The latest news specifically for American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

Tempered Resilience FREE Webinar February 24

Join us for "Tempered Resilience," a FREE webinar with Dr. Tod Bolsinger sponsored by ABC Ohio and Great Commission Fellowship on February 24, 2022 at 11:30 AM. 

REGISTER TODAY HERE!

We don’t need anyone telling us how challenging this pandemic has been on our lives and our livelihoods whether leading a church, ministry, or business.

What we need is perspective on how to do more than merely weather the storm. We need to identify the nature of the challenge we face in leading today… and we need support to be the people God has called us to be in these various callings.

What type of leadership is needed in a moment that demands adaptive change? Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains, is uniquely positioned to explore the qualities of adaptive leadership 

Tod Bolsinger is the Executive Director for the DePree Center Church Leadership Institute, and the author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, and the newly released, Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change. Click here to view Tod’s profile.

Tod Bolsinger joined Fuller Seminary in 2014 as vice president for vocation and formation and he now serves as Senior Fellow at the De Pree Center and Associate Professor of Leadership Formation. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1993, Dr. Bolsinger served as senior pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church from 1997 to 2014. Prior to that he was associate pastor of discipleship and spiritual formation at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.

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.”

What Comes Next? Meeting the Challenges of Ministry in this Pandemic

April 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

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…

Read more: What Comes Next? Meeting the Challenges of Ministry in this Pandemic

REMC Recommended Best Practices for Pastors During the COVID-19 Crisis

The following are recommendations from the Regional Executive Ministers Council for American Baptist Pastors during this time of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions.

Traditional pastoral ministry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and government Stay at Home directives. It has changed dthe way we worship, fellowship and provide pastoral care. In general, there are to be no groups of ten or more people.

1. Worship services should not be held in person. Services should be held by Facebook, streaming, and video conference.

2. Memorial services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger services should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

3. Wedding services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger celebrations and/or receptions should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

4. Pastoral calls to those in the hospital, nursing homes, and shut-ins should be postponed until after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

5. People in hospitals, nursing homes, and shut-ins are considered at high risk of being infected with the virus.

6. Pastoral care must take on other expressions: greeting cards, phone calls, email, texting, Face Timing, and other creative ways to be present.

7. The ministry of prayer has been become even more important.

8. RESOURCES:

Best Practices for Funerals During the COVID-19 Crisis:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jp2i6bFvSTfLbDf0nu5QWsKI3aF_toK_uN1o0yvujEA/edit 

ABC USA Resources:
www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus/ 

The CARES Act: Your Questions Answered from the MMBB

As we continue to grapple with the continuing effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the pace of change is rapid and ongoing. It can be challenging to keep up with the volume of information whether it concerns the rising number of people stricken with the disease and its rapid spread, the shifting market and investment environment, or understanding the details of the recent stimulus legislation passed by Congress and its impact on pastoral leaders, churches and faith-based organizations.

We take seriously MMBB’s fiduciary responsibility and ongoing commitment to serve our members. Therefore, we strive to ensure that the information presented about the CARES Act is accurate and reflects the clearest understanding of the specific provisions available to non-profits, clergy, churches and other religious entities. We appreciate your patience as we exercise our due diligence to examine multiple legal, financial, and legislative resources.

Read more: The CARES Act: Your Questions Answered from the MMBB