We used to give church plants a check, pray for them, and send them on their way,” says Michael Nolan, director of Baptist Builders Club U.S.A.

“We wanted to develop a new program that would use all of our GARBC resources to help young churches,” Nolan says, noting that the new Start Up program offers grant checks spread over three years, but also offers practical assistance from the greater network of GARBC churches and partners. Additional assistance includes brochure and website design, free Sunday School material through Gospel Literature Services, free subscriptions to the Baptist Bulletin, scholarships to GARBC conferences, and consulting resources with GARBC staff.

Nolan spent about two years interviewing church-planting pastors and mission agencies to discover innovative solutions for the complicated needs of new churches.

“The new program is flexible enough to customize for churches with needs outside the basic plan,” Nolan says. He hopes the new funds and assistance will be used through mission agencies, state GARBC associations, and local partnerships interested in planting GARBC churches. For more information, contact Michael Nolan at 847-585-0853 (mnolan@garbc.org).

Year 1

Resources for presenting the church-plant work to possible supporting churches and individuals, canvassing the targeted area for outreach and recruitment, and preparing for the church launch

$5,000 Postcard/blitz advertising, building rental assistance for temporary location of small church group (Year 1 only)

$5,000 Website design with GARBC staff resources or outsource

$2,000–$5,000 Church brochure design and printing costs

  • “Things to Come” boot camp training in cooperation with mission agencies to ensure the planter is prepared
  • Baptist Bulletin report on developing church plant

Year 2

Assistance with the church launch, preparing the bylaws and articles of faith, securing furniture and equipment for church services

$10,000 Grant check presented at GARBC Conference

$5,000 Website design (if not used in Year 1)

$1,000–$2,000 Sunday bulletin design and printing costs

$1,000 Training teachers and leaders (RBP training seminars)

$1,000–$2,000 One year of RBP material through GLS

$1,000 One year of Baptist Bulletin subscriptions

$5,000 Strategic planning and financial planning assistance

  • Entire church registrations paid for GARBC Conference (First year of church’s existence)
  • Travel assistance for entire church to GARBC Conference
  • Baptist Bulletin update on growing church plant

Year 3

Funds for land purchases, building projects, and assistance toward graduation from mission status

$10,000 Grant check for land and building costs presented at GARBC Conference

$1,000 Strategic planning and financial planning assistance

  • Assistance coordinating with missionary builders
  • Networking through Baptist Builders Club website and GARBC mailing lists to find needed equipment
  • Baptist Bulletin spotlight on church plant (update)

= More than $55,000 in total support

$3,000,000 and Counting

“Robert Ketcham founded Baptist Builders Club on the idea that many individual donors would contribute two dollars at a time toward the building of new churches,” Michael Nolan says. “It works the same today. Our projects are funded by people and churches who have a burden for church planting.”

Since 1950 Baptist Builders Club U.S.A. has awarded more than three million dollars in loans and grants to assist Regular Baptist churches. From the first church helped in 1950 to the latest churches in 2010, BBC’s mission has not changed.

The Baptist Bulletin reported on First Baptist Church of Soap Lake, Wash., in the June 1951 issue, noting how churches around the country had helped the church raise $1,000 for a building project. Founding pastor Everett Bramblet called the funds an “encouragement to their hearts.”

“If every member of all our GARB churches could catch the vision of this thing and also become members of the Baptist Builders Club, what a great change it would make in the home mission work of the Regular Baptists,” Pastor Bramblet said. For more information, contact Michael Nolan at 847-585-0853 (mnolan@garbc.org).