American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.
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.
Reverend William Chappell Brantingham went to be with his Lord and Savior, whom he greatly loved, May 2, 2018. Bill was born to Cyrus and Abby Brantingham in West Pittston, Pennsylvania March 8, 1927. Bill served as Pastor of: First Baptist Church, Cranbrook, British Columbia, Oakview First Baptist Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba, First Baptist Church, Atwood, Illinois, Grand Prairie Baptist Church, Marion, Ohio, First Baptist Church, Conneaut, Ohio, and as Pastor of Visitation at First Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ohio.
Bill was drafted in to the United States Army Air Force in 1945 where he proudly served his country. His father, who was opposed to war, was very proud when his son showed up at his workplace wearing his dress uniform. Following his honorable discharge, he began working in the insurance industry in the Wrigley Building in Chicago.
This is where Bill met the love of his life, Bertha Mae Jingst in 1948 while both were attending Kostner Avenue Baptist Church. They met on a double date and went bowling each with a different partner. The next date was together and they were married on June 16, 1951. Shortly thereafter Bill and Bert answered the Lord’s calling into full time ministry. As a result, he continued his education where he earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Judson University and a B.A. in Theology from Northern Seminary. He was ordained on March 8, 1957, his 30th birthday.
Following Bill’s ordination, they adopted two sons. Stephen born in Chicago, Illinois; and while they were serving their first pastorate in Cranbrook, British Columbia, they adopted Daniel who was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Bill and Bert raised their sons and created a home centered on lives led by example, a deep faith in Jesus Christ and a lifetime of serving and ministering to others until his death. They touched thousands of lives over 55 years of ministry. Following his retirement from in December 2012, Bill continued to faithfully serve the Lord when he was called upon for visitations, weddings and funerals.
He and Bert have resided in Hamilton Ohio since 1990 and moved to Berkley Square Retirement Center for the final eleven years of his life. He and Bert are cherished and they have enjoyed deep and lasting friendships formed over many years with neighbors and current and former church members they have met along the way. Bill never lacking for something to say would stop and take time to visit with anyone willing to listen to his stories.
He is survived by his wife Bertha Mae, children: Stephen Paul (Penni) and Daniel Harlan (Elma); grandchildren: Tiffany Brantingham, Bobbie Jo (Wes) White, Matthew Harlan (Nicole) Brantingham, and Elyse Mae (Brett) Diehl and by six great grandchildren: Stephen Bradley (U.S. Army), Jerry Bradley, Isaac Griffin, Isabelle White, Jackson Harlan Brantingham and Hartmann Brantingham, his brother David Brantingham and numerous nieces and nephews. Please keep the Brantingham family in your prayers.
Sarah Leah Pirtle, M.D., 62, passed away on November 12, 2017, at St. Rita's Medical Center, Lima. Sarah was an ABC USA General Board Representative and an ABC OHIO board member several years ago. Her father is also a retired ABC pastor in Lima. She graduated summa cum laude from Ouachita University in Arkadelphia, AR. She earned a Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry and a Medical Degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1984. She specialized in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine for Lima Memorial Health Systems and St. Rita's Medical Center for over 20 years. She was a member of First Baptist Church and sang in the choir, served on the Daycare Board, and was a member of the Elizabeth Circle of American Baptist Women's Ministries. She served as a member of the Board of International Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA and as a board member of American Baptist Churches of Ohio. She loved her profession, music, traveling, and playing euchre. Her friends were her friends for life. They will remember her joyful spirit, her generosity, and her infectious laugh. Prayers go out to the Pirtle family in their time of grief.
Rev. Frederick "Fred" McKnight formerly of Plain City passed away in his sleep on October 2, 2017. Fred served many ABC-Ohio churches during his ministry and served from 1969 thru 1979 as the resident manager of Camp Kirkwood.
Fred was born June 19, 1922 in Transfer, Pennsylvania, he is a graduate of Westminster College in Pennsylvania and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He was ordained to ministry at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY in 1954. He served as pastor at Locust Grove Baptist Church, Salem, OH; Big Darby Baptist Church, Plain City, OH; Sugar Creek Baptist Church, Washington CH, OH; Jonah’s Run Baptist Church, Wilmington, OH; Church of the Master, Steuben, OH; and part time at Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Willard, OH.
He also served for ten years as site manager in Camp Kirkwood, Wilmington, OH. He retired in 1997. Our prayers are with his children and family.