Veteran MARBC pastor now with the Lord

Stanley Lightfoot, Jr.  

Stanley Lightfoot Jr., a veteran MARBC pastor, entered the presence of his Lord and Savior on October 31 at the age of 95.

 

Stan was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from January 1943 to November 1945 in the Cadet Flying Program and as radio mechanic. Following his honorable discharge, he was employed with the Detroit Post Office for 18 years and began a career in ministry in 1971.

 

Stan pastored Berea Baptist Church, Stevens Point, Wisconsin (as a missionary pastor with Continental Baptist Missions); Trinity Baptist Church, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Calvary Baptist Church, Wabash, Indiana; and Fellowship Baptist Church, Marine City (now East China), Michigan. This highly respected and much beloved servant of the Lord also served as interim pastor for a number of churches in Michigan over the last 25 years of his life.

 

He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Dorothy; his children, James, Donald, Stanley III, Ruth Rodenberg, and Lois Turner; 13 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2:00 p.m., at Bethany Bible Church, 810 E. Huron River Dr., Belleville, MI. Stan’s family will greet guests one hour prior to the service.

 

Cards for Dorothy and the Lightfoot family can be mailed to Jim Lightfoot, 39305 Montana Dr., Romulus, MI 48174-5026. Memorial gifts may be designated to the Detroit Rescue Mission or Bethany Bible Church.

 

Please join us in upholding Dorothy and her family in prayer.

2017 MARBC Conference highlights

 

Ken Floyd, MARBC Ministry Director, opened the initial session by sharing the vision of the Council of 16 in the planning of this year’s conference. “This year’s conference theme focuses upon the biblical church dynamics identified in the MARBC’s core values. We desire that the churches of our association will bring God great glory as they focus upon and implement these biblical principles. It is our prayer than this will be evidenced through individual local churches as well as through church partnerships regionally throughout our state. We pray that you will be challenged, encouraged, and strengthened as a result of your participation.”

 

MARBC Family Session

 

The MARBC family session on Monday afternoon included a report from Executive Ministry Director Ken Floyd, the approval of the 2018 budget, and the election of three new Council of 16 members for a 3 year term (2018-2020). Newly elected members are:

 

Bill Abernathy, Berean Baptist Church, Portage
Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo
Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church, Kent City

 

 

2018 Council of 16

At large members, 3-year terms (term expiration year)

Tom Townsend, Calvary Baptist Church, Battle Creek (2018)

Doug Crawford, West Cannon Baptist Church, Belmont (2018)

Marc Herron, First Baptist Church, Caro (2018)

Jeff Burr, Forest Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids (2019) Vice Chairman

Dave Sill, Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby (2019) Chairman

Mark Cizauskas, First Baptist Church, Rochester (2019) Treasurer

Bill Abernathy, Berean Baptist Church, Portage (2020)

Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo (2020)

Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church, Kent City (2020)

Regional representatives (selected by their regional associations)

Steve Ayers, Faith Baptist Church, Benzonia (Northern)

Scott Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Muskegon (Western)

Phil Devaney, Britton Bethel Baptist Church, Britton (Southern)

Jerry Diserens, Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor (Eastern)

Aaron Hadley, First Baptist Church, Edmore (Central) Secretary

Lewis Hague, Blessed Hope Baptist Church, Escanaba (Upper Peninsula)

2017 Conference Messages

Four MARBC pastors each chose a Biblical text that illustrates the application of one of the four core values.

 

In Search of Soul Satisfaction, John 4

Jeff Burr, host pastor serving at Forest Hills Baptist Church and current Vice Chairman of the MARBC Council of 16, shared in the first general session. He opened his message by sharing a brief overview of the decline of Kodak as its industry’s gold standard. The business thoroughly dominated its technological field but lost sight of it’s corporate vision. Burr then traced how Jesus overcame various barriers in sharing the gospel with those he encountered using the narrative of John 4.

 

 

 

Shepherding All the Sheep,” 1 Peter 5

Mark Cizauskas, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Rochester and current Treasurer of the MARBC Council of 16, focused upon Peter’s admonition to pastors from 1 Peter 5:1-4. Keying on the core value, pursuing cultural and generational diversity, Mark emphasized the critical role pastors play in modeling gospel ministry. It must be a ministry that does not play favorites but reaches out to all demographics in the local body and in the community. “Peter challenges the pastor to ‘shepherd the flock which is among you.'” The pastor is called to shepherd the redeemed and they in turn will impact the community.”

 

 

 

Staying on the Line, Mark 7

Preaching on the morning of October 31, Ross Shannon, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Lapeer, acknowledged his excitement in sharing a message on the importance of Sola Scriptura on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Ross examined the interaction of Jesus with the Pharisees as they reacted to what they considered as the disciples’ unorthodox dining habits. He stated that while association churches and pastors should seek to uphold the core value of remaining “Biblically and doctrinally resolute,” care must be taken to “stay on the line, not above it by adding to the truth; or below it, subtracting from it.” Reflecting upon Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, Shannon stated that “Jesus is against those who go above the line. When we go a above the line, the line isn’t protected or obscured, but is erased.”

 

 

 

Walking the Ministry Tightrope, Acts 6

One of the four core values embraced by the MARBC is “progressing in ministry mindset and method.”

Utilizing an opening illustration about a tightrope walker crossing over Niagara Falls, Bob McNeil discussed the ministry tightrope that the Jerusalem church had to walk as they dealt with the pressing spiritual needs within its body. The church leaders needed to properly address the demands of two extremely different groups who were now a part of the church: formerly Orthodox Jews and Greek converts. “They sought to keep a biblically healthy balance: they were tied to the text [of scripture] but were also open to change … Healthy churches are always addressing the need to change.” Biblically engaging the culture demands a church that is willing to make changes in its approach to that culture. McNeil then noted the key to the Jerusalem church’s ability to navigate change in a God glorifying manner – they were committed to prayer. “The power of God is accessed through prayer. They didn’t pray and then say, ‘we’re going to do what we’ve always done.'” Peter had to learn this the hard way … It took three visions from God before he would change and reach out to the Gentiles. Likewise, Paul had to learn through out his missionary journeys that he had to change the approach of his message, depending upon his audience.

“Stories from the Front” highlight practical church rescue ministries in the MARBC

Two practical church ministry breakout sessions were featured at the 2017 MARBC Conference. Titled “Stories from the Front” both sessions featured testimonies from church leaders who have served in integral ways in the rescue of struggling churches.

 

 

The Northland/Blythefield Partnership

This report focuses upon how a merger of two MARBC church ministries seeks to impact a community on the north end of Grand Rapids. Pastors Ben Phebus (Northland Baptist Church, Grand Rapids) and Tim Hoyt (Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, Rockford) share the back-story of this strategic relationship.

 

 

 

The Montrose Project

What options are available for a church that is in significant decline? This back-story shares how a healthy sister church offers significant support to a struggling church in a neighboring community, with assistance from the MARBC. Pastors Scott Snyder (South Baptist Church, Flint) and Shane Miller (Montrose Baptist Church, Montrose), along with Montrose deacon Bob Mosser, share about this exciting partnering approach.

 

 

 

Ken Floyd announced at the conclusion of the session that there are additional prospective church reboot partnerships under consideration. Churches and pastors are encouraged to contact the MARBC office to learn how they can be involved in this important ministry endeavor.

The MARBC welcomes Grace Baptist Church in Marshall

The MARBC messengers welcomed a new sister church, Grace Baptist Church in Marshall, into the association during the Monday business session. Brandon Crawford, Grace’s pastor, received the right hand of fellowship from the Council of 16 during the Monday evening service. Brandon and his wife Melanie have served at Grace since 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon recently authored a book on the life and ministry of Jonathan Edwards, “Jonathan Edwards on the Atonement: Understanding the Legacy of America’s Greatest Theologian.” He recently presented a paper titled, “Jonathan Edwards on the Nature of True Religion”at the Reformation Conference held in Detroit and at the Southern MARBC Association meeting.

CPR Opportunities for Your Consideration

Van needed.

 

John Watson, pastor of Standale Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, shares the special need for a member of his church. The church had the privilege of seeing a single mom and several of her five children come to Christ through the ministry of the church. Her current van has been maintained by the church for several years, but is now beyond repair. Would you consider assisting Standale Baptist Church in meeting this need through the donation of a reliable van or through financial assistance?

Contact Pastor John Watson

 

First Baptist Church in Petoskey prepares for major relocation project.

 

Casey Smith, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Petoskey, reports that the church is preparing for a long anticipated relocation project that will begin in the spring of 2018. The church has been able to receive a large amount of funds due to the sale of donated stock, in addition to the sale of the current building which is located in the center of town. The church will relocate on the north end of Petoskey on 14 acres of property which the church already owns.

 

The church will need the assistance of volunteer labor in order to complete this project. This includes electricians, plumbers, framers, drywallers, painters, etc. While some of the needs require skilled laborers, much of the work can be done by volunteers under supervised direction.

 

Pastor Smith shares that there are many local campgrounds and places along Lake Michigan for those who want to bring their RVs and campers. Other lodging options can be explored.

 

The Petoskey region offers beautiful scenery and unique shops in the city. The church is beginning to discuss plans with an architect and would greatly appreciate your communication if you are interested in participating in this significant opportunity to impact this church and community.

 

Please email Pastor Smith asap to indicate your interest, or phone 231.347.2038.

 

Email Pastor Casey Smith for more information

Church Security Options

We encourage the MARBC family to continue your prayerful support of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, as well as the affected families, community, and those in law enforcement and government positions.

 

The continuing security risks for churches has caused many church leaders to contact the MARBC office seeking options for practical ministry assistance. Here are two options for your prayerful consideration.

 

 

Church Strong Consultants.

 

Today’s volatile culture demands that pastors and churches take practical precautions for the safety of those who participate in their ministries. Ken Floyd recently had the opportunity to talk with the representative of a helpful ministry that is designed to assist churches in such an endeavor.

 

Church Strong Consultants John Murdoch and Laird Baldwin are both experienced pastors, as well as trained and experienced law enforcement chaplains. Brother Murdoch spent many years leading the Chaplaincy Commission for the GARBC. As members of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association, they are trained in crime prevention and threat assessment. They evaluate a church’s safety and security needs with a pastor’s understanding and perspective.

 

Church Strong Consultants offers a six-hour seminar and 64-page manual, “Thinking Through Church Security.” The seminar consists of the following topics: Preparation, Awareness, Response, & Teamwork.

 

Church Strong Consultants prefers to come to your church and conduct seminars on Saturdays when possible, and through the week if necessary so as to avoid conflict with Sunday services. Seminars normally take seven hours.

 

Click here to access the Church Strong Consultants website

Click here to email consultant Laird Baldwin

 

 

 

Sheepdog Church Security.

 

Jim Barrett serves as the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Carson City, MI. He also serves with the state and local law enforcement as a chaplain and firearm consultant. MARBC Ministry Director Ken Floyd recently talked with Jim about church security issues. Jim recommends that pastors and churches seriously consider the security risks they face. He recommends that churches consider support from a group such as Sheepdog Church Security.

 

The group’s website offers practical downloadable materials to assist in security evaluation. One such resource is “How to Plan an Active Shooter Drill: 10 Best Practices for Churches.”

 

Access the Sheepdog Church Security website

Upcoming MARBC Regional Association meetings

GRARBC (Grand Rapids association) monthly meeting.

The Grand Rapids Association monthly “Breakpoint” meeting will be held at Berean Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, on Tuesday, November 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Pastor Doug Compton, Alpine Baptist Church, Comstock Park, will share on the topic, “Preaching to the Common Person.”

MARBC Council of 16 (2018)

Terms ending in 2018
Tom Townsend, Calvary Baptist Church, Battle Creek
Doug Crawford, West Cannon Baptist Church, Belmont
Marc Herron, First Baptist Church, Caro

Terms ending in 2019
Jeff Burr, Forest Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids
Dave Sill, Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby
Mark Cizauskas, First Baptist Church, Rochester

Terms ending in 2020
Bill Abernathy, Berean Baptist Church, Portage
Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church, Kent City
Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo

Regional Representatives
Steve Ayers, Faith Baptist Church, Benzonia (Northern)
Phil Devaney, Bethel Baptist Church, Britton (Southern)
Aaron Hadley, First Baptist Church, Edmore (Central)
Lewis Hague, Blessed Hope Baptist, Escanaba (UP)
Marcus Little, Berean Baptist, Grand Rapids (GR)
Scott Church, Trinity Baptist, Muskegon (Western)
Jerry Diserens, Evangel Baptist, Taylor (Eastern)

Council of 16 Officers:
Dave Sill, Chairman
Jeff Burr, Vice Chairman
Aaron Hadley, Secretary
Mark Cizauskas, Treasurer

2017 MARBC Annual Conference to be held on October 30-31 in Grand Rapids

You are encouraged to join us for this special event that features challenging biblical exposition, practical ministry ideas, and rich fellowship. The conference will focus upon the biblical church dynamics identified in the MARBC’s core values.

This year’s conference features speakers who currently serve as pastors in MARBC churches from various regions of the state.

 

 

Conference Schedule