About Us


hourglassI have always had a strong bent towards capturing and organizing sermon and Bible study materials. I started with a simple indexing system of 4″ X 6″ cards in college (I had quite a collection), and then used various database formats. My first project involving the internet was the distribution of a Visual Basic software program called Biblekey. (It is outdated now and has been supplanted by the online sermon databases.) My vision was to have various pastors compile their messages into compatible databases which could then be indexed and displayed via the front end program which I wrote. The only hitch to this strategy was that I ended up doing all of the tedious work of the compiling and indexing. The end product proved extremely useful and Pastor John Kapteyn (a Canadian Presbyterian minister) graciously hosted my material for free on his site, SermonCentral.com, before selling off that property which has since been developed into the largest sermon preparation site in the world.  [I prefer SermonAudio.com because it concentrates more on material that aligns with the doctrines of sovereign grace.]

I switched gears and decided to concentrate on developing my own commentaries in Adobe *.pdf format for ease of distribution and use.  I chose the name of BibleOutlines.com because I think the Lord has primarily gifted me with an ability to break down the Big Idea of a paragraph into its component parts… and to show all of the linkages without losing the impact of the overall Big Idea. That is where I feel I make the most unique contribution and why I do not hesitate to quote extensively from other commentators (after the pattern of Charles Spurgeon in his Treasury of David) for some of the details of interpretation.  I especially like the expositional approach espoused by Haddon Robinson in his book Biblical Preaching which develops the Big Idea concept.

 

Paul Apple

Paul and Karen AppleMy personal testimony must focus on the gracious election of our loving God. He planted me in a Christian family and drew me to Himself at a very young age. I was born in Syracuse, NY but moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia in second grade. My family lived right down the street from the headquarters of the Unevangelized Fields Mission, which has consequently always held a special place in my heart when it comes to missions. I grew up under the faithful preaching of Dr. Howard Oursler at the evangelical Bala-Cynwyd Presbyterian Church (which sadly chose to remain in the United Presbyterian denomination as it started to slide doctrinally). My high school (Lower Merion) is famous as the launching pad for the career of Kobe Bryant. I only rose to the level of Sports Editor… not quite as much talent… but still fairly quick for a chess team star.

My relationship with the Lord really developed at Princeton University under the discipling ministry of the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship (see below). I majored in English as preparation for attending seminary. More importantly, I met Karen, my wife, and we graduated together in 1975 and married in the summer of 1976. I completed the M.Div. degree at Grace Theological Seminary in picturesque Winona Lake, IN. I was heavily impacted by the eldership model of Bethany Bible Church while attending seminary. They served sacrificially and proved to me that with sufficient humility and love a team of elders could function without exalting one man to a unique role of Senior Pastor above the others. Abraham Thomas, one of the elders and a former law student from India, has since returned to southern India and been used greatly by the Lord in a church planting capacity. Another elder, John Mike Thomas (not related), eventually moved to New York City to assume a pastoral role.

Upon graduation from seminary, Karen and I moved back to the Baltimore area to be near both sets of parents. I had rejected the traditional model of candidating for a pastorate and felt I was too young and unproven to meet the character oriented qualifications of NT eldership. I decided to enter into the business community and seek to move towards some type of team leadership in a local church. However, my experience has been that churches still gravitate towards some type of unique senior pastor role rather than developing what I believe to be a plurality with your unique functioning based on your giftedness.

For the past eight years our family has joined with a number of other families to start and develop an elder-led church in the Columbia MD area. Solid Rock Community Church meets at 10 AM on Sundays in the Homewood Suites Hilton at 8320 Benson Dr. in Columbia Maryland.

 

Karen Apple

My wife grew up in an Air Force family that afforded her opportunities to live in both Germany and France before graduating from John Jay High School in San Antonio. Her father had a very successful career culminating in serving for two years as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Karen came to know the Lord during her sophomore year in high school. Her only sister and her husband met in the same Princeton fellowship group as we did, and they now lead a PCA church in Mt. Airy, MD. In addition to homeschooling our own children, Karen has devoted much of her life to helping other moms homeschool their children.  She has taught math as an adjunct professor at Catonsville Community College of Baltimore County and been very successful as a math tutor when she is not occupied helping to take care of our young grandchildren.

 

Apple Children

Apple Family Photo

Jenny

Our oldest daughter, graduated from the University of Richmond, passed her CPA exam, and is working in a financial management position in Washington D.C. for The Carlyle Group. She is poised in every situation and takes leadership roles in various Christian ministries. She has volunteered her auditing services to Wycliffe for some of their overseas ministries – including areas of Africa and Malaysia.  She loves her church family at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and has taken a leadership role in their children ministries.  She bought a home on the Hill near church so that she can more effectively serve that congregation.

Rick

Our first son, graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. He worked for two different companies in the fast-paced financial sector in New York City. He married Rachel Price on December 16, 2006 in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. They both concluded their graduate studies at Vanderbilt.  Rachel is now a doctor and Rick has management roles in a couple of business concerns.  They are proud parents of our four grandchildren: Dean, Scottie, and the two newborn twin girls: Stokes and Georgia.  Rachel and her family have long ties to Hillsboro Church of Christ where she grew up.

Steve

Our third child graduated with an English degree from Princeton University. He loves the Princeton Footnotes A Capella singing group and never lacks for friends or activities. Quick with the wit, Steve can size up any person or circumstance with an insightful analysis.  We are thankful to have him living in a townhouse close to home!  He is teaching high school English at Chapelgate Christian Academy.

Julie

Our youngest is still very much Daddy’s little girl… although her maturity beyond her years makes her adaptable to any situation. Julie is married to Adam Walker (not pictured above — I need to update that picture) from Lexington KY who operates a couple of the Breakout game rooms in Baltimore and Columbia.  Julie, another accomplished CPA following in the footsteps of her older sister, works as a college recruiter out of the Baltimore office of Price Waterhouse Cooper — a perfect role for her people-oriented personality.  They recently purchased a home near us in Catonsville and are looking forward to helping their church (Freedom Church over on the NE side of Baltimore) start a new work in this area in 2018.