The Council of Eighteen—governing body of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches—met virtually on Nov. 16 and 17 to make strategic plans for the association’s future. Ordinarily, the council schedules two in-person meetings per year: one in June and another in November. But this year, with the COVID-19 crisis escalating and some states ratcheting up restrictions on gatherings, the decision was made to meet online instead.

“I’m just grateful the technology is available to allow this level of flexibility,” one participant said. “This wouldn’t have even been possible a decade or two ago.”

In addition to hearing reports from Regular Baptist Press director David Gunn, Regular Baptist Chaplaincy director Manning Brown, and Regular Baptist Builders Club director Clare Jewell, the council spent significant time addressing the financial impact of the pandemic-related shutdowns on each of the ministries, and making plans to ensure financial stability and sustainability in the days ahead.

Despite the difficult situation ministries and churches are facing, the tone of the meeting was upbeat and optimistic. “We may have challenges to deal with today,” said national representative Mike Hess, “but I am absolutely confident of three things: God is still on His throne; the mission of the church will continue to march forward; and Jesus Christ is coming again!”