The latest news specifically for American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

New ARMs for the Miami Baptist Association

ABC/OHIO continues the mission of “Building Healthy Churches that will Impact the world for Christ.” One significant part of our strategy is the partnership of the Associate Regional Ministers (ARMs) for Pastoral Care. The ministry of ABC/OHIO Pastoral Care ARMs is one of providing pastoral care and support to local pastors through regular monthly contacts, prayer, and encouragement. Effective January 2016 we have added two ARMs to assist the Miami Baptist Association.
The Rev. Charles Russell will become the ABC/OHIO Pastoral Care ARM for the Miami Baptist Association effective January 2016. Rev. Russell and his wife Kathie have been serving the Immanuel at Lakewood Baptist Church of Cincinnati for over ten years. Prior to serving as pastor of Immanuel at Lakewood, he has served as youth pastor, pastor and as a Christian school supervisor. He has faithfully served in ministry for 44 years. He attended the Cumberland & Bryan Colleges and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a pastor, husband, father, grandfather, friend and partner in ministry.
The Rev. Christopher Osterbrock will join us as a new ABC/OHIO ARM for Student Ministries/Young Adults. Chris graduated from Cincinnati Christian University in 2013. At CCU he obtained a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Old Testament Studies. He was ordained as an American Baptist minister on October of 2013. He’s the pastor of youth and young adults at Mt. Washington Baptist Church of Cincinnati. He and his wife Emily have lived in Anderson, Ohio for five years. They have a newborn daughter. He has a passion for youth and young adults. Chris states, “As an Associate Regional Minister my desire is to unite others who have such a passion. Any difference we can make will only be made greater when we make it together in the name of Christ. The author of Ecclesiastes writes, ‘A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”’
Please join our ABC Ohio Region welcoming Rev. Russell and Rev. Osterbrock to the ABC/OHIO ministry team.

The McCurdy's Commissioned as Missionaries

Peter and Sarah McCurdy of Madison, Ohio, were commissioned to serve as American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionaries in the Dominican Republic and Cuba on November 15, 2015. The couple's four children, ages 6 to 14, will be serving with them. Peter will also travel to Cuba at regular intervals to work with the leaders of Baptist groups in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. The commissioning service was held at the First Baptist Church of Painesville, Ohio., where Peter served as senior pastor for seven years, beginning in 2007. During a portion of that time, Sarah, a French teacher, was on the adjunct faculty at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. Words of encouragement for Peter and Sarah may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. READ MORE HERE!

ABC Ohio Welcomes New Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest H Jones

It is official! After ten months of diligently seeking God’s leading, the Executive Minister Search Committee, chaired by the Rev. Dr. Marva Hughes of Dayton, recommended a candidate to the Region Board at their November 7, 2015, meeting. After meeting with the candidate, the Board voted unanimously to extend a call to the Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones of Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Jones has officially accepted our call and will begin his service with ABC/Ohio on January 1, 2016, succeeding Dr. Larry Swain who will be retiring on December 31, 2015. Please join us in praise and thanksgiving to our Lord for His abiding presence with our Search Committee during their time of discerning His will for ABC/Ohio. We ask for your prayers and support for Dr. and Mrs. Jones as we welcome them in 2016 to help us continue our mission of Building Healthy Churches that Impact the World for Christ. A formal installation service will be planned for Dr. Jones in the Spring of 2016.

Read more: ABC Ohio Welcomes New Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest H Jones

Friends of the Region Legacy Initiative

American Baptist Churches of Ohio (ABC Ohio) assist local and regional congregations. In an effort to provide long term financial stability, the Friends of the Region Legacy Initiative has established the Rise Up and Build Fund to support key ministry initiatives. These include congregational development consulting, coaching, training, pastor and famiily care, crisis counseling to congregations and pastors, promoting the congregations shared mission and more. Your financial commitment is important to the support of these ministries and more. In addition to cash gifts, there are other ways to contribuite including wills (bequests), gifts of stock, life insurance, real estate and other property along with charitable trusts and annuities. For more information about this fund and ways you can give, contact ABC Ohio at 740-587-0804 or our partners the American Baptist Foundation at 650-768-2035. You can make a difference and join the Friends of the Region Legacy Initiative!

Churches and Pastors: Important Tax Law Changes

On July 1, 2015 the Affordable Care Act rules officially change for many churches. Tax advisors are warning churches who previously provided health insurance reimbursement as part of a salary “package” that it is now against the law. Unless your church employees are on a group plan or pay only one employee, an employer is not permitted to reimburse individual health care insurance premiums on either a pre- or post-tax basis. If your church continues to do this, the church is required to pay a fine of $100 per day per employee.

Read more: Churches and Pastors: Important Tax Law Changes