DISTRICT: Western Maryland
LOCATION: 5011 Accident-Bittinger Road, Accident, MD 21520
DATE OF FOUNDING: 1899
AVERAGE SUNDAY WORSHIP ATTENDANCE: 72
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE: Sunday School – 9:30 a.m. Worship Service – 10:30 a.m.
PASTORS: Jonathan Martin (left), and Kevin Dodge
Glade Mennonite Church began as a mission outreach in 1899. Initially the group included people from Church of the Brethren, Lutheran, Methodist and Conservative Mennonite Churches. Glade built its first building and was officially recognized as a congregation in 1908. Today we are a diverse group of imperfect followers of Jesus Christ, seeking to understand and obey the call to love and serve Jesus and others.
About 17 years ago, we began using the Firstfruits Budget, with members of the congregation pledging what they will give from their firstfruits. From these pledges, at least 10% are designated for missions both within and outside the church, and the remaining amount is used for fixed expenses. A percentage is then added to the Firstfruits amount, ranging from 17–25%, which is called the Abundance Budget. These funds allow us to add budget items or increase amounts of existing budget items. At the end of the fiscal year, after leaving a cushion to start the next year, any remaining funds are put into the Outrageous Budget. This budget is then used to purchase things for the church that would be considered “outrageous” under normal circumstances. Over the years, the tithe portion of this budget has increased to 50% and we have been able to bless many ministries. In addition, we have been able to purchase things for the church we would never have imagined such as a property near the church with a building that has been converted to a gym. Through this budget process, God has blessed us abundantly!
For example in 2016, the congregation learned of a person in the community who sometimes walked five or six miles to get to his job. As leadership processed this information, it was decided to purchase a car, make some repairs to it, get it inspected, fill the gas tank, and give it to him. The man was overwhelmed and appreciative of the gift. He has since believed in Jesus as his Savior and begun attending church services. While the car did not bring him to Christ, it was a part of his being drawn to God.
We recently moved from a single, paid-pastor model to a pastoral team model. Both of our pastors have other jobs and give of their time to the church as they are able. We also created a Leadership Team with elders, deaconesses, pastors, and a secretary. This team senses the Spirit wanting them to encourage the congregation to participate more fully in God’s mission.
The community outreach at Glade includes many ministries. Vacation Bible School draws many children from the community each year. Twice a week volleyball in our gym attracts many community members. The playground at the church is open to the public and used by many from the neighborhood. We collect items for the local food pantry and provide for relief needs in the surrounding area, such as the recent flooding in West Virginia. Sometimes groceries are provided or electric bills paid when we learn of financial difficulty. Recently we helped a single mother purchase a car. As church members work and live in the community, they regularly encounter and meet needs.