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December-January 2014

Roots: Growing
Deeper in Faith


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news about the denomination

The following news items apply to (or affect) the Free Will Baptist denomination scattered across the nation and around the world.To read more about Free Will Baptists and the various departments that make up the national organization, visit

Read a brief history of Free Will Baptists in the United States.



Convention Registration Coordinator Retires

ANTIOCH, TN—Dari Goodfellow retired October 31, after 14 years as Convention Registration Coordinator for the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Each year, Dari juggled thousands of pre-registration forms, kept onsite lines short, and answered hundreds of questions from convention registrants. In addition to her work at the convention, Dari also worked as the annual Free Will Baptist Yearbook coordinator, maintaining a database of all pastors and churches and formatting and editing collected data for publication in the annual Yearbook.

“Dari has been a valuable team member,” said Executive Secretary Keith Burden. “We wish her all the best as she enters a new chapter of her life.”



Dari’s convention responsibilities started long before the 2000 convention in Anaheim, California, when she began her role as registration coordinator. In 1982, she joined the convention staff, working with her husband Sandy to record convention services. In 1991, she accepted a position in the Executive Office and worked in the convention Exhibit Hall for several years, managing the Executive Office booth and selling subscriptions to Contact magazine. “Since the beginning,” Dari says, “I have loved seeing and connecting with Free Will Baptist friends at the convention. It was always a highlight of my year.”

Dari relinquished the position to Debbie Burden, who has worked as Executive Office receptionist since 2004, and convention exhibit manager since 2008.

As Dari looks back over her tenure as registration coordinator, she points to improvements in the registration process as her greatest accomplishment. “Through the years the registration process has been streamlined considerably and is now almost painless.” She quickly adds two pieces of advice for convention-goers: “Always pre-register and do it online. Then, once you get onsite, remember the most important ingredient of any good registration process…patience!”

Daughter of Fred (deceased) and Altha Keifer, Dari graduated from Welch College in 1970 with a B.A. in Bible and a minor in Missions. She worked at Welch College twice: 1968-1971, and again 1980-1991. She and Sandy also served with Free Will Baptist International Missions as associate missionaries to Japan, 1979-1980. The couple has three children—Jill (Sean) Warren, Kelly (Barry) Powers, and Cpt. Steven (Hollye) Pierce—and eight grandchildren.

Dari shares parting words of gratitude. “I want to thank Melvin Worthington, former executive secretary, who hired me and gave me the opportunity to serve; thanks to Jack Williams, Contact magazine editor, mentor, and friend; the wonderful registration volunteers who made my job easy each year; and, best for last, the Executive Office staff who are an awesome group to work with.”


2014 Nominees Requested

ANTIOCH, TN—The 2013-2014 Nominating Committee, which will serve through the national convention in Ft. Worth, Texas, is prepared to receive nominees for the 2014 convention elections, according to Edwin Hayes (OH), committee chairman. The committee will meet March 3-4, at the National Office Building in Nashville, Tennessee, to consider nominations and compile a slate of nominations for the positions to be filled. The report will be presented to delegates at the July 2014 meeting.

The following board and commission positions will be filled in 2014: Randall House Publications (3), International Missions (3), Welch College (3), Commission for Theological Integrity (1), Historical Commission (1), Music Commission (1), Media Commission (1), General Board (10), Executive Committee (3), and General Officers (4).

Nominations, accompanied by a brief resume, must be submitted in writing exclusively to the chairman on or before Friday, February 14.

Contact Chairman Edwin Hayes:

Edwin Hayes, Ohio State Office
7554 Slate Ridge Boulevard
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068



©2013 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists