Director of Christian Education
Eric Keitt – Director
Maryann Smith – Assist. Director
Board Executive Officers
Crayle Green, Treasurer
Ebonik Gibson, Secretary
Church School Ministry
Claudia Maxie, Superintendent
Terrane Polnitz, Assist. Superintendent.
Ava Reid, Assist. Superintendent.
Christian Education Department
Contemporary Baptist Studies—Trustee Todd Whitmore and Rev Helen Thomas, Ministry Leaders
Formerly known as the Baptist Training Union, this ministry’s focus is on discipleship training. Contemporary Baptist Studies (CBS) is a church-sponsored Christian educational program that is designed to increase Christian faith and Biblical understanding of the Scriptures through a variety of methods. The purpose of the study of Scriptures, the faith document, as well as anything that pertains to our Baptist faith is to empower church members to be confident in what they believe and be competent to share it with others. The goals of the CBS include: helping new Christians find their place in the church, promoting spiritual development, developing talents and skills, improving Christian social life, educating persons in the Baptist heritage/doctrine, and cultivating the Baptist spirit.
Pioneer Children’s Ministry—Deaconess Delores Preston, Ministry Leader
Children’s Ministry is structured through the Pioneer Clubs, a Christian Education program designed to help children put Christ in every phase of life, to form healthy relationships, and develop positive feelings about themselves. The Pioneer Clubs meet on Wednesday evening from 6:45-8:00 pm. The children are divided into four age groups, led by coordinators and trained leaders: Scooters (Kindergarten), Voyagers (Grades 1 and 2), Pathfinders (Grades 3 and 4), and Trailblazers (Grades 5 and 6).
Vacation Bible School—Deacon and Deaconess Ed Reuben, Ministry Leaders
Vacation Bible School is a weekday program of Bible Study and related activities for all ages, including adults, held one week (Monday-Friday) during the summer of each year, usually the second week of July. The curriculum is determined each year, based on what is being offered by the various publishing houses. The daily schedule is from 8:00 am-12:30 pm and includes instruction, crafts, Bible Bowl, and music. Refreshments are also served to each student, and a Friday evening closing program takes place.
The 2015 theme is “Bible Blast from the Past.”
Library Ministry—Joanne Gunter and Joyce Wesley, Ministry Leaders
The goal of the Library Ministry is to maintain a church library, which will serve as a resource center for the entire Christian Education program of the church. Included in the library are books, periodicals, videocassettes, filmstrips, and film-clips, many of which the church membership can borrow for private use after completing a “Borrower’s Application Card.” The borrowing period is one week, and an individual can only borrow one item at a time. The Library is in the process of converting the card catalog to an electronic catalog. In addition to the regular operating hours on Sunday, the Library is open various hours Monday-Thursday and Sunday. The library sponsors a children’s reading hour, as well as an adult book club that meets in the Library on the second Monday from 7:00-8:00 pm.
Leader Development—Deaconess Marian DeCosta, Ministry Leader
Leader Development is the operational arm of the Board of Christian Education that provides Christian Education staff with some of the needed resources to participate in training opportunities. The Board of Education defines a percentage that the Board will provide to each participant. Some of the outside training opportunities include the Workers Conference, sponsored by the Congress of Christian Education of the General Baptist Convention of New Jersey, the annual Congress classes, sponsored by the Congress of Christian Education of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., the December Conference of Christian Educators, sponsored by the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., the Christian Leadership School, sponsored by the Bethany Baptist Association of Southern New Jersey, the Bethany Congress annual session.
In March 2015, the Christian Education Department presented its first Christian Education Conference. The goal of the conference was to provide church members with concentrated education about various ministries in the church. The keynote preacher for this first conference was Dr. Winfred J. Hope, Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer West Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia, and former State Dean of the Georgia Baptist State Convention. This event, which was held, the Friday and Saturday before Booker T. Washington Day was well attended, and plans are in place for the 2016 Conference, March 2016.
Married Couples Ministry—Dennis and Lisa Tunstall, Ministry Leaders
The purpose of the Married Couples Ministry is to provide married couples guidance through the Word of God through the Word of God. The ministry offers monthly Bible Study sessions geared towards strengthening and maintaining the marriage relationship. The ministry also provides married couples with fellowship opportunity, as well as other resources, such as literature, seminars, conferences, and listings of professional Christian counseling services. One recent activity was a Valentine’s Dinner for married couples in the church