By John Greening
If you are highly observant, you will notice two new advertisers in this issue of the Baptist Bulletin: Cedarville University and Bob Jones University. These schools have joined our host of advertisers, to whom we are grateful for making it possible to publish our magazine.
Initially, representatives from both schools approached me with the request to advertise in the magazine and exhibit at the association’s annual conference. I enjoyed ongoing conversations with these school leaders, which led to further conversations with the Council of Eighteen in which they formally presented their requests.
In accordance with our advertising policy, both Cedarville University and Bob Jones University unhesitatingly agree with the GARBC’s doctrinal and mission statements. Our policy asks schools to affirm historic Baptist theology as well. Cedarville University publicly identifies itself as a Baptist institution. Bob Jones University, while not labeling itself a Baptist school, openly affirms historic (regular) Baptist doctrine. Many BJU administrators and faculty members are Baptist by conviction and membership. Many pastors in our fellowship have attended BJU. The school unashamedly stands for truth.
I have a sincere respect for Dr. Thomas White, president of Cedarville University. Over a period of three years, he has been kind to visit extensively with me, the Council of Eighteen policy committee, and the full Council. He has humbly stated, “You can ask me anything you want.” His answers have always been straightforward. The stand he has taken and the decisions he has made in his leadership role deserve commendation and support. He has positioned the school again on its heritage and values. We are pleased to renew a friendship with this institution.
Several years ago, the association discontinued a formal approval system of institutions. By not sustaining the perception that the approved schools were “our schools,” we have had the opportunity to make many new friends who stand for the same ideals as our fellowship. One such friend is Appalachian Bible College, which participates with us as a current advertiser, conference exhibitor, and Talents For Christ sponsor. Our culture demands that as historic theological fundamentalists and hermeneutical premillennialists, we stand together for the proclamation of the Word of God and faith in Jesus Christ.
We welcome these schools as advertisers. Ads and exhibits serve to raise awareness of goods and services worthy of consideration. Each school is its own entity, but all share a common commitment to truth. Their diversity of majors greatly expands the educational options available to students within Regular Baptist Churches. In the end, however, each church makes its own decisions and counsels its students to consider its schools of choice.
Renewing Friendships Together
Changing gears, I encourage you to register for this year’s GARBC Conference. The theme, “Best Church Practices,” presented by excellent speakers and workshop leaders, will produce an exceptionally strong conference to enhance the ministries of our churches.
The unique setting for the conference is the Sandy Cove Ministries hotel and conference center on the Chesapeake Bay. This setting creates a spiritually enriching and physically relaxing mood. The first-class facilities include comfortable lodging with large rooms for families, beautiful views, delicious food (meal packages are available), and an abundance of recreation options on the grounds, such as swimming pools, hiking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, miniature golf, zip line, climbing walls, shuffle board, and boating and fishing activities. I encourage you to splurge and give yourself an opportunity to refresh, rejuvenate, and connect in this resort setting. Reserve your room soon (www.sandycove.org/garb), as families are already reserving lodging. As an added incentive, many premier sightseeing opportunities of historical interest are within two hours of Sandy Cove, allowing you to arrange for a family vacation. I am looking forward to enjoying the warmth of the fellowship and sun together.
John Greening is national representative of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.