EIGHTY-FOURTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

ADJOURNED SESSION (I) of the 84th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

of the

BIBLE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH

Twelfth Meeting

Saturday Morning, January 6, 1968

 

   The meeting was opened with Carl C .Cassel directing the singing of "Lead On, 0 King Eternal." Frank L. Herb, Jr., led in prayer.

   Carl C. Cassel gave the devotional address based upon Joshua 1. Leader ship was the subject emphasized. Each leader must be aware of God's commission upon them. Each must in turn respond accordingly to the commission and pass the message on to those who must be led and then they must respond to the God appointed leadership.

   The Roll was called.

   Resolved, that absent members be excused, and, further, that alternate delegates be seated.

   The Committee to study Church Government requested 45 minutes to present three papers relative to the report.

   C. E. Kirkwood presented material outlining the background of the report and a brief history of the Committee.

   Carl C. Cassel presented the Major thrust of the report.

   James A. Beil presented areas of change.

 

   REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO STUDY CHURCH GOVERNMENT (See Report, page 94).

ARTICLE IV MINISTERS

   The Lord of the Church has given gifts to men called ministers in His church. The office of the ministry is the first in the church in both dignity and usefulness. The one who fills the office is described in the Scriptures by several terms. As he has the oversight of the flock of Christ, he is termed bishop. As he feeds them with spiritual food, he is termed pastor (shepherd). As he serves Christ in the church, he is termed minister. As it is his duty to be an example to the flock in godliness and to govern well in the church of Christ, he is termed elder.  As he is sent to declare the will of God to sinners, and to beseech them to be reconciled to God through Christ, he is termed an evangelist.

 

   It was adopted.

ARTICLE V ELDERS

   In the New Testament church, Christ has provided men called elders whom he has enabled and commissioned to govern with ministers in His church.

   Men who bear this office share equally with ministers the authority in and responsibility for the life of the church; but in contrast to ministers, whose primary authority and responsibility is in the Word and doctrine and secondarily in ruling the primary authority and responsibility of elders is ruling and governing and secondarily in the Word and doctrine.

   Those who fill this office should be examples to the flock of their sound faith, their blameless life and conduct and their wisdom and discretion.

   Elders, as representatives of the people, are chosen by the membership of the church on the basis of Scriptural qualifications.

 

   It was adopted.

 

   Resolved that we adjourn to meet at 1:15 p.m.

   Adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

 

Thirteenth Meeting

Saturday afternoon, January 6, 1968

 

ARTICLE VI DEACONS

    The office of deacon is presented in the Scriptures as an office not of ruling, but of service. A deacon should be a man of deep spiritual life, exemplary conduct and sound judgment. His office is one of sympathetic service to the church and to the distressed, friendless or sick, after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

    It was adopted.

 

ARTICLE VII CHURCH GOVERNMENT

    By providing spiritually qualified overseers, called elders, Christ enables each particular church to govern itself.

    But though the churches are autonomous, they are not independent because they are a part of a fellowship of churches. The basis of this fellowship is mutual conviction of the body of truth set forth in the Scriptures. 

    The Authority of the fellowship is secondary, being derived from the particular churches, and is limited to matters which pertain to the churches in fellowship or to common concerns which churches agree to take care of together.

   All authority in the church, whether in particular churches or in the denomination, is moral and spiritual, ministerial and declarative ; it is moral and spiritual, negatively, in that it is unable to use civil force to compel obedience, and positively, in that obedience is incomplete unless it is inward and real as well as outward and apparent; it is ministerial and declarative in that the Holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith and conduct and therefore all decisions and laws must be understood as being servants of the Word, announcing that which the body believes the Scriptures to teach with the constant recognition that "councils may err" through frailty inseparable from humanity.

 

   It was adopted.

 

ARTICLE VIII BOARD OF ELDERS

   The Board of Elders shall be composed of the Minister and all the active elders of the congregation. The lay elders shall be elected by majority vote of the congregation. They shall be mature men who meet the qualifications of Scripture (I Tim. 3; Titus 1; I Peter 5). The number of elders chosen to serve on the Board shall be established by the congregation by ballot vote upon the recommendation of the Board of Elders.

   The Minister shall serve as chairman of the Board of Elders; they shall elect one of their members to serve as Secretary.  Two-thirds of the membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

   The duty of the Board of Elders is the general oversight of the life and work of the church including the worship, preaching, ordinances, evangelism, visitation, discipline, finances and maintenance of the properties.

   Because they are "under shepherds" and not "lords" the elders shall rule the congregation according to the direction of Christ, the Chief Shepherd, as expressed in the Scriptures and the needs of the membership. They shall hold semi-annual congregational meetings to report the status of the work to the congregation; and when they deem it advisable, present recommendations to the congregation. The congregation shall have the power to accept, to suggest changes or to reject such recommendations.

   The Board of Elders shall be the channel of communication between the particular church and the fellowship of churches and its organizations. The elders shall nominate from their number and the congregation elect the representative(s) from the particular church to the fellowship-wide level.

 

   It was adopted.

 

ARTICLE IX ANNUAL CONFERENCE

 

   The church consists of many congregations which need mutual counsel and assistance to preserve soundness of doctrine and discipline, to enter into joint efforts for the advancement of the work of Christ and to prevent infidelity, error and immorality.  From this arises the importance and usefulness of assemblies of particular churches.

    The assembly of churches shall represent, in one body, all the particular churches of this denomination and shall be called the Annual Conference of the Bible Fellowship Church.

   The Annual Conference shall consist of every ordained minister laboring in direct relationship to the Bible Fellowship Church, every ordained minister who is retired, every probationer who has been called to pastor a church, and one lay elder from every properly constituted church with the membership of two hundred or less and one additional lay elder for two hundred members in excess of the first two hundred. Ordained ministers who retain membership in one of our churches and who are engaged in Christian service not directly related to our Annual Conference, probationers who have not been called to pastor a church and missionaries who hold membership in one of our churches and are under the supervision of the Board of Foreign Missions, shall be advisory members of the Annual Conference. They shall not participate in the deliberations of the sessions except by permission by the chairman.

   The Annual Conference shall provide legislation, govern the affairs of the churches on the denominational level and receive appeals, complaints or other references from churches about doctrine or government. It alone shall have the power to amend the FAITH AND ORDER. It shall decide issues as a final court of appeal. Although it is responsible for these duties, it shall not invade the autonomy of the particular churches.

   The Annual Conference shall have the power to resolve questions of doctrine or discipline seriously and reasonably proposed; to reprove, warn or bear testimony against error in doctrine or immorality in practice in any church; to examine and license candidates for the ministry; to ordain, install, judge and remove ministers; to examine and approve or censure the records of particular churches;  to unite or divide congregations at the request of the people; to provide for supervision of vacant pulpits and to give counsel in calling pastors.

   It shall keep and publish a record of the proceedings of its sessions and make them available to the membership of the churches.

   Each meeting of the Annual Conference shall be opened and closed with prayer. The business sessions shall be conducted according to the Standing Rules (Business Rules of the Conference).

 The parliamentary procedure shall be according to Robert's Rules of Order except in places where our legislation provides otherwise.

 

   It was adopted.

 

   Resolved, that Article X be referred back to the Committee on Church Government.

   Resolved, that Article XI be referred back to the Committee on Church Government.

   Resolved, that we suspend the rules and adjourn. Adjourned at 4:00 p.m. with prayer by Donald T. Kirkwood.

 

Fourteenth Meeting

Saturday Morning, April 6, 1968

 

   The meeting was opened with the singing of "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart" led by Harvey J. Fritz, Jr., and F. B. Hertzog led in prayer.

   F.B. Hertzog brought the devotional message. Remarks were based upon Luke 10:16. It was emphasized that compassion, not fear, must be manifested by the servants of God in their work for Him in these times of trouble.  Courage is to be derived in knowing that those who hear the messenger (you) hear Jesus Christ (me).

   A time of prayer was spent for various conference needs and for our government at this time of national crises.

   Resolved, that we accept the excuses of the absent members and seat the alternate delegates in the conference bar.

   The following were elected:

      Superintendent: A.L. Seifert

      Vice Superintendent: John H. Riggall

   Whereas, the Nominating Committee and Conference Body have been unable to procure any nominees for the office of Director of Church Extension, therefore,

   Resolved, that by use of the Rule of Exception, the Board of Church Extension supervise the work of church extension for the 1968-1969 conference year, and further,

   Resolved, that the Board of Church Extension make a study of the office of the Director of Church Extension, its duties and potentiality, and further,

   Resolved, that a report be submitted to the 1968 Annual Conference.

   The vote was "yes" 63, "no" 15.

   The following were elected:

      Vice-Chairman of Annual Conference: Carl C. Cassel

      Secretary of Annual Conference: Ernest B. Hartman

   Robert Eckland, Norman B. Jerome and Donald J. Ritter briefly addressed the conference body.

   Resolved, that a nominating committee be elected by using two nominating ballots. .. one for ministers and one for laymen.  From the nominees, the 8 ordained ministers receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered candidates. The 6 laymen receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered candidates.

   Resolved, that we suspend the rules and adjourn to meet this afternoon.

   The meeting adjourned at 12:35 p.m. with prayer by Mark T. Smith.

 

Fifteenth Meeting

Saturday Afternoon, April 6, 1968

 

   The meeting was opened at 1:45 p.m. at the call of the Chair.

   The Chairman appointed the following:

      Committee on Statistics: Willard E. Cassel, Donald T. Kirkwood, LeRoy S. Heller, John Dunn.

   The following were elected:

      Nominating Committee: John H. Riggall, James G. Koch, David E. Thomann, Daniel G. Ziegler, Robert W. Gehret, Horace A. Kauffman, Clyde W. Snyder.

   REPORT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Administrative Budget:

   The Conference Administrative Budget for the year beginning on October 1, 1968 is presented herewith:

 1. Publication and Printing                            $1, 500. 00

 2. Conference Entertainment                   640. 35

 3. Beneficiary Fund                                    800. 00

 4. District Superintendent:

    (a) Annual Support                                  7,000.00

    (b) Travel & Utility Grant                          3,400.00

 5. District Superintendent's Parsonage  4, 362. 17

 6. Ministers' Retirement Fund                  5, 000. 00

 7. Moving Fund                                           3,200.00

 8. Expenses for Boards and Committees while

    transacting Conference Business        800. 00

 9. Other Expenses of Board of Directors 290. 00

10. Contingencies                                       500. 00

11. Ministerial Convention Expenses       400. 00

                                                                        $ 27,892.52

       Subscriptions to Administration Budget 1968-1969

Allentown (Bethel)          1,800.                  Mount Carmel       696.

Allentown (Cedar Crest)      600.               Nazareth            576.

Allentown (Salem)            350.                   Phila. (Calvary)      500.

Bethlehem                 2,160.                        Phila. (Emmanuel)   376.

Blandon                     500.                            Paradise            360.

Catasauqua                  372.                        Quakertown       1, 105.

Coopersburg                 800.                        Reading           1,920.

Denville                     350.                            Royersford          650.

Easton                      450.                              Scranton            450.

Emmaus                   1,500.                          Shamokin           480.

Ephrata                     100.                             Sinking Spring       216.

Fleetwood                   862,                           Staten Island        300.

Graterford                  650.                            Spring City          600.

Harleysville                 400.                          Stroudsburg         258.

Harrisburg                  800.                           Sunbury           1,200.

Hatfield                   1,280.                            Terre Hill          700.

Lancaster                   500.                            Wallingford       1,200.

Lebanon                     380.                           York                850.

Lehighton                   401.52                      Zionsville           300.

Maple Glen                  900.                          Total $ 27,892. 52

  

The Budget was adopted.

    Whereas, David Hendershot, who served faithfully as a member of the Youth Fellowship General Committee has submitted his resignation due to other responsibilities,

   Resolved, that the members of the adjourned session elect a member to serve the one and one half year unexpired term of Mr. Hendershot.

   The following was elected: Benjamin Pattison

   REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CREDENTIALS:

   Whereas, Roy Hertzog has served commendably under the Board of Foreign Missions and is recommended by them for ordination, and,

   Whereas, the Ministerial Candidate Committee has recommended that he be ordained, and,

   Whereas, after examination before this Committee we are convinced that he is in accord with our Faith and Order, and is called of God to the Gospel Ministry,

   We therefore, Recommend that Roy Hertzog be ordained at a service to be held in Bethel Bible Fellowship Church of Allentown, Pa., on the evening of May 5, 1968.

(C.E. Kirkwood, Frank L. Herb, Jr., A. L. Seifert, John H. Riggall, W.B. Hottel, Committee)

   Resolved, that we adjourn to meet Saturday, April 13, at 9:00 a.m. at the Bethel Church, 529 N. 8th Street, Allentown, Pa.

   Adjourned with prayer by Carl C. Cassel at 4:30 p.m.

 

Sixteenth Meeting

Saturday Morning, April 13, 1968

 

   The meeting was opened by James A. Beil, who directed the singing of "The Day of Resurrection" and led in prayer. A devotional meditation based on Acts 15:1-29 was given by Jansen E. Hartman, depicting the life of the Jerusalem church council and its relationship to the present day church.

   The roll was taken.

   Resolved, that we accept the excuses of absent members, and alternate delegates be seated.

   REPORT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF BEREAN BIBLE SCHOOL

   On behalf of the Board of Directors of Berean Bible School I submit the following action to the Adjourned Session of the 84th Annual Conference meeting in Bethel Church, Allentown, Pa., on Saturday, April 13, 1968 for ratification:

   The election of Rev. Jansen E. Hartman as President of Berean Bible School for the term beginning on June 30, 1968 and ending on June 30, 1969. This action was taken by the Board at a special meeting on Saturday, February 17, 1968.

                                  - Donald R. Knauer, Secretary

   The report was accepted and the election ratified.

   Resolved, that we adjourn to meet again at l:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

Seventeenth Meeting

Saturday Afternoon, April 13, 1968

 

    The meeting was opened at 1:30 p.m.

    Resolved, that the Annual Conference empower the Board of Directors to negotiate for the purchase of the Bible Conference grounds known as Pinebrook, as well as the adjoining 40 acres and buildings owned by Richard Crawford, and, if a suitable price can be agreed upon, to empower the Board of Directors to make such a purchase.

    Resolved, that the above question require a 2/3rd majority for adoption.

    The vote was "yes"- 45; "no"- 19.

    Resolved, that we extend the time.

 

  REPORT OF THE FIRST CAMP

     Chairman: John H. Riggall

     Recording Secretary: Willard E. Cassel

     Financial Secretary: Donald T. Kirkwood

                                 George E. Herb, Sec.

 

  REPORT OF THE SECOND CAMP

     Chairman: James G. Koch

     Recording Secretary: Leon K. Overpeck

     Financial Secretary: John Dunn

                                 Leon K. Overpeck, Sec.

Chairman of Erection, John H. Riggall

Chairman of Dismantling, William A. Heffner

   Resolved, that the Board of Directors shall have, and they hereby are, given authority to arrange for such financing as will be involved in the purchase of Pinebook.

   Resolved, that we adjourn.

   Adjourned at 4:15 p. m. with prayer by Frank L. Herb, Jr.