PLYMOUTH, MI – The 2019 Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) Leadership Conference (formally known as the Pastors’ Conference) was a strong day of hearing passionate men of God preach the Word. Mile City led worship music. They brought the pastors from all over the state into a united group that shared their mutual love for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. There is something deeply stirring about fellow Christ followers singing praises to God in one voice.
Church Planter Pastor Roland Caldwell Jr. from The House Church Detroit began the preaching time of being overwhelmed by the Spirit of God. Dr. Barry McCarty, Professor of Preaching and Rhetoric at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary spoke the Word with authority. Ken Pierpont, Lead Pastor at Bethel Church Jackson, MI, and author of Finding Bittersweet. Through humor and self-disclosure, he led us his painful ministry story to finding hope and joy in Christ. The day ended with Felix Cabrera, Director of SEND Puerto Rico and Executive Director, giving a powerful word of how God is moving in Puerto Rico even through a tragedy, the opportunity to express God’s amazing love.
The BSCM Annual Meeting was a great success! Huge thank you to church planter and pastor Travis Whittaker and Mile City Church (4 years old) for hosting the Annual Convention Meeting. With the BSCM offices being in the adjacent building, people who attended the Annual Meeting were able to come to an Open House of the new offices (with coffee and cookies too!)
The 200+ messengers and guests from Michigan churches, representing 55 churches, were given a new BSCM sling backpack, journal, and book. Everyone was heartened as they worshipped with Mick Schatz and band. All Pastors received a bag of resources to help strengthen them and their church. BSCM President Scott Blanchard led the opening session which included business and ministry reports. Pastor Tim led a panel discussion of ministries that included Mick Schatz for Bambi Lake, Bob Kiger for MI Disaster Relief and Sue Hodnett for Women’s Ministry/WMU. President Scott Blanchard preached emboldening Michigan pastors. The SBC Executive Committee for Cooperative Program hosted a free luncheon for all in attendance.
Roy Henry, BSCM 1st Vice President and pastor of Faith Baptist Church Battle Creek, directed the 2nd session. A Filipino Worship team led in praising God through music. The following BSCM Officers were elected: President – Scott Blanchard, 1st Vice President – Roy Henry, 2nd Vice President – Ed Emmerling, Recording Secretary – Jerome Taylor, and Assistant Recording Secretary – Roland Calwell Sr. Nate and Jenni Scheon IMB missionaries to Mozambique shared how God is using them to reach the people with the Gospel of Christ. Pastor Tim Patterson preached the Executive Director’s Challenge on his vision for the BSCM – 500 Michigan churches by 2025. He laid out True Vision/Re-envisioning: Ability to See, Faith to See, Courage to Do, and the Willingness to Change.
Ed Emmerling, BSCM 2nd Vice President and lead pastor of Westside Church Flushing, directed the last session after a time where pastors, lay leaders, and others were able to reconnect over dinner at some local Plymouth restaurants. Mike Durbin, State Director of Evangelism, led a panel discussion for evangelism grants with Stan Parker, Faith Fellowship Lansing, John Trott Hillsdale Baptist for Church Equipping Conference, Dr. Michele White, Middlebelt Baptist Inkster for Caring Well, and Ed Emmerling, Pastor Westside Church Flushing for Who’s Your One? Jerome Taylor, Chairman of Executive Board Strengthening Team and Billy Walker, Chairman of Sending Team, called out several of the events from this last year and asked those who had benefited from the events to stand. It was a very visual presentation of all the strengthening, inspiring, training events that had been offered to Michigan pastors and churches this year.
Tony Lynn, State Director of Missions, Wayne Parker, SEND Detroit Missionary, and Ken Render, Executive Board Chairman of Church Starting Team, gave the Church Starting presentation. It was uplifting to see many of the Michigan church planters march through the auditorium and on-stage holding signs introducing their new church start and the city. Everyone gathered around the church planters, and prayed for their strength, armor of God, and wisdom as they reach their communities for Christ.
Dr. Johnny Hunt was scheduled to preach. He was flying from Washington D.C. and his plane was delayed 3 times. Host pastor, Travis Whittaker, stepped up and preached a challenging message on the encouraging growth in Michigan churches in the following areas this year: Share, Shape, and Send (Evangelism, Discipleship and Multiplying). The 2019 Annual Meeting concluded with prayer for continued courage and passion for the work of the church of God.
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie Lynn works at the Baptist State Convention of Michigan as the Executive Assistant/Communications Coordinator. She and her husband, Dr. Tony Lynn, were IMB missionaries to Niger Republic West Africa and Paris, France for 13 years. They now live and serve in Plymouth, MI. The family includes 3 children, their spouses and 9 grandchildren.