July 20 – 22 was the Covenant Brethren Church’s Annual Meeting and Worship Conference – that time each year when the people of the Covenant Brethren Church from across the country come together to worship, praise, study the Scriptures, and take care of the business of the denomination. Two hundred eighty-six delegates and non-delegates, filled the Falcon Center at Fairmont State University with a spirit of unity and love. Yes, there was great music and yes, there were powerful bible studies led by CBC leaders and guests, but above all there was joy because of the clear presence of the Lord.

There was ample opportunity for people to come to the mic and ask questions of the leadership to better understand the state of the CBC. One person commented that, even though there were many people who came to the mic to ask questions or make a comment, everyone spoke with respect and love in a spirit of unity. People were amazed at the rapid growth of the denomination and the continued interest around the world of people and churches who are looking for a Christ centered denomination that holds the Bible as its authority. There were recorded messages from new church leaders in Africa and Guatemala that lifted the hearts of the attendees who heard words of encouragement about how our denomination is a blessing to others abroad. New churches are being started in parts of Africa and they are growing rapidly as the news and excitement are spreading about CBC’s dedication to biblical authority and evangelism.

The conference began with three insight sessions providing valuable continuing education credits to our pastors, and helping to open our eyes to being more effective ministers and laity within the church. The three sessions were: Ministerial Ethics Training, Wokeness in America, and How to Transition to the CBC.

On Thursday night our keynote speaker was Jeremy Zirkle, from Samaritan’s Purse. He is the director of church relations for North American ministries. He provided an amazing message that both encouraged and challenged everyone to allow God to “Order Our Steps in His Word,” our conference theme.

He also brought a DRV (Disaster Response Vehicle) with him from Samaritan’s purse to show the conference attenders how prepared Samaritan’s Purse is to equip any group from our denomination to serve in a disaster response ministry.

The prayer committee was very active during the conference calling people to come to the front of the conference center before sessions to pray for the conference, asking them to pray for specific presenters and preachers. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this had a powerful impact on the event.

There was a large variety of people who lead in devotions, Bible studies, music, prayer, and preaching. On Friday night Stafford Fredrick, an executive board member, shared a message which continued to build on the theme that was taken from Psalm 119:133. His message was powerful, laced with humor and deep thought.

There were wonderful times of fellowship at the meal tables. The kitchen staff at Fairmont State provided us with good meals and enough variety to meet anyone’s dietary needs. As you would look around the dining hall, you saw smiles and laughter and people connecting with one another.

The youth also had a special part in the meeting. They shared two dramas during the Fellowship Committee’s report that left many people in tears and challenged them to work harder at children and youth ministry.

The Executive Board met at different times to take care of matters before them, including the ordination of Mac Miller to the pastoral ministry of the CBC.

There were so many special moments at this conference it is impossible to cover them all in one article.

Many people thoroughly enjoyed the variety of venders and ministry displays in the exhibit room. You could sign up for a mission trip, buy a shirt, receive financial advice, purchase a book, learn about opportunities with Samaritan’s Purse, and get lots of information about all of other ministries represented. It was a busy room.

Once again, food was collected to bless the people of the food bank that serves the Fairmont, WV area. There was another collection sponsored by the youth. People brought in Shoe Box items for Operation Christmas Child. The youth packed 102 shoe boxes which will be taken to one of the processing centers.

As people left the conference for home, there was a spirit of joy and encouragement. Smiles were on faces. We had come together to worship our Lord and to focus on the word of God, and those present were blessed. If you didn’t attend this year you may want to consider joining us next year. You will be blessed, because there is always a blessing when the Word of God is lifted up and God is worshipped. Come join us.

Submitted by Craig Howard & Stafford Fredrick – Publications Committee