Eleventh Annual Ministerial Convention
The Eleventh Annual Ministerial Convention of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, of the Pennsylvania District, convened in Reading Church, 10th and Oley streets, on September 13, 1900.
The Chairman, W. B. Musselman, opened the convention at 9:15 A. M. by singing, prayer and appropriate remarks, and was followed by the enrollment of members, after which the minutes were read and received.
All members of the Annual Conference shall be voting members and all others present advisory members.
The Convention Bar shall occupy the first two pews of the Church, and the Amen Corner on the men's side.
No speaker shall speak longer than five minutes on any subject or oftener than once, except by permission of the Chair.
Upon request of the Convention the Chairman appointed Elders O. S. Hillegass and W. G. Gehman a committee to decide which of the essays, if any, shall be published in the "Gospel Banner."
The following essays were then read and discussed:
1. An essay on "The Believers Attitude Towards Laying Up Earthly Treasures," by Elder W. Steinmetz.
By laying up we mean accumulating for future use. The Word says, "Lay not up for yourselves earthly treasures upon the earth." I Tim. 9:10 we read that they that would be rich fall into temptations, snares, etc. If desires for riches bring forth such fruit, what will the obtaining and holding fast of them result in. The rich man's money has not been the means of evangelizing the world. God is not hard up for money- He owns all things. We are God's stewards, and privileged characters to work with our hands, for the purpose of giving to others.
2. An essay on "The Minister; His Home and Family,'' by Elder J. G. Shireman.
The minister is one ordained of God, to be about the master's business only and should be too busy to find time for a vacation, for fishing, hunting, or animal recreations, etc. In his home he is supposed to be master of the situation, and worthy of being called lord by his wife, and should command the respect of his children. His home should be a sample of cleanliness and purity and void of all questionable literature. The wife should live up to the doctrine preached, and carry out the pastor's discipline in the Lord, and make the home a pleasant place for all.
3. A discussion on "Secrecy" opened by Elder W. K. Ziegler.
An offering was lifted. and the forenoon session was closed by prayer by Elder R. L. Woodring.
Opened by singing and prayer by Elder W. Steinmetz.
The questions were answered by Elder W. G. Gehman.
1. An essay on "Our Home Mission Work," by Elder C. H. Brunner.
Home mission work begins right at home. The Home Missionary will never amount to
anything unless his heart is in the work. The preacher who cannot find enough mission work
on his own charge would make a very poor home missionary. The idea of a mission is to have it
worked up and established, same as a self-supporting circuit or station. A good home mission
worker should make a good worker for the foreign field.
Revs. Leopold, Weidner, Wentz, Farnsworth and Von Neida of the several Churches, were received as advisory members.
2. An essay on "The Shepherd and His Flock," by Elder R. D. Dreisbach.
A true shepherd is one that cares for and gives his life for the sheep. A shepherd will not feed his flock on stones, clubs, etc.: even the one that uses paper to feed his flock might reflect suspicion as to the quality of his flock, as goats are well known to feed on paper from ash-heaps. If sheep, they will follow their shepherd.
3. A discussion on "Is it Advisable to Have a General Superintendent Over Our Conferences?" was opened by Elder G. A. Campbell.
An offering was lifted and the afternoon session closed by prayer.
Opened by singing and prayer by Elder O. S. Hillegass.
The following officers were elected: Chairman, Elder R. L. Woodring; Secretary, Elder W. G. Gehman; Committee on Programme, Elders W. K. Ziegler, H. B. Musselman and C. H. Brunner.
The questions were answered by Elder H. B. Musselman.
1. An essay on "Adoption," by Elder E. T. Schick.
Scripture plainly teaches that there is none good, no not one. The whole head is sick--all have gone astray. Man is desperately, incurably wicked- all flesh is as grass. Being born of the flesh is flesh. Souls are brought into God's family by being born into it. Not patched up- but made new. Begotten again. Being born again, and receiving the spirit of adoption. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God. Because ye are sons, He has given us the spirit of adoption.'' Adoption also means attaining his majority- becoming of full age. We shall finally be adopted publicly before worlds, as such who have suffered, labored and been disciplined to rule and reign forever.
5. An essay on "War in the Old and New Testament Times," by Elder R. L. Woodring
War is defined as a contest between nations and states for territory, destruction and
dominion. The first-born of man. Cain, manifested the spirit of war upon his brother. In the Old
Testament God raised up men and nations to root up and plunder for disobedience to His
War in the New Testament: A sign of the times--wars and rumors of wars- permitted by a Supreme God to fulfill His wrath.
So-called Christendom is honey-combed with scepticism, animosity, rebellion to God- mockers of the last days- ripening for the great slaughter and garner of the great God.
The spirit of war pervades the air- strife and dissatisfaction everywhere- all bound in bundles for the great threshing time to come. It is our duty to pull men out of the fire, and run men out of this dangerous world into the heavenlies- Christ our eternal safety and refuge.
The following essays were recommended to be published in the "Gospel Banner" by the Committee on Publication: "The Minister; His Home and Family," by Elder J. G. Shireman: "War in Old and New Testament Times." by Elder R. L. Woodring, and "Adoption," by Elder E. T. Schick.
RESOLVED, That the next Ministerial Convention be held a day prior to the next Annual Conference, and at the same place.
The members of this Convention tendered a heart vote of thanks, by a rising vote, to the members of the Reading Class for their kindness and hospitality shown them during the Convention session.
An offering amounting to $2.05 was lifted for the labors and expenses of the Secretary.
RESOLVED, That the minutes be published in the "Gospel Banner" and in the Conference Journal.
Closed by prayer by Elder C. H. Brunner.
W. B. MUSSELMAN, Chairman,
H. B. MUSSELMAN, Secretary,
C. H. BRUNNER,
W. G. GEHMAN,
H. B. MUSSELMAN.