The following faithful servants of the Lord have served with distinction in their GARBC churches and will be honored during the GARBC Conference general sessions and featured in Baptist Bulletin news.
Maranatha Baptist Church, Sebring, Fla.
Following a student pastorate, Eldon Brock pastored three churches in New York and Michigan. God then called him to be director of Lake Ann Baptist Camp, a position he held for 21 years. His retirement in 1992 merely extended Eldon’s ministry. He served as a consultant to Christian camps across the U.S. and in eight foreign countries, and was an officer of the National Association of Regular Baptist Camps, an organization he helped begin in the 1970s.
Eldon’s growing burden for the Burmese people led to the founding of Closed Door Ministries in 2002. From 1992 to 2004, he visited Burma nine times and raised funds to facilitate the advanced theological training of promising young Baptist leaders among the Kachin tribe. He helped three students gain their doctor of ministry degrees through Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pa., and each has returned to work among his own people. In 2005, Hanson Baptist Bible College in Burma awarded Eldon an honorary doctor of divinity degree.
Ethnic to Ethnic Ministries, incorporated in 2008, grew out of Dr. Brock’s passion to see churches reach the world that is coming to our doors. The organization’s influence is spreading under his direction, and doubtless will become a solid and substantial ministry as he finds the man of God’s choosing to assume its leadership.
“Eldon Brock is a veritable wellspring of creativity,” says Gerald Webber, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, Sebring, Fla. “God has given him a unique ability to see a need and find a way to meet it.” Now in his mid-80s, Dr. Eldon Brock has distinguished himself over a long life of ministry as a gifted and faithful servant of the Lord.
Great Commission Baptist Church, Schaumburg, Ill.
Iva Greening is a prayer warrior who is passionate for ministry. Born into a hardworking farming family, Iva knows what it means to roll up your sleeves and get to work. She and her late husband, John Edward Greening, a faithful, longtime pastor, invested their lives in ministry. In retirement, Iva and her husband moved with their son, John, and his family as he accepted pastorates in Ohio, Washington, and Pennsylvania. At each new locale, Iva quickly endeared herself to the people of the church. She became a trusted friend and wise counselor to many women.
Iva’s passion for serving the Lord was not tempered by her husband’s Homegoing in 1994. She continued serving at Summit Baptist Bible Church, Clarks Summit, Pa., for years after her son was called to be GARBC national representative in 1996.
Today, at age 99, Iva is an active member of Great Commission Baptist Church, a church plant in Schaumburg, Ill., that her grandson, Scott Greening, began. She opens doors for ministry in the community by involving Scott in religious services at her apartment complex, inviting her friends and doctors to the church, and telling everyone she meets about her wonderful new church. Each Sunday she can be seen in the aisle greeting visitors and checking on regular attendees. If you miss a Sunday, you can be sure Iva will give you a call or follow up next week.
Pastor Scott Greening says, “Our church will owe a debt of gratitude to Iva for her pivotal role in creating a culture that welcomes, loves, cares for, and prays with guests, attendees, and members. I know that when Iva is at church, . . . everyone who walks through the door will feel the love of God.”
Independent Baptist Church, Indian Lake, N.Y.
Alfred F. Hartwig was born on a farm in the Upper Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada. His parents were godly Christians who faithfully brought up their 10 children in a Baptist church. After trusting in Christ at age 10, Alfred surrendered his life to ministry at age 17 through the challenge of his pastor.
Alfred attended Seaway Baptist Bible Institute, a small Baptist training school in Cornwall, Ontario. Many of his professors were Baptist pastors from northern New York who were burdened to train men for the ministry. Through their connections, Alfred was contacted by a small fundamental Baptist church in the Adirondack Mountains. After candidating as a single man, he was called to be pastor of Independent Baptist Church in Indian Lake, N.Y., in October 1971. The single ladies in the church would later be disappointed when their young pastor would arrive with his new bride, Grace, from Nova Scotia. Alfred was not an American citizen, so over the next two years he and his wife commuted every other weekend the three-and-a-half hours from Canada to Indian Lake. In 1973, Independent Baptist Church ordained Alfred, enabling him to immigrate to the United States in 1974.
Over the next several decades, notes his son Daniel, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Dysart, Iowa, Alfred and Grace labored faithfully in the ministry, never working with great numbers, but always investing in the lives of those God brought to the church. Alfred continues to pastor the same church he was called to over 40 years ago. In his words, he just keeps “preaching, praying, and plugging away.”
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Ithaca, N.Y.
In 2007, Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ithaca, N.Y., was without a pastor. Pastor Glenn Richard, who had retired from a GARBC church in Rochester after pastoring two other churches, became interim pastor. He and Judy traveled two hours one way to minister to the church in Ithaca each Wednesday evening and returned to their home in Rochester on Thursday mornings; then they turned around and repeated the trip on Sunday. Joan Apthorp, the church secretary, says, “His messages and teachings always challenged us to grow closer to Christ. He did this with a sparkle in his eye and a spring in his step, never giving any indication it was an inconvenience.”
Judy Richard endured the long car rides in spite of difficult mobility and pain from a spine disease, and became an eager, willing participant in Tabernacle’s ministry. As a gifted pianist and organist, she even joyfully filled the role of pianist to accompany the choir and soloists.
In 2009, the church called a pastor, the Richards’ son-in-law, Michael J. Paris, and Glenn agreed to stay on as associate pastor. He continues to speak at prayer meetings and Sunday evening services. Judy leads a Bible study, mentors women one-on-one, assists in the children’s program, and continues playing the piano. The Richards still make the trek from Rochester, but the church did move its prayer meetings to Thursday nights so the couple would need to make only one trip to Ithaca.
Pastor Richards says he is no more distinguished than any other pastor. “We merely represent the host of other pastor-wife teams who try to do our best out of gratitude to God for our salvation and His calling to pastoral ministry.”
First Baptist Church, Cass City, Mich.
About 51 years ago Dick and Shirley Shaw, newly married, moved to Cass City, Mich. Their first Sunday in Cass City they wondered where to go to church, and seeing First Baptist right across the street from their apartment, they decided to try it. They continued attending First Baptist Church for the next five decades, raising their three boys in the church and actively serving.
Dick has been a Sunday School superintendent, taught an adult Sunday School class, and served as deacon and trustee. Whenever the church held a workday or organized a crew for a parade float, Dick would be there joyfully working. Shirley, an excellent teacher, has taught the juniors Sunday School class for decades. She has also been the music director, served on the missions committee, and has been active in the Women’s Missionary Society, serving many terms as president. Together Dick and Shirley faithfully supported each pastor the Lord brought to First Baptist and found ways to encourage him often.
The Shaws have maintained a powerful testimony not only in their church but in their community as well. They are known for their faith in Christ, their integrity in business and friendships, and their willingness to help neighbors who are hurting.
Recently Dick and Shirley moved to Greenville, Mich., and have joined Calvary Baptist Church, where their son, Mark, is pastor. Although the Shaws will be missed at First Baptist, says Pastor David Hill, the congregation is thankful for their service and knows that their new church will be blessed to have them as members.
Faith Baptist Church, Streetsboro, Ohio
When Pastor Don and Beth Workman arrived at Faith Baptist Church, Streetsboro, Ohio, in 1991, they led the church through some difficult times. With Don and Beth at the helm, says deacon Dennis McMichael, Faith Baptist is now a healthy church body that would make any pastor proud.
Through the Workmans’ leadership, Faith Baptist Church has taken multiple missions trips, many teens and adults have followed God’s call to vocational ministry, and the congregation has ventured into ministries that many pastors would consider risky but that have generated much fruit. One of those ministries involved participating with two other churches to hold a school assembly with an evening evangelical outreach; over 30 teens and adults made salvation decisions.
Faith Baptist Church has appreciated Pastor Workman’s winsomeness, approachability, and sense of humor in addition to his firm commitment to the Word of God. In February, to mark the Workmans’ 20 years of noteworthy leadership, the congregation held a weeklong celebration, an outpouring of gratitude for the couple’s faithfulness in living as examples of Christ.
Under the Workmans’ ministry, Faith Baptist Church has made many strides forward, and the church body anticipates further advancement as they remain sensitive to God and have a heart for their community in which God has placed them.
Student Service Awards
The following student servants have demonstrated outstanding Christian character and service at home, at church, and in their communities.
Grace Baptist Church, Brockport, N.Y.
Rebekah McCarthy’s character and service shine brightly as a beacon for Christ. Her high character and strong faith translate into generous service at home, at church, and in her community.
At home Rebekah seeks to honor her parents, so she is available to serve in any manner. Whether by watching her younger siblings, cleaning the house, or helping around the property, Rebekah serves without complaining.
At church Rebekah can be counted on to serve others with enthusiasm. She has ministered to children by providing childcare and teaching and is a leader in her youth group. She serves in weekly worship in the choir and orchestra. She has also been involved in missions trips to minister to Arabic children, traveling several times to Pennsylvania, and this summer will travel to Canada.
In her community Rebekah ministers to others at school. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society through which she gives 30 hours of volunteer service each year. She leads a Bible study for students, serving as vice president. She helps organize and lead a weekly prayer gathering around the flagpole. And she has aided in the planting and teaching of a Good News Club at the local elementary school.
Regardless of where or in what manner she’s serving, Rebekah is faithful and teachable in attitude, maintaining a joy-filled spirit. Pastor Kenneth Phillips says she is “the epitome of what the Lord desires teenagers to be.”
Fellowship Baptist Church, Dalton, Pa.
Mark Walter has been an active part of Fellowship Baptist Church’s youth group for the past four years. His willing spirit and creativity make him a valuable member of the church.
After Mark wrote a tract geared toward reaching youth, members of Fellowship Baptist used it in their weekly prayer walks around town during the summer. Then, for Mark’s senior project at school, he designed and built three games for the church’s youth: box hockey, carpet ball, and foosball. After seeing what Mark is capable of doing, an older gentleman in the church asked him to make a beanbag toss game.
Mark also uses his gift of music at Fellowship Baptist. He has sung in the choir for the past three years, has been the narrator for cantatas, and plays the trumpet for special music. In addition, he has mentored a fellow teenager, encouraging him to be faithful at church, which ultimately led this boy to be an usher alongside Mark.
In his community, Mark has participated in the Voice of Democracy speech competition for the past two years, winning first place locally both times. His pastor and grandfather, Lawrence Walter Jr., says that Mark loves the Lord and is seeking God’s will for his future.