The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Rev. Rev. Richard Hunter Clossman Goes to be with the Lord


Dr. Rev. Richard Hunter Clossman, 91, of Elgin, passed away in his home surrounded by his loving family on November 9, 2019. He was born in Kokomo, IN on September 19, 1928 to the late Elmer Dunlap and Mary E. (Hunter) Clossman.

Richard was a graduate of Bob Jones University in South Carolina and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and was ordained in 1952. He received a masters of Arts and a PHD in History from The Ohio State University in 1965 and 1971 respectively.

Dr Clossman served in ministry for congregations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Illinois. He also served as campus minister for American Baptist Students at Ball State University from 1968 to 1972. In 1972 he took a professorship of History at Judson College in Elgin, IL and retired from that calling in 1997, He was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Elgin, IL

Dr Clossman was the author of several books; A History of the Ohio Baptist Convention, I Will Stand and Sing, and American Character and the Influence of Film. He was an accomplished pianist and organist. He and his wife enjoyed season tickets to the opera in Chicago. He was a longtime member of Kiwanis and Friends of Judson.

Please keep the Clossman family in your prayers.

Rev. Gordon Thomas Passes


Rev. Gordon L. Thomas, age 71, passed away at 4:25 p.m., Monday, November 4, 2019 at Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center in Copley. Rev. Thomas He was born May 16, 1948, in Sharon, Pennsylvania to the late Lewis and Alice (Wasilko) Thomas.

Rev. Thomas was a 1966 graduate of Hickory High School in PA, earned his BA in 1972 from Youngstown State University and earned his Master of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He was ordained at First Baptist Church in June of 1976 in Sharpsville, PA.

Other churches Pastor Thomas served at were: First Baptist Church-Sharpsville Pa. as an interim Pastor from 1971-1972, Geneva Road Baptist Church-Wheaton, Illinois from 1973-1976, Waynesfield Baptist Church-Waynesfield, Ohio from 1977-1980, Trinity Baptist Church-N. Canton, Ohio from 1980-1993 and First Baptist Church-Alliance Ohio from 1993-2010.

He was a member of the Lions Club, and involved with Goodwill Industries in Canton from 1984-1990, volunteered with Quest Recovery Service in Canton, organized N. Canton Singles Club and Big Brother/Big Sister Programs in Lombard, Illinois, and N Canton, American Baptist Churches of Ohio Adjunct Staff Christian Education, Moderator at Akron Baptist Association, treasurer of North Canton Ministerial Association, Moderator at Trumbull Baptist Association and Board of Trustee at Judson Hill Camp in Camp Koinonia, board of trustee for Neighborhood Ministries in Youngstown and 12 years as Director of Junior Camp at Judson Hills Camp.

Please keep the family of Rev. Thomas in your prayers.

The Passing of Rev. Dr. Lawrence O. Swain

Dear Friends,

It is with profound sadness that we share with you the unexpected passing of Rev. Dr. Larry Swain last evening.  He and Linda were visiting family in Kansas City. 

Dr. Swain served as an Area Minister and later Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio until his retirement in December 2015.  He returned last year to serve as ABC Ohio’s Interim Executive Minister after the death of Dr. Ernest Jones.   He was serving as Executive Staff Coach for the Region at the time of his passing.  Dr. Swain was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, outstanding leader, and man of God. 

No information is yet available about calling hours or funeral.  We will forward that information to you when it is announced.

In Christ,

Rev. Mark Click
Rev. Jane Gibbons
Executive Ministers

Collaborating to Provide Mattresses for Clients of ABHMS Partnering Organization

The importance of sleep is indisputable—especially as it relates to the developing minds and bodies of children and teens. That’s the reason that Mahoning Valley Baptist Association (MVBA), Youngstown, Ohio, partnered with the Campbell, Ohio-headquartered Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries to provide mattresses to families in the low-income Youngstown metropolitan area. Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries is a partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Community Outreach Ministries.

The organizations had learned from a Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority survey that only 40 percent of apartments in the Kirwan Homes development, Campbell, had enough beds for the number of occupants.

“Children are sleeping on couches, chairs and, in some cases, extra clothing piles on the floor,” wrote Dr. Rudy Braydich, MVBA president, in a report to ABHMS. “Proper sleep translates into better attention in school and reduced health issues.”

MVBA churches raised money to purchase mattresses. Clients from Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries’ three community centers—Kirwan Homes Community Center; Rockford Village Community Center, Youngstown; and Youngstown West Side Community Center—were invited to apply to receive mattresses. Volunteers from MVBA churches delivered 104 mattresses to residents’ doors.

Read more: Collaborating to Provide Mattresses for Clients of ABHMS Partnering Organization