MARBC News & Notes, November and December 2010

You can also download a PDF of the Volume 56 Number 6 Nov/Dec 2010 (1 mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)

From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 56 Number 6 November/December 2010


“Joyfully Refreshed!” was not only the theme of the 68th Annual MARBC Conference, it was the commentary of those who attended it!  The conference was held at Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor, Michigan on October 25-26.  The conference featured a good attendance from MARBC churches from several regions of the state and several guests from other states and non-affiliated Baptist churches.  Over 30 displayers, many of them first timers, provided information and resources to the conference attendees.

The first conference session on Monday morning featured Executive Director Ken Floyd’s message from Matthew 20:17-26, “Ministry Served Jesus’ Style.”  Ken focused upon how the Enemy of the Church will attempt to get Christians to fight spiritual battles with carnal weapons (“weapons of mass distraction.”)  Jesus’ model of ministry requires spiritual focus while utilizing spiritual weapons for spiritual battles.

Dr. Stephen Davey, Senior Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, and President of the Shepherd’s Seminary, shared in the main conference sessions.  Dr. Davey’s messages highlighted the life and ministry challenges of the prophet Jonah.  Each message focused upon the issues relating to Jonah’s attempt to flee God’s call and how God subsequently worked in Jonah’s heart and situation.

The Monday evening session was led by Dr. Ken Pyne, Worship Pastor at Evangel.  Several members of Evangel ministered in the service, including the Evangel choir and special vocalists.  Mark Cizauskas, Executive Pastor of West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont and MARBC Council of 15 member, coordinated the worship and led the other general sessions.

Several workshop tracts were also included in the conference.  Dr. Davey shared a workshop related to effective preparation of those considering church membership.  Participants of this workshop received a free copy of the notebook, “Greenhouse,” from Colonial Baptist Church.  This notebook is used in the church’s new members’ class.  Don Jackson, Vision for Youth ministries, led three sessions dealing with leadership principles in ministry.  Dr. David Culver, President of Evangelical Baptist Missions, led workshops relating to men’s discipleship ministry and pastoral sabbaticals.  Mrs. Carolyn Culver (EBM) led three ladies sessions which focused upon how to delight in God even when the ministry may be challenging. She also shared a special session regarding how to teach children to value ministry involvement as a result of the attitude of their parents.

Deanna Miller, missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Detroit, was a wonderful leader of the children’s sessions during the conference.  Children were blessed by Deanna’s Biblical teaching and her creative craft sessions.  

During the Tuesday morning MARBC business session, reports were presented relating to the MARBC budget, the Executive Director’s report, and MARBC Talents for Christ.  Rev. Del Sanders represented the Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Group and reflected on the special partnership that Brotherhood has shared with the MARBC.

The election of new MARBC Council of 15 members was also held during the Tuesday morning session.  Bill Blount, Jr. (Hesperia Baptist, Hesperia), Doug Crawford (West Cannon Baptist, Belmont), and Jerry Diserens (Evangel Baptist, Taylor) were elected to 3-year terms.  The new Council of 15 Executive Committee for the coming year was also announced:  Chairman, Jim Howard; Vice-Chairman, George Coon; Secretary, Aaron Hadley; and Treasurer, Doug Crawford.  We are grateful for those who serve with the Council of 15 in helping to give direction to the ministries of the MARBC and counsel to the Executive Director.

Special appreciation was expressed for Mark Cizauskas for his special ministry as C-15 treasurer during his two terms on the council.  Additional thanks were given to Mrs. Karen Avey who serves as the MARBC bookkeeper.  

A luncheon welcoming new MARBC pastors and wives was hosted by the Council of 15 and Ken and Sharon Floyd on Tuesday.  Over 50 attended the luncheon and enjoyed hearing testimonies from the group.  A delicious meal was prepared by Evangel members.

We are grateful to the members and staff at Evangel Baptist Church for their humble servant hearts and attention to detail.  Senior Pastor Ken Pierpont and his pastoral staff did an excellent job of coordinating this special ministry.  Associate Pastor Jerry Diserens provided gracious and detailed leadership in coordinating the conference details.  Associate Pastor Ken Pyne prepared a wonderful worship service for the Monday evening session and ministered behind the scenes during the entire conference.  We want to give special thanks to the Evangel Baptist ladies who helped serve the entire conference at the registration tables.  You were a great blessing to our conference attendees and provided efficient service.  We are grateful to the Evangel office staff for their flexibility and joyful spirit in caring for special needs as they arose.

Messages from the conference’s main sessions and workshops are posted on the MARBC website.  You may also access other materials that were distributed at the conference; get them by clicking here.

We encourage you to make plans to attend next year’s conference which will be held at Northeastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo on Monday and Tuesday, October 24-25, 2011.

2011 TALENTS FOR CHRIST: The 2011 MARBC Talents for Christ competition will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont (Grand Rapids area).  Students may participate in either the Scholarship or Open Categories.  Registration cost is $25 per individual category and $35 in the Open Categories.  Those desiring to compete in the Scholarship Category should register at the National TFC website where other information and cost details are shared.  You may go to for more information, downloadable materials, and scholarship details.  A link to this website is also available at  

Registration deadline for the 2011 MARBC State Competition of Talents for Christ is March 1, 2011.  Please make checks payable to Evangel Baptist Church and mail the registration to: Michigan TFC, Evangel Baptist Church, 16994 S. Telegraph Rd., Taylor, MI 48180.

MARB churches and young people are strongly encouraged to participate.  The preparations for TFC will help develop godly discipline and character.  The results of this preparation allow our youth to minister in meaningful ways in several settings.  With the opportunities for scholarships from participating colleges in the Scholarship Division and scholarships for participating MARBC camps in the Open Division, there are also practical benefits for TFC participation.

For further information or questions regarding Talents for Christ, contact our Michigan coordinator, Pastor Ken Pyne by Email or phone: 734.946.5680.


UPPER PENINSULA – Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville sent a team of lady college students to two churches in the Upper Peninsula to assist in MARBC CPR projects in early August.  Teams assisted in a soccer camp for Cornerstone Baptist Church in Shingleton each morning.  Then, each evening they led a basketball camp at First Baptist Church in Newberry.  

The team spent time on Sunday at First Baptist in Newberry worshipping and getting ready for the upcoming basketball camp.  Then on Monday morning and each subsequent morning the ladies traveled for one hour to Shingleton to assist Cornerstone Baptist Church in leading a soccer camp for ages 5-13.  Following the soccer demonstrations the team would share a Bible lesson.  God mightily used the time spent with the folks in Shingleton.  Three children who attended the soccer camp and one of their mothers came to faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.   Pastor George Dwelley is continuing to follow up on the relationships and contacts made from the soccer camp.

Following the morning soccer camp the team drove an hour back to Newberry in order to assist First Baptist Church’s Pastor Andrew Manwarren in running a basketball camp for kids 5-13 years of age.  They helped run drills, set up, and referee games.  There was a great time of interacting with the kids and also building relationships among the ministry team.  

The evenings following the camps were spent by the team either relaxing at the hotel or taking in the sights of the beautiful UP.  The team got to visit Tahquamenon Falls and the bear reserve in Newberry.  Associate Pastor Ben Vaught shares, “We praise the Lord for how He used these ladies for the glory of His name and also the wonderful memories that He allowed us to create.  We are so thankful for CPR because, as a result, Calvary Baptist Church of Greenville now has a wonderful relationship with two churches that we were able to assist.”


BELDING, Green Corners Baptist Church (Paul Leslie, Pastor) – Green Corners Baptist Church called a new youth pastor from among its members last February.  Pastor Paul Leslie approached Scott Hoskins with the possibility of taking the position of youth pastor.  After prayerful consideration Scott accepted.  Scott and his wife, Karisia, are graduates of Word of Life Bible Institute.  Scott has worked in youth ministry in churches in Pennsylvania, Florida, and the Philippines.  Karisia has worked in camp ministries and open air evangelism in Mexico.  Scott and Karisia worked as missionaries in Bosnia from 2005-7.  They began attending Green Corners in 2008 and started working with a small youth group there in 2009.  Scott and Karisia have three children, Logan, Xandee, and Elisa.  They have been a source of great blessing since accepting the youth ministry position.

LANSING, Berean Baptist Church – Berean Baptist Church held a special farewell service on behalf of Pastor Brad and Becky Rickard on Sunday, August 29.  The Rickards, who served at Berean for 6 years, have moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Brad is now the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church.  Immanuel was formerly pastured by Bill Abernathy, who now serves at Berean Baptist Churcn in Portage, Michigan.  

PORTLAND, First Baptist Church (Bruce Sabados, Pastor) – On Sunday, September 26th, First Baptist Church of Portland had a full day of celebration.  The morning began with an installation service for Pastor Bruce Sabados, most recently the interim pastor at Leonard Heights Baptist Church in Grand Rapids and chaplain at Beacon Hill (formerly Michigan Christian Home).  Pastor Jim Howard (a former pastor) gave a charge to the candidate, followed by the deacons praying over Pastor Sabados.  Also, Pastor Don Chapel (another former pastor) gave a charge to the church and the church family celebrated with a potluck dinner.  The church also welcomed Pastor Bruce and Sharon Sabados with a food shower at the parsonage.

In the afternoon service, the church celebrated the auditorium renovation, which took place in April and May of 2010.  Pastor Tad Jameson gave a dedication message and prayer.  Associate Pastor Andy Brubaker honored Pastor Tad for his leadership as the interim pastor for the past 15 months.  Pastor Sabados closed the service with a vision for the future.


Maxine Margesson.  Dr. Maxine Margesson, (77) went to be with her Lord on October 7, 2010. She and her husband, retired MARBC pastor Burland Margesson, were married for 54 years.  Maxine previously served as the Chairman for the Department of Education at Cornerstone University, as well as Chairman for the Department of Education at Piedmont Bible College, Winston Salem, NC. She also served as Principal at Grand Rapids Baptist Academy.  She is survived by her husband, two children, and seven grandchildren.  A memorial service was held at First Baptist Church of Lowell on October 10 with Pastor David Sims officiating.


Have you pondered this verse regarding the Chief Shepherd of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ?  “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”  (Hebrews 5:8)  The marks of pain are critical to a life and ministry that is served in the style of Jesus.  Dan Allender has perceptively observed that “the best leaders limp.” (“Leading With A Limp,” WaterBrook Press, 2006)  

A Challenging Season of Ministry.  We observed this principle in action as we served Christ and His Church this past year.  Much time has been devoted to counseling, consulting, and encouraging discouraged ministry leaders, including several in crisis.  We have sought to encourage our ministry servants to value the opportunity to “lead with a limp.”  Perhaps the greatest evidence of these special needs is the fact that our mobility increased dramatically this past year.  We logged just under 40,000 miles in our travels to over 72 church campuses for speaking, consultations, crisis needs, and special ministry occasions.  This is by far the most miles logged in one year by the Director.  Due to several urgent needs throughout the summer we did not have the opportunity to visit some of the CPR ministry sites as we typically have been able to do in the past.

While these challenging issues have taken much investment, there are also several positives to rejoice in.  Pastors and churches facing the above mentioned difficulties are indeed finding God’s grace to be sufficient for their needs and are experiencing victory.  We often utilize the special ministry resource funds, such as the Pastor’s Enrichment Fund, to encourage God’s special servants through books and other ministry resources.

Pastoral Placement.  Working in the search process with churches and prospects is a regular part of our ministry.  I am glad to report that eleven MARBC churches called new pastors in the past year.  Of the almost 200 churches in the MARBC, twelve churches on average were in pastoral transition during the past year.  I was involved in 26 consultations with pastoral search committees and conducted several interviews with prospective pastors.  

Speaking Ministry.  Another reason for the greatly increased mileage was due to a very full year of speaking.  We enjoyed sharing in many MARBC churches (48 churches in all), including the opportunity to return to some churches where we had spoken a few years prior.  I guess this qualifies us as veterans in this position!  I also spoke in 3 conferences, a leadership retreat, and 2 ministry banquets.  We developed and led two MARBC Regional Seminars that focused on servant leadership principles for pastors and deacons.  This year we are developing regional seminars designed to help encourage ministry couples as they deal with the pressures of ministry.

Church Partnerships.  The third year of the “CPR Initiative” (Church Partnering Relationships) involved approximately twenty churches in strategic partnerships.  This year’s CPR projects provided critical help to church ministries that have struggled due to financial decline as a result of the Michigan recession.  We thank everyone who partnered with the MARBC in the CPR Initiative.  It would be our privilege to share with your church the importance of the MARBC partnership and participation in CPR.  Materials explaining this ministry are available from the MARBC office or by clicking here.

Strategic Initiatives.  We presented at the 2009 MARBC Conference a prospectus which I submitted to the Council of 15.  My prayer is that this prospectus will provide a solid foundation upon which the MARBC ministry can be developed in the years ahead. Because of the critical needs experienced by several churches and ministry leaders in our state this past year, I was unable to address the goals of the prospectus in the aggressive way that I had intended.  It is my desire to carve out a season of time early in 2011 where study and then strategic implementation of this long range plan can be formulated.

We are pleased to report that one important element of the strategic plan has been realized.  In the spring of 2010, the Council of 15 approved the allocation of over $35,000 in MARBC invested funds towards this scholarship.   These funds were combined with a love gift of approximately $15,000 given two years ago by a family associated with the MARBC for a pastoral scholarship with Baptist Bible Seminary. This action enabled an endowment of $50,000 to be established and therefore activate the special scholarship in conjunction with Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA.

Officially titled the “BBS Michigan Pastoral Studies Endowment,” this scholarship is being labeled by the Council of 15 as “The MARBC Future Pastors Legacy Scholarship.”  Since this scholarship is now fully endowed, the MARBC can start awarding scholarships to qualifying seminary students at Baptist Bible Seminary beginning the next school year.  (A full report regarding this exciting scholarship opportunity will featured in the next issue of the Baptist Testimony.)

Proactive for the Future.  We continue to develop other aspects of the strategic plan, including providing practical help for current pastors seeking online continuing education.  We are seeking funding from churches and burdened individuals to help fund this program.  We have started receiving donations of computer equipment, technology, and tech support to help train God’s servants to utilize this technology.  We ask the MARBC constituency to join with us in prayer that God will enable us to effectively engage in Great Commission ministry in the “Jerusalems, Judeas, and Samarias” of our state (Acts 1:8).

Ministry Availability and Needs.  We are available for speaking ministry, consultations, seminars, and strategic planning.  We come by the invitation of the pastor and church.  Our services are available to any ministry large or small.  Because of this policy, the ministry of the Executive Director and the MARBC fellowship is supported by the love offerings, honorariums, mileage reimbursements, and regular giving of the churches and individual supporters.  We sincerely appreciate your prayerful consideration of our personal ministry needs and that of the MARBC.  We are grateful for the resource funds made possible by our churches’ relationship with Brotherhood Mutual Insurance that helps undergird our ministry and special endeavors.  It is the desire of the MARBC leadership that these Brotherhood gifts could be used primarily for special ministry projects like those outlined in the Ministry Prospectus.  A letter regarding the special MARBC-Brotherhood Mutual partnership is included in your conference packet and is also available upon request from our office.

Thank You!  I want to express my deep appreciation for my wonderful wife, Sharon.  She is such a joy to work with and is a wonderful encourager not only to me but also those whom we serve.  We enjoy the opportunity to work side by side in this ministry and count it a blessing from God.  We thank you for your ongoing ministry partnership and prayerful support as we complete our fourth year of MARBC ministry.  Your prayerful support is very meaningful to us as we travel often and seek godly wisdom and we counsel and minister in unique and sometimes challenging situations.

Please remember that the MARBC is probably the only ministry that you support whose sole focus is to impact the State of Michigan with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is something worth embracing!

Partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd
October 2010


CHURCH ORGAN NEEDED:  First Baptist Church in Cass City is looking into the availability of a Hammond Organ Model C-3 or B-3; C-2 or B-2, Rt 2 or 3; Hammond Tone Cabinet PR-40 or QR-40; Hammond Tone Cabinet 21 H or 122.  Please contact Pastor David Hill at 810.441.2251 or by Email.

VALENTINE’S WEEKEND COUPLES RETREAT:  “Extreme Makeover – Marriage Edition (Marriage by God’s Design)” is a special couples retreat sponsored by the Southern MARBC Regional Fellowship.  It will be held on February 11-12, 2011 at the Youth Haven Ranch ministry center in Rives Junction, located between Lansing and Jackson, Michigan. The retreat will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 11 and concludes on Saturday, February 12 at 5 p.m.  Meals include Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast and lunch.  

The cost of the retreat is $97.12 per couple, which is based upon Psalm 97:12,“Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.”  A pre-registration fee of $50.00 is due by February 1, with the balance due at the retreat.  A gift book is included in the retreat fee.

The retreat speakers will be MARBC Executive Director Rev. Ken Floyd and his wife, Sharon.  The Floyds have enjoyed sharing at several marriage retreats and combine practical Bible teaching with real life stories to help couples embrace God’s design for marriage.  

Downloadable brochures and information regarding this wonderful way for couples to celebrate Valentine’s weekend are available by clicking here.  For more information and to register for the retreat, please contact retreat coordinator Pastor Tim Rowland, Lansing Avenue Baptist Church (517.783.3676; Email) ASAP!

SPECIAL “SECURITY ISSUES IN THE CHURCH” SEMINAR:  The Michigan State Police Training Academy is presenting a one-day seminar on “Security Issues for Places of Worship.”  The seminar will be held on Monday, December 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It will be held at the Michigan State Police Training Academy, 7426 N. Canal Rd., 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 Mrs. Francine Mitchell at 517.322.5906.  Space is limited so please register early.  The registration deadline is December 1.  

We once again extend our appreciation to Mark Blocher, Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, for sharing this information regarding the seminar.  Mark serves as a Michigan State Police Chaplain.  You may contact Mark for a PDF flyer that includes a registration form: Email


The Second Annual Michigan BBC President’s Golf Classic event will be Monday, September 12, 2011. The event will be held at Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids.  

Golfers may register individually or as a foursome. Golfing and sponsorship information is online at For questions, call 800.451.8668 or Email.  Get registration and other details at  Golfers registering and submitting payment by January 31 will receive a $25 discount. 

The Michigan event features special speaker Frank Tanana, a Detroit native whose major league baseball career spanned 21 seasons. A Christian who enjoys sharing his faith and experiences, Tanana’s eight seasons with the Tigers included pitching Detroit to a 1-0, division-clinching win over the Toronto Blue Jays on the last day of the 1987 season.

Golfers connect with local business sponsors to raise funds for student scholarships. The events are special opportunities for friends of BBC&S to be involved in the work of equipping students for global Christian leadership.

Thousand Oaks is one of Michigan’s many premier golf destinations. It has been rated one of the 25 best golf courses in Michigan by Golf Digest. It is located minutes from downtown Grand Rapids and also features the Thousand Oaks Golf Academy, which offers private golf instruction with two full times PGA Master and Senior Professional golf instructors.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. The shotgun start will be at noon. An awards dinner and prize drawings will be at 5 p.m.

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.  To learn more, go to  HYPERLINK “” \o “” or call 570.586.2400.

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.

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