ESF-Fall-Conf_INBATAVIA, N.Y.—Members and staff from churches across New York came together for resources, Bible teaching, worship, and connection at the Empire State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches’ fall conference. Grace Baptist Church hosted the event Oct. 21 and 22.

Jim Jeffery, president of Baptist Bible College and Seminary, and Pastor Richard Seefried of First Baptist Church, Marilla, N.Y., delivered messages on “Family Matters,” messages that Mark Hurlbut, associate pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Batavia, N.Y., calls “personal and powerful.”

Jeffery and Seefried talked about how to manage anger and conflict—“inescapable realities” that affect families. The goal is not to avoid conflict, Jeffery said: “Conflict is a part of the human condition in human relationships in a fallen world, so the goal cannot be to avoid conflict. The goal must be to learn how to manage conflict; in other words, how to fight fair.”

A preconference for pastors and wives kicked off the conference. That option has become increasingly popular, says Hurlbut. Sixty pastors and their families participated. Dr. Jim Vogel, state representative of the ESF, gave an update on state activities and shared his vision for the fellowship. Mark and Doris Hurlbut led men and women in separate workshops on “Marriage Ministry in the Local Church.” Attendees also enjoyed free lunch and resources.

“How blessed New York is to have these amazing men and women serving around the state preaching the gospel and making disciples,” Vogel says.

At noon, Dr. Jeffery opened the conference, followed by what Vogel calls a Doctrinal Thinkubator on the topic “Why Baptism Won’t Save You.” The two-day conference also included workshops, a business session, prayer, and a question-and-answer time with Dr. Vogel and the Council of Ten chair.

  • Listen to the conference messages “Conflict Resolution” and “Prodigal Son” at