Every year the Bible Fellowship Church (BFC) denomination convenes to take care of business within the denomination. Once again, we had a wonderful time of fellowship with our fellow pastors from throughout the BFC, October 4-6, 2021. We heard wonderful messages from God’s Word. We were very encouraged as we sang and prayed together. As always, a couple of the highlights of the week were the acceptance of two new churches and the ordination of 9 men into ministry.
Following is a brief update on a few of the most important items that were discussed during our annual conference.
1) The conference received 2 church plants as graduating into particular self-sustaining churches: Orchard Hills BFC, with Pastor Benjamin Triestman in Upper Macungie, PA and Redeemer BFC, with Pastor Scott Wright in Lower Providence, PA.
2) The conference ordained nine new men into the ministry.
3) The conference approved a new study committee to study the issue of women teaching men in the local church and the ramifications of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. The purpose of the study committee is to bring new legislation to the conference as a result of their findings.
4) The conference thanked Dwayne Moyer for a job well done as the director of the Board of Missions and welcomed a new director for the Board of Missions, Jim Arcieri.
5) The conference approved, at first reading, the introduction of a new article on the ministry of the Word, namely preaching. 70% of the conference approved the new proposed Article 18-5. The article is now being sent back to the elder boards of the congregations for 2/3 approval. If approved it will be sent back to conference for a second reading and approval at the next conference. Following is the proposed new article. If you would like to read the entire proposal, rational and scriptural references, it can be found on pages 54-55 in the BFC 2021 report book.
18-5 The ministry of the Word of God through the agency of the Holy Spirit is used by God for the salvation, sanctification, and equipping of His people. The public ministry of the Word within congregational worship must include faithful, Spirit-empowered preaching in which the biblical text(s) is read, explained, and applied so that the meaning of the text(s) is the message of the sermon.
6) The conference approved new legislation at first reading (2 readings are required to be adopted) prohibiting a man who has been convicted of any sexual abuse to be eligible for ordination in the BFC. Furthermore, it was approved that elders, deacons, and all other volunteers who are likely to interact with children be required to undergo background checks and child abuse clearances. You can read about that on page 56-58 in the BFC 2021 report book.
7) The conference welcomed a new director for Victory Valley Camp, Curt Cutler.
8) The conference approved the formation of two study committees to investigate 1) how baptism should be administered to individuals who may be handicapped or incapacitated and unable to be immersed, and 2) whether it is scripturally permissible to allow into the membership of a BFC church an individual who has been previously baptized by a mode of baptism other than immersion.
The Bible Fellowship Church (BFC) is a denomination which I am proud to be a part. The pastors of this denomination are sincerely concerned about the glory of God and upholding the authority of Scripture in all faith and practice. Overall, I believe that the conference was pleasing to the Lord. Please pray for our churches and our denomination. Pray for our directors, David Allen (Executive Director), David Gundrum (Director of Church Extension), Jim Arcieri (Board of Missions), and Curt Cutler (Victory Valley Director). While we may not be the biggest denomination in the world, our goal is to be faithful to the Lord so that He will use us for His glory as He sees fit. It is a joy and honor to be a church in the Bible Fellowship Church!