Report of the Board of Church Extension
"The church... enjoyed peace, being built up;
and, going on in the fear of the Lord and the
comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase."
Often the church of Acts found itself experiencing great persecution during which it grew. Growth came also in times of peace. Knowing nothing of the persecution the apostolic church faced, we are thankful the church can also grow in times of peace.
Whether experiencing persecution or peace, the church needs to be built up and to continue in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit if it is to grow. Building up congregations and encouraging them to walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit are concepts the Board of Church Extension keeps before itself as it oversees the missions and churches in the department. In so doing the Board trusts God will use this ministry to increase the Bible Fellowship Church.
During the past year the Board met five times. Numerous committee meetings were also held.
A first step in building is to lay the foundation. The Board is pleased that in the providence of God foundation laying has recently begun in three new locations. Christopher Morrison and Dennis Spinney accepted calls to become organizing pastors for a New England team. These calls were effective July 1, 1988. The name Church Extension became literal as they began ministry in Connecticut and Massachusetts thus expanding the borders of our denomination into a new state.
Closer to our central areas, Dean Stortz accepted a call to serve as organizing pastor of a new mission in Ocean County, NJ. This was effective September 1, 1988.
As missions go on in the fear of the Lord they continue to increase. One evidence of this is arriving at the place of forming the first membership roll. Holmes, NY, under the leadership of Robert S. Commerford, came to this position this past year. The Assessment Committee, having met with and heard the testimonies of the ten committed families, rejoiced in learning how several had been saved and believers built up. The selection of elders and the recognition of this congregation as a church by Annual Conference is anticipated.
One evidence of a church being in the final stage of development in the Department is being financially self-supporting. The 1988-89 budget indicates that five churches (Camden, DE; Kutztown, PA; Pocono Mt., PA; Poughquag, NY; and Wappinger Falls, NY) require no appropriation. Having been in this category for three consecutive years, Camden DE and Kutztown PA "graduate" from the Church Extension Department being no longer under the jurisdiction of the Board of Church Extension as of this Annual Conference. Congratulations Camden and Kutztown !
The work of the Wider Horizon program continues. Robert W. Smock serves as coordinator on a voluntary basis. As time permits he continues to provide consultation services for Bible Fellowship pastors on behalf of the program.
Attaining Wider Horizon goal's requires establishing new missions. The Board is thankful steps were taken to establish three in the past year. Many more are needed.
Budgetary restraints did not permit the Board to offer full salary to the three men called to establish new missions. Their calls, therefore, made provision for them to supplement their income through additional employment. This arrangement has been termed "bivocational pastor". They are, as it were, "tent makers ".
It is the opinion of the Board of Church Extension that if additional missions are to be established with the current level of financial resources available similar arrangements will be required. It appears that more bivocational pastors will be involved in Church Extension in the future.
For many years the financial reports and budgets of the Board have included pre-paid offerings from the churches as part of income; that is money received during one year was to be expended during the following year. Effective in the 1989-90 fiscal year this practice will be eliminated and all funds received in a given year will be used to meet current expenditures.
To implement this system, pre-paid income from churches in the 1988-89 fiscal year will be allocated as follows:
1. $20,000 will be used to establish a continuing operating fund that must have a $20,000 balance at the end of each fiscal year; interest from this fund shall be used for operating expenses.
2. The remaining balance shall be used to establish an emergency reserve fund to be used for interest bearing emergency loans or as collateral for emergency loans; interest from this fund shall be retained in the fund.
In the providence of God Pastor David W. Chappell was suddenly called home to be with the Lord on July 26. He has served faithfully as pastor of the Walnutport, PA mission since 1984. We pray God's blessing, guidance and provision for his wife, Barbara, and their family. Being thankful for his ministry at Walnutport we pray God's strength and provision for this congregation. The Personnel Committee of the Board is endeavoring to call a pastor for this mission.
Having served for thirty years on the Board of Church Extension, Clayton E. Weber declined nomination for re-election. The Board is thankful to the Lord for this brother and his God-given desire to see the Bible Fellowship Church be extended through the founding of new congregations. May God bless him.
Daniel G. Ziegler has now served for twenty years as Director of Church Extension. The Board is thankful for his zeal, vision, and faithful diligence.
The following missions, churches, and pastors are currently under the jurisdiction of the Board of Church Extension:
Camden, DE James G. Koch
Eastern Union Co., NJ
Edison, NJ Dennis M. Cahill
Kutztown, PA Randall A. Grossman
Mays Landing, NJ
Newark, DE William G. Schlonecker
Newark, NJ Delbert Baker, II
New England Christopher J. Morrison
New England Dennis W. Spinney
New Fairfield, CT John M. Reed
Ocean County, NJ Dean A. Stortz
Philadelphia, PA David H. C. Sng
Pocono Mt., PA Ronald C. Erb
Poughquag, NY James A. Wickstead
Somers Point, NJ Roger L. Reitz
Wappinger Falls, NY Byron Widger
Holmes, NY Robert S. Commerford
We express thankfulness to the Lord for the faithful ministry of these men. We are grateful for the prayer support and financial contributions of the Bible Fellowship Church throughout the year. Financial support for the Department from the churches increased by almost 15% in 1987-88.
The Board of Church Extension recommends that the following resolutions be adopted by the lO5th Annual Conference.
WHEREAS, the Board of Church Extension on September 16, 1988, elected Daniel G. Ziegler to a three-year term as Director of Church Extension effective October 25, 1988 ; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the election of Daniel G. Ziegler to a three-year term as Director of Church Extension effective October 25, 1988, be ratified.
RESOLVED, that the 1989-90 budget for the Board of Church Extension be adopted.
Board of Church Extension: LeRoy S. Heller, Chairman; Bruce A. Ellingson, Secretary; Clayton E. Weber, Treasurer; Daniel G. Ziegler, Director; Alfred G. Roberts, William R. Singletary, Robert W. Smock, Clyde W. Snyder, Richard E. Taylor, Dana E. Weller, Robert Zentz.