DAVID STROPE, Interim National Representative
Encouragement: Refreshment is needed! “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country” (Prov. 25:25).
One of the great blessings of our recently concluded GARBC Conference was the fellowship. Encouragement given, grace received, perspectives expanded, spiritual thirst slaked. A unified, healthy church and an association of churches is a place of fellowship, not only with other believers and churches but with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Joy then is ours in each other and in God (1 John 1:3–4).
So gather in Biblical, meaningful fellowship. God will be glorified, and joy will be yours!
Ministry: July brought little respite from the pace of ministry following the GARBC Conference. Ministry opportunities included preaching and presenting Regular Baptist Ministries at First Baptist Church, Niles, Ohio, and Horton Baptist Church, Waverly, Iowa. I also participated in Baptist Mid-Missions’ (where I yet serve on the elected council) Family Conference.
I also enjoyed three consecutive weeks of ministry at my home church, Ankeny (Iowa) Baptist Church. I passed on the ministry baton in the installation service of Jason Blunk, Ankeny Baptist’s new pastor. I then was given opportunity for two weeks of preaching and presenting Regular Baptist Ministries at Ankeny Baptist.
The Council of 18 reorganized into various committees, and I will be working with each committee in its assigned tasks. I share thanks for the faithful service of David Burman Sr. and Sam Farlow as two-term council members. Further, I am glad for council newbies Stan Lightfoot III, Bruce McLain, and Luke Scallon. The rest of the council is now working on rites of their initiation.
National Representative Search: Do pray for the National Representative Search Committee. Chairman Mike Augsburger shared a search committee report at the GARBC Conference, noting that strategic planning is underway in preparation for the search of a national representative. David King, Ken Floyd, Jon Jenks, and Brian Cederquist also serve on this committee.
2023 GARBC Conference: The 2023 GARBC Conference will be held on the campus of Corban University in Salem, Oregon. Philip De Courcy, pastor of Kindred Community Church, Anaheim, California, and teacher on the daily media program Know the Truth, will be the keynote speaker. Reserve June 26–29, 2023!
Staff: A new editor, Beth Prassel, was added to the Regular Baptist Press staff. The staff continues to work with excellence and diligence.
It is my continued privilege to serve our fellowship as interim national representative. God has given us a great heritage with many opportunities for ministry in coming days. I constantly remind myself of 1 Corinthians 16:9: “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” Not “but,” but “and.” Open doors of ministry along with adversaries—yet God is able to make all grace abound in our lives and service for Christ.
MARK JOHNSON, Treasurer and Controller
It was a blessing to see so many friends at the GARBC Conference in June. From a personal perspective, this time is an enjoyable change of pace from my typical office routine, and despite the busyness of the week, it’s hard to consider it work.
A unique part of the conference for me was helping Marrena and Rusty Ralph in the program for grade-school students, using Kids4Truth Clubs material. Reflecting on this time brought three key takeaways.
- I’m excited for the gospel impact these kids will have! Throughout the week, I noticed a level of devotion, work ethic, and mutual cooperation that bore witness of Christ in their lives.
- Working with Kids4Truth Clubs curriculum reinforced my confidence that RBP offers the best Christian education material to help churches build spiritual maturity in those they serve. The lessons were doctrinally strong, Biblically comprehensive, and tailored for every age and learning ability.
- A different perspective is healthy and refreshing. My role with Regular Baptist Ministries keeps me focused on the numbers, and often I know more about what a product costs than how it works in the classroom. It’s much more important to understand the eternal dividends at stake, and I gained a refreshed perspective by visiting the classroom for just a few days. I’m grateful for our RBP team who produces these resources and for the thousands of teachers who present it each week.
KERRY WATKINS, Director of Church Engagement
Would you like to better understand the purpose of the GARBC? If you do, contact me at email@example.com. I can get you scheduled for one of our online meetings designed for pastors and ministry leaders to explain the purpose and vision of the GARBC. The meetings are about an hour long. David Strope, interim national representative of the GARBC, shares his vision for the ministry for about 20 minutes, and the rest of the time is available for you to ask questions.
DARRELL GOEMAAT, Coordinator of Regular Baptist International
Last month we welcomed two of our international partnering ministries to the GARBC Conference in Grand Rapids. Josiah Kennedy of the Association of Fundamental Baptist Churches in Ghana and Jermi Babu of Hope Now Interior Ministries in South India were able to attend the conference. It was good to see them and hear about their ministries. Travel expenses and government-denied visas were the main reasons why more of our partnering ministries were unable to attend.
Victory International School in Myanmar began a new school year in June both online and in-person, says Victor Vula, the school principal. He is thankful that the school installed a generator (as the school experiences power losses four hours a day), built a playground, and recruited at least 12 new staff. He asks people to pray for consistent electricity, support for children in disadvantaged communities, and a building project to add more classrooms.
Victor says, “There is not much progress with the current situation in Myanmar: more houses burned, including church buildings, people continue to die, and many people live in difficulties where they ran for safety. Please continue to pray so that the conflict in Myanmar will end, and for our effort to reach more people with their basic needs.”
We also received a report from Mang Cin Pau, pastor of Ambassador Baptist Church in Yangon, Myanmar. Earlier this month his Buddhist neighbors invited him to their home to teach them about Jesus and to compare Buddhism and Christianity.
“They are so interested to learn and know more about Jesus and the Christian faith,” he says. “This family is not so far from God and please do pray for their salvation.”
We also received a report from Francis Chipukunya, founder and projects leader of Going Home Africa Ministries in Malawi. He asks people to pray for a group of church leaders and pastors who will be evangelizing in Muslim-dominated areas. Francis asks for prayer not only for positive results from their efforts but also that they will be able to obtain lanterns so the group can hold Bible studies at night.
Regular Baptist International has received new grant applications since awarding more than $17,000 in assistance this spring. Please consider a financial gift to help us replenish our networking, resourcing, and compassion funds for this ministry. Please donate to Regular Baptist International.
MANNING BROWN, Director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy
The chaplaincy training module at the GARBC Conference was excellent, as was the fellowship at both the training event and the conference. Twenty-seven chaplains attended the training event. It included professional chaplaincy continuing education and end-of-life care. I made several connections during the conference, resulting in two applications for endorsement.
The Lord continues to bless this ministry as our chaplains provide spiritual resiliency and care. Please continue to pray for our chaplains and their families. To find out more about our chaplains, please visit our website.
CLARE JEWELL, Director of Generate
We had a full house for the Generate luncheon at the GARBC Conference. We shared encouraging stories of how God has used Generate to fuel the ministry health and reproduction of GARBC churches and their leaders.
We are currently focused on revising our website and partnering with the GARBC Council of 18 to engage more churches in working together to advance the cause of Christ in their regions.