The Council of Eighteen met at the Regular Baptist Ministries Resource Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Nov. 13–15. The council’s agenda centered on the search process for the next national representative. David Strope set the tenor of the meetings with an upbeat challenge from Philippians 3 on the attitude and work of striving. Ministry directors John Greening (Regular Baptist Churches), David Gunn (Regular Baptist Press), Clare Jewell (Regular Baptist Builders Club and Church Planting), Manning Brown (Regular Baptist Chaplaincy), Chris Hindal (Regular Baptist International), and Mark Johnson (finance) provided engaging reports.
John Greening acknowledged this would be his last full report as national representative. He gave thanks for the privilege of serving in this role for the past 21 years with his capable partner and loving wife, Daria. Along with his ministry report, John included his perspective on the leadership transition. To set the context for the national representative search committee, he presented a Biblical profile of the national representative position and summarized the skills and disposition needed for the position.
David Gunn gave an overview of his transition to his new role as director of Regular Baptist Press. He outlined a wide range of projects, including an important revision of the children’s Sunday School curriculum. His report included good news that sales are tracking upward with positive gains.
Clare Jewell shared news of the generosity of Regular Baptist churches in raising funds to provide assistance for churches damaged by flooding in Texas and Florida, along with assistance available to churches affected by recent wildfires in California. Several churches have submitted grant applications to Regular Baptist Builders Club to aid in their ministry launch or expansion of their facilities. In addition, Clare explained the developmental design of the new Church Planting initiative and reported on several ministry start-ups that are anticipated in 2018.
Manning Brown told of the excellent work that our GARBC chaplains are carrying out. Several military chaplains are serving in strategic positions. Regular Baptist Chaplaincy has also endorsed several new chaplains. The chaplaincy ministry is gaining increased interest and participation.
Chris Hindal shared his report via video, as he was facilitating the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries All-Partners Conference in the Philippines. Exciting developments are taking place in the translation of Kids4Truth Clubs materials for use in Hong Kong and China. Regular Baptist Press International is having a significant impact for the proclamation of the Word of God around the world.
Mark Johnson presented a detailed report documenting the solid financial infrastructure that is in place for the association.
Other reports and decisions involved upcoming GARBC conferences, the Talents For Christ scholarship program, resolutions to present to the churches, and budgetary decisions. The council also devoted extended time to the national representative search, determining a shortlist of prospects based on survey data from association churches. The search process timeline calls for a candidate to be presented to guests attending the 2018 GARBC Conference in Fishers, Indiana, June 26–29.
Men serving on the council always have a great time of fellowship during their meetings. They enter into the work of the association with energy and creativity.