American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.
Rev. Dr. Morris W. Lee Sr., 83 made a transition to his heavenly home Friday, July 26, 2019, surrounded by his family.
The Rev. Dr. Morris W. Lee was born Oct. 19, 1935, in Isle of Wight County, Va., son of Peter H. and Nannie Crocker Lee, and was reared in Portsmouth, Va., where he attended the public schools.
He attended Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., receiving an A.B. degree in History. He then attended the Graduate School of Religion for three years and finished Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree.
Rev. Dr. Lee served from 1957 to 1960 as minister of the Jerusalem Baptist Church of Doswell, Va. In September of 1960, he was called to pastorate of the Third Baptist Church of Youngstown, succeeding the late Dr. S.S. Booker, where he was currently still serving as Pastor up until his death.
Dr. Lee has participated in many activities of civic, community and ecclesiastical nature in the Youngstown area as well as in a large arena. He had served as a member of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, of the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, the Executive Board of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, the Board of Trustees of the American Churches of Ohio and the Ohio Council of Churches.
He has been moderator of the Northern Ohio Baptist District Association, Director of Music for the Ohio General Baptist Convention, chairman of the Trumbull Baptist Neighborhood Ministries Committee, president of the Youngstown Ministerial Association and president of the Mahoning Valley Council of Churches.
Dr. Lee taught for several years in the Youngstown Extension of American Baptist Theological Seminary of Nashville, Tenn., in the Black Studies Program of Youngstown State University. He received an Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University. He completed course requirements toward a Doctorate in Ministry from Ashland University.
Dr. Lee married the love of his life, the former Beverly A. Chambliss, on June 11, 1966, and from their union they had two children, Morris W. Lee Jr. and Miriam M. Lee, both of Youngstown; one grandchild, JoLisa Collier-Lee; and a special granddaughter, Chelsea Anderson; two godsons, Michael (Cordella) Torbert of Mechanicsville, Md., and Craig McDowell of Syracuse, N.Y.; two special friends that were like siblings, Geneva Mason and Howard Pincham; along with a host of close cousins, friends all across the community, his beloved Third Baptist Church family; and his beloved cat, Zuri.
We lift up the Morris family in our prayers during this time.
Congratulations to the New Salem Baptist Church in Columbus. New Salem ordained four of their ministers on Sunday, June 30, 2019 following a day-long Ordination Council of Columbus Baptist Association churches. We celebrate the newly ordained ministers Landon Adams, Monica Lowe, TaNikka Sheppard and Merlyn Ruffin. Each candidate passed their examination and we celebrate all that God has done! Dr. Keith Troy is Pastor of New Salem Baptist Church. Dr. Otha Gilyard chairs the Columbus Baptist Association's Pastoral Relations Committee. Rev. Cyrus Broughton is Association President.
Reverend Dr. Charles Edward Booth, Pastor of The Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, went to be with The Lord March 23, 2019 in Columbus, OH.
Preaching the Gospel was a life calling for Dr. Charles E. Booth. He traveled the world preaching and teaching the Gospel. Education was a very high priority for this pastor, particularly Christian education. He has preached on college, university, and seminary campuses throughout this country.
Dr. Booth earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Howard University and his Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2016 he received the Distinguished Ministry Award from United Theological Seminary.
Dr. Charles E. Booth was an author, publishing his book, Bridging the Breach: Evangelical Thought and Liberation in the African-American Preaching Tradition (Urban Ministries) in 2000. The Prophetic Voice: Words for Today was released in 2011. His most recent publication, released in 2014 – Stronger in my Broken Places; Claiming a Life of Fullness in God.
Dr. Booth was born February 4, 1947 in Baltimore, MD and he has devoted the past 41 years to Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, where he has overseen substantial church growth. In 1993, Dr. Booth founded the Mount Olivet Christian Academy. During Dr. Booth’s tenure, Mt. Olivet raised $2.1 million to build the 100-seat Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel, an administrative wing plus 12 classrooms and expanded the fellowship center along with other facility improvements. Mt. Olivet is now in the planning stages of building an $8 million Family Life Center.
Left to cherish Dr. Booth's memory is his wife Crystal Washington Booth and daughter Kennedy. We pray for their family and friends during this time.
Reverend Clifford L. "Cliff" Kissinger, 91, of Springfield, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Villa of Springfield.
He was born March 27, 1927 in Culver, Indiana, the son of James and Cynthia (Anderson) Kissinger. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. Cliff loved sharing the word of the Lord as a pastor to many churches in Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia and Ohio throughout his 60 years of service.
Cliff was passionate about youth ministry and building the youth up through the church, and was a mentor to not only the members of his congregations, but also men and women who followed in his footsteps and became pastors themselves. Locally, he served for 10 years at Bethel Baptist Church in Springfield and from 1969-1979 at the First Baptist Church of Urbana where he was named Pastor Emeritus after his retirement. In addition, Cliff also served as interim pastor at Myrtle Tree Baptist Church in St. Paris and Kingscreek Baptist Church in Urbana. He later served as Chaplain at Vancrest Nursing Home in Urbana, as well as running a ministry blog.
Most of all, his greatest joy was his family, especially his grandchildren. He was a true "people person" with an incredible sense of humor and a gentle, kind and caring soul. He will be sadly missed by everyone who had the opportunity to know and love him.
Rev. Charles E. Spier, 90, of Logan, left this earthly life to go home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, June 2, 2018. He was born June 27, 1927 in Plainfield, New Jersey, son of the late Edward and Anna Teresa Chrest Spier. Rev. Spier was married to Virginia Bauman Spier, who survives.
He was a retired Baptist Minister and was a member and past Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church as well as an Army Veteran.
Rev. Spier is survived by his sons, Larry (Nancy) Spier of Akron and David (Edith) Spier of Logan; grandchildren, Steven (Katey), Mark (Anna), Kathy (J R), Tangie (Jeff) and Bryan; and several great-grandchildren.