SEVENTY-NINTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Annual Conference Proceedings

1962


            The Seventy-ninth Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church convened in the Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, West Broad Street, Hatfield, Pennsylvania.


            The Conference opened at 10:00 a.m., Monday, October 15, with the singing of "The Church's One Foundation" led by Roy E. Williams and prayer by Byron C. Cassel and John E. Golla. District Superintendent C. E. Kirkwood read Philippians 3:10 and spoke of “The Sufferings and Compassion of Christ,” followed by a Communion service which was a time of heartsearching and Christian fellowship.


            C. E. Kirkwood presented T. D. Gehret, Chairman of the Annual Conference, who then instructed the Secretary, N. H. Wolf, to appoint his assistants. He appointed Ernest B. Hartman Assistant Secretary and Robert W. Smock Recording Secretary.


REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PROGRAM


Theme: Why the Bible Fellowship Church?

 

MONDAY                  10:00 a.m.       Communion Service

                                                            Leader and Speaker-C. E. Kirkwood

                                                            Song Leader-Roy E. Williams

                                                            Special Music-Daniel K. Ziegler

                                     6:30 p.m.        "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Began"- T. D. Gehret

TUESDAY                  9:00 a.m.        Scripture and Prayer-John E. Golla

                                                            Song Leader-Roy E. Williams

                                                            Special Music-Ministers' Quartet

                                                            "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today"- F. B. Hertzog

WEDNESDAY           9:00 a.m.        Scripture and Prayer-James G. Koch

                                                            Song Leader-Roy E. Williams

Special Music-Bert N. Brosius

"Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today"- John H. Riggall

THURSDAY               9:00 a.m.        Scripture and Prayer-W. W. Hartman

                                                            Song Leader-Clarence L. Kauffman

                                                            Special Music-LeRoy S. Heller

"Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today"- Donald T. Kirkwood

                                     7:30 p.m.        Ordination Service

                                                            Presiding-Host Pastor

Speaker-William A. Heffner

                                                            Special Music-Pastors' Chorus

                                                            Charge to the Congregation-A. L. Seifert

                                                            Giving the Vows-T. D. Gehret

FRIDAY                     9:00 a.m.         Scripture and Prayer-W. B. Hottel

                                                            Song Leader-Clarence L. Kauffman

                                                            Special Music-Ministers' Quartet

                                                            "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today" - A. L. Seifert

The organist for all morning sessions will be Robert W. Gehret.

            Jansen E. Hartman

            Earl M. Hosler

Carl C. Cassel

                        Committee

 

The report was adopted.

 

The following were enrolled as members of the Conference:

Ministers

            Ordained- Russell T. Allen, Paul E. Baer, E. W. Dean, Bert N. Brosius, Carl C. Cassel, Willard E. Cassel, John Dunn, Reynold D. Gardner, T. D. Gehret, John E. Golla, Ernest B. Hartman, Jansen E. Hartman, W. W. Hartman, William A. Heffner, LeRoy S. Heller, Frank L. Herb, George E. Herb, F. B. Hertzog, Earl M. Hosler, W. B. Hottel, Robert F. Johnson, C. E. Kirkwood, Donald T. Kirkwood, Richard H. Kline, James G. Koch, R. C. Reichenbach, John H. Riggall, Donald B. Schaeffer, A. L. Seifert, Robert W. Smock, David E. Thomann, N. H. Wolf, W. F. Heffner, E. E. Kublic, J. B. Layne, E. J. Rutman, P. T. Stengele, A. G. Woodring.

            Probationers- James A. Beil, Alva C. Cassel, Harvey J. Fritz, Norman R. Weiss, Daniel G. Ziegler.


Delegates

Allentown District

Allentown (Bethel), Clarence L. Kauffman, Kermit K. Gehman

Reading, Robert Breitegam

Sunbury, Allan F. Smith

York, David H. Fahs

Hatfield, Daniel K. Ziegler

Shamokin, T. Lamarn Manney

Mount Carmel, Roy E. Williams

Harrisburg, David F. Gardner

Royersford, William R. Hunsberger

Spring City, R. S. Weidner

Nazareth, Ralph Hendershot

Catasauqua, Warren Stuber

Graterford and Harleysville, S. A. Hackman

Walnutport, Burton Deppe

Lehighton, Floyd J. Thomas

Lebanon, Charles W. Weaber

Stroudsburg, George R. Fish

Lancaster, Horace A. Kauffman


Bethlehem District

Bethlehem, Paul H. Cressman

Emmaus, Paul I. Wentz

Philadelphia (Salem), Byron C. Cassel

Quakertown, George W. Krigor

Fleetwood, Norman L. Reed

Wallingford, Rufus Spedden

Easton, Allen F. LaRose

Coopersburg, Harold A. Mann

Terre Hill, Robert W. Gehret

Allentown (Salem), Allan C. Palmer

Philadelphia (Calvary), Donald L. Sedgwick

Blandon, John I. Mengel

Scranton, Carl H. Kellerman

Philadelphia (Emmanuel), Edward J. Dietzman

Staten Island, N.Y., Ralph D. Cole

Zionsville, John L. Shelly


            Resolved, That we accept the excuses of the brethren as submitted and when they arrive they shall be seated in the Conference Bar, and further that alternate delegates be seated in the Conference Bar.


            Resolved, That the first seven pews constitute the Conference Bar, and further that the eighth and ninth pews be reserved for Advisory Members.


            Resolved, That no one be permitted to leave the Conference Bar without permission of the Chair except Carl C. Cassel and Daniel K. Ziegler.


            The Committee on Agenda presented a proposed agenda for this Annual Conference.


COMMITTEES


            COMMITTEE ON FINANCE: Paul I. Wentz, Byron C. Cassel, Roy E. Williams, Paul H. Cressman, S. A. Hackman.


            COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS: C. E. Kirkwood, David E. Thomann, Russell T. Allen, Harvey J. Fritz.


            COMMITTEE ON EXAMINATION OF ANNUAL CONFERENCE RECORDS: Earl M. Hosler, Richard H. Kline.


            COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS: W. W. Hartman, John H. Riggall, George E. Herb, Ernest B. Hartman, W. B. Hottel.


            COMMITTEE ON EXAMINATION OF LOCAL CONFERENCE RECORDS: F. B. Hertzog, E. W. Bean, Donald B. Schaeffer, Bert N. Brosius, Robert F. Johnson, James A. Beil, Alva Cassel, Daniel G. Ziegler, Norman Weiss, Charles W. Weaber, Norman L. Reed, Carl H. Kellerman, John L. Shelly, George R. Fish, Floyd J. Thomas, Warren Stuber, Ralph W. Hendershot, David F. Gardner, Allan F. Smith, T. Lamarn Manney, Burton Deppe.


            COMMITTEE ON AUDITING: James G. Koch, Daniel K. Ziegler, Robert W. Gehret, Robert Breitegam, Clarence L. Kauffman, Kermit K. Gehman, David H. Fahs, Horace A. Kauffman, William R. Hunsberger, R. S. Weidner, George W. Krigor, Ralph D. Cole, John I. Mengel, Edward J. Dietzman, Donald M. Sedgwick, Harold A. Mann, Allan C. Palmer, Rufus Spedden, Allen F. LaRose.


            COMMITTEE ON STATISTICS: (Appointed at Adjourned Session) Willard E. Cassel, John E. Golla, Donald T. Kirkwood, LeRoy S. Heller, John Dunn.


            REPORTER: R. C. Reichenbach.

TIMEKEEPER: Reynold D. Gardner.


REPORT OF THE CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE

            The Credentials Committee of the Bible Fellowship Church held two regular meetings and several sub-committee meetings during the year.

            During these meetings the committee fulfilled its purpose, and the obligations assigned to it by the Annual Conference.

            The Faith and Order questionnaire was sent to each Minister in the Bible Fellowship Church and every Minister completed and returned his questionnaire. The differences of belief in the Faith and Order questionnaire were very few and did not include any of the cardinal doctrines of the Faith.

            The committee, after an intensive ordination examination given to our Pastors, James A. Beil, Harvey J. Fritz and Alva C. Cassel believe that these men are called of God to the Gospel Ministry. They have served acceptably during their probationary period of ministry within our Conference, and are in complete accord with the Faith and Order of the Bible Fellowship Church.

            The committee received favorable reports concerning the Ministers of the Conference from the District Superintendents, and certain committee chairmen, and is thankful to the Lord for His giving of Godly, conscientious Ministers to the Bible Fellowship Church.

            The Credentials Committee has accepted the resignation of Elwood L. Heiser as of June 30, 1962.

            The committee makes the following recommendations to the Annual Conference:

            1 . That Pastors, James A. Beil, Harvey J. Fritz, and Alva C. Cassel be ordained during the Thursday evening service of Annual Conference at the Bible Fellowship Church in Hatfield, Pa.

            2. Ordained ministers of the Bible Fellowship Church who are called to the faculty or staff of the Berean Bible School shall continue to be accountable to the Credential Committee of the Annual Conference.

            3. Men who feel called to the teaching ministry of the Bible Fellowship Church and who have not been licensed or ordained by Annual Conference and whose preparation qualifies them for teaching shall serve a two year probationary period at Berean Bible School and if approved by the Board of Education, they shall recommend them to the Credential Committee of Annual Conference for status as a teacher.

            4. The Credential Committee recommends that another classification be created to be known as "approved teacher" and an appropriate certificate be issued and their names be carried on the official register of the Annual Conference under the heading of "Approved Teacher."

Respectfully submitted,

John H. Riggall, Secretary


            C. E. Kirkwood, Chairman

            John H. Riggall

            F. B. Hertzog

            T. D. Gehret

            W. B. Hottel

                        Credentials Committee

 

Report was adopted.

 

Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet at 3:30 p.m.

 

Adjourned at 11:30 a.m. with prayer by Richard H. Kline.


Second Meeting

Monday Afternoon, October 15, 1962

            The Meeting was opened at 3:30 p.m. with singing, "He Keeps Me Singing and P. T. Stengele led in prayer.


            The roll was called and the minutes of the first meeting were read and approved.


            Report of the Chairman of the General Camp Meeting Committee: (See Report)

The report was adopted.

 

Report of the Youth Fellowship General Committee: (See Report)

The report was adopted.

 

Report of the Committee on Publication and Printing: (See Report)

The report was adopted.

 

Report of the Sunday School Promotion Committee: (See Report)

The report was adopted.


            Resolved, That every Bible Fellowship Sunday School receive an offering for denominational Sunday School promotion. This offering should be mailed to the Financial Secretary of the Committee before April 1, 1963.


            Resolved, That we hold a Denominational Sunday School Convention on Saturday, May 18, 1963, in the Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Reading, Pa.

 

Report of the Laymen's Benevolent Society: (See Report)

The report was adopted.


            Resolved, That the officers of the Laymen's Benevolent Society under the supervision of the Board of Directors be authorized to make disposition of each account as they see fit.

 

Report of the Victory Valley Board: (See Report)

The report was adopted.

 

Resolved, That the dates for the camps in 1963 shall be as follows:

            July 6-13                     Girls 8-12 years old.

            July 13-20                   Girls 8-12 years old.

            July 20-27                   Junior High boys and girls.

            July 27-Aug. 3            Junior High boys and girls.

            Aug. 3-10                   Senior High boys and girls.

            Aug. 10-17                 Boys 8-12 years old.

            Aug. 17-24                 Boys 8-12 years old.


            Resolved, That the Sunday School of each Bible Fellowship Church receive an offering for Victory Valley Camp before March 1, 1963. This check may be made payable to Victory Valley Camp and sent to the secretary of the Victory Valley Board.


            Resolved, That the facilities of Victory Valley Camp be available for limited use by groups from Bible Fellowship Churches. Arrangements for such use shall be made through and offerings sent to the secretary of the Board.

 

Report of the Conference Treasurer: (See Report)

            The report was adopted.

 

Report of the Annual Ministerial Convention: (See Report)

            The report was adopted.


            Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet this evening from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

 

Adjourned 4:20 p.m. with prayer by Robert Breitegam.


Third Meeting

Monday Evening, October 15, 1962

            The meeting was opened at 6:30 p.m. by singing, "Blessed Assurance". Daniel G. Ziegler led in prayer.


            The Chairman, T. D. Gehret, gave an address on the subject, "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Began".


            The roll was called and the minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

 

The following reports were adopted:

            Report of the Allentown District Superintendent, F. B. Hertzog: (See Report)

            Report of the Bethlehem District Superintendent, C. E. Kirkwood: (See Report)

            Report of the Church Extension Director, William A. Heffner: (See Report)

            Report of the President of Berean Bible School, Jansen E. Hartman: (See Report)

            At the request of the Chairman, the members of the Conference stood, expressing appreciation for the above men for their faithfulness to the duties assigned them.


            Report of the Board of Directors: (See Report)

The Report was adopted.

 

Report of the Board of Foreign Missions: (See Report)

The Report was adopted.

 

Report of the Board of Church Extension: (See Report)

The Report was adopted.

 

Report of the Board of Education. (See Report)

The Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That the name of the Board of Education be changed to the Board of Directors of Berean Bible School.


            Resolved, That the following procedures for meeting the needs of Berean Bible School this coming year shall be:

            a. Proclamation of a day as Berean Bible School Day in the Sunday School and Churches at which time offerings shall be received in the schools and churches for the purpose of promoting interest and support of the School. Checks for these contributions shall be sent and made payable to the Berean Bible School, 1020 S. Hall St., Allentown, Pa.

            b. A special offering shall be received at the annual Youth Rallies at Camp Meeting at Mizpah Grove.

            c. The laymen of the Board of Directors of Berean Bible School shall constitute a committee to work with all our churches to promote the advantages of training at Berean Bible School and formulate a plan to raise $25,000.00 needed to carry on the Berean Bible School program in the 1962-63 year. The District Superintendents shall be advisory members of the committee.


            Report of the Board of Directors of the Home: (See Report)

The Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That Pastors, James A. Beil, Harvey J. Fritz and Alva C. Cassel be ordained during the Thursday everting service of Annual Conference at the Bible Fellowship Church in Hatfield, Pa.


            Resolved, That ordained ministers of the Bible Fellowship Church who are called to the faculty or staff of the Berean Bible School shall continue to be accountable to the Credentials Committee of the Annual Conference. (This is to be considered as first reading.)


            Resolved, That the Credentials Committee bring to this Conference a recommendation for additional legislation required to implement carrying out of the duties of this committee.

 

Adjourned 9:00 p.m. with prayer by E. W. Bean.


Fourth Meeting

Tuesday Morning, October 16, 1962

            The meeting was opened at 9:00 a.m. with "May Jesus Christ Be Praised", led by Roy E. Williams. John E. Golla led in the responsive reading of Ephesians, Chapter 1 and invoked the blessing of the Lord upon the conference proceedings. A quartet of ministers sang the beautiful hymn, "From Every Stormy Wind that Blows."


            F. B. Hertzog gave the second address dealing with the subject, "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today".


            The roll was called and the minutes of last night's meeting were read and approved.

 

Report of the Committee on Examination of Local Conference Records:

            We have examined the Local Conference Records and have found them to be correct except for a few minor errors and omissions which were corrected by the pastors involved.

 

The following petitions were found:

Petition #1

            Found in the Third Local Conference Records of the Bible Fellowship Churches of Graterford and Harleysville:

            "Whereas the Graterford and Harleysville Congregations of the Bible Fellowship Church have prayed and given due consideration to the question of continuing as a circuit, and,

            "Whereas both congregations deem it feasible and in the best interests to ask for a change of their status, therefore,

            "Resolved that we petition the Seventy-ninth Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church convening at Hatfield, Pa., on October 15, 1962 to change their status from a circuit to individual stations and grant (to each) their own pastor just as soon as possible."

 

Petition #2

            Found in the Fourth Local Conference Records of the Bible Fellowship Church of Walnutport, Pa.

            "Resolved that the Calvary Bible Fellowship Church, Walnutport, Pa., relinquish its rights to choose a pastor under the Pulpit Supply system for the 1962-1963 Conference Year, and, further,

            "Resolved that we petition the Annual Conference convening at Hatfield, Pa., in the month of October 1962 to supply the pulpit at Walnutport, Pa., for the said year."

 

Petition #3

            Found in the Second Local Conference records of the Bible Fellowship Church, Reading, Pa.

            "That churches desiring to continue the washing of the saints' feet be privileged to do so if this is approved by Local Conference Action."

 

Petition #4

            Found in the Third Local Conference Record of the Bible Fellowship Church, Lebanon, Pa.

            "Whereas, the congregation of Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, has been able, by the grace of God and His bountiful provision, to support its pastor for more than a year at a rate that is well above the minimum established by the Annual Conference as a basis for membership on its Stationing, Boundary and Appropriating Committee, and

            "Whereas, it is the desire of the congregation to release the funds which it would receive in Church Extension appropriations in the future so that they may be used in the establishment of new Bible Fellowship Churches, therefore, be it,

            "Resolved, that the congregation, at its third Local Conference, convened in the church Wednesday evening, March 21, 1962, hereby express its appreciation to its sister churches in the Bible Fellowship Church for their generous and faithful assistance during most or all of its fifty-one year history, and, be it further

            "Resolved, that the congregation of Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, hereby petition the Seventy-ninth Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church, convening on October 15, 1962 at Hatfield, Pennsylvania, to discontinue forthwith its Church Extension Appropriations and admit its duly elected delegate to membership on the Stationing, Boundary and Appropriating Committee."


Committee:F. B. Hertzog                  Daniel G. Ziegler                    Ralph Hendershot

            E. W. Bean                             Norman R. Weiss                   David F. Gardner

            Donald B. Schaeffer               Charles W. Weaber                Allan F. Smith

            Bert N. Brosius                       Norman L. Reed                     T. Lamarn Manney

            Robert F. Johnson                   Carl H. Kellerman                  Burton Deppe

            James A. Beil                         John L. Shelly

            Alva Cassel                            Warren Stuber

 

Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That three petitions numbers 1, 2 and 4 found in the report of the Committee to Examine Local Conference Minutes be referred to the Stationing, Boundary and Appropriating Committee.

            The Chairman appointed the following tellers: E. W. Bean, John Dunn, Russell T. Allen and Earl M. Hosler.


            Resolved, That the Chairman appoint a Committee of five including the pastor and delegate from Reading to work on the petition from Reading and to report to this Conference this week. He appointed F. B. Hertzog, Robert Breitegam, Carl Cassel, Clarence Kauffman and James G. Koch.

 

Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn.

 

Adjourned 10:55 a.m. with prayer by W. B. Hottel.


Fifth Meeting

Tuesday Afternoon, October 16, 1962

The meeting was opened with singing, "Heavenly Sunlight".



            The roll was called and the minutes of the morning meeting were read and approved.


REPORT OF THE MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE COMMITTEE

            The Ministerial Candidate Committee met fifteen times during the year to carry out its responsibilities. This was the first year of operation for the committee under the new rules and procedures adopted at the 78th Annual Conference. While continuing to study further developments of the system now in use, the committee put most of its efforts toward developing the forms and procedures necessary for the new program. The committee had correspondence with twenty-eight men throughout the year. Some of these were just inquiries which did not develop further; some were fruitful contacts which are still under care.

            A probationer's license was granted to Mr. T. James Bigley on January 30, 1962, and to Messrs. Leroy J. Bickel, John H. Herb, Donald R. Knauer, David J. Watkins and Robert Paul on September 25, 1962. The committee revoked the license of Mr. Robert J. Entler as of December 11, 1961. Three men were recommended for ordination examination; they are Alva C. Cassel, James A. Bell and Harvey J. Fritz, Jr.

            The committee recommends recognition of the following men in their respective stages of development:

Probationers

            Leroy J. Bickel, Trenton, N. J.                       1962

            T. James Bigley, Kenya, Africa                     1962

            Leonard Buck, Union of South Africa           1938

            M. Leslie Campbell, Millersville, Pa             1961

            Raymond R. Dotts, Miller Heights, Pa           1960

            John H. Herb, Walnutport, Pa                        1962

            Roy Hertzog, France                                      1959

            Donald R. Knauer, Allentown, Pa                  1962

            Ronald C. Mahurin, Denville, N. J.                1960

            Robert E. McIntyre, Finesville, N. J.              1958

            Leon K. Overpeck, Paradise, Pa                     1938

            Robert Paul, Emmaus, Pa                               1962

            Richard R. Ruth, Belvidere, N.J                     1960

            David J. Watkins, Binghamton, N.Y.             1962

            Norman R. Weiss, Lancaster, Pa                    1960

            Daniel G. Ziegler, Lebanon, Pa                      1960


Candidates

William A. Benedick, East Earl, Pa.

David L. Manney, Shamokin, Pa.

Theodore R. Shelling, New York, N.Y.

Harold C. Weaber, Lansdale, Pa.

Ronald K. Zuck, Quakertown, Pa.


Applicants

Bruce A. Ellingson, Glenside, Pa.

William L. Ernst, Lancaster, Pa.

Richard J. Gehman, Reading, Pa.

William Hedrick, Allentown, Pa.

George F. Lee, Jr., Mt. Carmel, Pa.

Donald Nilsson, Ft. Washington, Pa.

David K. Lilley, Essington, Pa.

Harold P. Shelly, Jr., Allentown, Pa.

Richard Woelkers, Scranton, Pa.


            The following material is presented as a summary of some of the study done in the Candidate Committee this year; it is presented here to provide background for the legislation recommended at the end of this report.

            The Ministerial Candidate Committee has as one of its duties: To recommend qualified probationers to the Credentials Committee for ordination examination.

            The present regulations of the Bible Fellowship Church tie closely the ending of the probationary period to the kind of church a man serves. We now require that a man have a probationary license for at least three years, and that at least one of these years be as pastor of a conference appointment.

            Does the Biblical picture encourage us to continue this kind of practice? The New Testament does not have a collection of specific rules pertaining to ordination, but its practice is rather clear. Men were set apart for different ministries to which God had called them. In Acts 6:5, 6 we read:

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man of full faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch; whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them.


            The church at Jerusalem had lived with these men and, therefore, recommended them for responsibility. In Acts 13:2, 3 we read:

And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.


            This separation was the action of men on the basis of the call of God. Hands were laid on them only after deep spiritual exercise on the part of the church. At this time Paul had only been Barnabas' helper for a year (Acts 11:26). I Timothy 5:22-"Lay hands suddenly on no man."-indicates the need for caution in these matters; but it does not say anything about the size or type of service a man should render before being considered for ordination. The Biblical emphasis is on the need for care and deliberation in knowing the qualifications of the man who is to be ordained. Does he demonstrate the gifts and calling of God that he professes to have? It does not appear that any of the Biblical evidence looks in the direction of the size or type of organization in which a man serves.

            The Church Extension Board has proposed to establish a program whereby men with no experience could serve with experienced men and where men with experience could serve in Church Extension Churches. With the shift of emphasis in our Church Extension Department from that of developing men (this is now the responsibility of the Ministerial Candidate Committee) to that of developing and establishing churches, some men may desire to spend their entire ministry in opening new churches.

            Our present regulations make no provision for such men to be recommended for ordination. Also men who may be called to teach Bible and theology in our school could not qualify for ordination under our present rules; but if they teach the Word, it seems that they should be recognized and disciplined as one of us.

            Because the Biblical evidence lends no support to the idea that a man's preparedness should be determined by the fact that he serves an organized, self-supporting church, and because the present direction of development in the Bible Fellowship Church makes it appear that we are ready to make this change; therefore WE RECOMMEND that the following should be our regulations determining who shall be recommended for ordination examination:

            A probationer qualified for ordination examination is one who, in the judgment of the Ministerial Candidate Committee, has the qualifications of a Christian minister and has demonstrated during a probationary period his ability to exercise these gifts to the glory of God in the edification of believers and salvation of the lost; this probationary period shall be for at least two years and shall be served in any of the ministries of the Bible Fellowship Church.

            Whereas, there are changes in our position on ordination involved in the previous recommendation (namely, that of changing the place of service in the probationary period and the time period spent in probation); and

            Whereas, the 78th Annual Conference gave this committee the assignment to study the matter of probationers voting at Annual Conference; therefore

            WE RECOMMEND that the following be our statement regarding the ministers who vote at the Annual Conference:

            When a man is ordained to the Christian ministry by the Bible Fellowship Church, he shall then become a voting member of the Annual Conference.


MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE COMMITTEE

            A. L. Seifert, Chairman                      William A. Heffner

            Carl C. Cassel, Secretary                    Earl M. Hosler

Jansen E. Hartman

 

Report was adopted.

 

Report of Committee to Publish Fellowship News: (See Report)


            Resolved, That our Pastors make themselves responsible to submit at least one devotional article each Conference year.


            Resolved, That the month of JANUARY be designated as subscription month.


            Resolved, That an honorarium to the Editor of $100.00 and to the Circulation Manager of $75.00 be paid from the FELLOWSHIP NEWS treasury.


            The Editor and Circulation Manager of the FELLOWSHIP NEWS made oral reports to the Conference.


            Resolved, That we delegate section "U" on page 16 in the 1961 Year Book.


REPORT OF COMMITTEE TO STUDY CAMP MEETINGS

            The committee met during the year and herewith presents the following recommendation:

            We recommend that a board of nine men, including the 2 District Superintendents, the Chairman of each camp division, 2 pastors and 3 laymen elected by the Annual Conference comprise the MIZPAH GROVE BOARD. This Board shall be responsible for the development of facilities, program and the financial structure of Mizpah Grove. They shall elect a Chairman and a Secretary and all deposits and disbursements of funds shall be made thru the Conference Treasurer.

            The officers and operation of each camp division shall continue as heretofore.

            John E. Golla, Chairman                    James A. Beil

            Robert W. Smock, Secretary              A. L. Seifert

            C. E. Kirkwood                                  Robert F. Johnson

            F. B. Hertzog

                        Committee


            Report was adopted.


REPORT OF STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE

            This report is brought in response to resolutions adopted at Annual Conference as recorded in the 1961 Year Book, reading as follows:

Page 47: "Resolved, That the Publication and Printing Committee print a limited number of receipt forms and that a Committee on Stewardship be elected, composed of three pastors and two laymen to study the financial structure throughout the denomination."

Page 54: "Resolved, That the Faith Promise Card recommended by the Board of Church Extension, be referred to the Committee on Stewardship."


I. A BIBLICAL BASIS FOR CHURCH FINANCE

A. Receiving of the Lord's Money

            1. The tithe antedates the Law

The tithe or tenth was used as a systematic method of giving before the provision made under the Law (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:4). In the time of Moses the tithe of land, fruit, grain and beast were to be given to the Lord by God's command at Sinai (Leviticus 27:30-34). Note that these were considered as belonging to the Lord (Psalm 24:1); it is implied that the tenth of the increase was "land rent" - an acknowledgment that the whole land belongs to God.


            2. Levites the recipients of the tithe tinder the Law

The Levites were the recipients of the tithe as their portion in Israel (Numbers 18:20-32). Nine-tenths of what was received was for their support, the other tenth being given to Aaron by them as an offering to the Lord (v. 28). This is the divinely appointed means of supporting the tabernacle service: ". . . it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation." (v. 31)


            3. The tithe is the Lord's

The tithe was to be given to the Lord, the Lord's House or the Lord's Work. The Lord designated the place for the giving of the tithe (Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 11). Giving at the place of the Lord's choice, and not every man doing what was right in his own sight is emphasized in vv. 8, 13, 14. If the tithe is the Lord's, it no longer is ours to say what is to be done with it. The judgment as to where the tithe is to be given is not left to the individual, but is placed in the hands of divinely chosen representatives. God challenges His people to try this plan and promises an overflow of blessing (Malachi 3:8-10).


            4. The tithe a minimum under the New Testament law of love

We find no record in the New Testament of a command regarding tithing, but it is reasonable to believe that the Lord would be pleased that His people should give no less than under the Mosaic economy. The New Testament changes the motive from keeping an external law to following an inner compulsion — love and gratitude (II Corinthians 8:3-5, 8; 9:78, 11). Giving is to be proportionate and regular (II Corinthians 8:12; I Corinthians 16:2).


            5. The tithe belongs to Christ and His Church

The tithe belongs to Christ. Hebrews 7:2-9 indicates that Christ, who is a priest after the order of Melchizedec, is greater than Levi. As our living High Priest (v. 8) He is the successor to all priesthoods and the proper recipient of all tithes. Thus the Church, the body of Christ, rightfully receives tithes given to Christ, just as the Levites received tithes under the Old Testament Law.


            B. Distribution of the Lord's Money

            1. Systematic administration of tithes and offerings under Old Testament Law

A very graphic illustration of the systematic giving of tithes and offerings and the detailed administration of them is found in II Chronicles 31. The implication of Malachi 3 is that distribution was to be made from the "storehouse," even as the Levites were in charge of the affairs of the tabernacle in Moses' day.


            2. Orderly administration of temporal affairs in the New Testament Church

Acts 6:1-6, in which is recorded the entrusting of the oversight of temporal affairs to ". . . men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom," is a pattern of delegated responsibility in the local church. One of the gifts to the body, the church, is that of "rulers" (Romans 12:8) who superintend the order of the body with authority. I Corinthians 12 speaks of a diversity of function within the framework of unity. Although not all parts perform the same work, all are dependent upon and in subjection to one another. Among these are "helpers" and "administrators." (v. 28 Amp. NT)


            3. Orderly administration of finances in the New Testament Church

That the administration of finances was committed to men in authority is indicated by several passages. Acts 11:29, 30 speak of the gift for relief committed to Paul and Barnabas for delivery to the elders, who administered it. Paul in II Corinthians 9 speaks of the "administration of this service" (v. 12), referring to the gift promised by the Corinthian believers (v. 5). The Amplified New Testament illuminates the manner in which these gifts were communicated to the saints at Jerusalem in vv. 11 and 12: "Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, (and your generosity as it is) administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God. For the service the ministering of this fund renders does not only fully supply what is lacking to the saints ... but it also overflows in . . . thanksgiving to God." In another reference to these collections for the saints Paul calls for an orderly gathering of them, laying aside money weekly for this purpose until the time arrives for it to be sent to Jerusalem. (I Corinthians 16:1-3)


            4. Distribution by the Church

Philippians 4:15 seems to imply that churches rather than individuals supported Paul on some occasions on his missionary travels. Thus we conclude that the church through its officers distributed the Lord's money to meet the varied needs of His work. We further conclude that the above teachings from both Old and New Testaments point in the direction of systematic and orderly administration of funds committed to the church.


II. PROBLEMS EXISTING IN THE BIBLE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH

A.The Local Church Level

            1. Disproportionate allocation of funds by the individual contributor

The question each contributor is faced with is, How much shall I give for pastoral support? for Church Extension? for Foreign Missions? for current expenses? for special offerings? Unfortunately, accurate information regarding the needs is not always available to help him make his decision. He is obliged to give more on the basis of feeling than fact; and feelings are not quite so reliable as fact when seeking God's direction in this important matter. Thus, congregations find some areas of the work suffering for lack of funds.


            2. Irregular giving habits

Some congregations find their finances largely controlled by the number in attendance at a given service. What happens to the tithe of God's people on a snowbound Sunday? What happens to a particular cause for which an offering was received on that day?


            3. Cumbersome and inadequate record of individual giving

In this day when the tax burden upon the individual is so heavy, good stewards of God's money will seek honest exemptions by listing contributions to charitable organizations. The Federal Government, in seeking out fraud, demands sufficient bonafide evidence of giving to the church organization. Our present system of collection of funds on the local level makes keeping of records difficult and inadequate for this purpose.


            4. Inadequate giving

Because of an inadequate knowledge of the total program of the local church and the conference, many people feel that a portion of their tithe is sufficient. They are more deeply challenged by works outside the church, often because we have failed to give a comprehensive view of the needs of God's program in our own churches.


            B. The Conference Level

            1. Denominational projects

To refresh our consideration of this subject and for the purpose of orderly presentation, the denominational projects are listed below:

Foreign Missions

Foreign Missions in Sunday School Church Extension

Church Extension in Sunday School Printing and Publication

The Home for the Aged

Conference Expenses

Beneficiary Fund

Sunday School Promotion

Berean Bible School

Victory Valley

District Superintendents' Offerings

District Superintendents' Parsonages

Ministers' Retirement Fund

Mizpah Grove Camp Meetings

 

            2. The need for improved stewardship

We have many obligations. At the denominational level, it would seem a fair evaluation to find that, in many ways as a group, we do not acknowledge all of these obligations.


            We voted to purchase the properties in the following list. Since the dates shown, our financial support of these purchases has not enabled the reduction of even one dollar in the indebtedness incurred:

1953 -Allentown District Parsonage - $11,244.37

1954 - Bethlehem District Parsonage - 16,000.00

1956 -Victory Valley - 16,000.00

            For many years the Board of Foreign Missions has loaned the Board of Directors $22,000 as a working fund. Without such a working fund, the Board of Directors could not have carried on the business of the church.


In 1961 the Board of Directors paid and bore the following expenses (see p. 85 of 1961 Year Book):

                        Attorney Fees                                                 $180.95

                        Articles of Faith Committee Fares                  144.50

                        Ministerial Candidate Comm. Fares               89.12

                        Board of Directors Fares                                 79.36

                        Government Committee Fares                        591.21

Moral Standards Committee and

                        Committee on Forms Fares                             233.87

                        Summer Camp Committees                            22.34

                        Workmen's Compensation Insurance              247.20

                        Safe Deposit Box Rental                                 5.50

                        Stationery, Printing, Postage                           44.22

                        Office (Equipment repairs, help)                     31.45

 

$1,669.72


and for these expenses there is no provision for receiving the money required. The income available to meet these administration expenses is interest received on various loans made by the Board. In 1961 the interest income was $722.41. In some years income is produced by operation of Mizpah Grove Camp Meetings. Years ago balances on our Sunday School Conventions were used for expenses of the Board of Directors. But we are now devoting all of the last named for Sunday School promotion and there are some who feel that all Mizpah Grove balances should be devoted exclusively to Mizpah Grove.

            We are prone to vote for this project or that. But frequently we seem to behave as though the obligation created thereby is not our responsibility. When we voted to purchase parsonages for the use of our District Superintendents, we voted that each of our churches shall receive an offering toward the purchase and maintenance of these houses. In the eight or nine years since, the sums of all these offerings failed by $1,818.88 to cover the costs of ownership, such as insurance, interest on the debt, repairs and taxes. The deficit represents an increase in our indebtedness, and as has already been observed, the original indebtedness made when the properties were acquired has not been touched.

            To provide for a modest annual development in the faculty and facilities of Berean Bible School, it must receive a minimum support from us of $25,000 annually. For several years our support of Berean has been good, but we never quite reached our goal of $25,000 annually in support of our school.

            Much time has been spent discussing facilities to care for the aged of our number. We now have a beautiful building in which to care for them, In 1961, the total of our contributions for this work was $1,686.27. We have paid help in our Home. Our total giving is insufficient to pay the wages of one man for one year.

            Our District Superintendents receive no allowances to cover their traveling expenses. These men each drive their cars 30,000 miles annually in carrying out their duties. When one of our committees brought in a recommendation that they be salaried, this body seemed to shrink from the suggestion.


            3. Methods now used to meet the needs

            Free Will Offerings

Foreign Missions

Church Extension

Home for the Aged

Beneficiary Fund

Sunday School Promotion

Berean Bible School

Victory Valley

District Superintendents

Parsonages for District Superintendents

Ministers' Retirement Fund

Mizpah Grove Camp Meetings

            Assessments

                        Conference Expenses

Moving Fund

Publication and Printing

            No Provision

Administration expenses


            4. The effectiveness of our methods

            There is evidence that our people are not sold on our programs. Communications on denominational programs are almost entirely in the hands of the individual pastors. This committee cannot know how each of our denominational programs is presented to our constituency. It is quite human to expect that each individual places emphasis on his greatest interest, and that to some, certain endeavors have no appeal and so receive scanty mention. An examination of the records shows that occasionally even the rules of Conference are ignored in that all of the prescribed offerings do not come in, with no official notice or disciplinary action being taken. All this puts our denominational projects in the position of being generally subject to the impulse of the moment or to the more emotional appeals of channeling our funds into the more glamorous programs. Are we failing to do the will of the Lord in not meeting these obligations? Or did we fail in knowing the will of the Lord when we embarked on these programs?


            Over the five-year period 1957-1961 our offerings were divided as follows:

Giving to Denominational Projects                                     Giving to Local Work

              Total             % of Grand TI.         Total         % of Grand TI.      Grand TI.

1957    $157,765                     24.5                 $486,075                     75.5                 $643,840

1958     170,040                     25.8                  489,664                     74.2                  659,704

1959     184,441                     26.2                  519,090                     73.8                  703,531

1960     184,620                     24.8                  560,736                     75.2                  745,356

1961     173,871                     24.0                  548,966                     76.0                  722,837


            The increase of $6,100 in our offerings for denominational projects in 1961 over 1957 was made up of the following differences:

                                                                                    Increases        Decreases

                        Foreign Missions                                $ 4,130

                        Foreign Missions in S.S.                                            $ 330

                        Church Extension                                3,000

                        Church Extension in S.S.                     1,640

                        Publication and Printing                      1,230

                        Home for Aged                                    440

                        Beneficiary Fund                                                         110

                        Sunday School Promotion                   460

                        Berean Bible School                                                    80

                        Victory Valley                                     1,780

                        District Supt. Offerings                      1,070

                        District Supt. Parsonages                     270

                        Ministers' Retirement Fund                                         300

                        Camp Meetings                                                7,100

$14,020 $7,920


            In 1961 the proportion of our total giving by individual churches for denominational programs was as follows:

                                                                                                            Percentages to

            Where Total Offerings Were:                                 Denominational Programs Were:

            Over $ 5,000 but    not     over    $ 6,000                        42

            Over     6,000 but     not      over     7,000                        14 to 18

            Over     7,000 but     not      over     8,000                        28

            Over     8,000 but     not      over     9,000                        26

            Over     9,000 but     not      over     10,000                        11 to 23

            Over    10,000 but     not      over     11,000                        11 to 26

            Over    11,000 but     not      over     12,000                        14 to 19

            Over    12,000 but     not      over     13,000                        18

            Over    13,000 but     not      over     14,000                        30

            Over    14,000 but     not      over     17,000                        19 to 20

            Over    17,000 but     not      over     19,000                        25 to 33

            Over    19,000 but     not      over     22,000                        17 to 39

            Over    22,000 but     not      over     24,000                        25 to 28

            Over    36,000 but     not      over     40,000                        11 to 33

            Over    40,000                                                                       30 to 35


            Are there any particular conclusions that can be drawn from these statistics? We undertake to suggest the following:

            1) Is the level of giving to our denomination's projects our best effort? "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Proverbs 11:24

            2) Can we establish criteria with respect to proper proportions of our total giving that should go toward support of our denomination's projects? Many of our congregations are small. Obviously in a small congregation, a much larger proportion of the total giving must be retained to sustain the work of the particular church — its pastor, its buildings, its operating expenses. Should the same ratio between funds retained to sustain the work of the particular church and funds contributed to the forwarding of the denomination's projects prevail as the size of the church increases? Can we look to the Lord to add to the church such as should be saved until each particular church attains a size that will permit it to contribute one dollar to the work of the denomination for each dollar it uses for its own programs?

            3) If we are doing our best in supporting our denomination's projects, perhaps retrenchments must be made since we could justifiably conclude that we are overextended. Certainly caution is indicated toward further proposals at this time for extension of such projects.


III.       ALTERNATIVES IN OUR DENOMINATIONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

            A thorough treatment of the matter of financial management on both the local and denominational levels should include a delineation of the alternatives before us. What are they?


            A. Stay the Way We Are

            One of the alternatives before us is to stay the way we are - simply continue what we have been doing. But is this the answer to our pressing financial problems? Can we continue much longer the way we have been? As was pointed out above, there are denominational financial obligations which we have not been meeting. Are such practices in keeping with the injunctions of Romans 12:17, "Provide things honest in the sight of all men," and Romans 13:8, "Owe no man anything?" To continue the way we have been will only further aggravate problems, many of which can be solved or at least relieved.


            B. Be More Forthright

            Another alternative is to be more forthright in meeting all our financial obligations within the framework of present methods and procedures, without making any changes. This might necessitate stronger appeals for money, more frequent reminders of needs, more "special" offerings, etc. It may also serve to intensify some existing problems.


            C. Assessments

            Another alternative is assessments. Whether or not we like this method, the experience of our denomination shows that it works. A recent outstanding example of this is the Publication and Printing Fund. Assessments are not new to us. In a limited way we have had them for years. Many, however, take the position that assessments are not consistent with the principle of free will giving.


            D. Advance Planning

            Still another alternative is advance planning with the subordination of individual interests. Several local churches have adopted this plan with satisfactory results.

 

IV.LOOKING TOWARD A SOLUTION

            It is the mind of this committee that of the alternatives presented above, the last one offers the most hope for solution of our financial dilemma. It is not a foolproof method, nor a cure-all. This section of the report will clarify the meaning of "Advance Planning," present the pros and cons of the plan, and suggest some ways in which it may be implemented.


            A. What Is Advance Planning?

            Advance planning involves the use of a tool called a budget. A budget is a financial statement reflecting the estimated income and expense of an organization for a designated period of time, frequently one year. It is, furthermore, an authorization to incur the expenditures and to receive the income.

            1. Objectives of a budget

            To be properly understood the budget must have clear objectives. There are three commonly accepted objectives of church budgets:

                        a. It should serve as a guide

                        It is a plan of operations over a given period of time. The church program and its attendant needs are the basis upon which costs are estimated. A budget tells the reader what is anticipated in the way of income for the period and what are the plans for the use of this income. It serves as a financial road map, which facilitates the reaching of specific goals.

                        b. It should serve as an authorization

                        It should serve as an authorization for receiving of funds and expenditures of resources. The church or organization considers the budget proposals, makes changes when necessary, and by its vote authorizes its officers to go about the business of receiving and expending money along the lines indicated in the budget.

                        c. It should serve as a control

                        Good stewardship lays upon a church the necessity of seeing that its money is being used to the best possible advantage in conducting t e Lord's work. When its budget has been adopted the congregation or organization has the assurance that funds will be directed to the areas outlined in the budget, and it thereby has control over its funds.


            2. Types of budgets

            There are three major types of budgets used in churches. They are organizational, modified organizational, and unified budgets.

                        a. The organizational budget

                        The organizational budget involves a series of budgets, one for each organization in the church (or Boards in the Conference). Each group formulates its financial goals according to the needs of its proposed program and then sets forth the manner in which the money is to be raised. Each organization has its own finance committee and maintains a separate

treasury.

                        b. The modified organizational budget

                        The modified organizational budget involves a series of budgets, as does the former type of budget, but all receipts and expenditures of the various organizations or boards pass through a central treasury.

                         c. The unified budget

                        The unified budget is a system whereby the program and needs of all the organizations are included in one statement. All receipts and expenditures are in the hands of a central body, which looks to the congregation or the Conference for its authority.


            B. Pros and Cons of Advance Planning

            1.         Arguments against

                        a. It is unscriptural

                        Advance financial planning involves budgeting. Church budgeting often includes what is known as "storehouse giving." The scriptural justification for storehouse giving is found in Malachi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house . . ." According to this method there is one central treasury from which funds are allocated according to previously adopted apportionments. This, some hold, is unscriptural, in that the storehouse idea of giving was ceremonial law intended only for Israel. Those who hold to this view declare that the storehouse plan is never presented as God's plan for the church age; that the New Testament teaches that giving is to be directed to the source of blessing; that it is a human tradition and not Bible doctrine.

                        b. It produces undesirable results

                        Close management, with advance planning, it is held, almost always tends toward assessments or taxation. This, it is insisted, is altogether incompatible with the New Testament principle of free will giving entirely apart from any external coercion.

                        c. It has limitations

                        It is argued that there are often unforeseen and sometimes sizeable emergency needs that arise. Once a plan is adopted it can be so inflexible and rigid that a whole set of new problems are introduced.


            2. Arguments for

                        a. It is scriptural

                        Careful, systematic management of church finances, with advance planning, is scriptural. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Let all things be done decently and in order." This statement alone is sufficient justification for the most careful management of church finances. The scriptures cited in the first section of this report are further evidence that it does not violate, but rather fulfills scriptural injunctions.

                        b. It assures better balance

                        More careful financial management will assure better balance. Some of our denominational projects have consistently operated with a substantial cash balance year after year. Other projects are financially Embarrassed. For still other needs such as the Board of Directors and other denominational administrative expenses there is no per se provision. Proper management with advance planning would make for all denominational projects to be conducted in a Christian business-like way.

                        c. It provides for more effective, judicious long-range planning

                        More systematic management would also provide for more effective, judicious long-range planning. There would be systematic deficit reduction in all departments with provision for future goals and planning.

                        d. It elevates giving

                        More orderly management would also elevate giving. Offerings are no longer given to a project, a personality, or a private interest, but to the Lord. All too often giving is done on the basis of a whim, impulse, sentiment, personal preference or in response to the best salesmanship or the most emotional appeal. The results have already been noted. A well-managed financial program would tend to eliminate carnal appeals, impulsive giving, and the all-too-frequent pleas for special offerings for specific projects. The financial handicap of variations in church attendance would also be reduced. An important requirement, of course, is the subordination of personal and private interests to the overall program and welfare of the church. We are one body in the Lord. If we are going to live and work as a unit, self must be subordinated.

                        e. It eliminates rivalry

                        Better financial management with advance planning will tend to eliminate rivalry. Lack of a carefully administered financial program tends to encourage competition between various denominational projects. This is most undesirable and harmful to the body of Christ.

                        f. It tends to increase giving

                        More careful management of finances tends to increase giving. Where systematic methods are adopted, God's people tend to become more systematic and liberal in their giving. The promise of Malachi 3:10 is experienced: prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."


            C. Implementing the Plan

1. Locally

            Several congregations within our fellowship have proposed budgets and at least two have adopted this procedure. The following describes in brief the effort they have made and the results attained.

                        a. Partial budgeting of church funds

                        Salem Church, Philadelphia, developed a system of giving in which local expenses (except pastoral support) and Annual Conference expenses (not including missions) were placed on a budgetary basis. A three-pocket envelope dated weekly and numbered for each individual contributor or contributing unit is in use. The areas covered by the envelope are Missions, Pastoral Support, and General Offerings (for local and conference support). An alleviation of the problems cited above has been experienced.

                        b. Modified unified budget

                        Calvary Church, Coopersburg, has inaugurated a budget which unifies all income, and expenditures for Church and Sunday School. Other church organizations operate independent of the budget. This system proportions each gift percentagewise to its proper categories as determined, by the congregation in the adoption of the budget. All money flows to a central treasury and bills are paid from that source. A single pocket envelope dated weekly and numbered for each individual contributor or contributing unit is in use. The system is predicated on the faithfulness of God's people in presenting their tithes and offerings to the Lord for use in the whole work of His Church. Instead of each individual designating portions of his tithe to the various areas of the work, the entire congregation by vote makes the designation through the budget. Most of the problems cited have been solved, some alleviated.

                        c. Consideration of receipts

                        In both of the above cases the systems adopted have produced adequate records for the issuing of receipts by the local church, which are accepted by the Internal Revenue Service as a genuine proof of the taxpayer's contributions.

 

2.Denominationally

A possible procedure for advance planning on the conference level may be as follows:

                        a. Congregational action

                        Each congregation would submit to the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference an estimate of the amount it expects to be able to contribute for denominational needs for the ensuing year.

                        b. Conference action

                        The conference treasurer or a committee appointed for this purpose would submit a budget for the ensuing year to the Annual Conference on the basis of the congregational figures submitted at the previous adjourned session.


STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE

 

            James G. Koch, Chairman                  Byron C. Cassel

            Elwood L. Heiser, Secretary              Daniel K. Ziegler

LeRoy S. Heller

            Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That we elect a Committee of 3 ministers and 2 laymen to present definite recommendations and to work with all boards and committees to assist them in the preparation of a budget system to be presented at next Annual Conference.

 

Report of the Committee on Finance: (See Report) The report was adopted.


            Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet tonight at 6:30 o'clock.

 

Adjourned 2:40 p.m. with prayer by John H. Riggall.


Sixth Meeting

Tuesday Evening, October 16, 1962

            The meeting was opened with the roll call at 6:30 p.m. and the minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.


REPORT OF THE MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE COMMITTEE

(Second Reading)

 

(1) THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY

            The Christian ministry is a divine calling which makes high and holy demands upon those who aspire to this work. Although the minister of the gospel preaches Christ and not himself, the personality of the minister is involved in the proclamation of the gospel and the performance of pastoral functions. It is imperative, therefore, to give heed to the qualifications imbedded in the Word of God. To minister effectively to his generation a man must have certain spiritual, personal, physical, and educational qualifications.


Spiritual Qualifications

            The Christian Minister must give evidence of having been born again, of having the assurance of salvation, of being inwardly persuaded that he is called of God to the Christian ministry and of being willing to make the necessary commitment.

            To minister in the name of Christ one must possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit and have a knowledge of God's plan and will.


Personal Qualifications

            Inasmuch as the primary function of the minister is that of proclaiming the Word of God, the minister must have a love for study and an ability to teach.

            Inasmuch as the minister is an elder who numbers among his duties ruling in addition to teaching, he must possess the qualities of leadership and administration together with a willingness to assume responsibility.

            Inasmuch as the minister is an under shepherd in the flock of God, he must have a genuine love for people, exercise patience in dealing with people, be impervious to criticism yet sensitive to correction and be fearless.

            Inasmuch as the minister is to be an example, he must not be a lover of money and must be willing to forgo personal rights and privileges for the sake of ministering to others.


Physical Qualifications

            The Christian minister must be a mature male who is physically and mentally fit, being free from impairments that would vitiate the effectiveness of his ministry and giving promise that he will be able to bear the demands of the ministry. To help in determining one's fitness a questionnaire supplied by this committee is to be completed by a medical doctor and returned to the secretary of this committee.


Educational Qualifications

            All men desiring to be ordained to the ministry of the Bible Fellowship Church shall have been graduated from high school and have three years of theological training or its equivalent. A man may be an applicant or candidate during the period of his training, but the three years of theological study shall be completed before he becomes a probationer. Exceptions to this rule may be made for some mature men; however, in no case will a man be recommended for ordination examination before completing the equivalent of three years of theological training.

            Candidates for the ministry should be men of broad reading interests giving evidence of understanding and practical wisdom.

 

(2) METHOD OF RECEIVING MEN FROM OTHER CHURCHES

            When a minister from another church seeks ministerial credentials in the Bible Fellowship Church, he shall apply to the Ministerial Candidate Committee.

            The applicant shall produce satisfactory evidence that he is in good standing in his church and that his ordination was intended to be within and to the ministry of the Church universal, was performed by the authority charged with the exercise of this specific Church-power within the ordaining community and was accompanied by the laying on of hands by such as have themselves been similarly ordained. The candidate shall also furnish evidence of having severed all connections with other denominations before being enrolled.

            Having complied with these provisions, the candidate shall, upon being received, begin with the status of an ordained minister serving as a probationer.

            After serving at least a year as a probationer, he may be examined by the Credentials Committee. The Credentials Committee may then recommend to the Annual Conference that he be accepted as an ordained minister with full privileges in the Bible Fellowship Church. This recognition shall be made known in a public service.

 

The report was unanimously adopted.


GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE LEGISLATION, 1962

(First Reading)

            Excerpt from Minutes of Board of Directors, September 20, 1962:

            The Board met with the Government Committee on September 7, 1962 to review material to be presented to the next Annual Conference as legislation.

            RESOLVED:  that we approve for presentation the material adopted at this meeting.

Jansen E. Hartman, Secretary

BOARD OF DIRECTORS



            COMMITTEE ON EVANGELISM AND SPIRITUAL LIFE - (An Official Board Committee)

General Duty

            It shall endeavor to ascertain the spiritual needs of the local church and make suggestions and recommendations to the Official Board that will promote an evangelistic emphasis and the deepening and strengthening of the spiritual life of the church.


Specific Duties

            1. It shall plan with the Pastor special evangelistic efforts and deeper life conferences.

            2. It shall develop a program of prayer ministry prior to and in conjunction with all special endeavors under its jurisdiction.

            3. It shall endeavor with the Pastor to institute classes for new converts, visitation campaigns in conjunction with evangelistic efforts and means of reaching and holding those who have been contacted for Christ.

            4. It shall endeavor through the Church to promote an active and intensive tract distribution ministry.

            5. It shall provide for the entertainment of all evangelists and conference speakers whom it secures for services in the Church.

            6. It shall recommend to the Official Board adequate means and methods to publicize its ministries.

            Note: Due to the special nature of this Committee's work, serious consideration should be given to appointing the Official Board as this Committee.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF BEREAN BIBLE SCHOOL

            1. The Board of Directors of Berean Bible School shall be composed of:

                        a. The District Superintendents

                        b. Four ordained ministers

                        c. Seven laymen

2. Election:

                        a. The following classes shall be formed:

I. Two ministers - two laymen

II. One minister - three laymen

III. One minister - two laymen

                        b. Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of three years.

            Duties - 1. The Board of Directors of Berean Bible School shall be responsible for the Doctrines and Practices of the Berean Bible School, shall safeguard the doctrines of the Bible as set forth in the FAITH & ORDER and shall enforce the regulations of the Annual Conference.

            2. It shall be responsible for the provision of facilities for the School.

            3. It shall be responsible for the execution of all legal transactions relating to the School.

            4. It shall be responsible for all funds received as provided by the Annual Conference.

            5. It shall elect the President of the School and define his duties.

            6. It shall approve all appointments of teachers, administration officers, and major employees upon the recommendation of the President and Faculty Committee.

            7. It shall give a full report of all activities of the School and present a prospective budget to the Annual Conference each year.

            8. It shall divide the responsibilities by choosing committees from among its own members, and sub-committees from among non-members of the Board.

            9. All members of he Board and Faculty shall annually subscribe to the Articles of Faith of the Bible Fellowship Church.


SUNDAY SCHOOL PROMOTION COMMITTEE

The Sunday School Promotion Committee shall be composed of:

            1. The District Superintendents

            2. Director of Church Extension

            3. Three ordained ministers and six laymen

 

Classes shall be formed as follows:

            I. One minister - two laymen

II. One minister - two laymen

III. One minister - two laymen


            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of three years.

            Duties - 1. The Sunday School Promotion Committee shall stimulate and promote interest and attendance in the Sunday Schools of the denomination.

            2. It shall provide guidance in carrying out the Sunday School program.

            3. It shall plan for Sunday School conventions and group meetings.

            4. It shall receive funds designated by the Annual Conference and disburse them for denominational Sunday School promotion.

            5. It shall submit a written report to the Annual Conference.


YOUTH FELLOWSHIP GENERAL COMMITTEE

Election - see page 12 - FAITH & ORDER

            Duties - 1. The Youth Fellowship General Committee shall recommend to the Annual Conference organizational standards for the local youth fellowships,

            2. It shall provide achievement goals for the local youth fellowships.

            3. It shall provide denominational youth fellowship retreats and/or other denominational youth activities.

            4. It shall assist regional youth fellowship activities.

            5. It shall communicate information relative to youth activities through Fellowship News.

6. It shall submit a written report to the Annual Conference.


COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION & PRINTING

Appointment - see page 12 - FAITH & ORDER

            Duties - 1. The Committee on Publication & Printing shall ascertain the needs of the local churches and Sunday schools relative to printed supplies for financial and statistical purposes.

            2. It shall purchase supplies commensurate with the need.

            3. It shall submit a written report to the Annual Conference and also prospective budget for the ensuing year.

The above sections were adopted.

 

The following is presented in answer to the petition from Allentown Bethel:

            "Resolved: that we petition the Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church convening at Bethel Church in Allentown, on October 9, 1961 to abolish the regulation stating that no pastor shall serve any church longer than nine consecutive years." (1961 Year Book, p. 25). Also,

            "Resolved: that this petition be referred to the Government Committee for study." (1961 Year Book, p. 47).


            WHEREAS, the nine year limit originated under a system of Pulpit Supply which did not have the checks and balances which our present system affords, and,

            WHEREAS, a limit is inconsistent with our present Pulpit Supply system and tends to restrict the term of a pastor to less than nine years, therefore,

            RESOLVED: we abolish the limit by deleting item #11 under the Annual Conference Action of Pulpit Supply, page 10, FAITH & ORDER.

 

The above petition from Allentown Bethel was denied.



QUALIFICATION & DUTIES OF MEMBERS

            Any one desiring to be a member of the Bible Fellowship Church shall give testimony and evidence of faith in Christ and the new birth. He shall be in sympathy with the FAITH & ORDER, be baptized by immersion subsequent to salvation and manifest spirituality and the separated life.

            Evidence of dedication to Christ and loyalty to the Bible Fellowship Church shall be shown by personal devotion, faithful attendance at stated meetings, financial support, Christian service, brotherly love one to another and submission to the leaders of the Church.

The above section was adopted.

 

The following has been held for consideration at a later date.

            We propose the term of office for the following Boards be increased to two years for the following reasons:

            1. It will give greater stability to the Boards by removing the possibility of a complete new Board being elected in any given year.

            2. We already have precedence for this procedure in the election of the Board of Directors of the Home, Board of Education and the Sunday School Promotion Committee.

3. Less time will be spent at Annual Conference in elections.


            We propose the substitution of the following to replace material in the FAITH & ORDER:

The BOARD OF FOREIGN MISSIONS shall be composed of:

            1. The District Superintendents

            2. General Secretary

            3. Two ordained ministers and four laymen

 

Classes shall be formed as follows:

            I. One minister - two laymen

            II. One minister - two laymen

            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years.

 

The BOARD OF CHURCH EXTENSION shall be composed of:

            1. The District Superintendents

            2. Director of Church Extension

            3. Two ordained ministers - two laymen

 

Classes shall be formed as follows:

            I. One minister - one layman

            II. One minister - one layman

            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years.

 

The BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE HOME shall be composed of:

            1. The District Superintendents

            2. Six ordained ministers

            3. Four laymen

 

Classes shall be formed as follows:

            I. Two ministers - two laymen

            II. Four ministers - two laymen

            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years.

 

The BOARD OF VICTORY VALLEY shall be composed of:

            1. The District Superintendents

            2. Two ordained ministers

            3. Three laymen

 

Classes shall be formed as follows:

            I. One minister - one layman

            II. One minister - two laymen

            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years.


            James G. Koch - Chairman    Richard H. Kline        A. L. Wentz

            Willard E. Cassel - Secretary R. C. Reichenbach      Rufus Spedden

            Carl C. Cassel                         George E. Herb           Harold A. Mann


            Report was adopted.


            Whereas, the address of the Chairman has called to our attention the richness of our heritage and

            Whereas, we have now no way of preserving this heritage for our successors and

            Whereas, there are now records and other materials of historical importance that have not been gathered and classified and are not being adequately preserved, therefore be it

            Resolved, that an Historical Committee, consisting of two (2) ministers and three (3) laymen, be appointed by the Chairman of Annual Conference and further

            Resolved, that this committee formulate plans for the establishment of denominational archives, the accumulation of materials and memoirs relating to the history of the denomination, and the encouragement of greater study of the heritage and history of the Bible Fellowship Church, that these plans include the financing of such undertakings, and that the committee report its plans to the 1963 Annual Conference and further

            Resolved, that the committee be authorized to begin both to receive contributions of money for historical study and to collect materials of historical interest during this year.


Constitution of the Youth Fellowship Organization

First Reading


Article 1 - Name

            The young people's Society of the Bible Fellowship Church shall be called the " Youth Fellowship."


Article 2 - Objectives

The Objectives of the Youth Fellowship shall be:

            1. To lead young people to a personal knowledge of Christ.

            2. To develop Christian character and leadership.

            3. To stimulate the study of the Bible and adherence to the Faith & Order (of the Bible Fellowship Church).

            4. To promote practical Christianity and loyalty to the program of the local church.

            5. To provide for spiritually profitable fellowship.


Article 3 - Officers

            The Officers of the Youth Fellowship shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Sponsor(s) and any other officers which the group shall deem necessary.

            Churches having a departmentalized Youth Fellowship may have an Executive Committee; which shall include the President and one Sponsor from each Youth Fellowship. The Pastor shall be, or shall designate the chairman of the Executive Committee. The Pastor shall be an officer on the local and regional level.


Article 4 - Duties of Officers

President - The duties of the President shall be:

            1. To bear the responsibility of leadership of the Youth Fellowship with the guidance of the Sponsor.

            2. To preside at the business and other meetings. He should endeavor to have the Vice-President take charge of at least one business meeting.

            3. To report to the Local Conference.

            4. To represent his Youth Fellowship in Regional planning.

 

Vice-President - The duties of the Vice-President shall be:

            1. To preside in the absence of the President or when the President so directs.

            2. To be responsible for Visitation and Promotion.

            3. To assume all duties of the President in case of his absence, incapacitation, or resignation for the duration of the term of office.

 

Secretary - The duties of the Secretary shall be:

            1. To record all minutes of the business and other meetings.

            2. To keep a membership roll and to record the attendance.

            3. To supply the President with a statistical report for Local Conference.

            4. To carry on all correspondence.

 

Treasurer - The duties of the Treasurer shall be:

1. To receive and disburse funds.

            2. To keep a financial record to be audited by the Local Conference.

            3. To supply the President with a financial report for the Local Conference.

 

Sponsor(s) - The duties of the Sponsor(s) shall be:

            1. To oversee and direct the entire program through the elected officers.

            2. To be responsible to the Christian Education Committee and Pastor. Plans and Programs shall be discussed with the Pastor or whomever he directs.

            3. To offer guidance and counsel to the members of the Youth Fellowship.

            4. One sponsor shall represent the Youth Fellowship on the Executive Committee in a departmentalized program.


            When the Youth Fellowship is departmentalized, the Executive Committee shall correlate the program.


Article 5 - Membership

            The membership shall consist of those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and who are members of the Bible Fellowship Church. All who desire to be members of the Youth Fellowship shall sign the Covenant. In a Junior High Youth Fellowship, where departmentalization is in effect, the Church Membership requirement may be waived and membership may be on the basis of Christian experience and signing the Covenant. Membership shall be renewed annually. New members shall be received upon application to and recommendation by the Officers. Other young people who show interest may be Associate members until they are ready to make the commitments involved in full membership. Only full members shall vote in business matters. Membership shall be departmentalized as follows:

Junior High - 7th-9th Grades

Senior High - 10th-12th Grades

Young Adult - Post High School to age 25

            In churches where all the departments are not possible, any parts of the total program may be used.


Article 6 - Election of Officers

            The Sponsor(s) shall be adult and appointed by the Christian Education Committee upon nomination by the Pastor. The Pastor may be the Sponsor.

            The other Officers shall be elected at least annually by the membership of the Youth Fellowship. Only members of the Bible Fellowship Church shall be eligible for office.

            Elections shall be held annually in September. Terms of office shall begin October 1. At the discretion of a local Youth Fellowship, elections may be semi-annual with the second election in March and term of office to begin April 1.

A nominating committee may be used.


Article 7 - Covenant

            The Covenant shall be signed before a member joins and each September following as long as the individual desires to retain membership in the Youth Fellowship.

The Covenant is as follows:

            In humble dependence upon the Lord who has redeemed me by His blood, I covenant by His grace to be faithful to my Lord in all things and at all time, to seek to know the Scriptural standard of the Christian life and to support my Youth Fellowship by faithful attendance and participation, striving to grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Article 8 - By-Laws

            By-Laws, not in conflict with the provisions of this Constitution may be adopted by the Youth Fellowship in a regular meeting for this purpose. By-Laws are subject to the approval of the Local Conference of the Church.


Article 9 - Regional Gatherings

            Youth Fellowship Regions, for the purpose of regional activities, shall be established by the Youth Fellowship General Committee. Each Region shall have a Regional Committee. The Pastor, President, and a sponsor of each Youth Fellowship in the Region shall be members of the Regional Committee.

            In a Church having departmentalization, the Executive Committee shall elect from among the president and sponsors one representative at large and one representative from each Youth Fellowship of the local church to be members of the Regional Committee. No Church shall be permitted to have more than four voting members on the Regional Committee.

            The Regional Committee shall organize annually as they see fit to carry on regional activities. Decisions as to regional by-laws, frequency of activities and finance shall be left to the discretion of the Regional Committee with guidance from the Youth Fellowship General Committee. Names and addresses of Regional Committee officers shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Youth Fellowship General Committee by the Secretary of the Regional Committee.

            In the formation of a new Region or the reactivation of an inactive Region, a temporary Chairman shall be appointed by the Youth Fellowship General Committee. He shall call and preside at a meeting of the Regional Committee, which shall elect permanent officers.

This Constitution was adopted.


            Adjourned 8:45 p.m. and R. C. Reichenbach closed with prayer.


Seventh Meeting

Wednesday Morning, October 17, 1962

            The meeting was opened at 9:00 a.m. with the singing of "Jesus I Am Resting." James G. Koch directed the devotions with the responsive reading of Ephesians 4:1-16 and invoked God's blessing on the business of the day. "Take Up Thy Cross" was a song of challenge sung by Bert N. Brosius. A helpful address on the subject, "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today" was given by John H. Riggall.

 

The minutes of last night's meeting were read and approved.

 

Resolved, That we recess to the call of the Chair.

 

Business was resumed.


            The Report of the Stationing, Boundary & Appropriation Committee: (See Report)

Report was adopted.

 

Adjourned with prayer by Harvey J. Fritz.


Eighth Meeting

Wednesday Afternoon, October 17, 1962

            The meeting was opened with singing the chorus, "My Lord Knows the Way Through the Wilderness". W. W. Hartman led in prayer.

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.


            The recommendation of the Board of Directors concerning the Government Committee was lost.

 

Resolved, That we proceed with the election of officers.


            Board of Directors: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, Jansen E. Hartman, John H. Riggall, Carl C. Cassel, James G. Koch, Paul I. Wentz, Daniel K. Ziegler, Byron C. Cassel.


            Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet tonight at 6:30 o'clock.

 

Adjourned at 4:50 p.m. with prayer by LeRoy Heller.


Ninth Meeting

Wednesday Evening, October 17, 1962

            The meeting was opened at 6:30 p.m. by singing the hymn, "Amazing Grace" and James A. Beil led in prayer.

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.


            The following were appointed by the Chairman to serve on the Historical Committee: Byron C. Cassel, James G. Koch, Daniel G. Ziegler, Horace A. Kauffman, Paul H. Cressman.

 

The elections were resumed.

 

General Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions: Willard E. Cassel.

            Board of Foreign Missions: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, C. E. Kirkwood, Earl M. Hosler, Rufus Spedden, James R. Cressman, Kermit K. Gehman, Roy E. Williams.


            Board of Church Extension: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, William A. Heffner, F. B. Hertzog, Jansen E. Hartman, Clayton E. Weber, S. A. Hackman.


            Resolved, That the Board of Directors of the Home be reduced in number from twelve to seven members and that it be composed of five ordained ministers and two laymen, and, further,

            Resolved, That the Board be divided into two classes to be formed as follows:

            1. Three ministers and one layman.

            2. Two ministers and one layman.

            Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years, and, further,

            Resolved, That in the initial election, after this material has passed its second reading, class one be elected for one year and class two be elected for two years.


            Resolved, That the members of the Board required to be elected at this Annual Conference for a term of two years be elected for only one year so that the term of all members expire simultaneously.


(First Reading)

            Board of Directors of the Home: (One year) A. L. Seifert, E. W. Bean, David E. Thomann, F. B. Hertzog, Paul I. Wentz, Harold A. Mann.


            Board of Directors of Berean Bible School: (Three years) John H. Riggall, Robert W. Gehret, Byron C. Cassel, Roy E. Williams.


            Board of Victory Valley Camp: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, Carl C. Cassel, David E. Thomann, Clayton E. Weber, Kermit K. Gehman, S. A. Hackman.


            Youth Fellowship General Committee: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, LeRoy S. Heller, Donald B. Schaeffer, Bert N. Brosius, Alva Cassel, Clyde Snyder, Neil Taylor, Paul Zimmerman, Harold P. Shelly, Jr.

 

Resolved, That we extend the time indefinitely.


            Adjourned 9:05 p.m. with prayer by R. S. Weidner.


Tenth Meeting

Thursday Morning, October 18, 1962

            The meeting began with Clarence L. Kauffman leading in the opening hymn, "Praise Ye the Lord,   the Almighty". William A. Heffner offered the initial prayer and II Corinthians 10 was read responsively led by W. W. Hartman. LeRoy S. Heller sang the inspiring hymn, "Fight the Good Fight". Donald T. Kirkwood delivered an address on "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today" dealing with its theology both past and present.

 

The minutes of last night's meeting were read and approved.


            Adjourned with prayer by Charles W. Weaber.


Eleventh Meeting

Thursday Afternoon, October 18, 1962

            The meeting was opened with singing, "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me."

 

The minutes of the morning meeting were read and approved.


            Resolved, That we defer further consideration of the report of the Committee to Study Moral Standards at this time and consider it at a later date during this Conference.


            Resolved, That we print the whole report of the Committee to Study Moral Standards.


            REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO STUDY MORAL STANDARDS

            The following Articles are presented for First Reading:


MORAL STANDARDS


Article

MARRIAGE

            Marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God and is an indissoluble union of one man and one woman until parted by death.1 Marriage, which is the foundation of the family and Christian home, should only be entered in the fear and in the will of God.2 Accordingly a believer should not be united in holy matrimony with an unbeliever.3

            Ministers and parents have an obligation to teach the sanctity of marriage and to warn against believers being yoked with unbelievers. Pastors shall refrain from joining in marriage any believer with an unbeliever.


(1) Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:39. (2) I Corinthians 7:7. (3) II Corinthians 6:14-17.


Article

FAMILY

            The Family is a divinely ordained institution in which the husband is the head, even as Christ is the head of the Church. Husbands are to love their wives, even as Christ loved the Church and He gave Himself for it. Wives are to submit themselves to their husbands as it is fit in the Lord.1 Obedience is to be rendered to parents by the children in the spirit of respect and love. The Family is the most important institution in which to nurture children in the faith, and great care is to be exercised by parents in building Christian homes.2


(1)Ephesians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:18, 19. (2)Ephesians 6:1-4.


Article

DIVORCE

            Divorce is the breaking down of God's institution of marriage. We are grieved over the prevalence of this sin. Let our ministry continue to cry out against it.1

            In consideration of the grace of God, as revealed in His Word2, we do not refuse church membership to persons who have been divorced and remarried, if they give evidence of divine forgiveness and continue in Christian grace.

            No person shall hold office in our church who has married again after having been divorced, or who has married a divorced person, except for fornication or adultery.3

            Ministers of the church shall not solemnize marriages in cases where there is a divorced husband or wife living. However, this does not apply to the innocent person involved in a divorce caused by fornication or adultery; nor does it apply to divorced couples seeking to be reunited in marriage.


(1)Matthew 19:6. (2)I Corinthians 6:9-11. (3)Matthew 5:31, 32.



Article

HARMFUL INDULGENCES

            A. Alcoholic Drinks: The use of alcoholic drinks being the cause of incalculable misery in the world, the evil influences of which are enormous in their effects upon society at large, no member shall be permitted to make such drinks, to deal in them,1 or use them as a beverage.2 We recommend that all members of our denomination use their influence against this evil and to practice total abstinence.3


(1)Hakakkuk 2:15. (2) Ephesians 5:18. (3) Proverbs 20:1; 23:31, 32.


            B. Tobacco: Seeing as we do the harmful effects of the use of tobacco, and since we as a church want to exert our influence against it, be it known that we consider tobacco's use as unbecoming and inconsistent with our Christian profession. No person using tobacco shall hold office or serve in a teaching capacity in any part of the church program.1


(1)I Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:12.


            C. Narcotics: Being aware of the subtle dangers of the use of narcotics in any form, we solemnly warn and admonish our people to have no part with the use of, or traffic in these drugs. Except for the legitimate use of drugs by competent physicians, our every influence should be exerted against this growing evil.1


(1)Romans 6:16.


Article

SECRET OATH-BOUND SOCIETIES

            We believe it to be highly inconsistent and anti-scriptural for Christians, to be members of secret oath-bound societies for the following reasons:

The Scriptural admonition toward oaths.1

It violates the Divine directive against secrecy.2

            Being a member of such orders violates the command of Scripture not to be yoked together with unbelievers,3 or to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.4

            Of supreme importance is the fact that being a member of a secret oathbound society violates our allegiance to Christ.5 We cannot serve God and mammon.6

            Therefore, no person who is a member in our church, or who anticipates such membership, shall be a member of a secret oath-bound society.


(1)Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12. (2) John 18:20. (3) II Corinthians 6:14. (4)Ephesians 5:11, 12. (5) Matthew 10:37. (6) Matthew 6:24.

 

The above five articles were adopted.


Article

OATHS

            All profanity and cursing, whether of the nature of frivolous speech of the taking of the names of Deity in vain, is denounced throughout the Bible and is to be avoided.1 The Scriptures have much to say concerning the taking of oaths. In the Old Testament in matters pertaining to covenants, allegiance, and bearing witness, oaths were used. There were occasions when God used His own name in an oath. However Christ has strictly forbidden the swearing of oaths by His followers.2 It is evident that the apostles regarded this teaching and insisted upon its observance.3

            From these clear testimonies we conclude that the swearing of oaths is forbidden and that anything beyond an affirmation is violating the command of our Lord. The laws and courts of our land have made provision for the giving of an affirmation in the taking of legal testimony. As Christians we should consider our work as sacred and therefore avail ourselves of the opportunity of affirming, rather than using an oath.


(1)Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12. (2) Matthew 5:34-37. (3) James 1:26.


Article

RACE RELATIONS

            Man, being created in the image of God,1 was clothed with dignity. That dignity, even though man subsequently sinned, was transmitted through Adam and Noah to all races and peoples for God has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth.2

            Our Lord Jesus Christ, when He walked this earth, commissioned His followers to proclaim the gospel to all men.3 The Scriptures teach that He was not willing that any should perish;4 that there shall be some saved out of every tribe, language, ethnic group and race;5 and that Christian brotherhood obliterates all social and class distinctions.6 The gospel blessings are for all men to receive freely. All true believers are therefore brothers regardless of race or color.

            We believe however, that because of the complexities of modern society and the problems created by the promiscuous intermingling of races, that where it is possible, the various races should try to find or establish assemblies of worship within their own racial groups.


 (1) Genesis 1:27. (2) Acts 17:26. (3) Acts 1:8. (4) II Peter 3:9. (5) Revelation 5:9. (6) The Book of Philemon.

 

The above two articles were rejected.


            The rest of the report was held for consideration at a later date.


Article

DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS

            Discipline implies instruction and correction, the training which improves, molds, and perfects character. It is moral education obtained by the enforcement of obedience through supervision and control. This function is declared to be a part of the responsibility of the church under God.1 The purposes of such discipline are the maintenance of the truth, the vindication of the authority and honor of Christ, the removal of offenses, and the promotion of the purity and edification of the church, and the spiritual good of offenders.

            We instruct our people to seek reconciliation by private efforts first in cases of disparity. If private efforts fail the matter should be taken to the church.2


            In cases of neglect of duties of any kind, imprudent conduct, indulging in sinful tempers or words, or disobedience to the order and discipline of the church; or if a member of our church shall be clearly guilty of endeavoring to sow dissensions among the membership by denouncing its doctrines or discipline, they shall be reproved privately by the Pastor;3 and if there be an acknowledgment of the fault and proper humiliation, the person shall be forgiven and restored.4 If no proper humiliation and confession are manifested, or on further offense, the Pastor shall take with him one or two discreet members of the church and give further reproof. If the offense be continued, the member shall be brought to trial.

            If the accused person evades a trial by absenting himself after sufficient notice, and the circumstances of the accusation be strong and well founded, let him be esteemed guilty, and accordingly expelled from membership.

            If a member be brought to trial it shall be before a trial court composed of not fewer than seven nor more than twelve members. They shall be chosen by the Local Conference by ballot. The Pastor shall preside at such a trial.

            If there be a murmur or complaint from any censored or excommunicated person, in any of the above mentioned instances, that justice has not been done, he shall be allowed an appeal to the next Local Conference. (Except such as absent themselves from trial after sufficient notice is given them), and the Local Conference shall finally determine the case.

            Discipline suitable to the offense shall be made in each case. It may consist of private rebuke, public rebuke, removal from office or restriction of other church privileges, expulsion from church membership, or even deliverance to Satan.5

            Members who habitually neglect their duties shall be dropped at the annual revision of the membership records in case they have been duly informed without producing the desired effect.


(1)I Corinthians 5:7; I Thessalonians 5:14. (2) Matthew 18:15-17. (3) 11 Timothy 4:2. (4)II Corinthians 2:15-17. (5) I Timothy 5:20; I Corinthians 5:5.


Article

APPAREL

            The Scriptures instruct believers to adorn themselves with modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety. Children of God are to guard against immodesty, extravagance and extremes in their dress. We urge therefore neatness, cleanliness, and decency in the mode of dress.1


(1) I Timothy 2:9, 10.


Article

SEPARATION

            That the Christian life is to be devoted to God's glory1 and eternal realities,2 rather than the passing and dangerous pursuits of this world,3 is the repeated burden of the Scriptures. In view of this fact we feel compelled to caution our people against improper relationships,4 pursuits, and excessive indulgence in innocent amusements which may become barriers to spiritual vitality and the cause of spiritual decline.5

            Some amusements and relationships are positively demoralizing and furnish the first easy steps to the total loss of character. We therefore look with deep concern on the great increase of potentially harmful amusements, and lift up a solemn note of warning against theater going, indiscriminate use of television, indecent literature, dancing, and such games of chance as are frequently associated with gambling; all of which may be antagonistic to vital piety, promotive of worldliness, and especially pernicious to youth.

            We encourage our people to make their conduct the subject of careful thought and prayer, to study the subject in the light of their tendencies. We adjure them to remember that the question must be, not whether it will dull the spiritual life and be an unwise example6; but that their life should rather be a positive benefit to others.7

            Having been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God8 we have been raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus9; therefore we should walk in newness of life and set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth.2


(1)I Corinthians 10:31. (2) Colossians 3:2. (3) I Timothy 6:9. (4) II Corinthians 6:14. (5) James 1:15; Mark 4:19. (6) I Corinthians 8:13. (7) I Corinthians 10:33; 10:24. (8) I Corinthians 6:11. (9) Ephesians 2:6.


DIRECTORY OF WORSHIP OF GOD

Article

PRIVATE WORSHIP

            Worship is the act of paying reverence, adoration, or homage to God. God's people are instructed by His Word1 and the example of Christ2 to make the experience of private worship a regular part of daily life. This should be practiced in a systematic manner, and should consist of Bible reading, meditation, and prayer. In order to establish a good program of personal devotions, believers are encouraged to establish a regular daily time and place for such worship.3


(1) Psalm 1:2. (2)Matthew 14:23. (3) Matthew 6:6.


Article

FAMILY WORSHIP

            Family worship, which ought to be performed daily by every family, consists in prayer, reading Scriptures, and singing praises. The spiritual head of the family, who is to lead in this service, ought to be careful that all members of his household attend and participate; and that proper reverence be maintained. Let the heads of families be careful to instruct their children in the principles of Christianity, embracing every opportunity for such instruction.1

 

(1)Deuteronomy 6:7; II Timothy 1:5; 3:15.


Article

PUBLIC WORSHIP

            (1) Regular Services: True Worshippers of God will make it a practice to attend the stated weekly meetings of the local congregation which includes Sunday School, Morning Worship, and Evening Service and Prayer Meeting. The Scriptural admonition is emphatic when it states that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.1 It is not only our God given responsibility but a blessed privilege and joy2 thus to assemble.

            The meetings should be started promptly as announced. We recommend that heart preparation be made upon entrance to God's house, and that silent meditation prevail as prayer is made to the Lord to bless the services.


(1) Hebrews 10:24, 25. (2) Psalm 122:1.


            a. Lord's Day Worship Services

            The worship services shall consist of congregational singing, prayer, receiving of offerings, Scripture reading, and preaching of the Word. Singing should be considered an important part of worship; and the preaching of the Word given due prominence, seeing it is God's institution for the salvation of the lost, edification of the saints, and instructive in Divine truth to the hearers.

            b. Sunday Bible Schools

            Sunday Bible Schools shall be conducted on the Lord's Day wherein the Scriptures shall be studied and taught with provision being made for the instruction to be done on a class basis according to age and ability. Scholars shall be encouraged to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord as the Holy Spirit brings conviction concerning their needs.

            c. Prayer Meetings

            Because prayer is so essential to the life and power of the church1, members should make special efforts to attend and participate in the Prayer Services of the local assembly. The leader shall give a brief exhortation based on the Scriptures. Individual participation in prayer and praise shall be encouraged. Other periods of prayer during the week are most welcome and highly desirable in preserving the saints and providing an efficient means of resisting the devil.2


(1)Matthew 18:20. (2)James 4:7.


            (2) Communion Services: Periodically, as a part of the regular services, a communion service1 shall be held at which time all believers shall be encouraged to participate in this solemn service. Prior to the observance of the Lord's Supper the minister in charge shall conduct a preparatory service during which the meaning of the communion shall be made clear and during which also prospective communicants shall examine themselves.2


(1)I Corinthians 11:23-26. (2) I Corinthians 11:28.


            (3) Special Services: In addition to the regular appointments for public worship, we urge our constituency to have other meetings in the form of Evangelistic and Revival Meetings, Missionary and Bible Conferences, and Children's Meetings for further strengthening of the local testimony and the building up of the body of Christ.


Article

CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP

            Christian stewardship has its origin in God's ownership of all things. Since we have been saved by grace through faith, and the death of Christ on the cross provided our ransom1, our whole being should be freely and willingly given unto God.2 Not only does God claim our love and devotion, but He has made us stewards of what we have in time, talent, and material goods. Tithing was practiced since the time of Abraham3 and was required of God after the Law was given.4 Giving of our means to support the Lord's work is a Scriptural injunction and an act of worship5, and since the New Testament clearly indicates our giving is to be systematic and proportionate6, believers are encouraged to adopt the principle of tithing their income as a minimum expression of their stewardship. Our stewardship in material things is to be motivated by the Spirit and example of our Lord who freely gave Himself for us all.


(1)I Corinthians 6:20. (2) Romans 12:1. (3) Genesis 14:20. (4) Malachi 3:8. (5)II Corinthians 9:6, 7. (6) I Corinthians 16:2.


Article

DUTIES OF MEMBERS

            All members received into the church shall agree to serve God with heart, soul and mind, discharging every duty reasonably belonging to the service of God; such as faithful attendance at public worship, reading of the Scriptures, prayer, praise, and support of the church. Members shall

also renounce the world with all sinful gratifications, and practice chastity, temperance, sobriety, and conduct themselves as Christians.1

            Members should be respectful and obedient to those who are over them in the Lord.2 They should seek to promote a spirit of forbearance and kindness among one another, forgiving one another as God for Christ's sake has forgiven them.3

            As Christian citizens it is the duty of members to pray for public officials4, to respect and obey constituted authority, except in matters opposed to the revealed will of God.5

            Each member of the church shall be under obligation to observe the Scriptural plan for relations towards each other, such as "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." Matthew 18:15-17

            Members should exercise extreme care in their conduct before the world, that the good testimony of the church be maintained.6


(1)Titus 2:12. (2)Hebrews 13:7. (3) Ephesians 4:32. (4) I Timothy 2:1, 2. (5)Acts 5:29. (6) I Peter 2:12, 15.

            F. B. Hertzog, Chairman                    Ernest B. Hartman

            Russell T. Allen, Secretary                 Daniel K. Ziegler

            C. E. Kirkwood                                  William R. Hunsberger

Frank L. Herb, Jr.

                        Committee

 

Report of the Committee on Statistics: (See Reports)

The report was adopted.


            Resolved, That all figures except Foreign Missions, Foreign Missions in Sunday School, Church Extension and Church Extension in Sunday School be recorded on the schedule and sent to the Conference church by Tuesday before Annual Conference.

 

Report of the Committee on Communications:

Communications have been received from the following:

            Foreign Missionaries: Leonard and Nina Buck, Olive I. Rawn, Calvin F. Snyder, Roy and Diane Hertzog, Austin and Ruth Shelly.

            Ministers Working with Other Organizations: C. Leslie Miller, Harold Yarrington, Walter Frank.

Superannuated Minister: J. B. Layne

Minister on Leave of Absence: Paul E. Baer

            Our missionaries are busily engaged in preaching the Gospel and expanding the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Regions Beyond.

            C. Leslie Miller, Harold Yarrington and Walter Frank report the blessings of the Lord upon the work of God to which He has assigned them.

            Brother and Sister Snyder have sent written messages telling of their Christian activity and joy in the Lord.

            Paul E. Baer has written and indicates he is unable to be present because of his work.

            J. B. Layne has sent communications to the conference that he was unable to attend because of his physical condition.


            Resolved, That we continue to intercede for, and support these missionaries as they labor in the field of God's choice.


            Resolved, That we continue to hold these servants of God before the Lord that His grace may be sufficient for their every need.

W. W. Hartman

John H. Riggall

            George E. Herb

            W. B. Hottel

            Ernest B. Hartman

 

Report was adopted.

 

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE ANNUAL CONFERENCE RECORDS

            We hereby certify that we have examined the annual conference records of the 1961 session, and have found them correct with the exception of the following:

            1. On pg. 23, "Adjourned 4:45 p.m." should read adjourned 4:55 p.m."

            2. On pg. 32, "the great tribulations" should read, "the great tribulation".

            3. On pg. 38, "Dearly beloved God, our heavenly Father" should read, "Dearly beloved, God, our heavenly Father".

            4. On pg. 55, under election of Committee on Stewardship, "Daniel G. Ziegler" should read "Daniel K. Ziegler".

 

We hereby submit two copies duly certified.

            Earl M. Hosler, Chairman

            Richard H. Kline, Secretary

 

The report was adopted.

 

The election of officers was resumed.

            Committee on Credentials: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, C. E. Kirkwood, W. B. Hottel, John H. Riggall.


            Resolved, That a probationer qualified for ordination examination is one who, in the judgment of the Ministerial Candidate Committee, has the qualifications of a Christian minister and has demonstrated during a probationary period his ability to exercise these gifts to the glory of God in the edification of believers and salvation of the lost; this probationary period shall be for at least two years and shall be served in any of the ministries of the Bible Fellowship Church. (First Reading)


            Resolved, That when a man is ordained to the Christian ministry by the Bible Fellowship Church, he shall then become a voting member of the Annual Conference. (First Reading)

 

Report of the Committee to Answer the Reading Petition:

            Whereas, We have received the following petition from the Grace Bible Fellowship Church of Reading, Pa.,

            "That Churches desiring to continue the observance of washing of the saint's feet be privileged to do so if this is approved by local conference action."

and,

            Whereas, The 1961 Annual Conference ruled that our FAITH & ORDER shall not contain an article on the Washing of the Saint's Feet, and

            Whereas, By common consent at the time of this action Annual Conference did not prohibit the continuing of this practice, therefore,

Resolved, That this petition is unnecessary.

            F. B. Hertzog

Clarence L. Kauffman

            Carl C. Cassel

            James G. Koch

            Robert Breitegam

                        Committee

 

Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That David E. Thomann be excused Friday afternoon to conduct a funeral.

 

Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn.

 

Adjourned 4:45 p.m. with prayer by Alva C. Cassel.


Twelfth Meeting

Friday Morning, October 19, 1962

            The meeting was opened with the singing of "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" led by Clarence L. Kauffman. W. B. Hottel directed us to read Psalm 23 in unison and then offered prayer for God's blessing on our Leaders and Ministry.

 

A Minister's quartet sang, "When This Passing World Is Done".


            A. L. Seifert brought the concluding address on the subject, "Why the Bible Fellowship Church Today" dealing with the essentials of a truly Biblical Ministry.


            The minutes of yesterday afternoon's meeting were read and approved.


            H. D. Yarrington, Chaplain of the Connecticut Valley Hospital, Middletown, Conn., addressed the Conference, telling of his ministries to hospital patients and instruction of seminary students.


            Resolved, That a board of nine men including the two District Superintendents, four pastors and three laymen be elected to comprise the Mizpah Grove Board, and,

            Resolved, That this Board formulate duties and procedures for this Board and report back to the Adjourned Session of this Conference.


COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS


            1. Whereas, we the members of the 79th Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church are aware of the Lord's blessing upon our fellowship throughout the past year in giving us consecrated spiritual pastors and a devoted, faithful constituency.

            Therefore Resolved, that we give thanks to the Lord for them and look to Him for His blessing and guidance upon them.


            2. Whereas, F. B. Hertzog and C. E. Kirkwood have rendered invaluable service as District Superintendents of the Bible Fellowship Church

            Therefore Resolved, that we thank the Lord for their diligent and faithful ministry and pray that the Lord will bless them in their newly appointed field of service.


            3. Whereas, William A. Heffner, Church Extension Director has given himself unsparingly to the work of the Church and the interest of young men in our Conference,

            Therefore Resolved, that we give thanks to God and pray God's blessing and protection upon him.


            4. Whereas, under the leadership of Jansen E. Hartman, Berean Bible School has made great progress as an educational institution, and a contribution to the leadership of the Bible Fellowship Church,

            Therefore Resolved, that we thank the Lord for the gifts of leadership given to him and pledge him our support.


            5. Whereas, the Lord's people in the Membership of the Bible Fellowship Church who have obeyed Him through another year in giving themselves for His work in our churches,

            Therefore Resolved, that we thank the Lord for these members and pray the Lord's blessing upon them.


            6. Whereas, Pastor Carl C. Cassel and congregation of Bethany Bible Fellowship Church of Hatfield have provided meals and lodging for this 79th Annual Conference,

            Therefore Resolved, That we thank them for their generous and kind provision and further,

            Resolved, that the Secretary of Annual Conference send Pastor C. E. Kirkwood a copy of this resolution to be read to the congregation.


            7. Whereas, N. H. Wolf served as editor of the yearbook, and Paul Wentz as treasurer of Annual Conference,

            Therefore Resolved, that we give the Editor of the yearbook $50.00 and that the Conference Treasurer receive $75.00 to be paid by the Committee on Publication and Printing.


            8. Whereas, David E. Thomann and R. C. Reichenbach have served so faithfully as Editor and Circulation Manager and have given so unreservedly of their time and talent in these capacities,

            Therefore Resolved, that we praise the Lord for such dedicated brethren and that we continue to pray for their sacrificial labors.


            9. Whereas, J. B. Henry who served faithfully in the pastorate of our denomination and was Associate General Secretary of the Africa Inland Mission has gone to be with the Lord,

            Therefore Resolved, that we thank the Lord for his fruitful ministry throughout the years and pray the Lord's blessing upon his family.

            Committee:

            C. E. Kirkwood, Harvey J. Fritz, Jr., Russell T. Allen, David E. Thomann

 

Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet this afternoon at 2:00 o'clock.

 

Adjourned 11:35 a.m. with prayer by Kermit K. Gehman.


Thirteenth Meeting

Friday Afternoon, October 19, 1962

            The meeting was opened at 2:00 p.m. with singing the chorus, "Wonderful, Wonderful, Jesus is to Me" and Earl M. Hosler led in prayer.

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

 

The elections were resumed.

 

The following were elected:

            Ministerial Candidate Committee: Jansen E. Hartman, Earl M. Hosler, W. A. Heffner, A. L. Seifert, Carl C. Cassel.


            Sunday School Promotion Committee: (Three years) W. B. Hottel, Norman L. Reed, William R. Hunsberger.

 

Annual Conference Treasurer: Paul I. Wentz, Sr.


            Mizpah Grove Board: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, F. B. Hertzog, John E. Golla, David E. Thomann, Robert W. Smock, Clayton E. Weber, George W. Krigor, Harold A. Mann.

 

The Board of Church Extension made the following assignments:

Binghamton, N.Y. - David Watkins

Paradise - Leon K. Overpeck

Millersville - Robert Paul

Miller Heights - Harold C. Weaber

Trenton, N.J. - LeRoy J. Bickel

Denville, N.J. - Ronald Mahurin

Belvidere, N.J. - Richard R. Ruth

Macungie - Donald R. Knauer

Walnutport - M. Leslie Campbell

Finesville, N.J. - To be supplied.

F. B. Hertzog, Secretary


            Resolved, That we elect a committee of eleven to the Government Committee; to be composed of 6 pastors and 5 laymen.


            Government Committee: Donald T. Kirkwood, Jansen E. Hartman, Willard E. Cassel, Carl C. Cassel, R. C. Reichenbach, James G. Koch, James R. Cressman, Rufus Spedden, A. L. Wentz, Robert Breitegam, Robert W. Gehret.

 

Editor of FELLOWSHIP NEWS: David E. Thomann


            Circulation Manager of FELLOWSHIP NEWS: R. C. Reichenbach


            Committee to Publish FELLOWSHIP NEWS: David E. Thomann, R. C. Reichenbach, Robert W. Smock, Robert W. Gehret, James R. Cressman.


            Resolved, That we continue the Stewardship Committee that was elected last year and that we elect one minister to fill a vacancy.


            Stewardship Committee: James G. Koch, LeRoy S. Heller, Daniel K. Ziegler, Byron C. Cassel, Donald B. Schaeffer.


            Resolved, That each church establish its own minimum support that it will pay its pastor. This action shall be by the Official Board Annually at its first meeting after Annual Conference. This meeting should be held no later than November 1. Report of this action by the Official Board shall be made to the local congregation at a meeting held not later than November 15.



            Laymen's Benevolent Society: Arthur W. Deppe, President; Allen S. Weiss, Secretary; A. L. Wentz, Treasurer.


            Resolved, That all contributions received for Laymen's Benevolent Society shall be paid by check or money order payable to A. L. Wentz, Treasurer and forwarded to Allen S. Weiss, 1906 Hilltop Terrace. Bethlehem, Pa.

            Jansen E. Hartman presented the Berean Bible School's Budget for 1962-63.


REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON ARTICLES OF FAITH

(Second Reading)

Article

THE LORD'S DAY

            The first day of the week has been recognized as the Lord's Day by the church from apostolic times.1 We believe, therefore, that it ought to be observed by all believers, voluntarily and in love, as a continuation of the sabbath principle2 a day of remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord from the dead and a day of worship of God, rest from physical toil, service for the Master and fellowship of the saints. Christians ought to engage only in duties of necessity and mercy on the Lord's Day.

            1. Mark 16:9, Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. John 20:1, 19, The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.... Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Acts 20:7, And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. I Corinthians 16:2, Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

            2. Genesis 2:2, 3, And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Mark 2:27, 28, And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

 

Article was approved.


            Resolved, There be three retreats in 1963. Each retreat is to begin with the Friday evening meal, 6:30 p.m., and end with the Sunday noon meal. College and Career Age retreat to be held August 30, 31 and September 1. Senior High retreat to be held September 6, 7 and 8. Junior High retreat, to be held September 13, 14 and 15.


            Resolved, That the Youth Fellowship General Committee sponsor a Youth Leadership Workshop for Pastors, Sponsors and all Youth Fellowship Officers, on Saturday, September 28, 1963, in the Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Lebanon, Penna. Time and Program to be announced.


            Resolved, That each Youth Fellowship receive an offering for the work of the Youth Fellowship General Committee, and that this offering be forwarded to the treasurer of the Youth Fellowship General Committee by April 1, 1963.


            Resolved, That the Adjourned Session of the Annual Conference be held Saturday, April 6, 1963 at 9:00 a.m. in the Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Hatfield, Pa.


            Resolved, That all mid-season offerings be paid at the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference.


            Resolved, That the offering for the Home for the Aging be paid at the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference.


            Resolved, That we receive a contribution of 50c per member as reported at this Annual Conference for the Moving Fund.


            Resolved, That each church be assessed on the basis of 40c per church member as reported at this Annual Conference; that this assessment for the Board of Publication and Printing Fund be divided equally between the Church and the Sunday School treasuries and this assessment be remitted at the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference.


            Whereas, We have elected some men to our Boards and Committees who are not members of this Annual Conference, therefore,

            Resolved, That the Conference Secretary inform by mail, all such men of their election.


            Resolved, That any exception to standing rules may be allowed by a three-fourth (3/4) vote of the Annual Conference. The reason for such exception shall be fully spread on the minutes, and

 

Resolved, That this become "X" in the Standing Rules.


            Resolved, That the auditing procedure for reporting to the Statistical Committee shall be according to that outlined on p. 32 & 33 of the 1960 Year Book.


            Resolved, That we suspend the rules and extend the time to adjourn at 5:15 p.m.


            Resolved, That we have an evening meeting to begin at 6:45 o'clock.


            Resolved, That we hold two Camp Meetings in Mizpah Grove, the first to be held by the Allentown District, June 29 to July 7, 1963 and the second to be held by the Bethlehem District, July 13 to 21, 1963.


            Resolved, That the 80th Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church convene on Monday, October 14, 1963 at 10:00 a.m. in the Ebenezer Bible Fellowship Church, 1125 N. Main St., Bethlehem, Pa.


            Resolved, That the Chair appoint a committee of three on Program. He appointed W. W. Hartman, Carl C. Cassel and David E. Thomann.

Adjourned 5:15 p.m. with prayer by Robert F. Johnson.


Fourteenth Meeting

Friday Evening, October 19, 1962

            The meeting was opened with the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting. They were approved.


REPORT OF THE AUDITING COMMITTEE

            The Auditing Committee has examined the accounts of the reports listed below and find them correct. Minor errors that had been discovered have been corrected.

            District Superintendents Reports, Director of Church Extension, Conference Treasurer, Board of Directors, Board of Directors of Berean Bible School, Board of Church Extension, Board of Foreign Missions, Berean Bible School, Sunday School Promotion Committee, Committee on Finance, Committee on Statistics, Camp Meetings, Camp Meeting Cafeteria, General Camp Meeting Committee, Ministers' Retirement Fund, Laymen's Benevolent Society, Beneficiary Fund, Victory Valley Camp, Youth Fellowship General Committee, Fellowship News, Board of The Home and Publication and Printing Committee.

            James G. Koch,                      George W. Krigor,

            Robert Breitegam,                  Allen F. LaRose,

            Ralph D. Cole,                        John I. Mengel,

            Edw. J. Dietzman,                 Harold A. Mann,

            David H. Fahs,                        Allan C. Palmer,

            Kermit K. Gehman,                Donald M. Sedgwick,

            Robert W. Gehret,                  Rufus Spedden,

            Wm. R. Hunsberger,               R. S. Weidner,

            Clarence L. Kauffman,           Daniel K. Ziegler,

            Horace A. Kauffman,


            Report was adopted.


            Resolved, That the Chair appoint an Agenda Committee of three for Annual Conference 1963. He appointed Willard E. Cassel, John E. Golla, LeRoy S. Heller.


            Resolved, That the Chair appoint a Committee on Publication and Printing. He appointed John H. Riggall, Robert W. Smock, John Dunn.


            Resolved, That one ($1.00) dollar registration fee per tent accompany each order, not refundable and be turned over by the Registrar to each Respective Camp Meeting Committee.


            Resolved, That the rental of tents shall be nine ($9.00) dollars each per Camp Meeting in addition to the registration fee to be paid to the Pastors before Camp Meeting. The Pastors shall pay rents to the Officers of the respective Committee no later than Tuesday of Camp involved, together with a list of names and numbers of tents.


            Resolved, That all tent orders be properly filled in and signed by the person placing the order and be sent to Donald B. Schaeffer, Registrar, no later than June 15.


            Resolved, That we have a Ministerial Convention to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 30 and May 1, 1963 at Victory Valley.


            Officers for the Ministerial Convention: C. E. Kirkwood, Chairman; Robert F. Johnson, Secretary.


            Resolved, That the expenses of the Ministerial Convention be divided among the brethren attending.


            Resolved, That a Committee on Program be composed of the Officers of the Convention, the District Superintendents and two pastors.


            Committee on Program for Ministerial Convention: T. D. Gehret, A. L. Seifert, C. E. Kirkwood, Robert P. Johnson, Harvey J. Fritz, Jr., John Dunn.


            Report of the Committee to Organize the Allentown District Camp Meeting:

            The churches of the Allentown District and the Missions located at Millersville, Paradise, Walnutport, Binghamton, N.Y. and Denville, N.J., shall comprise this Camp Meeting to be held in Mizpah Grove, Allentown, Pa., June 29 to July 7, 1963.

            Officers: John E. Golla, Chairman; N. H. Wolf, Secretary; James G. Koch, Treasurer.

T. D. Gehret, Chairman

            Richard H. Kline, Secretary


            Report of the Committee to Organize the Bethlehem District Camp Meeting:

            The Churches of the Bethlehem District and the Missions located at Belvidere, Trenton and Finesville, N.J., Miller Heights and Macungie shall comprise this Camp Meeting to be held in Mizpah Grove, Allentown, Pa., July 13 to July 21, 1963.

            Officers: John H. Riggall, Chairman; David E. Thomann, Secretary; Donald T. Kirkwood, Treasurer.

            A. L. Seifert, Chairman David E. Thomann, Secretary


            Resolved, That we print 1200 Year Books to be sold at $1.00 each.


            Resolved, That the report of the Forms Committee be presented at the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference.

 

Resolved, That we recess to the call of the Chair.

 

Adjourned 10:15 p.m. with prayer by T. D. Gehret.

 

SIGNED:

            T. D. Gehret, District Superintendent, Chairman,

            A. L. Seifert, District Superintendent, Vice Chairman,

            Earl M. Hosler, Vice District Superintendent,

John H. Riggall, Vice District Superintendent,

N. H. Wolf, Secretary,

Paul I. Wentz, Sr., Treasurer,

William A. Heffner, Director of Church Extension,

Jansen E. Hartman, President of Berean Bible School,

Ernest B. Hartman, Assistant Secretary,

Robert W. Smock, Recording Secretary,

 

            Russell T. Allen,                     W. W. Hartman,                     James G. Koch,

            Paul E. Baer,                           LeRoy S. Heller,                     R. C. Reichenbach,

            E. W. Bean,                            George E. Herb,                      Donald B. Schaeffer,

            Bert N. Brosius,                      F. B. Hertzog,                         David E. Thomann,

            Carl C. Cassel,                        W. B. Hottel,                          E. E. Kublic,

            Willard E. Cassel,                   Robert F. Johnson,                  A. G. Woodring,

            John Dunn,                             C. E. Kirkwood,                     James A. Beil,

            Reynold D. Gardner,              Donald T. Kirkwood,             Alva C. Cassel,

            John E. Golla,                         Richard H. Kline,                   Harvey J. Fritz, Jr.

            Norman R. Weiss,                  Ralph Hendershot,                  Rufus Spedden,

            Daniel G. Ziegler,                   Warren Stuber,                       Allen F. LaRose,

            Clarence L. Kauffman,           S. A. Hackman,                      Harold A. Mann,

            Kermit K. Gehman,                Burton Deppe,                        Robert W. Gehret,

            Robert Breitegam.                  Floyd J. Thomas,                    Allan C. Palmer,

            Allan F. Smith,                       Charles W. Weaber,               Donald L. Sedgwick,

            David H. Fahs,                        George R. Fish,                      John I. Mengel,

            Daniel K. Ziegler,                   Horace A. Kauffman,             Carl H. Kellerman,

            T. Lamarn Manney,                Paul H. Cressman,                  Edward J. Dietzman,

            Roy E. Williams,                    Paul I. Wentz, Sr.,                  Ralph D. Cole,

            David F. Gardner,                   Byron C. Cassel,                     John L. Shelly.

            William R. Hunsberger,         George W. Krigor,

            R. S. Weidner,                        Norman L. Reed,