CANNON BEACH, Ore.—Pastors and wives serving churches in the Baptist Network Northwest met in the beautiful coastal city of Cannon Beach for the association’s annual Pastors’ and Wives’ Retreat.
Pastor Tim Baker of Bethany Baptist Church says, “The Lord used this retreat to refresh and renew all who attended.” The Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center, just yards away from a West Coast beach, has been the retreat’s location for the past 20 years. The goal is fivefold: for couples in ministry to relax, rewind, renew the heart and mind, restore the joy of salvation, and be refreshed.
BNN Executive Director Don Duty challenged the 130 attendees Sept. 9–12 to remain faithful to their calling. Pastor Mike Best of GracePoint Church, Bremerton, Wash., led worship, and Ken Rudolph of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism preached. Ken last spoke at the retreat on 9/11. “He was used by the Lord to bring us through that terrible attack,” says retreat coordinator Tom Ruhlman, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Shoreline, Wash.
Ken has been in ministry for 37 years—as a pastor in the Washington, D.C. area; camp speaker and director of advancement at Lake Ann Baptist Camp; ministry recruiter at Baptist Bible College; and now a member of a missionary mobilization team. “Ken always ‘turns our crank’ and speaks to our heart and also to our funny bone,” Pastor Ruhlman says.
Standing on the beach with his wife, Susan, Pastor Dave Lunsford of First Baptist Church, Ferndale, Wash., said, “We come to the retreat because we have great fellowship. It’s great to have someone preach to me. . . . I need that time to let the Lord speak to me.”
Before attending the retreat in 2011 with his wife, Becky, Pastor Ruhlman encouraged other couples in ministry to attend, saying, “In both our ministry and marriage we can get so intimately involved in the daily duties of responsibility that we lose track of where we are, what we are doing, why we are doing it, and where we are going. In our ministry, we can get so involved in administration, studying, teaching, preaching, discipling, mentoring, counseling, evangelism, and leading, that we lose sight of our ultimate goals. In our marriage, we can go about our daily duties of paying bills, fixing the house, tending the children, mowing the lawn, and keeping the car running, that we don’t look at the big picture! We can lose intimacy and not even know it! I have found that the Annual BNN Pastors’ and Wives’ Retreat provides an opportunity to get some fresh perspectives on my ministry and marriage.”
The Baptist Network Northwest includes nearly 100 Regular Baptist churches in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Don Duty has been executive director since April 2012. The next event for the association will be a Pastors Prayer Summit Jan. 27–29 at Camp Gilead, Carnation, Wash.