American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.

Georganna Mawer Passes Peacefully


Georganna Mawer, 95, of Toledo. Ohio passed away peacefully with her family surrounding her on Sunday March 28, 2021. She entered in to the arms of Jesus on Palm Sunday.

Gigi was born in Weston, Ohio a, small rural farm town. She always kept her farm upbringing in her heart. Proceeding her in death are her siblings, Blanche Patterson, Harlan Zulch, Miriam Strohm: daughter in law Kay Mawer. 

Gigi was a member of First Baptist Church of Greater Toledo, where she served in many ministries for over 70 years. After raising her children Gigi fulfilled a dream of becoming a lay pastor of American Baptist Churches. She served as president of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio, making many lifelong friends.

Gigi loved to travel. While serving the American Baptist Churches of Ohio she planned and led numerous mission trips, domestic and abroad.  It was a great joy for her to share of these trips with the home churches in Ohio. Reporting to the congregations of the work of the gospel throughout the world. Bob and Gigi enjoyed traveling the world together. Known by her grandchildren as the “Traveling Grandma”.

Left to cherish her memory is her loving husband of 70 years: Robert Mawer: children: Jeff Mawer, James (Charlena) Mawer, Miriam (Thomas) Carpenter, Patricia (Matthew) Goretti;.11 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. She will be forever missed by her family.

Please keep the Mawer family in your prayers.

New Christian Education Wing Approved for FBC South Zanesville

On February 14,  2021, First Baptist Church of South Zanesville (David Nuhfer, Interim Pastor) voted unanimously to approve the addition of a Christian Education wing to the church’s facility. This came after a process of more than a year of formal and informal conversations within the leadership and church membership about the benefits of more space for classes, meetings, gatherings and childcare. The addition will include a new nursery and 4 classrooms, all of which will be equipped with audio/visual equipment and computers. Work started on March 3 (a month earlier than projected) with a “Groundbroken Ceremony” on March 14.

Read more: New Christian Education Wing Approved for FBC South Zanesville

Rev. Kenneth Eugene Durtsche Goes to Meet Jesus

Rev. Kenneth Eugene Durtsche, age 85, of Marion, met his beloved Jesus on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Heartland of Marion.

Rev. Durtsche was born on July 11, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and shortly after moved to Galion, Ohio where he was raised by Albert and Bertha Durtsche. He attended The Galion Schools graduating in 1953.

While living in Galion, Rev. Durtsche served as a Councilman and City Service Director. Wanting to continue his education and understanding of the Bible, Rev. Durtsche attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, The Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, New York, Ashland Seminary, and The Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. Rev. Durtsche started his many years of service to the Lord at The Kings Creek Baptist Church in Urbana, Ohio, Pastored the Baptist Church in Morral, and faithfully served The Fairpark Community Baptist Church in Marion for more than thirty-five years.

Read more: Rev. Kenneth Eugene Durtsche Goes to Meet Jesus

Jay Curry Reaches His Earthly Journey's End


Jay M. Curry, of Brookfield, Ohio, peacefully passed away on February 15, 2021, at Ohio Living Lake Vista, Cortland, Ohio, following a brief illness. He was 97 and a day.

Jay was born on Valentine’s Day, 1924, in Youngstown, Ohio, a son to Harry L. and Anna E. (Fox) Curry.

His elementary school years were spent in Austintown Fitch and Youngstown City Schools. However, he graduated from Brookfield High School in 1942.

He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII and was assigned to the 25th General Hospital, 30th Field Hospital, and the 2nd Evacuation Unit during the Battle of the Bulge in Europe.

Employed by General American Transportation in Masury, Ohio, he served in many areas of supervision and management for over 42 years. He was instrumental in initiating an Employee Assistance Program, which still exists in the Chicago area as a hotline to meet people’s needs. He retired on his birthday in 2011, working his last 27 years with Roemer Industries, Masury, as a Manufacturing Engineer of tooling and equipment.

Read more: Jay Curry Reaches His Earthly Journey's End

Sister Mildred Archie Goes to be with the Lord


Sister Mildred Archie passed away on February 11, 2021. Sis Archie was the first American Baptist missionary to be assigned to South Africa along with work in Zambia and Ghana.

She was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. Her parents, who had relocated from Alabama, remembers attending St. John as a fidgety four year old child. She joined in 1943 under Rev. B.E. Edmondson. 

She attended local schools and remembers being the only "colored" in some of her early classes. After graduation, most young people if they did not go into the armed forces, worked at the Department of Defense at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). 

However, she continued her education by going to night school and upon graduation received the honor of having one of the longest tenures from start to finish with a degree in Sociology in 1990 from Wittenberg University. The education included interruptions in schooling while working for WPAFB for 19 years and then transferring over to the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer for an additional 22 years which included Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Central America, South America, Tunisia, Nigeria and Vietnam. 

Read more: Sister Mildred Archie Goes to be with the Lord