The Baptist Testimony, Volume 57 Number 5 September/October 2011

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The Baptist Testimony
Volume 57 Number 5 September/October 2011

The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
Ken Floyd
MARBC Executive Director


What a blessing it is with each issue of the Baptist Testimony to review the many reports of God’s grace demonstrated in and through the churches and servants of the MARBC.  This issue is no exception.  In fact, there is SO MUCH information in this particular issue that I could not include the column that I had prepared for this issue.  However, I think that you will agree with me that sacrificing the space for my column is worth it as you read the many ways in which God is at work among us.  The theme of “grace” is evident on every page.

I would encourage you to make note of several opportunities that are shared in this issue for you to participate in our fellowship in the next two months.  And, we certainly appreciate your prayerful support on the 5th Annual Day of Prayer … and every day for that matter.  There are many wonderful opportunities and several challenging situations that we have been asked to assist in as a part of our ministry in this blessed fellowship of churches.

So, let me simply share a scripture verse that quotes the sentiments of the Apostle Paul for the Ephesian believers and which I often pray as I remember you and your church:  “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)

You have His Word on it! (KEF)

“Reflecting God’s Grace”
“… that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Acts 20:24

69th MARBC Annual Conference
Dr. Charles Ware, Keynote Speaker
Monday-Tuesday, October 24-25, 2011
Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan

The 69th Annual MARBC Conference will be held on Monday and Tuesday, October 24-25, at Northeastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo.  This year’s conference features an adjusted schedule format to allow more time for those attending to travel on Monday.  

Conference Schedule

MONDAY, October 24

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Registration and Displays
1:00 p.m General Session – 
Message:  Ken Floyd – “God’s Gracious Servants: The Ministry of the Gospel of the Grace of God,” Acts 20:17-38
2:15 p.m. Break and Displays
2:30 p.m. MARBC Family Session
Association Reports / C-15 election
3:30 p.m. Super Seminars:  
Men: Charles Ware – “Grace Relations”
Women:  Terre Ritchie – “What If I Give All I Have?”
4:45 p.m. Dinner in local restaurants
7:00 p.m. General Session – 
Message:  Charles Ware – “One Blood: One Race,” Ephesians 2
8:30 p.m. Council of 15 Dessert Fellowship for New Pastors and Wives

TUESDAY, October 25

8:30 a.m. Season of Prayer
9:00 a.m. Workshop Session #1:
Dave and Carolyn Culver – “But the Siblings are Different Colors” (Christian multi-ethnic families are already reflecting God’s grace, but they have some specific challenges and dynamics. Dave and Carolyn Culver are learning about those in their own children’s lives through multi-ethnic marriage, third culture children, and adoption.)
Jeff Parker – “A Roadmap for Building in Tough Economic Times” Part 1 (Ideas for working with a building that is too small or dysfunctional)
Dan Pugh – “Building Redemptive Relationships” (Learning to practice great redemptive words such as grace; confession; forgiveness; unity; and peace)
Terre Ritchie – “That Couldn’t Be God Asking Me to Do That…Could It?”(If you are afraid of change, you might want to attend this workshop!)
Joel Shaffer – “Social Involvement without the Social Gospel” (Reflecting God’s grace through a theology of social responsibility for the church)
Mark Sigmon – “The World at Our Doorstep” (Practical insights and ideas for effective local ethnic outreach)
10:15 a.m. Break and Displays
10:30 a.m. General Session – 
Message:  Charles Ware – “Walking Worthy,” Ephesians 4:1-7
11:30 a.m. Lunch in local restaurants
1:30 p.m.  Workshop Session #2:  
Jeff Parker – “A Roadmap for Building in Tough Economic Times” Part 2 (Ideas for church design, capital campaigns, and construction management; includes a panel discussion by experts on church building)
Dan Pugh – “Building a Culture of Peace” (Developing a Biblical plan for dealing with conflict in the church before it arises)
Terre Ritchie – “Safe Places on the Internet for Your Children and Students”(Information to assist you in helping children, students, and adults safely surf the web)
Joel Shaffer – “Gospel Centered Compassionate Ministry” (Reflecting God’s grace by launching a gospel-centered compassionate ministry in your community)
Mark Sigmon – “Your Greatest Mission: Your Greatest Impact” (Taking the Great Commission to the next level)
2:45 p.m. Break and Displays
3:00 p.m. General Session – 
Message:  Charles Ware – “Color Me Love,” John 13:34-35

Conference Speakers

The first session of the conference will begin at 1:00 p.m. on October 24, with an opening message by MARBC Executive Ministry Director, Ken Floyd.

Dr. Charles Ware, President of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana, will be the keynote speaker.  God has blessed Dr. Ware’s ministry in multiple ways.  He has served as a senior pastor, college president, author, sports chapel speaker, and conference speaker.  His passion is to raise church leaders who will lead their ministries to Biblically reflect ethnic diversity, promote urban ministry, and be living examples of the fruit of Bible-based racial reconciliation.

Dr. Ware will share messages relating to the conference theme, “Reflecting God’s Grace,” and will examine the importance of churches reaching the various cultures represented in their particular communities as a part of fulfilling Christ’s calling.  
Dr. Ware’s newly released book, “One Race: One Blood,” which he co-authored with Dr. Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis), will be the featured gift book at the conference.  He will lead a Super Seminar on Monday afternoon related to multi-cultural ministry entitled “Grace Relations.”

Other conference speakers will share in the workshop sessions that are scheduled during the conference.  The workshop sessions will focus upon pastoral ministry helps, practical missions methodology, conflict resolution, and women and children’s ministry.

Dr. David and Carolyn Culver have served in church and missions ministry for over thirty years.  They have been active in discipleship ministries for men and women and have authored and co-authored several Bible studies for Regular Baptist Press. The Culvers have four adult children and six grandchildren.  They will lead a workshop entitled, “But the Siblings are Different Colors.” Christian multi-ethnic families are already reflecting God’s grace, but they have some specific challenges and dynamics. The Culvers are learning about those in their own children’s lives through multi-ethnic marriage, third culture children, and adoption.

Jeff Parker is the president of Jeffery Parker Architects.  For the past 30 years he has specialized in equipping churches with purpose-driven, cost-effective facilities, including MARBC churches.  He will lead a two part workshop titled, “A Roadmap for Building in Tough Economic Times.”  The second workshop will include a panel discussion involving experts in the field of church building and expansion.

Dan Pugh is the senior pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Montrose, MI.  He and his wife of 29 years, Kathy, have always done ministry together.  They met while working at Regular Baptist Press and were missionaries to street gang youth in Chicago; and have pastored in urban, suburban, and rural ministries.  Dan has been trained in counseling through Faith Baptist Counseling Ministries in Lafayette, IN, and is a certified instructor with Peacemaker Ministries in Billings, MT.  He will lead two workshops relating to dealing Biblically with conflict.

Terre Ritchie is the Executive Director of CBH Ministries in Grand Rapids, MI.  She grew up in Pontiac, MI and came to Christ at the age of 7.  She and her husband, Tom, had 4 children and 11 grandchildren, as well as several heart-felt adopted children and grandchildren from Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.  She received an art degree from Kendall College of Art and Design and a Masters from Syracuse University.  She also assisted in leading several ministry teams to Romania caring for abandoned and sick children.  The Lord called her husband, Tom, home to glory in 2006 after 40 years of marriage.  Terre will lead three sessions primarily targeted for women relating to developing a closer walk with God, honoring His call, and a special session relating to the internet and its influence upon children and students.

Joel Shaffer is the Executive Director of Urban Transformation Ministries in Grand Rapids, MI.  In addition to his current ministry, Joel and his wife (Sherilyn) have been ministering the gospel among the poor in two Grand Rapids inner-city neighborhoods for over 20 years in various capacities as a homeless shelter manager, an urban youth missionary, and church planting.  Joel will lead two workshops dealing with practical methods of gospel ministry within a Biblical context.

Mark Sigmon is the founder and director of Global Impact Services, a ministry that helps churches and organizations find effective strategies for greater global impact. Over the past twenty years he has led mission organizations, committees, and short-term teams; served in forty countries; and taught, researched, and written on missions. He is the national Course Coordinator for Perspectives and leads a local ethnic outreach. He and his wife Cindi have three children.  Mark will lead two workshops relating to “glocal” missions opportunities.

Mrs. Deanna Miller, missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Detroit, will once again lead the Children’s Sessions (K-6th grade) during the main sessions of the conference.  Along with Biblical teaching, she leads the children in creative craft sessions.  We ask that parents please pre-register, if possible, so that we can adequately plan for these sessions.  Nursery care will also be provided by the church.

Conference Details

A MARBC Ministry Hour will be held on Monday afternoon.  Ministry reports, the proposed 2011 budget, and election of the Council of 15 will be a part of this session.  Nomination forms for the Council of 15 will be available to download from the MARBC website,, and will also be emailed to each member church in early September.  Details relating to the nomination process are included on these forms.

Conference brochures are being mailed the first week of September to every MARBC church.  If your church does not receive a conference packet, please contact the MARBC office.  All conference related materials are also available at the MARBC web site,, including area hotel information.  

A new feature this year is the opportunity to make pre-registration payments for the conference registration online using a credit card.  Thanks to a partnership with the GARBC, registrants may go to the GARBC website,, and make a secure credit card payment by clicking the “DONATE NOW” icon located in the middle of the right hand column of the home page.  This will take registrants to the “GARBC Ministries Secured Online Payments Page.”  Simply fill out the Form as indicated with all the required information.  Be sure to state in the “Comment” section of the Payments Page, “MARBC conference registration.”  

Fifth Annual MARBC Day of “One Accord” Prayer
“They raised their voice to God in one accord” Acts 4:24
September 25, 2011

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

Ideas for Participation:
Preach and teach on the topic of prayer in worship services, Sunday School, ABFs, and small groups.  I.e., a study of the Disciple’s Prayer in Matthew 5; prayers recorded in the Bible, the qualities of prayer, hindrances to prayer, etc.
Plan a 24-hour prayer marathon or other prayer event leading up to Sunday.  Materials related to various prayer events are available from the MARBC office.
Join with a sister church or churches in your area for a special prayer service.  
Take a moment during the morning worship service to pray for the churches, pastors, camps, missionaries, and ministries of the MARBC.  Pray also for sister churches in your area.  Every church in the MARBC fellowship is encouraged to pause at the 10:00 a.m. hour on September 25 to come before the Lord praying in “one accord.”  While worship and service times vary in our churches, most of our churches are assembled in some ministry setting at the 10:00 a.m. hour.  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.

Use the special Day of Prayer to focus upon the ministries of the MARBC.  Bulletin Day of Prayer inserts are available to download at or by contacting the MARBC office.  Some MARBC churches 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. 

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