64th Annual MARBC Conference Highlights
“Challenging Servants for Changing Times!”
This years annual conference, held October 23-24, was memorable for many reasons. Because of this year’s historic transition of state representatives for our MARBC Fellowship, the theme for our conference included timely messages on The Changing of the Guards in Scripture. The opening message was delivered by outgoing state representative Maynard Belt entitled, “The Changing of the Guards,” using as an example the intimate relationship of Elijah and Elisha.
Pastor Tom Townsend, First Baptist in Rochester, addressed the lives of David and Solomon speaking on “How Do You Follow a King?” Dr. George Coon, Council of Fifteen chairman and pastor of Northeastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, preached on “How to Follow Perfection,” focusing on the lives of Moses and Joshua. The closing message was delivered by Pastor Mike Eleveld, Berean Baptist Church in Portage, who preached on “Emergency Care for Mangled and Marooned Ministers,” using Paul and Timothy as examples.
Super Seminars were presented by Mrs. Rebecca McDonald on “Women in Crisis;” Pastor Ken Floyd on “Integrating Prayer into the Local Church;” Dr. Jim Vogel on “Easy as Pie! An Outreach Strategy for Any Size Church;” and Dr. Hantz Bernard speaking on ‘The Prerogative of the Local Church in Bible Translation.” Rev. Mark Cizauskas (ordained by West Cannon on November 19!) led us in our worship times with Cindy McNeil, Shelby Rd. Baptist, playing the piano, and Pastor Greg Carlson, Curtis Baptist, playing the organ.
Special musical guests were the Bell Choir from Shepherds Ministries in Union Grove, Wisconsin. We also appreciated the recitation of chapters one through three of the book of Revelation by Pastor Mark Jones, Mason Rd. Baptist Church, Fowlerville. Once again this year, Mrs. Anne Harduk, First Baptist Church in Alto, led our children’s meetings, and oh, what meetings they had. This year included “chocolate dipping” and horseback riding.
The children also provided special music by means of a bell choir. On Tuesday there was a luncheon for youth pastors at Boulder Creek Golf Course, led by Wayne Haines, youth pastor at First Baptist in Lowell. Michigan Christian Home also hosted a pastors luncheon at Blythefield Hills Country Club.
The conference highlight, without a doubt, was the heavily attended Monday evening service. The filled auditorium was a tribute to the ministry of the Belts and the excitement of the future ministry of the Floyds. God was glorified by this service which was marked by wonderful worship through congregational singing, orchestra, choir and special music that brought us into the presence of the Lord. The first half of the service was utilized to honor Maynard and Ann Belt for their service to our MARBC Fellowship for the past sixteen years.
The Council honored the Belts through a very special video presentation highlighting their 43 years in ministry through humorous and touching clips. This was followed by the presentation of a monetary gift received from the churches including letters of appreciation for their ministry: Sharon Floyd presented to Ann a beautiful bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Council of 15 and Council Chairman George Coon presented Maynard with an engraved plaque thanking him for his years of service. A rich blessing was having all of the Belt’s family in attendance for this special recognition.
The second half of the service focused upon the installation of the newly appointed state representative and wife, Ken and Sharon Floyd. Ann Belt presented Sharon with a bouquet of flowers and George Coon welcomed Brother Floyd into his new position by presenting him with the keys to the MARBC vehicle.
Then the Council of Fifteen gathered around the Floyds to formally commission them into this new ministry with a circle of prayer. The service closed with new state representative Ken Floyd speaking regarding “The Perpetual Transition” from Hebrews 12:1-3. He challenged us to advance the cause of Christ as a Fellowship of churches by remembering the testimony of Christ and His faithful followers who have led the way before us. Their voices echo the reminder that God still honors faithfulness. Focusing upon his personal testimony, he reminded the gathering that “My story is our story. We may come from different backgrounds but we each find our identity and heritage at the foot of the cross.” The entire evening served as a special reminder that God truly has blessed our MARBC Fellowship.
West Cannon Baptist Church of Belmont, Pastor Doug Crawford, staff and people rolled out the red carpet in hosting the conference. We thank them for their gracious hospitality which included: a delicious Monday afternoon dinner prepared for the Council of Fifteen and new pastoral couples corning into our Fellowship this year, the preparation of cookies and coffee cakes, assistance at the registration tables, door greeters, and many hours of preparation by the office staff.
The Tuesday Ladies Workshops and luncheon were prepared by the Women’s Ministries of West Cannon. Not a lady left empty-handed, most carrying the biggest caramel apples ever created, which were dipped in chocolate and covered with pecans!
During the annual business session the 2006 general fund statement and proposed 2007 general fund budget of $132,000.00 were approved. The various fund balances, CDs and Equities totaled $204,246.90. During this session special recognition went to Rev. Jerry Hopkins for his years of service as MARBC state missionary, and to Rev. David Parmerlee who has served as our treasurer for the past 16 years. Both men were presented with love gifts. Newly elected Council of 15 members this year are Greg Carlson (Curtis), Mike Eleveld (Portage), Bob McNeil (Shelby), and Rob Laing (Rochester). These men will be joining George Coon (Kalamazoo – Chairman); Jim Howard (Cedar Springs – Vice-Chairman); Tom Townsend (Rochester – Secretary); Mark Cizauskas (Belmont – Treasurer); Jack Dowden (Hint); Hal Jankusky (Jackson – SMARBC); Jim Kester (Oxford – EMARBC); Steve Avers (Benzonia – NARBC); Scott Farrell (Evart CMARBC); Mark Sterken (Shelby – WMARBC); and Jeff Burr (Grand Rapids – GRARBC). Thank you for praying for these men as they fulfill their Council responsibilities during the coming year.
Next years 65th Annual MARBC Conference will be held October 22-24 at beautiful Like Ann Baptist Camp, near Traverse City. Many of you will remember the great time we had there a few years ago. This conference will be more relaxed than the normal conference setting and will begin later in the afternoon on Monday and conclude on Wednesday morning. The guest speaker will be Dr. Ronald E. Showers, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, who will lead us in a study on prophecy. A few special features are being planned for next years conference. Please mark these dates on your calendar now.
Resolution Regarding the Floyds
Whereas, Ken and Sharon Floyd have been extended an unanimous call to be the State Representative) by the Council of Fifteen, and have, after much prayer and counsel, accepted the call, and
Whereas, Ken has served on the G.A.R.B.C. Council of Eighteen, as well as the M.A.R.B.C Council of Fifteen, and is tints familiar with the workings and mission or our association, and is committed to it, and
Whereas, God was at work in their lives, preparing them for such a ministry.
Be it resolved that we the Messengers of the M.A.R.B.C, meeting in annual session at the West Cannon Baptist Church of Belmont, Michigan on October 23 and 24, 2006.