REPORT OF THE BOARD OF CHURCH EXTENSION
to the 104th Annual Conference
of the Bible Fellowship Church
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" -- Matthew 28:19
Properly known as the Great Commission, this command was given by Christ to His Church. The Bible Fellowship Church, as one part of the Church universal, with joy, respect, and dependence upon God accepts this injunction. The Board of Church Extension is thankful to be one of the agencies of our denomination engaged in carrying out this mandate.
The book of Acts depicts how the Great Commission was obeyed. Paul, for example, on his second missionary journey, traveled to cities such as Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth where he preached. Subsequently, churches were established. He did the same at Athens. Although some believed, there is no record in Acts of a church being established.
The Board of Church Extension feels akin to Paul. Irvington, NJ is our Athens. Under the faithful six year ministry of Ronald C. Erb some believed, yet in the providence of God a church was not established. Regretfully, the Board reports the closing of this mission.
We also have our parallels to Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth. The Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church of Bangor, PA is one example where, under the leadership of Thomas S. MacMillan, a core of brethren from the Nazareth Bible Fellowship Church has been blessed in establishing a new congregation. Similarly, the Somers Point, NJ Mission, as part of Project Beachhead, is making good progress under the ministry of Roger L. Reitz.
"Making disciples of all nations." In the providence of God some from other nations have come to our area and a Church Extension ministry has begun among them. David H. C. Sng accepted the call to minister among Southeast Asian refugees in Philadelphia. We are excited and thankful that God has allowed us the privilege of this new form of Church Extension ministry.
Making disciples and extending the church require a growth mentality. Some established Bible Fellowship Churches are experiencing numerical growth as they evangelize in their communities. For this we praise God.
In addition to growth mentality in the local churches, an outlook that envisions the growth of our denomination by establishing new churches is an absolute requirement for the health of the Bible Fellowship Church. This aspect of our growth mentality must increase.
As of this Annual Conference, all churches are supplied with pastors. This is most encouraging.
The report of the Ministerial Candidate Committee includes a fine list of men interested in ministry in the Bible Fellowship Church. If, in the providence of God, all pulpits are filled and ministerial candidates are available, an opportunity exists for extending the church. Growth mentality will lead us to seize this opportunity.
To do this, however, significant increase in financial support is needed. Paul, expressing another of his missionary concerns, wrote, "The laborer is worthy of his wages" (I Timothy 5:18). He referred to those who "work hard in preaching and teaching" (v.17). The Board of Church Extension beseeches the churches to increase significantly their financial support of this ministry for two reasons: to provide worthy wages for those who work hard at preaching and teaching; and to help maintain the health of the Bible Fellowship Church by establishing new congregations.
Another aspect of growth mentality is helping churches in the Church Extension Department become financially self-supporting. The board is thankful that the 1987-88 budget indicates that seven churches (Camden, DE; Kutztown, PA; Finesville, NJ; Mt. Pocono, PA; Newark, DE; Poughquag, NY and Wappinger Falls, NY) require no appropriation. Finesville having been in this category for three consecutive years, "graduates" from the Church Extension Department, being no longer under the jurisdiction of the Board as of this Annual Conference. Congratulations, Finesville!
During the year two men, Harold C. Weaber and Dennis W. Spinney, have resigned from Church Extension ministries. This has resulted in the missions at Eastern Union County and Mays Landing, NJ being without pastors. Pray with us that God will provide men to serve at these missions and others the Board is endeavoring to establish.
The work of the Wider Horizon program continues. Robert W. Smock serves as Wider Horizons co-ordinator on a voluntary basis. As time permits, he plans to visit all Bible Fellowship Churches on behalf of the program. Plans are being laid for establishing local Wider Horizons prayer groups.
Having served for 9 years on the Board of Church Extension, Warren L. Zimmerman declined nomination for re-election. The Board is thankful for the faithful service of this brother to whom God has given vision for the extension of the Bible Fellowship Church. Join us in praying God's continuing blessing upon him.
The Board of Church Extension recommended that the 103rd Annual Conference adopt a purpose statement for the board. This recommendation was referred back to the board for review and consultation with the Board of Missions. This review and consultation has taken place.
As a result, the Board of Church Extension recommends that the 104th Annual Conference adopt the purpose statement found in this report. This statement has been endorsed by the Board of Missions.
Additionally, the Board of Missions has incorporated into its Policy Handbook statements of Policy on Jurisdictional Questions. This material has been endorsed by the Board of Church Extension.
The following churches, missions and pastors are currently under the jurisdiction of the Board of Church Extension:
Camden, DE James G. Koch
Eastern Union County,NJ
Edison, NJ Dennis M. Cahill
Finesville, NJ David H. Jones
Kutztown, PA Randall A. Grossman
Mays Landing, NJ
Mt Pocono, PA Ronald C. Erb
Newark, DE William G. Schlonecker
Newark, NJ Delbert R. Baker, II
New Fairfield, CT Dean A. Stortz
Philadelphia, PA David H. C. Sng
Poughquag, NY James A. Wickstead
Somers Point,NJ Roger L. Reitz
Walnutport, PA David W. Chappell
Wappinger Falls, NY Byron Widger
Whaley Lake (Pawling),NY Robert S. Commerford
We express our thankfulness to the Lord for the faithful ministry of these men along with the leadership of the Director of Church Extension, Daniel G. Ziegler. We are grateful for the prayer support and financial contributions of the Bible Fellowship Church throughout the year. Financial support for the Department by the churches increased by more than 11% in 1986-87. We praise God for what He has done through the ministry of the Church Extension Department as that ministry has contributed to the growth of the Bible Fellowship Church.
The Board of Church Extension recommends that the 104th Annual Conference adopt the following resolutions:
1. RESOLVED, that the following be added to the material entitled "Board of Church Extension", page 157ff, Faith & Order, and be inserted immediately after the title:
The Board of Church Extension governs the Church Extension Department which consists of the Board of Church Extension, the Executive Director of Church Extension, all other employees of the Board, the churches and missions under jurisdiction of the Board and the pastors of those churches and organizing pastors of those missions.
The Church Extension Department exists for the purpose of building the Body of Christ through extending the Bible Fellowship Church in the United States of America and its territories and jurisdictions and Canada. It does this by evangelizing in areas, communities and neighborhoods and among people where Bible Fellowship Churches do not exist and by forming, fostering and nurturing to maturity new congregations. (FIRST READING)
2. RESOLVED, that the format of the material entitled "Board of Church Extension" presently in the Faith & Order be revised to read as follows:
The Board of Church Extension will be composed of the Executive Director of Church Extension by virtue of his office and five ordained ministers and five laymen. Classes shall be formed as follows:
Class I - two ministers and two laymen
Class II - two ministers and two laymen
Class III - one minister and one layman
The Executive Director shall be elected by the board of Church Extension, subject to ratification by Annual Conference, for a three-year term to begin when the incumbent has submitted his report to Annual Conference.
Each class shall be elected in turn annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of three years.
As listed in the Faith & Order.
Note: The material in Section C, Election, is the same as now appears in the Faith & Order in the section entitled "Church Extension Director" except that the words "the next" have been deleted. With this exception all material in this resolution presently appears in the Faith & Order. This resolution, therefore, requires one reading.
3. RESOLVED, that the following be deleted from the section in the Faith & Order entitled "Church Extension Director" (p.159).
He shall be elected by the Board of Church Extension subject to ratification by Annual Conference, for a three-year term to begin when the incumbent has submitted his report to the next Annual Conference.
4. RESOLVED, that the word "Executive Director of Church Extension" replace the words "Director of Church Extension" wherever they appear in the Faith & Order of the Bible Fellowship Church.
5. WHEREAS, the Board of Church Extension has examined the Bangor, PA mission and certifies that it meets the qualifications of a church as set forth in Article of Faith XVIII; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the 104th Annual Conference recognize Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church of Bangor, PA as a particular church and receive it into membership of the Annual Conference.
6. RESOLVED, that the budget for the Board of Church Extension for 1988-89 be adopted.
Board of Church Extension: LeRoy S. Heller, Chairman; Bruce A. Ellingson, Secretary; Clayton E. Weber, Treasurer; Alfred G. Roberts, Robert W. Smock, Clyde W. Snyder, Richard E. Taylor, Dana E. Weller, Robert Zentz, Daniel G. Ziegler, Warren L. Zimmerman