American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.
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 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.
Rev. Donald G. Holtzapple, 83, of Mansfield went home to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday morning, July 31, 2014. He was born April 4, 1931 in Elida, Ohio to the late Marian (Montague) and Earl S. Holtzapple. He graduated from Elida High School in 1949 and Wheaton College in 1959. He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Don received Jesus as his savior in Naples, Italy under the Ministry of the Navigators. He graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and served at the Balligomingo Baptist Church in West Conshohocken, PA while in Seminary. He was passionate about sharing God's love with others throughout his life. Don then came to Mansfield and served Diamond Hills Baptist Church for 16 years.While pastoring at Diamond Hills Baptist, he served as Chaplain at Mansfield General Hospital. Rev. Don pastored at many churches throughout the years including serving as Interim Pastor at multiple churches. He retired from First Baptist Church in Defiance after 11 years. He then came back to Mansfield, becoming Pastor Emeritus of Diamond Hills Baptist Church. He also served as Ohio Baptist State Evangelist for 7 years. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Janet Burget and together they raised a wonderful family. Don was an excellent golfer and enjoyed fishing in Canada, spending time with his family and friends, and preaching and teaching God's word. A life well-lived for the Lord!
The Rev. Tim Chesser retires from First Baptist Church, Delaware on May 18, 2014. American Baptist Churches of Ohio wishes to thank Rev. Chesser for his service and wish him and his wife Kathy a wonderful retirement!
Tim served in churches in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma before coming to First Baptist, Delaware in 2001. While in Delaware he performed sixteen weddings (including both his sons), thirty-two funerals, and ushered three people through ordinations (Karen Stoner, Robert Russell and Sam Chesser). He served on the Pastoral Relations Committee and Scholarship Committee of the Marion Association of American Baptist Churches, and has been active in the Delaware Ministerial Association.
He and Kathryn have two sons — Donald, who lives in Delaware, and Sam who lives in Norwich, Connecticut. The Chessers plan to remain in Delaware during retirement. Again, ABC Ohio wishes the Chesser family the best in retirement! May God's blessings fall abundantly for a true servant of God!
The Miami Baptist Association Ministers Council met April 8 at Mt. Washington Baptist Church for lunch and a presentation on End of Life Care by Rita McClure. Rita is a graduate of the ABC/Ohio Leadership Academy and an experienced Bereavement Counselor. She currently serves as Pastoral Intern at Dorothy Lane American Baptist Church in Kettering.
While we were together we celebrated the ministry of Dianne Steelman who is retiring after more than 25 years of service in our Association. The Pastor of Linwood and Columbia Baptist Churches, Rev. Steelman along with her husband Jim received many warm tributes from their ministry colleagues at the lunch.
The twenty ministers council participants who gathered for fellowship that day were blessed by a surprise visit from missionary, Rev. Kit Ripley!