American Baptist Churches of Ohio remembrances.

Reverend M. Douglass Willey Passes


The Rev. M. Douglass Willey passed away on December 21, 2022. He pastored churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California, along with being the interim pastor for several churches in the Indianapolis area. He served the Lord faithfully for over 50 years. 

Rev. Willey, 90, passed at Hoosier Village in Indianapolis, Indiana. Doug Willey was born on June 27, 1932 in Bangor, ME to Marvin J. Willey and Doris Spencer. Douglass graduated from Eastern College and Seminary and earned a Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate. 

Douglass married Rosemarie Moore on September 3rd, 1955 in Woodbine, NJ. The couple had 3 children. He was best known for his love of God and love of family.

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Rev. Calvin "Chuck" Ferrell, Jr. Called Home to the Lord

Reverend Calvin “Chuck” Ferrell, Jr. of Waverly WV, passed away Sunday, December 11, 2022. He pastored two churches, Gravel Hill, Fly OH and Pine Grove Baptist, Parkersburg WV. Please keep the Ferrell family in your prayers. 

Born in Bedford, OH on October 3, 1947. He was the son of the late Rev. Calvin and Imogene Ferrell.

He graduated Clear Creek Baptist College and Eastern Theological Seminary before pastoring Gravel Hill and Pine Grove. In retirement he served many local churches as pulpit supply. He was always ready to lend a helping hand or listening ear to those in need.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Connie Newell Ferrell; one son Steve (Becky) Ferrell; one granddaughter Emily Ferrell; bonus grandchildren Courtney (Seth) Miller, Katie (Josh) Radabaugh; four great-grandchildren; four sisters, Pat Monroe, Sandra Lamb, Carol Wise, Cindy Knopp; and several nieces and nephews.

Please keep the Ferrell family in your prayers.

Reverend Dr. Otha Gilyard Enters His Eternal Home


Reverend Dr. Otha Gilyard of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus has passed away. On December 1, 1993, Dr. Gilyard formally became the Pastor-Elect of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus. He was proud to have served two years as President of the Board of Ohio Council of Churches and served as past President of the Board. 

Dr. Gilyard was born on a farm to Caldonia Gilyard Moore in Brickeys, Arkansas. He was raised by his grandparents, Robert and Della Gilyard. Otha attended the public schools and graduated from A.M.P. Strong High School in Marianna, Arkansas. After graduation, he attended college briefly before enlisting in the Army and serving in Vietnam. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Reverend Robert "Bob" Melton Passes Peacefully

Rev. Robert “Bob” Melton of Chillicothe, Ohio passed away peacefully on November 18, 2022. Pastor Bob served American Baptist Churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas and West Virginia. He retired in 2001 after serving at Tabernacle Baptist in Chillicothe.

Bob was born on May 17, 1936, to Robert A. “Skid” and Demma C. Melton. He grew up in St. Albans, WV, graduated from St. Albans High School, and went on to Morris-Harvey College to major in Music Theory. There, in choir, he met Rayma Kay Ramsey, daughter of George E. and Erma D. Ramsey from Belle, West Virginia who would be his companion, partner in ministry and best friend for the rest of their lives. After graduation in 1958 Bob and Kay married and headed off to prepare for Christian pastoral work at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where Bob completed a Masters in Christian Education.

Over the next decades they would serve together in pastoral ministry. The Melton’s finished their full-time vocational ministry in service at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Ohio where they remained after retirement in 2001, continuing in volunteer church work for many years at Freedom House and Chillicothe First Assembly.

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Ruth "Kathleen" Hughes Passes Into the Arms of Jesus


Ruth "Kathleen" Hughes passed away on November 14, 2022. Kathleen is a former ABC Ohio President. She served most recently as the organist for Faith Fellowship Baptist Church until her retirement at the age of 89. She served in many capacities ministering with her husband Robert in small churches around the state of Ohio.

She was born in Akron, but grew up in Ironton, Ohio. She graduated from Ironton High School in 1946. After working for three years, she enrolled at Denison University as a Music major. Early in her first year, she met Robert Hughes, a senior, and her plans changed. They were married in August, 1950, and moved to Philadelphia while Robert was in seminary. In 1954, they began a life of ministering together in small churches around the state. Wherever they went, Kathleen served as Sunday School teacher, choir director, pianist/organist--wherever the need was. Most recently, she served as organist for Faith Fellowship Baptist Church until retiring at the age of 89.

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