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The New Kid on the Block

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(Actually, itís more like the old man on the block)

Okay, so you are wondering, why do we need another church in Emmitsburg, right? I remember asking that same question over 20 years ago when a new church was starting south of Westminster. I mean there are over 150 churches in Carroll County, Md. where I grew up and have lived most of my life. So, I thought I would ask that question. I invited one of the two young seminary graduate pastors to lunch and I asked him, "So, why another church in Carroll County?" The answer amazed me, and has been confirmed several times since in these last 20 years. He said that at that time, less than 25% of all Carroll Countians attended any kind of religious service during the week. 75% of all the people in Carroll County donít go to any kind of church. Thatís 3 out every 4 that stay home every week, or cut their grass, sleep in, play golf, or go to Wal-Mart.

Just a couple of years ago, the Southern Baptist Convention, published those exact numbers stating that less than 25% of all people in the Baltimore- Washington area attended any kind of religious service during the week. Over the last few years an alarming articles have appeared in the press stating that church attendance in America is on the decline. Ten years ago, only about 30% of all Americans attended church and that includes the conservative Bible belt south.

So, letís return to the original question, "Why plant a church in Emmitsburg?" If these statistics are true there are nearly 3000 un-churched people in Emmitsburg and many more in the counties surrounding this historic community. The goal of Emmitsburg Community Bible Church is not to seek people from other churches but to reach out to the un-churched and invite them to know the Lord of the Church Ė Jesus Christ.

Emmitsburg Community Bible Church is based on three great Commands as given by Jesus. The first is what Jesus calls the greatest of all commands. It was first given by Moses (from God) and cited by Jesus as one of two commands on which the entire Bible is based. "You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, (Matt. 22:37; Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and great commandment." In the same context (Matt. 22:39-40) our Lord says that the second greatest commandment is very similar and He quotes from Leviticus 19:18, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On the night that He was betrayed, He gave that commandment with a fresh twist when He stated in John 13:34-35, "A New commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The third great commandment is what we preachers refer to as the great commission. The church has been instructed to take the gospel into all the world beginning in our home town, then our counties, then our state, and then to the world (Cp. Matt. 29:19-20 with Acts 1:8). Three commands; Love God, Love Each Other, and Love the World that Jesus came to die for to redeem.

Emmitsburg Community Bible Church wants to be a simple church and keep our focus on these three things; in order to that, we intent to focus on just 3 things. The first is the trying to have the best worship service that we are able. We want to do a Ďblended,í style of service on Sundayís; that is, mixing the traditional with the contemporary music. We want to provide an atmosphere for people to pray and to hear God. I am Bible teacher so all of our sermons will either be expository (verse by verse through a Bible book), or systematic (a doctrinal or practical study of a Bible theme, like what the Bible says about death and dying, Heaven, Hell, Marriage, etc.).

The second ministry that ECBC will focus on is, loving one another. To do this we are asking everyone to be part of a small group (8-12 people) that will meet weekly in homes. This will be so we can learn together, as we get to know each other and so we can meet the needs that may be exist in the group. The very first church meet in homes (Acts 2:46) and shared life together. We have learned that while we can worship well together in a large setting we canít really get to know each other in that environment.

The third area of ministry will be reaching out to the community and the world in tangible ways such as short term mission trips, helping in what ever way we can with Emmitsburg food bank, giving to local ministries and looking for opportunities to tell people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Simple church, based on Three Commands of Jesus to try to reach some of the 75-80% of the un-churched population of northern Frederick, western Carroll, and southern parts of Adams counties.

Oh, and let me introduce myself. I am Gary Buchman, a Carroll County farmerís son, husband of Debbie (who first introduced me to Jesus), father of five, grandfather of eleven, and great-grandfather of one. I am a Christian pastor who happens to worship as a Southern Baptist. I love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, deer hunting and reading good books. I served 3 years in the Army, before attending Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary and have been in ministry for 30 years.

If you just happen to be one of those who donít attend church regularly, why not stop over to the Emmitsburg Elementary School on a Sunday Morning around 10:00 or go to our web site and see our sermons, ministries and daily blogs at www.EmmitsburgCommunityBibleChurch.com and check us out. You can also call us at 301-447- 6565. I would love to introduce you to a friend of mine. We look forward to meeting you.

Pastor Gary Buchman

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman