Ohio Baptist Messenger

The Ohio Baptist Messenger is the monthly news publication of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. Visit www.scbo.org to learn more...

23 September VOLUME 71 NO. 9

Forty-five Young Men Accept Christ at CampUCAN By Reginald Hayes, SCBO senior staff

hood is. Throughout CampUCAN the male mentors encouraged young men about being in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. Christian speakers for CampUCAN included Julio Almaza, camp pastor; Jason Thomas, African Amer- ican Church Mobilization strategist, International Mission Board (IMB); Lawrence Funderburke, for- mer NBA player and OSU basketball standout; Doug Worthington, former NFL player and OSU standout;

H. Good, entrepreneur and motiva- tional speaker; and Wendell Tolber, Columbus police officer. The testimony of Camp Pastor Al- maza resonated with the youth as he shared about his life before he met Jesus. Almanza told the group about beginning gang life at nine

Eighty-five urban young men, ages 9-17, experienced CampUCAN and 45 accepted Christ.

God moved in a tremendous way this summer at CampUCAN 2023, a four- day retreat for urban young men, ages 9-17, who are unsaved and unchurched. Of the 85 young men in attendance, 45 of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. In its fifth year, CampUCAN is sponsored by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO) as well as several Ohio Baptist churches. The young men who attend the camp live in female-led, single parent homes in urban communities across Ohio where murder, theft, drugs, and poverty are daily ac- tivities. Throughout the week, twenty-two adult male men- tors spent time with the attendees, teaching them and showing them examples of what godly man-

Twenty-two mentors and speakers shared the Gospel, mentored campers, and provided examples of Christian manhood at CampUCAN.

SPECIAL EDITION: Ray Roberts State Missions Offering

2 | September 2023

Ray Roberts Offering Helps Rowsburg Pastor Plant Two Churches in Eight Years By Stephanie Heading, managing editor

Pastor Mike Feliciano is not your typical church planter. After 35 years in ministry, serving in multiple roles, he is now serving as a church planter.

agnosed Julie with cancer. They decided to stay at Fel- lowship Church. “We needed our church more than ever,” said Felicia- no. “After prayer, treatment, and surgery, God healed my wife.” Despite cancer and the pandemic, the couple still sensed God’s call to plant a church near Ashland. In December 2021, they learned that Rowsburg Lutheran Church was closing. Rowsburg is just seven miles from their target area of Ashland. “Julie grew up in Rows- burg, and we lived there for sixteen years,” he said. “We raised our child in this small town and know the people.” Sensing an open door, Feliciano approached the lead- ership of the Lutheran church, shared his testimony and his desire to plant a church in Rowsburg. Then he asked if they would allow the church plant to meet in their building. They agreed to the request, but eventu- ally took it a step further. “They voted unanimously in April 2022 to give us the building.” The Felicianos attended the closing service of the Lutheran church in July 2022, and during that service the Lutheran congregation collected an offer - ing for Hillside. A couple of months later in Septem- ber 2022, the church plant closed on the property, and Feliciano organized a church planting team of eleven people and got busy renovating the building and intro- ducing Hillside Church to Rowsburg. “We began painting the outside of the building and moved our work inside after colder weather came,” Fe- liciano noted. “We started knocking on doors, witness- ing, and letting people know we were coming. People would regularly stop in, ask questions, and view our progress on the building.”

Julie and Mike Feliciano

In the past eight years, he has started not one, but two new church plants in Ohio. “About twelve years ago God began to stir in my heart about church planting in rural areas,” said Feliciano. He and his wife, Julie, both grew up in small towns and they saw the need for church plants there. “We sensed the need for strong, local, Bible-believing, gospel-preaching churches in these areas. Most people were traveling thirty-plus miles to attend church when they should have a church in which to worship, serve, and reach their neighbors for Christ in their town.” He planted his first church, Fellowship Church, Wel - lington, in January 2015. Today the church is strong, healthy, and self-supporting. “A year before we left, we were able equip and send out church planters, Jeff and Jennifer Osberg, to plant a church in Wooster,” he said. His second church plant, Hillside Church, Rowsburg, is a five-month-old church that already has a rich story to tell. While the church launched in March 2023, its history goes back to 2020. “We sensed God leading us away from Fellowship to start a new church in the Ashland area. In 2020 we began to pray to confirm this call.” However, with the COVID pandemic raging, they felt it was just not God’s timing. Fellowship Church needed its pastor. But as the pandemic started to wane, they still sensed God’s leading. Then, in March 2021, the Felicianos suffered an unexpected blow -- doctors di -

People from Hillside Church in Rowsburg painted and rehabilitated their building which was given to them by a Lutheran church that closed.

September 2023 | 3

In December 2022, Hillside held a pre-launch service and 51 people came. Fifty-six people attended the launch of Hillside Church on March 15, 2023. “Each week we saw more visitors come and stay,” said Feli- ciano. Attendance continued to climb through the spring with 80 people in Good Friday service and 91 in attendance on Easter. “We have seen one person come to Christ. We have been averaging between 70-75 in our worship services, 17 people in weekly discipleship, and 25 vol- unteers who serve in a weekly rotation.”

Ray Roberts State Missions Offering: Rowsburg Pastor Plants Two Churches................2 Ray Roberts Legacy.......4 Ray Roberts Offering Goes International.........5 Ray Roberts Offering Helps in Local Disasters........................6 CampUCAN Continued ..........7 Regional Ministries Hub........8 Catalyst Connection............10 President’s Pen....................11 SCBO Upcoming Events.......12 SCBO New Hire.....................14 Church Revitalization...........15 Featured This Month

Five months later, Hillside Church is thriving. Feliciano says attendance is growing and soon they will have to set up chairs to accommodate the increasing crowd in the sanctuary. Throughout the process of planting Hillside Church, Feliciano has seen the benefits of working in cooper - ation SBC entities, such as Send Network Ohio, the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO), Cleve- land Hope Association, and partner churches such as Fellowship Church, Wellington, Dublin Baptist Church, and Cuyahoga Valley Church. Hillside Church was also the recipient of funds from the Ray Roberts State Mission Offering which helped the church purchase new entry doors, as well as sound and video equipment. “We have received encouraging cards and letters from people and churches around the state and across the country who are praying for us. Prayer is the key,” said Feliciano. “We are blessed by God and by the coop- erative efforts of our SBC family across the country. God is doing great things in a small town because He is faithful and so are His people.” Over 100 people came to the Community Cook-out at Hillside Church, Rowsburg. The church plant is almost six months old. Mike Feliciano is the pastor.

4 | September 2023

The Legacy of Ray Roberts In July 1952, Ray Roberts arrived in Ohio to plant church- es as a missionary for the Home Mission Board, Kentucky Bap- tist Convention, and White-Water Baptist Association. Fifty-six years later, in 2008, the Lord called me to Ohio to plant a church. As a church planter, I bene- fited from something that Ray Roberts did not have -- the Ray Roberts State Mission Offering. Ray Roberts Since Dr. Roberts’ retirement in 1979, the Ray Robert State Missions Offering has impacted multiple SCBO ministries. Currently, many of our current church plant- ers will benefit from the ministry impact of Ray Roberts and the multiplication implications of this offering. Dr. Ray Roberts, a native of North Carolina, first visited Ohio in 1951. In July of 1952, Dr. Roberts began serv- ing as a missionary here. On January 8, 1954, the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio was organized under Dr. Roberts’ supervision - with thirty-nine churches representing ten thousand members. Roberts served the SCBO as Executive Secretary for twenty-five years, during which time the convention grew to include four- teen associations and 449 churches.

Churches and individuals can contribute financially to state missions any time, but one week in September is set aside each year to emphasize the importance of mission work in Ohio. This year, we will set aside September 17-24, for our week of prayer and offering emphasis. Many churches around the state will take this opportunity to join in prayer, to share stories and testimonies of God and His continued work in Ohio, and to collect financial gifts in support of the Ray Rob - erts Offering. We have a special page on our SCBO website dedi- cated to the mission and vision of the offering. You can visit www.scbo.org/rayroberts to watch video testimo- nies, download the official prayer guide, and give on - line if you choose to do so. This year, the offering will be split 50-50 between Disaster Relief and our Church Planting/Replanting/Revitalization efforts here in the Buckeye State. Thank you in advance for your faithful prayer and fi - nancial support to the 2023 Ray Roberts State Mis- sions Offering! Moving Forward,

Dr. Jeremy Westbrook Executive Director-Treasurer, SCBO

Visit www.scbo.org/rayroberts for additional resources.

September 2023 | 5

Ray Roberts State Missions Offering Goes International By John Heading, Ohio Southern Baptist Disaster Relief director

The Ray Roberts State Missions Offering was named in honor of Dr. Ray Roberts who came to Ohio in 1952 to plant churches. He also helped form the State Con- vention of Baptists in Ohio and led SCBO as Executive Director-Treasurer for 25 years. Seventy-one years later, Dr. Roberts’ impact is being felt outside Ohio as Ohio Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (OSBDR) travels around the world to minister to those affected by disasters, bringing help, hope, and healing. Since 2022 OSBDR has been one of the recipients of the Ray Roberts State Missions Offering. That funding supports disaster response in Ohio, but now it goes so much further. OSBDR covers disaster response and requests from IMB personnel in Western Europe. So far in 2023 Ohio has responded to requests in Hungary and Greece. In Budapest, Hungary, IMB Missionary Trey Atkins re- quested assistance with a remodel project--adding a kitchen to the building they are using to have church and to minister to Ukrainian refugees. A team of five led by Terry Taylor, Chillicothe BC, worked on drywall, wiring and anything else that needed to be done. It may not seem very glamorous to do these types of repairs, but it does make a difference. “I do want to express how grateful we are to you and the team,” said Atkins. “The team was a huge encour- agement to us in so many ways. Of course, we ap- preciated their hard work with our renovation project, but it went way beyond that. Every guy on the team showed genuine interest in our work and in the city we live in.” Noting that often missionaries in Europe can feel somewhat forgotten, Atkins appreciated interacting with the OSBDR team. “These guys reminded us that

God always sees us and sometimes He will send a group of men across the ocean to help us and to re- mind us through them how much He cares of us and our service. A colleague here said, ‘It feels great to be seen,’ and I feel loved and appreciated. The trip, in our eyes, was a huge blessing in so many ways.” Budapest was just the beginning of the work of the international arm of OSBDR. Another call came in from IMB missionary Jimmy Parris in Athens, Greece. Their need was to create a community center to reach out to people caught in human trafficking, residents without Christ, and refugees from Africa and Asia. A team of four volunteers traveled to Greece to install electrical and plumbing in the community center. In addition to OSBDR volunteers, in-country volun- teers are crucial to the effectiveness of any interna - tional outreach. One such local volunteer is a major driving force for the community center in Athens -- his name is Kostas. When Kostas was in the Greek military he got into trouble. He faced a court martial from the military and jail time, but during his court hearing God intervened. The prosecutor had been very harsh with the other defendants, but when he got to Kostas, something changed. He said, “You are guilty, but you will not be punished. Go and don’t do it again.” From that expe- rience Kostas learned what it meant to be saved. He accepted Christ soon after and has committed his life to the Lord and serving with IMB missionary Jimmy Parris in the Athens center. The Ray Roberts State Missions Offering made it pos - sible for OSBDR to get involved in international disas- ter response. This offering has been a game-changer. Thank you for giving to The Ray Roberts State Mis- sions Offering. Your gifts enable OSBDR to deploy to “the uttermost parts of the world.” David Bonnell, University, Beavercreek, interacts with young boy in Athens, Greece, during an OSBDR construction trip.

Four OSBDR members worked on a construction project in Athens, Greece.

6 | September 2023

It’s Not Always About the Big Show By John Heading, Ohio Southern Baptist Disaster Relief director

When people hear the word “disaster,” they usually think of large storms or calamities that impact thou- sands of people such as Hurricane Katrina; Mayfield tornadoes; and Maui wildfires. With big disasters there is an awareness of the dev- astation due to 24-hour media saturation, and peo- ple can’t help but be touched by what they see. The large events generate millions of dollars in donations, and people feel compelled to donate, collect items to send, and go to help. But what about the small disasters? Ohio Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (OSBDR) has determined to respond to major disasters, but also to respond to those single resident events that are a di- saster for the homeowner. The jobs may seem small in comparison, but they are huge for those affected. Downed tree in Beavercreek Early this year, OSBDR responded to a downed tree at the home of a high school teacher who is a single mom of three. The tree was in a difficult and danger - ous position, and she had no way to remove it. An OSBDR chainsaw crew from Urbancrest BC, Leba- non, removed the tree in less than three hours. The homeowner was thrilled and shared the expe- rience with her friends. She said she was telling her friends about OSBDR cutting down her tree and the friend commented, “But does he know you are not Southern Baptist?” The homeowner replied, “Yes. They don’t care if I’m Southern Baptist or not.” Tornado Damage in Middletown

called to ask if there was any way we would help one homeowner. The answer, of course, was “Yes.” A chain saw team led by Dale Patterson, Westerville Baptist Church, spent an entire day removing man- gled trees from the property. The homeowner thanked OSBDR for the work and said she couldn’t believe how much debris the team had been able to remove. Historic Tree Removal in Zanesville An historic tree blew down in Zanesville in April 2023. The tree was on the historic registry as the oldest and biggest sugar maple tree in Muskingum County. Jeff Jadwin, the Muskingum County emergency manager, called and asked if there was anything we could do with a twenty-five-ton tree that had fallen into the bed -

OSBDR volunteers work to remove a twenty-five-ton tree from a home in Zanesville.

room of the homeowner, who was in bed when the tree fell. OSBDR agreed to try to remove the tree. The homeowner didn’t have insurance, but he still wanted to retrieve his possessions from the home. This job required the rental of a manlift and a heavy-duty sky track. The homeowner was so grateful at the end of the day. He said, “I’m so happy for the work that was completed today. OSBDR does everything to help you out.” While the team was working to remove the tree, OSB- DR Chaplain Larry Randolph had the opportunity to speak with a neighbor who asked what the team was doing. Randolph shared about OSBDR and then he shared Jesus. By the end of the conversation the lady prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior. OSBDR exists to bring help, hope, and healing. Fund- ing from The Ray Roberts State Missions Offering helps provide the means to spread the Gospel in di- sasters, both big and small.

OSBDR chainsaw team cleared the damage from a tornado in Middletown.

In early March, several tornados hit southwestern Ohio. One swept through Middletown where a couple homes sustained minor damage and one home took a direct hit. The Butler County Emergency Manager

September 2023 | 7

CampUCAN Continued...

years old, being a gang member with the Mex- ican drug cartel, selling drugs, shooting rival gang members, being promoted to the highest ranks of the cartel, and being locked up in prison for many years. “After living the kind of life that many thought would send me to jail for life or six feet under, God changed my life and saved me,” said Al- maza. “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest sinner. But I received mercy.” Twenty-three young men accepted Christ after Almaza’s testimony and twenty-two accepted Christ the next evening after worship service. Everyone in attendance was overjoyed and praising God for his moving in the lives of these young men. “CampUCAN is an amazing tool that God has given Ohio Baptists to reach inner city youth from various cities,” said Jason Thomas, African American church mobilization strategist, Interna- tional Mission Board. “It is so important to invest in the next generation and this camp provides a space where youth can explore faith, experience community, and receive transformation through the Word of God. “I was blessed to share how God could change the trajectory of their lives just through their obe- dience of attending CampUCAN. I pray that God gets all the glory through many of the salvation stories we will hear from the past, present, and future years to come.”

8 | September 2023

SCBO REGIONAL “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 With the new season, we lift the students going back to school in the Northwest Region and across our great state. Churches in our area are partnering with “Keep Watch” as we go into the schools to pray for students and teachers. Our churches are also helping with backpack drives to bless the less fortunate and let students know Jesus loves them deeply. We pray for our thousands of students returning to elementary schools and high schools. This is also the time of year where we spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours reaching out to our college students at BGSU and the University of Toledo. H2O churches are also Matt Pardi - Northwest



reaching out to campuses all over the state. In Bowling Green and Toledo, we have water bottles, highlighters, pens, cups, and t-shirts to welcome college students and let them know there are Jesus followers on these campuses. Please pray for all the H2O churches and campus ministries around our state. In addition to this, Global Connections in Bowling Green and Wellspring in Toledo with Wes Blood will be reaching out to hundreds of international students coming to our campuses. Pray that those who love the Lord will keep their faith and get into fellowship. Pray for those that don’t know Jesus yet, that the Gospel would change their trajectory for life. It is an important season to reach young people coming into our schools!

I hope your summer of ministry was amazing like mine was. I had the opportunity to be a part of student and kid’s camps, Super Summer, VBS, mission trip to southeast Asia, and vacation time with the family. As we move into fall, and everyone settles back into a routine I do hope you will take time to get alone with God. It might be one day or even just an afternoon but let me encourage you (and myself) to not to lose intimacy with God amidst the business of serving Him. There are important events coming up in the West Region that I do want you to consider. On October 11, the Overseer Conference will equip pastors/elders/overseers to better serve Jesus and the church. Then on October 26, we will have Dr. Bill Elliff come and lead a seminar on revival and prayer. Make plans now to be a part. Chad Keck - West

Reagan Wagoner - Southwest

It’s almost time for the Southwest Ohio Leaders Conference, “Leaders Raise up Leaders,” on September 7! We are praying you spend the day with your staff and volunteers attending breakouts for children’s ministry, student ministry, tech/worship, women’s leadership, and more! We will even have a track for business leaders who desire to maximize their work life for the Kingdom! Dean Fulks, lead pastor, LifePoint, Columbus; Dr. Thomas White, president, Cedarville University; and Trevin Wax, vice president of resources/research, NAMB, as well as 18+

breakout speakers will be at FBC Kettering. Don’t miss this day with us! Registration and more info at www.swohioleaders.com. The cost is just $20 for the day and is buy one get one free if you bring somebody with you. The cost at the door is $25. I am looking forward to connecting with leaders from all over Southwest Ohio! I also want to encourage you to save the date for three additional times to get together in Cincinnati this fall! On October Southwest Region pastors and families enjoyed the King and Country concert at Great American Ballpark.

12, our region is hosting a Prayer Gathering with Bill Elliff at East River Road Baptist from 9 am-2 pm. On October 16, GracePoint Fellowship is sponsoring a Financial Q & A with a CPA Lunch from 11:30 am-1 pm. On November 13, join us for a Missional Engagement Lunch at Lakota Hills Church from 11:30 am -1 pm. These events will be free through support from SCBO and Send Network Ohio. Registration will begin after September 7! Finally, I’m thankful so many churches came out to worship the Lord at the King and Country Concert at Great American Ballpark!

King and Country concert at Great American Ballpark.

September 2023 | 9





Stephen Owens - Northeast

Hey Northeast Region family. Fall is approaching, kids are back in school, and football sea- son is in full swing. During this time, our church members are adjusting their lives after the summer season and thinking about their priorities. This is the natural cycle of many during this season, and it’s a good time to remind them of the importance and priority of growing in the faith. Recently, I watched an episode of “Rainer on Leadership” entitled, “Five Reasons a Healthy Growing Church Must Teach the Essentials of Christianity.” The episode reminded me of the importance of helping church members become grounded in their faith.

Two of the five reasons resonated with me. The first one was, “Many church members do not know or believe the basics of the Christian faith.” This is consistent with an article in “Christianity Today” in April 2022, which says, “Only ten percent of Americans report daily Bible reading.” If people aren’t reading the Bible, how can they know the essential beliefs of the faith? And if they don’t know the essentials, how can they believe them?

Read the full story in this months Catalyst Connection on page 10...

Rick Williams - Central Greetings to all the churches and leaders of Central Ohio!

Last month, I participated in the 17th Annual Strategic Church Network Golf Outing at Safari Golf Club in Powell. It was a wonderful opportunity to build relationships and network with church leaders in the Central Ohio Region. A big congratulations to Jeff Beisel, pastor, Maranatha Church, and his team for taking home first place! I’m especially grateful to Dr. Rich Halcombe for his leadership and encouragement in establishing this great event. Congratulations to Dr. Rich on the recent release of his book, “The Leadership Strategy of Jesus.” I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to lead like Jesus!

Let me encourage pastors to attend AMPLIFY Preaching Conference on Thursday, October 5, from 9 am - 3 pm at Violet Baptist Church, Pickerington. This year our theme is “Empowered Preaching.” You will hear and learn from Professor Chuck Lawless and experienced central Ohio pastors John Hays and Dave Earley on the power of prayer and passion in your preaching. Participate in breakout sessions on contemporary topics and receive free resources and ideas. Enjoy lunch and fellowship with other pastors. Make a lasting difference in your ministry by attending the AMPLIFY conference - because your preaching matters! You can register for this event at: https://scbo.org/event/amplify-preaching-conference

Josh Remy - Southeast

Thanks to all the Southeast Region pastors who took the time to attend Loving and Leading the Local Church. We had a great time and hope participants came away with ideas for continuing to revitalize their churches, but even more than that we hope they came away with a renewed sense of possibility and excitement about what God is doing in their context. Thanks for being open to what God is going to do through you!

The end of summer means back to school, which also means that annual shift to a more regular ministry schedule. However, you might be trying something new this year, or you are reaching out to students or teachers or parents in a different way. If you have big plans for an outreach event or project and need financial help, we may have the answer for you. Please contact me and let’s begin discussion on an evangelism grant to help make your project happen.

10 | September 2023

Catalyst Connection By Stephen Owens, Northeast Region catalyst Hey Northeast Region family. Fall is approaching, kids are back in school, and football season is in full swing. During this time, our church members are adjusting their lives after the summer season and thinking about their priorities. This is the natural cycle of many during this season, and it’s a good time to remind them of the importance and priority of growing in the faith.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All au- thority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” We must disciple people with the Bible, so they see that the half-truths of culture are deceitful. First, we can encourage church members to do a daily Bible reading plan. We can do this as a church body with the congregation reading the same passages together or encouraging people to pick a plan they are interested in and do it individually. Second, offer a class on the essentials of the faith in a Sunday school or Bible study class. It would be helpful to offer this class yearly or every other year so new members learn the essential beliefs and other mem- bers are reminded of them. This fall let’s help our church members reprioritize their lives around King Jesus and His Word, the Bible. And to do this, we must help people read the Bible and learn the essentials of the Christian faith. If I can be of assistance, feel free to reach out. (sowens@scbo.org) I would appreciate the opportunity to sit down and fel- lowship with you. God bless. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/april/ state-of-bible-reading-decline-report-26-million.html

Recently, I watched an episode of “Rainer on Lead- ership” entitled, “Five Reasons a Healthy Growing Church Must Teach the Essentials of Christianity.” The episode reminded me of the importance of helping church members become grounded in their faith. Two of the five reasons resonated with me. The first one was, “Many church members do not know or believe the basics of the Christian faith.” This is con- sistent with an article in “Christianity Today” in April 2022, which says, “Only ten percent of Americans re- port daily Bible reading.” If people aren’t reading the Bible, how can they know the essential beliefs of the faith? And if they don’t know the essentials, how can they believe them? The second reason was “Culture teaches many half- truths that are not truth at all.” Because people aren’t reading the Bible, they aren’t renewing their minds with the Word of God. Therefore, many people who attend church still believe the half-truths taught by the cul- ture. This is why we must continually remind ourselves to be committed to and obey the Great Commission.

Reaching every child in every city by providing Christ-centered services to



September 2023 | 11

President’s Pen

by Dr. Ray Umphrey

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus reveals his promise to build his church. This is the first mention of the Greek word “ekklesia” (church) in the New Testament, and it comes with a promise from Jesus that Satan and death will not prevail against it. This is why, as a state convention, we desire to come alongside pastors and churches. We want to see Christ build his church in Ohio and this is why we invest in planting and revitalization. We would love to hear the story of what the Lord is doing in your church and how we can come alongside and help. I’ve been so encouraged by the response to Loving and Leading the Local Church. I truly believe that there is a great need for tools and resources to help established churches rediscover and realize their mission. I’m thankful for the leadership of Dr. Westbrook in investing in revitalization and for the work of Mark Jones in re- sourcing our churches for revitalization. We are just two months away from our Pastor’s Conference and Annual Celebration at Genoa Baptist Church! Mark your calendar for November 6-7, and join us for two great days of encouragement and celebration of what God is doing in Ohio. Our Pastor’s Conference speakers, Hershael York and Mark Dever, will encourage us Monday evening. We will be blessed both days with worship led by Chosen Road. Don’t miss this opportu- nity to gather with our SCBO family! I’d love to know how our state convention can serve you and your church. You can reach me at president@ scbo.org.

Your partner in the gospel,

Dr. Ray A. Umphrey SCBO President president@scbo.org

12 | September 2023


SCBO Women’s Conference Set for October 21 at Lifepoint Church in Delaware By Jennifer Westbrook Calling all pastor’s wives, staff wives, and women in ministry.

Mark your calendar now for the SCBO Women’s Con- ference on Saturday, October 21, at Lifepoint Church, Delaware Campus, from 11 am - 2 pm. If you are a pastor’s wife, staff wife, or a woman in ministry, then this event is for you–you do not want to miss it! The featured guest for this event is Lynley Mandrell, wife of Ben Mandrell, the CEO of Lifeway. Lynley has served as a pastor’s wife and church staff member, as well as church planter with her husband. She also co-hosts the podcast, “The Glass House,” with her husband. This podcast reaches pastors and pastor’s wives across the country offering encouragement and support for ministry couples. This event is planned with you in mind and will feature time to build community with other women in minis- try, encouragement for you in your ministry, and, of course, free gifts. Lunch is also provided.

Make plans now to attend this event. Please come dressed comfortably and casually for this fun and relaxing time! For more information and registration, please visit www.scbo.org/womens-celebration

September 2023 | 13


New Pastor Staff Orientation Set for September 26 in Columbus By Stephanie Heading, managing editor

how SCBO supports your ministry and church. In addi- tion to learning about SCBO, we’d like the opportunity to get to know new pastors and staff as they labor with us to reach Ohio for Christ. “If you are a new pastor or staff member here in the Buckeye State, then we would love to meet you,” said Dr. Jeremy Westbrook, SCBO executive director-trea- surer. “Please make plans to join us as we share how our team, and our resources can come alongside you to help reach Ohio for Christ.” Registration for the New Pastor Staff Orientation is now open, but space is limited to the first 25 registrants. To register or for more information visit www.scbo.org/ NPSO

New pastors or staff hired since September 22, 2022, are invited to join us for a New Pastor Staff Orientation on Tuesday, September 26, from 10 am - 3 pm at the State Convention of Baptists (SCBO) office at 9000 An - tares, Columbus. Lunch is provided and all attendees will receive a gift. During orientation, participants will have an opportu- nity to interact with SCBO staff and learn more about

Seeking His Face: Regional Prayer Gatherings with Bill Elliff

God is moving around our state and nation. How can we join Him? We invite pastors and prayer leaders to four prayer gatherings as we cry out for God’s manifest presence across Ohio and beyond. Bill Elliff, founding and National Engage Pastor of The Summit Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, will lead the Prayer Gathering. Elliff serves as the Pastor/Church Director for OneCry! A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening. He is also a national leader for the 6:4 Fel- lowship. Drawing from more than 50 years of pastoral and re- vival ministry, Elliff’s passion is to see genuine revival and methodological renewal in the church, which he

refers to as “both new wine and new wineskins.” He is the author of sixteen books, a frequent conference speaker, writer, prayer and revival leader, and church consultant. His most recent book is “Reflections on Spiritual Awakening: Insights from the Asbury Awak- ening and Beyond.” “Our nation desperately needs a movement of God and the acceleration of believing prayer. Join us as we unite in a prayer experience that could lead to united prayer across the state.” —Bill Elliff To register or for more information visit https://www. scbo.org/event/regional-prayer-gatherings

14 | September 2023

You’re invited to Ohio March for Life on October 6th

Join us for the 2023 Ohio March for Life at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Friday, October 6, from 10 am to 1 pm. The pre-rally worship concert begins at 10:00 a.m., the rally starts at 11:00 a.m., and the official march begins at noon. Center for Christian Virtue (CCV) is partnering with the March for Life Education and Defense Fund to host the Ohio March for Life. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone to learn about the principles of effective lobbying, the specific and current issues Ohio is facing, and what you can do right now to champion pro-life policies to your Ohio elected representatives. This rally and march are suited for all levels of experience and comfort with advocacy. Rally with your family, friends, church, school—whatever communities you belong to—and unite the voices of Ohioans to celebrate and support the unborn. It is not too early to start planning! Let your church know that in October, pro-life Ohioans from across the state will gather at the Statehouse to worship together, hear from inspirational speakers, receive resources on how best to assist women, children, and families, and

march through the streets of downtown Columbus to let the abortion industry know that we will not be silent. Together, we can make abortion unthinkable in Ohio! Registration is not necessary to attend, but it is strongly recommended—especially if you want to receive updates on the event. To register, click here REGISTER NOW! or for more information, contact CCV at 513-733-5775 or contact@ ccv.org.

SCBO Hires Additional Part-time Ministry Assistant By Stephanie Heading, managing editor

The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO) re- cently welcomed a new ministry assistant to the team. Daniel Chim, member of Briggs Road Baptist Church, began work in July. “I will be helping the state cata- lysts plan and gather information for their events,” said Chim. “I will also be assisting Send Network Ohio.” Chim has an outreach and evangelistic approach to ministries, and he is hoping to help equip SCBO churches as they do outreach. “I want to connect Ohio churches to resources, so they are able to serve the Lord and impact their communities.” Currently, Chim is serving SCBO part-time, but he hopes to expand his position. “I would like to invest more time helping the churches of Ohio,” he said. “My time outside of SCBO is with Drive ministry which is run by 58 Partners and GOSH Enterprises.” “SCBO is thrilled to introduce Mr. Daniel Chim as the latest addition to our team,” said Katrina Umphrey, SCBO director of operations. “With a rich background in ministry and his strong logistical and analytical acu- men, Daniel is set to invigorate our team’s capabilities

Daniel Chim

and propel us toward our goals with renewed vigor. In an exciting collaboration, Daniel will be working closely with our state catalysts, fostering synergy that promises to amplify our collective impact.”

September 2023 | 15

Revitalize Ohio: E.A.R.F.A.R.M.R. By Mark Jones, SCBO revitalization consultant The past few months, I have shared the approach that I take in church health / revitalization using the acronym E.A.R.F.A.R.M.R.

that is thriving can marry an established congre- gation and leave rented facilities for church-owned facilities. The declining congregation submits to the healthier. Sometimes this can be a replant as well. R - repurpose . When a congregation declines to a point that the only viable option is to sell the facility or transition it to a ministry center. At this point, the Ohio Baptist Foundation can assist in the process. In all of this, I hope you can see the beauty of co- operation between congregations, associations, regional coordinators, state convention, and SEND Network Ohio. Many churches simply need encour- agement and assessment to begin the journey to regain health. However, others may need to enter a fostering agreement and beyond to move forward. Check out the revitalization page - www.SCBO. org/revitalize. The September 8-9, Healthy Church - Form and Function Seminar with Dr. Ken Lowe at Freedom Hill has been canceled and may be re- scheduled.

In a previous article, I shared E.A.R.F.A. which stands for E -ncouragement, A -ssessing and R -evitalization options. Last month, we discussed the F -ostering and A -doption options. In this article, I will share the R.M.R. options available. R - replanting . This is where the declining church realizes it has few months /years left to survive and must make immediate changes to become vi- tal again. In this sense, the church must die to live again. The struggling church surrenders everything in the church to a healthier congregation. The goal is finding a qualified re-planter to restart fresh work. At this point, SEND Network Ohio catalysts will assist in seeing this through. M - marry/merge. When a healthier congregation in the same or similar community assists the declining congregation, it may be healthiest to become one congregation and forfeit /sell a property for great- er Kingdom impact. Often a newly planted church

16 | September 2023

Job Postings

SENIOR PASTOR, Lighthouse Baptist Church, Vincent Lighthouse Baptist Church (LBC), a Southern Baptist church located in rural southeastern Ohio, is seeking a man to serve as full-time senior pastor. The ideal candidate will lead and equip through worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, and mission-minded efforts. Both supporting and participating in missions ranging from local to international, LBC seeks to reach, disciple, and minister to its community. In preparation for the search for a Senior Pastor, LBC nominated and formed a Transitional Focus Team who identified both the strengths of LBC and the challenges to overcome. The church body is invested in and fervently praying for the man and his family whom God is calling to become LBC’s next under- shepherd. To learn more about LBC, visit www.lbchurch.com. To apply, please email your documents to search@lbchurch.com. PASTOR, Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Amherst Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Amherst, is prayerfully seeking a pastor who will be in the instrumental role of teaching and expository preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word and shepherding the church family at GSBC. He will lead the development and implementation of a strategic vision, along with the congregation, for the future of the church. He is to be engaged in pastoral care, providing supervisory and administrative leadership in all areas of congregational care including paid and volunteer staff. For a full job description or to apply, please contact Chris Jordan at cmjordanranch@frontier.com

WORSHIP PASTOR/DIRECTOR, Dayton Avenue Baptist Church, Xenia, Ohio The Worship Director/Pastor will oversee the corporate worship of Dayton Avenue Baptist Church by selecting music, Scripture, and creative visual elements to help facilitate spiritually engaging and God-exalting worship experiences. The Worship Pastor/Director will shoulder the responsibility of communicating with and coordinating volunteers (praise team and chorus members, instrumental musicians, A/V teams) as well as any other elements necessary to produce corporate worship events. See full job description here. Interested applicants should contact info@daytonave.org.

SENIOR PASTOR, Tiffin Baptist Church, Tiffin Tiffin Baptist Church is looking for a full-time senior pastor. Please send all resumes to Dianna Distel, grace@gracetiffin.org , or Grace Baptist Church, 161 North State Route101, Tiffin, Ohio 44883.

Let the Ohio Baptist Messenger help your church find a new pastor or staff member! The Messenger is offering classified ads free of charge for Ohio churches searching for new pastors and staff members. The Messenger is read by churches and individuals in Ohio and across the country. To submit a classified ad, please send brief information about the position along with a return phone number or email: classifieds@scbo.org

What is the Lord doing in your church or ministry? -- Tell us your story --

Published monthly by The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio for members of Southern Baptist churches in Ohio.

The Ohio Baptist Messenger is a monthly publication highlighting what the Lord is doing in SCBO churches or ministries, and we need your help! Tell us your story and we could feature it in an upcoming issue of The Messenger . Please submit your stories to messenger@scbo.org. For more information, please contact Stephanie Heading at messenger@scbo.org.

9000 Antares Ave Columbus, Ohio 43240

Jeremy Westbrook | Editor-in-Chief | www.scbo.org

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