I am very pleased to announce to the churches and pastors of the GARBC the recommendation of Pastor Mike Hess to serve as the next national representative of the GARBC.

Since October 2009, Mike has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

The National Representative Search Committee unanimously recommended Mike to the Council of Eighteen for consideration. On Feb. 20, 2018, the council met in Chicago to interview Mike. The council queried Mike concerning his theological convictions, ministry experience and ethos, and vision for the ministry of the GARBC. Following that interview, the council voted to formally present Mike to the messengers of GARBC churches in June as they gather in Indianapolis for the annual conference.

Prior to this interview, the search committee met on numerous occasions with Mike via online interviews, face-to-face meetings, and electronic correspondence. The committee also diligently pursued reference and background checks.

Mike and his wife, Christina, have been part of our fellowship for many years. As a young married couple, they served in various capacities at Harvest New Beginnings, Oswego, Ill. Mike then pastored First Baptist Church, Roxana, Ill., leading that church to health, as well as spiritual and numerical growth. While ministering in Illinois, Mike served on the Illinois/Missouri Association of Regular Baptist Churches Council of Ten, and for the last six years he has served on the GARBC Council of Eighteen.

Mike is a man deeply committed to the sufficiency of the Scriptures, with a love for God, God’s churches, and God’s shepherds.

We as a search committee and council have taken very seriously the charge given to us to lead in the selecting of the next national representative. We live in a challenging ministry day that is full of opportunity. Though there are adversaries, there is an open door for ministry. As a committee and council, we have prayed, we have talked to numerous men about potential ministry as national representative, and we have repeatedly poked, prodded, and questioned Mike as we narrowed our search focus. We sensed God’s leading throughout the process and believe that God has led in the recommendation of Mike Hess to the churches of the GARBC.

The writer of wisdom declared, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:33). Busy we have been “casting the lot.” We are depending upon God to determine the matter through the council’s examination and recommendation and, now, the vote of messengers at the 2018 GARBC Conference in Indianapolis.

Pray much for Pastor Mike and Christina, for Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and for our vote as an association of churches as we together seek God’s will.

In His Grace,

David E. Strope
National Representative Search Committee Chairman
Council of Eighteen Chairman