ADJOURNED SESSION OF THE 79TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
BIBLE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
Saturday Morning, April 6, 1963
The opening hymn, "I Gave My Life For Thee" was sung, led by Daniel K. Ziegler and David E. Thomann led in prayer.
Carl C. Cassel sang, "Jesus I Am Resting" as a solo.
The Chairman read Exodus 14:13-15 and addressed the Conference, emphasizing the forward march of the Church.
The Roll was called.
Resolved, That we accept the various excuses of those pastors and delegates unable to attend the sessions of this Conference.
Resolved, That a District Superintendent for the Allentown District be elected and the informal ballot be used in nominating the candidates, the three highest to be the candidates and elected according to the FAITH AND ORDER.
T. D. Gehret was elected.
Resolved, That a District Superintendent for the Bethlehem District be elected and the informal ballot be used in nominating the Candidates, the three highest to be the candidates and elected according to the FAITH AND ORDER.
A. L. Seifert was elected.
Resolved, That two Vice District Superintendents be elected and that the informal ballot be used in nominating candidates, the five highest to be the candidates.
John H. Riggall and Earl M. Hosier were elected.
Resolved, That we elect a Director of Church Extension according to our FAITH AND ORDER.
William A. Heffner was elected.
T. D. Gehret was elected Chairman and A. L. Seifert, Vice Chairman of the next Annual Conference.
N. H. Wolf was elected Secretary.
Report of the Board of Directors of Berean Bible School:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Berean Bible School, I submit the result of the election for President of the Berean Bible School.
At our Board Meeting on Saturday, February 16, 1963, Rev. Jansen E. Hartman was elected for the school year June 30, 1963 to June 30, 1964.
The report was adopted. W. B. Hottel, Secretary
Resolved, That the Sunday School Promotion Committee petition the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, convening at Hatfield, Pennsylvania on April 6, 1963 to change the stated time of our denominational Sunday School Conventions from the third Saturday in May to the last Saturday in April beginning in 1964. (The Petition was granted.)
Resolved, That the matter of the responsibility for Church discipline in the local church be studied by the Government Committee.
Adjourned, 12:00 Noon with prayer by John H. Riggall.
Saturday Afternoon, April 6, 1963
"Love Wonderful Love" was the opening chorus of this session and W. W. Hartman led in prayer.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
Report of the Committee to Study Moral Standards:
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 acknowledgement 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) II Timothy 4:2. (4) II Corinthians 2:15-17. (5) I Timothy 5:20; I Corinthians 5:5.
The above article was rejected.
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.
The above article was adopted.
That the Christian life is to be devoted to God's glory (1) 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, indecent literature, dancing, and such games of chance as are frequently associated with gambling, and the indiscriminate use of television; 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 only whether it will dull the spiritual life and be an unwise example", 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 God (8) we have been raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (9); 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.
The above article was adopted.
DIRECTORY OF WORSHIP OF GOD
Worship is the act of paying reverence, adoration, or homage to God. God's people are instructed by His Word (1) and the example of Christ (2) 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.
Family worship, which ought to be perfumed 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.
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 joy (2) 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 church (1), 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 service (1) 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.
The above article was adopted.
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 ransom (1), 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 Abraham (3) 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 worship (5), and since the New Testament clearly indicates our giving is to be systematic and proportionate (6), 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 Holy Spirit and the 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.
The above article was adopted.
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 officials (4), 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.
The above article was rejected.
REPORT OF BOARD OF MIZPAH GROVE
Purpose of Mizpah Grove Board
1. To correlate the Camp Program in its entirety.
2. To study various methods and profit from the experience of others in similar activities.
3. To stabilize and promote the operation of the camp.
4. To develop a long range program.
Organization of the Board
1. Resolved, That the Board of Mizpah Grove shall be composed of the two District Superintendents, chairmen of each Camp Meeting, two pastors and three laymen.
Classes shall be formed as follows:
1. One Pastor, 2 Laymen
2. One Pastor, 1 Layman
Each class in turn shall be elected annually by ballot by the Annual Conference for a term of two years.
2. The Board shall elect annually by and from its membership a Chairman & Secretary.
3. The Chairman shall be the administrative officer of the Board.
4. The Secretary shall carry on all the correspondence of the Board.
He shall record the minutes of its meetings and keep all records of the Board.
He shall pay all bills incurred by the Board's business. The checks shall bear signatures of the Chairman, Secretary and the Conference Treasurer.
5. The Board shall facilitate its business by dividing into committees as its work dictates.
6. Committee divisions shall be made at the suggestion of the Chairman and the approval of the Board.
7. Suggested Committees—
1. Program and Staff recruiting
2. Building and Grounds
4. Promotion and Printing
5. Cafeteria and Food Service
6. Camp erection and breakup.
8. Committees may be staffed by men chosen outside the Board.
9. Committees shall be composed of a minimum of two board members and as many additional members as desirable.
10. All Committees shall carry out duties numbered _ _ _ _
In addition ...
Committees listed above responsible for dues numbered _ _ _ _
11. Each Committee shall carry out all routine business at its discretion. All new business shall be brought to the Board for approval prior to action.
Duties of Mizpah Grove Board
1. To formulate objectives for the camp.
2. To develop the camp site and maintain the equipment.
3. To formulate and maintain camp standards.
4. To plan and formulate the camp program.
5. To determine which churches shall comprise each camp meeting.
6. To secure and train the camp staff.
7. To secure the necessary help for the erection-breakup & maintenance of camp.
8. To provide a continuity from year to year.
9. To be responsible for the business and finances of the camp.
10. To promote the camp to our people and public.
11. To be responsible for the cafeteria, food service and store.
12. To be responsible for the literature cottage.
13. To evaluate the camp and its program.
14. To submit a report to Annual Conference.
Duties of the Camp Meeting Committees
1. Each camp shall elect the following officers: Chairman, Secretary, Fin. Secretary.
2. All bills of the Camp Meeting expenses shall be submitted to the secretary in an itemized form giving date of all expenses. A voucher system shall be used. The Chairman shall approve the bills submitted by the Secretary to the Finan. Sec.
3. The Secretary shall record all receipts and expenditures in a book provided by the Board. He shall also compile a summary of receipts and expenses to be submitted to the Board of Mizpah Grove.
4. The Financial Secretary shall record all receipts and expenditures in a book provided by the Board. The account shall be maintained in a depository as designated by the Board of Mizpah Grove.
5. The balances from each Camp Meeting District shall be turned over to the Board of Mizpah Grove.
Recommendations to the Adjourned Conference:
We Recommend: that the balance remaining from the 1963 Camp Meeting Districts be turned over to the BOARD of Mizpah Grove.
We Recommend: that the following paragraphs found in the Year Book be deleted ... 3, 4, 5, 6, on page nine . . . paragraphs on Camp Meetings on pages 13 & 14 ... paragraphs S. & T. on page 16.
We Recommend: that the words 'Board of Mizpah Grove', be added to the lists of Boards and Committees on page 7 ... and to the Standing Committees on page 6.
Graph showing the relation of the Camp Meeting Committees to the Board of
Board of Mizpah Grove
District Superintendent Chairman District Superintendent
Chairman Secretary Chairman
Finan. Sec. Conference Treasurer Finan. Sec.
The report was adopted.
Resolved, That the balance remaining from the 1963 Camp Meeting Districts be turned over to the Board of Mizpah Grove.
Resolved, That the Board of Mizpah Grove be responsible for the maintenance of the grounds and equipment of Mizpah Grove after the next Annual Conference in October 1963.
Resolved, That the following paragraphs found in the Year Book be deleted ... 3, 4, 5, 6 on page nine ..... paragraphs S. and T. on page 16.
Resolved, That the words, 'Board of Mizpah Grove' be added to the lists of Boards and Committees on page 7 .... and to the Standing Committees on page 6.
Resolved, That the article on the Duties of Members in the 1962 Year Book and the article in the report of the Committee to Study Moral Standards be referred to the Government Committee for consideration.
Resolved, That the Youth Fellowship General Committee be granted its request to postpone the proposed worship schedule for September 28, 1963 at the Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
The Chairman appointed the following to serve on the Committee on Statistics: Willard E. Cassel, John E. Golla, LeRoy S. Heller, Donald T. Kirkwood, John Dunn, Robert F. Johnson.
Adjourned 4:50 P.M. with prayer by A. L. Seifert.