BALTIMORE (BP) -- Less than a year ago Bob Mackey spent a Saturday traveling around Houston. On that day, during Crossover 2013, the executive director of the Baltimore Baptist Association witnessed partnership in action.
He saw visiting Southern Baptists working alongside the local association, churches of Houston and hundreds of other Southern Baptists from across the nation. All were gathering together for the citywide service and outreach initiative preceding the SBC annual meeting.
Since then Mackey and his team at the Baltimore Baptist Association have been working hard to prepare for Crossover Baltimore, taking place in their home city on June 7.
"We visited a lot of different events taking place as a part of Crossover Houston," Mackey recalled. "It was exciting to see what God can do for a city through service and partnership. I left with a great sense of hope and expectation for what God will do when Crossover comes to our city this year."
The day of evangelism takes place the Saturday before the SBC and invites visiting Southern Baptists to serve alongside Baltimore churches by hosting block parties, evangelism outreaches, health clinics, sports camps and various other outreach events. Mackey and his team already have participants scheduled to serve from more than twelve states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Maryland and Delaware, as well as commitments from many sister associations.
"We are excited about the interest we've seen from other states and churches to serve with us in Baltimore this year," Mackey said. "These partners coming alongside us will help extend our reach around the city and connect our community to the local churches already at work in Baltimore."
Local pastors and church planters are gearing up for the event as well. Some are opening their churches as hosting sites for the day, putting on events and working with visiting teams to set up evangelism and outreach efforts in their neighborhoods. Others are sending teams out to serve alongside sister churches around the city. Mackey said he believes this sense of camaraderie and cooperation between the churches of Baltimore comes from a shared hope for people of the region to meet Christ.
"Our churches are excited about the unique opportunity to share Christ with our city that Crossover will bring," he said. "Baltimore is not like a lot of other places in the country. We're not in a predominantly Christian region of the country; we don’t have a church on every corner or throngs of people actively seeking out Christianity. Our hope is that, through the partnership of others in the SBC, Crossover will represent Christ to the people of Baltimore and our region and lay a greater foundation for our local churches." Read More