Volume 50, Number 10, November – 2004
Issue of the Baptist Testimony
From Where I Stand
Maynard H. Belt
MARBC State Representative
The State Rep’s 2004 Annual Report
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God…” Isaiah 61:10
Where has this year gone? It seems like only yesterday we were meeting at our annual conference at beautiful Lake Ann Baptist Camp. Someone once wisely said, “Time goes, you say? Ah, no! Alas, time stays, we go!” Well, needless to say, as I once again look over the past year and attempt to put a year of ministry on one page, I can truly say that Ann and I have been “going!” I don’t wish to bore you with detail but here are some highlights.
Speaking is one of the special delights and this past year I was privileged to speak in 42 different churches in our State Fellowship. I also was invited to conduct workshops/seminars at the GRARBC Church Ministries Conference, the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Pastor’s Retreat at the Shack, Michigan Christian Home, Continental Baptist Missions Candidate School, Lake Ann Senior’s Retreat and the National GARBC Conference. Some of my other ministries involved my commitments on the Boards of Baptist Mid-Missions, Continental Baptist Missions and Bible Tracts, Inc. I serviced nearly 100 churches in various ways including meeting personally with six different deacon groups seeking counsel, participated in an arbitration committee because of a church conflict, attended five ordination examinations, had personal meetings with forty pastors, usually over lunch, attended five funerals, edited 11 issues of the Baptist Testimony, 20 MARBC Messenger e-mails to our churches, and 12 issues of the Barnabas File to some 600 pastors and missionaries worldwide. As usual, annually I direct the two Men’s Retreats at Lake Ann Baptist Camp, which this year drew some 700 men from around the state, and attended the Men Modeling the Master Seminar, Talents for Christ competition, State Teen Bible Conference, Church Ministries Conference and the National GARBC Conference which was held this year in St. Charles, ILL. In May, Ann and I spent eight days in the Upper Peninsula speaking in several of our churches and fellowshipping with several of our dear servants of God who are ministering so faithfully in their chosen vineyard. This ministry would be totally impossible to carry on without the faithful help of Ann who carries a big load working many hours in the office each week as well as traveling with me most of the time. Talking about the office, we have come a long way from the two broken down typewriters and ancient copier I inherited with this position fourteen years ago. God has blessed us with good computers, printer, copier and now if we could only learn how to use them, we could even be more effective!
Apart from the many good things that are happening in our churches, there are two things that I am very excited about in this ministry. First, our new website (www.MARBC.net) is up and running and will be very helpful in facilitating information for those in our State Fellowship, as well as assisting those who would like to know who we are. Second, I am excited about the Strategic Planning our Council of Fifteen is involved in as we set the course for our Fellowship in the days ahead. They are presently actively working on our mission, our vision, our values, and future goals, which hopefully will be in print before our next annual conference. I am greatly encouraged with what God is doing in and through many of our churches and the future is bright as together we reach out to a lost and dying world.
In closing, please accept our humble thanks for continuing to pray regarding our health challenges this past year. After a series of cancer treatments Ann and I are both in remission at the present time and rejoice in His goodness to us. Our schedule is full, and we grow weary in body from time to time, but never in the work of the Lord. Lord willing, February 17-March 2, 2005, Ann and I will be traveling to Curitiba, Brazil, where I have been invited to speak at the BMM South Brazil annual conference. We are honored and excited. Thank you for letting us partner with you, our beloved MARBC churches. As we begin our 15th year, please know that we love you dearly, and count it a high honor and privilege to serve as your representatives in ministry for Christ.
Serving Christ and others is love made visible!