Month: November 2017

Ezra Ministries Launches

Beth and I are very excited to let you know that God continues to keep open the opportunity for us to pursue a church consultation\revitalization ministry in partnership with Continental Baptist Missions.

An ongoing need of church planting includes periods of time to evaluate the progress and spiritual health of ministry. These times of purposeful examination occur at every stage of life. A church many decades old can realize the need for just such an assessment. This ought not surprise us, for it is the Apostle Paul who penned; “Not that I have already attained or am already perfected, but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Philippians 3:12  

In the coming months, I will detail why we use the title Ezra Ministries. I would ask permission to update you concerning the shift in ministry from pastoring one church to bringing multiple encouragements to God’s people and looking for Him to produce eternal fruit that remains unto His glory. We are praying for future opportunities to share this vision with local churches who will financially partner with us in this ministry of church revitalization.

If you desire, please contact me at

Security Training for Pastors

Date: November 27 at 6:30 PM
Place: Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, 244 E. Army Post Road, Des Moines
Description: “Sgt. Lance Ripperger of the DMPD will be sharing security protocols and insights that every pastor NEEDS to be considered in light of recent events. I hope you will join me for this important discussion!”

Walnut Park Baptist To Host Men’s Prayer Retreat

Walnut Park Baptist Church of Muscatine is hosting a men’s prayer retreat in January 2018. The details of the event can be found below. If you are interested in attending, a link to register can be found here.

Get refreshed and motivated in prayer!

Join us on January 26-27, 2018 at

Spring Valley Bible Camp   
2858 180th St, Muscatine, IA 52761

2018 Men’s Prayer Advance with Dr. Marty Von

Cost: $30 (includes lodging, Friday supper, Saturday breakfast, and Saturday pizza lunch)

Please sign up in advance by clicking the link below. Bring payment to the camp lodge check-in desk when you arrive.

Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, January 26, 2018. Friday evening supper starts at 6:30 p.m.

We will be using the Spring Valley Lodge, a facility which includes a 2000 sq. ft. great room featuring a stone gas fireplace, an outdoor deck, a warming/staging kitchen, 3 private queen suites (sleep 2 each), and 8 cabin-style bunk bed rooms (sleep 12 each).  Outdoor recreational activities (weather permitting) includes the use of mini golf, bb guns, archery, low ropes course activities and campfires. The game room includes ping pong, fooseball, and air hockey tables. Bring your own towels and bedding.

For those who are interested, we will also host a skeet shoot and small arms firing range session Saturday afternoon after the conclusion of the retreat on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Marty Von

Sessions on Prayer

Friday evening 7:30 p.m.

Saturday morning 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.


Pastor Don Michaelsen Interim at Center Street Baptist

Center Street Baptist Church in Marshalltown is pleased to have Pastor Don Michaelsen serving as their interim Pastor.  Pastor Michaelsen began his ministry late this summer.  He brings with him many years of pastoral ministry experience and has been joyfully received by the church family. Thank you, Pastor Michaelsen, for your service to Center Street Baptist Church!



Across Iowa 11/1/17

 Life is filled with transitions. God’s creation has its seasons and and we all experience the various seasons of life and ministry.
I have always loved the fall. Summers have their unique opportunities but, for me, the heat and humidity create a longing for cooler days. Winters, growing up in New York state and Minnesota, were enjoyable to me, with all the winter activities such as skating, hockey and downhill skiing. Added to that were snow forts and snow balls that made for many good memories. For some, winter is difficult to embrace, but I still like it, especially when I can get my snow blower out and power through snow. For some reason I derive great pleasure in this, and in using it to clean off neighbors’ driveways as a way to serve them. Spring is always welcomed with the warmer, but not yet hot, weather. It meant I could get the golf clubs out again and, more recently, the start of spring turkey hunting with my sweetheart. We have always enjoyed and worked at sharing life together and this is just one more thing to add to our life experience. But if pressed for a favorite season, fall would be it. The cooler days, the changing of the leaves and the fresh opportunities for another season of ministry make it special to me. It is likely that you would write this paragraph differently. We all have our favorite seasons.
But I believe that it is good, and also pleasing to the Lord, to embrace all of the seasons and seasons of life and ministry that God presents to us. To trust Him for these. Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever state (situation) he was in. And that he had learned the secret of knowing how to thrive in any circumstance. That “secret” was that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. The “all things” here referring to the many and varied circumstances of life. We can trust God for strength and wisdom for all of the transitions and seasons of life.
Missionary Baptist Church in Carlisle recently called Brian & Patty Johnson to be their new pastor and wife. The Johnsons previously served the Lord at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Algona. We missed their Installation Service as we were up in Minnesota on vacation, but were able to touch base with them and the church family recently on a Sunday morning. We popped in to say hello and to rejoice with them in God’s hand in bringing the Johnsons to MBC in  Carlisle.
LeClaire Baptist Church (last exit off I-80 before you head across the Mississippi River) has called Nick & Jessica Oliver to be their new pastor and wife. They come from Faith Baptist Church in Fort Dodge after several years of ministry there and are excited about this new season of ministry. An Installation Service is planned for this month and we look forward to joining them for this special day.
Nevada Baptist Church recently called Kevin & Michelle England to be their new Associate/Youth pastor and wife. They were married this last summer and are excited about their new life together and their new ministry together.
Maranatha Baptist Church in Grimes has called Lance & Carrie Augsburger to be their new senior pastor and wife. Lance & Carrie served the Lord faithfully for several years as Dean of Students (and men) and Dean of Women at FBBC. It was a delight to be invited to be a part of their Installation Service in late September and to bring a charge to the congregation. Carries’s father, Pastor Craig Johnson (Grinnell), spoke about the high calling of a pastor. Lance’s father, Pastor Bryan Augsburger, brought the charge to the pastor. It was a meaningful service and a great way to acknowledge God’s direction in directing Lance & Carrie to MBC in Grimes.
Sometimes when God directs a church in calling a new pastor, it creates a need in a church for a new pastor. These transitions are not a surprise and do, in fact, offer a great opportunity for churches to trust God and see His hand at work in the process of calling a pastor. Many times I have the privilege of being invited to help a church during this time of  transition. I love this part of the work that God has called us to do in and among our churches. I inherited a Pulpit Committee Workshop from Joe Hayes. It is basically a road map of the process of calling a pastor coupled with resources that are available. I have added a few things along the way over the past 3 1/2 years and have enjoyed encouraging pulpit committees through this ministry. Along with working with pulpit committees, I work with men as they seek God’s will in transitioning into ministry for the first time, or into another ministry if God would so direct. Sandy & I meet with the couples to get to know them better. We thank the Lord for these opportunities to serve our churches and ask you to pray for us, the churches and those seeking God’s will for ministry.
Adel Rapids – Street Baptist Church
Fairfield – Faith Baptist Church
Wall Lake – Wall Lake Baptist Church
Indianola – Indianola Regular Baptist Church (Mike Craighead-interim)
Slater – Slater Baptist Church (Miles Grismore-interim)
Reinbeck – First Baptist Church
Danville – Faith Baptist Church (Dan McClure-interim)
Floris – Floris Baptist Church
Marshalltown – Center Street Baptist Church (Don Michaelsen-interim)
Algona – Hillcrest Baptist Church
Perry – First Baptist Church
Shell Rock – First Baptist Church*
Ft. Dodge – Faith Baptist Church
*First Baptist Church in Shell Rock is closing it’s doors after over 100 years of ministry. This is always sad news to share, but God has directed the church to seek assistance from Baptist Church Planters through their Church Care ministry. Please pray with them through this transition.
One final note. Sandy is enjoying her new ministry as the Interim Dean of Women at FBBC. She has transitioned out of working part-time at the Faith Bookstore to this full-time ministry at the college. This opportunity was completely unexpected, but fulfilled a desire of her heart to have more personal and continued ministry in the lives of others. It is a wonderful mentoring and discipling ministry that God is using in the lives of these students. Her years of experience in life and ministry have prepared her, but she is constantly challenged to lean on the Lord for strength and wisdom. She loves these girls and wants God’s best for them. It is also a great way for us to stay connected with the next generation of servant-leaders in our churches.
Please pray with us, and for one another as we trust God through the seasons and transitions of life.
Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel”  (Phil. 1:5)