SMITHVILLE, Ohio—Pleasant Hill Baptist Church hosted the fall conference of the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches. This year’s conference was particularly special, as the churches gathering from across the state Oct. 24–26 honored Dr. David and Pat Warren for their 18 years of service to the association. David has retired as state representative.
Appropriate to the occasion, “Celebrating Transitions” was the conference theme. Ben Reed, a retired pastor from Niles, Ohio, has been appointed interim state representative while the association prayerfully searches for the right man to fill the position full-time. David Burman Jr., search committee chair, says the OARBC appreciates Reed’s “willingness to step up to the task of being available to reach out to and assist our churches and pastors.”
David Warren (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) was pastor of Champion Baptist Church, Warren, Ohio, from 1968 to 1976 and then began teaching Bible and training students for ministry at Faith Baptist Bible College. In 1980 he returned to Ohio, teaching at Cedarville University, his alma mater, until 1998 while occasionally serving as an interim pastor. In addition to teaching at Cedarville, he was a member of the board of trustees for 15 years.
His daughter, Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications, was on hand at the conference to honor Warren on behalf of the university. She presented him with a spindle chair engraved with the university seal and his name. Warren “is a man of God who has made an eternal impact for which we will be forever grateful,” says Dr. Thomas White, the university’s president.
Former Cedarville president Dr. Paul Dixon calls Warren “one of my favorite people for many years.” He says, “David is a faithful servant of his God. He is a wonderful student and preacher of the Word of God. I am honored to have him as a friend.”
Warren himself spoke from Acts 20, where Paul says farewell to the Ephesian elders. Three things were important to Paul as he bid farewell, Warren says: to serve with humility, honestly recognizing their own weakness and sin; to value the ministry of the local church, because Christ purchased the church with His blood; and to have integrity in doctrine.
Referring to believers’ walk with the Lord and their ministries, Dr. Warren would often say, “Not many can be a star, but everyone can be steady.” The Warrens had “quite an impact on many,” says Dave Ryan, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Canton, Ohio, and a 1990 Cedarville University graduate. “But the example of being humble before the Lord and faithful in their love for God’s people has made a difference among the Ohio churches and beyond.”
There is a “deep love that exists between my dad and the pastors of the OARBC churches,” Supplee says. “For many, he was their professor, mentor, and dear friend, and my dad and mom deeply love these churches.”
To the churches of Ohio, David and Pat say, “For over 18 years you have allowed us to serve the Lord through the OARBC. You have opened your hearts, your homes, your churches, your lives to us and our input. You have welcomed us from the world of academia into the world of the church and expressed affection and trust right from the get-go. You have generously cared for our financial needs including trouble-free travel through the four vehicles you have provided—approximately 600,000 miles total on the road (only two flat tires in 18 years). You have trusted our judgment when it comes to searching for pastors, planning a variety of conferences, counseling you through various trials, and representing the association in several venues. We do not take this trust and affection for granted, but consider ourselves to be privileged characters to be able to serve Him and you.”
David and Pat Warren set “a high standard to which we aspire in our ministries,” says John Greening, national representative of the GARBC, and his wife, Daria, in a tribute to the couple. “You both demonstrate a respect for God’s Word. You always teach in an engaging and fresh manner. You live before us in quietness and consistency, reflecting the Savior. Your support of pastors and wives lifts our spirits. Your wise counsel guides us through tough decisions. Thank you for serving with distinction. We wish you God’s best in the next chapter of your lives.”
In another transition for the OARBC, Phil Miller has retired after serving as assistant treasurer for 28 years. Taking his place is Christine Stammer of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo.