From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 58 Number 6 November/December 2012
The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
MARBC Executive Director
Like the beautiful and colorful contrasts of the autumn leaves we have enjoyed this spectacular fall season and the sunrays that will glisten off new fallen snow this winter, we are blessed to observe the multi-colored aspects of God’s grace in the lives of MARBC churches and servants. Paul describes God’s handiwork in the lives of His children as being “according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:7-8).
Sharon and I continue to be greatly blessed as we minister together for God and the MARBC fellowship daily. What a joy it is to meet so many wonderful servants of God in our frequent travels. We are encouraged as we receive regular expressions of appreciation regarding the personalized support, practical resources, and spiritual care that the MARBC is able to provide.
It is a great joy to complete our sixth year serving you as representatives of this Biblically sound church network whose heritage is rich and whose potential for Great Commission influence is strong. We know that many of you pray regularly and give sacrificially. Thank you for your ministry partnership and financial stewardship that enables this to happen. God is using our association to make an eternal impact!
We pray for the encouragement and strengthening of the churches and friends of the MARBC as the year 2012 comes to a close. During the Christmas season, let us further rejoice in “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich!” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We are confident that 2013 will bring abundant opportunities for multi-colored riches of God’s grace to be put on display in the lives of each person and church in the MARBC family.
You have His Word on it! (KEF)
70th MARBC ANNUAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Conference attendees from all generations were greatly blessed by the messages, testimonies, and fellowship that were a part of the 70th Annual MARBC Conference that was hosted by the gracious members of South Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan on October 29-30. Several first time attendees and displayers participated in this year’s conference. Pastors Scott Snyder, Larry Burk, Don Chapin, and the South Baptist Church staff and family were exemplary in their efforts to help facilitate a wonderful conference atmosphere for all in attendance. We express our heartfelt thanks to the entire South Baptist Church family for their generosity extended to us.
The wonderful worship sessions were coordinated and led by Nathan Pierpont, Worship Pastor at Northeastern. Cindy McNeil (Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby) accompanied on the piano and keyboard, and Greg Carlson (First Baptist Church, Allegan) ministered on the organ. Several members of South Baptist Church also ministered in the services by playing instruments. They also shared in a stirring choir and dramatic presentation during Monday evening’s session. Our thanks are also extended to Lissy Pierpont, who not only assisted her dad in the worship sessions but also served as the conference photographer. For the fourth consecutive year CEF missionary Deanna Miller was a blessing to the children in attendance as she shared Bible lessons, special crafts and activities.
Main session messages focused upon the theme, “To All Generations,” which was based upon the benediction that the Apostle Paul offered for the believers in Ephesus, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Monday’s messages called upon our association to “Appreciate Our Heritage.” Former MARBC State Representative Maynard Belt began the conference by answering the question “Is One’s Heritage Really Significant?” in the affirmative from Deuteronomy 2. Maynard also shared personal reflections about how God has used the ministry influence of the MARBC in its seventy years of existence. In the Monday evening session, current MARBC Executive Ministry Director Ken Floyd challenged the MARBC constituency to “embrace their Gospel heritage,” by noting the key emphases of the Apostle Paul’s farewell address recorded in Acts 20.
Tuesday’s messages challenged the association to “Embrace Our Future.” Current MARBC pastors delivered three powerful messages. Pastor Bob McNeil, Shelby Road Baptist Church in Shelby, presented a convicting message that asked the question “Is Anything Happening?” He shared ten key dynamics that allowed the early church in the Book of Acts to be effective and relevant.
This was followed by a message from Pastor Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church in Kent City, which focused upon “The Two Arms of Embracing” from 2 Timothy 1. The message focused upon two key principles in reaching the next generation for Christ: being a transformational leader and being an incarnational agent.
Pastor Mark Shaw, Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, preached the final message of the conference. Focusing upon Hebrews 13:20-21, he challenged the conference attendees as they prepared to re-enter their ministry world to “work hard and ‘chill-lax!’ because God is the One Who Perfects and is in the process of perfecting His Church. The key to embracing the future is to recognize that we are involved in “the LORD’s work.” And with this closing admonition, everyone left to do just that.
Perhaps the most talked about feature of this year’s conference were testimonies shared by special guests at the conference. Born in Colon, Michigan, MARBC ministry veteran Dr. Joseph Bower shared a testimony during Monday evening’s session about God’s work in his life and ministry. Stating that he now tells people who ask him that his blood pressure level is “91 over 71,” he rehearsed with great spiritual fervor how God has watched over his 91 years of life and 71 years as a minister of the gospel.
Former MARBC State Representative John Wood helped launch the Tuesday morning “Season of Prayer and Praise” by sharing about the early days when the association first hired a full-time representative. With the humor and candor that endeared him to the association churches, Brother Wood recalled what it was like to “trail blaze” the development of the association.
Pastor Josh Gates, First Baptist Church in Fenton, shared an update about his recovery from surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid and lymph nodes. A thirty-year-old pastor in his first lead pastor role, he related the lessons he and his wife Andrea are learning as they seek to lead a church and raise a young family while dealing with adversity.
New Association Churches.
The applications of three churches seeking to associate with the MARBC were presented and unanimously approved during the Monday business session. Pastors and representatives from each church were officially welcomed into the association during the Monday evening session and each pastor shared a testimony on Tuesday morning (video and audio of each testimony is available here). The MARBC rejoices in the opportunity to partner with these important church ministries.
Grace Hispanic Bible Baptist Church in Grant (Pepe Morales, Pastor). This church plant is sponsored by Rice Lake Baptist Church (Dan Fullmer, Pastor) and currently meets in their facilities while their new church site continues to be developed. The church is being strategically used of God to primarily reach Hispanics working in the region of West Michigan. Two articles regarding Grace Hispanic were recently published in the November-December 2012 issue of the “Baptist Bulletin.” You may access these articles online at www.marbc.net.
Limestone Baptist Church in Limestone (Ted Jolls, Pastor). This church plant was started by Hiawatha Land Baptist missionary Warren Jolls (Ted’s father) and later overseen by Continental Baptist Missions. It continues to be a lighthouse to a dark area in the central Upper Peninsula.
South Litchfield Baptist Church in Litchfield (Ken Pierpont, II, Pastor). As a church struggling to survive both doctrinal and numeric decline, Ken and Jane Pierpont have been used of the Lord the past three years to help rescue this work and enable it to once again become a gospel influence in the farm regions of southern Michigan.
Special Online Conference Resources.
We are excited to share that all messages and testimonies from this year’s conference are available in both audio and video format and are now posted on the MARBC website. Relive the blessings of this year’s conference and share them with others. You may also access other materials that were distributed at the conference at www.marbc.net.
The Monday afternoon business session included reports relating to the MARBC budget, the Executive Ministry Director’s report (PDF), and MARBC Talents for Christ (shared by TFC director, Pastor Ken Pyne). The revised MARBC Articles of Faith were ratified and three new members of the Council of 16 were selected.
We are grateful for those who serve with the Council of 16 in helping to give direction to the ministries of the MARBC and counsel to the Executive Ministry Director. Special thanks are given to Mrs. Karen Avey who competently serves as the MARBC bookkeeper and Pastor Kevin Pierpont of Higgins Lake Baptist Church who serves as the MARBC Webmaster. Appreciation is also expressed to Pastor Ken Pyne and his wife Debbie for their faithful work in leading the MARBC Talents for Christ.
The Council of 16 and Ken and Sharon Floyd hosted a dessert fellowship welcoming new MARBC pastors and wives on Monday evening. Over 60 were in attendance and were blessed by the testimonies shared by the group. A pie fellowship was provided by South Baptist Church. We thank the church for their hospitality in providing this delicious treat!
2013 Joint Conference.
“Standing Together for the Gospel!” The 2013 conference will be an historic first! The MARBC is partnering with the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches (OARBC) to present a joint conference on October 21-23, 2013. The three-day conference will be hosted by Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio. A task force comprised of members of both state councils is planning the format and have extended invitations to speakers who will participate in the three-day conference. Be sure to reserve the dates!
2013 MARBC Council of 16
Jim Howard, Nathan Pierpont, and Tom Townsend were elected to three-year terms as Council of 16 members at the annual conference. The Executive Committee: Chairman, George Coon; Vice-Chairman, Jim Howard; Secretary, Aaron Hadley; and Treasurer: Jerry Diserens. We express our thanks to outgoing Council member Greg Carlson for his faithful service. The following men comprise this year’s council (year term ends in parentheses):
- Bill Blount, Hesperia Baptist, Hesperia, (2013), Email
- Doug Crawford, West Cannon Baptist, Belmont, (2013), Email
- Jerry Diserens, Evangel Baptist, Taylor, (2013), Email
- George Coon, Chairman, Northeastern Baptist, Kalamazoo, (2014), Email
- Ken Pierpont, Jr., Evangel Baptist, Taylor, (2014), Email
- Scott Florida, Alpine Baptist, Comstock Park, (2014), Email
- Jim Howard, Vice Chairman, First Baptist, Cedar Springs, (2015), Email
- Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist, Kalamazoo, (2015), Email
- Tom Townsend, Calvary Baptist, Battle Creek, (2015), Email
- Steve Ayers, Faith Baptist, Benzonia, Northern representative, Email
- Jeff Burr, Forest Hills Baptist, Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids area representative, Email
- Rich Griffith, Parma Baptist, Parma, Southern representative, Email
- Aaron Hadley, Secretary, First Baptist, Edmore, Central representative, Email
- Brian Knight, Dollar Bay Baptist, Dollar Bay, Upper Peninsula representative, Email
- Jamey Miller, Fellowship Baptist, East China, Eastern representative, Email
- Dave Sill, Shelby Rd. Baptist, Shelby, Western representative, Email
NEW ONLINE GIVING OPPORTUNITY FOR 2013
Those desiring to donate to the ministry of the MARBC may now do so online. Locate the “Donate” button in the MARBC.net sidebar. 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 RegularBaptistMinistriesGiving.org. 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.
Those completing a donation will receive an email from “SimpleGive.com” stating that the transaction has been completed. The receipt will read that a gift has been received for the ministry of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, and the budget category will state either: “Support for MARBC” or “Support for Ken and Sharon Floyd.” Please contact the MARBC office for further information.
2013 TALENTS FOR CHRIST: The 2013 MARBC Talents for Christ competition will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont. Students may participate in either the Scholarship or Open Categories. Registration cost is $65 for the Scholarship Categories. Registration cost is $25 per individual category and $35 per group in the Open Categories.
SPECIAL NOTE! This year’s National TFC competition will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, June 26-28, during the GARBC Annual Conference and “Students Alive” events. Travel expenses will be limited and the opportunities to participate will be great. Let’s have a great Michigan participation!
Those desiring to compete in the Scholarship Category should register at the National TFC website where other information and cost details are shared. You may go to garbc.org/tfc for more information, downloadable materials, and scholarship details. A link to this website is also available at www.marbc.net.
Registration deadline for the 2013 MARBC State Competition of Talents for Christ is March 1, 2013. Please make checks payable to Evangel Baptist Church and mail the registration to: Michigan TFC, Evangel Baptist Church, 16994 S. Telegraph Rd., Taylor, MI 48180.
Students competing in the Scholarship Category have the opportunity to receive a First Place $1000 scholarship or a $500 scholarship for Second Place. All state winners may compete in the National competition at GARBC Conference for additional $5000 (1st place) and $2500 (2nd place) scholarships to the participating schools.
Scholarship Competitions: Bible Knowledge, Brass, Female Public Speaking, Female Voice, Male Voice, Oral Interpretation of Scripture, Piano, Preaching, Strings, Visualized Bible Teaching, Woodwinds, Writing
Open (Non-Scholarship) Individual Categories: Art, Bible Knowledge, Brass, Digital Media, Female Public Speaking, Female Voice, Male Voice, Oral Interpretation of Scripture, Piano, Preaching, Strings, Visualized Bible Teaching, Woodwinds, Writing
Open (Non-Scholarship) Group Competitions: Vocal Duet, Small Vocal Ensemble, Large Vocal Ensemble, Puppet Team, Drama Team, Instrumental Ensemble
MARB churches and young people are strongly encouraged to participate. The preparations for TFC will help develop godly discipline and character. The results of this preparation allow our youth to minister in meaningful ways in several settings. With the opportunities for scholarships from participating colleges in the Scholarship Division and camp scholarships from The Springs Camp in the Open Division, there are also practical benefits for TFC participation.
For further information or questions regarding Talents for Christ, contact our Michigan coordinator, Pastor Ken Pyne – Email, 734.946.5680. A PDF file containing all of the Talents for Christ information is available to download here.