From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 57 Number 2 March/April 2011
Introducing the Center for Biblical Morality
The church is losing a whole generation of young people. Thom Rainer documents this trend in his book, The Bridger Generation. In his book Rainer states that biblical believers make up 65% of the builder generation (born 1910-1945), 35 % of the boomer generation (born 1946-1964), 15% of the buster generation (born 1965-1976), and only 4% of the bridger generation (or millennials, born 1977-1994) (p. 169). George Barna exposes another trend in his research that reveals that 61% of today’s young adults (bridgers in their 20’s) who were regular church attenders are now “spiritually disengaged.” They are not actively attending church, reading their Bibles, or praying (www.barna.org).
These trends affecting our young people have been a special concern for two brothers whose children are in the bridger generation. The Lord has placed a burden on their hearts for our nation and especially for our young people.
These brothers were raised in a good Christian family and were actively involved together in their church, the Wealthy St. Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. After high school the Lord then took them in two different directions. One brother went away to college to study chemistry; the other stayed in town to study medicine.
Even though the brothers went their separate ways, the Lord was working in their lives in similar ways. While at Western Michigan University, the Lord called Jim Carrel to the ministry by placing a burden on his heart for the American church, that it not decline like the church in England had. After graduation from college he went to the Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary to prepare for ministry. After graduation from seminary he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Vestaburg, Michigan for twelve years, and then he served as senior pastor of the Perry Baptist Church in Perry, Michigan for twelve years. As he ministered as a pastor, his concern for the nation, and especially our youth, continued to grow.
While attending and then graduating from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Lord was working in the heart of the second brother by taking him down a uniquely different path. Daniel Carrel, D.O., worked as a physician in the emergency room for thirteen years and also as a part-time physician at the Kent County Jail for nine years. In those positions he saw first hand the destructive consequences of not living according to the morals taught in God’s Word. At the same time, he taught a Sunday school class for seventh and eighth grade boys. From this experience he was surprised that these church youth did not know how to make good decisions regarding right and wrong. This concern burdened him to write a book to warn people, especially young people, of those destructive consequences of poor moral choices. His book is entitled Is Biblical Morality Outdated?
The lack of moral discernment that Dr. Carrel noticed as he taught these young men is the same conclusion that researchers are making on a broader scale. For example, Thom Rainer states, “One of the distinguishing features of the bridger generation [or millennials] is its inability to distinguish right from wrong” (The Bridger Generation, p. 125). He also observes, “For the first time in American history, an entire generation will grow up without certain moral values” (p. 43). Our culture’s secular worldview of no absolute truths and the new tolerance has had a profound impact on our youth.
Several weeks after Jim left the ministry at Perry Baptist Church, his brother asked him to join him in starting a ministry that would address the concerns they have over the trends of believers’ beliefs and morals. Shortly thereafter, the Center for Biblical Morality was birthed.
The Center for Biblical Morality exists to assist pastors and churches by keeping them informed of the trends of the younger generation and their morals through speaking engagements, as well as through online and print materials. In addition, the Center strives to provide practical solutions for churches to encourage their youth in their faith and to help them make good moral choices. The Center also assists churches by providing resources that will build a biblical worldview into the lives of young people and that will help them with the process of healthy moral decision-making. The Center also endeavors to be a witness with the intent of leading people, especially young people, to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Center for Biblical Morality has networked with Baptist for Life to speak on their behalf on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and purity. It has also networked with Covenant Eyes (providers of internet accountability and filtering software) and will speak on the issues of pornography and other dangers of the internet. This is a significant concern of theirs as various surveys indicate that 70% or more of Christian men admit to struggling with pornography. Also by age 18, 90% of boys are exposed to internet pornography, often accidently while doing homework.
Other topics they speak on include: our current youth culture and challenges, sexual immorality and STDs, homosexuality and AIDS, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the new tolerance, creation vs. evolution, the evidences for creation, the evidences for the uniqueness of the Bible, as well as other moral issues such as lying, stealing, gambling/stewardship, and gluttony.
More information about the Center for Biblical Morality can be found at www.drcarrel.org or by contacting Jim Carrel at 517-230-0705.
MARBC NEWS & NOTES
MAYNARD BELT NAMED NEW PRESIDENT OF FELLOWSHIP OF MISSIONS – Maynard Belt, former MARBC State Representative (Executive Director) from 1990-2006, has recently been appointed to serve as president of Fellowship of Missions. In 2007, Maynard began serving with Baptist Mid-Missions as a special representative with the Church Relationships Department. In 2009, he joined the staff of his home church, West Cannon Baptist in Belmont, as Associate Pastor of Senior Ministries and Care. He will continue in both areas while serving with Fellowship of Missions. FOM is a missionary organization consisting of twenty-seven separatist mission agencies with some 2,000 missionaries serving in more than 60 countries around the world. Their primary purpose to these agencies is accountability, ministry development and encouragement. Maynard’s primary responsibility will be to serve as a communicator and facilitator for these agencies, edit the FOM publications and speak in various conferences from time to time. Maynard & Ann continue to live in Grand Rapids, and he is very excited about this privilege and opportunity to participate in the cause of Christ through world-wide missions. He also continues to publish the Barnabas File (BarnabasFile.com), articles of encouragement to hundreds of pastors and missionaries.
ALLEGAN, First Baptist Church (Greg Carlson, Pastor) – On January 23, 2011, the church celebrated God’s provision for the burning of the mortgage for their 42,000 square foot building and sixty two acres at a total cost of over $3.2 million. The total financed, $1.7 million, was paid for in just over ten years.
Letters of congratulations were read from Ken Floyd of the MARBC and Jim Turner, pastor of the church during the building program.
Thanksgiving was given to God for the additional ministries that have been facilitated by the new building and parking, as well as new followers of Christ that are being discipled.
BATTLE CREEK, Calvary Baptist Church – On June 1, 1990, the members of Calvary Baptist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan were introduced to a man who would have a profound impact on the lives of their children and grandchildren for the next 20 years.
Pastor Donald R. Jackson, affectionately known as ‘PD’ to people throughout the United States and other countries, arrived fresh out of Grand Rapids Baptist College ready to change the lives of youth. In 1992, Pastor Don married Miss Julie Page and they now have three children: Caitlyn (16), Emily (14), and Joshua (8).
The last 20 years have yielded a fruitful youth ministry for Pastor Don. What started out as a small youth group of 40-50 grew into a large student ministries of 100+ at its apex. With an emphasis placed on solid Biblical teaching instead of merely having a good time, PD’s influence on the teens he has come in contact with is evident in the decisions of many to become involved in active ministry themselves all across the world. His vision was to create a group of teens who were actively living for Jesus Christ and looking for ways to impact the lost world around them.
On his way to fulfilling that vision, Pastor Don involved his teens in many ministry-based activities. The most widely-known activity, at least for the immediate community of Battle Creek, was Fright Night, a Halloween alternative for teens in the community and state of Michigan. What began in Calvary’s basement with about 40 teens grew into 2,000 teens overrunning Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena. Pastor Don used the night to not only provide teens with a fun, safe environment on Halloween, but also to present the message of salvation. Fright Night enjoyed a 10 year run before PD felt it was time to bring it to an end.
Pastor Don also felt it was important to provide the teens with opportunities to serve through mission trips both locally and abroad. In addition to one-time trips to Florida and New York, mission trips to Chicago, IL, and Philadelphia, PA became summer regulars on the event calendars and international trips to Brazil, Mexico, and Germany were presented at varying intervals. These trips offered the opportunity for growth and change for those who went along and set many of them on the paths they walk today.
His impact does not reach only to his church family, but extends to the Battle Creek community as well. PD has enjoyed increased involvement with Pennfield High School through SLinC (Students Living In Christ), a group that meets during the school year to pray and discuss things on teens’ minds, being a member of the school’s Sex Education program, and speaking annually at Pennfield’s baccalaureate.
When SLinC was started, the group included 8 Calvary Baptist teens. This year, the group was around 40 Calvary and public school teens with half or more of them being unsaved. Due to his involvement in the community and school system, Pastor Don was asked to be on Pennfield’s Sex Education board. This school year, he obtained the opportunity from the school to speak with both the Junior High and Senior High students on the subject of abstinence. The opportunity for Pastor Don to speak to the senior graduates at Pennfield’s annual baccalaureate, which is held at Calvary Baptist Church, began 16 years ago and has continued nearly every year since.
As his local ministry expanded, Pastor Don has become a requested speaker at camps, churches, and youth events all over the United States. As his partnerships with other Christian ministries grew, so did his opportunities to reach teens. One of those partnerships was introduced into PD’s life when he involved his Student Ministries with Vision for Youth during VFY’s sponsored mission trips to Chicago and Philadelphia.
During that time, Pastor Don’s relationship with Vision for Youth came to the point where he became a member of the VFY board around 7 years ago. About a year ago, he then heard God calling him into full-time ministry with them. On June 13, 2010, Pastor Don completed his ministry as Youth and Associate Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in order to join Vision for Youth as their Director of Missions.
The number of lives Pastor Don has impacted over the last 20 years is immeasurable. His work in Battle Creek is changing, but will not end as he and his family will remain in the area and be members of Calvary Baptist Church. His national and international work is and will continue to grow as he will be able to direct the spreading of the Gospel to even more lives. May God bless your future ministry with Vision for Youth, Pastor Don!
ROSCOMMON, Higgins Lake Baptist Church (Kevin Pierpont, Pastor) – The Higgins Lake Baptist Church family devoted themselves to a Week of Prayer to begin 2011. The church family, including a few families away for the winter, were encouraged, leading up to the first week of the new year, to make commitments to pray for the ministry of the church and for one another for at least 5, 15, 30, 45 minutes or an hour each day for 8 days beginning Sunday, January 2 and continuing through Sunday, January 9.
The Week of Prayer began with a message preached encouraging the church family to Labor Together in Prayer from Romans 15:30-33. Commitment forms were turned in or submitted through the church website and before January 2 a total of 11 hours of daily prayer commitments were received. The church family was encouraged to pray through the church directory for one another and a prayer guide was distributed to inform their praying for the week which also included special prayer requests that had been collected from the church’s missionaries.
In the morning service at the close of the week the church was challenged to Continue Together in Prayer from Colossians 4:2. During the evening service on the 9th praise to God and testimonies were shared indicating how God had encouraged or stretched individuals during their praying. Several participants indicated that they spent more time in prayer than they had committed to sharing.
During the Week of Prayer three separate church families experienced the unexpected loss of loved ones and the church family was encouraged that they had been praying for them and the families themselves were greatly encouraged to know they had been prayed for. After this special Week of Prayer, the church family understands the challenge now is to keep praying together for the work God is doing in their midst.
SMARBC VALENTINE’S WEEKEND COUPLES RETREAT: “Extreme Makeover – Marriage Edition (Marriage by God’s Design)” was the theme of a couples retreat attended by approximately 60 people and sponsored by the Southern MARBC Regional Fellowship. The retreat was held on February 11-12 at the Youth Haven Ranch ministry center in Rives Junction. Speaker for the retreat was MARBC Executive Director Ken Floyd. Those attending the retreat received gift books and other special treats.
LADIES SEMINAR TO BE HELD AT NORTH CASNOVIA BAPTIST CHURCH – “Forever Changed” is the theme of a special Women’s Conference to be held at North Casnovia Baptist Church on Friday evening and Saturday, March 25-26. The church’s facilities are located at 1625 Canada Rd., Bailey, MI 49303.
Special speakers for the event are Dorie Van Stone, author of “Dorie … The Girl Nobody Loved;” and Becky McDonald, President and Founder of Women at Risk (WAR) International. They will share stories of lives “Forever Changed” by the boundless love of Jesus.
Dorie will share her personal testimony. She will share how she was abandoned by her mother as a child to an orphanage where she suffered daily abuse. God extended His grace to Dorie through a caring lady who visited her in the orphanage and told her that “Jesus loves you.” Dorie shares how this was a life transforming moment for her.
Becky will share stories of hope and transformation. She will detail how Women at Risk International is offering the promise of hope and dignity to wounded women and children around the world. The mission of WAR, International is to rescue individuals from slavery and human trafficking, offering them safe havens where they can heal and learn, and empowering these rescued individuals to work with dignity.
Included at the seminar will be opportunity to browse the WAR International jewelry table. Friday’s seminar sessions begin at 7:00 p.m. with pre-registration at 6:00 p.m. Saturday’s seminar sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. Saturday’s sessions include rolls and coffee available from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. and lunch from noon – 1:00 p.m.
For additional information, contact Bill Babcock (231.834.5952, Email) or Rachel (336.469.8483). Special discounted registration is $25 if paid by March 5. Regular registration is $30 by no later than March 16. Checks should be made payable to “North Casnovia Baptist Church” and mailed to the church address.
SPECIAL “SECURITY ISSUES IN THE CHURCH” SEMINAR: The Michigan State Police Training Academy is once again presenting a one-day seminar on “Security Issues for Places of Worship.” The seminar will be held on Monday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held at the Michigan State Police Training Academy, 7426 N. Canal Rd., in Lansing.
The following topics will be covered: physical campus security issues / proactive steps to children’s ministry protection / how to do a criminal history background for non-profits / policies, procedures, and legal aspects / identifying and handling suspicious or dangerous people / critical incident readiness for places of worship.
The cost for the seminar is $40.00 and includes lunch and all materials. For more information, contact Marilu Angelbrandt at 517.636.0464. Space is limited so please register early. The registration deadline is April 1.
EMARBC LADIES CONFERENCE: “Daughters of Promise” is the theme of the 2011 Ladies Conference sponsored by the Eastern MARBC Regional Fellowship.
Christine Wyrtzen will be the special guest for the conference. Christine is a recording artist, author, speaker, and host of the syndicated radio program “Daughters of Promise” which is heard on nearly 700 radio stations. She has been ministering for 30 years as a musician and writer with 15 albums and three books to her credit.
Christine loves to teach women how to relate to God as their Father, to interact with, and experience His Word as a much loved daughter rather than a disinterested participant. She will share in three sessions through word and music: Letting God be my storyteller, New birth – New story, and Story lines of revenge and forgiveness.
The conference will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Evangel Baptist Church, 16994 Telegraph Rd., Taylor, MI 48180. The cost is $10 per person. Lunch is available for an additional $6. Those not choosing the lunch option may get lunch at an area restaurant. Sign-in and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. Please may checks payable to “Evangel Baptist Church.”
For more information you may phone Evangel Baptist Church, 734.946.5680, Email, or visit their website – www.evangelbaptist.com.
THE SEMINAR ON CHURCH CONSTRUCTION – An informative and helpful seminar on building a church facility will be held in Grand Rapids on Thursday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The seminar will be held at Alpine Baptist Church, 692 Seven Mile Rd. NW, Comstock Park, MI (616.784.1331. Alpine Baptist recently completed a major building expansion under the direction of the seminar sponsors, Wieland-Davco Corporation of Lansing, MI.
If you are in charge of leading a church congregation, the topic of renovating, adding on, or completely relocating your church facility has probably been discussed. Become a better steward for those you are serving by attending this highly informative and affordably priced one-day seminar. Professional speakers from key areas will provide 30 to 60 minute professional presentations and participate in a question and answer forum.
Speakers will include: Craig Wieland, President of Wieland-Davco; Kevin Shaw, VP-Wieland-Davco; Jeff Parker, Jeffrey Parker Architects (Grand Rapids); Bill Walter, Church Growth Services (Stewardship specialist); and Rick Stewart, Sound and Lighting specialist.
The seminar is FREE to pastors and $20 per person for non-pastors (bring 5 non-pastors and the fifth registration is free). The cost includes breakfast, lunch, meeting notes and a free copy of The Book on Church Construction. For more information and seminar brochures you may call 1-800-633-5488, visit the website www.wieland-davco.com, or Email Kevin Shaw.
PART TIME WORSHIP LEADER NEEDED. Orangeville Baptist Church, Plainwell, is looking for a worship leader. This is a part time position with salary and mileage. Please contact Pastor Dan Bowman, Email or 269.664.4377, for more information.
EMAIL ADDRESS – Do we have your accurate e-mail address? Many people and organizations change their email addresses from time to time. Does the MARBC have your current address? Why not be sure by sending us an email and including your updated contact information? Send your information to either Sharon or Ken.
WITH THE LORD
GEORGE WHITE – Retired MARBC pastor George White went home to be with His Lord on Friday, January 7, 2011, at the age of 83. George was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine. Brother White’s pastoral ministry included serving at North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids and West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont. He led both churches through major building programs. A celebration service of George’s life and ministry was held at West Cannon Baptist Church.