At the Tuesday morning session of the GARBC Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries, showed a video highlighting and explaining the essence of the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries.
“The partnership is not about receiving,” he says. “It is about expanding our vision to dream about how we can make a greater impact for Christ around the world.”
Sixty-two associations of independent Baptist churches partner together from 20 countries, representing 10,000 local churches. This past year associations from Uganda, Liberia, Brazil, and India joined the IPFBM.
Since the inception of the IPFBM, the GARBC has provided leadership though its International Ministries director. At the 2009 conference the GARBC divested itself of that role, and the assembled messengers elected a Council of Eight to administrate the partnership. Eight men from four continents assumed the responsibility of approving applications, planning conferences, and providing direction.
At the second All-Partners Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013, the partnership took a significant step toward internationalizing the leadership of the partnership. The chairman of the Council of Eight is no longer a white face. Dr. H. C. Stephen, president of the New Testament Baptist Church Association in Manipur, India, assumed the mantle of leadership. The partnership also adopted a preliminary constitution to be formalized at the next All-Partners Conference.
Hindal announced during his report that the GARBC’s role in the future needs to concentrate on training national leadership. He says, “Our national brothers are well equipped culturally to reach their own people, and we can help them by partnering with other ministries to assist in training leaders for their Bible schools and churches.”
He concluded the report by challenging pastors to invite him to their churches to tell some stories about the IPFBM and assist them in igniting the vision for reaching the world for Christ.