News & Notes, Third Quarter 2013

The Baptist Testimony - Volume 59 Number 3 Third Quarter 2013 You can also download a PDF of The Baptist Testimony – Volume 59 Number 3 Third Quarter 2013 (PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)

From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 59 Number 3 Third Quarter 2013Also see: The Word Has It and Ken’s Road Report

News & Notes

September 29, 2013

“They raised their voice to God in one accord” Acts 4:24

A day for MARBC churches to devote their attention to prayer for our churches, pastors, state fellowship, camps, ministries, missionaries, and special needs.

7th Annual MARBC Day of “One Accord” Prayer. Sunday, September 29. You are encouraged to join sister churches in our state for a day focusing upon united prayer for one another and our partnering ministries.

We suggest that your church designate time during the morning and/or evening services to pray for the churches, pastors, camps, missionaries, and ministries of the MARBC. Pray also for sister churches in your area. This would also be a good time for deacons and/or other church members to pray on behalf of their pastors in anticipation of Pastor’s Appreciation Month in October.

Some churches have chosen to receive a special love offering on behalf of the MARBC. The MARBC ministry office and Executive Director are supported by the love gifts from churches in the fellowship.

Day of Prayer resources, such as bulletin inserts, prayer related articles that feature Bible studies and practical prayer ministries, and prayer requests, are available to download at Make plans to join sister churches in our association in prayer for the many requests shared on the downloadable prayer insert.


Will Davis. Will M. Davis, age 83, went to be with the Lord on Sunday morning August 18. Will served as a pastor for over 60 years, most recently at Berean Baptist Church in Portage, where he remained an active member after stepping down from the pastorate in 1995. A wonderful memorial service of testimony and praise was held at Berean with several family members, friends, and ministry partners sharing testimonies.

Born in Chicago, Will grew up in the neighborhood of Wrigley Field and as a boy wanted to play major league baseball. Instead, after graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 1952, Greenville (Illinois) College in 1955, and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary in 1980, he became a longtime pastor. He ministered at Grace Baptist Church, Gary, Ind. (1957–1966); Ridgewood Baptist Church, Joliet, Ill. (1966–1973); Euclid (Ohio) Nottingham Baptist Church (1973–1977); and Berean Baptist Church, Portage, Mich. (1977–1995). In addition, he served on the GARBC Council of Eighteen.

Pastor Davis was also involved with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. He was elected to the advisory council in 1971 and to the executive board in 1975. He was vice president of the executive board for 20 years and was elected to emeritus in 2006. At the time of his death, he was serving on the foundation board.

Will’s passion for sharing the gospel led him to take approximately 20 missions trips around the world from 1951 to 2008—15 of those on behalf of ABWE, visiting missionaries and investigating new mission fields in 30 countries.

After ending his pastorate at Berean Baptist Church in 1995, Will continued to preach and fill pulpit ministry, working with Interpas as an interim pastor for churches in transition. And he always followed the Chicago Cubs, hoping for another World Series Championship.

Will is survived by his wife, Greta Charlene, whom he married in Chicago on June 4, 1955; four children, Delores Malone, Debra Daam, Paul Davis, and Diane Lynn Bowman; 20 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Memorials may be directed to ABWE or Berean Baptist Church.

Joe Murray. “If you forget me you have lost nothing. If you forget Jesus you have lost everything!” This oft quoted saying of Joe Murray was printed on the front of a brochure shared with guests who attended his memorial service on August 8. Joe (66) entered the presence of His Lord on Sunday night, August 4, 2013, after suffering a heart attack.

Joe was born in Dublin, Ireland. He is survived by his wife of 29 years Mary, children Abigail & Joe Berger, Andrew and Ariel Murray, grandchildren Gavin, Blake and Ella Berger, Bentley and soon to arrive Joseph Murray, brother Desmond Murray, sister Annette, mother-in-law Bernice Norton, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Phil Norton, John and Marsha Norton, Dan and Shirley Norton, Martha and Tom Thornton, Tim and Karen Norton and Joe and Peggy Norton.

Fleeing the horrible environment of Dublin, Ireland orphanages as a young teenager, Joe began a global search for his identity. His journeys took him to Jerusalem where he hoped to find more information about the “Jesus” he had heard stories about in the orphanage. Instead, he only found businesses that sought to profit off of Jesus’s fame. He worked on an Israeli kibbutz until he was arrested for the possession and use of drugs and subsequently deported.

Joe’s international travels took him to several countries in Europe and Asia. He eventually ended up in India in the early 1970’s. He reasoned that since his more famous counterparts from Great Britain (the Beatles) had gone to India to explore eastern mysticism, he would try that also. Pursuing religion through the use of drugs, Joe found himself more hopeless than at any other time in his life. It was then that he passed the entrance to a mission hospital in Delhi and saw a sign above the door which quoted Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all you who are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Joe entered the doors of the hospital to learn more about what the sign meant and soon came to know the Savior Jesus Christ.

Joe soon joined the Mercy Ships and worked as a cook. While traveling on the Mercy Ships he continued to grow as a Christian as he was discipled by those with whom he worked. One significant opportunity that he received while serving in Spain was the opportunity to learn Spanish. This opportunity would be used strategically in Joe’s life several years later.

Joe eventually married his wife Mary in 1984 and they settled in the west Michigan region where they have served God and raised their two children. Joe was recently quoted in the Baptist Bulletin magazine (November/December 2012): “We’re conditioned to think that evangelism can only be done by someone who is trained, a seminary graduate. I may not be able to speak with great philosophy and theology, but I can tell others what God has done for me.” It was that conviction that enabled Joe and Mary to have a strategic ministry for many years. They served the Lord for twenty years as missionaries with Released Time Bible Ministries (RBM), teaching the Bible during the public school day to children from 15 schools in Grant, Newaygo, Hesperia, Fremont, White Cloud and Kent City. Joe also served as a deacon at Rice Lake Baptist Church and as a church planting recruiter with Pastor Pepe Morales at Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church in Grant.

Joe was strategically used as God’s servant to initiate the formation of the Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church. Through his ministry with children in the Released Time Bible Club he came in contact with several migrant families who had relocated from Mexico to west Michigan in order to work at area farms. Frequently interspersing the familiar words of Job 1:21, “The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” Pastor Pepe Morales recalled at Joe’s memorial service his first introduction to the unique Irish-American who had a heart for Hispanics.

Speaking in Spanish with his ministry partner and Joe’s friend Paul Newton serving as translator, Pepe shared: “One day while serving as a pastor in Mexico I received a call from a man who identified himself as someone living in Grant, Michigan, who wanted him to come there to help him start a church that would minister to the migrants living there.” Sensing Pepe’s hesitation, Joe then encouraged him to tell his wife Rosina about this opportunity and to then pray about it as a couple. He promised that he would phone Pepe again. Several days later Joe indeed called them back and the Morales were soon on their way to minister in Grant. By faith, Joe and his wife Mary secured a $10,000 mortgage to secure a mobile home in which the new pastor and his family could live.

The memorial service brochure included a statement that Joe wrote in his Bible on November 27, 2003, “My goal for life is to become more like Christ each day, and may others benefit from this reality.” Judging by the large groups of people who have gathered for two memorial services and Grace Hispanic’s anniversary service in August, God greatly used Joe’s desire to declare Jesus Christ in his life.

Please uphold Joe’s family in prayer, the many children and young people that God has impacted through Joe’s ministry, and the servants that are needed to fill the ministries that are temporarily vacated by his home going. Memorial gifts may be given to Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church, P.O. Box 108, Grant, Michigan 49327.

ESSEXVILLE, First Baptist Church (Dan Staples, Pastor) – A one hundred fiftieth anniversary weekend was held at First Baptist Church on August 9-11 with the theme, “We kept the faith … We press on.” The anniversary celebration was the featured cover story for “The Bay City Times.” The weekend included a Friday evening concert with 175 people in attendance. The concert featured Evangelist Ben Everson, and his parents Dana and Gloria. Sunday morning’s anniversary worship service featured the Eversons and Pastor Tom Teall delivering a 150th anniversary message. Over 275 people attended the Sunday activities. Former pastors’ wives Carole Tassell and Alice Olsen were in attendance. Organist Martha Bright and secretary Val Bassett were honored for their ministries for over 20 years. The weekend concluded with an afternoon dinner and the ringing of the church bell 150 times. The church family gathered in a prayer circle at the conclusion of the afternoon, praying for the recommitment of the church’s current ministry.

GRANT, Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church (Pepe Morales, Pastor) – More than 300 children attended the annual Daily Vacation Bible School outreach conducted by Grace Hispanic Baptist Bible Church in August. Several sister churches assisted Grace in the implementation of this important ministry. Pastor Pepe Morales reported several responses to Gospel invitation by young people in attendance. The following Sunday the church held its 15th anniversary celebration.

SHELBY, Shelby Road Baptist Church (Bob McNeil, Pastor) – On Sunday, August 25, Shelby Road held its annual Picnic and Lake Baptismal Service at Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya. The afternoon began with a picnic potluck with about 250 people enjoying the sunny afternoon activities. The picnic was followed by a lake baptismal service that included 15 adults and children being baptized and joining the church. Pastor Bob McNeil interviewed each person on the dock before Pastor Nate Parsekian baptized each individual.


SPECIAL SPEAKER OPPORTUNITY. Pete Mothershead of Balanced Evangelism ministries will be in Michigan during the months of October and November. He has dates available to speak on Sundays as well as other dates for special events. There is no financial obligation to the church, just a love offering when possible. Contact Pete if interested, 661.645.4643; Email.

FREE CHURCH PEWS AVAILABLE. 40 church pews (16 feet by 9 inches) are available to anyone willing to pick them up from a central Michigan location. Pictures and additional information are available. Contact John Kresge, 989.682.4438, Email.

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 Email Sharon or Email Ken.

ONLINE GIVING OPTION. Those desiring to donate to the ministry of the MARBC may now do so online. Locate the “Donate” button on the homepage. Click this button to make a tax-deductible donation to the “MARBC” or the “Floyd Ministry Expense Fund.” You will be directed to a secure webpage hosted by . One time or recurring gift options are available.

Giving to the “MARBC” option allows you to share a donation to the MARBC general fund. Giving to the “Floyd Ministry Expense Fund” allows you to share a donation to the ministry expense fund of Executive Ministry Director Ken Floyd. These funds help cover the travel expenses related to the ministry of the Executive Director. It is Ken and Sharon’s desire that the expenses for their travel on behalf of the MARBC would not have to impact the general ministry of the association. Therefore, they are seeking partners who would be willing to support their ministry in this practical way.

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