Joe & Katie Delp have planted Open Door Baptist Church in Northeast Philadelphia, PA. Their first service was October 14, 2018 with an attendance of 88 people and one saved!
Church Planting in the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Mayfair
Pastor Hamilton and New Life Baptist Church,
Our family hopes that you all are doing well and having a blessed summer. Thank you for supporting us prayerfully and financially. This newsletter covers the months of April and May and may it encourage you, as we are encouraged in the Lord.
The month of March ended on a marvelous note, visiting one of our Missionaries we support. It was a quick two-day Missions Trip in Dayton, OH with Pastor Pete Davidson leading up to their Grand Opening of Dayton Baptist Church. Before we flew back to Philly, we were able witness Pastor Pete lead a man to Christ there in Dayton!
At the beginning of April it was an encouraging time to have my Pastor (Pastor Nathan Deatrick), from our sending church, spend two days with us in Philadelphia. Our folks at ODBC enjoyed getting to know him on that first Sunday of April. That same Sunday we were visited with the Singles Class from Valley Forge Baptist (one of our supporting churches), which was a special time.
Our family has prayed and it has been on our church prayer list that God would allow us to reach all of our neighbors for Christ. Living in the rowhomes of Philly comes with the reality that you have a lot more than one or two neighbors. Our front "porch" is shared with Jennifer and her family, who are obviously the neighbors nearest us. Jennifer is a single-Mom of 4 kids. Sunday, April 7th was a huge answer to pray for Jennifer to allow us to bring her 3 youngest children with us to church! After church, Roger, Jala and Jenalee said, "Can we come to church everyday?!" What a joy these words were to our soul! Praise God that Jennifer allows Katie to bring them every Sunday morning since then.
Bensalem Baptist Church (Bensalem, PA) brought 15 teens on Wednesday, April 11th to help us distribute our Easter Resurrection Sunday invites that afternoon. In one hour the teens distributed 800 invitations! We appreciate their support.
Our Easter Resurrection Sunday was in conjunction with our 1st annual Spring Revival at our church for April 21-24 with Dr. Ron Comfort. I've seen a number of Evangelist's Itinerary's. It did something mighty sweet in my soul to see our church name and city on one of those Itinerary's!
On Resurrection Sunday and day 1 of our Revival, God tremendously used Dr. Comfort's Gospel preaching to stir in the hearts of unsaved people in attendance. During the invitation, 6 people came forward to place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation! 4 of the 6 individuals who came to Christ were originally practicing Catholics who are now born-again! Each of the 6 individuals who came to Christ were specific answers to prayer. To God be the glory! Jesus saves!
We had a 2nd service downstairs on Sunday where Dr. Comfort preached on the surrendered life from the book of Daniel. 6 total people during that invitation surrendered to the will of God for their life.
Each of the evening services on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were some absolutely precious services in the life of our young church. We sensed the presence of God as He spoke to us through His messenger in the strong, Bible preaching of Dr. Comfort. We are encouraged by the wonderful attendance, uplifting singing, spirit of unity, the work of God and numerous decisions that were made during the meeting. We saw one more specific answer to prayer on the final night of the Revival when God saved a young man named Brian. This was a week we'll never forget.
Each of the 7 people who got saved during Revival were all back in church the following Sunday. It wasn't a "1, 2, 3 pray with me, ritual". We rejoice with the angels in Heaven!
Here's a testimony about one of the ladies, named Dora, who got saved on that Sunday. She came to church through a divine appointment:
Just a couple days before Easter Resurrection Sunday I went to support one of our young neighbors, Kenny, at his Little League baseball game. When I arrived at the ballpark, there was nobody there. While I sat there for a moment I received a text from my wife stating she has a headache and asked if I could pick her up an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts on my way home after the Little League game. Eventually I received the text from Kenny's Dad informing me the game had been changed to a different field.
Of course, now I'm able to head straight to Dunkin' to pick up my wife's iced coffee. When I'm exiting Dunkin' and walk through the parking lot, I walk right passed a lady trying to start her vehicle, but it was evident the battery was dead. I did not have jumper cables in our car, but I wound up asking her if there was any way I could help. She did happen to have jumper cables. We got the car fired up and before she ever knew about our church or that I'm a preacher, she testified how this was of God and went on to ask ME if I knew of a good church that she could attend for Easter Sunday! I went on to share with her that I'm a preacher and that a new church just started in October of 2018. She shared with me that she has been a Catholic for years, but is ready to leave the Catholic Church.
Dora came to ODBC that Sunday, heard the Gospel, came forward in the invitation and Mrs. Comfort led her to Jesus Christ! God's ways are higher than our ways. My wife did enjoy that iced coffee and we wept through the testimony of God's grace. My wife disciples Dora every other Thursday, she's been baptized and is faithful to church every Sunday and Wednesday. This is one of the numerous testimonies of changed lives here in Philadelphia and may the Lord be praised.
Wednesday, May 1st was a precious time in our Bible Study & Prayer Meeting following the Spring Revival. Just about everyone walked in with a Bible in their hand. Many testimonies from the Revival were given. I can't describe the joy seeing many hugs after church and hearing people say, "see you on Sunday"!
The next Sunday night I attended Solid Rock Baptist Church (Berlin, NJ). Something Brother Chalie said that night has stuck with me: "There's nothing like serving the Lord. When you see the King, you'll be glad that you served the Lord." I can emphatically say in these first months of the church plant that there is definitely nothing like serving the Lord! I want to be found faithful.
Mother's Day Sunday at ODBC was a special day honoring Moms with gifts. There's a single-Mom in our church who is doing everything she can with the Lord's help to point her children to Jesus. We had those 4 kids come up front that Sunday morning and give a testimony of their Mom. After the service, the Mom said, "This has been the best day ever"!
I must say how grateful I am for the Mother that my wife is to our 2 precious children. In the busy city, Katie is the most amazing and incredible pastor's wife, Mother to Kristie Jo and Conor Reese, and discipler of many ladies in the church. I'm amazed by her daily sacrifices and love for our family and the ministry God's called us to.
May 21st was another day of voting. As a reminder, our church building is used for our District's Voting Polls. We took the opportunity again as a church to serve those voting here in our neighborhood with a free cup of coffee and literature from our church.
In the month of May there were 80 blue-padded chairs given to ODBC from our sending church in North Carolina! I thank the Lord for their generosity and we are much appreciative of Assistant Pastor Caple and his wife delivering them in the Uhaul. 40 of these chairs are used on regular weekly basis in Sunday Youth Class and in our Wednesday evening service. Praise the Lord for this great blessing!
The month of May ended with flooding in the lower part of the church building we use. This took place on the last Wednesday of May just 30 minutes before the start of our Wednesday night service:
What could have seemed like a huge frustration for our midweek service turned out to be a favorite gathering of ours. It was a night of work, prayer and testimonies of praise. I can't describe the joy that "flooded" my heart to walk upstairs after working with the other men to find the ladies sitting in a circle praying together. There were 13 of us that stormy night. We went around sharing things we are thankful for. We noted how easy it is to praise God when times are good, but how rare it is to display joy in the tough times. Our Sunday morning preaching series has been in the book of Philippians on the subject of JOY, so this was very timely for us. I love Open Door Baptist Church so much!
Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."
Please pray that that Lord will provide a church van that we are in desperate need of! There are a number of children in our area who have vocalized their desire to come to church, but their parents do not get up and bring them. The parents would allow us to pick them up each Sunday in a church van. Additionally, there are at least 6 other adults who we would use the van to pick up each Sunday. There are Outreach ministries of the church and many Youth activities that we're a part of where a church van would be such a huge blessing to us. Please pray for us regarding this great need.
Please pray for current Discipleship Bible Studies that are taking place. Pray for many more souls to be saved and more discipleship to take place.
Please pray that the Lord will provide for our church a couple or family called of God to serve in Youth Ministry. Of course, this could obviously not be a paid position right away, but we are regularly praying for people to serve with our Youth. There are 25-30 teens to minister to. Youth Ministry service is every Sunday at 11:00 AM and Friday at 7:00 PM.
Please pray with us for a Great Awakening in Philadelphia. May God save this city.
There are 57 neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia (over 1.5 million people). Our church plant is the 10th independent Baptist church in the city, which means there are still 47 neighborhoods without a solid, Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church. Would you please pray that God will send us laborers to serve with us in Philadelphia for the furtherance of the Gospel? We want to see God-called, qualified men put in place in more church plants in this city that God has burdened us to help start.
Please pray that our hearts will stay on fire for the goal: The glory of God and the souls of Philadelphia.
"Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends." - George Muller
We praise God for how He specifically led us to the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood called Mayfair for this first church plant of Open Door Baptist Church.
We praise God for His provision of a vehicle for our family for our deputation travels.
We praise God for His provision of a building to use right in the neighborhood of Philly where He’s called us.
We praise God for the home He provided for us to rent less than 2 minutes from the church building in Mayfair, Philly.
We praise God for His provision of two solid, Biblically-minded families to serve with us from day one.
We praise God for His mercies that are new every morning, His compassions that never fail and His faithfulness that is so great! (Lamentations 3:19-24)
And We praise God for YOU being one our supporting churches and we thank you for your faithful prayers! We love you all! Great is our Lord!
*Our Current Service Times
Sunday Morning Worship @ 9:00 AM
Sunday Children's Church begins @ 9:30 AM
Sunday Discipleship Classes & Youth Service @ 11:00 AM
Wednesday Evening Bible Study & Prayer Meeting @ 7:00 PM
Friday Evening Youth Fellowship @ 7:00 PM
Revive Us Again,
Joe, Katie, Kristie Jo & Conor Delp
Acts 14:27, II Cor. 8:9
(267) 614 - 3834