BUSHKILL, Pa.—Mountain Stream Baptist Church is celebrating five years of God’s faithfulness. On Oct. 6 the congregation culminated a weekend of events with a worship service that Pastor James Richards calls “joyous.” About 130 people packed the auditorium to almost full capacity to rejoice over their journey and reaffirm their commitment to pursue God’s will for them in the community where He has planted them.
Mountain Stream Baptist Church is a church plant of Project Jerusalem, the church-planting program of Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pa. “The program has become a unique partnership between the seminary, many of its students, and the local churches who sponsor the church plants,” notes the Baptist Bulletin article “Project Jerusalem: Church Planting Partnerships in Pennsylvania.”
On Oct. 6, the worship team guided the congregation in heartfelt praise of God, and the choir sang “Every Praise.” Pastor Richards says, “The message of that song was the cry of our hearts as we reminisced over the many blessings God has poured on us in the five brief years.”
Pastor Richards describes some of those blessings: “Small groups and ministry projects have helped to deepen relationships and cement people together. Regular outreach activities such as the yearly Community Family Fun Day and the church’s presence at community activities have made the church a recognizable and trusted name in the community. God has saved and restored many lives. People have advanced in their walk with the Lord. Dozens have been baptized. Dozens have recommitted themselves to Christ. And we continue to pray for dozens more to take those steps.”
Another blessing is that the church meets in a permanent facility. As Mountain Stream Baptist Church grew, space started getting tighter in the elementary school they were utilizing. So in 2011 the church moved into a former sports bar.
“The conversion of this building into a place of worship is an object lesson of how God can transform any life for His purposes,” says Pastor Richards. “The new space allows us to offer better children’s ministries and Christian education training. We can’t wait to see how God will use these facilities to enhance our ministry opportunities.
“For the future, we remain passionate about reaching and serving our community for Christ. We long to grow—numerically, yes—but more so spiritually. We want to grow and change as individuals so that we will be wonderful examples of Christ to our community. We want to be Christ’s hands and feet to our needy world.
“We truly want to continue to be ‘a place to belong [and] a place to become’ (like Christ) as our motto says.”