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Ministers’ Conference Testimonials

Category Articles
Date January 28, 2016

The following are testimonials of how past Banner ministers’ conferences have helped men in their ministries. After reading the testimonials, considering registering today, to join us in Elizabethtown, PA, May 26 – May 28, 2020.

‘The Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference is an annual event in the US which should be attractive to ministers of the gospel.

If you remember friendships with fellow students in seminary in years gone by, the conferences provide an ideal setting in which you can refresh those friendships by agreeing to meet again at the conferences.

There you will hear biblical preaching (ministers too need to hear the word preached). There will be a vast array of Banner of Truth publications, some of which will be offered at discount prices; others, new to you, will strike you as being very useful to you and your congregation.

There you will meet new friends in Christ between sessions and over meals. There are devotional sessions that include prayer time that will enrich your souls. So, as you see, much is designed to encourage and reinvigorate pastor-teachers.’

— Walt Chantry

‘I warmly recommend the US Banner of Truth Conference. For me it is a welcoming and happy family reunion: brothers sharing the same life of ministry, gathering to refresh and encourage each other in Christ. The core is this soul strengthening fellowship, the messages are the bonus.’

— William VanDoodewaard

‘When I first heard in 1978 that a Banner of Truth Conference was to be held in the USA, and when I saw the list of speakers, I was disappointed to see that it was advertised as being for “ministers.” I was a Presbyterian ruling elder and had been one since 1961. I called my good friend Ernie Reisinger and explained that I wanted very much to come but it seemed I was not eligible. He said, in short, “you come on.” I flew from Philadelphia to Atlanta.

I found my expectations entirely fulfilled as I listened to Iain Murray, Al Martin, Dick DeWitt, and others. I did not go again, however, until 1982, when I rode with a friend in Greenville to Grand Rapids where I was richly blessed for a second time. After another few years I began to attend again in 1989 at Memphis, and have only missed one conference since that time – 26 out of the last 27, I believe.

Having read through the previous testimonies, I can only add AMEN to the sentiments expressed. While obviously not every speaker has spoken with the same degree of spiritual power and persuasiveness, I have never left a conference feeling disappointed. The fellowship, the singing, the making of new friends in many different locations and from different denominations, and especially the ministry of the Spirit to my own heart – all have made my annual trips to the Banner a time of spiritual “oasis”. I can only hope and pray that the Lord will mercifully keep the Banner steadfast in its principles in a world so desperately in need of revival.’

— John Van Voorhis

‘It is simply the most important time of the year for me in terms of my own spiritual encouragement. I am deeply thankful for the conference and appreciate all those who labor to make it possible.’

— Rev. M. Fisher, Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA), Mt. Laurel, NJ

‘I have been involved in the work of the Banner of Truth, and its conferences for scores of years both in the UK and here in the USA. I can honestly say that the Banner has been a never failing source of instruction, deep theological application, and a means of true spiritual growth. The benefits of a Banner Conference is not only when one attends, but long term, when the thrill of the fellowship and corporate worship has passed. Every mention of the Conference thrills my soul, and although I can no longer attend, fond memories and thoughts of past spiritual encouragements come flooding to mind!!’

— Rev. Ifron Hughes

‘In the 1970’s I was a young and recently ordained pastor who had attended a liberal seminary and had little in the way of knowledge about my sacred calling or the ‘doctrine’ I was called to proclaim. I was poorly prepared to to “take heed to [myself] and my doctrine” as urged by the apostle in 1 Timothy 4:6. However, in God’s providence a brother shared a copy of the Banner magazine. After reading that initial copy, the John Murray memorial issue, I was sure I had been given something of immense importance to my own life and the high calling of Gospel ministry. Again, in God’s providence Banner held those early meetings for ministers and elders, and after attending the first one, that annual meeting became a priority for me each year. A friend of mine and I were in attendance virtually every year until recent years. My wife suffers from multiple sclerosis, and leaving her for those few days each year is not now an option.

Over those years we were instructed and edified by the preaching and other messages, lectures, biographies, and efforts that have been so greatly used to build a commitment to the whole counsel of God’ and fellowship among like-minded believers. There are life-long relationships, moments of profound Biblical insight, and precious seasons of sweet fellowship and deeply affecting worship that have been used to change my life, and keep my focus upon God and His glory. The Banner meetings have been a blessing throughout my entire adult life. I cannot commend this annual opportunity highly enough. It is a unique and precious opportunity!’

— Pastor Tom Sullivan

‘Dear brothers in the gospel ministry:

I have attended the BOT for 27 consecutive years, except for the last few years. From the very first time I attended, I felt like I was among giants in the Christian faith. This was not just from the lectures but the very lives of the men exuded true godliness and a deep love for Christ and His Truth. I can truly attest that the BOT sets forth Biblical Calvinism that will grip your very soul and not leave you the same person. There is a rarified air in the chapel as I anticipate what the next speaker will set forth about Christ and His beauty.

What is a Bible conference without singing? What is it like to sing the Psalms and great hymns of the faith along with 200+ brothers? Well, you will have to experience this magnificent worship for yourselves but it must be close to the vestibule of Heaven. Along with the singing is the true warmth of Christian fellowship that is hard to surpass. New friends are quickly made and the renewing of other friends is commonplace. Of course this fellowship is especially sweet when we all share a meal together in the dining hall three times a day. The accommodations are and rooms are most sufficient for all of our needs.

There is one downside to the conference and that is the bookstore! Not for the great variety of good books which are readily available but which ones should I buy and can I hold back on buying too many? Seriously though, bring alone your appetite for good reading and satisfy the hunger in your soul to learn more about the Triune Jehovah whom we serve in His pulpit.

I Give thanks to the Lord for raising up men of olden days to begin such an oasis for gospel ministers and for the ones who are presently fully committed to follow in their footsteps. This is one Bible conference that you do not want to miss. It is worth whatever cost you have to give.’

— Rev. D. J. VanderKlok, Pastor of New Hope Reformed Fellowship

‘The first time I went to a Banner conference must have been in the early or mid-90’s. I knew very little about the Banner of Truth, but some colleagues were regular attenders, and spoke very highly of what they had gained from the fellowship and the instruction they had received throughout the years. As a young minister in a difficult time, I needed both instruction and encouragement, and I travelled from Alberta, Canada to Grantham, Pennsylvania, not really know what to expect. As it turned out, Sinclair Ferguson was the featured speaker for that conference, and he spoke three evenings on the Person and the work of the Holy Spirit. I can’t describe what an impact those evenings, especially, had on me then, and continue to have on me. The warmth and conviction, and, Biblical faithfulness of the speakers at that conference and the others I have attended, have left their mark on me, as a pastor, but more importantly, as a believer.

The fellowship that I have enjoyed at the conferences has always been wonderful. I don’t get there as often as I would like, but, I have no hesitation in recommending the Banner of Truth conference to my fellow ministers, as well as students for the ministry and elders. What I have received – and especially, I must say, at that first one – has been a rich blessing, both during the days of the conferences, and, in all the years of my ministry.’

— Richard Wynia, Pastor, Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church Beamsville, Ontario, Canada

‘As one who has attended more than twenty-five Banner of Truth Ministers Conferences, I look back on them with fond memories and look forward to attending more in the future. I have especially prized the fellowship of likeminded brethren, both longtime friends and new acquaintances. Several messages over the years have been particularly pertinent to a current situation I was facing, so I smiled in gratitude to the Lord for using the speakers to encourage me. I appreciate Banner’s uncompromising stand for evangelical and Reformed truth in a day of widespread compromise. God bless Banner of Truth.’

— Curt Daniel

‘I attended my first Banner of Truth Minister’s Conference in May of 2015 and it far surpassed my expectations. I have attended countless conferences over the years, and many have had dynamic worship music, flashy graphics, and program dynamics to keep the participants interest. I was so blessed to be at a conference where the emphasis was purely and simply on the glory of God. And this was more than just the speakers — who were all exceptional, by the way. Every person associated with Banner of Truth was exceptional. They were friendly, helpful, answered questions, and in short, were as absolutely professional as they could be. If a pastor is seriously looking for a conference that would edify and encourage them in their faith and ministry, through powerful exposition of God’s Word in an atmosphere of true Christian love, it would be hard to imagine a better place than the Banner of Truth Minister’s Conference.’

— Larry Stout, Elder/Pastor of Citychurch, Williamsport, PA

‘I pastor a small Reformed Church in America congregation in a hamlet in western New York State. I’ve attended the Banner of Truth Conferences since 1997. By our gracious Lord’s blessing, I never fail to return home from a Conference challenged, nourished, refreshed in my spirit, and warmed by the fellowship of meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones. The worship times are so uplifting. The Elizabethtown College is an idyllic setting, convenient for the Conferees’ needs, the Banner and College staff very accommodating, and the food is wonderful. The Conference organizers have consistently selected timely themes for addressing challenges/ giving encouragement to Gospel ministry; the speakers handle their subjects well and are very approachable for asking further questions. Not a boast, simply a statement: the following year’s Banner of Truth Conference date (given at the present year’s conference) is the first I put on the next year’s calendar.’

— Pastor Don White

‘I pastor a small church in Orono, Maine. I have been a Banner of Truth advocate for almost two decades. I was able to attend the conference last year with a few friends. That was my first Banner Conference. I was totally blessed of the Lord through that conference. I hope to be there this year as well. The Banner is very encouraging to me and my work for The Lord Jesus Christ.’

— David Natale

‘I would have to say that Banner Conferences are life changing. From the very beginning the spiritual warmth of the conferences touched my heart. One sermon (The Puritans’ Success Through Suffering, by Iain Murray, June 3, 1998) at a conference set the course of my life. That one sermon I have listened to over and over again and it was the inspiration from that sermon the introduced the resources of the puritans works – and the vision for the book Voices From the Past. I heartily recommend Banner conferences.’

— Richard Rushing

‘I attended my first Banner Minister’s Conference in 1992. I had no money to go, especially from South Dakota where I was then a pastor. One day I called the office in Carlisle to ask a question about a book I had seen in their catalog. Business Manager Jim Eshelman answered the phone and after answering my question asked if I would be attending the Conference. I told him that I could not afford it even if I could get there by plane. He said, “Can I tempt you with a full scholarship?” I hesitated and told him he could send the information but that I expected I would not get there. My wife said she would see that I got there! She had to go to Philadelphia anyway because her father was sick. So we planned on my joining her later and then taking the train to Harrisburg where I would get a ride from someone from a local church. So I attended, not knowing what to expect. Well, at that time I was coming to a bad end in my first pastorate and was pretty down emotionally. In God’s providence, that Conference’s Theme dealt with discouraged pastors. Joel Beeke, Joey Pipa, John Marshall, and another minister, along with Dr. De Witt spoke eloquently of the experiences of discouragement and how the Lord is present to help us. And Dr. Pipa and another minister saw me sitting in the hall waiting for lunch. They correctly interpreted my demeanor and now only shared that their first pastorates were disasters but gave me encouragement and prayed with me. I was so amazed that men so important could care about a nobody minister like me! I went home with books (of course!) and a great deal of encouragement. Since then I believe I have only missed 2 conferences. I have many friends that I look forward to seeing each year. I tell the people I serve that “This is where your pastor gets fed!” I always return with a blessing for the congregation. I am grateful for my association with the Trust and its conferences.’

— Rev. Arthur Fox

‘I began attending the Banner ministers conference in the 1980s in Grand Rapids, and then later the ones at Rhodes College in Memphis Tennessee, then on to some in Escondido California and finally in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. So I have attended these conferences periodically over a 40 year period. The Ministry of Banner of Truth, its books, magazine (I have the full run of those!), and these conferences have been monumental in my life, in terms of theological influence, and the forging of friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I will forever praise God for the Banner of Truth Trust.’

— Mack Tomlinson Pastor, Providence Chapel, Denton Texas

‘As I think back over the past decade, I can see how the Lord has used the Banner Minister’s Conference in my life in some significant ways. The conference has shaped my thinking, encouraged my heart, and both deepened and enlarged my friendships with other men in gospel ministry.’

— Jonathan L. Master, Professor of Theology; Dean, School of Divinity, Cairn University

‘The chief reason I am still in ministry, and a significant reason why my ministry is so biblically based is because of the debt I owe to the Banner of Truth. I say all of this knowing that the debt is primarily owed to Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, it is to the Banner of Truth, and particularly to the Banner Ministers’ Conference that I owe the shape of my theological thought and the contours of my understanding of the Bible. Banner resources have helped me to weather the storms of ministry and have enabled me week after week to proclaim the gospel with boldness knowing that faithfulness and obedience to the revealed will of the God are the hallmarks of Gospel ministry.’

, Rufus Burton, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Martinsburg, West Virginia

‘Over the years I have attended numerous conferences sponsored by my denomination. Far too many of them have featured speakers whose theme was ‘How I Grew My Church from Five to Five Thousand in Five Years’ (and why you are a dolt if you didn’t). I love the Banner Conferences because they feature strong speakers on solidly biblical themes. I come away encouraged by the messages and uplifted by the singing of the men. The speakers are not far off on a distant platform from which they are whisked away by their minders. They stand around and talk with us after meetings or over meals. Finally, there are usually good bargains on great books by the Banner.’

— Dr. John K. LaShell

‘Ministers of the Gospel need to go deeper than their people. They need to go down into the well for their own souls. Having attended the Banner of Truth’s Minister’s Conferences for several years, I can say that it is a good “well”. My soul has been nourished at every one, and I have been able to thoroughly enjoy a time that was personal and pastoral with others laboring in the field of the Gospel ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The uniqueness of these conferences is hard to describe, except that I may say it is truly a refreshment to the pastor’s heart and mind that is sorely needed when ministering in the present times in which we live. May the Lord continue to bless these conferences, and more importantly the ministers who attend regularly. Amen.’

— Brian J. Mann, Pastor

‘I attend the Banner of Truth Ministers conference in 2015, for the first time.
Highlights for me:
• My roommate whom I had not known before.
• Singing of hymns from the Psalter. My church does not do this and I liked it.
• Message by Steven Curry on Ministerial Doubt and meeting him in person.
• The beautiful setting of the conference.
• The free books!, as well as ones I bought.
• That it was just for men.

— Tim Patterson, Minnesota

‘Conferences can be both refreshing and exhausting. They can be exhausting in terms of the number of sessions and where you need to be to attend those sessions. They can be exhausting in trying to see all the resources that are displayed. I believe the Banner of Truth Conferences minimize the exhausting part of attending conferences by keeping the sessions in one area and by the size of the conferences. I was blessed to have very meaningful conversations with fellow attendees in part because the Banner Conferences do not draw thousands but hundreds of pastors and elders. I would strongly encourage a minister who has not attended to make the commitment to attend the next Conference. You will be blessed and refreshed!’

— Pastor Calvin Lindstrom, Church of Christian Liberty, Arlington Heights, IL

‘For two decades the Banner of Truth ministers’ conference has been a blessing to me and my ministry. It has been a time to be refreshed, challenged, a pause in ministry in which I have time and encouragement to search my heart and motives, to spend time with brothers of like faith and calling, it has unfailingly been a blessing. My congregation always looks forward to those post-Banner sermons, as they refer to them, because they see their pastor growing in grace.’

— Minister Jeff Kingswood, Grace ARP, Woodstock, ON, Canada

‘In lives and ministries filled with commitments and concerns of all kinds, what justifies taking the good part of a week to attend the Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference? Well, one reason is that life and ministry is filled with commitments and concerns of all kinds, both personal and pastoral. “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed…” (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Taking time to be sharpened and refreshed is good stewardship. Over the past 16 years of annual attendance, I have found the Ministers’ conference a great help toward those ends. In Ecclesiastes, the Preacher also observes- “Of making many books there is no end…” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). The same is true of conferences available in our day. The Banner of Truth Trust is a great help in commending and providing good books, as well as providing a “one-stop” conference which for me makes the best use of precious time. The centrality of the Triune God and His Word, in the addresses and all the literature, is obvious. I appreciate the focus on the preaching of God’s Word because pastors themselves are sheep who need to be taught, rebuked, corrected and trained by Scripture. I not only have been consistently blessed by the formal addresses, but also in the informal interactions with fellow elders, missionaries, and chaplains. These are men “in the trenches” who understand. The conference provides an opportunity to be encouraged, but also to encourage, which is a means to refreshment as well (Proverbs 11:25b). The Spirit of God has often used the conference to soften my heart so as to sorrow for sin and to grow in sympathy for sinners. At the same time my heart has been steeled for service, encouraged to persevere and keep my hand on the plow. The atmosphere of the conference is wonderfully both fatherly and brotherly. The tone is thoroughly evangelical. When a conference geared toward men in the ministry, ends with a gospel call to faith in Christ, as this year’s did, you can know it is a conference which hasn’t lost its first love.

— Matt Kingswood, Russell Reformed Presbyterian Church

‘The Banner Minister’s Conferences have been a regular event for me since 1980 when they were held at Grand Rapids. Always they have been convicting, calling me to repentance and greater faithfulness and energy in the work of the gospel. Every conference (except one) was encouraging to me, hearing preaching that glorified God and applied the Bible to some particularities of the ministerial life. But perhaps the greatest benefit has been the excellent examples of Biblical preaching.

I am convinced that these conferences have been the primary influence which the Holy Spirit has used upon my preaching. My wife has consistently told me so in the weeks following each conference.

These conferences are vital to the gospel ministry, so much so that I have paid the registration of several men over the years to introduce them to them. And they return on their own as I expected they would.

Though we be preachers we are still sheep in need of strong preaching.
I do not know of anything better than this.

— Pastor Jeff Black, Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, Wytheville, VA Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA

‘I have had the pleasure to attend 3 Banner Conferences in the Unites States. As an Elder in a Reformed Church in Canada I have found the Banner Conferences to be a tremendous blessing to me. There are a number of elements to each conference that I have been really blessed by. First, sitting under powerful, Spirit filled preaching has been encouraging, convicting, and motivating for me in my personal walk with Christ and in my work as an Elder. Secondly, the fellowship at each conference is simply wonderful as I have formed new relationships with brothers in Christ from other churches while strengthening the relationships that I have already had. I find as an Elder in a currently independent church is it easy to see the church as small and local because I am really only dealing with my own congregation but because of the fellowship with other men at Banner Conferences I have learned much about other like minded churches and denominations and as a result I have seen how the Lord is working mightily in these different places. This gives me much reason to praise the Lord and it has reminded me of the great things the Lord is doing throughout His kingdom. The final element of the Banner of Truth Conferences that I wish to mention is that the attendees leave with wonderful books that benefit the reader in all of the wonderful ways that the best Christian books do, but also serve as pleasant reminders of past conferences. I heartily encourage any brother who is considering attending the next conference to go and be greatly blessed. They won’t be disappointed.’

— John Nymann


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