The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

ABCUSA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer Announces Retirement Plans

In a letter dated March 1, 2019 and presented in person to the ABCUSA Board of General Ministries (BGM) Executive Committee at their meetings in Orlando March 13-15, Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer announced his intention to retire from denominational leadership on December 31, 2019. Dr. Spitzer’s letter to the entire ABCUSA family was released March 14, 2019.

“It has been an honor and a joy to have served the ABC family for 4 decades, culminating in my tenure as General Secretary,” said Dr. Spitzer. “I am sharing my intention to retire 10 months ahead of time so that the denomination’s transition to new leadership can be accomplished in a deliberate and unhurried manner, and so that I can focus my energies and attention on the pastoral work that needs to be accomplished during this last phase of my journey as General Secretary. There is much to do!”

Read the entire letter HERE!

Beloved Pastor, Ben Peer, Goes Before Us


Our own Pastor Benjamin Peer, age 84, passed away on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. He was born to the late Luther and Ruth Peer in Clearport, OH. He was a 1952 graduate of Linden McKinley High School in Columbus and served in the Army from 1956-58 first at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and then in the Chicago area.

Ben served as the North Suburban Chicago Area Director for Hi-C Bible Clubs where he met his first wife Marie. After the Army, he worked locally at Westinghouse, Devonshire Exxon, Columbus Public Schools and Westerville City Schools.

In retirement, he served as a lay pastor at Judson Hills Baptist Camp as well as churches in Reynoldsburg, Zanesville, Troy and Cincinnati. He loved nature, reading, sports and sharing his love of Christ. In addition to his parents, Benjamin is preceded in death by his first wife, Marie, and sisters, Edna and Patricia. Benjamin is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Beth and Susan (Jim); step-children, Kim (Steve), Valerie (Mark), David (Michelle), Mike (Erin), Rick (Lisa); grandchildren, Ben (Ashley), Jess (Zach), Andrea (Shawn), and Jenna; cousin, Wilda Thompson; and numerous other extended family members along with wonderful friends from churches across the state of Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to our missionary friends Alise and Mark Juanes at International Ministries - Global Servant Support  1003 W 9th Ave, Ste A, King of Prussia, PA 19406-1210. 

ABC Ohio Calls Co-Executive Ministers Rev. Mark Click and Rev. Jane Gibbons

 VALLEY FORGE, PA (courtesy of the American Baptist News Service 12/12/18)

At the November 3 meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio Board of Region Ministries, the Board voted to call Rev. Mark Click and Rev. Jane Gibbons as Co-Executive Ministers for the region beginning January 1, 2019.  Rev. Click will serve as Executive Minister for Administration and Denominational Relations, and Rev. Gibbons will serve as Executive Minister for Program and Ministry Development.

Both Rev. Click and Rev. Gibbons have served ABC of Ohio as Region Ministers, Click since 2008 and Gibbons since 2000.  As American Baptist Clergy, both bring extensive years of ministry experience in ABC congregations and have gifts tailored toward the respective roles to which they have been called.

Rev. Mark Click was ordained as an American Baptist Minister in 2000. He served as the pastor of two ABC of Ohio churches and brings a passion for growing the local church. He received his MDiv from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 1994. He brings many administrative gifts, along with vision casting, to his new position as Executive Minister of Administration and Denominational Relations.  In his new role, Click will attend the Regional Executive Ministers Council, National Leadership Council, Multi-Region Corporation, and other traditional ABC Executive Minister related entities.

Rev. Jane Gibbons was ordained as an American Baptist Minister in 1994. She brings a specialty of gifts in Christian Education and coaching, and has a deep passion for pastors and the ministry of the local church. She served two ABC churches in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Charleston, W.Va. as Associate Pastor of Christian Education and other ministries.  Her many gifts in program development and grant writing make her a perfect fit for her new ministry in ABC of Ohio.  Jane holds a MDiv from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Rev. Click and Rev. Gibbons are breaking new ground as they begin their ministries as Co-Executive Ministers for ABC of Ohio, and they have worked well as a team in partnership in Region ministry for 10 years. Rev. Dr. Larry Swain, current Interim Executive Minister for the region, will transition to serving as Executive Staff Coach for 6 months in 2019.

2018 All Convention Wednesday Luncheon with Rev. Dr. Larry Swain

Our Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Larry Swain leads us in our closing All Convention Wednesday Luncheon. Dr. Swain's message was his "final address" as Executive Minister as he passes the baton to our new Executive Ministers: Rev. Mark Click, Executive Minister of Administration and Denominational Relationship and Rev. Jane Gibbons, Executive Minister of Ministry Programming and ARMs Expansion. This was all a part of “Discovering God’s Plan”, our theme for this year’s Annual Gathering based on Jeremiah 29:11-13.