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  • Writer's pictureFBC Muncie

Ordination Service

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13 (NIV)

All members, friends, neighbors, and community associates are invited as we celebrate the ordination of Pastor Kendall Ellis and the ordination recognition of Pastor Jonathan Balmer.

Festivities will begin with a special breakfast reception in the fellowship hall at 10:15 AM. The historic ordination service will be held during intergenerational worship on Sunday, November 5 at 10:45 AM at First Baptist Church, Muncie.

Rev. Sara Jane Nixon, Associate Pastor of Crestview Presbyterian Church (West Chester, Ohio), will be preaching the sermon.

American Baptist Churches of Indiana & Kentucky Executive Minister Rev. Mark Thompson and Regional Minister Rev. Bruce Cochran will be giving the charge to the candidates. The congregation will pray for the pastors through the traditional laying on of hands.

Worship will conclude with the newly ordained Kendall leading the church in the celebration of communion.

What is ordination?

The timeline for the ordination process for Pastors Kendall (ordination) and Jonathan (ordination recognition).

Ordination is a setting aside of a person by the church for a role in service and ministry.

Those who are ordained often preach, disciple others, and administer the sacraments (or, as some Baptists prefer, ordinances) of baptism and communion.

It is both a recognition of gifting and a prayer for the Spirit’s continued gifting and guidance, accompanied by the laying on of hands.

As UK Baptist theologian Stephen Holmes said, "The general, but by no means universal, Baptist pattern of leadership is twofold: elders [pastors] and deacons, whose responsibilities are respectively for the spiritual guidance and practical care of the church" (Baptist Theology [T&T Clark International: London, 2012]).

Baptists, emphasizing the autonomy of the local church under the lordship of Christ, have long cherished the important role of the local congregation in discerning God’s will and calling and ordaining the ministers of the church.

Local Baptist congregations have done so without a bishop or synod deciding for them. But that is not to say that the local church is alone in this weighty decision. Baptists have a long history of respecting all of the following when it pertains to God’s call to pastoral ministry in the church:

✦ a personal sense of a call to ministry,

✦ congregational confirmation, and

✦ counsel from other (“sister”) churches.


We hope you can join us this Sunday, November 5th, for this special service.

To learn more about ordination, please check out the September 2023 issue of our quarterly church publication The Visitor.


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