Greetings American Baptist Churches of Ohio,
We pray that all is well with each of you and your families. We have just finished a two-day ABC/OHIO Board Retreat, which was held in Dublin Ohio on February 9th and 10th, 2018. This was a first-time experience for the Region, as we just finished celebrating the life of our Executive Minister, Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones on February 3rd, 2018. Though untimely, God, in His Infinite Wisdom called Dr. Jones from labor to reward. With heavy hearts we were still able to meet as a Region and make future plans for the Region to go forward. We are still requesting your continued prayers for Denise and the children as they begin the healing process.
In the passing of Dr. Jones, it is important that we as a Region continue to move forward with the progress and ground work that has been laid before us. The Theme that Dr. Jones presented to us in 2017 was “Transformed by The Journey,” from Luke 24:32, and the new theme for this year is “Discovering God's Plan,” from Jeremiah 29:11-13, which our Regional Ministers placed before us.
With all of that information at hand, in order for the Region to continue in the direction that's needed, we are pleased to announce that retired Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Lawrence O. Swain, will serve as Interim Executive Minister, effective immediately. Dr. Swain will be present at the office 2 days a week through April of 2018, after which the time may increase at the Board's request.
We are Blessed to have Dr. Swain agree to come back on board, in as much as he already has the experience. We ask that you continue in the spirit of love and cooperation, which you have shown over the years. We thank you in advance for the love you have shown in making progress in the Region, and your continued dedication, as we continue “Building Healthy Churches that Impact the World for Christ.”
Yours in Christ,
Rev. James H. Willis, Sr
American Baptist Churches of Ohio Region Board President