March 10th, 2017

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

By: Chuck McComb

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.