MARBC News & Notes – January 2008

You can also download a PDF of the January 2008 Baptist Testimony
(1 mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)


GRAND RAPIDS, North Park Baptist Church (Joe Daniels) – North Park Baptist Church held a service of worship and commitment as they met on Sunday evening December 2, to install Pastor Joe Daniels as their new Lead Pastor. For the last 2 1/2 years Pastor Joe has served at North Park as Pastor of Outreach and Student Ministries. At the end of October 2006, former Senior Pastor Ken Floyd, concluded his ministry at the church to assume the MARBC State Representative role. As the search committee moved ahead on looking for a new leader, it became apparent that God already had him on staff at the church. This was affirmed by both the church board and a very strong vote of the congregation, leading to the calling of Pastor Joe. The service began with Associate Pastor Tom Rohrer calling the congregation to worship. The charge to the church was made by Rev. Bill Crowder, Director of Church Ministries and Publications at R.B.C. Ministries. The charge to the candidate was made by Rev. Barry Grahl, grandfather of the candidate. Pastor Joe followed with his heartfelt response in words of love and commitment to the congregation God has called him to shepherd. The congregation was lead by Deacon Chairman Larry High in reading a covenant of commitment to lovingly honor, follow, and serve along side of their new Pastor. Three of the deacons led in prayer over the candidate as pastors and deacons laid hands on Pastor Joe to dedicate his ministry to the Lord. The service was closed in prayer by Rev. Bob Allen, father in-law of the candidate. A great time of fellowship followed in the church fellowship hall.

MARNE, Berlin Baptist Church (Jeff Gunderman) – For much of the fall season, Pastor Jeff Gunderman led the Berlin Baptist Church family in a Biblical study of the church's core values statement. On Sunday, November 18, a special service of commitment was held in order for the church to affirm the church's mission statement, “Berlin Baptist Church seeks to glorify God, share Jesus Christ, equip disciples, love and serve others,” as well as the Berlin Baptist Church Core Values Statement. Each of the nine core values was posted on a banner that is displayed prominently in the worship center. Rev. Ken Floyd (MARBC) was invited to preach a message of challenge and commitment during the special service. After the message, the congregation wholeheartedly responded to Pastor Gunderman's invitation to join him in signing a special copy of the Core Values Statement. This signed document will be prominently displayed in the church building.

PLAINWELL, Orangeville Baptist Church (Dan Bowman) – Orangeville Baptist welcomed Mike and LeAnn Fritz to their pastoral staff in December. Mike will serve as Associate Pastor of Youth and Christian Education. The Fritzs return to their home church after receiving education at Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA.

SMARBC Christmas Dinner Fellowship – Pastoral couples from churches of the Southern MARBC fellowship gathered at the Christian Family Centre in Adrian on December 3 for a delicious dinner, wonderful fellowship, and a worshipful program. Pastor Nathan Pierpont, worship pastor at Northeastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, shared a concert of Christmas music and special devotional regarding the impact of the first advent and the expectation of the second advent.

STANTON, First Baptist Church (Ryan White) – The congregation of First Baptist Church held a special service of celebration on Sunday, December 2, to install Rev. Ryan White as their new pastor. Pastor White and his wife, Keri, and their family come to Stanton following a ministry as youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Hastings. Rev. Ken Floyd presented the charge to the church and Rev. Tom Hammond gave the charge to the pastor. Mr. Dave Durning, father of Keri White, shared the scripture reading. Deacon John Shick represented the search committee in sharing the background of the search process. At the conclusion of the service, the church leaders laid hands upon Pastor White as the deacons led in a prayer of dedication. A special fellowship was held following the service in the White's honor.

MARBC CONFERENCE MESSAGES AVAILABLE: Messages by Dr. Renald Showers and Ken Floyd are available free for listening or downloading by clicking here.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15

Dr. Wendell Kempton, who served as President of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism from 1971-2001, died at home in Lititz, PA, on Sunday, January 6, 2008, following a brief battle with cancer. A memorial service was held in Lancaster, PA, on January 11.

While attending Moody, Dr. Kempton met fellow student Karolyn Rose Koerber. They married in 1956 and had three children (Mark, Stan, and Wendy). In 1980, Karolyn suddenly went home to be with the Lord. In 1982, Dr. Kempton married Ruth Royer, who also had three children (Jennifer, Amy, and Tim) and whose first husband, Lee “Rock” Royer, a football coach and evangelist, had died suddenly nearly a decade earlier in an airplane accident. Dr. Kempton is survived by his wife, Ruth Royer Kempton, and their six married children.

Dr. Kempton received degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Baptist Bible Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary.

Dr. Kempton’s ministry was worldwide, impacting lives not only through his three decades as ABWE President and his continued representation of the mission as President Emeritus following his retirement in 2001, but also through his many years of service at Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania and his ministry to professional sports organizations. This included speaking to various professional sports teams, speaking at three Super Bowls and a World Series. Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, began a Bible study with Kempton in 1978 and trusted Christ later that year. One of Dr. Kempton's final speaking engagements was a November 2007 sports outreach to the Dominican Republic with SCORE International. He also held weekly neighborhood outreach Bible studies. He served on the boards of several well-known organizations, including a nationally-known insurance company, Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania, and Word of Life.

Memorial gifts may be sent to ABWE, PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105 and designated to the “Wendell Kempton Memorial Fund.” Gifts may also be made online at . Cards & letters may be sent to ABWE or to their home address: Mrs. Wendell Kempton and Family, 602 Northfield Road, Lititz, PA 17543


SPECIAL PASTORS AND WIVES DISCOUNT: the Best Western Scenic Hill Resort in Beulah, Michigan, is once again this year offering a special getaway for pastors and wives of the MARBC at their hotel. The special rate is $50 per night, plus tax, and includes a full hot breakfast. This rate is available through May 23 (based on availability). They also offer a discount of 20% off all Spa services. Contact Dave Easter, 1.800.439.7080, for more information and reservations.

Cabin Available: Pastor Greg Carlson, First Baptist Church, Allegan, shares this special opportunity: Our like new cabin in the Eastern Upper Peninsula is available for only the cost of utilities from January through the second week of May, 2008. We would like someone in vocational Christian service to be able to use the cabin for that time. The cabin is fully furnished and has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Photos and complete description are available at Contact (269) 673-5289 or Email.

MARBC Messenger – The Messenger is a regular email communication from the MARBC office to our pastors and churches. Several MARBC Messengers are sent out each month from the MARBC office. If you have not received MARBC emails recently, be sure to contact Ken or Sharon to be placed on the email list. Thank you!

MARBC Events to Place on Your 2008 Calendar

March 1, 2008
EMARBC Men Modeling the Master Conference
Emmanuel Baptist Church, Flint
Answers in Genesis, creation ministry team

March 7-8, 2008
GRARBC Annual Church Ministries Conference
Calvary Baptist Church, Grand Rapids
“Masterfully Motivated”
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Ken Floyd
MARBC State Representative

Saturday, April 19, 2008
MARBC Talents for Christ Competition
South Baptist Church, Flint
Ken Pyne, Director
Early registration deadline: February 15

May 1-3, 2008
Annual MARBC Men's Retreat
Lake Ann Baptist Camp
“Being Men of Valor: How to Develop the Character of a Conqueror”
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Bill Jenkin
President, Continental Baptist Mission
No price increase for 2008!!!
2 nights, 6 meals $105 / 1 night, 5 meals $77 / Friday only, 3 meals $41.
$40 non-refundable registration fee
Pastors receive a 50% discount with an overnight stay
Brochures and registration will be available soon by mail, fax, and online at

June 24-27, 2008
National GARBC Conference
“The Glory of the Cross”
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

September 28, 2008
MARBC Annual Day of Prayer

October 27-28, 2008
66th Annual MARBC Conference
First Baptist Church, Rochester, Michigan
Dr. Jim Jeffery
President, Baptist Bible College, Graduate School, and Seminary

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