Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The 2020 Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio is approaching, Tuesday, October 6, 1-4:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North. Just as many of our schools and colleges are using a hybrid model (both in person and online) to begin the schoolyear, we have planned the Annual Gathering so that people throughout our ABC Ohio family may choose to gather either in person or electronically. Either way, we invite you to register for the Gathering so that we may adequately prepare for a safe environment at the hotel, and we can be sure of the quorum that will participate in the business meeting portion of the Gathering. There is no registration fee, but ALL participants must register.
We know that some of you will enjoy participating in the Gathering in person. We will practice social distancing in our room arrangement and program. Masks will be required for all who attend. The hotel has assured us that they will take an abundance of precautions to meet safety standards while we are there.
We also know that many of you will want to be part of the day but will not want to participate in person. We urge those who are ill, at risk, or have a desire to be cautious, to stay at home and participate with us electronically. The event will be live-streamed, so you will be able to be part of the afternoon in real time. More information about the live streaming will be made available closer to the time of the event.
The program will include an address by Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Acting General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA, and a time of worship led by Pastor Benjamin Payne of the First Baptist Church of Seville. Rev. Dr. Ken Atchison, President of ABC Ohio will present his Presidential Address. We will also hear virtual greetings from some in the broader American Baptist family. As is required by our constitution, there will be a brief business meeting.
All participants must register by Friday, September 25. Please complete one included registration form for each registrant and return it to the ABC Ohio office. If you will be attending virtually, you will receive instructions by email during the week of September 28 for accessing the live-streamed event. Delegates who are participating virtually will also receive instructions for the e-mail voting process.
We are looking forward to 2021 as we anticipate being together for a more complete Annual Gathering next year. You and your congregations remain in our prayers as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
Rev. Jane Gibbons, Executive Minister for Program and Ministry Development
American Baptist Churches of Ohio
Rev. Mark Click, Executive Minister for Administration and Denominational Relations
American Baptist Churches of Ohio
Rev. Alvin Ray Cox, 74, of Delaware, Ohio, passed peacefully at his home surrounded by his family to his eternal home with the Lord and Savior on Friday, September 18, after a valiant battle with cancer the past 6 years. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
Alvin was born at home on May 31, 1946 to the late Paul and Blanche (King) Cox, in Gilmer County, West Virginia. He was number 4 of their 8 children. He grew up on a farm and the story of him preaching to the cows as a young child was told over and over to his family. Alvin served as a member of the West Virginia Army Reserves.
He married Beverly (Shaver) on June 22, 1968 and they celebrated 52 years together. In their love, they had three children, DeeDee, Jeff & Jeremy. They added 5 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. Alvin was a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather and great grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his loving family.
Pastor James W. Allison, 89, of New Lexington, Ohio died on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at Genesis Hospital, Zanesville, Ohio. Born June 13, 1931 in Somerset, Kentucky to the late Clyde Lee and Iva Anderson Allison. He graduated from St. Mary's High School; Rio Grande College; and Northern Baptist Seminary. He served as Pastor of Baptist Churches for 50 years; enjoyed carpentry, repairing broken things and yard sales.
Pastor Allison is survived by his wife of 67 years, Wilda M. Dicke Allison; daughter, Patricia (Dean) Barnes, sons, Bruce (Kathy) Allison and Neal (Karen) Allison; grandchildren, Beth (Troy) Pingle, Tyrus Barnes, Kyle (Sarah) Barnes, Vanessa Allison, Joshua Allison and Anna Allison; great grandchildren, Evan, Trey, Avery and Audrey; brothers, John Allison and Richard Allison. In addition to his parents, preceded in death by brothers, Robert, Donald, Harold and Edward; sister, Darlene; granddaughter, Laura Maye Allison. Please keep the Allison family in your prayers.
Planning is well underway for the American Baptist Churches USA 2021 Biennial Mission Summit to be held June 25-27, 2021, at the San Juan Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In a new video, Interim General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods introduces and gives an update on planning for the event. We encourage you to watch the full video to learn more about the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit.
Congratulations to the 2019 Graduates of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio Leadership Academy!
(Back Row 2019 Faculty) Tim Mohon, Dan Bellavia, Dennis Shultz, Sandra Quick, David Hansen, David Brown, Seth Fallon, Jane Gibbons
April 27, 2020
We have been so blessed and encouraged by the creative and meaningful ways that pastors and congregations have responded to the challenges of ministry through this time of pandemic and quarantine. About 85 percent of ABC Ohio congregations have shared weekly electronic worship services that have included good preaching, prayer, and music. A number of churches have developed prayer and communication groups online, by phone or by email to be sure that their church families are cared for personally and spiritually. Pastors and others have made thousands of telephone calls to check on, reassure, pray with, and stay connected to their congregations. Since Easter, many of our congregations have begun to ask the question, “What comes next?”
Our Governor has announced in the past week that he would like to see the state begin to open up SLOWLY. We believe SLOWLY is an important word as the church prepares for what comes next. As much as we want to be together, the rush to make a hasty return to our previous ways could be disastrous for our congregations. Ken Braddy, Jr., a Sunday School specialist, has developed a series of questions church leaders should answer before they begin to set a date for the church to gather again in person. We recommend that your church consider some similar questions…