The 183rd Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio ended October 18.  The 2008 event was hosted by the churches of the Marion Baptist Association and held in Columbus, Ohio. All activities took place at the CROWNE PLAZA Columbus North, 6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus 43229.

Once again, this was a wonderful opportunity for our American Baptist family here in Ohio to come together for three days of renewed friendships, family fun, worship, learning and encouragement. It was also a wonderful way to invite friends and guests to learn more about who we are as American Baptists!

The ABC/Ohio Program and Local Arrangements Teams worked on this year’s Annual Gathering for many months with great anticipation of how God would work during our three days together. Our theme this year was “Overflowing With Hope” based on Romans 15:13 which says…‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’. Our keynote speaker this year was Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson (see related story).

Our opening plenary session began Thursday afternoon, October 16th with the Presidential Address, Ministry Team Reports, Election of Officers and Award Presentations.

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson spoke four times during the Annual Gathering.

On Friday afternoon, during the Plenary Session we heard from the Rev. Dr. Larry Swain, Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. Following this session we conducted our Election District Meetings.

The Local Arrangements Team, under the leadership of Brenda Donegan, worked hard to make the 2008 Annual Gathering an exciting and meaning experience for all who attended.

According to the ABC/Ohio Constitution … “The voting delegates at meetings of the Region shall consist of — (a) All officially recognized professional church leaders registered at the Region’s main office; (b) delegates from cooperating churches on the basis of two delegates in addition to the recognized professional church leaders from each church plus one delegate for each one hundred resident members or fraction thereof above the first one hundred reported in its last annual church report form—December 31, 2007; and (c) all members of the Board.” [Article III, Section 3]

If you have questions or need additional information regarding the Annual Gathering, please contact me at your convenience. I may be reached at the ABC/Ohio Region Office at 740.587.0804 or you may email me by CLICKING HERE.

Together Serving Christ,
Robert M. Cassady
ABC/OHIO Minister of Congregational Development Central/Northeast