News & Notes, September/October 2012

You can also download a PDF of the Volume 58 Number 5 September/October 2012 (PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)

From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 58 Number 5 September/October 2012

WITH THE LORD Joyce Rohrer. Joyce (71), godly servant and faithful wife of long time MARBC Pastor Tom Rohrer, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday morning, August 23. A Service of Praise and Thanksgiving was held on August 28 at Northland Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, with Rev. Chris Weeks, Rev. Ken Floyd, and Rev. John Nixon officiating. Joyce faithfully served her Lord alongside her husband in ministry, for over twenty years at Northland Baptist Church in Grand Rapids and most recently for seventeen years at North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. Her late father, Roy Botruff, served as an MARBC pastor and was influential in the development of Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp. Joyce also worked as a L.P.N. in hospitals, physician’s offices, and a retirement home until Parkinson’s disease caused her to retire. Joyce is survived by her husband, Pastor Thomas Rohrer; children, Michelle and Chris Weeks of Kent City, and Sherilyn and Joel Shaffer of Grand Rapids; eight grandchildren; siblings, Mrs. Mary Lou Eldredge, Larry Botruff, and Dan and Lexi Botruff; and nieces and nephews. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider an inner city ministry led by her son-in-law and daughter: Urban Transformation Ministry, PO Box 2692, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

CURTIS, Curtis Baptist Church (Ray White, Pastor) – Curtis Baptist Church recently welcomed Ray White as their new pastor. Pastor White and his wife Jane are pleased to be leading the congregation in Curtis. They have previously ministered in churches in Texas and Colorado.

Ray was employed by the Dallas Fire Department as a Firefighter from 1970-1982, and also was the owner of Free State Map Company. Jane was a public school teacher in Mabank, Texas. After surrendering his life to the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in 1981, Ray attended two conservative Baptist seminaries where he earned several degrees including a DMin. and ThD. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from East Texas State University, Commerce, Texas. Pastor Ray describes himself a simple man who loves the Lord and His people. He has a unique sense of humor and enjoys teaching the Word of God.

FRUITPORT, Trinity Baptist Church (Scott Church, Pastor) – “Across Three Centuries” was the theme of the 120th anniversary celebration held by Trinity Baptist Church in July. Currently located on the corner of Sheridan and Emends in Fruitport Township, Trinity Baptist was originally known as Muskegon Heights Baptist Church when it was started in July 1891 under the ministry direction of Rev. J.C. Jacobs. The history of the church includes the ministry of twenty-seven pastors and hundreds of faithful ministry servants. Senior Pastor Scott Church and assistant Pastor Daniel VanderVelde are currently ministering for the Lord at the church.

The church held an anniversary celebration over two Sunday. On July 15, the focus of the celebration was upon the goodness of the Lord’s blessings over the centuries. Rev. Don Long, former pastor at Trinity, and Rev. Maynard Belt, former State Representative of the MARBC were the featured speakers. On July 22, the focus centered upon a challenge for the church’s future ministry. Rev. Ken Floyd, Executive Ministry Director of the MARBC and Dr. John Greening, National Representative for GARBC served as the guest speakers. A delicious fellowship meal was served between services. Several display areas featured photographs and memorabilia from the church’s history.

A more detailed history and information about the church is available at

FRUITPORT, Trinity Baptist Church (Scott Church, Pastor) – Trinity Baptist Church of Muskegon, MI sent an eight-member missions team to Utah to minister with the Berean Baptist Church of Sandy in conducting a VBS program, July 27 – August 5. The team had the joy of working alongside of Daniel Long, a missionary supported by Trinity, who is ministering in nearby Orem. VBS was held each morning with an enrollment of 65 children and a high attendance of 55 on Thursday. There were six decisions for Christ and many opportunities to minister to the children of the community.

Afternoons were spent in Orem with Daniel Long helping to prepare his home as a place for community Bible studies. Two evenings were dedicated to visiting door to door and inviting people to attend the new Bible study and seeking to minister and encourage the people of the area.

GRANT, Grace Hispanic Bible Baptist Church (Pepe Morales, Pastor) – Grace held a VBS utilizing the facilities of Rice Lake Baptist Church in Grant during the week of August 13-17. Several sister churches assisted with the VBS by providing workers, supplies, food, and transportation. There were over 150 children and 50 parents in attendance at Friday evening’s closing session. Pastor Pepe Morales rejoices that there were over thirty who expressed interest in learning more about the Gospel during the final session. He gives thanks to God for all those who gave assistance. The church also celebrated its 14th Anniversary with a special service on Sunday, August 26.

JACKSON, Lansing Avenue Baptist Church (David Oberst, Pastor) – On Sunday, August 19, the church family surprised Pastor David Oberst and his wife Linda with a celebration in recognition of their 25 years of faithful ministry at the church. The Obersts and their family came to the church in March of 1987. By God’s grace, the church and the Obersts prayerfully anticipate many more blessed years of ministry together.

REMUS, Chippewa Hills Baptist Church (Chuck Richardson, Pastor) – Chippewa Hills is once again making the church’s parsonage available for anyone in ministry that needs a place to stay (missionary, pastor in transition or others needing housing). The church does not charge rent and only asks that the user take care of the utilities. The house has 3 bedrooms, an office area, and is partially furnished. Any inquiries can be sent to Pastor Chuck Richardson, Chippewa Hills Baptist Church Remus, Mi 49340; 989-967-8205; email.

WAKEFIELD, Calvary Baptist Church (Michael Riley, Pastor) –Michael Riley was installed as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Wakefield, Michigan, on Sunday, July 22. He succeeds Pastor Thomas Bauder, who retired at the end of February. Michael had been called by the church in January and began preaching the Sunday services in March, but because he was still serving as an administrator at Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, he was not able to move to Wakefield until July.

The featured speaker for the service was Dr. Kevin Bauder. Dr. Bauder was a fitting choice for the event, as he is both the son of the previous pastor and an esteemed mentor of the incoming pastor. He challenged both church and pastor to fulfill their respective obligations in Hebrews 13:7 and 17. A fellowship meal followed the morning service.

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKER AVAILABLE. Dr. Ishak Ahmed, a leader in the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries (IFPBM), from Silchar, Assam (India), will be available for ministry in Michigan churches in mid-October through mid-November. Ishak has a dynamic testimony for God’s glory, and is an influential church leader in Assam state. His ministry in northeast India includes church leadership, leading a Bible college, and regional strategy. Several MARBC churches and pastors have been involved in the ministries that Ishak leads. If you would be interested in scheduling Dr. Ahmed in your church while he is in Michigan, you may contact him by email.

FALL PASTORS RETREAT. A Fall Pastors’ Retreat will be held at Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp. The retreat will address ministry function regardless of church size. This retreat is scheduled for September 17, 18. Pastor T.W. Teall (First Baptist Church of Alto) will be speaking on the subject “A Refresher Course on Prayer and the Ministry of the Word.” The cost is $45 (scholarships available); this includes four meals, overnight accommodations and snacks. For more information please contact Mark Shaw at 616-754-3811 or Jim Lockwood at 616-984-2125. Please register ahead of time with the camp.

PASTORS’ SEMINAR AND BIBLE CONFERENCE. West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont is hosting their annual Pastors’ Seminar and Bible Conference, “One Holy Mission,” on Monday and Tuesday, September 24-25. This year’s conference features speakers Michael Horton and Kevin DeYoung. The cost for the seminar is $45. Register online at

New Crib Regulations for Church Nurseries. Over the years, drop-side cribs have led to many infant injuries and deaths. That’s why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created new standards for manufacturing, selling, and reselling drop-side cribs. Any crib sold must now meet the CPSC’s new standards. While churches are not necessarily required by law to abide by the new crib laws, all churches should consider making the change so they are not found liable for negligence if a crib injury occurs. Read more about these changes in the free article from Brotherhood Mutual’s church resource website, ChurchSafety.comNew Federal Crib Regulations Affect Churches, Daycare Centers.

MISSIONS PROMOTION: MAJOR ON THE MAJORS. The new ministry season brings with it opportunities to edify, educate, and engage the church family regarding various aspects of Great Commission ministry. Many churches will host mission conferences to accomplish these objectives. Mark Sigmon, Director of Global Impact Services, shares these practical suggestions from his Global Insight Series.

More than occasional emotion, at it’s best missions promotion is a strategy to mobilize your people for greater global impact. Start with a strong annual conference and an inviting information center.

Revitalize your “main event.” The death of the annual missions festival has been greatly exaggerated! Make this one of those times everyone anticipates most. Consider these strategies:

Build your conference around one exciting theme (avoid generic, uninspiring topics, or just a series of reports). Coordinate your speakers, seminars, offering, music, and décor around that theme.

Use a strong keynote speaker. Schedule them three years in advance.

Use your missionaries wisely. You need to hear from all you partners, but you need to use them where they fit best.

What other elements will you include? A video? Drama? Panel discussion? International potluck?

Make this the highlight of the year for children. Immerse your kids in a global experience of international sights and sounds. Go wild with the décor and have fun!

Consider a special funding project, a special call to prayer, and a public call to commitment.

See the Global Impact Manual and suggested resources for great themes and ideas.

(For additional mission resources and services, contact Global Impact Services, Mark Sigmon, Director,

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