JAMESTOWN, Ohio—The Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches held its Fall Conference Oct. 23–25 at Shawnee Hills Baptist Church. Celebrating 90 years of God’s faithfulness, the OARBC centered its conference on the theme “Appreciating the Past, Understanding the Present, Advancing toward the Future.”
Ben Reed, interim state representative of the Ohio association, opened the conference with a message about the history of the OARBC and its rich heritage, citing the godly men who have led the association in the past. He challenged guests to appreciate the past but, referring to Hebrews 11 and 12, but to be faithful in the race before them.
Pastor Dave Culver of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church and Pastor Matt Nihiser of Calvary Baptist Church, Lancaster, Ohio, spoke on the theme “Understanding the Present.” Speaking from the book of Jude, Culver emphasized the importance of recognizing apostasy today and avoiding the preaching of a “light” gospel, and instead remaining true to the Word. Nihiser called for everyone to define who their first love is—the love that should define all of ministry, according to Revelation 2:1–7.
The highlight of the conference was the installation of Chuck Pausley as OARBC state representative. After the unanimous affirming vote of the guests on Monday, the first day of the conference, Reed literally passed the baton to Pausley, officially recognizing him as state representative.
At Tuesday evening’s service, the Council of Twelve and Ken Floyd, state representative of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, gathered around Pausley while John Greening, national representative of Regular Baptist Churches, prayed for him and his future ministry. Following his formal installation, Pausley shared a personal message from Philippians 3:12–14 regarding his passion and what drives him in ministry.
The final session, on Wednesday morning, was met with anticipation and good attendance. Pausley shared his challenge that the association “be endeavoring to maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:1–3), followed by his personal vision for the OARBC and his top five goals for the next five years.
Excellent workshops were presented throughout the conference, as well as a lovely ladies’ tea, introducing Chuck Pausley’s wife, Linda. In addition, the Ohio Women for Missions held its annual fall meeting with speaker Linda Luedeman, ambassador to Women At Risk International. And throughout the conference, guests participated in powerful times of corporate worship and enjoyed a dessert reception in the foyer after each evening session.
The many ministry displays; the renewing of fellowship by pastors, their wives, and the OARBC family; and the genuine hospitality of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church all contributed to making the 2017 OARBC Fall Conference a memorable one.
Photos by Todd LeMaster.