From Where I Stand
Maynard H. Belt
MARBC State Representative
“Real Men Love God’s Word” a Reality at Annual MARBC Men’s Retreats!
Some 560 men attended the two weekends of the MARBC Men’s Retreats May 5-7 & 12-14 at beautiful Lake Ann Baptist Camp near Traverse City. Even though this year’s weather was less than desirable it did not keep the men from enjoying some very special time away from their daily routines of life. A little rain didn’t dampen their parade at all! This year we had a variety of speakers including Pastor Bob McNeil, Shelby Rd. Baptist Church in Shelby, State Representative Maynard Belt, and nationally known evangelist Rev. Jason Nightingale, all speaking on the theme of the power of God’s Word. Brother McNeil spoke on “God’s Transforming Power” from John Chapter five; Brother Belt spoke on “My Bible and I” from Psalm 19:7-14; and Brother Nightingale on Friday night gave his personal testimony and a dramatic recitation of the first epistle of John and Saturday morning quoted and expounded several chapters of the Gospel of John. We rejoice that during both weekends many men committed to making the Word of God their Friend.
As always, we were enriched by the ministry in music by many of the men from our local churches and our dear friend, Bob Baribeau from Fruitport, who has been playing the piano for us for 20 years! Our worship in singing was led by Pastor Mark Cizauskas, Children’s and Worship Ministries pastor at West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont, and Pastor Brian Eggert, Music and Worship pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Portage. A special word of appreciation and thanks to Ron Barker, Video CD Productions, for making it possible to put the main sessions on video, and Dodd Morris, WCSG Kids Ministry director, for taping the sessions on audio cassettes.
Friday evening is always special with the attendance trophy presentations and the love offering for the MARBC ministry. The two offerings this year totaled nearly $3,000.00 and we want to thank the men for helping us in such a generous way as we seek to faithfully serve the 200+ churches in our state Fellowship. Trophy winners for the churches with the most men present the first weekend were: Division I (300+) – West Cannon Baptist, Belmont, with 35 men; Division II (150-300) – First Baptist in Newaygo with 23 men; and Division III (1-150) – River Bend Baptist in Grand Rapids with 11 men. During the second weekend the Division I trophy went to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Flint with 38 men; Division II trophy went to Cedar Springs First Baptist with 24 men; and the Division III trophy will be shared between White Lake Baptist in Montague and First Baptist Church in Portland, each having 19 men in attendance. Every year several of our churches increase their number in attendance and once again this year there were a large number of first time attenders.
After some 48 hours of fun, lots of great food (the steaks and chicken on the grill and the Saturday morning sweet rolls are the best anywhere), fellowship, Bible studies, singing, laughing, ping pong, golfing, fishing, snoring and drinking bottomless cups of coffee, the men once again hesitantly made their way home to tell stories of another great year at Men’s Retreat. A BIG thank you to Dan Good, and all of his excellent staff for being such a blessing in meeting our every need while at Lake Ann. We honor each of you for your total commitment to Christ and His work.
Next Year’s Dates
May 4-6 & 11-13, 2006
Rev. Doug Crawford
West Cannon Baptist Church