For immediate release August 1, 2013

Media contact:  Donna Dodson 410.409.5378


Minister Ardenia M. Holland has been appointed as Director for Outreach and Missions for Infinite Grace Fellowship by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Minister Holland began her duties August 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Minister Holland has served as an associate minister at First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Baltimore, where she has been a member from birth, since August 2008. Over the course of her membership she served on various ministries and in most recent years served as assistant ministry leader for the Ministerial Alliance, assistant to the executive director for Ministries of Excellence which provides oversight for church ministries and was co-facilitator for Baby Dedication classes.  In addition, she assisted with teaching in conjunction with prayer vigils and Bible Study.  She lives by the philosophy that it is her responsibility to use her life experiences to empower others to realize their God-given purpose and has a passion for community outreach, organizing and advocacy, especially in the areas of public health.

Min. Holland is a native of Baltimorean, and a graduate of Western High School.  She received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is the Executive Officer of her own consulting ministry, All His Glory Enterprises, and has a wealth of public health, public administration and communications experience.  Her work experience includes eight years with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and serving as Executive Director for the Heart & Soul Foundation.  In 2011 she coordinated the Heart & Soul Magazine Awards Weekend in Baltimore, MD, honoring 13 extraordinary women and men who advance healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyles. She has worked in a consult capacity with the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference of the United Methodist Church and coordinated Metropolitan United Methodist Church’s Full & Fit Community Outreach event in 2012.  One of her most memorable life moments is appearing as a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune in 1988.

Minister Holland is single and the mother of Aaron Holland and his wife Aerica.  She is blessed to still have the presence of her mother, Flora Holland, in her life and has four siblings.  Aware of God’s grace and mercy upon her life, she self-published her first book “Just Like Fire…God Said Testify” and believes God is capable of using our testimony to make us stronger as well as to spread the message of His saving, redeeming, and delivering power.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

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Sundays have typically been the day of rest. Truthfully, most Christians today no longer take the day to give back to God. It’s about time we reclaimed this sacred day, not just for God, but in the spirit of Jesus’ teachings – to love unconditionally and spend time with those who are impoverished.  

Sunday is the perfect day to do a churchwide mission day at least once or twice a year for a few reasons:

1. People who attend church are already available.
2. It sets the tone for “church” to take place outside the church walls.
3. It provides connectedness with the entire church community in a way that could never be as widespread as Sunday morning.

How do we make this transition, you ask? It’s really quite simple once you realize your church probably already has the infrastructure to pull off a mission Sunday. You can harness some of the already existing groups (UMM, UMW, youth, Sunday School, small groups, mission team, church council, etc.) to each find a local mission project that church members can attend. Make sure to be specific about how many people you think might participate in each project, timing, directions, and choosing a team leader. Or this might be a time for anyone passionate about mission to shine. Either way, it’s helpful to have a team of people, each coordinating the details for the different projects.

Some other things to keep in mind:

1. Have a signup sheet for each project; two or three Sundays prior will help you predict your numbers.
2. Make sure to accommodate additional church members who will show up without signing up. Have projects that can take additional people or come up with additional projects that can have unlimited numbers.
3. Have a variety of projects for different ages, physical capabilities and interests.
4. Consider a gathering time before going out to serve. This could include a few upbeat songs and a prayer as well as a time for offering. The “sermon” will be your service to God.
5. Following the mission activities, it could be a great time for a church potluck, with some sharing time about the projects.
6. Set up for easy traffic flow at church. Make sure to have a meeting space for each of the projects before touching base for instructions and to carpool, and make sure to have details for those who haven’t signed up. This could be a bunch of tables in the fellowship hall with signs and descriptions as well as a handout at the door with all the projects. The short worship time before serving could take place in the same space.
7. Consider how your church can uniquely serve and Change the World in a meaningful way. Make this project your own.

Kate Thomas is senior productions coordinator for ACDI-VOCA and former graphic designer for the Baltimore Washington Conference

Morning comes early down here, even if it is an hour later than home.  We were up at 6:30 AM and enjoyed a great pancake and egg breakfast made by Ron.  (He brings his own homemade pancake mix.)  By 7:30 we had reported in to Sheila the coordinator, and had started to scavenge the warehouse for items for the day.  We found a spline tool, some spline, electrical boxes, outlets, 2 by 4’s, drill bits, paint, paint brushes, short scaffolding for starters.  We still forgot to look at the floor tiles (3rd time in a row).  We got on the road for the 20 minute drive to the work site.  Ron’s truck went straight to the work site, but Eddie’s truck stopped at Lowes.  We did get Eddie out in a reasonable amount of time with more supplies to add to the bathroom floor/deck project.  Eddie and Frank got to work on their bathroom addition project and have the base for the deck floor complete.  Tomorrow they will add the decking.  Ron got to read about the wiring and then went to work pulling wires for lights, switches, fire alarms, etc.   Marian went to work on the screen and finished 3 window screens and then ran out of screen frames.  Dave and Larry spent the day framing the ceiling for drywall and breaking drill bits trying to put up furring strips for drywall in the front room.  Sarah painted the walls in the center room to see if the paint and the walls were compatible.  They are, really nice.  Sarah also got to cut wood on the big table saw.  This is her new favorite toy.  

            Larry had trouble today keeping up with his pencils,   At the end of the day he had finally found one to call his own. If only he could remember that he put it behind his ear.

            Dave finally has the ants out of his computer.  Seems the first night he slept in a bed that had ants.  Monday he put his computer under his pillow to keep it out of site, Monday night when the computer came out from under the pillow it kept having ants come out on the table.  It took us awhile to figure out the whole story, but the end result he changed beds and does not have ants or aunts anymore. 

            Sarah is having way too much fun with the tools so everytime they need something from Lowes they send her.  She says it is because she has the credit card, we do not believe her.

            Eddie and Frank are just too gung ho on their project.  They played in the mud to get to the base of the plumbing, before putting their deck base up. 

            Ron managed to get so dirty that it took two shots at getting his elbows clean after the shower.  He was on the floor and ceiling all day with the wiring.

            Marian got high marks on her lunch for a second day, now they have nothing to look forward to tomorrow, she only knows how to make 2 lunches. 

            We are all really tired and exhilarated from completing more on the home today.  We didn’t get as far as we thought we would, but we are really excited that we got as far as we did.  We are on to drywall tomorrow and have a big truck to deliver it instead of us making lots of trips.  Glad for your prayers and love.   Marian
We finally go the internet access working so we uploaded the pictures to Dave’s online album. Check it out below:

  You are invited to view dave’s photo album: Katrina Relief Mission

Katrina Relief Mission D’Iberville, MS – Sep 22, 2009
by dave Biloxi Katrina cleanup mission in View Album
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Welcome all to Day one of the Biloxi Katrina Relief Mission.  Today was a day of making new friends, developing our teamwork skills, and despite overwhelmingly oppressive heat and humidity… dirty dusty demolition.  Upon arrival, the team assessed the home and quickly got to work on the jobs that were most needed.  Dave, Larry, Marian, Ron and Sarah put their muscles straight to work tearing up a good part of the back third of the floor.  Frank and Eddie set out tearing down the bathroom.  By noon, the first team had the entire floor out and was already setting replacement floor joists.  While Dave and Larry went for supplies, the rest of the team enjoyed lunch.  It was the best Bologna and cheese we’d ever had.  Frank and Eddie had hoped that much of the bathroom could be saved, but in the end, once they added Pastor Sarah to the bathroom demolition team, all that remained was the roof.  She went crazy once we put a saws-all in her hand. The homeowner, Shantdtea (pronounced Chant’a), also lent an enthusiastic hand and made a substantial collection of refuse.  By the end of the day, we had attracted a bit of attention and some of the locals also lent a hand. In particular Shandtea’s nephew, Denzel, came home from school and pitched right in helping Dave and Larry nail down the floor.

We’re getting ready to sit down to a well deserved meal, cooked by the loving hands of Sarah, Marian and Frank.  In reflection, it was a good day and I think I speak for the entire team when I say we’ll all sleep well tonight. The showers never felt better. We are all extremely grateful that Ron decided NOT to follow through on his threat to not shower for the week.

We are now making our plan of attack for tomorrow: Which looks like finishing the floor, wiring in lights and outlets, painting, starting some drywall, and starting to put the bathroom back together.  

Please keep us and everyone here in the Gulf area who is still suffering from Katrina in your prayers. 


Taylorsville UMC

We have arrived here in D’Iberville by various means. Ron left Friday morning and drove to Charlotte, NC where he got to experience Frank’s hospitality. Then he got up Saturday and drove to Mobile, Alabama so that he could pick up Sarah, Marian and Larry Sunday morning at the Gulfport airport in Biloxi. They arrived after a flight that took them through Memphis. Dave and Eddie meanwhile left early Saturday morning headed to Charlotte and stayed Saturday night with Frank. Frank cooks a delicious Salmon dinner on the grill, so if you ever happen to be in NC. be sure to stop in. He has a whole freezer full that came from Alaska. Sunday the three of them drove from Charlotte to D’Iberville arriving just before 6 PM. While they were driving the others all went over to the house to survey the situation and see what we would be doing. The house was in much worse condition than we had envisioned it. We have our work cut out for us. While we were unloading at the bunkhouse behind the church some of the members came over and told us they were having a church supper and revival that evening. We enjoyed a tasty dinner of cajun homecooking followed by a rousing revival service. Turns out they are going to be doing this tonight, tomorrow night and the next. So it looks like at least part of the dinner planning and grocery shopping we did this afternoon is now out the window. But I think we will happily trade our own cooking for a church potluck.

Thanks for your prayers.

We look forward to what is in store tomorrow.

(Dave) for Your Biloxi Mission Team

Taylorsville UMC

Sheila Fowler is 43. She has short brown hair, a soft, girlish voice and three grandchildren. What she does not have is teeth, or a way to pay for dentures. But Fowler is stoic; she jokes that she’s got tough gums, adding that she can even eat pretzels if she sucks on them for a bit.

Fowler has made the hourlong journey from her home in Cleveland, Va., to the small town of Wise to take advantage of a huge annual medical and dental expedition set up by Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit organization that provides basic medical and dental care to people in the world’s most inaccessible regions. This year, more than 1,800 volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and assistants descended on the small town near the Kentucky border, setting up enormous field-hospital-style tents in which they saw roughly 2,500 patients over the course of two and a half days in late July. The Wise operation is coordinated locally by a team of nurses with the Health Wagon, a tiny health-care outreach program.

By the end of the weekend, the medical team, had extracted 3,857 painfully decayed teeth, administered 156 mammograms, screened hundreds of people for diabetes and heart disease, and given out 1,003 pairs of eyeglasses. About 30 people, chosen by lottery, were fitted for free dentures. Hundreds of people were turned away by volunteers who headed off cars at the main intersection when the clinic reached capacity.


I really like this once a year free clinic but I am sure that as disciples of Christ we can do better.  We spend hundreds of dollars and lots of time on mission trips overseas and in South America.  I am not suggesting that we stop these trips but I would like to challenge the church to spend some quality time here at home. Jesus introduced himeself to many of the first century communities through healing someone. What an awesome way to introduce Christ to the marginalized and poor in every state of the Union. In every state there is at least one community where a free clinic is needed. In every state there are at least 50 churches that can collaboratively provide a free clinic. The poorest of the poor, those limited by transportation and cultural isolated populations can experience a benefit. 

We are called to follow the lead of Jesus

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
      to preach good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
      and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
    19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Universal healthcare would be nice but with or without universal healthcare the church can do better at meeting the healthcare needs of the poor here in the United States.  As disciples we have a responsibility to find a way to bring healing to all of God’s people.