The Baptist Testimony – Volume 52 Number 9 – November 2006

From Where I Stand
Maynard H. Belt MARBC State Representative

Thanks For The Memories!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8

Where has this year gone! It seems like only yesterday we announced that this would be our last year of ministry with the MARBC. It has truly been a good and busy year as we have had the opportunity to speak in 51 churches including a 27 hour Masters Module at the Regular Baptist Seminary in Curitiba, Brazil. Other areas of ministry included serving as chairman of the Continental Baptist Missions Search Committee, attendance at the regular meetings as a board member and council member of CBM, BMM, and Bible Tracts, Inc. Of course, there has been the daily office load of caring for correspondence, editing the Baptist Testimony, counseling, meetings, planning retreats and conferences and simply assisting with requests and needs of our some 200 MARBC churches. Though our health has managed quite well, early on in the year Ann did struggle with a very serious hand surgery and recover) – which proved a challenge in the office. Also, we are glad to report that my brother, wayward from the Lord for many years, after 3 months in hospitals, is doing much better and has recently joined Pastor Coon’s church at Northeastern Baptist in Kalamazoo. Thank you so much for praying. Ann and I want you to know-that we are very pleased with the Council of Fifteen’s decision in selecting Ken and Sharon Floyd to replace us in this ministry. They are a lovely couple with a great heart for ministry’ and our Fellowship of churches. We pray God’s richest blessings upon them.

THANK YOU – from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to have this wonderful ministry over the past 16 years. It’s a close guess but I would estimate that we have traveled some 300,000 miles, spoken in some 750 churches (many several times), serviced more than 1500 churches in some way or another, personally interviewed some 800 men looking for pastoral positions, not counting those just needing a little encouragement, and attended 16 annual National GARBC Conferences from New York to California and Washington State. Ann and I have hand-written some 8,000 birthday notes and I have edited 175 issues of the Baptist Testimony and e-mailed 100 issues of the Barnabas File to 500 pastors and missionaries. I have been privileged to conduct Bible Conferences and Seminars in Texas (four times), New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and twice in Brazil.

Please know for sure that this ministry would not have been possible without Ann’s presence at my side. She has worked diligently progressing from a word processor to computer through long tedious hours of frustration and victory getting the various MARBC mailing lists in order as well as keeping up with the constant changes of pastors and associates in our Fellowship. Correspondence and mailings of all sorts including sympathy, encouragement and anniversary cards, and phone calls encouraging pastors’ wives have all been a major part of her ministry. Due to a vision impairment and other physical obstacles over the years, Ann has done the majority of driving on our trips. Thank you also for allowing her to join me for the two Brazil trips for without her I might still be at one of the airports trying to get through customs! For 43 years Ann has, without question, followed God’s leading for my life and is more than willing to do it again as we move into another chapter of our lives. The above verse is God’s promise to us for the future.

I also want to thank the Lord for the privilege of working with some great servants of God on our Council of Fifteen over the past 16 years. I recall my years of serving on the Council prior to being State Representative (some 28 years altogether now), have watched many changes in our ministry, but never encountered anything but a good spirit in making tough decisions even though we may not have always agreed. I also want to thank Jerry Hopkins for his burden and efforts over the past several years in assisting the church planting ministry’ here in Michigan. He is a “grass roots” servant of the Lord and has been a blessing in also helping rescue works. Though stepping down as the MARBC Church Planting Representative he will continue to work with churches in these areas. Thanks, “Hoppy,” it has been a blessing working with you.

Over the past 6 years you have prayed us through 18 surgeries including three bouts with cancer, some 90 chemo/ radiation treatments and more doctor appointments than people our age ought to have. Yes, the Lord has been so good. My primary disappointment, though we gained several, is that we didn’t see more churches join our wonderful Fellowship. Most of our losses were due to separation issues, unaffiliated pastors being called to our churches and pulling them out, a few to dropping the name “Baptist,” and several that dissolved. Hopefully this will change in the future. One of my greatest encouragements is how the Lord has blessed the MARBC through more than $300,000 in dividend gifts from the Brotherhood Mutual program. God has always known our needs and what HE has for the MARBC in the future. This will help drive our recently implemented MARBC Mission and Vision Statement for church strengthening, church nurturing and church planting. Our prayers will always be with the MARBC, the Council of Fifteen, and most assuredly, Ken and Sharon Floyd! We will dearly miss your fellowship, love and loyal support, but will be cheering you on from the sidelines. God’s richest blessings on you.

-Maynard & Ann

Resolution Regarding the Belts

Whereas, Maynard and Ann Belt have been faithful servants of the Lord and of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches for these past sixteen years, and

Whereas, they have endeared themselves to both pastors and people of the Michigan churches, and

Whereas, they have felt the Lord leading them to close out their ministry as the M.A.R.B.C. state representative and wife, secretary, due to health limitations.

Be it resolved that we the messengers of the M.A.R.B.C, meeting in Annual session at the West Cannon Baptist Church of Belmont, Michigan on October 23 & 24, 2006,

Give our heartfelt thanks to Maynard and Ann

  • for their genuine Christian testimony as they lived among us,
  • for their devotion to the Lord and their priority service to Him,
  • for their compassion for and ministry to, the pastors and churches of the M.A.R.B.C.
  • for their leadership to the Council of Fifteen and the M.A.R.B.C.
  • for their ministry of sharing the Word of God and being a blessing to the churches of the M.A.R.B.C.

And remind them that we will be praying

  • for the continual leading of the Lord in their lives, and
  • for the grace, strength and healing that is needed for their physical bodies.

Just One More Big thank You

This past 64th Annual MARBC Conference just had to be the best! Ann and I were so humbled by your gratitude to us for 16 years of sen-ice with the MARBC and 43 years of sen-ice for the Lord. Your monetary gift, letters of appreciation and the plaque and flowers from the Council of Fifteen made our “farewell” a highlight that will always remain a reminder of your love for us. The December issue of the Baptist Testimony will cover the conference in detail, but seeing this is the last issue under our “watch,” we just wanted you to know how much we appreciate all that you have done for us over the years. It has been our joy serving the Lord and you. Rest assured of our continued prayers and love.

Maynard & Ann

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