The 2018 business meeting began with John Greening’s final annual report as national representative. Greening updated the messengers on many of the associational developments during 2017–18, and communicated his support for the transition of associational leadership to Mike Hess. “I am 110 percent in support of Mike and Christina. They are a wonderful couple and a wonderful choice.” Greening concluded his report with a word of thanks for the churches’ messengers. “Thank you for the privilege to serve,” he said. “It has truly been a blessing.”

Treasurer Mark Johnson updated the messengers on the association’s current financial condition and introduced the new initiative to make a retirement plan available to pastors and staff members of GARBC churches. Additional details on the GARBC retirement plan option will be made public in the days ahead. This plan will be portable, affordable, and flexible, and will offer churches in fellowship with the association a convenient option to help ensure their pastors and staff members are well prepared for their retirement years.

The most anticipated proceeding in the business meeting was the vote to approve Mike Hess as the GARBC’s new national representative. The messengers voted to approve Hess’s appointment by 93.5 percent. “We are thrilled,” said Council of Eighteen chairman David Strope. “I want to communicate to you [voting messengers], on behalf of the council, our appreciation for your support, your encouragement, and your Christlike participation in the process of selecting a new national representative.”

The messengers also voted on new candidates for the Council of Eighteen and approved three new resolutions: “The Character, Destiny, and Duties of the Church,” “The Dignified Status and Proper Treatment of Women,” and “Resolution of Appreciation to John and Daria Greening.”