A wide variety of official business matters were cared for quickly and efficiently at the annual business meeting of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches held the final day of the Vision2020 conference in Wooster, Ohio, and conducted by Fellowship Coordinator Tom Avey.
Robert Fetterhoff, pastor of the Wooster church, was elected by delegates to a two-year term as moderator of the fellowship. Six new churches were voted into membership: New Horizon Church of New York (Pastor Michael Faulkner); Fuente de Vida Grace Bilingual Church of Elkhart, Indiana (Pastor Brian Baughman); Awaken Church of Virginia Beach, Virginia (Pastor Michael Pumphrey); Sterling Grace Brethren Church of Mt. Sterling, Ohio (Pastor Mac Cordell); The Bridge of Tipp City, Ohio (Pastor Ron Sheranko); and Greensboro Grace Brethren Church, Reidsville, North Carolina (Pastor Daniel Pierce).
Caribbean Vision, a ministry largely devoted to Haitians and Haiti and directed by Dr. Chuck Davis, was recognized as a Cooperating Ministry with the fellowship.
Social Concerns resolutions were introduced by the retiring chair of the Social Concerns Committee, Dr. Donald Shoemaker. Continuing resolutions include sanctity of human life, religious freedom, personal commitment, and homosexuality. Resolutions new this year and passed by the conference delegates included statements on Seeking “The Peace of the City”; The Middle East, Heterosexual Monogamous Marriage; Religious Freedom and Same-Sex Marriage; Religious Liberty; God’s Creation; Prayer for Peace and for All in Authority; Concern for Suffering Humanity; and The Persecuted Church. Following passage of the resolutions, Shoemaker was honored by the conference for his leadership as chair of the social concerns committee since 1985.
An operating budget was approved for the coming year, and those elected to the Fellowship Council included Richard Todd (Western Region–pastor of Community Grace Brethren Church in Whittier, California); Jason Carmean (Central Region–pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Lexington, Ohio); and Dan Thornton (Eastern Region–executive pastor of Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland).
Jim Custer, longtime now-retired pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus (Polaris), Ohio, gave the closing address on “Vision and Prophecy.” Because of the sudden, unexpected death of a relative in Florida, Custer was called away and gave his address to the conference via video.
National Conference next year will be held July 27-August 2, 2012 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells, California. A special room rate of $89 per night has been secured, so early registration is encouraged for those planning to attend next year’s gathering of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.