By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO

The United Baptist Missionary Convention and Auxiliaries of the State of Maryland (UBMC), is gearing up for its annual statewide institute, March 4-8.  This year’s theme is “Rebuilding Community, Advancing the Kingdom.”  Classes and services will be held at Friendship Baptist Church in the morning and Western High School in the evening.

2019 marks the 77th year that this institute has been in existence.  For this expanse of time, the vision has always been clear.  Dr. Gregory Maddox, pastor of Faith Baptist Church and Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Director of the State-Wide Institute shares the vision of this great event.  “The vision for the UBMC State-Wide Institute is to teach and train workers in the work of the Church home and community,” said Dr. Gregory Maddox, Pastor of Faith Baptist Church. “Our innovative and impactful institutes are designed to prepare people with new knowledge and sharpened skills for the Christian journey,” added Maddox, who is also chairman of the Board of Trustees and director of the statewide institute.  “We are excited to offer accredited courses, workshops, seminars, and life application courses for all ages.  Our vision extends to serve the entire family, because it is a family affair.  We envision that students will leave empowered through teaching, training, worshipping and fellowshipping to be better equipped to make a positive difference in their personal lives, their homes, their churches and their communities.”

People of all ages are encouraged to attend. Maddox, who has been a member of UBMC for over 23 years, stressed the institute is open to all.  “We are looking for children, youth, young adults, adults, pastors, ministers, lay persons, ministry leaders,” Maddox said.  He added they are looking for those in the, “northeast region states and beyond, who have a desire to study the Word of God so they might be better equipped to meet the challenges of  home, church, work  and community,” Maddox added.

Although the UBMC statewide institute is in its 77th year, it still holds relevance for today’s attendees.  “As our institute intentionally strives to bring participants to become strong and committed, to make disciples, build character, form relationships and enhance spiritual growth, participants will be enabled to use the lessons and skills learned in their everyday lives to provide  a positive impact in homes and communities.” said Maddox.  Every year the UBMC statewide convention offers a dynamic line up of speakers.  This year isn’t any different.  Some of the key speakers include Pastor Robert Anderson, Elder Kelly R. Alexander, Rev. Sandra Coger, Pastor Craig Harcum, Pastor Jimmy Baldwin, and many more.

The statewide institute isn’t the only thing Maddox and his team are planning for this year.  “June 17-21, 2019, Baltimore will host the National Congress of Christian Education’s 114th Annual Session. In preparation of the event our local host committee is diligently making preparations for more than 25,000 delegates of all ages, who will have the choices of selecting from over 300 classes designed to equip, inform and educate,” Maddox said. “Our local convention president, Dr. Cleveland T. A. Mason, 2nd is the chairman of the host committee and I am serving as the Co-Chairman of the committee,” Maddox added.

There is still time to register for the institute.  Go to www.ubmcofmd.org for more information on classes and to register, or call (410) 523-2950.