The annual Council of Eighteen meetings were held on June 25 and 26 ahead of the 2018 annual conference. Every year, the council meets to settle outstanding business and make plans for the coming year.

This year, much of the discussion and planning revolved around the pending vote on national representative candidate Mike Hess. “We, as a council, are all 100% behind this recommendation,” said David Strope, chairman of the Council of Eighteen. The vote on Hess’s candidacy will take place during the association’s annual business meeting on Thursday afternoon. Each church in fellowship with the GARBC may send up to six designated messengers who are registered for the conference to vote on the confirmation. A question and answer session with Mike Hess will be held on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to discussing the national representative transition plan, the council considered other items of business and received reports from Regular Baptist Ministries administrative team members. RBP director David Gunn updated the council on Strong Curriculum, the forthcoming Sunday School curriculum revision from Regular Baptist Press. “I am so excited about Strong Curriculum,” said Gunn. “This is a full-blown revision of our material, and it incorporates new writing, new art, a revamped scope and sequence, and expanded content delivery options. And now, for the first time, RBP’s curriculum will be available in the ESV, in addition to the NKJV and, as always, KJV.”

GARBC treasurer Mark Johnson updated the council on the association’s finances and on the initiative to make a retirement plan available to pastors and staff members of GARBC churches. “We took a survey to find out how many churches have a retirement plan in place, how many don’t, and how many might be interested if we were to make an option available through the association as a group plan,” Johnson explained. “Of those who responded to the survey, nearly half reported having no retirement plan in place whatsoever.” To address this need, the association will be rolling out details on a GARBC retirement plan option in the days ahead. This plan would be portable, affordable, and flexible, and would 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.