On Sunday June 3rd we were invited to be involved with the installation of Pastor Eric Hafeli at Fellowship Baptist Church of Lodi. Fellowship has been without pastoral leadership for almost 18 months. Brother Hafeli candidated this spring and the church extended a call to him. He has resigned from his responsibilities at Maranatha Baptist Bible College to accept this call.
I was asked to speak in the Sunday School hour and I spoke on the ministry of the local church. In the morning service Dr. Grant Rice challenged the congregation on the importance of personal evangelism in the progress and growth of the church. The Rice and Hafeli families have had close connections going back to a time when they were involved in the same local church. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Rice for his contribution to the fundamental Baptists of Wisconsin. He has been involved in the starting of over 27 churches across the state in his years of ministry here. In a real sense, he is “The Apostle Paul” of Wisconsin. We praise God for his provision of such a man for “such a time as this.”
Following the AM service we had a delicious ham dinner provided by the church for all that were in attendance. It was a great time of fellowship and refreshment by all. Dr. Melvin Swanson, pastor of Berean Baptist Church of Rockford, spoke in the afternoon service, providing a personal challenge to Pastor Hafeli concerning this new ministry. Brother Hafeli was formerly a member at Berean.
It was a delightful day of spiritual challenge, fellowship and commencement of the ministry of brother Hafeli and his family at Fellowship Baptist Church. Our prayer is for a long and fruitful ministry in that community.