The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Youth Minister Search

First Baptist Church (South Zanesville) is seeking an energetic person with a strong commitment to Christ and a desire to minister to youth in grades 6-12. The ideal candidate will be pursuing a ministry-related degree and/or have experience in Christian youth ministry. We are seeking a person with the skills and desire to start a new program “from the ground up.” At present, the position is part-time (up to 15 hours per week.) Wages will be based on education/experience and the number of hours the accepted candidate is able to be employed.
To apply, forward a resume with references to Youth Minister Search Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to First Baptist Church, 80 E. Main Street, South Zanesville, OH 43701. No telephone inquiries, please. Applicants will be forwarded a complete job description and application form.

ABC Ohio Introduces Regional Ministers

It is a joy to share our four Regional Ministers for ABC-Ohio. Each will begin their service on October 1, 2022. October through December 2022 will serve as a time of orientation and staff development for our new team. Rev. Jane Gibbons will retire and conclude her ministry, after serving 23 years with ABC Ohio on December 31, 2022.

Rev. Dr. James Willis

The Region Board has asked that Rev. Mark Click focus his ministry on the role of the Executive Minister for ABC Ohio. He will no longer be serving in a dual capacity as Executive Minister for Administration & Denominational Relations and Regional Minister for southern Ohio.

Welcome our ABC Ohio Regional Ministers:

Rev. Dr. James Willis – Northwest Regional Minister. Dr. Willis serves as the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Toledo and has served in the Toledo Area Baptist Association and for several years on the Region Board as Vice-President, President and Past-President.

Rev. Kevin Thomas

Rev. Kevin Thomas – Northeast Regional Minister. Rev. Thomas serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canton and has served in the Akron Baptist Association and Ohio Baptist Education Society.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston – Southwest Regional Minister. Dr. Hairston serves as the Senior Pastor of the Living Word Bible Fellowship of Columbus and has served in the Columbus Baptist Association and as Dean of the Ohio Leadership Academy. 

Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston

Rev. Mark Eaton – Southeast Regional Minister. Rev. Eaton serves as the Senior Pastor of the Porterfield Baptist Church of Little Hocking and serves as the Associate Regional Minister (ARM) for the Marietta Baptist Association.

Rev. Mark Eaton

The Region was blessed to have sixteen excellent ministers apply for the position(s) of Regional Minister. Each candidate was uniquely gifted and qualified to serve, ranging in education and experience. After much thought, consultation and prayer our candidates were selected to serve as Regional Ministers. 

Please pray for Rev. Gibbons as she prepares for the next chapter of life and ministry, the new Regional Ministers, the continued ministry of the Associate Regional Ministers (ARMs), and Rev. Click as everyone transitions in our ministries – Equipping the People of God to Impact the World for Christ.

Thank you for your prayers, support and partnership in ministry, as we work together to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make disciples and impact our world for Christ.

Rev. Alvin R. Lee Passes Peacefully

Rev. Alvin R. Lee, age 92, of Germantown passed away peacefully on August 26, 2022. He was born in Frugality, PA, to the late Shelton and Ida (Read) Lee. Alvin earned his Bachelor's degree from Eastern Baptist College, and his MDiv from Eastern Baptist Seminary. 

Alvin served as the pastor of churches in Delaware and New Jersey before transitioning to an area minister for the American Baptist denomination in New Jersey and Ohio. Alvin was preceded in death in 2008 by his wife of 58 years, Rachel (Gillespie) Lee, his brother Vernon Lee and sister Ina Comeau. 

Alvin is survived by one daughter, Catherine (Willard A., III) Whitaker of Germantown, TN; one son, Daniel (Rebecca) Lee of Germantown, OH; four grandchildren, Jennifer Whitaker, Matthew (Amanda) Whitaker, Nathan Lee (Bridget Ratcliffe) and Jacob Lee; one great grandson, Wesley Whitaker; one brother, Donald Lee, and numerous extended family members and dear friends. Please keep the Lee family in your prayers.

Rev. Dr. Steven James Schmidt Goes to Be With the Lord

On November 2, 2022, Rev. Dr. Steven James Schmidt, age 75, succumbed to complications of a heart attack. Pastor Steve first served as the Minister of Evangelism at North Parkersburg Baptist Church in West Virginia, and then as the Senior Pastor at Porterfield Baptist Church in Little Hocking, Ohio. In 1990 he became the Senior Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he faithfully served for the next two decades until his retirement. 

Not one to stay completely retired, he soon agreed to serve on a part-time basis at Laurel Valley Baptist Church. Pastor Steve went on numerous mission trips, to Jamaica, Russia, and Ukraine. He served on the Ohio Baptist Convention Board of Trustees; as President of the Ohio Ministers Council; as a board member of American Baptist Churches USA and International Ministries USA; and as Chaplain for the Ross County Sheriff’s Office. 

Read more: Rev. Dr. Steven James Schmidt Goes to Be With the Lord