DAVID STROPE, Interim National Representative
My wife, Debbie, and I continue by God’s grace with joy in my service as interim national representative. I’m beginning to understand far better Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 11:28: “Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” Churches seeking pastors, churches in need of revitalization, and communities without any gospel witness are all profound and growing needs.
I pray daily for the churches of our fellowship (praying for one GARBC Church Directory page a day), for the Council of 18, for the staff of Regular Baptist Ministries, and for the leadership team of Regular Baptist Ministries: Clare Jewell, director of Generate; Manning Brown, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy; Darrell Goemaat, coordinator of Regular Baptist International; Alex Bauman, educational resources director for Regular Baptist Press; Kerry Watkins, director of church engagement and human resources director; and Mark Johnson, treasurer and controller.
I also pray each day for my own soul: “I am crucified with Christ but live, and the life I live today I live by faith in the Son of God, Who has given me grace and today gives grace to know and to live Your will. You loved me and gave Yourself for me. Help me again to consider my life as having no value except when I lose my life for Christ and the gospel’s sake. Give me grace to finish my course and ministry I have received from You” (Galatians 2:20; Acts 20:24).
Ministry: August brought me a slightly more relaxed schedule. I preached and represented the GARBC at my home church, Ankeny (Iowa) Baptist Church and Harvest New Beginnings, Oswego, Illinois. My favorite part of my ministry as interim national representative is the opportunity to be in churches and meet people, to encourage pastors and congregations, and to share the ways God is using Regular Baptist Ministries. Responses from churches have been encouraging.
I scheduled two “vacation” Sundays, taking the opportunity to rest. My wife, Debbie, and I spent the last full weekend of August taking day trips in Iowa, enjoying a break from our normal work routines. Debbie has served the last 14 years at Mercy Hospital infusion clinic, Des Moines, Iowa.
My fall itinerary is very full. Pray for these upcoming ministry opportunities:
Sept. 4: First Baptist Church, Creston, Iowa
Sept. 11: First Baptist Church, Marilla, New York
Sept: 25: Altoona Regular Baptist Church, Altoona, Iowa
Council of 18 and National Representative Search: The Council of 18 committees have received their assignments, and work begins in many areas. The council will meet Nov. 14–15 in Chicago for strategic planning sessions and to work on its search for a national representative. Council officers are Mike Augsburger, chairman; Jon Jenks, vice chairman; and Brian Cederquist, secretary. The National Representative Search Committee continues to meet and will share a detailed report at the November council meeting.
2023 GARBC Conference: Preparations are already underway for the 2023 GARBC Conference, to be held next summer on the campus of Corban University, Salem, Oregon. Philip De Courcy, pastor of Kindred Community Church, Anaheim, California, will be the keynote speaker. Reserve June 26–29, 2023, for the next GARBC Conference!
Staff: Regular Baptist Press shares its thanks for her service and farewell to Elizabeth Seagren, who left our employ Aug. 31 after working as an associate editor since 2016. The staff of Regular Baptist Press continues to serve with diligence and excellence.
KERRY WATKINS, Director of Church Engagement
Would you like to better understand the purpose of the GARBC? If you do, email me at email@example.com. I will get you scheduled for one of our online meetings designed for pastors and ministry leaders to learn about the GARBC’s purpose and vision. The meetings are about an hour long. David Strope, interim national representative, shares his vision for the ministry for about 20 minutes, and the rest of the time is available for you to ask questions.
MARK JOHNSON, Treasurer and Controller
Constant challenges of moving your church forward are the myriad regulations to follow and risks to minimize. At Regular Baptist Ministries, our goal is to help churches handle these issues properly so ministry leaders can dedicate more time to their churches’ mission and spend less time dealing with red tape and worrying about ministry roadblocks.
We offer all GARBC churches access to free confidential consulting on a variety of administrative issues. Some topics we assist churches with are risk management and safety programs; government regulations, including 501(c)(3) compliance; tax consideration for pastors, churches, and donors; retirement and financial planning; church finance and accounting; and legal issues, including when to consult an attorney.
If you have questions on these or other business topics within ministry, please send me a note. I’d also be thrilled to hear how your church successfully navigated an administrative or legal challenge.
CLARE JEWELL, Director of Generate
Generate’s website is being updated, including improvements to Generate’s grant application and reference forms. These updates and revisions will clarify Generate’s communication and simplify the resources that Generate uses and offers.
Generate is also exploring a grant and partnership with a church plant in Durango, Mexico. Meetings will happen the first week in September to complete this process. This church has applied to join the GARBC; approval will take place at the 2023 GARBC Conference. If approved, this church will be the first in Mexico to join the GARBC!
Generate will sponsor eight more Church Solutions conferences in 2022–2023: three in Indiana, two in Pennsylvania, and one each in North Carolina, Washington, and Oregon.
As a sponsor, Generate is able to build relationships with pastors and churches inside and outside the GARBC. During my segment of time, I encourage pastors of GARBC churches to use Generate’s resources and motivate pastors outside the association to join the GARBC.
Please pray for God to work as Generate helps more churches become fully engaged in sharing the gospel, making disciples, developing leaders, and planting churches.
MANNING BROWN, Director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy
In the past month Regular Baptist Chaplaincy has endorsed two new chaplains, with another application being processed. I give God the glory for His blessings on the chaplaincy ministry and for calling individuals to be chaplains.
Please pray for our chaplains and their families. One of our Army chaplains will deploy this month, and others are preparing to enter the military as chaplains. Thank you for your prayers and support.
REGULAR BAPTIST PRESS
If you haven’t already done so, consider adding RBP’s new Strong Students curriculum to your church’s educational resources. Beginning with Fall 2022, we have combined our youth curriculum departments into one department: Strong Students for Middle & High School.
The Fall 2022 and Winter 2022–23 curriculum for Middle & High School will be available only as digital downloads to combat a paper shortage and printing supply chain issues. The courses for those two quarters are Bedrock: Foundations of Faith (a course on the major doctrines) and Here to Serve (a course on Christ’s service and suffering from the book of Mark). Beginning in Spring 2023, we anticipate that Strong Students for Middle & High School will return to its printed form.
RBP’s latest Regular Baptist Books release is Gracefully Grounded: The Shattering That Sets Us Free. In her book, Holly Stratton traces her personal descent from self-satisfied soaring through God’s gracious grounding, and she shares her ascent to living joyful and free in Christ.
DARRELL GOEMAAT, Coordinator of Regular Baptist International
Victory International School in Myanmar, which remodeled its facilities and added staff, is grateful to hold classes online and in person amid Myanmar’s continued political turmoil. This fall the school will begin building more classrooms, as the school has run out of space. School principal Victor Vula requests prayer for consistent electricity as the students attend school. “Although we have a new generator, running the generator for long hours causes engine issues and consumes gallons of diesel,” he says.
Victory Community Chapel, which Victor leads, continues to help displaced people affected by civil unrest. “Please continue to pray so that the conflict in Myanmar will end soon, and for our effort to reach more people with their basic needs. We continue to focus our support on our church members.”
Several partnering ministries of Regular Baptist International have reported property damage due to rain and flooding. Pastor Joseph Akakpo, who ministers with the Association of Biblical Baptist Churches of Togo, says heavy rain destroyed one of his association’s churches in Tagbolo-kope. Water ruined the church’s mud walls, and termites ate the grass roof. So without a building to meet in, the congregation worshiped under a tree at a member’s house. Workers are now building a temporary church: wooden poles that will support a new grass roof. Joseph asks for prayer that the Lord would provide $6,000 to build a strong cement church building.
Andhra Pradesh, India, where Prasad Sakile ministers, is also facing flooding. Prasad is a pastor with the New Life Regular Baptist Society of Andhra Pradesh. The lower portion of his region has been evacuated, because “heavy rain causes sea weather changes and heavy floods,” Prasad says. People have left their homes and are taking shelter in rehabilitation centers, he says. Prasad and a team of volunteers are now sharing food and the gospel with people in the rehabilitation centers.
Alipur Baptist Church in Assam, India, is rejoicing that four people professed Christ as Savior. The church is part of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Assam. Nabin C. Singha is pastor of the church and chairman of the fellowship. Alipur Baptist Church also gathered with missionaries three times this summer for prayer meetings, attended the Fellowship of Baptist Churches’ missions conference, and distributed necessities in Assam and neighboring villages after heavy rain caused those areas to flood. The church is now praying for two churches that it planted: Sonai Baptist Church and Fulertal Baptist Church.
To help international partnering ministries provide necessities for their church members and communities when disasters strike, donate to Regular Baptist International. Please consider a gift to help Regular Baptist International replenish its networking, resourcing, and compassion funds.