Dear ABC/Ohio Pastors, ARMS, and Member Congregations:
I am writing a letter I never imagined I would be writing, yet the premature passing of our Executive Minister, Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones, has left the Region without an Executive Minister. It was truly a blessing to know Dr. Jones as both a colleague and friend. I, along with the entire ABC/Ohio family grieve this loss, and will pray for Denise and the entire Jones family in their grief. We pray for God’s comfort and strength as they discover what lies ahead in their new chapter of life. Dr. Jones and Denise will always be a part of the ABC/Ohio family.
As I begin this ministry as your Interim Executive Minister, I want you to know that I do so knowing that the Region is in a season of transition, and my role as an Interim is to guide the Region through the transition as you seek God’s direction towards calling a new Executive Minister. While the position of Interim Executive Minister is temporary, there are specific things that I plan to focus on.
First, and foremost, due to the nature of this transition, with the passing of Dr. Jones, I will provide leadership and pastoral care to the Region Staff, Board of Region Ministries, ABC/Ohio clergy, and congregations. The Region needs a time of God’s grace to walk through the season of grief and experience God’s healing. It will take time and include opportunities to express our grief, and discover God’s new direction for our life together. This pastoral care will receive my top attention.
My first three months call for two days per week. I plan to have one set day per week to be in the ABC/Ohio Office in Granville. This will be Monday. The second day will be a flexible day to accommodate the Region calendar and opportunities to connect with pastor’s fellowship groups, and other gatherings. I hope to connect with as many of you as possible in this transition season. You are always welcome to call me at the Region office, 740-587-0804, or contact me HERE. I plan to communicate with you regularly to keep you up to date with the Region’s progress.
I also will be working with the Region Staff, Board, and Executive Committee to address the most pressing needs as the Region moves forward. I appreciate the confidence expressed by Rev. James Willis, Region President, and the ABC/Ohio Board in extending the call to be your Interim Executive Minister. I look forward to sharing ministry with the Region Staff, Rev. Jane Gibbons, Rev. Mark Click, and Mrs. Leslie Hoskinson. They have carried a heavy load the many months of Dr. Jones illness. Together we will serve the Lord and the Region. We will walk by faith in serving Christ and you.
I close by asking that you covenant to pray for me, and this beloved Region in your prayers as ABC/Ohio is “Discovering God’s Plan.” Remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, which say, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hop and a future.” Let us prayerfully discover the future together.
Rev. Dr. Lawrence O. Swain
Interim Executive Minister
Emerson and Ivy Wu will be in Ohio from the end of March through April 23, 2018.
Speaker opportunities with the Wu's are available for our American Baptist Churches of Ohio congregations.
Please contact Leslie Hoskinson at 740.587.0804 or Carol Kirn if you would like to schedule a speaking opportunity with the Wu's.
The Rev. Ivy and Emerson Wu serve as the directors of the Global Chinese Training Ministry.
The Speakers' Spotlight focuses on those speakers who might be of interest to our American Baptist Churches of Ohio congregations.
Reverend C. Roland Marcus entered the Life Eternal on February 19, 2018. Rev. Marcus was a devoted servant of God. He began his ministry at Columbia Baptist church in Cincinnati. He also served Dorothy Lane American Baptist Church for 31 years, First Baptist Church in Middletown for six years and other congregations in an interim capacity for many years.
Rev. Marcus was an avid lover of music, drama and literature. He was a talented singer, pianist and writer and he employed all these gifts in his ministry. He published articles on the faith, directed and performed music for worship, and wrote and directed dramas.
Rev. Marcus loved his grandchildren passionately and was intensely proud of the three of them. Even as his body failed him, he made every effort to support their activities and did so with enthusiasm. Roland lived his life with a strong desire to have a purpose. He considered his purpose to be service to others. Even as he was dying, this was his concern. It is devoutly hoped that he was aware that his life’s example fulfilled this purpose. Please keep the family of Rev. C. Roland Marcus in your prayers!
Dear ABC Ohio;
It is with deep regret and sorrow that we announce the death of our Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones.
Please continue to keep Denise, Candace, Adam and the entire family in prayer during this difficult time.
When funeral arrangements are available we will share them with you.
Rev. James H. Willis, Sr.
President, American Baptist Churches of Ohio
Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones made history as the first African-American Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. He was born on October 24, 1961 in Detroit, MI.
Dr. Jones gave his life to Christ as an adolescent, and by the age of 12 was a licensed preacher. For over 40 years, he devoted his life to the Gospel ministry. His pastor, Rev. Dr. Perkins, says at the age of 16 he seemed like a 40 year old in his maturity, wisdom and faith. He was a bridge builder for God.
He earned a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, MA in 1989. In 1994, Dr. Jones became the first African American to assume an executive level position with the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. In 1998, Dr. Jones was called to serve as the Pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016 he became the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio.
For those desiring to show their love for Denise not only through prayer but with a love gift please send to Leslie Hoskinson at the Regional Office.
In lieu of flowers you may give to ABC of Ohio or to the James Cancer Hospital in memory of Rev. Dr. Ernest Jones.
ATTENTION: Jack Cobb is the American Baptist Men (ABMen) USA Diaster Relief Coordinator. He has issued a National Call to Lake Charles, Louisiana for all ABMen to respond to the historic devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Logistical arrangements necessary for volunteers to respond have been finalized. ABMen will be on site the weeks of September 24, October 1, October 8, October 29, November 5, November 12, December 31, 2017 and January 6 to 20, 2018 to help coordinate work.
It is assumed that after assessing the degree of need that additional teams will be required. In the event the work in Lake Charles is completed, work will move to another location. If you or someone you know is able to help, please contact Jack Cobb with the number of men and women on your team and what days the team will work. Individual volunteers are also needed.
There are showers on the premises. Food & cooking has been arranged. The group will staying at the Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church (Hope Complex) 1401 Moeling Street Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601.
Contact: Jack Cobb, American Baptist Men-USA Disaster Relief Coordinator; (304) 757-8081 & (304) 206-8462.
“We Are American Baptist Churches of Ohio – Our Heritage & Mission,” was produced to provide a reminder of our rich heritage, mission, and covenant. The question for our congregations, leaders and pastors is: “What does it mean for you and your congregation to be a member of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio?”