MARBC News & Notes – May/June 2009

You can also download a PDF of the March/April 2009 Baptist Testimony (1.5mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)

From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 55 Number 3 May/June 2009

CHURCH PARTNERING RELATIONSHIPS (CPR) – As you begin your summer schedule, be sure to make the CPR Initiative a part of your regular prayer support. Over two dozen summer CPR projects are scheduled. These partnerships include DVBS, canvassing, soccer camps, building and maintenance projects. As you travel around the state of Michigan this summer, why not find a sister church near your vacation site and plan to worship there on Sunday? Perhaps there is a “mini” work project that you and your family could do to encourage a sister church. Need ideas? Contact the MARBC office.

BATTLE CREEK, Calvary Baptist Church (Brian Spencer, Pastor) – On August 2, 2009, Pastor Brian E. Spencer will be retiring from shepherding the congregation at Calvary Baptist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan. He and his wife, Sharon, arrived with their children, Lynne, Dan and Jill and began their ministry at Calvary on August 2, 1981. Sharon went home to be with her Lord and Savior on June 16, 2006.

Pastor Spencer will preach his last sermon at Calvary on August 2 in the 10:50 am Morning Worship Service. A special Celebration Service at 2:00 pm will follow where we will share many memories, and surprises. All are invited to attend. Please RSVP at by Email or at 269-963-4433.

CEDAR SPRINGS, First Baptist Church (Jim Howard, Pastor) – First Baptist Church celebrated its 150th Anniversary on May 17. The Sesquicentennial Celebration included 3 segments during the morning service which featured the recognition of several long time members, the descendents of the charter members, the longest tenured members, and all former pastoral couples in attendance. Three former pastors were featured as speakers for the day: Fredric Carlson (1973-80), Donald Sunman (1991-96), and Stanley Mohr (1997-2004). A Homecoming Meal was served following the morning service. The day concluded with a “Down Memory Lane” program in the evening service.

GRAND RAPIDS, Good News Baptist Church (Karl Pike, Pastor) – Brian Cederquist, Associate Pastor at Good News, was ordained on Sunday, April 26. Brian and his wife, Jenni, have been married since 2003 and have a son, Titus. Brian is a graduate of Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary. Brian previously served for nearly five years as the Associate Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Brain and his wife, Jenni, joined the Good News pastoral staff in May 2008. It is a blessing for Brian to serve alongside his grandfather, Karl Pike, who serves as the senior pastor at Good News.

GRAND RAPIDS, Highland Hills Baptist Church (Dave Lamb, Pastor) – Mark Warren, Associate Pastor of Highland Hills Baptist Church, shares this report regarding a special event recently held by the church.

“This past February Highland Hills Baptist Church hosted its first ever Festival of Sacred Music. The Festival was designed for brass quintets from area colleges and universities to learn from a master brass clinician who is a devout Christian and be introduced to sacred music through the eyes of a believer. It was our privilege to have Douglas Yeo, Bass Trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, here to conduct master classes throughout the festival as well as minister in our Sunday morning service the following Sunday. We had two quintets for the festival and combined them with a choir (members of The Evangelical Choral Society) who performed at a Gala Concert on Saturday night. At the concert, an offering was taken to benefit David’s House Ministries.

The purpose of the Festival is to extend our reach beyond our walls into the community around us. We were blessed to have Doug Yeo as our inaugural Festival master clinician. In one of the rehearsals he was able to share his faith and how it intersects with his life as a brass musician in the Boston Symphony. Doug presented the case to live for Christ in a very secular world even if we are only one of a small handful who claim Christ as Lord…as is the case in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Now we pray for the members of those two quintets that God’s Spirit would continue to use Doug’s words and the Festival on the whole to shape their spiritual understanding and perhaps one day draw them to Himself.

The Festival had a good first year, but the second year is already coming together. Phil Smith, Principle Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, will be joining us in March of 2010. We are hoping for more quintets from area colleges to participate as well as creating a trumpet day on the Saturday of the Festival. Ultimately, we are praying for these events to give us more of a platform to share Christ with our community. It has been amazing to see God opening up doors as we progress forward in planning these events. God is at work and we are glad servants to walk where He is leading.

For more information on this past year’s Festival, visit For more information on Doug Yeo, visit For more information on Phil Smith, visit”

SAND LAKE, Victory Baptist Church (Jeff England, Pastor) – Victory Baptist Church celebrated the ordination of Pastor Jeff England on Sunday, March 29. Pastor England along with his wife Dawn and daughters Michelle and Alethia come to Victory in April 2008. A charge to the church was shared by Ken Floyd, Executive Director of the MARBC. A charge to the pastor was delivered by Jim Lacy, Interim District Executive Minister of the Baptist General Conference. A fellowship meal was held after the service concluded.

SOUTH HAVEN, Bethel Baptist Church (Jeff Malin, Pastor) – Bethel Baptist Church held an installation service for their new pastor, Jeff Malin, on April 19. Pastor Malin and his family come to Bethel following ministries in Georgia and Florida. The installation service included remarks by deacon chairman John Brush, scripture reading and testimony by former pastor Mark Mayue, and a message by MARBC Executive Director Ken Floyd. Rev. Jim Carrier, a current deacon, presented the charge to the congregation. Rev. Dale Byers, former Bethel pastor who also served as the interim pastor, shared the charge to the pastor. A dinner reception was held following the service.

WATERVLIET, Midway Baptist Church (Mark Cowell, Pastor) – Seven students and five adults from Midway Student Ministries spent their spring break in San Jose, Costa Rica. After spending 9 months preparing for their trip, they left on April 3 for 9 days of ministry to assist Cam and Kerry Woolford who are missionaries from Midway Baptist Church serving in San Jose.

The team had the privilege of conducting a teen retreat, four children’s clubs in two churches and renovating a community basketball court/soccer field in a community park in the center of Paraiso. Later in the week, the team used the court/field to play basketball and soccer with teens and adults from the community. The goal was to build relationships with the people of Paraiso and to introduce them to Roca Viva Iglesia Bautista, Cam & Kerry’s church.

On Good Friday, the team prepared a Seder dinner for Roca Viva. The dinner commemorated the history of Israel, the Passover and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

To break up the work regiment, the team took a little time off to enjoy the scenery via a canopy tour (zip-lining through the mountains) and white-water rafting.

Pastor Jarrod Bartholomew shares, “It was an incredible experience where we got to practice our Spanish, they practiced their English and we worked together to tell a community about Jesus Christ. It will forever impact those who went. Thank you for praying for us.”

The team included: Melissa Bartholomew, Howard Fish, Danielle Fish, Dathan Tenter, Jessica Smith, Dan Smith, Chad Herman, Jarrod Bartholomew, Julie Bartholomew, Travis Steinhoff, Erica Bartholomew, and Andrew Saltzman.

WYOMING, Newhall Baptist Church – The final service in the almost 55 year history of Newhall Baptist Church was held on Sunday, May 3. Several former members and pastoral couples were in attendance for this special day of testimony and tribute. Remembrances were shared by Milton Ubbink, Larry McCauley, Lee Taylor, Fred Howard, Alfred Miller, Wes Mueller, and Steve Holman.
A final message was shared by former Newhall pastor Mike Eleveld. The service concluded with a transfer of the Newhall facility keys to the leadership of Alpha Women’s Center. The church voted to donate the facilities to Alpha for ministry in the neighborhood.
The church was established in 1953 under the leadership of “Uncle Carl” Bengert, who was serving as the Sunday School Superintendent and Home Missionary for Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. The church was chartered on August 16, 1954 with 32 charter members and 100 attending Sunday School.

After moving from a former “chicken coop” the first services were held in the chapel of the current location at 3434 Hubal Ave. SW in Wyoming, on March 1955. Rev. Wayne Anderson was the first full-time pastor, assuming this responsibility in September 1957. Sunday School rooms were completed in the basement during the winter months of 1958. The current auditorium was completed in 1963. Another addition to the building was added in 1988.

Rev. Ray Miller, one of Newhall’s former teens, was the first ordained pastor to go out from the church. Dr. Donn and Kitty Ketcham were the first members commissioned as missionaries. The Ketchams are a part of over 40 members that were sent out into full-time ministry. It is not known if any other church of its size has had as many people be led of God to go into full-time Christian service.
We thank God for the way in which He has used Newhall during its more than half-century of ministry.


EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE: A Food Trailer / Chuck wagon is being sold by Ensley Baptist Church in Sand Lake. It has everything you need to serve food. It’s equipped with a Stove, Refrigerator, Microwave, Chest Freezer and plenty of cupboards. The Church is asking $4000, but is taking any offers. You can see this item on Craig’s List by linking to the following address: Please email Casey Dreyer, Ensley Baptist trustee, with your questions or offer. Casey’s email address is: moc.citamednull@reyerD.yesaC.


The 6th Annual Golf Outing Event of Urban Transformation Ministries (UTM) will be held on Monday, June 22. The event is an 18-hole, 4 person scramble and will be held at Thronapple Pointe Golf Club, 747 Champoins Circle SE, Grand Rapids. The club is located near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The cost is $125 per golfer ($100 before June 1). Registration begins at 7:00 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. A lunch and awards recognition will be held following the event at 1:30 p.m.

UTM reaches out to over 300 inner-city teens and young adults in Grand Rapids through sports outreaches, small-group Bible studies, mentoring, crisis counseling, leadership development, and employment assistance. Joel Shaffer serves as Executive Director and ministers at Berean Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. Contact Joel for more information about UTM and the golf outing – 616.835.6744 / Email. You can mail your gifts and golf registration to UTM, P.O. Box 2693, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

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 moc.loanull@norahscbram or moc.loanull@nekcbram.

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