Ken Floyd, MARBC Ministry Director 2006-2022
Ken Floyd served from 2006-2022 as the Executive Ministry Director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches (MARBC), a network of approximately 170 churches in the State of Michigan. Ken and his wife Sharon have been married for 46 years. Sharon served as the MARBC Office Manager. Ken and Sharon concluded their official ministry with the MARBC on December 31, 2022.
contact the BRIDGE FELLOWSHIP ministry team
2022 MARBC Ministry Report
Statistics from 2021-22…
New MARBC Pastors 2021-22…
The Floyds’ New Addresses …
Beginning in mid-December
Canton, OH 44721
Little did Sharon and I know the joy ride that God was preparing for us when I received a phone call from Dr. Wilbert W. Welch thirty years ago this month. Dr. Welch shared with me about a church in Grand Rapids where he was serving as interim pastor. He asked us to prayerfully consider if it was God’s desire for us to serve there. The fourteen years God subsequently gave us at North Park Baptist Church was the capstone of our pastoral ministry. We never imagined while enjoying our service at North Park that God might move us to another type of ministry, but He did. How grateful we are that He did!
What an incredible honor it has been to serve our worthy Lord and His churches throughout Michigan! It is still hard for us to grasp that our partnership with you now reaches the finish line after sixteen years. Our love for this state has grown with every road trip we have taken. Even greater is the love that God has given us for the precious local churches and committed servants whom He has placed all over the state. We will cherish the memories of the precious people who have welcomed us into their churches and hosted us in their homes. We have been blessed and encouraged as they have shared with us testimonies of God’s work in their lives.
When we were being interviewed by the MARBC search committee in 2006, I asked what seemed to be an obvious question, “Why would you want us to lead the Michigan association since we spent most of our lives and ministry in Ohio?” They replied, “Why don’t you list reasons why you think God would want you to do it?”
After some prayerful reflection, we came up with nine reasons. We felt it would be appropriate to make it a Top Ten list to fit the popular trend of that time. Here is what we shared as the #10 reason: “If the MARBC can call a Buckeye to be their State Representative, it will demonstrate that true reconciliation is provided through Christ for every tribe and language and people and nation!”
Well, here we are sixteen years later. We’ve learned many things over those years that we would like to share with you as we complete our official ministry. We could list many more, but we’ll submit this final “Top Ten list from the home office on Russwood Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”
Things we’ve learned during 16 years of MARBC ministry:
1. Not only are we called out for being Buckeyes, but we are also marked as Trolls.
2. The UP is not only a beautiful place, but is also filled with wonderful, committed Christians (despite their opinion of Trolls) who love their region and want to reach it with the gospel message.
3. Michigan is not one size fits all when it comes to people, culture, or ministry style.
4. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge the love or character of a church by the exterior of its building or the place where it is located.
5. Many people with the largest ministry hearts serve God faithfully in small and obscure locations.
6. Some of the best servants of God are not in professional ministry positions, but serve voluntarily as SS teachers, AWANA leaders, church greeters, nursery workers, ushers, and deacons.
7. Who needs a map when you have a left hand that can arch and a right palm with a thumb to show a location in the state?
8. Making a joyful noise unto the Lord means different things to different folks and God still looks at the heart rather than outward appearance and instruments.
9. The local church was not established by Jesus to exist on its own. There is great value and tremendous joy when churches partner together. And God gets the glory.
10. And, yes, by His grace and for His glory, God can use a couple of “worthless nuts” (aka Buckeyes), combined with a bunch of redeemed but slightly crazy people in “that state up north,” to impact their state with the glorious gospel of His grace.
Thank you, God. And thank you, our dear Michigan brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will cherish the memories of the precious people who have welcomed us into their churches and hosted us in their homes. We have been blessed and encouraged as they have shared with us testimonies of God’s work in their lives.
This year also happens to be the 80th anniversary of our association of churches. It has been an honor to follow in the giant footsteps of my predecessors, Howard Keithley, John Wood, and Alf Nelson. Most especially, it has been my great joy to succeed my dear friend and our collective “Barnabas,” Maynard Belt. He and his sweet Ann have been great encouragers and cheerleaders of Sharon and me. Now that God has promoted Maynard to glory, I miss the wit and counsel he shared during our frequent communications these many years, especially during the “B1G” football season. I know that you join us in continuing to uphold Ann, Shelly, and the Belt family in prayer.
The commitment of so many of our pastoral couples to serve Christ in difficult situations and often in obscurity has been an inspiration to Sharon and me. The ability of many churches to adapt to the unique needs of their locations has been a great role model. The cultural, geographical, and economic diversity of our state demands that our association provide specialized ministry assistance and practical tools. We must continue to serve as a “bridge fellowship,” connecting our churches with one another and with their communities through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the focus of MARBC Council of 16 as they help lead our association into its next phase of ministry. Following several years of prayerful planning and preparation, they are now ready to lead our churches forward in implementing a new ministry paradigm. The Leadership Oversight Team, led by longtime MARBC pastor and friend Doug Crawford, is preparing to guide our association to a new level of partnership and effective ministry. We encourage you to pray regularly for Doug and the team, participate in the many opportunities that are being developed, and financially support this important work.
Speaking of the Council of 16, we express our heartfelt appreciation for the many pastors who have served with us the past sixteen years. Each member has been a blessing and has offered godly wisdom. They have served as trusted advisors through all seasons of our ministry. Thank you, my faithful brothers, for the joy of serving with you.
We also express our sincere gratitude to our good friend and long-time co-laborer Karen Avey. Karen has served as the MARBC bookkeeper during our entire tenure. She has meticulously served the Lord and our association. This was just verified following a recent financial review of the MARBC finances. Thank you, Karen!
Finally, I praise God for my godly wife and best friend, Sharon. Her daily partnership with me in this ministry role has been a great blessing. We have loved working so closely together, which has been one of the great benefits of serving in this position for sixteen years. Our love for Christ, His Church, and one another has deepened during this special season of life.
We’ve been asked often this year, “So, what’s next for you?” We will be relocating to northeast Ohio at the end of this year to be near to our daughter and son-in-law, Allison and Taylor, and our five Helmick grandchildren. We look forward to the opportunity to build into their lives spiritually and share in special moments that we have often previously missed. We do not consider the close of this season of ministry to be a full retirement or the conclusion of our service for Christ and His Church. I will continue to do some church consulting, pastoral coaching, and speaking in various churches and events. Some ministry opportunities have already been scheduled. Sharon and I also look forward to being involved in local church ministry again. We most definitely plan to make trips back Michigan to visit with friends and churches.
We truly thank God upon every remembrance of each church and friend who has prayerfully supported us during this wonderful journey. Please keep in touch, share your prayer requests, and let us know how God is blessing your life and ministry.
Still partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd
2021 MARBC Ministry Director's Report
Statistics from 2020-21…
New MARBC Pastors 2020-21…
Sharon and I consider it an absolute privilege to serve Christ and the churches of the MARBC! The past fifteen years of ministry have allowed us to meet so many choice servants of God and to serve in so many wonderful ministry contexts. Your service for the Lord continues to be a source of great joy as we now embark on the sixteenth and final year of our partnership with you. The coming year also happens to be the 80th anniversary of our association of churches.
As I write this report, I am reflecting about the launch of yet another MARBC ministry year. This year’s conference and the subsequent implement of a new strategic ministry plan bring much excitement and opportunity. The ministry world in which we all serve today is much different than the one we ministered in when I assumed the role of Ministry Director in 2006. Today we seem to have our outlooks and perspectives somewhat skewed by our instantaneous access to the internet, social media, and the invasion of our privacy by the latest “urgent” news update (a way overused term, in my humble opinion). It is certainly a challenge to stay focused upon that which is both eternal and spiritually edifying.
While our ministries are indeed much more fast paced than our predecessors, are they really that much different? In some ways, yes, but in many ways, no. Sin is still sin and grace is still grace. The wide way still leads to destruction. Praise be to God, the narrow way still leads to the cross, the empty tomb, and eternal joy.
Are we more oppressed in our current ministry situations, and do we struggle more than our predecessors who served in relative obscurity? Doubtful. Do we have the privilege to serve the same glorious Lord and Savior? Absolutely.
It is indeed our joyous privilege to embrace the Christ ward aspirations of Paul the Apostle, who proclaimed, “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV). He then challenged his fellow servants, “let those of us who are mature think this way … let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:15-16 ESV). This is my focus as we enter a new ministry season and I encourage you to consider this important goal as your own.
Prayerful, Strategic Planning.
As you are aware, the shape and demands of ministry continue to rapidly change. This has been especially true in recent years leading up to and through the pandemic. The MARBC leadership collaborated with association pastors and churches to develop a refined set of Core Values five years ago. These values are designed to assist our association churches in understanding both the key dynamics that set us apart as a church partnership as well as define our mission moving forward into the next decade.
I began discussing the need with the Council of 16 in 2019 regarding strategic and structural associational changes. I observed that the role of the Ministry Director had expanded to a point where one person would be unable to lead effectively moving forward. It has been my belief for the past few years that our association would benefit greatly from a shared leadership paradigm with an emphasis on stewardship of resources.
This past spring the Council established a Future Ministry Task Force comprised of current Council members and other pastors from our association. The Task Force did a wonderful job as they met frequently and prayerfully investigated potential expanded partnerships with other state associations, the role and function of the Ministry Director, and broadening the role and effectiveness of the MARBC regional associations.
Sharon and I also began to prayerfully consider when it would be appropriate timing for us to transition/semi-retire from such an active ministry. We asked for the Council’s assistance in helping us plan for this eventual transition. Perhaps more importantly, we asked the Council to consider what the structure and focus of the MARBC would be once there would be new leadership in place.
We believe that it is in the best interest of our association, as well as our own personal needs, that we transition from our role with the MARBC at the end of next year, December 31, 2022. During the next 14 months, I will be working with the Council of 16 to not only plan for our transition but also the implementation of a new MARBC ministry paradigm with future leadership.
I have been blessed by the support of the Council in considering our future needs and their enthusiasm to consider several strategic options for the MARBC ministry moving forward. We have prayerfully considered as a ministry team the best way to implement these changes to glorify God and benefit all those involved.
Revitalization of churches.
A major focus of my ministry the past two years has been to encourage and help implement church revitalization partnerships between local churches. While our association is not a revitalization agency, we seek to assist struggling churches to connect with healthy churches who can come alongside them for spiritual and practical assistance. Our willingness as an association to accomplish this requires a sponsoring church to be involved personally and through stewardship investment.
Clear, comprehensive assessments are important in helping church leaders and members to face reality and own their decisions. Assessments emphasize accountability and investment. We seek to clearly communicate deadlines and financial requirements with the churches involved in the partnership. A major part of the assessment is to determine what type of church relationship is necessary. Four basic options are shared in the consulting: Revitalization (overhaul of the overall church internally), Repurposing (a milder form of revitalization where current resources are repurposed), Foster care (when a sister church shares resources to help a struggling church move forward, typically a year or so), and Adoption (a blending or merging of two churches). Several such partnerships have shared between churches in the MARBC in the past five years.
We give thanks to God for the completion of a revitalization project with First Baptist Church in North Adams. They received sponsoring financial support from First Baptist Church in Allegan. I had the joy to preach a “commencement” message there in August and then share at the new pastor’s installation service at the end of September. We challenge churches to never forget the power of prayer. There is no situation that is beyond God’s ability to answer.
Goals for the coming year as we serve.
With thanksgiving to God.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) …
Our family greatly appreciates your prayer support, cards, texts, and patience as we were graciously led by our Great Shepherd through the shadowy valley on multiple occasions in the span of five weeks during the summer. We have gained a greater appreciation through our experiences for both the privilege and power of prayer. Our spiritual journey included leading the unanticipated memorial of my sister’s oldest son (40) who died one week prior to our mother. The memorial service of my dear, sweet mom brought great glory to the Savior she so joyfully served. These services were following shortly thereafter by memorials for two godly senior saints on Sharon’s side of the family. I also led the memorial for a long-time ministry friend in August. I have been re-reading the text stream he shared with me assuring me of his prayer support during my mom’s illness and other family related deaths. Little did we know what would soon transpire in his own life as we texted back and forth – but God did – and once again provided grace for the journey. He always does! Our Gentle Shepherd has also been caring and gracious as I dealt with COVID early in October. We are thankful that this has not hindered our ability to participate in the annual conference.
I continue to have the daily joy to serve with my godly wife and best friend, Sharon. She is a great personal blessing and cares deeply for our pastoral couples and churches. God has used her greatly to be a source of spiritual support and encouragement during this unusual season of life and ministry. We give thanks for God’s protection and blessing upon our daughter Allison, husband Taylor, and our five grandchildren - Connor (12), Eloise (10), Malachi (7), Emmaline (5), and Camille (4). They are a great joy as they grow as a family who seeks to trust and honor God.
We once again thank our faithful co-laborer, Karen Avey, who serves as the MARBC bookkeeper. We are blessed by the many years that we have served with Karen with the MARBC and previously in local church ministry.
Finally, we thank God upon every remembrance of each church and ministry friend who supports us through prayer and financial support. You continue to be a great source of encouragement to us in a very challenging time. Please let us know how we can assist you, share a prayer request, or celebrate a blessing in your life or ministry.
Partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd
2020 MARBC Ministry Director's Report
2020 Annual Report
Executive Ministry Director
Statistics from 2019-20…
We absolutely love the fact that God has called us to serve for His glory with the MARBC! The past fourteen years of ministry have allowed us to meet so many choice servants of God and to serve in many wonderful ministry contexts. Your service for the Lord continues to be a source of great joy as we embark on year fifteen of our partnership with you.
We share these sentiments in a time when ministry is very difficult for all of us. The toll of the pandemic and societal upheaval impacts every person and every church ministry. Heartache and heartbreak are commonplace. Disagreements are amplified due to isolation which robs individuals and groups of the personal nature of interactions and discussions. We are discovering how much we worshipped at the altar of routine while claiming to be moving towards the “cutting edge” of ministry. Now nothing is routine and even the most “cutting edge” pastors catch themselves pining for “the good old days” of pre-COVID life and ministry.
Indeed “cut” is a relevant word during the pandemic. Many pastors are experiencing “death by 1,000 cuts” syndrome as they seek to balance the need to regather for God’s glory with regulations and perceptions that are a part of their particular ministry context. Given the many COVID perspectives that are offered daily, it is easy for us to fall into the trap of “analysis paralysis.” We must be prayerfully circumspect as we seek godly wisdom combined with the most accurate information available to us as we seek to shepherd God’s precious flocks.
I could write pages giving examples of this and share my perspective as to why this is taking place. Simply stated, we are dealing with spiritual issues that are exposing the true condition of hearts. The discord being sown in society and, sadly, some churches is a graphic reminder that the Enemy is on the prowl. Satan is a liar, deceiver, and destroyer. He revels at sowing discord among believers and enjoys accusing them when they falter. He possesses high definition wisdom from below and understands human nature at a graduate level.
We are engaged in real spiritual warfare. We must keep our focus upon God and take up His whole armor, in order to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm!” (Ephesians 6:13) The unity of the spirit and bond of peace will only be demonstrated in church bodies that acknowledge that God has a sovereign plan, that His church is a major part of it, and that the battle is only effectively and effectually engaged and won through prayerful, spiritual means (my summarization of Ephesians 4-6).
Not the “new normal”.
The sidebar to the left of this report lists many aspects of the recent ministry year. The last “normal” day of my ministry was on March 10 when the MARBC Council of 16 met in Mount Pleasant. Ministry and routines changed significantly for all of us since then. I initially invested much time counseling pastors one-on-one and in online group settings. The personal stress upon pastors seemed to only increase in mid-summer. “Push back” is experienced regularly in many churches, and from all sides, as practical decisions are made.
Indeed, there are many changes as a result of COVID that challenge our culture and our churches. What hasn’t changed is the fact that God is sovereign, the Word of God abides forever, His grace is always sufficient, Christ will continue to build His Church, and the Gospel is still the only Good News for a desperate and dying world. These are just a few of the rock-solid foundational truths God’s Word declares for which we give thanks to Him Who is able!
Church Revitalization and Recruitment.
I was able to carve out the time necessary to complete courses and coaching to become certified as a Church Consultant and Revitalization Coach through Thom Rainer’s ministry. I was also able to complete the Accelerate cohort led by Dr. Gary Rohrmyer (Converge MidAmerica). I am appreciative of the Council’s support of my training and found it very beneficial. I now have connections with national church planters and revitalizers and enjoy my interactions with them. We also have exclusive access to church assessment and revitalization evaluation tools that can be used in future projects. There is great potential for church planting and revitalization in post-COVID Michigan communities. I’ve asked our regional associations to aggressively pursue this in their settings.
With thanksgiving to God.
I dearly love and appreciate my godly wife and best friend, Sharon. She is a great personal blessing and cares deeply for our pastoral couples. God has used her greatly to be a source of spiritual support and encouragement during this unusual season of life and ministry. We give thanks for God’s protection and blessing upon our daughter Allison, husband Taylor, and our five grandchildren - Connor (11), Eloise (9), Malachi (6), Emmaline (4), and Camille (3). It’s never a dull moment in their household and they bring us much joy and brighten the gloomiest day.
We also give thanks to God for Karen Avey, our faithful MARBC bookkeeper. She’s a glutton for punishment since she has not only ministered beside us in her current role, but previously served as a secretary during my time as a senior pastor. Kevin Pierpont, the MARBC and Interpas web master continues his faithful role and will help us safely operate our new web vehicle. Finally, we thank God upon every remembrance of each church and ministry friend who supports us through prayer and financial support. You have been a great encouragement to us in a very challenging time. Please let us know how we can assist you, share a prayer request, or celebrate a blessing in your life or ministry.
Partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd