Category: Across Iowa

Across Iowa

Dear IARBC Family,

We love our fellowship, our family of churches. We love the people, the pastors, and what we get to do to partner together for the cause of the gospel. You could say we have a PASSION for our fellowship (sorry for the slightly clumsy synonym for love, but I needed a word that began with “P”). Dr. Delnay would likely be disappointed in me for trying to make alliteration work. But, in my defense, I don’t think I needed a big hammer to make it fit, or sacrificed clarity.

I love working with PULPIT Committees. It is a role that is somewhat unique to my responsibilities as the IARBC State Representative. Since we started 5 years ago, 38 churches have called a new senior pastor, 40% of our 95 churches. And I have had the privilege of working with most of these churches during their transition. I offer a Pulpit Committee Workshop, resumes, reference checks, and counsel along the way for any questions that may come up. I assist with installation services when asked to help and follow up when possible by visiting these churches after their new pastor has settled in a bit. On the other side of it, I meet with young men who are getting into their first ministry, and with seasoned men who are looking for God’s direction for a possible ministry change. I have been very impressed, and thank God for, the diligence and patience of those who serve on Pulpit Committees. In the vast majority of these transitions, God has blessed with strong support from their church families when presented with a candidate. And in several cases, even a 100% vote to call the candidate.

God has also blessed our fellowship with a good number of young PREACHERS who serve their churches with great care, compassion, conviction and creativity. They are serving their churches and their Savior well. They are actively engaged in serving our fellowship in many ways. I enjoy investing in them and also learning from them. I do not take this for granted. I have heard from some other Baptist friends in different circles that they do not have many young men to pastor their churches. God has been good to us. I give Him all the glory for this. Thank the Lord with me for this blessing.

As we move ahead together, it is imperative that we remember the PRIORITY of our mission…the Great Commission…that we would make disciples of all nations, including right where we live. Actually, I believe it is something that we need, like the church in Ephesus, to reclaim…to go back and do the “works you did at the first”. And very possibly, along with it, reclaim the “love you had at the first”.

Ours (mine and Sandy’s) is an itinerant ministry among our churches. We travel a lot. We are in a different church every Sunday whether to speak or just to “pop in” to stay connected, to make new friends or to encourage. We see the big PICTURE. We get a unique PERSPECTIVE. And we want to be good stewards of what we see. To be honest, though, there is much that we find encouraging, there is much that we find disheartening:

  • Many of our churches have experienced a decades-long decline in numbers.
  • Many of our churches have plateaued and are not turning the corner to grow.
  • Only a few churches are growing…fewer by conversion growth.
  • Many of our churches have aging congregations, with very few or no children.
  • Some of our churches are very small and are at, or near, a tipping point.
  • We have lost 6 churches in the last 5 years, 4 of which have closed.
  • There are few adult conversions in most of our churches regardless of size.
  • Most of these churches have no real plan to reach these people.
  • A common “plan” is to pray and hope that people come to church.
  • There are very few people who share the gospel with people outside of church.
  • In some cases, there is a level of contentment with the status quo.
  • Some churches have little vibrancy or are debilitated by conflict.
  • We have also seen a deeply held resistance to meaningful, thoughtful change.
  • In general, there is a diminished sense of our mission…the Great Commission.
  • Or in some cases, a loss of Great Commission focus…making disciples.

You have heard me say these things and it can be very discouraging. And in truth, these things ought to alarm us. You could say it is almost an epidemic needing a wake-up call. Thus, the theme of our Annual Conference from Revelation 3:1-6:


Kind of edgy? Probably. But everywhere I go and tell people our theme they react in the same way:  Whoa! (alarm)…and Hmm (I get it…what should we do?).

God must do a work among us, and I believe that His work has begun. Here are a few examples:

One pastor said, “We do a great job of doing church, but a terrible job of making disciples.” This church is larger than average and relatively mature.

One pastor told me, “I think we have left our first love”. He had just finished preaching though the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation.

Another pastor called me and said, “Tim, our church is dying and we need help.”

There is a growing sense of ALARM and an increasing AWARENESS of the need to reclaim a Great Commission focus and love for Christ. Some are ASKING for help and others have already launched ACTION plans in leadership training and church revitalization. In many cases pastors and churches are partnering with mission agencies (like BCP) and other IARBC churches. We are working together in meaningful ways for counsel, support, and encouragement. This gives me great hope! Christ is still building His church…and is breathing new life into our churches. There is a long way to go, but we are trusting the Lord to use this conference to help us to reclaim the first works and a vibrant love for Christ.

Over these two days in Ames, we will be sharing some PLANS to accomplish this. We are very grateful for Jon Jenks, Tim Weeks, and Scott Owen (all with Baptist Church Planters) being with us to come along side of us, and help facilitate some of these things. We need a clear focus on our mission. We need strong, healthy churches. We need to work together as PARTNERS in the gospel ministry. Would you PRAY with us to that end?

God bless and thanks for being here,  
Tim & Sandy

Across Iowa 3/13/18

Dear IARBC family,

“The IARBC (Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches) works together to carry out the Great Commission and to stimulate Biblically effective ministries.”

The above is the Mission Statement of the IARBC. Each element is important:
*The Great Commission-making disciples of Jesus Christ by going, baptizing and teaching until the end of the age).
*Biblically effective ministries in and among our churches.
*Working together.

I have found that there are many examples in the New Testament of churches working together. There are many references by Paul to “the churches”. They worked through doctrinal matters, sent and received missionaries, collected offerings, and were greatly impacted by one another. There is evidence in some of Paul’s letters that they were circulated among “the churches”. He boasted about the Thessalonians in “the churches” (2 Thess. 1:4) concerning their steadfastness and faith. The Macedonians had been inspired by the committed generosity and sacrificial giving of the Corinthians. This is a common theme and pattern among the churches in the New Testament. They knew about each other, they inspired one another, and they worked together for the sake of the Gospel.

It is good that we follow their example. It is good that we, as autonomous (I like that word better than independent) churches, each under the headship of Christ, work together…fellowship…partner with one another for the sake of the Gospel. I do not believe that God intended for churches to live in isolation from one another. I believe that the pattern of the NT teaches us otherwise. Our IARBC fellowship of churches is an expression of this, and we have enjoyed the blessings of this type of working relationship since our founding in 1935. Our pastors, and the people in our churches, enjoy rich and vibrant fellowship with one another. That sweet fellowship and sense of partnership extends to other ministries in our state such as FBBC & TS and IRBC. This fellowship is sweet, encouraging, and very precious. We give God all the glory for these meaningful relationships, and ask Him to help us to be good stewards of them. Sandy and I love being a part of these. We love promoting these.

Here are some examples from the past few weeks:

* The REFRESH Conference at Faith Baptist Bible College was a truly refreshing time in every sense of the word.
* Monopoly Madness, an annual youth ministry of Nevada Baptist Church, was well attended and spiritually dynamic. Pastor Nick Oliver of LeClaire Baptist Church brought a great challenge from the Word.
* Altoona Regular Baptist Church hosted their annual Sportsmen’s Dinner. Another good size crowd of sportsmen (including men & women) were treated to an amazing meal and a powerful presentation from Steve Little of BCP.
* The annual Mid-Winter Couples Retreat (hosted by Calvary Baptist Church of Mount Pleasant) was again very well attended. It was held at Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston. Dr. John Street presented a powerful challenge from the Word about God’s design for marriage. Wow! What an amazing exposition and presentation!
* A Singles Event was hosted by Faith Baptist Church in Carroll on a Saturday in February. Perhaps your church could host one? Please let me know and I can help you think through what it would take.
* FBBC hosted a Guest Artist Series Concert recently. We enjoyed nationally known musicians who use their God given abilities for His glory.

Here are some events on the horizon:

*3/17 North Iowa Sportsmen’s Adventure at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.
*3/22-24 Men for Christ Rally (20th anniversary) at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.
*3/23-24 Canticum Novum Music Conference at FBBC with Ron (Patch the Pirate) Hamilton
*3/26/27 IARBC Annual Conference in Mount Pleasant (Calvary Baptist Church). Dr. Dean Taylor will be the keynote speaker on the theme “Feed My Sheep”.
*4/5 Faith Pulpit Day at FBBC. The theme is “Suffering & Sovereignty”.
*4/7 EQUIP (formerly TFC) fine arts competition hosted by & partnered with FBBC.
*4/14 Singles Event hosted by First Baptist Church in Perry.
*4/20-21 Mother & Daughter Retreat at IRBC.
*5/12 Adventureland Rally hosted by our SE Fellowship. Join hundreds of teens for this annual event with an opportunity to invite unsaved friends to hear the gospel.
*5/18-29 Father & Son Retreat at IRBC
*Summer Family & Youth camps throughout the summer at IRBC

Brenna has many of these events posted on our website, complete with the necessary details and links. FBBC and the IRBC have all you need on their respective websites. Please check them out.

There is an amazing array of ministries provided by our churches, area fellowships, camp, college, and fellowship. God is to be thanked for these opportunities to grow and fellowship. Be sure to check them out, promote, attend where you have opportunity, and ask the Lord for His hand of blessing on all of these ministries. God is good.

One more thing before I sign off. Recently, two retired IARBC pastors, good friends in life and ministry, went to be with the Lord within hours of each other.

Pastor Russ Farrell and Pastor Charles Hawkins each enjoyed a life of ministry to the churches of our beloved IARBC. They were well respected and faithful ministers of the Gospel. They made a difference in the lives of people and churches for decades. The impact of their lives is still evident today with fruit that remains. They will be missed by their family, friends, and all who knew them. They loved their Savior well and finished well. They are now home.

We already miss them.
We thank God for them.
We must continue the work they did in and among our churches.
We must ask God to raise up a generation that will follow in their footsteps…and ours.

Let’s continue to work together for the sake of the Gospel.

Goodbye for now and God bless.

Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)

Across Iowa 1/30/18

Dear IARBC Family,

Pastor Cletis Leverett knocked on our door in Ketchikan, Alaska over 36 years ago. I was a civil engineer at the time and had been working for a contractor on a hydroelectric powerhouse project along the Columbia River in Washington State for a couple of years. The company I worked for won the bid for a hydroelectric powerhouse project in Ketchikan so we were transferred there and joined the rest of the team. I was living my dream of building things…big things… as I had wanted to be an engineer since I was a young boy. The project site was a relatively short distance from Ketchikan, but it was a remote site accessible only by floatplane or boat. Sandy & I initially lived in Ketchikan and I commuted to the project site each day by floatplane. Angela was about 2 years old and Danny was born soon after we arrived in Ketchikan. We were young parents, early in my career as an engineer, and we were loving this fantastic adventure. But God was using these things, and of course, people to draw us to Himself. As very self-righteous, devoted, unsaved Lutherans, we did not understand the gospel. But God, in His grace, did give us a respect for his Word. He caused us to question what we believed and he put people into our lives who, like Philip, joined themselves to our chariot. We are convinced that God sent them to us as part of His plan to draw us to Christ for salvation.

There had been a born-again couple in our Lutheran church in Washington (they eventually left for an evangelical church) who took an interest in us. They invited us to do a Bible study with them outside of church. Though we had never heard of such a thing, we agreed to meet with them. We studied the Book of Romans using Warren Wiersbe’s book “Be Right”. We were so ignorant of spiritual things and Biblical Christianity that we thought the magazine “Moody Monthly” was a psychology magazine. But God was drawing us and we began to read. After reading the first five chapters of Romans we decided that because infant baptism (sprinkling) was nowhere to be found, we would never baptize any of our future children. We thank God for this couple. They loved us, took us into the Word, and wanted us to come to Christ. But even though they meant well, they did not ask if we understood the gospel, or if we wanted to trust Christ, but instead hoped we would just get it. We didn’t, at least not yet. We were open, searching, but a little confused about what all of this meant and about what to do next.

God took care of that and moved us to Ketchikan. Shortly after getting settled into our home we started attending the only Lutheran church in town. We had always believed that church was important so it was not anything new for us to start looking. But this time it was different. We attended the church, but came away empty and unsatisfied. Having been generational Lutherans, and pretty proud of it, this was huge. The church that had always been a major part of our lives was now an incredible disappointment and it was the only one of its kind in town. Growing up in Bloomington, Minnesota, there were so many Lutheran churches to choose from that if you did not care for one you would have plenty of others to choose from. That was not the case in Ketchikan. There was one, and just one, of pretty much everything. We had no idea what to do.

It was just a matter of days before I came home from work, and found that something very interesting had happened that day. Sandy greeted me, gave me a hug and a kiss, and told me that a Baptist pastor had knocked on our door that day. He was out inviting people to send their children to VBS. As Angela was only 22 months old he instead invited us to church…a Baptist church. We were both quite proud of our Lutheran heritage and always felt that we were superior to Catholics as we were “reformed”. We had also had the impression that Baptists were radical, Bible thumping know-it-alls. But God does amazing things in the heart when He is drawing people to His Son. Both of us were actually interested in this pastor’s invitation. I feared what my mother would think if she found out, but was willing to risk it as she was thousands of miles away and perhaps would never know. Sandy told me that this Baptist preacher had a kind disposition…a habit of knocking on doors…and that he had a raspy, but sweet, voice. His name was Cletis Leverett. This divine encounter was really no different than the one in Acts 8 between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. God was drawing the Ethiopian to Himself. This man was searching and reading the Scriptures, yet needing someone to guide him. God sent Philip to join himself to his chariot and the Ethiopian came to Christ. We were not saved right away, but Pastor Cletis Leverett was instrumental in our coming to Christ and our call to the ministry. You never forget the people God used to bring you the gospel. To this day we thank God for these people. There were several people over several years. But Pastor Cletis Leverett and his wife, Doris, will always be special to us.

Pastor Leverett went home to be with the Lord 17 years ago and Doris joined him in heaven a week and a half ago. I would guess it was a sweet reunion with one another in the presence of Christ; the one they both so faithfully served for decades. After pastoring in Kentucky, the Leveretts became career missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions serving in Kodiak, Alaska, as a missionary evangelist, and as station supply in several places including Ketchikan.

We made the drive to Bunker Hill, Illinois last weekend for Doris’s funeral. Berean Baptist Church of Bunker Hill had been their sending church from the very start. Pastor & Doris had always spoken glowingly about Bunker Hill and the dear church family that had sent and supported them for so many years of ministry. It was a joy to meet the people there and see their love for the Leveretts. It was a joy to tell them “thank you” for sending the Leveretts and that, in God’s providence, there was a day when this Baptist preacher knocked on our door in Ketchikan, Alaska. I can hardly contain the tears even as I write to you today. God is so good.

The funeral was a wonderful tribute to the Leveretts and to the Savior they loved and served. It was also a time to be challenged about our responsibility to carry on the legacy of a life of faithful service. It was an occasion to see the Leverett children again and reflect on the life and ministry of their parents. It was an opportunity to see friends in ministry and to rejoice in the wonderful fellowship and bond we have in Christ with so many people. We met Jeff Warix, Senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Bunker Hill, and his wife, Debbie. Sandy, due to her role as the Dean of Women at Faith, got to bring greetings from their daughter who is currently an RA at FBBC. We were delighted to see Ryan Witt, Assistant/Youth Pastor, and his wife, Darcy (Burman) as well. Both are FBBC grads and have been at BBC in Bunker Hill for a good number of years. The fellowship was sweet.

I had planned to share a little about the Leveretts and our trip to Bunker Hill, and then move on to other things, but those things will have to wait until another time. I trust that you have been encouraged and will praise Him through this time of reflecting on His mercy and grace.

I thank the Lord…

That God provided salvation through Christ.
That God, in His mercy and grace, draws people to Himself.
That God uses people to bring us the good news of the gospel.
That, by the grace of God, Sandy and I came to Christ many years ago.
That God radically transforms those who trust Him and uses them to serve Him faithfully.
That God raises up people and churches to send laborers into the harvest fields of the world.
That we enjoy true fellowship with other believers because of our common bond in Christ.
That God is still sending us into the lives of others with the gospel.
And that God is still saving people through the power of the gospel.

To Him be all the praise and glory!

Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel”  (Phil. 1:5)

Across Iowa 12/29/17

Happy New Year to our IARBC Family,

I am sitting in our family room, looking outside past our Christmas tree. A light snow is falling on a blanket of snow from earlier in the week. It is cold, but the wind is light (a nice change) making the dry snow swirl before it gently lands on the ground. It is absolutely beautiful. I no longer dream of a white Christmas, and I am very happy to have dry roads, but I have to admit I am thoroughly enjoying this winter scene that God has orchestrated. I do not pretend to understand the treasures of the snow, but I do praise the Lord for its beauty!

Of course Christmas is not really about snow; it is about the incarnation of the Son of God, when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It is about the coming of a Savior who is Christ the Lord, Emmanuel, who is God with us. It is about the good news of great joy that would be for all people. For us as believers, Christmas is first and foremost about Jesus, born of a virgin, and then laid in a manger. It is about Jesus who was revealed to the humble shepherds, then visited and worshiped by the wise men from the east. They gave Him gifts that were worthy of a king. Christ Himself was a gift from the Father to a sinful and needy world. Although “commercial” Christmas (as Dr. Kevin Bauder puts it in his recent Nick of Time article) can easily usurp the true meaning of Christmas, giving and receiving gifts can have a rightful place in our observance of Christmas.

For our family, it has worked to celebrate Christmas, complete with the exchanging of gifts, over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Some of the details have changed over the years, but some traditions are pretty deeply ingrained and are not to be trifled with. One of these traditions is stocking stuffers. For some reason Sandy & I bought Christmas stockings for each member of our family at K-Mart. I guess we liked the way they looked and they were reasonably priced. Though uniquely different, each of them has a similar look. As family members were added through marriage and the birth of grandkiddos, each received their own (K-Mart) Christmas stocking complete with their name in gold glitter puffy paint across the “fur” at the top. At times extra stockings would be purchased in advance just in case there were more grandchildren and spouses along the way as we never knew from year to year how much longer we could find stockings at K-Mart. The adults had the privilege of writing their own name on their stockings with puffy paint and we typically made a big deal out of it. To some degree, it was another way to say they were now family. Two Christmases ago, when Amy (our youngest daughter) and Christopher were getting pretty serious, Sandy & I decided to give him a provisional stocking. There could be no puffy paint as there was no ring yet (though it was not long before they were engaged), so Sandy put Christopher’s name on his stocking in block letters using blue painters tape. The stocking was put away after Christmas…until their wedding day. At their wedding reception, Christopher tore off the blue painters tape, and ceremoniously wrote his name in puffy paint on his Christmas stocking. Their daughter Addie has her own (K-Mart) stocking now and is celebrating her first Christmas with all of us. We will exchange stocking stuffer gifts in a couple of days.

Christmas has its traditions. We all have our ways of celebrating, and I think giving can play a meaningful role in our
Christmas traditions. Giving that is driven by gratitude for the rich blessings that we have in Christ. We all have so
much to be grateful for…

Grateful for the salvation we have in Christ.
Grateful for lives that are transformed by the Gospel.
Grateful for the privilege of serving the Lord.
Grateful for God’s grace, sovereignty, and His provision, even in the face of sorrow and grief.
Grateful for our family.
Grateful for the the ministries that God is using for the cause of the Gospel.
Grateful for the people that mean so much to us in life and ministry.

There are so many more but I want to focus on the last one. People that mean so much to us in life and ministry.

One such person, for me, is Brenna Capon.

Not only is she a wonderful daughter-in-law, she is a wonderful help to me and to our IARBC family of churches as our IARBC Administrative Assistant. Her husband, Danny, is the pastor of Grandview Park Baptist Church in Des Moines and together they serve the Lord there. She is a good and godly wife and mother. She is a faithful servant of the Lord who loves people and who loves our churches. God has gifted her in so many ways and she willingly uses what God has given her to serve Him. She is pretty tech-savvy (for which I am very grateful) and knowledgeable about finances and bookkeeping. She is a very good editor and information gatherer which is a big help with managing our website and posting Inside Iowa email updates. She is extremely efficient, and as such, is always looking for a better, quicker, more affordable way to do things. She might say otherwise, but I think she is very creative. She is a hard worker and doesn’t give up until she figures things out. This might be the math teacher in her, but, in any event, it is true.

However, sometimes the work load is more than one person can handle, so I am also grateful for Sadie Hatting. She is a faithful member of Grandview, a good friend of Brenna, and a great help with mailings, printing projects, and many other administrative tasks. She is responsible, capable, and a delight to work with.

I imagine Brenna and Sadie to be like the people the apostle Paul commended in his letters as fellow workers and co-laborers in the Gospel. It is not a stretch to say that I could not do what I need to do without them. They are an incredible blessing to me and to our IARBC family of churches. I am grateful to God for them and I wanted to let you know a little about them and what they do to serve the Lord through serving our IARBC.


A time to reflect on the incarnation of the Son of God.
A time to spend with family & friends.
A time observe some traditions.
A time for giving.
A time for being grateful.

Thanks for your prayers, words of encouragement, financial support, and for the opportunity for Sadie, Brenna, Sandy, and me to serve the churches of the IARBC.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

Tim, Sandy, Brenna & Sadie

“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)


Across Iowa 12/22/17


Merry Christmas to our IARBC family,

Every year Sandy & I send out a good number of Christmas cards. It is a pretty big project and it takes a bit of time to complete. But we like doing it as it is one way of staying connected with many of the people that the Lord has brought into our lives. And it reminds us that life and ministry is about people. That was the thought that the Lord brought to mind as we worked together to get our cards ready to send out…people.


People that have enriched our lives.
People that have been a blessing to us.
People that we have serve alongside of in ministry.
People that have responded to the gospel and have grown in the Lord.
People that we know who we believe still need the gospel.
People that are family… saved and unsaved alike.
People that we know through our own local churches settings.
People that partner with our IARBC in ministry.
People that have served the Lord well for a long time.
People that serve our IARBC fellowship in many and special ways.


And all of that makes us think about all of you who follow us in our life and ministry. You see, this Inside Iowa email update is another way to stay connected with people that mean so much to us. Our occasional Across Iowa articles, like this one, are a way for Sandy & I to stay connected with you all as well. We love sharing with you what God is doing in, through and among our IARBC churches. We love communicating with you in a way that we trust will inform, instruct and inspire you in your walk with the Lord. We love what we do, what God has called us to do. And all of these blessings have their root…their meaning in the Person and work of Christ on our behalf.

It really is because of Him and it really is all about Him.

Because of Christ…

We have a salvation that is rich, free, life-changing, and eternal.
We have blessings that are almost too numerous to name (see Ephesians 1-3).
We have a message, the gospel, that is still what people need the most.
We have a partnership in ministry through our IARBC family of churches.
We have rich fellowship with one another in and among our local churches.
We have an obligation, and also opportunities, to serve one another.
We have the indwelling Spirit who teaches us, comes alongside of us, enables us, and so much more.
We have access to our Heavenly Father, and answers to prayer according to His will.


I could go on, but you get the idea. We are richly blessed, and we thank God for all we have in Christ. And this would include the opportunity to serve our IARBC family of churches. All because God gave us His Son.

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
(2 Cor. 9:15)

God bless and have a Merry Christmas,

Tim & Sandy

“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)

Across Iowa 12/19/17

Dear IARBC Family,

I just finished reading 2 Corinthians and have moved on to the book of Galatians. For my personal Bible reading I have been using a “larger” print Bible that was given to me by my family for my 60th birthday, almost three years ago. I love the Bible and I love this Bible. Inside the front cover are all the birthday greetings from Sandy, our children, their spouses, and our grandkiddos. I believe they call it a Heritage Bible or something like that with a very soft, chocolate brown cover. It feels nice in the hand and lays nice and flat when opened. Of course the most important thing is that it is God’s Word, it is mine, and I can read it any time I want to. What a contrast to the time of the early church when the NT canon was not yet complete and Paul’s letters were circulated among the churches. The eunuch in Acts 8 had a copy of at least Isaiah 53, but that would have been an exception. What did it cost him? Where did he get it? I remember not that long ago our church purchasing a box of soft cover, whole Bibles for $1.50 each. I think it would be fair to say that with such availability, and even variety, we should be good stewards of the Scriptures to faithfully read and study them on our own. And be faithful to our local church where we can sit under the teaching & preaching of the Word to be edified and equipped for life and ministry.

Now back to the book of Galatians. Paul always begins his letters with a greeting. And sometimes, like genealogies, it is easy to move quickly through them to get to the meaty stuff. I have done that before, but I think it is a mistake. All Scripture is “profitable” and that would include the greetings, including this one which I think is quite meaty. There were several things that caught my attention, but one thing stood out during this reading, “To the churches of Galatia”. I suppose it is because of our ministry among the churches of the IARBC, but I have been noticing a very common pattern in the NT:

NT churches were autonomous under the headship of Christ, and

NT the churches worked together for the cause of the Gospel.

They helped each other settle doctrinal matters (Acts 15).

They sent & supported missionaries (Paul’s missionary teams).

They circulated letters written by Paul (Col. 4:2, Gal. 1:2).

They received instruction from the Lord Himself (letters to the 7 churches in Rev.).

They collected and sent offerings to help other believers (2 Cor. 8-9).

Sandy and I thank God for our local church family, Grandview Park Baptist Church. We love them and love being with them. We are out among the IARBC churches most Sundays, but we do make it a priority to be with our GPBC family on Wednesdays. We also love our IARBC family of churches. Each of them autonomous under the headship of Christ, yet committed to working together for the cause of the Gospel. We enjoy the blessings of wonderful fellowship, meaningful ministries, mutual encouragement, and edification. To God be all the glory for these things!


There are 9 area/regional fellowships in our IARBC. The pastors meet regularly to engage in ministry together, encourage and edify one another, and enjoy meaningful fellowship. I have been invited to attend several of these area fellowships this fall and have enjoyed each one of them. During the Christmas season some of them get together for a Pastors and Wives Christmas dinner. Sandy and I were invited to join two of them this year, one of them in Creston and one of them in Pella. We met at local restaurants, rejoiced over the wonder of the Incarnation of the Son of God, and left greatly encouraged by our time together. I thank God for these area fellowships!


Knoxville (Faith Baptist Church, Pastor Joshua & Alana Spencer)

On Saturday (12/2) we drove to Knoxville to attend a celebration and building dedication at FBC of Knoxville. When Pastor Spencer arrived last year as their new pastor, the upstairs of the building addition from a few years ago (entry way, kitchen, and fellowship area) was unfinished. Under his faithful leadership, the faithful giving of the people of FBC, and through God’s faithful provision this area was recently finished! It looks fantastic! We were invited to join them for this special celebration and rejoiced with them in what God had done in and through them. The food was amazing, the fellowship was encouraging, and there was great excitement that God will continue to build His church in Knoxville. I enjoyed good company over lunch with Pastor Ron VanderHart (retired from Adelphi Calvary Baptist Church in Runnells and currently on our Pulpit Supply List) and Pastor Mike Craighead (former pastor in Pella at Berean Baptist Church & currently serving as interim pastor at Indianola Regular Baptist Church),and with others from the church as well. Pastor Spencer’s desire is for the church to have an effective outreach to the people in Knoxville, and he is excited about what God will do in and through the church family.

Norwoodville (Norwoodville Baptist Church, Pastor Phil & Kayla Kramer)

The church is located in the NE corner of Des Moines, west of Altoona, east of I-235 and just south of I-80 so it was a short drive from our home in Ankeny to the church last Sunday morning. Pastor Phil taught the adult SS lesson from Ezekiel, and preached from Acts 10 during the morning worship service. It was great to see them again in their local church, to meet the church family, and also to connect with the Faith students who have made NBC their church home while at Bible College. They sang as a group for the worship service, asked us what being the IARBC State Rep. is all about, and spent time visiting so we could get to know them better. Sandy knew the students from her work as the Dean of Women at FBBC, but it is always great to see them in the context of their local church.


Adel (Rapids Street Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Fairfield (Faith Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Wall Lake (Wall Lake Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Slater (Slater Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor (Miles Grismore-interim)

Reinbeck (First Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Floris (Floris Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Danville (Faith Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor (Dan McClure-interim)

Marshalltown (Center Street Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor (Don Michaelsen-interim)

Algona (Hillcrest Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Perry (First Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Fort Dodge (Faith Baptist Church) – Seeking a pastor

Shell Rock (First Baptist Church) – Closing (BCP Church Care helping)


Indianola (Indianola Regular Baptist Church) – Pastor Ross & Renee Swope

Waverly (Horton Baptist Church) – James & Desiree Livingston (Associate)


GARBC:  I currently serve on the GARBC Council of 18, and the National Representative Search Committee. I spent 3 days during November at the GARBC Resource Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois for our Council of 18 Fall Board meetings.

MFC:  Men for Christ will celebrate its 20th anniversary this winter. I enjoy serving on the MFC Board with these men from different threads of Baptist fundamentalism. The annual MFC rallies rotate between Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. To do something special for the 20th anniversary, it was decided to have the 2018 MFC Rally at our Iowa Regular Baptist Camp! It will be a 3 day rally this time (instead of the usual 2 day rally) from March 22-24, 2018. We have a new website for you to check out which includes a place to register online. Make plans now to attend this special MFC Rally. Dr. Bob Jones III will be one of the main speakers. You will also like to know that the two most recent Board Members are Pastor Dean Graber (former IARBC pastor) and Pastor Joshua Huang (Associate Pastor in Cottage Grove, MN). Pastor Joshua is from Faith Baptist Church in Mason City, and helped us to develop our new MFC website.

Well, that’s enough for now. More to come soon to get caught up with things.

Thanks again for praying for us and for encouraging us in our ministry. We love what we do and we are grateful for what God is doing in and through our churches.

God bless and Merry Christmas,

Tim & Sandy

“Because of your partnership in the gospel”  (Phil. 1:5)