Cumberland, MD: At the Intersection of History and Hope

Full Gospel SDB Church

Of the fascinating places I have recently visited, I want to highlight a new city to me:  Cumberland, MD.  Cumberland is home to nearly 20,000 residents.  It is full of history and people searching for hope.  It is also home to a Seventh Day Baptist Church – The Full Gospel SDB Church (http://www.fullgospelsdb.org/). 

History.[1]  Cumberland is where a novice, 22-year old Colonel by the name of George Washington would find refuge during the French and Indian War.  This young Colonel would go on to become a commander during this war and maintained his headquarters in Cumberland.  George Washington would of course emerge as a key leader in the American Revolution, and would ultimately return to Cumberland in 1794 for another visit, this time as President of the United States.

People Searching for Hope.  In the 10 years between 2000 and the 2010, the number of people who self-identified as having “none” religion in the Cumberland area increased by 47%.[2]  That is a daunting change to consider.  Cumberland is a place which is increasingly hungry for the gospel—for the Good News of Jesus Christ.  That is where the Full Gospel Church comes in.

Full Gospel SDB Church.  The church was organized in 2006 and became a member of the SDB General Conference in 2015.  As stated on the church website, “Under the leading of Pastors Ron and Karen Higson, Full Gospel SDB is a sabbath keeping church that believes first and foremost in salvation by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ.”  This passion to share the salvation message with their community is evident through their outreach efforts and commitment to people whom God brings their way.

Partnership.  A fascinating part of the Full Gospel Church story is that their passion for the gospel and commitment to people in search of hope goes beyond the borders of Cumberland.  The church has partnered with the Missionary Society to uniquely come alongside emerging SDB groups in South Asia.  What a great partnership to live out church revitalization and church planting side by side – growing a passion for the gospel within their own church while striving to help plant a church on the other side of the world. 

Opportunity.  This provides an opportunity for us to pray alongside the Full Gospel Church as they minister in Cumberland as well as beyond their borders.  This also raises an opportunity for us to get to know a member church of our General Conference a bit more.  While you are more than welcome to stop by in person, you can also experience a glimpse of their worship online at http://www.fullgospelsdb.org/.  Thank you to the Full Gospel SDB Church for your faithful witness!

Grace and peace,

Carl Greene, Executive Director, SDB General Conference of USA and Canada   

[1] For more information about the history of Cumberland, MD see https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/cumberland/history.htm

[2] http://www.city-data.com/city/Cumberland-Maryland.html

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