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The Council of Eighteen, governing body for the Regular Baptist Churches, met on Monday evening and Tuesday morning ahead of the 2019 conference. Every year, the council takes this opportunity to settle outstanding business and make strategic 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.

National Representative Mike Hess reported on several major initiatives, including the GARBC retirement program, church revitalization efforts, and plans for increased efforts in church recruitment. “I’m very encouraged by what the Lord has done in the past year,” Hess says. “More importantly, I’m eager to see what He will do as we press forward to make disciples through healthy local churches.”

The council also discussed plans for next year’s conference, a new scholarship program for students in GARBC churches, and proposed updates to the association’s purpose statement and Articles of Faith. Additional details on those items will be revealed at the annual business meeting scheduled for Thursday at 1:45 p.m.

Additionally, the council set aside time to pray for each of the conference speakers and module leaders by name. “The business we have to take care of at this meeting is important,” Hess says. “But even more important is the proclamation of God’s Word this week that’s able to change people’s hearts.”