Report on the 2019 Annual Meeting of the SGBF
Kyle White serves as the pastor of Community Baptist Church of Elmendorf, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio. Great appreciation was shown for his leadership at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship.
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Springfield, MO hosted the SGBF annual meeting this year. Under the leadership of Pastor Gary Long, the host church excelled in caring for all who joined together for our annual meeting. Their preparation and inviting spirit set a proper atmosphere for a rich time of fellowship among all the churches represented.
It was a blessing to see at least sixty per cent of our Fellowship churches represented in the meeting this year. Every member church was named in our Tuesday morning report time, and many good reports were given. We were able to praise the Lord for His kindness to the churches and also intercede on behalf of those who are struggling, one of which is seeking a Pastor. As Paul wrote of the churches of Christ greeting the saints in Rome, so there was a sense of interest among the messengers from the churches for all the churches represented in the Fellowship. This spirit of relationship in Christ between the churches is one of the continuing purposes of the Fellowship.
During our Tuesday business meeting we were reminded that our Fellowship exists to provide a medium for fellowship and mutual encouragement so that such pastors and churches may be edified in love and grace; to cooperate together in the carrying out of the Great Commission in those areas that cannot well be accomplished alone, namely world missions, church planting, and the education of aspiring, God-called ministers; and to assist one another in the maintenance and promotion of sound biblical doctrine and practice… The reports from the churches and missionaries we mutually support encouraged me that we are achieving our purpose.
We took a significant step in adopting the proposed Church Assistance Committee Policy and Procedure Statement. While this statement will not be considered as an amendment to our constitution, it expresses the spirit of our constitution with guidelines for the committee to follow as they assist with requests from our Fellowship churches or groups of believers looking for help to constitute a church. The messengers at the annual meeting voted for Al Garard, John Gormley and Joshua White to function as the Church Assistance Committee.
There was a good spirit of unity among the brethren in our meeting this year. We were able to discuss matters openly and encourage one another in the truths that bind us together, and in the great work we are called by our Savior to accomplish as His churches in this world. Fellowship and mutual encouragement among the pastors of the churches was achieved.
We did not have an assigned theme for the messages delivered in the annual meeting, but God blessed each assigned preacher with messages that were helpful and challenging. There was both doctrinal and practical emphasis that challenged all who were there. Rick Thomis (Grace Baptist of Bull Shoals, AR), Mark Garard (Sovereign Grace Baptist, Enid, OK), Joshua White (Reformed Baptist, Elizabethtown, KY), Luke Suttles (Coweta Particular Baptist, Coweta, GA) and Warner Worthan (Calvary Baptist, Pine Bluff, AR) all handled the Word of God honestly and with impact. I was personally impressed with each of these brothers’ faithfulness in their own churches to preach and teach, while also laboring in secular work to provide for their families. God’s grace is sufficient!
The messengers of the churches elected new officers to serve on the Executive Committee: Al Garard, Great Light Baptist, as Chairman; Ryan Butler, Grace Church of Bull Shoals, as Vice-chairman; Larry Dean, Bridgetown Baptist, as Secretary; and Ron Staley, New Hope Baptist, as Treasurer. I am personally encouraged that we have these men to lead the Fellowship going forward.
We were blessed on Wednesday morning to hear a report from Al Garard regarding an effectual door that has been opened to Great Light Baptist to take a leadership role in Haiti to help put in order already established churches. Brother Al spoke of using Titus as the model for their labors. Please pray for him as he is presently in Haiti for five weeks to work with several men toward the goal of seeing a foundation established for ongoing ministry to the churches in Haiti. If you are interested in participating financially or with gifts of labor, please contact brother Al (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We also heard from Danny Roten, missionary out of Sherwood Baptist (not a Fellowship church) to the Spanish speaking community in Oklahoma City, with continuing ministry to brethren in Mexico and other places through the internet and periodic trips. He is seeking additional support should any of you have a burden to participate with him (email@example.com).
We were blessed to receive a new church into our Fellowship this year: Reformed Baptist Church, Elizabethtown, KY. Brother Joshua White serves as one of two Elders in that church and joins us with an interest to see the Fellowship grow as other churches of like doctrine and vision find out about us. Spread the word and perhaps next year we will be joined by others who are looking for a fellowship of churches to partner with in fulfilling the commission given to us from our risen, sovereign King Jesus.
Should the Lord grant us another year in this world we will gather in September, 2020 in Springfield, MO, at the facilities of Great Light Baptist Church. Brother Al Garard serves as Pastor in this church, along with 2 other Elders.
God will continue to be gracious to His people! May we recognize His blessings and commit ourselves to faithfully fulfill our responsibility under Jesus Christ to shine as lights in this dark world until He comes to take us unto Himself!
My time as Chairman is over, but I plan to support our new Executive Committee in any way I can to encourage the Fellowship in fulfilling our purpose for existing.
Blessed to be in fellowship with you,
Kyle White, Out-going SGBF Chairman