I am thrilled by your desire to express your commitment to Family Bible Church through membership. It gave me great joy to join many of you in our reciting our membership covenant together on February 12. For those of you who were unable to be present that day, the next opportunity to enter membership will be at our service on Sunday, March 4. If you would like to join us in membership on that day please contact us and let our leadership team know of your interest if you have not already done so. Someone from our leadership team will contact you before the 4th with further instructions.
We will be holding our first members meeting on March 4th after the service, beginning about 10:40. It will be brief, but important. There are a few matters that we will need our membership to vote on. Some of these decisions require a quorum of 2/3 of our eligible members for us to take a vote so we really need as many of you as possible to be present. All members 18 and older are eligible to vote. We will provide something for the kids during the meeting so both parents can attend.
I want to let you know what these decisions are in advance of the meeting so you can be praying about them.
First, we will vote to adopt the By-Laws I sent for your review. They are available here if you would like to examine them further.
Second, we will vote to approve a budget for 2012. I thought it prudent not to post our budget in this message because doing so would also make it available on our website for the general public. But I will be happy to send it via email to any of you who wish to examine it in advance. Please use the contact us message box to let me know you would like a copy in advance. Jim McDonald will have copies for everyone at the meeting and will briefly walk through our budget before we vote on its approval.
Third, we will be voting to install our first elders. Our By-Laws set forth a process by which we will install future elders. But that process assumes we already have elders who will examine future candidates for elder. I believe our initial circumstances allow for us to use a more streamlined process to install our first elders.
I have been meeting, praying and working with a few men for about nine months now who have guided me in getting Family Bible Church up and running. I have observed their character for much longer than that and I find them above reproach though not without sin. I am especially encouraged by their commitment to prayer and I believe they meet the requirements of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. I trust them and I believe they are worthy of your trust as well. I would like to tell you a bit about each of these men.
You have probably seen or met Floyd Turner back at the sound table in our Sunday services. When he is not running our soundboard Floyd serves as the President and General Manager of Thy Word Network Christian Radio Network. Floyd came to know Christ as his Savior at the age of 9 at church camp. As a young adult, he felt called to full-time Christian ministry, and graduated from a Christian university. He spent 5 years at a church leading the music program and the K-8 school. During this time, he got involved in building a Christian radio station, and has pursued this full time since 1990, when he moved to the Evansville area. Floyd was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1984, and served a number of years as an elder in a church prior to coming to Family Bible Church. He and his wife Susan have been married for 38 years and they have one son, Bill.
Jim McDonald is a banker by profession, but he has farming and agriculture in his blood. He has been a banker for 20 years and is currently Senior Vice President of First National Bank of Carmi. But his family has been farming the same land in St. Wendel since 1829. His children are the 7th generation to live there. Though his brother now farms the land, Jim still enjoys raising and showing pigs and cattle with his son, Ivan now a student at Reitz High School. His daughter, Molly, will soon graduate from USI with a degree in social work. Jim has been married to his wife Carolyn for 25 years. Carolyn is a nurse practitioner. Jim called on Jesus to be his Savior in 1980 at a church revival. He grew in Christ so that he was called to serve Him as a deacon, elder and Clerk of the Session in the Presbyterian Church. His favorite Scripture verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9 where our Lord reminds Paul that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect through weakness.”
Dan Grimm Jr. was raised in a Christian family and cannot remember a time when he did not believe Christ was his Savior. His family attended a Methodist Church where he remembers confessing his faith in Christ and affirming his desire to be counted among his people through confirmation. He was later baptized as an adult with his wife Ellen, to whom he has been married for 21 years. Dan and Ellen have 4 children, Daniel and John who attend Evansville Day School, Mary Beth, a student at North Junior High and Anne, who goes to Evansville Christian School. Dan has served in a variety of capacities in the church and community. Along with Ellen, Dan has held leadership positions in discipling middle school and high school students for several years. He is currently serving on the boards of the Evansville Rescue Mission and Gather Network, a local missions organization. 2 Corinthians 5:21 is especially precious to Dan: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It occurrs to me even as I write this: I’ve been working at the same table with men from Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist backgrounds! It is a wonder that we can agree on anything! Actually, our denominational backgrounds rarely comes up in our discussions. Our common treasure in Christ far outweighs any such differences and gives us a profound sense of unity. My love for these men has grown as we have prayed and worked together. I am glad to present them to you for your consideration as elders. If you are aware of something concerning any of these men that gives you hesitation in electing any of them as one of your elders, I would like to know about it so that through discussion and if needed, repentance, your trust in them might be obtained before presenting them for a vote.
One of our members suggested that we pray and even fast before making such weighty decisions as installing elders. This was Paul’s practice in appointing elders according to Acts 14:23 and I believe it is appropriate for us as well. You can pick any day(s) you like, but I plan to fast on Friday this week and next before our meeting on March 4. I will eat breakfast, and then skip lunch and dinner both days, though I will drink plenty of fluids. My growling stomach will prompt me to pray for our decision concerning these men. Let’s bring all of these decisions before the Lord in prayer together.
See you Sunday,