IARBC_leadWATERLOO, Iowa—The Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches convened for its 81st Annual Conference at Walnut Ridge Baptist Church April 4 and 5. “Pastor Tom Hlad and the church family did a fantastic job of hosting this year’s conference, demonstrating a servant’s heart with a joyful countenance,” says Tim Capon, IARBC state representative.

Capon brought the opening message on the theme “Inside Out: Living and Serving by God’s Transforming Grace,” challenging everyone to minister “up close and personal” as Paul in 1 Thessalonians did.

Pastor Matt Morrell of Fourth Baptist Church, Plymouth, Minnesota, was the keynote speaker. Speaking from 1 and 2 Timothy, he brought messages on “A Testimony of Total Transformation,” “Characteristics of an Excellent Servant,” and “Marks of a Faithful Ministry.” (Listen to Capon’s and Morrell’s messages at iarbc.org.) Capon says the conference “was a great opportunity to connect with and further our friendship with this dear brother from Minnesota.”

In addition to the four general sessions, five workshops stirred attendees’ hearts for greater effectiveness for the Lord from the inside IARBC_inlineout. Church leaders and members gleaned from the topics of expository preaching (with Mike Hess, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant); counseling (with Scott Owen, family ministries pastor at CrossRoad Baptist Church in Ames); youth ministry (with Jason Blunk, youth pastor at Ankeny Baptist Church); church revitalization (with Tim Weeks, field director for Baptist Church Planters); and training children (with Sandy Capon, Tim’s wife).

Tim Capon say the conference “was a sweet time together” yet marked by a moment of sadness as the group said good-bye to Becky Holub, IARBC administrative assistant for 12 years. She and her husband, Jeff, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Des Moines, will be moving to Michigan in June.

Becky “has served with great dignity, competence, wisdom, humility, and just plain hard work,” Capon says. “She has always displayed such a gracious, gentle spirit, a willingness to learn and grow, and has been a delight to work with. We will miss her greatly.”

Along with receiving a spontaneous and well-deserved standing ovation during the Monday evening session, Becky was presented with a card, a verbal tribute, a gift, and a financial gift from the fellowship’s churches. Becky says that serving the people of the 98 IARBC churches has been a joy.

“We thank the Lord for the good preaching, good workshops, good fellowship, and good spirit,” Capon says. “It was a refreshing time together! And we now look forward to our 2017 Annual Conference, ‘I Will Build My Church,’ with keynote speaker Jim Tillotson, president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary.”