How would you feel if you found yourself in the presence of Martha Washington, Lottie Moon and Jackie Kennedy? I felt this way when I found myself in the presence of three great matriarchs in Ft. Worth, TX during our 2017 Annual Reunion of Friends and Former Members of IBC Churches and the Annual Meeting of IBCM.
Matriarchs Mary Stout, Nina Pinkston and Elizabeth Merritt were present. Mary is the founding matriarch of the IBC. She and her husband, Herbert, founded Bethel, Frankfurt (now called Bethel International) in the 1950’s. Nina is Mrs. WMU in the flesh. She and her husband, Glen, served the churches throughout the 1980’s. Glen at age 91 recently made his departure to be with Christ. Elizabeth is the First Lady of our IBC’s first General Secretary, Dr. John Merritt. She and John arrived as missionaries to Europe in the 1960’s.
The Stout brothers, Herbert and Herman, founded several other churches in Germany. They recruited pastors for the churches, too. These churches ultimately established the Association of Churches, which is now called the IBC.
What an incredible reunion we had in Ft. Worth! Next year’s reunion will be held in Fredericksburg, Texas on Friday and Saturday February 23-24, 2018. Mark your calendar!
During our Annual Meeting the membership of IBCM adopted succinct purpose, mission and vision statements, which read as follows:
- Purpose: To globally present the Gospel to bring all people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Mission: To support English-language international churches and ministries.
- Vision: To be a growing, generous ministry that is strategically advancing the Kingdom of God.
These statements define why we exist, what we do and where we are going. IBCM serves the churches well, especially the member-churches of the IBC.
We want to grow in our generosity. From my position of influence I wish to report that Linda and I have completed our effort to legalize our final wishes. Upon our departure our estate will be put into a Trust Fund from which 10% of the assets will be designated for the churches of the IBC through IBCM. We hope to influence others to do something similar.
The IBC is incredibly effective with doing much with limited resources. IBC is not large enough to employ development officers to seek individuals who would set aside gifts through estate planning.
Last year it was reported that Dr. Lorin Cranford, who is a retired seminary professor and former pastor in the IBC, has set aside a significant portion of his estate for the IBC. He and his wife, Claire, have committed resources in perpetuity to benefit the churches. Their testimony can be found on the web at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ldYmBy7TI or search http://www.youtube.com Chanel C&L Ventures titled “Legacy–for eternity.”
You are encouraged to include the IBC in your estate planning through IBCM. Linda and I have served 50 years in God’s Kingdom as normal people with average income. It seems realistic to expect that the followers of Christ can set aside at least a tithe of their final assets for the Lord’s work in perpetuity until Christ returns.
IBCM is blessed to have an international attorney, who is likewise a CPA. He is willing to assist anyone pro bono, who wishes to leave any portion of his will to the churches of the IBC. If you are interested, please contact me.
Dr. Larry J. Jones, Executive Secretary
International Baptist Church Ministries