The latest news specifically for American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

ABC Ohio Introduces Regional Ministers

It is a joy to share our four Regional Ministers for ABC-Ohio. Each will begin their service on October 1, 2022. October through December 2022 will serve as a time of orientation and staff development for our new team. Rev. Jane Gibbons will retire and conclude her ministry, after serving 23 years with ABC Ohio on December 31, 2022.


Rev. Dr. James Willis

The Region Board has asked that Rev. Mark Click focus his ministry on the role of the Executive Minister for ABC Ohio. He will no longer be serving in a dual capacity as Executive Minister for Administration & Denominational Relations and Regional Minister for southern Ohio.

Welcome our ABC Ohio Regional Ministers:

Rev. Dr. James Willis – Northwest Regional Minister. Dr. Willis serves as the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Toledo and has served in the Toledo Area Baptist Association and for several years on the Region Board as Vice-President, President and Past-President.


Rev. Kevin Thomas

Rev. Kevin Thomas – Northeast Regional Minister. Rev. Thomas serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canton and has served in the Akron Baptist Association and Ohio Baptist Education Society.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston – Southwest Regional Minister. Dr. Hairston serves as the Senior Pastor of the Living Word Bible Fellowship of Columbus and has served in the Columbus Baptist Association and as Dean of the Ohio Leadership Academy. 


Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston

Rev. Mark Eaton – Southeast Regional Minister. Rev. Eaton serves as the Senior Pastor of the Porterfield Baptist Church of Little Hocking and serves as the Associate Regional Minister (ARM) for the Marietta Baptist Association.


Rev. Mark Eaton

The Region was blessed to have sixteen excellent ministers apply for the position(s) of Regional Minister. Each candidate was uniquely gifted and qualified to serve, ranging in education and experience. After much thought, consultation and prayer our candidates were selected to serve as Regional Ministers. 

Please pray for Rev. Gibbons as she prepares for the next chapter of life and ministry, the new Regional Ministers, the continued ministry of the Associate Regional Ministers (ARMs), and Rev. Click as everyone transitions in our ministries – Equipping the People of God to Impact the World for Christ.

Thank you for your prayers, support and partnership in ministry, as we work together to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make disciples and impact our world for Christ.

Rev. Jane Gibbons Retirement Celebration November 5, 2022


Rev. Jane Gibbons, Executive Minister for Program & Ministry Development of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio has announced her retirement effective January 1, 2023.

Rev. Gibbons has faithfully served our region as a Regional and Executive Minister for 23 years. To recognize her ministry and accomplishments during this time, American Baptist Churches of Ohio is hosting a Celebration Luncheon event on Saturday, November 05, 2022 from 12 PM to 3 PM at Kingwood Center Gardens, 50 N. Trimble Rd., Mansfield, Ohio 44906.

We would like to extend a cordial invitation to you and your spouse to attend this celebration. The cost of the celebration will be $30.00 per person.  Reservations must be received by Friday, October 7, 2022. Space is limited so plan on registering early. Unfortunately, we may not be able to receive reservations after this date. If you are planning on attending the event you must register. You may email or call your reservation into Leslie Hoskinson or 740.587.0804.

During the celebration there will be a time of reflection and congratulatory remarks. If you are unable to attend we encourage you to provide us with a congratulatory letter which will be placed with other letters in a Celebration Scrapbook. Please send your letter by Saturday, October 1, 2022 in order for us to prepare the Scrapbook. Please send letters to: Leslie Hoskinson, American Baptist Churches of Ohio, 136 N. Galway Drive, Granville, Ohio   43023.

If you are planning on attending and would like information on area hotels please contact Leslie Hoskinson at 740.587.0804. Download a map to Kingwood Center HERE.

We look forward to having you join us as we come together and celebrate Rev. Jane Gibbons’ ministry with the American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

Nominees Sought for ABC Ohio Region Board Treasurer

Nominees are currently being sought for the American Baptist Churches of Ohio Region Board Treasurer.

Job Description (volunteer):

  • The Treasurer is an active participant of the Executive Committee which includes the President, Vice President, Secretary, Past President and Executive Minister.
  • Oversees all revenues, expenses and communicates this information to the Board on a quarterly basis.
  • In cooperation with the ABC Ohio Staff as well as the Budget and Finance Committee, the Treasurer works to create the Budget Draft and present it to the Board for approval.
  • In cooperation with the Senior Accountant, the Treasurer develops and presents the Annual Budget and an over view of the financial health of ABC Ohio at the Annual Gathering.
  • Ensures development and Board review of sound fiscal policies and procedures.
  • Acts as an official signer on the ABC Ohio bank account and works with Executive Minister and Senior Accountant on large monetary distributions.
  • Oversees any financial agreements in consultation with the Finance Committee.
  • Participates in revenue generation activities including cultivation and stewardship.
  • Serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee.
  • In cooperation with the Board Officers and Senior Accountant, accepts responsibility for filing annual tax forms as required by the State or the IRS.
  • Provides a full financial report to the Board annually.
  • Ensure the protection of funds from any potential misuse by any other members of the committee.
  • Participate in the Annual Auditing Process
  • Works with the Executive Minister to Plan and ensure adherence to the pre-determined financial budget for the year.

Please forward possible nominees to Rev. Mark Click.

New ARMs Introduced

ABC Ohio introduces two new ABC Ohio Associate Regional Ministers (ARMs). Rev. Clay Self serves the Clinton Baptist Association and Rev. Dr. Jason Hentschel of the Miami Baptist Association.

Rev. Dr. Jason Hentschel


Rev. Dr. Jason Hentschel

Rev. Dr. Jason Hentschel in addition to serving as the Senior Pastor at the Wyoming Baptist Church in Cincinnati serves as the ABC Ohio Associate Regional Minister (ARM) for the Miami Baptist Association.

Jason will be making regular contacts with association pastors, organizing regular Clergy Fellowship meetings (as the pandemic allows), and supporting the work of the association.

The focus of his ARM ministry will be that of pastoral care and support. He will be working closely with Region Staff and other ARMs serving throughout the Region.

Rev. Dr. Jason A. Hentschel is Senior Pastor at Wyoming Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and (occasionally) Adjunct Professor of Theology at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. When not preaching, teaching, or writing, he’s creating LEGO masterpieces with his two kids, Emma and Marty, watching murder mysteries with his wife, Sara, or fly fishing in the middle of a river somewhere. Social media frightens him, so he’s sworn it off and would rather grab coffee or lunch anyway.

Rev. Clay Self


Rev. Clay Self and his wife Kacy

Rev. Clay Self is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Hillsboro and will serve the Clinton Baptist Association. In his own words:

"My conversion to Christ happened when I was a youth at Ashland Ave Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio at an Ohio Baptist Youth Convention held at First Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio. After that I served two terms on the Ohio Baptist Youth State Board. Between high school and college, I worked at Judson Hills Baptist Camp in Loudonville, Ohio. 

While attending Eastern College (now Eastern University) I pursued many ministry opportunities including prison ministry, developing and initiating a campus wide small group ministry, serving as an assistant to the campus chaplain and occasional pulpit supply to nearby churches. 

After earning a psychology degree with an emphasis in youth I was blessed with the opportunity to serve under my mentor/pastor at the First Baptist Church in Des Moines, IA.From there I attended and graduated from Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City before accepting a call to First Baptist Church or Urbana, IL. 

After seven years there my family packed up and moved to the Seattle, WA area where I served a church for fourteen years before taking a two year break from pastoring by swinging a hammer as a lead carpenter for a remodeling company in the Seattle area. While serving the Seattle area church I was part of one of the region’s first Leadership Learning Communities designed to support pastors serving in the local church. That allowed me to participate and help lead several churches in assessment and beyond processes.

By the way, being a carpenter not only made me a literal follower of Jesus, was a great way to heal and find out how to better connect my faith in Jesus to people who didn’t value the church the way I do.
In September of 2018 I accepted the call of First Baptist Church of Hillsboro, Ohio. My first experience in southern Ohio and smaller town ministry. An adventure I continue to enjoy! 

In early 2021 after many pandemic and other delays I robbed the Seattle area of its greatest beauty, Kacy (now!) Self. Her faith in Jesus and actualization of grace amazes me every day. Our blended family consist of three adult children, my son who is a mechanical engineer, my daughter who just started law school and Kacy’s son who will happily sell you a Honda vehicle. Added to that is her son who lives with us and is in sixth grade, a Cockatiel (I rescued about 20 years ago), and a Netherland Dwarf rabbit.

I am looking forward helping pastors and churches connect, challenge and care for each other in mission focused healthy ways. I desire and need that and firmly believe I am not alone."

THANK YOU!

Thank you for your support of the mission and ministry of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio as we seek to “Equip the People of God to Impact the World for Christ.”

New Christian Education Wing Approved for FBC South Zanesville

On February 14,  2021, First Baptist Church of South Zanesville (David Nuhfer, Interim Pastor) voted unanimously to approve the addition of a Christian Education wing to the church’s facility. This came after a process of more than a year of formal and informal conversations within the leadership and church membership about the benefits of more space for classes, meetings, gatherings and childcare. The addition will include a new nursery and 4 classrooms, all of which will be equipped with audio/visual equipment and computers. Work started on March 3 (a month earlier than projected) with a “Groundbroken Ceremony” on March 14.

Read more: New Christian Education Wing Approved for FBC South Zanesville