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Dear ABC Ohio;
It is with deep regret and sorrow that we announce the death of our Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones.
Please continue to keep Denise, Candace, Adam and the entire family in prayer during this difficult time.
When funeral arrangements are available we will share them with you.
Rev. James H. Willis, Sr.
President, American Baptist Churches of Ohio
Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones made history as the first African-American Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. He was born on October 24, 1961 in Detroit, MI.
Dr. Jones gave his life to Christ as an adolescent, and by the age of 12 was a licensed preacher. For over 40 years, he devoted his life to the Gospel ministry. His pastor, Rev. Dr. Perkins, says at the age of 16 he seemed like a 40 year old in his maturity, wisdom and faith. He was a bridge builder for God.
He earned a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, MA in 1989. In 1994, Dr. Jones became the first African American to assume an executive level position with the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. In 1998, Dr. Jones was called to serve as the Pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016 he became the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio.
For those desiring to show their love for Denise not only through prayer but with a love gift please send to Leslie Hoskinson at the Regional Office.
In lieu of flowers you may give to ABC of Ohio or to the James Cancer Hospital in memory of Rev. Dr. Ernest Jones.
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.
The 191st Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio was held October 3rd and 4th, 2017. All events will took place at the Crowne Plaza, Columbus North. The Gathering is highlighted and celebrated the Region's 2017 Ministry Theme, "Transformed by the Journey" from Luke 24:32.
It was a wonderful time to join together. Events included our Celebrating ABC/Ohio Region Ministries Luncheon, Celebrating International Ministries Dinner and Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest Jones closed the Gathering with an inspirational message at our All-Convention Luncheon.
Our Keynote Speaker was Dr. William D. Shiell, President of Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois and our mission speakers were Emerson and Ivy Wu, American Baptist International Missionaries.
See a few scenes from a wonderful week:
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.