Annual Conference Proceedings – 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017 – Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:30 P.M.
The first meeting of the 134th Bible Fellowship Church Conference was called to order at 6:30 P.M. in Pinebrook Bible Conference’s Fellowship Hall by the Conference Moderator, Randall A. Grossman. After welcoming the pastors, delegates and many others who attend Conference, the Moderator explained the purpose of these proceedings: to worship and exalt God, to fellowship with fellow believers, and to conduct the business of the Bible Fellowship Church.
This year’s Conference theme, “Semper Reformanda: the Future of the Reformation,” highlights the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his famous 95 Theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany – an event which lit the flame that produced the Protestant Reformation. The Conference theme offers a reminder that the church is always to be reforming according to God’s Word. Grossman noted that it is important to look back at great achievements by faithful believers in the past. “But we also want to look at what God can do – the same God, at work in our church today,” he noted.
Having introduced the purpose and theme, the Moderator prayed, asking God to provide His strength, guidance and provision – and His blessing upon the churches that make up the Bible Fellowship Church.
Resolved, that the tables with the green tablecloths constitute the Conference Bar for the 134th BFC Conference.
The roll of the 134th BFC Conference was established as follows:
Allentown, PA (Cedar Crest) Clifford B. Boone, Glenn R. Felty, Jonathan H. King, John R. LoRusso, Benjamin J. Triestman, John Colabroy, John E. Schleicher, William J. Walters
Bethlehem, PA Timothy D. Gibson, Richard F. Bickings, Jr., W. Wayne Batten, Philip G. Norris
Blandon, PA Daniel L. Williams, Jerome R. Brush, James C. Fisher
Camden, DE Daniel R. Wagner, Albert F. Biddle, Jr., George H. Hanstein
Carmel, NY Joe Waldvogel
Clinton Corners, NY Wayne M. Chadwell
Coopersburg, PA Richard T. Paashaus, Michael J. Zettlemoyer, M. David Guttman.
Dauphin, PA Mark E. Barninger, Dennis Souder
Denville, NJ Richard D. Harris, John H. Crouch
Emmaus, PA David N. Schoen, David K. Schlonecker, Thomas Creeden, Larry Davies
Ephrata, PA Jason L. Hoy, Michael P. Rebman, Bill Early
Exeter, PA Stanley P. Lauterback, David Rhoades
Finesville, NJ Byron Widger, Michael P. Emrick Jr.
Graterford, PA Mark R. Orton, Robert L. Gaugler
Harleysville, PA Andrew T. Crossgrove, Michael W. Walker, Richard Lutz
Harrisburg, PA Joshua P. Miller, Steven J. DelDuco, William C. Verdon III, Richard W. Prensner
Hatfield, PA Howard N. Wells, Joel C. Klase, S. Lester Moyer
Hellertown, PA Keith A. Strunk, Wes Checkeye
Howell, NJ Eric R. North, L. Marc Sweet, Alan Heinlein
Kutztown, PA Ezekiel Mack, Nickolas T. Timpe
Lagrangeville, NY Dennis W. Spinney, Thomas L. Ward
Lancaster, PA David A. Thomann, Keith M. Long, Gregory A. Uhrich, Neil J. Franklin, Steven R. Groff, Sr.
Las Cruces, NM Ethan T. Hester, Dan Dunwell
Lebanon, PA Calvin T. Reed, David E. Brandt, LeRoy S. Heller, Jack S. Herb Jr.
Lehighton, PA Robert A. Johnson, II, Charles A. Shearer, Richard Gross II
Long Neck, DE Andrew W. Barnes
Maple Glen, PA Louis Prontnicki, Mark W. Sanders
Merida, MEXICO Chi A. Freddy, Marcos G. Ramirez, Israel Edgar Navarro
Mt. Carmel, PA Bryan L. Snyder, Dan Dyer
Mt. Pocono, PA W. Scott Kappes, Ronald E. Miller
Nazareth, PA Carl J. Fischer, Jr., Henry U. Sandt, John B Wilson
Newark, DE William G. Schlonecker, Richard C. Dodson, Robert C. Kaatz, Stephen J. Morton, David Bradford, Kenneth J. Klein
Newark, NJ Ron Burgess, Thomas J. Boose Jr.
Norristown, PA Scott R. Wright
Oley, PA Jason W. Blair, James D. MacArthur, James D. Gresh, William Ryan
Paradise, PA David J. Peters, Mark L. Morrison, Amos Kinert, Bruce Zurbrick
Philadelphia, PA Ralph E. Ritter, Joseph P. Spect
Piscataway, NJ Dennis M. Cahill, Richard B. Ravis, J. Richard Vroman
Quakertown, PA Ronald L. Kohl, Beau E. Coffman, Timothy S. Radcliff, Mark S. Matson, David M. Marks
Reading, PA Randall A. Grossman, Timothy S. Hogan, Ronald W. Reed, Sandy Holbert
Red Hill, PA James R. Arcieri, William E. Blair
Royersford, PA Ronald C. Erb, Michael Gangwer, Tony Zook
Shamokin, PA Ferdie R. Madara, Russell Burd
Sinking Spring, PA S. Wayne Rissmiller, Greg W. Carder, Don McKinney, Jon Yoder, Eric McNutt, Bruce Wilson, Marc Fraser
Spring City, PA Kevin W. Clineff,
Steelton, PA David A. Smith, Carl Spackman
Stroudsburg, PA Ed Coover
Sunbury, PA Joshua P. Gibson, Jules J. Hull, Joseph J. Myers
Terre Hill, PA Kevin W. Kirkpatrick, Andrew S. Littlejohn
Townsend, DE Ronald B. Smith, David Graham, Stuart Stocker
Wallingford, PA Aaron J. Susek, Mark A. Bickel, Timothy S. Cowen, Scott B. Simmons
Whitehall, PA Timothy J. Schmoyer, Jason P. Musselman, Aaron D. Smith
Whitehall, PA (Fell Comm) Philip E. Yerrington, Jerald Lagler
Woodbury Heights, NJ Timothy R. Nessler, John Maricle
York, PA Timothy J. Bertolet,
Zionsville, PA Bryan C. McNally, Kevin D. Derr, Jim Pruitt
Ordained Ministers Serving Bible Fellowship Ministries
David T. Allen, BFC Executive Director; Raymond R. Bertolet, Church Extension; Stephen A. Diaz, Church Extension; Joshua A. Dupiche, Church Extension; Jason A. Filbert, Church Extension; David E. Gundrum, Church Extension; John J. Hanner, Church Extension; Donald E. Kuntzman, Board of Missions; Ralph M. Soper, Conference Pastor; Duane E. Moyer, Board of Missions; James D. Reff II, Church Extension; Carlos G. Rodriguez, Church Extension; R. Scott Wright, Church Extension; Timothy M. Zuck, Church Extension, Elliot H. Ramos, Church Extension
Daniel P. Allen, Scott B. Evans, James D. Head, Walter M. Johnston, Philip E. Morrison, Jerry L. Moyer, Thomas A. Pollock, David W. Riddell, John C. Studenroth, Colby A. Weinhofer
Ordained Ministers Working in the Chaplaincy Under the Sponsorship of the BFC
Kenneth J. Hurst, Richard A. Moyer, Jeffrey L. Ruhl, Jacob J. Susek, Jr. Ordained Ministers Working in Other Christian Ministries: (May be voting members) Clyde D. Bomgardner Jr., Mark R. Culton II, Willis I. Dowling, Jordan K. Eyster, Michael J. Tannous
Ordained Ministers Working in Non-BFC Churches: (Advisory Members) Robert S. Commerford, Louis S. Curcio, Joshua D. Edwards, William J. Dunn, Justin L. Hunter, Dennis J. Lawrence, Matthew L. Lynskey, Carl T. Martin
Ordained Ministers in Retirement
William C. Aukamp, Delbert R. Baker, Kenneth F. Barber, James R. Batchler, Jr., T. James Bigley, Jr., Leonard E. Buck, Terris L. Byrd, Carl C. Cassel, G. Wayne Clapier, Charles E. Cole, Hugh C. Coulbourn, Raymond R. Dotts, Bruce A. Ellingson, Richard J. Gehman, Frank L. Herb Jr., George E. Herb, John H. Herb, Roy A. Hertzog, Ronald W. Hoyle, David H. Jones, Ronald C. Mahurin, David L. Manney, Edgar H. Munyan, Philip G. Norris, Keith E. Plows, Roger L. Reitz, John H. Riggall, Austin G. Shelley, Thomas P. Shorb, Robert A. Sloan Jr., Gene W. Smith, Carl K. Spackman, Dean A. Stortz, Richard E. Taylor, John C. Vandegriff, Jr., David R. Way, Harold C. Weaber, Dana E. Weller, Daniel G. Ziegler, Paul G. Zimmerman
Ordained Ministers Between Calls
Andrew T. Gysi, Frank E. Lenahan, Thomas H. Morrison
Ordained Inactive Ministers: (Advisory members)
Neil W. Harding Jr.
Additional Lay Members of BFC Executive Board
Robert T. Evans, Jay H. Fasnacht, Stephen J. Kauffman, Charles A. Lavigna, L. James Roberts Jr., Hans R. Waldvogel
Report of the Committee on Agenda and Arrangements: (see page)
Resolved, that the Report of the Agenda and Arrangements Committee be accepted and that the agenda be accepted as the guide for the deliberations of the 134th BFC Conference.
Resolved, that the 135th BFC Conference be held at Pinebrook Bible Conference, April 23-25, 2018.
Resolved, that committee reports for the 135th BFC Conference be sent in digital format to the BFC Conference Secretary by February 15, 2018
Conference turned quickly to musical worship led by James R. Arcieri, with assistance from fellow musicians Mark E. Barninger, Jeremy Harkins, Elliot H. Ramos, Richard B. Ravis, and Aaron J. Susek. Conference worshiped God through the singing of “This is My Father’s World,” “10,000 Reasons,” “Behold Our God,” and “Ancient Words.”
Keynote speaker Robert A. Sloan, Jr. spoke on the Conference theme of reformation. “We are the leaders of the Bible Fellowship Church,” he noted. “What we do affects the future. What we do rides on the shoulders of the past.”
Sloan addressed the danger, as was the case at Corinth, for the church to drift, to be susceptible to all sorts of dangers. “If they were drifting, what makes us think…that we’re immune to that kind of drift? Is our culture any better than theirs?” he added.
“I want to suggest to you that we are accountable to Him who started the church…to Him who is the Lord of the church,” Sloan said. “We’re accountable to Him.”
Beginning by reading Revelation 1:10-16, Sloan noted that the apostle John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” when he turned and saw the Lord. What John witnessed was a Christ-instituted assessment of the seven churches that followed in Rev. 2-3. Sloan briefly discussed the five struggling churches listed in those two chapters: Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea. “I know your works,” the Lord told each of those churches. He inspects His church.
How do we evaluate ourselves, knowing that the Lord evaluates us? What about when passion wanes, as it did at Ephesus? Or when churches accommodate members who indulge in false teaching, as was the case at Pergamum? Or when a church thinks it is alive but is really dead, as at Sardis? Or becomes lukewarm, as happened at Laodicea – making the Lord of the church like One who is sickened?
What to do? In Revelation 2-3, each church was instructed to repent. Repent: the Greek word metanoia suggests reformation: a change of mind, a change of direction, returning to what we were before. Sloan recited the solas of the Reformation as reminders of what the church is called to be: sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, soli Deo Gloria – Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.
“From the beginning until today, the church has always had a tendency to slip,” Sloan stressed. The causes, he added, are varied: a desire to be liked, to be accepted, an embrace of sinful culture, distractions caused by wealth and prosperity.”
“We’re at best naïve if we think we’re not as susceptible” as the churches founded by Paul and others, Sloan explained.
What is the answer? “The antidote may be our theme of Semper Reformanda,” Sloan suggested: the notion of always being ready to reform, to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith, and being willing to allow the Lord to use us for His glory and according to His purposes.
Following the keynote address, David E. Gundrum, Director of Church Extension Ministries, introduced the following resolution:
Whereas, the Board of Church Extension has assessed the elder candidates and committed participants, and has reviewed the financial reports of the Exeter Mission Church, and
Whereas, Church Extension affirms that the Exeter Mission Church has four (4) men qualified to be elders, and more than forty (40) committed participants who will sign as charter members, and
Whereas, the financial reports of the Exeter Mission Church confirm that the Exeter Mission Church is financially self-supporting, therefore be it
Resolved, that the Exeter Mission Church be received into the BFC Conference and be recognized as a Particular Church.
The motion to receive The Church at Exeter as a Particular Church passed unanimously as all of Conference stood and applauded.
The Church at Exeter is a merger of a satellite campus of Calvary Bible Fellowship Church, Sinking Spring, and Exeter Bible Church, an independent congregation. Exeter Bible Church’s history dates back to 1938. Stanley P. Lauterback and Robert A. Sloan Jr. played integral roles in bringing The Church at Exeter from Mission Church to Particular Church status.
“We feel like we gave birth to a teenager,” Lauterback said, providing brief reviews of both churches’ histories while noting that the effort to bring together two different congregations of roughly equal size presented challenges, but rewarding ones. Lauterback noted that on several occasions over the past several decades, Exeter Bible Church and Calvary Bible Fellowship Church came together for special events. “There were connections all over the place,” Lauterback said.
Talk of a potential merger, he explained, dates back to 2007. In 2010, Calvary BFC launched a satellite campus in Exeter, continuing until Dec. 2015, when Exeter Bible Church broached the idea of merging with the Exeter campus. A vote to merge churches led to The Church at Exeter becoming a Mission Church in September, 2016.
Lauterback introduced Michael Eenigenburg and David Rhoads, two of The Church at Exeter’s four elders, who were able to attend the proceedings.
Conference Vice-Moderator William G. Schlonecker closed the meeting in prayer at 8:05 p.m. After adjournment, a reception in honor of the congregation of The Church at Exeter was held in Pinebrook’s dining hall.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 8:45 A.M.
After the Moderator called the meeting to order, Dennis M. Cahill offered prayer for retired pastor Delbert R. Baker III, who is experiencing ongoing physical trials.
Musical worship leader James R. Arcieri reminded Conference that God’s mercies are made new every morning. With assistance from an ensemble of pastor-musicians, he then led Conference in the singing of “Your Great Name We Praise,” “Build Your Kingdom Here,” “In Christ Alone,” and “Amazing Grace.”
Introduced by Executive Director David T. Allen, Dr. Frank A. James III, President of Biblical Theological Seminary, preached the morning sermon. James, who attended our Maple Glen church during his days as a student at Westminster Theological Seminary, referenced events from 500 years ago but directed Conference’s attention to Psalm 46, which formed the inspiration for Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
Luther wrote that hymn in 1527 during one of the most difficult times in his life – a life marked by many years when he was an outlaw with a bounty on his head. Distraught because of physical and psychological trauma (Anfechtungen) that left him feeling abandoned, Luther despaired. He eventually recovered but never completely shook off the burdens he felt in carrying the early load of reforming the church. In the summer of 1527, Luther learned that one of his students had been martyred for his faith. The sense that he was in some way responsible for the death of one of his students weighed heavily upon Luther. At the same time, the Black Plague (bubonic plague) came to Wittenberg and hit close to home – even with Luther’s infant son Hans. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” was written within that context, leaning heavily upon what Luther was learning from God’s Word.
“Psalm 46 contains the words that bailed Luther out of this massive depression,” James said, pointing to the psalm’s theme: What do you do when trouble strikes? “The specific question is how God relates to His people in times of trouble,” James noted. The answer is found in v. 1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Two types of trouble: natural trouble (events beyond our control) and man-made calamities. We are responsible for the latter. How are God’s people to respond when troubles come upon us? James suggested Psalm 46 provides three responses:
- Remember what God has already done in the past – what God has already done in
your life. How dare we ever forget what God has done in bringing us out of darkness
and into light!
- Remember who God is. God is sovereign, full of power – “the God who can,” James stressed. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still [“cease striving” – NASB] and know that I am God.” Luther wrote that God is “a bulwark never failing.” Our God is also the faithful One – faithful to His people with a faithfulness rooted in His deep, abiding love. “His faithfulness is ferocious,” James said. Even if our troubles are our own fault, God remains committed to His people.
- Remember that God is with us now. The psalmist wrote that God is “very present” and “with us” in times of trial and trouble. He is not “with us” apart from the trouble, but is “with us” in the trouble. Luther understood this and wrote, “Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” Both Psalm 46 and Luther’s hymn reference the ultimate “with us” – Jesus Christ as Immanuel, “God with us.” “The cross was the ultimate expression of God with us in our trouble,” James stressed.
We sing this psalm to the praise of God because God is with us,” Luther concluded about Psalm 46. Our God is indeed a mighty fortress!
After the morning break, Conference Host Nate Brosius, Director of Operations of Pinebrook Bible Conference, welcomed the pastors and delegates to the 134th BFC Conference while providing a short update on the upcoming summer conference at Pinebrook.
Resolved, that the minutes of sessions three through six of the 133rd BFC Conference be approved. Minutes for Session 1 and Session 2 had already been approved on the third day of last year’s Conference.
The Moderator made the following appointments at the start of Conference:
Committee on the Examination of Minutes of 134th BFC Conference: Daniel P. Allen,
Chairman; Philip G. Norris, Richard E. Taylor
Parliamentarian: Timothy J. Schmoyer
Resolved, that the appointments be ratified.
The Conference Secretary made the following appointments: David E. Brandt, Assistant Secretary; Donald E. Kuntzman and Timothy J. Schmoyer, Assistants to the Secretary.
The following new members of BFC Conference were introduced:
Wes Checkeye, Saucon Community BFC, Hellertown, PA; Larry Davies, Bethel BFC, Emmaus, PA; Michael Gangwer, Royersford BFC, Royersford, PA; Robert Gaugler, Graterford BFC, Graterford, PA; David Graham, theMission, Townsend, DE; Richard Gross II, Salem BFC, Lehighton, PA; Sandy Holbert, Grace BFC, Reading, PA; Jerald Lagler, Fellowship Community, Whitehall, PA; Richard Lutz, Faith BFC, Harleysville, PA; David M. Marks, Grace BFC, Quakertown, PA; Joseph J. Myers, Emmanuel BFC, Sunbury, PA; Richard Prensner, Grace
BFC, Harrisburg, PA; David Rhoads, The Church at Exeter, Exeter, PA: Mark W. Sanders, Maple Glen BFC, Maple Glen, PA; Joseph Waldvogel, New Life Bible Church, Carmel, PA; Bruce Wilson, Calvary BFC, Sinking Spring, PA; John Yoder, Calvary BFC, Sinking Spring, PA.
Report of the Nominating Committee
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
The following were elected:
BFC Executive Board:
Jay H. Fasnacht (3 years)
Charles A. Lavigna (3 years)
Ministerial Relations Committee:
Glendon R. LeSuer (3 years)
Committee on Church Health:
Wayne W. Batten (3 years)
Jason L. Hoy (3 years)
David N. Schoen (3 years)
William F. Early (3 years)
Rodney P. Plows (3 years)
Officers for BFC Conference:
Secretary of 135th BFC Conference:
Ronald L. Kohl (1 year)
Joshua P. Gibson prayed for the upcoming elections.
Report of the Ministerial Credentials Committee: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Whereas, the Ministerial Candidate Committee has recommended ordination for Timothy S. Hogan, Stephen J. Morton, Timothy R. Nessler, and Timothy S. Radcliff for ordination, and has recommended Jason W. Blair, Stephen A. Diaz, Daniel Istrate, and L. Marc Sweet for recognition of their previous ordination, and
Whereas, these brethren have served acceptably as ministers of the Bible Fellowship Church for the required period of time or the equivalent thereof, and
Whereas, after examination, the Ministerial Credentials Committee believes these men to be called of God to the gospel ministry and to be in accord with the Faith & Order of the Bible Fellowship Church, therefore be it
Resolved, that Timothy S. Hogan, Stephen J. Morton, Timothy R. Nessler, and Timothy S. Radcliff be ordained to the gospel ministry of the Bible Fellowship Church, and further Resolved, that Jason W. Blair, Stephen A. Diaz, Daniel Istrate, and L. Marc Sweet be recommended for recognition of their previous ordination.
Resolved, that an Ordination Service be held at the 134th BFC Conference.
Resolved, that the Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Reading, PA, the Bible Fellowship of Newark, Newark, DE, the New Beginnings Bible Fellowship Church, Woodbury Heights, NJ, and the Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Quakertown, PA be encouraged to have a service in recognition of the ordinations of Timothy S. Hogan, Stephen J. Morton, Timothy R. Nessler, and Timothy S. Radcliff, respectively, and that the Oley Bible Fellowship Church, Oley, PA, the Lighthouse Bible Fellowship Church, South Allentown, PA, the Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Quakertown, PA, and the Howell Bible Fellowship Church, Howell, NJ be encouraged to have a service in recognition of previous ordination for Jason W. Blair, Stephen A. Diaz, Daniel Istrate, and L. Marc Sweet, respectively, and that they be encouraged to invite the Ministerial
Credentials Committee to send representation to be present at the service.
Richard A. Moyer provided a brief update on chaplaincy ministry.
Report of the Study Committee on Prayer: (see page)
Committee secretary David J. Peters provided a brief introduction to the report and the proposed legislation, which would add a BPL (Biblical Principle for Living), BPL 101-2, on prayer.
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Whereas, the Study Committee on Prayer has considered the topic of prayer and determined that due to the high importance of prayer in the life of a Christian, the high importance of prayer in the history of the BFC, and especially the high importance of prayer as described in the Bible, we as a denomination ought to have a statement regarding prayer; therefore, be it
Resolved, that the attached article be included in the BFC BPLs and numbered 101-2, and be it further
Resolved, that the articles after that point be renumbered accordingly.
101-2.1 Prayer is a drawing near in our hearts to the living and triune God.1 In prayer we express our praise2 and thanksgiving3 to our sovereign God. We confess our sin4 and ask Him to give to us what we need and desire5 according to His will.
101-2.2 Prayer is the natural way that the child of God communicates with his heavenly Father.6 This relationship was formed because of the death and resurrection of Christ, by whom we have bold access to the Father.7 Without this union in Christ, we could never hope to speak to and be heard by the sovereign God of the universe.8 The believer’s prayer, offered in the name of Jesus,9 by the power of the Holy Spirit,10 is a means of receiving the promises of God’s Word.11
101-2.3 The Scriptures give much instruction on prayer. Jesus Himself exemplified prayer in His earthly ministry and taught His disciples a model prayer.12 In the model prayer Jesus revealed that the believer is privileged to address God as Father. Jesus taught that we should pray for God’s name to be seen as holy. Jesus emphasized praying about the plan of God in the world. Jesus instructed believers to pray that their daily, physical needs would be met. Jesus also instructed believers to pray that our sins be forgiven, temptation be avoided and the evil one be resisted.13
101-2.4 Prayer that is acceptable to God is not so much the right words but the right heart.14 This includes freedom from known sin,15an unforgiving spirit,16 and selfish desires.17 Acceptable prayer includes asking in faith18 with an attitude of never giving up.19 Right prayer is both powerful and effective.20
101-2.5 God’s people are encouraged to come together to pray.21 In the Old Testament, the assembling of Israel for prayer was for dedication,22 worship,23 confession,24 and for petition in time of great need and crisis.25 In Acts, the Church came together corporately for times of devoted prayer.26 Therefore, the local church ought to gather together to worship the Lord in prayer,27 to seek God’s guidance,28 to ask God’s protection in times of persecution,29 to pray for one another, and to pray for openness to the gospel.30
101-2.6 The practice of fasting in Scripture is often associated with prayer. To fast is to voluntarily abstain from food,31 or from anything else that is legitimate in and of itself,32 for the purpose of spending more time and intensity in prayer and worship.33 Fasting is a statement that we want our appetite for God to be greater than our physical appetites. The reasons that may prompt us to fast include a personal or national crisis,34 a sense of contrition and repentance over sin,35 and a desire to seek the Lord and His help.36 The New Testament does not require believers to fast, but in His teachings, Jesus expects that they will fast.37 The early church practiced corporate fasting at times.38
101-2.7 God hears and responds to the prayers of the righteous.39 God often responds differently than we ask,40 but always according to His perfect plan and will.41 Our joyful responsibility is to submit to His answers and trust His grace. Prayers that magnify the name of God, glorify Him, and seek to fulfill His purposes in this world,42 are prayers that He answers according to His timing for His glory and our good.43 While God is fully capable of accomplishing these purposes on His own, He chooses to use the prayers of His children to fulfill them.
1 Psalm 62:8; Heb. 4:16, 10:22
2 1 Chron. 29:10-13
3 Phil. 4:6
4 Psalm 32:5, 139:23-24; Acts 8:22
5 Matt. 7:7-11; 1 Tim. 2:1
6 Matt. 6:9; Rom. 8:15
7 Heb. 4:14-16, 6:19, 10:19-22
8 Psalm 66:18; John 9:31 9 John 14:12-14, 16:23-24
10 Rom. 8:26-27; Eph. 6:18; Jude 20
11 Neh. 1:8-11
12 Matt. 6:9-13 13 1 Peter 5:8-9
14 Psalm 66:18-19
15 Prov. 15:29, 28:9; Isa. 59:1-2
16 Mark 11:25
17 James 4:2-3; 1 Peter 3:7
18 Mark 11:23-24
19 Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17
20 James 5:16-18, Eph. 3:20-21
21 Col. 4:2-4; Matt. 18:19
22 1 Chron. 29:10-20
23 2 Chron. 6:12-42
24 Ezra 9:4-15
25 2 Chron. 20:5-13
26 Acts 1:14, 2:42, 12:5, 12
27 Acts 13:2-3 28 Acts 1:24
29 Acts 4:24-31
30 Col. 4:2-4; 2 Thess. 3:1
31 Matt. 4:2 cp. Luke 4:2
32 1 Cor. 7:5
33 Luke 2:37
34 Neh. 1:4; Esther 4:3
35 Joel 2:12
36 2 Chron. 20:3; Ezra 8:21-23
37 Matt. 6:16, 9:15
38 Acts 13:2-3, 14:23
39 Pro. 15:29
40 Luke 22:42; Heb. 5:7
41 1 John 5:14-15
42 Matt. 6:9-10; John 14:13-14
43 2 Cor. 12:7-9
Yes – 171; No – 1.
Whereas, the initial meetings of the gathered church in the book of Acts emphasized the activity of corporate prayer (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 3:1, 4:24-31, 6:6, 12:3, 12, 13:3, etc.), and so we believe that an essential activity for our churches is that they gather often for corporate prayer; therefore be it
Resolved, that 202-1.2 be revised as follows (addition in bold):
202-1.2 A Particular Church consists of professing believers voluntarily associated in submission to the Holy Scriptures, for divine worship, corporate prayer, godly living, and evangelism. The Particular Churches seek to demonstrate their participation in the church universal by forming unions with other Particular Churches that have a similar understanding of doctrine and organization.
[FIRST READING] Yes – 173; No – 0.
Whereas, the ministry of prayer for his churches was a constant activity of the apostle Paul (Rom. 1:9; Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:3-5; Col. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2), and
Whereas, the apostles saw the ministry of prayer and the ministry of the word to be their main concentration (Acts 6:4), and
Whereas, Samuel, in his spiritual leadership over Israel, saw that it would be a sin if he did not pray for his people (1 Sam. 12:23), therefore we believe that one of the essential qualifications for a Minister of the gospel is that he be a man of prayer. Therefore, be it
Resolved, that 204-2.3, the section on Personal Qualifications (1) be revised as follows (addition in bold): (1) The minister must have a love for the study of Scripture and be devoted to prayer inasmuch as his primary function is to be pastor-teacher.
[FIRST READING] Yes – 165; No – 1.
Whereas, the Study Committee on Prayer has considered the topic of prayer and appropriately highlighted the high importance of prayer in the life of a Christian, the high importance of prayer in the history of the BFC, and especially the high importance of prayer as described in the Bible; and
Whereas, we as leaders of the denomination ought to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, and ought to be examples to our flocks; therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Moderator appoint a committee to plan a day of prayer to be held prior to the 135th BFC Conference; and be it further
Resolved, that the same committee make plans for this to be an annual event.
Report of the Church Health Committee: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Report of the Ministerial Candidate Committee: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted. Resolved, that the following list of Ministerial Candidates be approved.
The following men under the care of the Ministerial Candidate Committee were introduced to the BFC Conference:
Jason Blair, Boyertown, PA; Brad Boyer, Cape May Court House, NJ; Ron Burgess, Maplewood, NJ; Gregory W. Carder, Wyomissing, PA; Jason Filbert, Naples, FL; John J. Hanner, Allentown, PA; Ethan Hester, Las Cruces, NM; Ezekiel Mack, Kutztown, PA; Richard Paquette, Reading, PA; James D. Reff, Finksburg, MD; Samuel Wayne Rissmiller, Benville, PA; Charles A. Shearer, Lehighton, PA; Benjamin Triestman, Easton, PA; William C. Verdon, II, Hershey, PA; Benjamin Bailey, Blandon, PA; Jared Burkholder, Allentown, PA; Freddie Chi, Villa Magna, Mexico; Larry Davies, Emmaus, PA; Neil J. Franklin, Millersville, PA; Jules J. Hull, Sunbury, PA; and Nat LeTowt, Laureldale, PA.
Report of the Ministerial Relations Committee: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Resolved, that each church provide a minimum of 3% of the pastor’s salary for retirement, plus an additional 1% match if the pastor is voluntarily contributing 1%.
Report of the Conference Pastor: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be received.
Ralph M. Soper expressed his appreciation to the pastors who have been effusive in their support for him and for wife Sharon in Soper’s first year as Conference Pastor. He urged the pastors to convey changes of contact information and church worship information to him so he can keep accurate, up-to-date records. Soper read a letter from Gerald D. Clark, who expressed his thanks to those who prayed for him after the recent loss of his wife. Soper bowed in prayer, remembering many of our pastors who are experiencing trial and loss, including William G. Schlonecker and former BFC pastor Allen R. Mickle Jr. He also remembered the family of the late Alva C. Cassel.
Byron Widger prayed for Ralph M. Soper’s ministry as Conference Pastor.
LeRoy S. Heller, who is retiring after 64 years of pastoral ministry, was honored with a round of applause by the members of Conference. Heller will be honored with a special retirement celebration to be held at the Lebanon BFC on June 25, 2017.
Clifford B. Boone directed Conference’s attention to Psalm 46. After singing “How Great is Our God,” Conference devoted time to group prayer, focusing on the fact that God is with us, thanking Him for His presence in our midst and what He has done in our lives. Pastors and delegates asked God for strength; that He would be “our refuge and our strength.”
Conference adjourned for lunch at 12:25 p.m. as Joshua P. Miller prayed for God’s provision of the meal.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 1:30 P.M.
The afternoon session was called to order with prayer as Kevin W. Kirkpatrick asked for God’s aid in the afternoon’s work.
Dr. Frank A James III provided an address focusing on John Calvin and his missions-minded approach to reformation. James, wondering whether Calvin cared about evangelism or church-planting, learned that Calvin was passionate about sharing the gospel and planting churches. “We tend to think of Calvin as almost exclusively an egghead theologian,” James said. “That’s not all that Calvin was. Calvin was, first and foremost, a pastor.”
Those who think of Calvin as a theologian and nothing else would be surprised to read this in one of his letters: “We ought to weep with those who weep…we ought to have such compassion and sorrow for our neighbors that we ought to willingly take part in their tears and thus comfort them.”
Did Calvin believe we ought to go and make disciples of all the nations? James, as a historical theologian, noted that Geneva was a major refugee center in Europe due to massive persecution of Protestants in France. Calvin welcomed these French-speaking people into Geneva, and they heard Calvin preach. Their hearts stirred with a new desire to witness to their families back in France, Calvin trained them in the Bible and in preaching. He also insisted that their moral character would be conducive to the spread of the gospel.
Thus prepared for ministry, Calvin sent hundreds back to France to minister the gospel. He corresponded regularly via letters with the missionaries and church planters he sent to France. By 1555, Calvin and the Geneva consistory had planted five churches in France. By 1559, the numbers rose to 100 churches. By 1562, Calvin and the Geneva consistory had been instrumental in planting over 2100 churches in France alone. “It was nothing less than an explosion of missionary activity,” James said. “It is utterly amazing.”
“Somehow the doctrine of predestination did not in any way prohibit Calvin from doing missionary work,” James said.
Testimonies from both missionaries and dissenters testifies to the mission-mindedness of John Calvin. In addition to sending missionaries to his native France, Calvin also commissioned missionaries to Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and the city-states of the Rhineland. He sent missionaries across the ocean, to what is now Brazil.
Thus corrected in his understanding about Calvin, James wondered about the Reformer’s motivations and his vision for church planting and missions. Upon reading Calvin’s sermons, he discovered that Calvin’s pastoral prayers articulated a massive vision for evangelism and missions. After a sermon he preached from 1 Timothy 2, Calvin prayed, “It is not enough to have an eye to your own salvation, but the knowledge of God must shine throughout the whole world.” “For Calvin, you couldn’t embrace the gospel and just keep it to yourself,” James explained. “The gospel contained the necessary implication of sharing it with others.”
What were Calvin’s motivations for missions? First, missions and evangelism bring glory to God. Second, missions and evangelism evidence compassion for the lost. Third, pointing out the way of salvation to all mankind is our duty as Christians.
James asked what Calvin would say if he could be with Conference in 2017. He would say to us what he already said in the Institutes. “Christianity is a doctrine not of the tongue but of the life and is not apprehended merely by the intellect, but is revealed only when it possesses the soul and finds its seat in the innermost recesses of the heart,” Calvin wrote.
“Theology is not an end in itself, but theology is a means to an end, and that is to share the gospel with others,” James said. “What makes the difference is when theology transforms the hands and the feet and the heart. That, brothers, is the teaching of John Calvin. That is the Reformed tradition.”
Clifford B. Boone prayed for Glenn R. Felty, who has just been diagnosed with a form of leukemia.
Report of the Study Committee on Domestic Abuse as a Biblical Grounds for Divorce: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Committee secretary Steven J. DelDuco provided a review of the committee’s work, supporting its original conclusion that spousal abuse is not a legitimate reason for divorce. He introduced proposed legislation that will represent a new section on the BPL (Biblical Principle for Living) 103-4, Marriage & Singleness.
Resolved, that the following paragraph, an addition to Article 103-4 of the Biblical Principles of Living, be adopted as First Reading:
103-4.3 God instituted the covenant of marriage prior to the fall of mankind in Adam’s sin. When sin entered the world, the effects of sin corrupted all things. The marriage covenant between a man and his wife was also corrupted.1 It is only in Christ, as husband and wife submit to Him, that there is hope for marriage as God intended.
One of the most destructive sins in the marriage relationship is that of spousal abuse.Spousal abuse is the physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of the marriage partner. Such abuse is clearly put forward as sin in God’s Word.2 It is any kind of behavior that a person uses, or threatens to use, to control one’s spouse. This is a distortion of God’s revealed design for marriage.3 It is a clear violation of Christ’s command to love one another4 and Paul’s admonition to do no wrong to your neighbor.5 It is enslaving a spouse rather than giving of oneself. It instills fear rather than developing holiness, and corrupts the relationship rather than cleanses. It is treating a spouse as an enemy rather than offering Christ-like sacrificial love. It is the opposite of caring for one’s spouse as one would one’s own body. Abuse devalues the marriage in order to establish personal superiority.
The Church is to rebuke the abuser for his/her sin and exhort the abuser to confess, repent, and be reconciled through Christ.6 When a church member abuses a spouse, the Bible requires that fellow believers use the means of church discipline in order to urge the individual to repent and be restored. The Church shall act for the protection of the abused and give comfort7 and hope in the gospel.8 **
** Refer to the 2015 Yearbook, pp. 140-143, for guidelines as the church ministers to people in spousal abuse situations.
2Ex. 20:13; Matt. 5:21-22; 1 Cor. 7:3-4; 1 Tim. 5:8
3Lev. 19:17; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7
4Matt. 22:39; John 13:34-35
6Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:4-12; Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 4:2; James 5:19-20
7Isa. 1:12-17; Micah 6:8
8Rom 5:2-7; 2 Cor. 1:3-7; 2 Cor. 4:17-18; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:3-9
And be it further Resolved, that the current paragraphs 103-4.3 through 4.9 be renumbered accordingly.
Yes – 158; No – 4.
The Moderator appointed the following to the “Day of Prayer” planning committee: Clifford B. Boone, Chairman; Joshua P. Miller, Eric R. North, Richard B. Ravis, Michael W. Walker.
Resolved, that the appointments be ratified.
David A. Thomann offered prayer for William G. Schlonecker and for Ronald L. Kohl – for God’s help and comfort as the former mourns the loss of his wife Pat and the latter awaits results of a cancer PET scan after having undergone chemotherapy for lymphoma.
Report of the Study Committee on the Pauline Exception (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Timothy J. Schmoyer introduced the committee’s report, reading 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 while offering a few cursory comments.
The committee proposes the amending of Article 103-5 as First Reading legislation:
Article 103-5 – Divorce
Article 103-5 – Divorce
|103-5.1 Divorce is the breaking of the marriage covenant instituted and ordained of God. God hates it because it is inconsistent with His purpose1 and creates problems for all those associated with it. It is not permitted for any reason other than adultery,2 and should be considered only after careful and prayerful attempts for forgiveness and reconciliation.3 Scripture permits but never requires that a person divorce a marriage partner who has committed adultery.4||103-5.1 Divorce is the breaking of the marriage covenant instituted and ordained of God. God hates it because it is inconsistent with His purpose1 and creates problems for all those associated with it. |
|103-5.2 Divorce may only be initiated after a partner has committed adultery.2 In case of adultery, divorce should be considered only after careful and prayerful attempts for forgiveness and reconciliation.3 Scripture permits but never requires divorce in this instance.4 In the case of adultery, the Lord places the guilt of the divorce on the unfaithful spouse even if the innocent spouse initiates the divorce.|
|103-5.3 In the event that an unbelieving spouse initiates divorce against the innocent believing spouse, the recipient of the divorce is not guilty for the sin of divorce, but rather the initiator is. The believer in this case is not enslaved to the bonds of the marriage and may remarry.5|
|103-5.2 People divorced for reasons other than that allowed by Scripture ought not marry another, but be reconciled, and seek God’s resolution for the breakdown of the marriage.5 Divorced persons must seek forgiveness for any sin that led to, or is associated with, their divorce. They should seek the grace of God for their spiritual growth and healing.6 …||103-5.4 People divorced for reasons other than that allowed by Scripture ought not marry another, but be reconciled, and seek God’s resolution for the breakdown of the marriage.6 Divorced persons must seek forgiveness for any sin that may have led to, or is associated with, their divorce. They should seek the grace of God for their spiritual growth and healing.7|
|Renumber existing 103-5.3 to be 103-5.5|
Renumber existing 103-5.4 to be 103-5.6
|103-5.5 The church should counsel those considering divorce to seek other solutions to the problems in their relationships. There are times when a church is called upon to exercise discipline towards those who are seeking or who have obtained a divorce. There are also times when a church is called upon to exercise discipline towards those who are seeking to remarry, or who have already remarried. Remarriage is permissible for those who have been legitimately divorced or whose return to the former partner is determined by the elders, as they study the Scriptures, to be impossible.11 Individuals involved in these circumstances must submit themselves to the Word of God in their present situation.12||103-5.7 The church should counsel those considering divorce to seek other solutions to the problems in their relationships. There are times when a church is called upon to exercise discipline towards those who are seeking or who have obtained a divorce. There are also times when a church is called upon to exercise discipline towards those who are seeking to remarry, or who have already remarried. Remarriage is permissible for those who are divorced due to adultery, believers divorced by their unbelieving spouse, |
1 Gen.2:24; Pro.2:17; Mal.2:14-16
2 Mat.5:32; Rom.7:2
3 Mark 10:6-9; 1Cor.7:10,11
… remainder are unchanged except renumbered
[FIRST READING] Yes – 141; No – 14.
The following were elected:
BFC Executive Board:
Randall A. Grossman (3 years)
Ronald L. Kohl (3 years)
Ministerial Credentials Committee:
Ronald C. Erb (3 years)
Dana E. Weller (3 years)
Ministerial Candidate Committee:
Joshua P. Miller (3 years)
Richard E. Taylor (3 years)
Ministerial Relations Committee:
Timothy J. Schmoyer (3 years)
Byron Widger (3 years)
Committee on Nominations:
Beau E. Coffman (3 years)
W. Scott Kappes (3 years)
Carla Erb (3 years)
Donald E. Kuntzman (3 years)
Clyde D. Bomgardner, Jr. (3 years)
Special Appellate Judicatory:
Calvin T. Reed (3 years)
Hans R. Waldvogel (3 years)
Robert C. Kaatz (2 years)
Officers of the 135th BFC Conference:
Randall A. Grossman (1 year)
William G. Schlonecker (1 year)
Duane E. Moyer, Director of the Bible Fellowship Church’s Board of Missions, greeted Conference and asked visiting missionaries to introduce themselves to Conference.
The following missionaries were introduced to BFC Conference:
Daniel P. Allen, Lisa Barnshaw, Leah Ruth Blauser, Larry Davies, William F. Early, Jim & Lynn Head, Daniel Istrate, Walt & Sue Johnston, Chris & Beckie Merrick, John Studenroth
Legislation to be considered at Second Reading
Note: BOLD = new addition in all proposed legislation
Article 511-3.4 Conference Church Health Pastor
(see 2016 Yearbook, pp. 18-19)
511-3.4 Conference Church Health Pastor
- The Conference Church Health Pastor shall be an ordained minister of the Bible Fellowship Church. He may, at the direction of the Church Health Committee and the BFC Executive Board, serve either full-time or part-time.
- He shall be elected for a three-year term by the Church Health Committee and his election shall be ratified by the BFC Conference. He shall not be a voting member of the Church Health Committee but shall serve under the direction of the committee, where full authority shall reside.
- He shall, in the performance of his duties, work according to policies and directives of the Church Health Committee.
- He shall, as requested by the committee, represent the Church Health Committee in its dealings with pastors, elders, and churches.
- He shall be available as a resource to local churches regarding Church Health.
- He shall be available to meet with pastors, boards of elders, and congregations for consultation, evaluation, exhortation, and advice.
- He shall give a full report to the Church Health Committee at each of its meetings, and be available to report to the BFC Executive Board as requested.
Yes – 132; No – 13.
Article 504-1.2, 1.3 Particular Church
(See 2016 Yearbook, pp. 23, 25)
504-1.2 Any congregation that reports any of the following criteria will allow the Church Health Committee to assist that Particular Church.
- A Board of Elders that has declined to fewer than two active lay elders.
- If there is a pattern of significant decline in membership, average attendance, and/or offerings.
Yes – 144; No – 11.
Article 504-1.3 If a Particular Church meets one of the following criteria for a period of two years, the Executive Board may place it under the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee (see 511-3.3 Duty 6) upon the recommendation of the Church Health Committee:
- It does not meet the standards of a Particular Church (Articles of Faith 18-4)
- It does not have at least 20 members
- It does not have at least two (2) lay elders
- It cannot financially support its work
Article 511-3.3 Church Health Committee, Duties
(See 2016 Yearbook, pp. 25-26)
- It shall oversee the compilation of an annual BFC statistical report of the churches which will assist them in this work.
- The Church Health Committee shall monitor the health of Particular Churches.
- It shall provide counsel and resources for the self-assessment of the health of Particular Churches.
- It shall provide a list of recommended consultants to Particular Churches needing assistance in moving toward stronger church health.
- It shall offer training and seminars to promote church health.
- It may recommend to the BFC Executive Board that a Particular Church be placed under the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee. When a Particular Church is under the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee, the Committee has the right to appoint interim elders to the church. By simple majority, the Executive Board in this case may place the Particular Church under the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee. If a Particular Church resists being placed under the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee, then the Executive Board will recommend its placement to the BFC Conference for their consideration. This action by BFC Conference shall be by a simple majority. A Particular Church is removed from the supervisory care of the Church Health Committee by a simple majority vote of the BFC Conference.
- It shall inform the Ministerial Relations Committee if a matter threatening the pastoral relationship becomes evident at a Particular Church receiving Church Health Committee assistance and shall assist a Particular Church at the request of the Ministerial Relations Committee.
- It shall in cooperation with the BFC Executive Board assist Particular Churches to close when necessary.
- It shall provide a report on the closing of a Particular Church to BFC Conference.
- In the event of a church closing it shall consult with the Board of Church Extension regarding the feasibility of planting a new church in the same area.
- It shall develop sources of financial assistance for Particular Churches who cannot afford church health resources.
- It shall submit a report to BFC Conference.
Yes – 141; No – 13.
Ministerial Credentials Committee
Article 511-5.3 Ordained Ministers in Retirement or on Permanent Disability
(See 2016 Yearbook, pp. 31-32)
(5) Ordained Ministers in Retirement or on Permanent Disability
These are men who have retired under the provisions of 501-5 or men who are on permanent disability as determined by the Ministerial Credentials Committee (see definition below). A minister must serve a minimum of five years (cumulative) as an ordained minister in the BFC and be under the care of the Ministerial Credentials Committee at retirement or when they go on permanent disability in order to be a member of BFC Conference as a “Minister in Retirement or on Permanent Disability.” He must also be involved in the ministry of the BFC where possible as determined by the Ministerial Credentials Committee in order to be a voting member of the BFC Conference.
Pastors who are permanently disabled, but too young for retirement, are men who have a physical or mental handicap that is medically determinable and would prevent a man from performing his duties as a pastor in the Bible Fellowship Church. This disability would be determined by the Ministerial Credentials Committee in consultation with the pastor’s primary physician.
Yes – 153; No – 0.
Article 204-3.2/Article 409.1.14 Ministerial Relations Committee, Pastoral Staff
(See 2016 Yearbook, p. 32)
204.3.2 A pastor may only serve as a voting member of the Board of Elders if he has a congregationally-approved call or has been elected as an elder by the congregation. In churches with multiple pastors, the Board of Elders may wish to limit the number of pastors that are voting members of the Board and must communicate to the congregation the pastors that will be voting members of the Board. A sole or Senior Pastor is always a voting member of the Board.
Yes – 139; No – 6.
Article 501-1.1 Committee on Agenda and Arrangements
(See 2016 Yearbook, pp. 32-33)
510-1.1 Committee on Agenda and Arrangements
The Committee shall have seven members, at least two of whom shall be members of the Executive Board. The Committee shall include the BFC Executive Director, the BFC Conference Moderator and Vice-Moderator, and the BFC Conference Secretary. The remaining members shall be at-large members appointed by the Moderator of BFC Conference. The Head Page, the Overseer of the Pages, the Conference Registrar, the Chairman of the Communications Committee, and the Conference Host shall be considered ex-officio members of this committee.
(1) It shall implement the BFC Conference program for worship and training that it receives from the Executive Director and BFC Executive Board.
(2) It shall receive from any Particular Church or Conference entity requests for time on the agenda of BFC Conference. Such requests must be in writing and in the hands of the BFC Conference Secretary by March 1.
(3) It shall develop the proposed agenda and program to recommend to the upcoming BFC Conference and shall establish the times of the meetings of BFC Conference.
(4) It shall submit the proposed agenda of the upcoming BFC Conference to the Executive Director for inclusion in the Report Book.
(5) It shall make provision for the meetings and accompanying hospitality for BFC Conference.
(6) It shall appoint a committee on resolutions, a timekeeper and tellers for meetings of BFC Conference. Those appointed shall be notified of their appointment by the Secretary of the Committee prior to BFC Conference. Guidelines for those appointed shall be provided.
(7) It shall recommend to BFC Conference the place and dates of the succeeding BFC Conference (F&O §502-7).
(8) It shall recommend to the BFC Conference the collection point and deadline for reports for the succeeding BFC Conference.
Yes – 138; No – 2.
Legislation on Church Properties
Article 408-3 Church Properties
(See 2016 Yearbook, p. 33)
408-3 In instances where a Particular Church loses its corporate officers, votes to close, and abandons its property, the BFC Executive Board is authorized to appoint surrogate elders, to settle its affairs in closing the church, and to sell its properties, with any residual proceeds going to the Bible Fellowship Church
Yes – 141; No – 6.
Article 402-2.3 Church Committees
(See 2016 Yearbook, pp. 33-34)
Whereas, BFC Principles of Order paragraph 402-2.3 states that, “All church committees organized shall be subordinate to the Board of Elders. The particular duties, rules of operation, and responsibilities, as well as the interrelationship of church committees, shall be specified in the bylaws of the Particular Church,” and
Whereas, the ability to act in a timely manner to form or disband committees, change committee duties, rules and responsibilities, as well as to reorganize the relationship between committees is severely restricted by the requirement for all such changes to be included in the bylaws, and
Whereas, the requirement to commit the operating characteristics of committees to the bylaws puts such decisions under the authority of the congregation and is therefore inconsistent with the leading statement of 402-2.3 that “All church committees organized shall be subordinate to the Board of Elders,” therefore be it
Resolved, that the wording of paragraph 402-2.3 be changed to state, “All church committees organized shall be subordinate to the Board of Elders.”
Yes – 148; No – 2.
The meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m. as David L. Manney offered a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. Pastors were invited to stay for a short meeting of the Beneficiary Society.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
The evening session was devoted, in its entirety, to a well-attended service of ordination. Many traveled several miles to witness the ordaining of eight men to the gospel ministry of the Bible Fellowship Church.
The service opened with the singing of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” The Scripture reading from 2 Timothy 3:10 -4:5 reminded the candidates of the high calling God places upon ministers of the gospel.
Four men were newly-ordained to the gospel ministry: Timothy S. Hogan, Stephen J. Morton, Timothy R. Nessler, and Timothy S. Radcliff. Four others had previous ordinations recognized by the Bible Fellowship Church: Jason W. Blair, Stephan A. Diaz, Daniel Istrate and L. Marc Sweet III.
Jason L. Hoy focused on the seriousness of preaching in his charge to the ordinands, noting the serious need the church has for men who preach God’s Word with power. “The Lord is answering that prayer. He’s raising up men who take seriously the task of preaching,” Hoy said.
Conference and guests sang “I Sing the Mighty Power of God.” Following the benediction at 8:15 p.m., the newly-ordained pastors and their immediate families were greeted by their fellow BFC pastors.
At the conclusion of the ordination services, the new pastors were welcomed by their fellow pastors; a time of celebration and fellowship followed in Pinebrook’s dining hall.
BFC Conference Proceedings – 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 8:45 A.M.
The Moderator called the meeting to order at 8:50 A.M. as Thomas P. Short thanked God for the reminders of His grace and prayed for God’s guidance upon the day’s proceedings. James R. Arcieri led Conference in musical worship with the singing of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” “Let Your Kingdom Come,” “Before the Throne of God Above,” and “Revelation Song.”
Carl C. Cassel, who was licensed in 1956 and ordained as a pastor in 1959, provided the morning address from the perspective of a longtime servant who has been an eyewitness of considerable change over the course of his many years in BFC ministry. Cassel has been a BFC pastor for more than a half-century. He mentioned the names of several men who have served faithfully in the BFC for decades, but Cassel also praised God for the many faces at Conference that were unfamiliar to him. “I thank God for the men the Lord has brought to labor among us,” he said. “Serve God together.”
“I’m glad for our remembrance of the past…we thank Him also for continuing to work among His people,” Cassel said.
Cassel began by reading 2 Peter 1:16-21. His message dealt with the idea of continually reforming according to God’s holy Word. “Because we are Christ’s church, we must continue diligently to have our thinking and behavior reformed by what God has said and by the power of His Spirit,” he stressed.
Cassel cited three weaknesses that the church must deal with in hearing God’s Word, beginning with the simple fact that sometimes we unintentionally miss parts of what God has said. He noted Luke 24, the passage describing the disciples’ walk with Jesus on the road to Emmaus on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus had to explain to them things that they did not realize even though they had been scholars of God’s Word. Sometimes believers unintentionally fail to see truths that Scripture is proclaiming. “If those earnest people back then can do that, so can I. So can you,” Cassel said.
Our past, he noted, provides several examples of change based on an increased understanding of what God’s Word was telling us. Our current ecclesiology, how we understand our churches to be governed, came about because we as a denomination appointed a committee to study the Scriptures. Cassel served on the committee whose work in the 1970s produced rule by elder. “We need to be ready to learn,” he concluded.
Second, we may experience change because we may have missed the full meaning of things we already know. Cassel cited Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ in Matthew 16. Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Messiah but misunderstood the nature of Jesus’ mission and sacrifice, and so Jesus taught him that the Son of God had to die, and even rebuked Peter for his misunderstanding. There have been times in our history where we have needed to see more clearly what the Bible is telling us. Cassel noted God’s electing grace; when in the early 1960s he correctly understood God’s sovereign choice of a sinner like himself, he came to be able to sing “Amazing Grace” with an entirely new passion and to preach it to the people entrusted to his care.
Third, we experience change because, though we are slow learners, God shows us His truth and we eventually come to an understanding that is more in line with His Word.
“What’s going to change next? Who knows?” Cassel said. But change will continue to be part of who we are as God reveals truth to His people through His holy Word, and as we more clearly understand what He is saying and what His will is for us.
The work we do as a denomination, Cassel says, sends this message: “Lord, we’re serious about serving you.”
Conference’s response to the morning message, as led by Clifford B. Boone, was prayer, which was offered by the means of singing “We Fall Down.” Conference was directed to Psalm 138, which tells us that God has exalted, above all things, His name and His Word. The time of prayer concluded with the singing of “He is Lord.”
David E. Gundrum prayed for Daniel G. Ziegler and his wife Jackie as Daniel struggles with health issues that have prohibited him from attending Conference.
Report of the Executive Board: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Bible Fellowship Church Executive Director David T. Allen addressed Conference, thanking for the privilege of serving in the BFC. He communicated the closings of our churches in Old Bridge, NJ, Toms River, NJ and Brooklyn, NY. The Toms River church building is being leased to “Alive Again,” a Christian Missionary Alliance church that will be given the option of purchasing the property once the lease ends in August, 2018.
Allen also noted that Faith BFC, Fleetwood, and Trinity BFC, Blandon, officially merged in January, 2017. He told Conference that Wissinoming BFC, Philadelphia, has experienced some rebirth with Ralph E. Ritter now serving as pastor.
Jay H. Fasnacht, BFC Executive Board Treasurer, presented a revised budget for 2017 and a proposed budget for 2018.
Resolved, that the 2017 revised Executive Board budget be adopted by the 134th BFC Conference. (see page)
Resolved, that an assessment rate of two (2.0) percent be adopted by the 134th BFC Conference for 2018 (based on assessable receipts for 2016).
Resolved, that the 2018 proposed Executive Board budget be adopted by the 134th BFC Conference. (see page)
Resolution Relating to Rental/Housing Allowances for Retired or Disabled Ministers of this
Conference for Calendar Year 2018:
Whereas, the religious denomination known as The Bible Fellowship Church has, and functions through, Ministers of the Gospel who are duly ordained or licensed, and
Whereas, the practice of The Bible Fellowship Church is to provide a parsonage or a rental allowance as part of the gross compensation for each of its active ordained or licensed ministers, and
Whereas, pensions paid to retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers of The Bible Fellowship Church are considered as deferred compensation and are paid to said retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers in consideration of previous, active service, and
Whereas, the Internal Revenue Service has recognized that The Bible Fellowship Church is the appropriate organization to designate a housing/rental allowance for retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers who are members of this Conference, therefore be it
1. An amount equal to 100% of the pension payments received during the year of 2018 be and is hereby designated as a rental/housing allowance for each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister of The Bible Fellowship Church who is or was a member of the Bible Fellowship Church Minister’s Retirement Fund.
2. This rental/housing allowance shall apply to each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister who has been granted the retired relationship or placed on disability leave by the BFC Conference and whose name and relationship to the conference is recorded in the Yearbook of BFC Conference and in other appropriate records maintained by the conference.
3. The pension payment to which this rental/housing allowance applies shall be the pension payment resulting from all service of such retired or disabled ordained or licensed minister from all employment by any local church, BFC Conference or institution of The Bible Fellowship Church or of any former denomination that is now a part of The Bible Fellowship Church, or from any other employer who employed the minister to perform services related to the ministry and who elected to make contributions to the pension funds of The Bible Fellowship Church for such retired minister’s pension.
Note: The rental/housing allowance which may be excluded from a minister’s gross income is limited to the lesser of (1) the amount of the rental/housing allowance designated by the minister’s employer or other appropriate body, (2) the amount actually expended by the minister to provide his housing, or (3) the legally-determined fair rental value of the parsonage or other housing provided. As specified in Rev. Rul. 71-290 C.B. 92, “the only amount that will qualify for exclusion under section 107(2) of the Code as a ‘rental allowance’ is an amount equal to the fair rental value of the home, including furnishings and appurtenances such as a garage, plus the cost of utilities.”
Report of the Board of Missions: (see page)
Duane E. Moyer, Director of the BFC Board of Missions, expressed his thankfulness for the opportunity to serve in his current capacity.
“As much as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, His heart is for the lost,” Moyer said, citing Christ’s words about seeking lost sheep. “That was Jesus, and as we continue to reform, we need to reform our missional outlook…as well as our theology.”
Moyer informed Conference that Missions Week at Pinebrook is returning this summer with the theme of “Disciples Making Disciples.” Dr. Gary Shogren will serve as evening speaker.
Ralph M. Soper prayed for the work of the BFC’s Board of Missions.
Report of Church Extension Ministries: (see page)
David E. Gundrum, Director of Church Extension Ministries, introduced the BFC’s church-planting family: Aaron D. Smith, Richard E. Taylor (new mentoring assistant), R. Scott Wright, James Reff, Brad Boyer, Andrew W. Barnes, Jason Filbert, Timothy M. Zuck, John J. Hanner, Stephen A. Diaz, Carlos G. Rodriguez, Marcos G. Ramirez, Freddie Chi, Elliot H. Ramos, Raymond R. Bertolet, Joshua A. Dupiche. “When you look at that lineup – your church planters – you’re looking at the future,” Gundrum said.
Gundrum also referenced the report of the Committee on the Multi-Cultural Church.
Timothy D. Gibson prayed for the work of church planting in the Bible Fellowship Church.
Report of Pinebrook Bible Conference: (see page)
Charles E. Cole, Chairman of the Board of Pinebrook Bible Conference, thanked God for the many lives changed over the many years of Pinebrook’s ministry and expressed thanks to those who have assisted Pinebrook over the years. He cited this year’s summer conference theme, “Appalachian Summer.” Cole also referred to many physical improvements. “We’re excited about what God has done.”
Daniel P. Allen prayed for the ongoing ministry of Pinebrook Bible Conference, for those who serve there, for projects that will enable the Conference to improve its facilities, and for the upcoming summer conference season.
Report of Victory Valley Camp: (see page)
Douglas J. Manwiller, Director of Victory Valley Camp, noted that Victory Valley has been operating for 61 years. He told Conference that the camp’s dining hall, built in 1959, is inadequate for the camp’s operation. “A larger dining hall is a critical need. It’s not a luxury,” Manwiller said, introducing the camp’s “Path to Victory” building project campaign to help raise the $1.3 million cost of a new dining hall.
Timothy J. Schmoyer prayed for Victory Valley Camp’s ministry.
Ronald C. Mahurin prayed for the offering that will replenish the Darlene J. Mahurin Fund. Over the years, he said, Conference has provided over $51,000 to this fund, which provides assistance to pastors in need. An offering of $1700 was received.
Following a short break, Philip G. Norris prayed for our oldest pastor, John H. Riggall, who at age 100 has been hospitalized.
Conference Moderator Randall A. Grossman provided a few slides from the 2016 Reformation trip to Europe that was led by Grossman and Executive Director David T. Allen.
The following were considered at First Reading:
Committee on Agenda and Arrangements
Whereas, we have frequently appointed Study Committees, and
Whereas, we do not have adequate legislation concerning Study Committees, therefore be it
Resolved, that the following be adopted at First Reading:
§508-5 Study Committees
(1) Purpose. BFC Conference may form a study committee to address a specific topic or question which does not fall under the jurisdiction of one of the standing committees and which is too extensive to be adequately addressed through public debate alone. BFC Conference shall assign a study committee its work in writing by means of a resolution or resolutions.
(2) Composition. BFC Conference may nominate and elect a study committee, or it may request the Moderator to appoint a study committee, subject to the ratification of BFC Conference. The number of members shall be determined by BFC Conference. The study committee shall exist until dissolved by BFC Conference. Vacancies of study committee membership may be filled by further elections or appointments by the Moderator. BFC Conference may add, remove, or replace members at any time.
(3) Reporting. A study committee shall submit an annual written report to BFC Conference, and shall do so until it is dissolved by BFC Conference. The written report may include progress made toward the completion of its assignment, a position paper intended to complete its assignment, and any legislation offered to address the assignment. Legislation proposed by the study committee may be amended, but not replaced by substitute motion, prior to being voted on by BFC Conference.
(4) Dissolution. A study committee is dissolved by vote of BFC Conference when, in the judgment of BFC Conference, its assignment is complete.
Resolved, that the current 508-5 be renumbered as 508-6, and further
Resolved, that 513-2 be deleted and the current 513-3 be renumbered as 513-2.
Yes – 148; No – 0.
Ministerial Candidate Committee
Resolved: That we recommend to the BFC Conference the following changes to 511-4.3.
Note: proposed changes in these resolutions are indicated by bold-face, underlined type.
(2) It shall take under its supervision the candidates and probationers while in training.
(3) It shall examine those who offer themselves for service in our Church and determine as far as possible the sincerity and genuineness of their call to the ministry.
(8) It shall furnish prior to the BFC Conference to the Registrar a list of probationers who are eligible to be members of the BFC Conference. (Delete remainder of sentence)
Resolved: That we recommend to the BFC Conference the following changes to 511-4.5.
The procedure to be followed by a man offering himself for service in the BFC shall be as follows:
(1) Men who seek to be ordained in the BFC will fill out an application from the Committee.
(2) The applicant will carry out a program of personal development and training developed in consultation with the Committee.
(3) The candidate will be examined through a series of tests.
(4) Upon satisfactory completion of the testing and approval of the Committee, the candidate will be recognized as a probationer eligible for a call and recommended to the Ministerial Relations Committee or BFC departments.
(5) During the time of working in the BFC or in one of the denominational departments or other ministries, the probationer will be under the jurisdiction of this Committee as well as the department or ministry with which he works.
(6) At the end of the probationary period, upon approval of this Committee, the probationer will be recommended to the Ministerial Credentials Committee. [Delete “…and his probationary period will cease.”] Serving [replacing “To serve”] as a candidate and probationer does not guarantee being recommended for ordination examination.
Resolved: That we recommend to the BFC Conference the following changes to 501.
Procedure for the Recognition of a Minister
All men who desire to have ministerial credentials with the BFC shall apply to the Ministerial Candidate Committee by filling out an application from the Committee.
501-1 Men Entering the Ministry of the BFC
Applicant. An applicant is a man who offers himself to this committee for service in the BFC. Men are encouraged to seek this recognition as early in their educational program as they sense the call of God to the ministry.
Probationer. A probationer is a man who has been approved by this committee and has passed the required examinations. Upon completion of his required examinations, he will be classified as a probationer eligible to receive a call. When a probationer receives a call from the BFC (a Particular Church or department) or other ministry (chaplaincy, etc.) approved by the Ministerial Candidate Committee in consultation with the Credentials Committee, he shall become a licensed probationer. Such other ministry does not include service on the pastoral staff of a church other than a BFC.
Yes – 159; No – 0.
Ministerial Credentials Committee
Whereas, the Ministerial Credentials Committee has had a man drop his credentials and then asked the Ministerial Credentials Committee to have them reinstated, and
Whereas, the Ministerial Credentials Committee consulted with the Ministerial Candidate Committee per Article 511-5.3(8) for the man to reapply to the Ministerial Candidate Committee, and
Whereas, the Ministerial Candidate Committee agreed the Ministerial Credentials Committee should be the Committee to handle this reapplication process, therefore be it
Resolved, that the Ministerial Candidate Committee should be replaced with Ministerial Credentials Committee in 511-5.3(8) as follows:
511-5.3(8) Ordained Inactive Ministers. A minister who has exhausted his stay in the “Between Calls” and/or “Leave of Absence” categories will be placed in the “Ordained Inactive Ministers” category. He may remain in this category for a period not to exceed ten years, of which time spent in the “Between Calls” and/or “Leave of Absence” categories is counted. At the end of ten years, he loses his credentials with the BFC. In this case, or in any situation where a man loses his credentials, if he wishes to return to active ministry within the BFC, he must reapply to the Ministerial Credentials Committee (replaces Ministerial Candidate Committee).
Yes – 151; No – 1.
Ministerial Relations Committee
Interim Pastor Legislation
Resolved, that we amend 409-1.1 to read as follows:
(New wording in bold & underlined)
Article 409 Pastoral Change Procedure
409-1 Instituting the Pastoral Relationship
409-1.1 When a church is seeking a Pastor, the Board of Elders shall meet with representatives of the Ministerial Relations Committee to discuss the following:
- Temporary pulpit supply. The Board of Elders shall provide for temporary pulpit supply on an interim basis. Pastors serving in this capacity shall be in sympathy with the F&O of the BFC. If the Board of Elders decides to hire an Interim Pastor who does not hold BFC credentials, the Ministerial Relations Committee shall approve and ensure that he is in agreement with the F&O of the BFC. Terms of service shall be established by the Board of Elders.
Yes – 131; No -20.
Report of the Conference Judicatory: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Report of the Ministerial Convention Committee: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
The 2017 Ministerial Convention, “The Five Solas of the Reformation,” will be presented by guest speaker Dr. Phil Johnson.
Report of the Beneficiary Society: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Report of the Committee on Examination of 133rd BFC Conference Minutes: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be adopted.
Report of the Committee on Examination of Minutes of Particular Churches: (see page)
Resolved, that the report be accepted.
Report of the Committee on Resolutions
Whereas, Dr. Frank A. James III encouraged us with the faithful witness of the Reformers in the midst of suffering, committing themselves to the advancement of churches whose sole foundation was the Lord Jesus Christ through the revelation of His Word to the Glory of God alone, and
Whereas, Pastor Robert A. Sloan, Jr. reminded us that our lives and the posture of our churches ought to be one of ongoing repentance as we respond to God’s holy Word, and
Whereas, Pastor Jason L. Hoy ardently exhorted us to “preach the Word”, and
Whereas, Pastor Carl C. Cassel encouraged us that the foundation of our conference is one of perpetual reformation in conformity to the teaching of God’s Word, therefore be it
Resolved, that we express our appreciation to the Lord for their Spirit-filled ministry among us, and be it further
Resolved, that we strive, through the enablement of the Holy Spirit, to remain steadfastly dependent on God for his grace, and may we be committed as a body of ministers to reformation, being obedient to the Word of God, in our lives and in our churches.
Whereas, God has providentially brought together the Sinking Spring BFC Church campus in Exeter and Exeter Bible Church to form one new body called The Church at Exeter, and
Whereas, The Church at Exeter meets all the qualifications for a particular church according to the Faith and Order and has been recognized by this conference as a particular church, therefore be it
Resolved, that we give thanks to the Lord of the church for planting another faithful witness to the gospel in the Exeter community, and be it further
Resolved, that we continue to support and pray for The Church at Exeter that they would grow in maturity and unity.
Whereas, the following calls were issued according to the Rules of our Faith & Order: York, PA – Timothy J. Bertolet; Wallingford, PA – Aaron J. Susek; Blandon, PA – Daniel L. Williams; Sinking Spring, PA – S. Wayne Rissmiller; Sinking Spring, PA – Gregory W. Carder; Townsend, DE – Ronald B. Smith; Woodbury Heights, NJ – Timothy R. Nessler; Wissinoming, PA – Ralph E. Ritter; Church Extension – James D. Reff II; Newark, NJ – Ronald Burgess; Mt Pocono, PA – W. Scott Kappes; Royersford, PA – Ronald C. Erb; Sunbury, PA – Jules J. Hull III, therefore be it
Resolved, that praise be given to our God for the provision of these men to their respective callings.
Whereas, Timothy S. Hogan, Stephen J. Morton, Timothy R. Nessler, and Timothy S. Radcliff were ordained at the 134th BFC Conference, and the previous ordinations of Jason W. Blair, Stephen A. Diaz, L. Marc Sweet and Daniel Istrate were recognized, therefore be it
Resolved, that we praise God for raising up gifted and passionate men for the ministry of the Gospel, and that we be steadfast in prayer for them and the churches they serve.
Whereas, Alva C. Cassel, upon living a life full of faith and dedicating his life to the Chief Shepherd’s service to the Church, having joined the saints eternal in the great rest and joy of their King, therefore be it
Resolved, that we offer sincerest thanks to the head of the Church, who nurtured this fellowship and advanced our cause through the commitment of this man, and be it further
Resolved, that we labor on, following his demonstration of love for Christ and surrender to His Kingdom purpose, eagerly awaiting our participation together with him in the resurrection.
Whereas, there are a number of churches seeking pastors, and
Whereas, we are to pray earnestly for the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, therefore be it
Resolved, that we pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to raise up gifted and Spirit-filled men who will preach the Word and shepherd our churches in Carmel, NY; Clinton Corners, NY; Coopersburg, PA; Mt. Carmel, PA; and Stroudsburg, PA, and be it further
Resolved, that we pray for these churches during their times of transition.
Whereas, the Executive Board has worked diligently, committing much time to the performance of its duties, and
Whereas, David T. Allen has served commendably as Executive Director, therefore be it
Resolved, that we give thanks to God for quality leadership and extend our deep appreciation to our brothers for their service and leadership.
Whereas, L. James Roberts, Jr. has served many years on the Ministerial Relations Committee, and
Whereas, he has chosen to step aside from this responsibility, and
Whereas, he has served faithfully and wisely, therefore be it
Resolved, that we thank God for his service and express our appreciation for his faithfulness and commitment to our denomination.
Note: At this point, Conference broke out into spontaneous applause, thanking the Lord for Brother Roberts’ faithful ministry.
Whereas, the Boards, Departments, Committees and Study Committees of the BFC have served with diligence during this past year, and
Whereas, they have fulfilled their responsibilities by reporting to the Executive Board and to the 134th BFC Conference, therefore be it
Resolved, that we thank the Lord for their faithful service and ask God to give them wisdom and guidance for the coming year.
Whereas, James R. Arcieri, Mark E. Barninger, Jeremy Harkins, Elliott H. Ramos, Richard B. Ravis, Richard Prensner and Aaron J. Susek have served us by leading the 134th Conference in worshiping the Lord of the Church with a variety of musical instruments, therefore be it
Resolved, that we give thanks to Almighty God for their leadership among us in the corporate worship of our Lord and Savior.
Whereas, the staff and volunteers of Pinebrook Bible Conference, along with wives and family members of our pastors and delegates, have cheerfully and faithfully served the members of the 134th BFC Conference, therefore be it
Resolved, that we extend our sincere gratitude for their wonderful ministry to those attending the 134th BFC Conference.
Whereas, the BFC Conference Secretary, Ronald L. Kohl, Assistant Secretary David E. Brandt, and the Assistants to the Secretary, Donald E. Kuntzman and Timothy J. Schmoyer, have served willingly and faithfully, therefore be it
Resolved, that we thank the Lord for their service during our proceedings.
Whereas, Overseer of Pages Joel B. Klase; Head Page Timothy S. Hogan; and Pages Benjamin J. Armstrong, Benjamin P. Bailey, Jared M. Burkholder, Larry W. Davies, Sean A. Fox, Jeremy L. Harkins, Daniel W. King, Nathaniel C. LeTowt, James D. MacArthur, Richard J. Pauquette, Diego A. Rodriguez and Christopher M. Van Holt have diligently, humbly and gladly served the 134th BFC Conference, enabling it to function smoothly, therefore be it
Resolved, that we express our appreciation for their service with a round of applause.
Whereas, Randall A. Grossman has served outstandingly as Moderator of the 134th Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church, therefore be it
Resolved, that we offer up thanksgiving to the Lord for providing us with this able and willing servant, and be it further
Resolved, that the members of the BFC Conference show their appreciation for Brother Grossman with a standing ovation.
Whereas, on the basis of the reports, testimonies, and proceedings of this 134th Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church, we believe that Christ’s Spirit is actively advancing His cause in and through us, therefore be it
Resolved, that we press on in the challenging work before us with joy and humility, and be it further
Resolved, that we continue to encourage one another, building up the saints in faith, hope and love, as we see His great day approaching.
Report of the Registrar
The following alternate delegates were seated for part or all of the 134th BFC Conference:
John Colobrox, George Hanstein, Joseph Waldvogel, Larry W. Davies, Wesley Checkeye, Donald Dyer, Henry U. Sandt, William Ryan, Bruce Zurbrick, Mark S. Matson, Michael Gangwer, Marc Fraser, Bruce Wilson, Stu Stocker, Jerald Lagler, Kevin Derr, Ed Day
Resolved, that their seating be approved.
The following delegates requested to be excused from all or part of the 134th BFC Conference:
Ronald Miller, Edward Day, Daniel Dunwell, Brian Michlich, Richard Gross II, Amos Kinert
Resolved, that these requests for excuses be granted.
The following licensed and ordained pastors requested to be excused from part or all of the 134th BFC Conference. These requests were approved by the Ministerial Credentials Committee.
Joshua D. Edwards, Michael J. Tannous, Paul G. Zimmerman, Willis I. Dowling, Austin G. Shelly, George E. Herb, Delbert R. Baker II, Philip E. Morrison, Leonard E. Buck, Colby A. Weinhofer, Thomas A. Pollock, William J. Dunn, Joel B. Klase, James D. Head, Louis S. Curcio, Jacob J. Susek, Andrew T. Crossgrove, Roger L. Reitz, Ronald B. Smith, David H. Jones, Andrew T. Gysi, Richard J. Gehman, Bruce A. Ellingson, Ronald W. Hoyle, Thomas H. Morrison, G. Wayne Clapier, LeRoy S. Heller, Philip E. Yerrington, Carl C. Cassel, Glenn R. Felty, Dennis W. Spinney, Kevin W. Kirkpatrick, William C. Aukamp, Timothy S. Radcliff, David L. Manney, David J. Peters, Richard B. Ravis, Mark E. Barninger
Resolved, that these requests for excuses be granted.
The following appointments were made by the Moderator for the 135th BFC Conference:
Registrar: Daniel L. Williams.
Assistant Registrar: Timothy J. Bertolet.
Committee on Agenda & Arrangements: Ronald L. Kohl, Chairman; David T. Allen, Thomas P. Shorb, David E. Brandt, Timothy J. Schmoyer, Randall A. Grossman, William G. Schlonecker.
Committee on Examination of Minutes of Particular Churches: Kevin W. Kirkpatrick, Chairman; Jason L. Hoy, Mark R. Orton, David J. Peters, David A. Smith, Howard M. Wells.
Conference Judicatory Secretary: Thomas P. Shorb.
Special Appellate Judicatory Secretary: Hans R. Waldvogel.
William G. Schlonecker adjourned the 134th BFC Conference in prayer at 2:25 p.m.