group of Christians who lived in the town but worshipped elsewhere. They sensed the Holy Spirit’s leadership to start an evangelical church in their own town. Currently, Sunday worship attendance averages 18. MCC’s present leadership team consists of 2 deacons, Ray Baker and Andy Dalton. There is maximum involvement of the congregation and a high level of commitment.

Morley Community Church March 2017


AIPM at St. Andrew’s Community Church, Tilbury, London – 2003 to 2004

Friday, March 10th, 2017

St. Andrew’s Community Church in Tilbury on the east side of London in the docks area was a local ecumenical partnership Baptist/Methodist church. The church had done very well the previous 6-years under the leadership of a Baptist pastor. When that pastor was called to a church much farther north, many of the key leaders left.

In October 2003, St. Andrew’s invited Shannon Duncan from Charlotte, NC to serve as interim pastor. As mentioned in the report on Milnsbridge, Shannon’s wife, Tillie, is on staff at a Baptist church in NC and cannot accompany Shannon on out-of-town assignments.

Shannon Duncan

Shannon served at Tilbury from October until December 2003 and went home for a few days over Christmas. He returned in early January and served until March 2004. Praise the Lord, Shannon is able and willing to pay for his own airline tickets so his initial round-trip to Tilbury and his trip home over Christmas cost the UK church nothing.

It is significant that Paul Hills, Regional Minister of the Eastern Baptist Association, made it a point to sit with Chuck McComb at lunch at Baptist Union HQ in 2004 to tell him about the closure of St. Andrew’s Community Church. The church required about GBP 50,000 for upgrades. The property was owned by the Methodists and they had insufficient funds to make the changes. They took the decision to close. Paul said that closure was in no way a reflection on Shannon Duncan or AIPM. We appreciate his concern that we not mis-judge the cause of the closure.

AIPM at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Skegness – 2008 to 2009

Friday, March 10th, 2017

St. Paul’s Baptist Church (SPBC) in Skegness, Lincolnshire, learned about AIPM and inquired about a partnership. Chuck and Pat McComb visited the UK in September 2007 and stopped in Skegness. David Smith, SPBC Church Secretary, arranged a wonderful fellowship meal and presentations by the leaders of all the SPBC ministries. That was a great experience for the McComb’s and they were truly blessed by all the efforts to advance God’s Kingdom in that community. Chuck presented information about AIPM.

St. Paul's Baptist Church

SPBC decided to invite AIPM to serve alongside them. SPBC called Jim Martin (wife Brenda) from Lake Jackson, TX to be their first AIP. Jim and Brenda started their ministry in Skegness in January 2008. This was the Martin’s second assignment in the UK. The first being at Thornaby the back half of 2004. Jim had a 30 plus year career as an engineer with Dow Chemical Company. He and another Dow employee planted a church in Lake Jackson and Jim served as Associate Pastor. And, in 2017, Jim is serving as pastor of a new church in Brazosport, TX.

Jim and Brenda Martin

Interestingly, Jim and Brenda heard about AIPM on a Monday after he had retired the previous Friday. They were listing to a very popular Christian radio station in Houston, TX (KHCB) and heard an interview by station manager, Bruce Munsterman. Bruce was interviewing Chuck McComb from AIPM and Derek Allan from the Baptist Union of Great Britain. Derek and Chris Mepham (also from BUGB) were in Houston working with AIPM on the protocol for AIPM’s ministry in the UK. The radio interview was a way to try to spread the word about opportunities to serve Jesus Christ in the UK. It worked. Jim and Brenda heard, volunteered and served twice. On a similar note, John and Jan Ward also heard the interview and the Ward’s have served 4 times already. Praise the Lord for KHCB and for these 2 godly couples!

Speaking of John and Jan Ward, they were the second AIPM couple that SPBC invited to serve. They started in mid-2008 and served until late December that year.

John and Jan Ward

Larry And Judy Carter from Aurora, Illinois followed the Ward’s at Skegness. They served the front half of 2009. Larry had served many years as pastor of Baptist churches in Illinois before his retirement and volunteer work for AIPM at Skegness.

AIPM was extremely effective at St. Paul’s Baptist Church! Ten people were baptized in only 18 months! That is the largest number of people to be baptized at any one AIPM church over the 17 years of this ministry! Jim Martin baptized: Gbadebo Ogunbanjo, Timothy Waite, Christian Williams, Lynn Cooper and Stephen Degenkolb. And Tim Waite’s wife, Kate, renewed her baptism vows. John Ward baptized Don Stephenson and Larry Carter baptized: Keith Black, Deana Hulalt, Trish James and Philip Staples. Praise the Lord for these additions to God’s “Forever Family.”

Following are additional notes from John and Jan Ward from their experience at St. Paul’s Baptist Church: Skegness is a popular holiday beach town on the North Sea. The town is very full of tourist during the British school break periods, especially the 6-weeks that schools are closed for the summer holidays. In addition to tourists, there is a mission team from Birmingham each summer working from SPBC and conducting beach ministry.

John and Jan said, “Our first impression was, “Wow! This sure seems Anglican.” then “Oh, What country is this anyway?” St. Paul’s is a bit of an unusual name for a Baptist church. However, the premises were originally owned by the Church of England and St. Pau’s Anglican church was CofE property. The Anglicans saw a need to cease operating St. Paul’s and sold the property to Baptists in 1895. The Baptist saw value in retaining part of the name of the former church and called their new property, St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

John was privileged to baptize his first convert at St. Paul’s, a man who has come to meet us at each of our subsequent assignments. We still exchange letters several times a year. We keep up with other former members there by letter, E-mail, Facebook and Skype. We have left many precious friends and many memories. We returned for a week-long Christian conference at a beach resort. We found that we slipped away often to be with our precious St. Paul’s people.

AIPM at Central County Durham Churches 2005 to 2010

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

AIPM began in Central County Durham as a result of a visit to Texas of David and Miriam Lennox from Stocksfield Baptist Church. The Lennox’s were staying at the McComb’s and doing a tour of the fastest growing Baptist churches in the southwest of the USA. During that visit, they mentioned Hamsterley Baptist Church (HBC) in the small village of Hamsterley in the heart of County Durham.

David was serving as Secretary of the Northern Baptist Association and a tutor at Northern Baptist College in Manchester. He had preached at HBC only a few weeks before coming to America. David and Miriam reported that HBC was at risk of closing for lack of resources. When it was learned that Hamsterley was a church plant by Stocksfield BC in 1652 when Stocksfield was only 2 years old, our heart strings were tugged profoundly. How sad if that church were allowed to die on our watch.

Hamsterley Baptist Church

AIPM had never done so before, but we felt lead to try to raise funds in the USA to support AIPM at Hamsterley in partnership with the Northern Baptist Association. And, the money came in and we got started there in 2005.

The first American interim pastor at Hamsterley was actually a Scotsman! Bill and Margaret Taylor were born and raised in Scotland (and still had the Scottish accent). Bill began Gospel ministry while still in Scotland. He sensed God’s call to serve in New Zealand and served there for a number of years. God then called the Taylors to Texas to continue ministry. They retired while serving near Beaumont and then moved to Fredricksburg, TX for their retirement years. They learned about AIPM and the opportunity at Hamsterley and volunteered to serve the first half of 2005.

Bill and Margaret Taylor

Darrelll and Faith Grice replaced Bill and Margaret Taylor and served HBC the second half of 2005. This was Darrell and Faith’s second AIPM assignment. They had served the first half of 2004 at Milnsbridge Baptist Church near Huddersfield.

Darrell and Faith Grice

During the Grice’s ministry at HBC, the retired British layman that was taking services on Sunday afternoons at Wolsingham Baptist Church (WBC) became ill and had to retire. The folk at WBC asked Darrell if he would serve as interim pastor of WBC as well as Hamsterley and take Sunday afternoon services. The Grice’s felt the Lord’s leading to do this so AIPM expanded to 2 central County Durham churches.

Wolsingham Baptist Church

Shannon Duncan from Charlotte, North Carolina was called as the third volunteer American interim pastor for Hamsterley/Wolsingham. And, this was Shannon’s third assignment in the UK. Previously, he served at St. Andrew’s Community Church in Tilbury and Milnsbridge Baptist Church in Huddersfield. Shannon served about 4 months in Central County Durham in the first half of 2006.

Shannon Duncan

The next American interim pastor to serve at Hamsterley/Wolsingham was Gregg Trickett from Tulsa Oklahoma. Gregg had a career in construction and had done some preaching in Oklahoma. He put his construction work on hold and volunteered in Central County Durham for about 5 months in the mid part of 2006.

The 5th and final interim pastor for Central County Durham was Jim Williams (wife Sally). Jim and Sally had only recently retired from an evangelical church that Jim had planted and served as pastor for more than 10 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Within a year or so of Jim and Sally’s arrival in County Durham, both Bishop Auckland and Crook Baptist churches asked Jim to serve as their volunteer interim pastor also. That brought to 4 the number of churches within a 10 mile radius of each other that Jim was serving.

Jim and Sally served the 4 central County Durham churches for almost 4 years, from 2007 well into 2010. Jim encountered some health problems on a visit to the USA late in his ministry in the UK. He returned to serve the 4 churches for a few more months then had to return to Arizona to take care of health issues.

Jim and Sally Williams

Over the years after the Williams tour of duty, Crook had a former youth minister as pastor. Shortly after that man was called to a different church, Crook closed. Wolsingham decided to partner with another local Baptist church in the area. Of the 4, only Hamsterley and Bishop Auckland remained in partnership and have shared a pastor for many years.