American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.

Mary Belle Jansen Remembered for a Life of Service

One of our own, Mary Belle (Meadows) Jansen, 93, passed away on May 17, 2015. Mary graduated from Ottawa University before leaving Kansas to achieve her Master of Religious Education at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts. Following graduation, she served as Minister of Christian Education for churches in Rochester, N.Y. and Toledo, Ohio. In 1959, she joined the staff of the Department of Christian Education of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio, Granville. While there, she met the love of her life, Bob Jansen, a widower from Akron with three sons. On September 11, 1965, she and Bob married and Mary began an elegant transition to life as a wife and mother to teenaged boys.
 
Over the years, she eagerly and joyfully shared her commitment to Christian service in various leadership roles at Goodyear Heights Baptist Church while serving the larger community through her work with the Akron Area Association of American Baptist Churches as well as the Ohio region. Mary was a faithful participant in ecumenical activities of the Akron Area Association of Churches, which she served as president, the Interfaith Council and the Interfaith Council Givers Program.
 
Mary radiated a strong but soft spoken Christian witness, generously offering comfort, guidance and a helping hand wherever and whenever she was needed. She was devoted to her family - immediate, extended and adopted - and embraced her friends and neighbors equally. She relished her role as the family's news center, and woe be to those who forgot to share their news with her. 
 
Mary requested memorials be made to the Ohio Baptist Education Society Scholarships (ABC-Ohio, 136 Galway Drive North, Granville, OH 43023). With simple acts of kindness, her family will seek to honor her every day.

Rev. Leroy H Weiss Jr Remembered for Faithfulness to God

Rev. Leroy H. Weiss Jr., 71, of Bellevue, died Thursday, May 27, 2015, in the Cleveland Clinic after a short illness. Leroy was born in Harrisburg, Pa., on March 30, 1944. He graduated from Central Dauphin High School in Pennsylvania; Gettysburg College with a BA; William Blackstone, Chicago, with a Bachelor of Laws; and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, West Virginia. His true purpose in life was to be a minister of God’s word, which led him to his present vocation, associate minister at First Baptist Church of Bellevue on Prairie Road. Leroy was a member of First Baptist Church of Bellevue; the Bellevue Ministerial Association. He was a volunteer chaplain at Bellevue Hospital and Firelands Regional Medical Center. He married Barbara Diehr; she preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 2008. He married Rosemary Bauman on Sept. 5, 2011, and she survives. Rev. Weiss will be remembered for his faithfulness and service to God.

Ministerial License Received

Congratulations to Vickie McKinney on receiving her ministerial license from First Baptist Church of Mt. Gilead. We look forward to seeing how God uses her for His ministry in the future!

Third Baptist Church Youngstown Celebrates 140 Years

The weekend of October 18, 2014 marked 140 years of ministry at Third Baptist Church in Youngstown. The congregation, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Morris W. Lee, DD, is the oldest African American Baptist congregation in the city, having been organized in 1874.
The occasion was celebrated with a gathering of about 100 descendants of the founder of the church, Rev. Pleasant Tucker. Rev. Tucker and his wife, Eliza Jane, arrived in Youngstown while blacks were leaving the South after the Civil War, hoping to carve out a better life after the end of slavery.

Read more: Third Baptist Church Youngstown Celebrates 140 Years

Rev. Heath Jenkins Installed

Rev. Heath Jenkins was installed as the pastor of the Vinton Baptist Church on September 21, 2014. Dr. Larry Swain delivered the installation message and Rev. Mark Click delivered the installation prayer. The congregation concluded the celebration with a meal and fellowship.