Messengers from churches in the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches took part in a virtual business meeting on June 29 at the 2020 GARBC Conference, which was held online. The messengers voted four churches into the fellowship: Damascus Road Community Baptist Church, Cockeysville, Maryland; Prior Lake (Minnesota) Baptist Church; Victory Baptist Church, Albion, New York; and a mission church, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Omaha, Nebraska.
Damascus Road Community Baptist Church
Damascus Road Community Baptist Church in Cockeysville, Maryland, is an independent Baptist church plant that began in 2018. It is under the leadership of founding pastor Tony Lawson, who resigned his previous pastorate to start a church that “will follow the Bible and Bible alone.” This fidelity to the Bible is why the church voted to fellowship with the GARBC. Pastor Lawson says, “We all agreed that we want to start this ministry on the right path and be a part of a fellowship that will stay in the Word of God and not bow down to the world. Well, we found that in the GARBC.”
The church is “a culturally diverse group of people who have come together as one to worship, to praise, and to serve the Lord,” the church says. “The Good News of the Gospel of Christ is being proclaimed at Damascus Road and will continue to be proclaimed until He calls us home. We seek both to evangelize the lost and to edify all believers with every aspect of our ministry.” Damascus Road Community Baptist Church is home to Damascus Road Bible Institute, a radio show that airs around the world, and a nonprofit that feeds over 3,000 people every year. Visit the church’s Facebook page to see photos of the congregation and their food ministry.
Prior Lake Baptist Church
Prior Lake (Minnesota) Baptist Church is a “a group of ordinary people following an extraordinary God,” says their website. The church is led by Pastor Sam Choi. He is assisted by four associate pastors: Stephen Choi (administration and youth ministries), Andy Rogers (administration of Prior Lake Christian Academy), Tim Hill (children’s ministries and communications), and Greg Gosnell (music ministry).
In addition to traditional Sunday and Wednesday services, the church holds Community Nights on the first, third, and fifth Sundays. The leadership encourages members “to pray about who to connect with, and to take initiative to gather diverse groups in their homes for intentional fellowship.” These nights provide times of building friendships, discipleship, and Bible study.
Children’s ministry is also innovative, with children watching a portion of the sermon on a live-stream feed during children’s church, then discussing what they’ve heard. “This fosters cohesiveness in the family unit by hearing the same message and trains the children to listen with care and intention,” the church explains.
Many members were familiar with the GARBC, so the church decided to pursue fellowship with other churches with the same passion for God’s Word and making disciples.
Victory Baptist Church
Victory Baptist Church in Albion, New York, is welcoming a new pastor and family: Brandon Carmichael and his wife, Emily. Brandon and Emily were already known to the congregation, who have been supporting them in their work as missionaries to Brazil. Although Brandon has accepted the church’s call, due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has not yet begun his full-time ministry in Albion.
Victory Baptist Church was already familiar with the GARBC and Regular Baptist Press—having used RBP Sunday School curriculum from the church’s inception in 1991. Today it sees value in officially fellowshipping with the GARBC. The church’s members desire to “witness of [Jesus Christ] to those who have never met or understood Him,” while living in a manner that pleases the Lord and helps them care for one another Biblically and graciously, says the church website. Now as a fellowshipping GARBC church, Victory Baptist Church hopes to “utilize additional help” for reaching these goals and “addressing church health and growth,” says charter member Mike List.