Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Presbyterian History - Max Belz

Taken from This Day in Presbyterian History

December 2: Rev. Max Belz

excerpted from the Minutes of the 157th General Synod of the RPCES, page 172]:
belzmax03aWhen the Lord took the Rev. Max Belz home to heaven on December 2, 1978, the Midwestern Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, lost one of its most colorful and most beloved members. He had been a member of this presbytery continuously since his entrance into the denomination in 1948 at the time when he led his congregation at Cono Center near Walker, Iowa, to throw off the shackles of the compromising fellowship of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
Although his was a rural church, it was always under his leadership a veritable beehive of activity. Max Belz was one of the first pastors in the denomination to recognize the significant importance of the preservation of the faith and nurture of the hearts and minds of children of the church in an age when the public school systems were becoming increasingly anti-Christian. With the support and encouragement of some of his faithful elders and friends he established Cono Christian School. The influence of this institution has been a blessing throughout the entire denomination. It has set an example of high quality Christian education which has been followed in a good many of our churches.
belzmax1948Max Belz was always deeply involved in the work of the church as a whole. He was a member of the founding board of Covenant College and Covenant Theological Seminary. He has also served on the board of Christian Training, Inc. It was through his initiative that the Bulletin News Supplement was begun, and for years he was responsible not only for its editing but also its printing-and he rejoiced in serving the church he loved so well.
His last extended journey away from his home was to the Grand Rapids meeting of the synod last June. Of this visit his son, Joel, wrote, “I think he sensed a foretaste of his welcome to heaven itself as he was embraced by so many with whom he has worked in the last 30 years.
Surely the greatest witness to the life and testimony of Max Belz and his dear wife, Jean, is the family that he left behind when he was taken to glory. Every one of his eight children is an active, dedicated Christian reflecting the godliness that their father and mother exhibited day after day in their home. Max and Jean Belz instilled in their children an appreciation for the value of hard work, but they also surrounded them with parental love and tender care even as they taught them of the love of God.
Although he lived in a rural area there are some respects in which Max Belz was ahead of his time. His founding of the Cono Educational Network is an example of this. Everyone who has been closely associated with him is grateful to God for this gifted servant of the Lord whose zealous commitment to his Saviour was an inspiration that remains even though Max Belz himself is with the Lord he loved so fervently.
On this day, December 2d, the following PCA churches were particularized:
1979 — Trinity Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA (Mid-Atlantic Presbytery)
1990 — Presbyterian Church of Wellsville, Wellsville, NY (New York State Presbytery)
2001 — Crossroads Community Church, Fishers, IN (Central Indiana Presbytery)
2007 — Jordan Presbyterian Church, West Jordan, UT (Northern California Presbytery)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

By Deaun Zasadny

My family lived on the Cono campus from late 2007 until 2009 while our daughters attended as day students. We were welcomed and included by so many there who became a blessing and encouragment in our lives: Mrs. Jean Belz, who opened her home to a women's Bible study with a warm fire, coffee and a solid love for the Lord and anyone He put into her life; Pastor Eric Duble and his lovely wife Deb; Eric reflected the Father's love toward the students; both Pastor and Mrs. would go to any length to reach a student; Andrew who acted as chancellor/cheerleader and the choir director who unabashedly saw potential in every one of his choir students;  Mary Anna Belz who taught with such love and commitment; The Underwood family who opened their home and hearts to so many students. Cono quickly became our little church and school family. Who’d of thought all this could happen at this tiny little campus in the wee town of Walker, Iowa?

Having participated as a member of the congregational meeting for Cono this past September I felt it was honoring to Mrs. Jean Belz and all those before her and alongside her who toiled for the Lord’s work. I am hopeful that Cono will get back on a greater mission to honor God and bless His children. The gathering left me wishing we could have all been together for a hearty hymn and dinner in the dining hall after the meeting.

Deaun Zasadny