The Council of Eighteen, governing body for the Regular Baptist Churches, met on Monday morning ahead of the 2017 conference. Every year, the council takes this opportunity to settle outstanding business and make plans for the coming year. This year’s meeting was presided over by chairman David Strope and featured reports from staff and administrators from the Regular Baptist Ministries resource center.

Manning Brown, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy ministries, was pleased to announce a recent upsurge of interest in the chaplaincy program. “The title chaplain gets you into many doors where the title pastor does not,” he explained. This, along with the increased exposure the chaplaincy ministry has achieved in the past year, has resulted in a groundswell of new applicants. “It’s very exciting,” said national representative John Greening. “It seems like every month, Manning brings me another chaplain endorsement form to sign!”

Regular Baptist Press also had promising news to report. David Gunn, RBP’s editorial director of publications, announced that interest in and sales of Kids4Truth clubs and RBP’s Vacation Bible School materials had noticeably outstripped expectations. “We still have a lot of room to grow, but we’re encouraged by the successes we have already achieved and blessed by the opportunity to continue working toward even greater impact in the days ahead,” he said.

Additional reports from Regular Baptist Church Planting, Regular Baptist Builders Club, and Regular Baptist International emphasized the life-changing and Christ-honoring work that is continually being carried out by these ministries, both nationally and internationally. New prospects for church planting and church revitalization are being aggressively pursued, and fresh translation and printing enterprises offer enhanced opportunities to share the gospel overseas.

As the council meeting came to an end, all its members were looking forward to an edifying and refreshing conference week ahead. “The facilities here are so wonderful,” said Tom Alexander, vice chairman of the council and pastor of First Baptist Church, Wellington, Ohio. “The staff is very gracious and friendly, and it’s just so quiet and peaceful. This will be a great opportunity to relax and refresh.”