The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Deborah Rush Passes to Eternal Rest in God

Deborah (Debbie) Kay Rush, wife of Pastor David Rush of Fairpark Community Baptist Church in Marion, passed away on Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

On June 14, 1957, Deborah was born to her late parents Ronald Geckle and Ellen Lee Shaw. She would go onto marry the love of her life Pastor David Rush in 1974 at Grace Baptist Church.

Debbie had a deep connection to her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a member of Fairpark Community Baptist Church where her husband led the congregation. For 20 years she worked as an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance. She was a member of Kiwanis International. Deborah loved her family dearly and was known to some as, “Grandmother Extraordinaire (Nana)”. Besides church and family, she had a passion for traveling. Some of her most memorable destinations were Hawaii, Aruba, the Mediterranean, and Israel. She also enjoyed going on cruises. The Grandkids loved her sausage balls at Christmas time.

Debbie is preceded in death by her parents and her brothers; Steven and David Geckle.

She is survived by her husband David, her daughter, Angela  (Trevor) Thompson of Delphos, OH,  her sons; Brian (Andrea) Rush of Hilliard, OH and Keith Rush of Marion, brothers; Michael (Marsha) Geckle, Larry Geckle of Marion, sister-in-law; Ruth Rush of Marion, her grandchildren; Elizabeth (Anthony) Kaplan, Destiny (Seth) Wollenhaupt, Arielle Thompson, Taylor (Kayleigh Gentry) Thompson, Brayden Thompson, Christopher (Kamryn) Rush, Alaina and Kayden Rush, Sophia, Mia, Olivia Garnett, and Jaxson Rush, and her great-grandchildren; Xander and Marleigh, and nephews, Brandon and Shawn Geckle.

Please keep the entire Rush family in your prayers.

News from Ann and Bill Clemmer

News from Ann and Bill Clemmer:

We are winding up the relief work that has provided assistance to  hundreds after the devastating volcanic eruption in Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo) which destroyed thousands of homes and left tens of thousands homeless. Bill and I were humbled by the gifts that allowed us to buy food, clothing, household items, mattresses, wheelchairs, and even goats to replace items well as resettle over 50 families and provide counseling to those who have lost so much. Your prayers and your gifts touched our hearts and those whom we serve. We’ve put together a short video (attached) to show a small portion of the large outpouring of love and concern that was received.

Now we’re moving on to other needs. Bill left for Yemen two days ago as part of a relief effort under Lutheran World Relief to bring emergency health and food relief to the tens of thousands displaced by the ongoing civil war. The UN estimites that over 400,000 children may die of starvation in Yemen just this year, a figure that is hard to grasp.  We ask for your prayers that he will be enabled and guided in his work. He’ll be returning to Goma in early November. We’re in contact daily.

Read more: News from Ann and Bill Clemmer

195th Annual Gathering October 12 & 13

The 195th Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio will be held on October 12-13, 2021. We will again meet at the Crowne Plaza – Columbus North, 6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229 (download the Hotel Information Sheet HERE).

“Discovering New Life:  Transforming Paths to Ministry” is the theme for this year’s Annual Gathering based on Matthew 9:16-17.


This year’s “Gathering” will be two days in length, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and concluding at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday. There will be three meal functions, the cost of which will be included in the Registration Fee. The three meal functions will be a Tuesday luncheon – Celebrating  ABC/Ohio Region Ministries, a Tuesday dinner – Celebrating  International Ministries, and a Wednesday All-Convention luncheon. Also included in the cost of registration is a continental breakfast on Wednesday morning. Please note, there will be no one-day registration. Election of officers and reports will take place on Tuesday morning. Tuesday’s luncheon will feature the Ohio Baptist Education Society.  Our speaker will be Rev. Christopher Thomas and officers of OBES.  Emerson & Ivy Wu American Baptist Missionaries in Asia will be our quest presenters at the Mission Banquet.  Rev. Mark Click and Rev. Jane Gibbons, our Executive Ministers, will be the luncheon speakers on Wednesday.


{Registration Form} {Hotel Information}

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16-17

Read more: 195th Annual Gathering October 12 & 13

Former ABC Ohio Pastor Rev. Robert A .Cunningham Passes

In sure and certain hope of the resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Rev. Robert A. Cunningham, 76, died on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Bob was born on September 21, 1944 in Cleveland, OH to William A. and Agnes (Almgren) Cunningham.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1966 with a major in accounting and a minor in American history. He received an MBA from Lake Erie College in 1989 and a diploma from Southern Baptist Theological Seminar Extension in 1997. After a long career as an accountant, Bob was blessed to serve as pastor of The United Church of Geneva, OH before retiring to Arizona in 2012. Bob was a devoted husband to Judy Uher Cunningham for nearly 47 years. After her death in 2017, he moved to Parrish, FL. He and Judy Keyser were married in 2019.

Bob was a lifelong fan of baseball, chiefly his beloved Cleveland Indians. He also loved animals, especially his sweet dog Roxie who died earlier this year and the many pets he and Judy raised throughout the years. Bob loved talking to anyone and everyone, reminiscing about life in Cleveland, and, most importantly, sharing his faith in Jesus Christ.

Bob was an enthusiastic volunteer at Morton Plant Hospital. He was a longtime Mason, most recently a member of Liberty Lodge No. 412 in Bradenton, FL where he served as chaplain. He was an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, FL where he sang in the choir.

Bob is survived by his wife Judy Keyser of Largo, Fl and his brother William Cunningham of Louisville, Kentucky.