The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Former ABC Ohio Representative Sarah Pirtle is with the Angels

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.

191st Annual Gathering 2017 Report


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. Fred McKnight Passes

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.

Rev. Robert Hughes Passes


Rev Robert D. Hughes was an amazing man who invested his love, guidance and encouragement in lots of people. He was the first Dean of the Leadership Academy. His wife Kathleen was a former region president. Please pray for Kathleen and the Hughes family as they grieve his passing.

Robert D. Hughes was born in Bucyrus, Ohio to Hugh T. and Reba (Craner) Hughes.  He graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1945, Denison University in 1950, and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1954. He preached his first sermon at the age of 14, in his grandfather’s church.  After seminary he pastored churches in Marietta, Painesville, Loudonville, Attica, and Cuyahoga Falls.  

Read more: Rev. Robert Hughes Passes