February 11th, 2017

AIPM at Thornaby Baptist Church 2001 to 2005

By: Chuck McComb

Thornaby Baptist Church (TBC) was the second UK church served by AIPM. Chuck McComb and David Hunt met with the leadership team at TBC and their moderator, Rev. David Lilly, in August 2000. This was at the time the McComb’s were wrapping up the first AIPM assignment at Cambridge Road BC in Middlesbrough. We met with the TBC deacons, Barbara Mazzetti, Dorothy Wilson, Maxine Wright and Paul Wright. Happily, they agreed to give AIPM a try and allowed us to continue our ministry in the UK!

Thornaby Baptist Church

Thornaby Manse-Leased from Salvation Army

Bill and Bartie Standley from Sagemont Church in Houston, TX were the first Americans to serve at TBC. in the early years of Bill’s adult live, he served as a pastor in Baptist churches in the Houston, TX area. As his family grew, he needed to leave full-time ministry to support his family. During the work-week, he pursued a career as a machinist with Shell Oil Company in Houston. But, in his off hours, he kept on serving the Lord in a layman’s role. When Bill retired from Shell, he began mission work in Alaska. And, when Thornaby Baptist church called him, he gladly accepted. Very early in Bill and Bartie’s assignment at Thornaby, Bill sensed a need to focus his preaching and Bible studies on relationships. That went over very well and set the stage for significant Kingdom advancement at TBC by the Americans that followed the Standley’s. Bill and Bartie served from June to December 2001.

Bill and Bartie Standley

Chuck and Pat McComb followed the Stanley’s at TBC. Chuck had finished a 35-year career as a Mechanical Engineer with Monsanto Chemical Company in 1997 and had begun volunteer pastoral ministry. Chuck and Pat served Thornbay from January to July 2002. During that assignment TBC conducted the 12 week Alpha Course. Jenny Crooks co-taught the course with Chuck. One of the special features of the Alpha Course is a fellowship meal for the group. Several of the members of the church volunteered to prepare the meals and do the washing up so that the course leaders could give their undivided attention to the group members. The course concludes with a long session “away.” The away session was held in a pub private room in the North Yorkshire Moors. The away session includes 3 course modules that deal with the Holy Spirit. The final session is a time for inquiries about spiritual commitments. No commitments were made at the session, but some that attended the course were baptized later that year.

In the spring of 2002, TBC considered candidates for the back half of 2002. TBC was the first and only UK church to select in one setting 2 candidates to serve in back-to-back assignments. They selected Ken and Liz Bugh from Sagemont Church in Houston and Luther and Betty Scarborough from Sagamore Hills BC in Ft. Worth, TX. Ken had had a career in sales in the office products industry, but was available to serve 6-months at Thornaby. After the Thornaby assignment, Ken managed a LifeWay Book Store at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and later became a capital fund raiser for Moody. The Bugh’s served Thornaby from early July 2002 until late December. Ken baptized 3 adults at Thronaby. Ken is Vice President of AIPM and a long-time supporter!

Luther and Betty Scarborough’s served Thornaby the first half of 2003. Interestingly, Luther ran an insurance agency in Arlington, TX. He simply turned over the business to his partners and took 6-months off to serve Jesus Christ in the UK. A total of 9 adults were baptized at TBC. Luther baptized 6 of the 9.

The fifth couple to serve TBC was Charles and Dorcille Vanderslice from First Baptist Church, Mineola, TX. Charles was the founding pastor of The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson, TX. He also served on the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary. e finished his ministry career serving with the Southern Baptist Annuity Board’s pension system. Charles and Dorcille continued the work that was started by earlier American interim pastors at Thornaby. Charles recognized the difficulty that some of the elderly members were having getting out on cold winter nights for Wednesday evening Bible study and prayer meetings. He began having the same studies and prayer meetings in the manse on Wednesday mornings! Very shortly all the seating room in the manse was filled. And, the attendance at Wednesday evening services did not decline! All the interim pastors that followed the Vanderslice’s followed his pattern!

Charles and Dorcille Vanderslice

Chuck and Pat McComb returned to Thornaby for a second 6-month assignment in January 2004. A highlight of that period was a mission trip to the UK from FBC Mineola, TX. Charles and Dorcille Vanderslice felt the Holy Spirit’s leadership to come back to Thornaby with a construction team to do some much needed revisions. The team converted 2 toilets for use by disabled persons. That work was required by UK law and had to be competed by October 2004. Imagine the church’s delight when the team finished it in April. And, the team saved TBC several thousand dollars in the process!

Brenda Tucker and Pat Vickery, Mineola, TX

Expanded existing doorway

One of two finished projects

Because of Pat’s dad’s serious illness in St. Louis, the McComb’s had to leave TBC 2.5 weeks early. Pat’s dad survived the episode and we praise the Lord for that. But, we were not able to host Jim and Brenda Martin from Lake Jackson, TX for a few days as is customary for orientation. Jim and Brenda settled in very well and had a wonderful 6-month ministry at TBC. Jim and Brenda learned about AIPM from an interview on KHCB Christian Radio in Houston. They heard Bruce Munsterman at KHCB interviewing Chuck and Barbara Mazzetti from Thornaby within one or two days of Jim’s retirement from Dow Chemical Company where Jim had had a 30 plus year career as a Chemical Engineer.

Jim and Brenda Martin

The Martin’s were followed by James and Jo Still from Sulphur, LA. James had served many years as pastor of Baptist churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The Still’s served from January to June 2005 completing 4 years of AIPM at TBC. Happily, TBC was able to have a British pastor and called David Whitehall from Liverpool. Attendance at TBC approximately doubled over the 4 year period of AIPM and we are grateful to our Father in Heaven for the opportunity to serve alongside those wonderful Christian people. All 7 American couples were so well received and we made life-long friendships at Thornaby!

James and Jo Still

AIPM volunteers were tremendously blessed to baptize 9 people over the 4 years service at Thornaby Baptist Church!