Dear IARBC family,
Our camper was winterized and lovingly tucked away for the winter early in November. It has served us well for another year in ministry and for personal time away. We towed it over 2500 miles without incident and truly enjoyed our home away from home. It is always a little sad to stow it but life has its seasons and that is OK. We look forward to the next camping season, Lord willing, starting with a turkey hunt next spring! We thank the Lord for providing it.
But after storing our camper, I am not sure where November went. It seems like just yesterday it was October. As November typically has a lighter ministry event calendar I had planned to spend some time working on a few projects. My plan was to work with Brenna on updating our website, to work out details to make giving through our Friends of the Fellowship easier and more visible, and to update some of our literature that we make available on our display table.
But as important as these things are, they were put on hold for a bit. The month developed differently than I had planned and necessitated some changes to my schedule. I am glad that God is in control of these things, and I rest in His direction and provision. Here are some things to share with you…
10/29 Grandview Park Baptist Church (Pastor Danny & Brenna Capon) in Des Moines is our home church. Pastor Danny invited me to speak on a Reformation theme for this Sunday morning. “Sola Scriptura”, one of the rallying cries of the Reformation was the theme for today. I enjoyed the preparation for this message as it challenged me to think through the implications for this theme in our lives. Sunday evening Pastor Danny and I taught a Men’s Seminar on the Biblical role of men, and what that looks like in the home. We love our church family, are always glad to be with them, and in this case to minister to them.
11/4 First Baptist Church in Bloomfield (Pastor Matt & Shari Froah) called an ordination council for Pastor Matt. A good number of men were in attendance. Pastor Simeon Counterman (Burlington) was the moderator for the morning. Pastor Matt did a fine job of answering questions about his call, theology, life of ministry, family, and walk with the Lord. The ordination council recommended that the church proceed with ordination. I do want to say that I have been very encouraged by the tone and heart of ordinations recently. I remember ordinations that were driven by personal agendas and theological hobby horses. I am glad that perhaps those days are behind us. This ordination was edifying and helpful. Also, I enjoyed having a FBBC student with me for the day. It was a good day.
11/5 We popped into Emmanuel Baptist Church in South Des Moines for their morning services. Pastor Dan & Charlotte Bunge have become good friends over the years and it was good to be with them and the church family again. David Mapes (FBTS student), husband of Bethany and son of Dan & Karis Mapes (missionaries to Ghana), did a fine job of teaching the adult Sunday School hour from the book of Ecclesiastes. Pastor Bunge has been mentoring David and it has been good to watch him grow in ministry experience. It was a joy to see our good friends at EBC, and also our daughter Amy, her husband Chris, and their daughter Addie (7 months old).
We caught a quick lunch for the road after our morning at Emmanuel Baptist Church, and headed for Bloomfield to attend the ordination service for Pastor Matt Froah. There was a good crowd for the afternoon service, including several people from Immanuel Baptist Church in Newton, Pastor Matt’s home church before coming to Bloomfield. Pastor Ken Van Loon brought the charge to Pastor Matt, and Pastor Russ Harris (retired and now serving the Lord in Bloomfield) brought the charge to the church. The food and fellowship afterwards were fantastic. The Lord received all the glory for what was accomplished that day.
11/12 Pastor Roger Hemmings had asked if I would speak for him at North Court Baptist Church in Ottumwa as he and Beth were away for the day. I had the joy of teaching my John Study Workshop for the adult SS hour and preaching for the morning worship service. The Word was well-received and we were encouraged by this opportunity for ministry. A couple took us out for lunch after the services before we headed home. It was a delightful day of ministry and fellowship with these folks.
11/19 LeClaire Baptist Church has been about a year without a pastor. The Lord directed their previous pastor (Tim & Brenda Moore) of 17 years to Mason City. I met with their pulpit committee in December of 2016 to do a Pulpit Committee Workshop. A number of them had never done something like this before, and were eager to learn how it might work. We walked through an assessment of their church and a roadmap of the process of calling a pastor. God used that time together to give them confidence in His direction, and I remember leaving for home thanking the Lord for this opportunity to minister to these men and for working in their hearts. Well, God directed the church to call Pastor Nick (Jessica) Oliver to be their next pastor after serving the Lord as pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Fort Dodge for several years. Today the church hosted an Installation Service (during the morning service) to rejoice in God’s provision. Pastor Steve Cox (Oskaloosa) had a huge impact on Pastor Nick’s life years ago and was here to bring a charge to him. I was invited to bring the charge to the church and enjoyed this opportunity to open the Word. God blessed in so many ways, including a fantastic Thanksgiving meal after the service, and the confidence that He will continue to build His church here in LeClaire.
11/26 Faith Baptist Church in Carroll is where we spent 23+ years of our life in pastoral ministry before accepting the call to move to Ankeny and be the next IARBC State Representative. That was 3 years ago last spring, and the church continues to serve the Lord faithfully under the leadership of Pastor Jay (Megan) Chapman. It was difficult to leave these dear people after those many years of serving the Lord together, but we could not be happier at God’s choice for a new shepherd at FBC in Carroll. Pastor Jay and Megan love the Lord, they love their church family, and they love the city of Carroll with all its opportunities for life and ministry. We had not been there for a while, but the draw for this particular day was an 80th birthday celebration for a long-time member of the church. Her family hosted a meal after the morning services in her honor. She has served the Lord faithfully and it was great to see her again and rejoice with everyone in the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord on her behalf. Later that afternoon we attended a funeral visitation for the mother of another long-time and faithful member of the church. It was a good time to encourage this dear friend of ours and to see others that we have known for a long time. The Lord gave us a good day.
12/3 We just love the drive from our home in Ankeny (just east of I-35) to Marshalltown. We head east towards Bondurant, then Northeast on Highway 65/330. No matter which season of the year it is, we always love this drive though these rolling hills of rural Iowa. The traffic is always light on the four-lane road and the drive is tremendously therapeutic…a real contrast to the fast pace of life, even in Ankeny. A year ago this past summer, Sandy & I popped in on a Sunday morning (which is what we like to do when we have an open Sunday) to visit Center Street Baptist Church and meet the people there. We received a warm welcome and made some friends. Fast forward a year to this past summer. Their pastor had just resigned and I was contacted to see if I could provide some help during the transition. I offered some suggestions for pulpit supply and also offered to come and share with them more about the ministries of the IARBC. We had a great evening together that led to an invitation for me to return and do my Pulpit Committee Workshop with them in early November. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these dear friends. They were encouraged to have a roadmap of the process of looking for a pastor, as well as access to resources along the way that could help. We sensed that the Lord would have us join them for this Sunday morning, and it was evident that He had directed us there. We arrived at the church and, again, received a very warm welcome. The Adult Bible Fellowship time turned out to be a great time for us to share more about our fellowship and our heritage as Regular Baptists. Interim Pastor Don Michaelsen preached a great message about Christ being the Alpha & Omega. It is evident that he is God’s man to provide pastoral leadership for this church and it was so good to see him in this capacity. God gave us a great morning. We made some new friends and reconnected with some old friends. We love this aspect of the ministry that God has given us among our churches…helping them during the transition between pastors. We get to help, and we get to watch the Lord work and provide. To God be all the glory for these things.
My heart is full as I recount these things to you. This was not the kind of November that we had planned, but it is the kind of November that the Lord arranged. We are tired, but so satisfied in the Lord and grateful to Him for these opportunities to serve Him by serving our churches.
FAITH BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE…
Also, you will want to know that Sandy is enjoying her new ministry as Interim Dean of Women at Faith Baptist Bible College. It is a full-time position and has taken some time to get used to. But God has prepared her for this, and He is using her in a wonderful way. It is an amazing opportunity to invest in the life of the students, and to connect with this next generation of servant-leaders. Thanks for praying for her as she serves the Lord in this new capacity.
There is so much more to share about life and ministry since I last wrote, but this is enough for now. I plan to catch up a bit in a few installments over the next few weeks. With the Lord’s help this can become a reality.
We have traveled many miles without incident (mechanical or deer-related), and we thank God for that.
We feel overwhelmed at times by all that needs to be done, but the Lord works things out and calms our hearts.
We are burdened by the struggles in some of our churches, and yet rejoice in the faithfulness and power of God.
We love what we do and want to thank you for supporting and encouraging us along the way.
Thanks for praying for us,
Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)