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

Deborah Rush Passes to Eternal Rest in God


Deborah (Debbie) Kay Rush, wife of Pastor David Rush of Fairpark Community Baptist Church in Marion, passed away on Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

On June 14, 1957, Deborah was born to her late parents Ronald Geckle and Ellen Lee Shaw. She would go onto marry the love of her life Pastor David Rush in 1974 at Grace Baptist Church.

Debbie had a deep connection to her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a member of Fairpark Community Baptist Church where her husband led the congregation. For 20 years she worked as an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance. She was a member of Kiwanis International. Deborah loved her family dearly and was known to some as, “Grandmother Extraordinaire (Nana)”. Besides church and family, she had a passion for traveling. Some of her most memorable destinations were Hawaii, Aruba, the Mediterranean, and Israel. She also enjoyed going on cruises. The Grandkids loved her sausage balls at Christmas time.

Debbie is preceded in death by her parents and her brothers; Steven and David Geckle.

She is survived by her husband David, her daughter, Angela  (Trevor) Thompson of Delphos, OH,  her sons; Brian (Andrea) Rush of Hilliard, OH and Keith Rush of Marion, brothers; Michael (Marsha) Geckle, Larry Geckle of Marion, sister-in-law; Ruth Rush of Marion, her grandchildren; Elizabeth (Anthony) Kaplan, Destiny (Seth) Wollenhaupt, Arielle Thompson, Taylor (Kayleigh Gentry) Thompson, Brayden Thompson, Christopher (Kamryn) Rush, Alaina and Kayden Rush, Sophia, Mia, Olivia Garnett, and Jaxson Rush, and her great-grandchildren; Xander and Marleigh, and nephews, Brandon and Shawn Geckle.

Please keep the entire Rush family in your prayers.

Former ABC Ohio Pastor Rev. Robert A .Cunningham Passes


In sure and certain hope of the resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Rev. Robert A. Cunningham, 76, died on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Bob was born on September 21, 1944 in Cleveland, OH to William A. and Agnes (Almgren) Cunningham.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1966 with a major in accounting and a minor in American history. He received an MBA from Lake Erie College in 1989 and a diploma from Southern Baptist Theological Seminar Extension in 1997. After a long career as an accountant, Bob was blessed to serve as pastor of The United Church of Geneva, OH before retiring to Arizona in 2012. Bob was a devoted husband to Judy Uher Cunningham for nearly 47 years. After her death in 2017, he moved to Parrish, FL. He and Judy Keyser were married in 2019.

Bob was a lifelong fan of baseball, chiefly his beloved Cleveland Indians. He also loved animals, especially his sweet dog Roxie who died earlier this year and the many pets he and Judy raised throughout the years. Bob loved talking to anyone and everyone, reminiscing about life in Cleveland, and, most importantly, sharing his faith in Jesus Christ.

Bob was an enthusiastic volunteer at Morton Plant Hospital. He was a longtime Mason, most recently a member of Liberty Lodge No. 412 in Bradenton, FL where he served as chaplain. He was an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, FL where he sang in the choir.

Bob is survived by his wife Judy Keyser of Largo, Fl and his brother William Cunningham of Louisville, Kentucky.

Rev. Dr. Hai Vung Lian Goes Home to be with the Lord


Rev. Dr. Hai Vung Lian, age 55, passed away Monday, April 26, 2021 at Doctors Hospital West. He was an ordained American Baptist minister who was the Founding Pastor of Emmanuel Chin Baptist Church, a congregation of more than 750 persons, in Galloway, Ohio. He served on the Board of Regional Ministries for the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. Dr. Hai Vung earned his Master of Divinity Degree and Doctor of Ministry Degree at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton. He was a prolific writer and leader in the Chin community in both the United States and Myanmar. 

He is survived by his wife, Aye Aye Mu Dah Thluai Par and children, Hanah T. Lian, Nathan Lian, Daniel Lian, Syrus Lian, Elisha Lian, Isabella Angel Lian, and Gabriel Lian. Please keep their family in your prayers.

Rev. Marvin Sallee Passes

Rev. Marvin L. Sallee, 78, Vinton, Ohio passed away Monday, April 19, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia on August 13, 1942 to the late Virgil and Grace Powers Sallee. He married Ethel May Edman Sallee and often referred to her as his “bride” in the 56 years they were married. She always served in the ministry alongside of her husband. She preceded his death on July 20, 2019.

Marvin was a lifetime minister.  He started his ministry at Good Hope Baptist Church followed by Newport Baptist, Lawrence Baptist and Deucher Baptist and Vinton Baptist Church. He was active in his community serving on the Vinton Village Council, United Way, Gallia County Senior Citizens Center, Gallia County Council on Aging and Chaplain at Holzer Medical Center. He was named the Ohio Mission Person of the Year in 1997. Marvin had a great love for Gospel Music. He was referred to by some as the "Singing Preacher". He spent many years traveling in West Virginia and Ohio spreading the message of the gospel in song.

Read more: Rev. Marvin Sallee Passes

Copier Available from East Livingston Baptist Church

East Livingston Baptist Church (6500 E Livingston Ave, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068) has a nice, working copier to give away.  Anyone interested please call the church at:  614.866.1881.