From Where I Stand
Maynard H. Belt
MARBC State Representative
“The Courage to Stand!”
“Do not be dismayed before their faces…”
Well, dear friends, once again we are just around the corner from our 63rd Annual MARBC Conference which will be hosted this year, October 24-25, by Pastor Mike Eleveld and the dear folks at the Berean Baptist Church in Portage. You will enjoy their beautiful facilities and certainly will enjoy their gracious hospitality. The very first MARBC state meeting took place in 1942, exactly 10 years after the initiation of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches in 1932. Since our inception this Fellowship of churches has stood strong for the “fundamentals of the faith.” I am very pleased to be part of an association that has had courage to stand against the onslaughts of these great Scriptural truths. I thank the Lord that through the years our pastors and churches have been faithful to the cause of Christ. Being fully aware that the devil is still about his business we must also be about ours, being good keepers of the faith, until our Lord comes again.
Thus, the theme the Council of Fifteen has chosen for this year’s conference is – “The Courage to Stand.” Dr. Douglas McLachlan, former president of Central Baptist Seminary, and presently pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, MN, will bring four timely messages on this subject. We welcome him back for a second time to speak to our Fellowship. Three of his messages will be from the book of Jeremiah and the final message from 2 Timothy 4:1-8 regarding some non-negotiables for a “Church in Postmodern Times.” The Council has asked me once again to bring the opening message of the conference, and in light of the many doctrinal deviations that are confronting our churches I will address the subject “When the Winds of Doctrine Blow,” (Ephesians 4:14). One of those shifting winds of doctrine is the “Emergent Church,” and Dr. James Grier, dear friend of our State Fellowship, will address the theological implications of this fast growing movement. Dr. Gary Anderson, president of Baptist Mid-Missions, will present Super Seminars on two very important subjects: “No Pain – No Gain: Society’s Aversion to Suffering,” and “”Hitting the Wall: Causes and Cures.” Each and every one of us have been touched by suffering in some way or another, and more of us in ministry than would dare admit, have faced the concern of burnout. Dr. Anderson, from personal experience, can greatly help us in these areas.
There are also some other conference highlights you need to be aware. A very vital part of our conference is special sessions for our ladies. We thank God for their faithfulness in carrying out many significant ministries in our churches, so often behind the scenes. Denise Roberts, Berean Baptist in Portage, will be speaking on the subject of “Women Mentoring Women,” a very strong and vital ministry at Berean. Jeannie Vogel, South Baptist in Flint, and a noted conference speaker and author, will be sharing some “Discipleship Principles from I Thessalonians.”
Once again Mrs. Anne Harduk, pastor’s wife from First Baptist Church in Alto, will be conducting children’s meetings during four of our general sessions for boys and girls age 4 through 6th grade. These meetings will be held during the last four general sessions (not the Super Seminars) Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. In the packets sent to the churches, and on our Website (get conference forms here), there is a form for parents to return to Anne helping her to know how many to plan for. Also, if you might be interested in helping please contact her at (616) 868-0577, or mark it on the return form. Thank you. There will also be a nursery provided for the main sessions.
You may also receive information on our website, including all forms. We are encouraging pre-registration ($25/single; $35/couple) which may be sent to our MARBC office. This will facilitate matters at the check-in desk. Free books will be available to all of those registering.
Pastors, we are counting on your presence, and also encourage your people to join us for this great time of fellowship among our MARBC family. Ann and I have now completed fifteen years of ministry in our State Fellowship, and it keeps getting sweeter and sweeter each year. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you. Lord willing, see you in Portage October 24-25! -MHB