In Akron, Ohio, Brown Street Baptist Church is a small congregation that is slowly being revived. In the midst of the church’s endeavor to grow and share Christ with its community, Pastor Ken Lowe is reminding the congregation not to neglect the ministry they can have with churches around the world.
He invited Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries, to speak on Sunday, July 27. The church enthusiastically welcomed Chris and his wife, Deb, and showed interest in the association’s international ministries. One man said, “We knew about the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism and Baptist Mid-Missions, but we did not know the GARBC had ministry internationally.”
Ken Lowe was installed as pastor of Brown Street Baptist Church on July 14, 2013, after serving as a missionary with ABWE at Ramada Baptist Church in Lisbon, Portugal. He stepped into the Akron ministry with the congregational charge, “Don’t let us die. Help us change to be effective in reaching unchurched people for Christ.”
In his effort to rescue the church, Lowe preached a fitting message in November 2013 called “The Unchanging Word in a Changing World” in which he answered the question, “How do we know what is allowed to change in a local church and what is not allowed?” His goal was to help the congregation “understand how and why some things change and why some things should not change.”
Brown Street Baptist Church will hold its last service in its present location on Sunday, Aug. 3. On Aug. 9 all the contents of the building will be moved to a new building, and a Launch Day service will be held Sept. 7, introducing the church and its new facility as Hope Baptist Church, a name the members chose on June 15.
While the new church facility needs a lot of work, the pastor and congregation are optimistic about what God will do as they focus on reaching their community for Christ. In recent months 30 people have trusted Christ as their Savior and new members have been added. Those members came from two small sister churches that recently closed. When they joined the church, they also turned over their old churches’ assets to Brown Street.
Chris spoke during the Sunday School hour and worship service. He presented Gospel Literature Services during Sunday School, then in the worship service he preached for about 15 minutes and took the remaining 15 minutes to highlight the International Partnership. Many people raised their hands to indicate their willingness to pray for an opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with a friend or loved one.