Update_inlineReal life is messy. Sometimes people get hurt. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes a tornado comes to town uninvited and tears the roof off your church.

Every year at the GARBC’s annual conference, Michael Nolan brings a ministry update to the assembled attendees. This year’s report was marked by an extraordinary sense of urgency and pertinence. Just a week earlier, members of the First Baptist Church of Portland, Michigan, were devastated when a tornado severely damaged their church building. Baptist Builders Club immediately went to work, dispatching the disaster relief trailer to the area to aid with cleanup and damage control. Ken Floyd, representative of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, spread news of the disaster to nearby churches. In response, members of the First Baptist Church of Lowell, Michigan, graciously and cheerfully joined in the cleanup and disaster relief effort.

While the damage to the Portland church is truly disastrous, the ensuing events provided a beautiful example of how the church of Jesus Christ ought to function: local churches graciously reaching out to help fellow churches in times of need. And this phenomenon certainly isn’t unique to Portland. In the course of his report, Nolan mentions several examples: “One church in Pierceton, Indiana, received a grant [from Baptist Builders Club], and another church in Iowa sent out a team to help in their expansion for their building project. Then, a short while later, there was a flood at one of our churches in Michigan. The church in Pierceton sent a team to go help with the church that was flooded, and a church in Toledo, Ohio, did the same. This is a great picture of our fellowship in action.”

This is why Baptist Builders Club exists. It is a vital ministry designed to assist churches with a whole range of issues, which the ministry designates as Start Up, Build Up, Help Up, and Disaster Relief Assistance. “We’re not new to BBC,” says Jim Lanz, a member of First Baptist Church of Portland. “They’ve been supported by our church and our members for as long as I can remember. Not for our benefit, but for other churches. And now we’ve become a beneficiary of that. So when you support a ministry, you don’t know how that ministry may turn around and support you.”

Concluding this year’s report, Ken Floyd summed up the importance of Baptist Builders Club with clarity and concision: “This is a practical way that we serve one another.”

View the ministry highlight video below: