The latest news specifically for American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

Rev. Gordon Thomas Passes


Rev. Gordon L. Thomas, age 71, passed away at 4:25 p.m., Monday, November 4, 2019 at Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center in Copley. Rev. Thomas He was born May 16, 1948, in Sharon, Pennsylvania to the late Lewis and Alice (Wasilko) Thomas.

Rev. Thomas was a 1966 graduate of Hickory High School in PA, earned his BA in 1972 from Youngstown State University and earned his Master of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He was ordained at First Baptist Church in June of 1976 in Sharpsville, PA.

Other churches Pastor Thomas served at were: First Baptist Church-Sharpsville Pa. as an interim Pastor from 1971-1972, Geneva Road Baptist Church-Wheaton, Illinois from 1973-1976, Waynesfield Baptist Church-Waynesfield, Ohio from 1977-1980, Trinity Baptist Church-N. Canton, Ohio from 1980-1993 and First Baptist Church-Alliance Ohio from 1993-2010.

He was a member of the Lions Club, and involved with Goodwill Industries in Canton from 1984-1990, volunteered with Quest Recovery Service in Canton, organized N. Canton Singles Club and Big Brother/Big Sister Programs in Lombard, Illinois, and N Canton, American Baptist Churches of Ohio Adjunct Staff Christian Education, Moderator at Akron Baptist Association, treasurer of North Canton Ministerial Association, Moderator at Trumbull Baptist Association and Board of Trustee at Judson Hill Camp in Camp Koinonia, board of trustee for Neighborhood Ministries in Youngstown and 12 years as Director of Junior Camp at Judson Hills Camp.

Please keep the family of Rev. Thomas in your prayers.

The Passing of Rev. Dr. Lawrence O. Swain

Dear Friends,

It is with profound sadness that we share with you the unexpected passing of Rev. Dr. Larry Swain last evening.  He and Linda were visiting family in Kansas City. 

Dr. Swain served as an Area Minister and later Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio until his retirement in December 2015.  He returned last year to serve as ABC Ohio’s Interim Executive Minister after the death of Dr. Ernest Jones.   He was serving as Executive Staff Coach for the Region at the time of his passing.  Dr. Swain was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, outstanding leader, and man of God. 

No information is yet available about calling hours or funeral.  We will forward that information to you when it is announced.

In Christ,

Rev. Mark Click
Rev. Jane Gibbons
Executive Ministers

Collaborating to Provide Mattresses for Clients of ABHMS Partnering Organization

The importance of sleep is indisputable—especially as it relates to the developing minds and bodies of children and teens. That’s the reason that Mahoning Valley Baptist Association (MVBA), Youngstown, Ohio, partnered with the Campbell, Ohio-headquartered Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries to provide mattresses to families in the low-income Youngstown metropolitan area. Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries is a partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Community Outreach Ministries.

The organizations had learned from a Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority survey that only 40 percent of apartments in the Kirwan Homes development, Campbell, had enough beds for the number of occupants.

“Children are sleeping on couches, chairs and, in some cases, extra clothing piles on the floor,” wrote Dr. Rudy Braydich, MVBA president, in a report to ABHMS. “Proper sleep translates into better attention in school and reduced health issues.”

MVBA churches raised money to purchase mattresses. Clients from Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries’ three community centers—Kirwan Homes Community Center; Rockford Village Community Center, Youngstown; and Youngstown West Side Community Center—were invited to apply to receive mattresses. Volunteers from MVBA churches delivered 104 mattresses to residents’ doors.

Read more: Collaborating to Provide Mattresses for Clients of ABHMS Partnering Organization

Rev. Dr. Samuel Young Goes to be with the Lord

Rev. Dr. Samuel L. Young, 81, of Millbury, Ohio passed away on Thursday, March 28, 2019. He was born on June 17, 1937 in Los Angeles, California to Charles and Juanita Young.  Sam served two enlistments in the U.S. Army, one in Germany and also one with the 82nd Airborne based out of Fort Bragg, NC. Besides playing piano in the Airborne band, he played bag pipes and enjoyed listening to classical and jazz music.

Sam loved to spread the word of God and worked in church ministry his whole life. He was ordained as a minister in 1968 and served at various churches in Ohio, Kansas and even in Germany.His ministry led him to work as a Sheriff’s Chaplain and with Drug and Alcohol Education Services. 

Sam is survived by his loving wife of 15 years, Ruth Visser-Young; children, Allison (Greg) Pfister, Kyrstyn Young, Rachael (Lou) Solone, Matthew (Katy) Simons and Aaron (Chrissy) Simons; grandchildren, Hunter, Abigail, Gabriella, Jeremiah, Jackson and Evelyn; brothers, Leonard Casas and Charles Young and many nieces and nephews. Please pray for Rev. Young's family during this time.

Reverend Richard David Bausman Has Passed Away

The Reverend Doctor Richard David Bausman, 83, died Friday, April 5th at his home in Teaneck, New Jersey. Doctor Bausman was a native of Dayton, Ohio, and his first pastorate was as an Associate Minister at The First Baptist Church of Greater Dayton on Monument Avenue. Subsequently, he served at Cornell University in Ithaca New York; The United Baptist Church of Lewiston Maine; The First Baptist Church in America in Providence Rhode Island; The First Baptist Church of Port Chester, New York; and The United Christian Center at The Ohio State University. He returned to the same church that he served in Dayton as the Senior Pastor and retired from that position in 2003. Since his retirement he has served his communities in various interim pastorates.

Doctor Bausman is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marita D. Bausman, also an Ohio native; his son and daughter-in-law Richard and Jennifer Bausman of Martha’s Vineyard; his daughter and daughter-in-law Margaret Bausman and Veronica Lessa of New York City; and grandchildren Hudson Bausman, Adrian Aristide, Alaina Aristide, and Jessyca Hernandez.