Walkersville United Methodist Church
Saturday, December 16, 2017
   

Pastor: Richard Baker
Office Phone: 301-845-9860
Cell Phone: 443-375-9556
E-mail:
pastor@walkersvilleumc.org
 
 
     I have resisted writing many letters for the Saddlebag, because I wanted to take the time to hear your faith stories, and they have been good ones. In my time here, I have watched several of our folks deal with cancer, the loss of loved ones, and even making the difficult decision to put someone they love in a nursing facility. I have watched you organize driving relays to get members to the hospital. I have watched our young members collect gifts cards for families going through difficult times. People have been in tears telling me about receiving a prayer shawl.
 

      I believe the church is a place where we can bring anything that is happening in our lives and have the fair expectation that our friends and families will help us work through whatever is happening in our lives. I also believe the church is a place where we ought to be able to be who we are, warts and all, and find acceptance. I have said it several times, “the church is not a country club for saints, it is a hospital for sinners.” We come here hoping to get better. We come here hoping someone cares.

 

      I am a late in life Christian. I came back to the church at age thirty-eight. I owned a construction business. I was use to dealing with a pretty tough bunch, and I still remember my first Sunday, sitting there looking at people with the most authentic smiles I had ever seen. They welcomed me in. They were kind to me with my thousands of questions. They invited me to get involved and use the talents God had shared with me. They prayed for me when I had problems. They made me feel like a real human being, someone God had created and loved. The church made me want to belong.

 

    I believe in all my heart that God can fix anything we bring to him, and the church is where it starts. But for the church to do that, it must be authentic. It must be willing to risk it all to go out and reclaim those lost sheep. Too many of our friends and family don’t believe that anymore. They see an organization more intent on saving itself, rather than saving lives. I believe that we at Walkersville UMC are different. I see a true outpouring of the heart for those who need help. What we need to work on is how we take what we experience as a part of this faith community and share it with the world around us. I believe we can. I believe we already possess all the gifts and talents to make it happen. In my short time here, I believe that God has blessed us. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Let us say to God and the community around us, “Here I Am Lord. Use me as you will to make your will done.” God will bless that prayer and continue to bless us as we move forward.
Thank you for all you have done. Thank you for welcoming my family into your church. Thank you for your love.
 
 
Rev. Richard Baker has been a pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference since 1999. He attended Wesley Seminary Course of Study and has served the Mount Pleasant Cooperative Parish for the past thirteen years. Prior to responding to God’s call, Rev. Baker owned a construction company for over twenty-five years. During that time, he gave preferential hiring to those in recovery ministries. Caring for the least and the lost has been an integral part of his ministry. He brings a passion for serving God’s people through missions and has led numerous VIM teams during his pastorate. He has led his congregations to committing almost fifteen percent of their offerings to mission projects, and leads a monthly mission project in the community. He believes in empowering the local community to use their God-given abilities to serve God’s people. He currently serves as a Conference Trustee, chairs the District Buildings and Locations Committee, and serves on the District Committee for Ordained Ministry.

Founded in 1805 as a Wesleyan fellowship group, Walkersville UMC has a rich history that has evolved into an active congregation with a blend of traditional and contemporary worship services. It has an active music program including a bell choir, and children, adult and contemporary music groups. WUMC is involved in the community through outreach programs including a vibrant preschool program with a fully certified staff, multiple vacation Bible School sessions throughout the summer months and middle and high school ministry programs. With active small group ministries and a new commitment to evangelism, WUMC is developing into a vital congregation. WUMC is experiencing an increase in attendance and participation in ministry and will be holding a new members class that will include eight to ten new members joining our congregation. After a very difficult year the church is renewed and enthusiastic, with a commitment to 100 percent payment of apportionments.

In the Event of an Emergency, Please Contact:
Pastor Richard Baker 

@ 443-375-9556