International Baptist Convention Supports 10 Church Plants in Europe
P a r i s – The International Baptist Convention (IBC), a gathering of English-speaking Baptist congregations mostly from Europe, is supporting 10 of the European Baptist Federation’s (EBF) church planting projects located above all in Moldova, but also in Georgia, Romania, Hungary and Belarus. At the IBC’s annual meeting in Paris, the Coordinator of the Indigenous Missionary Project (IMP) programme, the Pole Daniel Trusiewicz (Wroclaw), called on the participants to support even more such projects.
The sessions were held under the theme of „Partnership in the Gospel“. The 65 delegates from 32 congregations accepted the “Kiev International Bible Church” from the Ukrainian capital as a new associate member. They also gave a green light to the 2007 annual budget of 465.000 Euro, down 2% from the previous year. Trinity Baptist Church in Bitburg, Germany received a grant of $44,000 from the Mission Endowment Fund to purchase a building next to the church, which it has been using as a parsonage for years. IBC women intend as in the past year to make a two-week stay in Germany possible for 40 children suffering in the wake of the Chernobyl reactor catastrophe of 1986. A missions offering in May should raise the 6.000 Euro needed.
In elections, Pastor Craig Rees (Hamburg, Germany) was voted in as IBC-President, Pastor Dan Marshall (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) became Vice President. In a sermon, Rees warned of the danger of losing our focus due to the „busyness“ of life. Ministering to the lost remains as vital as ministering to God and to others.
Key speaker for the event was Ian Coffey, Pastor of the Crossroads Church in Geneva, Switzerland. In four sessions from the book of Philippians on the theme of „Standing“, he encouraged the pastors and church leaders to „stand up, stand out, stand firm, and stand together“. He noted thereby that the Christians of Western Europe are often anxious and frustrated. Yet the Bible points to another attitude towards life: It is also possible to be content. One key thereby is to give with joy and to support others: „We are never more like God than when we are giving to others.”
Sixty-six congregations with roughly 4.500 members in 24 countries in Europe and the Middle East belong to the IBC. The organisation, a member of the EBF, has its offices in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. It’s General Secretary is Dr. Jimmy Martin.