This week we have been basking in the fellowship, feasting on the ministry of the word, and singing our hearts out here at the GARBC Annual Conference. It has been sweet. Dan and Wes are with me and I have been praying that God would do in their hearts what He did in my heart when I was their age. My deepest desire for them is that they would desire to devote themselves to life-long allegiance to Jesus Christ and pour themselves out in His service for the rest of their lives.
On a couple of occasions in my youth my parents made major sacrifices in order to expose our family to the fellowship and heritage of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. We tented our way to Kansas City one year. We stayed at a crowded camp ground. Every morning our family emerged from the tent – Scofield Bibles in hand, wearing dress clothes and we were off to the sessions. In the evening we hurried home and jumped in the pool. One day thunder storms knocked down our tent and soaked all of our possessions while we were away for the day at the conference. That was an adventure.
One year my dad and I drove to Winona Lake, Indiana for a day of the conference in our powder-blue VW bug. Dad and I spent the day enjoying the historic conference grounds, the fellowship, the book store, the music and the preaching. I remember Roger Mill’s message that night from 1 Peter on love. I remember what the group from BBC sang that night. There was another teen in the service that night named Ken Pyne. We would not meet for years. The meeting was in the old Billy Sunday Tabernacle with a sawdust floor. Darkness came quietly in during the meeting. We all spilled out onto the lawns in the cool night breeze blowing in off the lake. Dad and I drove home talking all the way about the ministry and the things of the Lord.
My parents were and still are devoted to the ministry of Christ over every other thing. They didn’t spend much money but when they did it was always investing in things of eternal significance. Like the household of Stephanus, they “addicted themselves to the ministry – ” (1 Cor. 16:15 KJV)
I am happy in the service of the King!
Pastor Ken Pierpont
Ankeny, Iowa – Attending the GARBC Annual Conference
June 27, 2008