Greetings from the churches of the Minnesota Baptist Association. As President of the association I would like to share with you the joy that I personally have experienced over the years from being involved with churches that have joined together in spreading the Gospel throughout the state of Minnesota. At the age of ten I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior while attending Vacation Bible School in a General Conference Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Shortly after my salvation I was baptized and our family started attending Calvary Baptist Church in Pengilly, Minnesota, a member church of the Minnesota Baptist Association.
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Acts 2:41-47, KJV
During my high school years I was challenged to give my heart to the Lord through Godly preaching and the faithfulness of the members of Calvary Baptist Church. I enjoyed the summer Bible camps that were run by the various Pastors and churches within the association. I attended many association meetings with my family and came to love the fellowship and Godly atmosphere that we shared together as God’s people serving throughout the state.
At the age of fifteen I surrendered my life to serve my Savior and began making plans to attend Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. I enjoyed my high school years but they seemed to drag by as I anticipated God’s training and leading for future service. In the fall of 1971 I began my first year of college. God taught me many things during those years and I will be eternally grateful to the churches of the Minnesota Baptist Association for there vision and cooperation in establishing and maintaining a Godly college that trained many servants for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Following my college years I attended Central Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated from Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. As I contemplated the possibility of remaining in Pennsylvania to serve the Lord , God opened up the opportunity to return to Minnesota as an assistant pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Brooklyn Park. While learning many things under the leadership of Pastor Don Odens I became involved once again with the fellowship of the churches of the Minnesota Baptist Association.
I followed the Lord’s leading after four years of serving as an assistant Pastor and accepted the call to become the head Pastor of Community Baptist Church in New Prague, Minnesota. God has taught me many wonderful things during the twenty five years of serving Him in New Prague.
It has been a great privilege to serve on the various boards of the Minnesota Baptist Association and to serve as the dean of the state senior high youth camp for many years. I know that God will continue to work in our state through our independent Baptist churches and that our fellowship together will always provide opportunities to encourage one another and to do greater things for our Savior than we could do individually. May God continue to guide each one of us as we strive to serve our glorious Savior until He calls us home.
Your Servant In Christ,
Pastor Gerald Stephens
I Peter 3:15