The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Former ABC Ohio Representative Sarah Pirtle is with the Angels

Sarah Leah Pirtle, M.D., 62, passed away on November 12, 2017, at St. Rita's Medical Center, Lima. Sarah was an ABC USA General Board Representative and an ABC OHIO board member several years ago. Her father is also a retired ABC pastor in Lima. She graduated summa cum laude from Ouachita University in Arkadelphia, AR. She earned a Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry and a Medical Degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1984. She specialized in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine for Lima Memorial Health Systems and St. Rita's Medical Center for over 20 years. She was a member of First Baptist Church and sang in the choir, served on the Daycare Board, and was a member of the Elizabeth Circle of American Baptist Women's Ministries. She served as a member of the Board of International Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA and as a board member of American Baptist Churches of Ohio. She loved her profession, music, traveling, and playing euchre. Her friends were her friends for life. They will remember her joyful spirit, her generosity, and her infectious laugh. Prayers go out to the Pirtle family in their time of grief.

Graduate Theological Union Seeking President

The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley is launching a search for its next president. The GTU is a unique consortium of some 20-member schools, centers, and institutes, with a world-class library. Founded in 1962, the GTU is the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America, working in a deep collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley.  

An institution of higher learning unlike any other, the GTU brings together scholars of the world’s great religions and wisdom traditions to grow in knowledge, thrive in spirit, and unite in solutions. GTU prepares masters and doctoral-level students for academia, for service, for leadership. GTU advocates for a more just and compassionate world and for the care of the planet. GTU serves as a resource for our community, the nation, and the world. GTU seeks partners of spirit and intellect—open, innovative, inspired —to share our mission.

The Presidential Search team is seeking the next GTU president… ❖ one who promotes innovative change and inspires new paradigms ❖ one with an entrepreneurial spirit and attested financial management skill ❖ one who has a profound appreciation for the academic enterprise ❖ one who has an awareness of the religious and interreligious landscape, with a particular appreciation for the global diversity that entails  ❖ one with a demonstrated capacity to expand the reach of fund development ❖ one who promotes expanding both the enrollment of and career opportunities for our students ❖ a collaborative leader and an excellent listener ❖ a strategic, visionary, and optimistic individual ❖ one with a terminal degree 
GTU greatly values those who are candid about their strengths and vulnerabilities, who have an articulated spiritual practice, and who possess a curious, creative, and service-oriented perspective. The GTU is at a pivot point: GTU is seeking a wise and impassioned individual to decisively lead us into a deeper engagement with the work we are called to in a strengthened GTU. For more information, please visit Thank you for your interest!

Responding to Violence in Our Society ~ American Baptist Express Love and Not Fear

A Pastoral Letter from Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, General Secretary, ABCUSA
November 6, 2017

Dear American Baptist Family,

On Tuesday, October 31, my son and I were traveling home from the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board meetings in Manhattan. Driving south on the West Side Highway, and then turning west to enter New Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel, I was unaware that just a short distance away a terrorist act of extreme violence was unfolding. Yesterday, while traveling home from a wonderful ABCOFLASH celebration of the executive ministry of Sam Chetti, along with the rest of the country, I was deeply saddened by the news of the horrific violence inflicted upon the members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Read more: Responding to Violence in Our Society ~ American Baptist Express Love and Not Fear

191st Annual Gathering 2017 Report

The 191st Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio was held October 3rd and 4th, 2017. All events will took place at the Crowne Plaza, Columbus North. The Gathering is highlighted and celebrated the Region's 2017 Ministry Theme, "Transformed by the Journey" from Luke 24:32.

It was a wonderful time to join together. Events included our Celebrating  ABC/Ohio Region Ministries Luncheon, Celebrating  International Ministries Dinner and Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest Jones closed the Gathering with an inspirational message at our All-Convention Luncheon.

Our Keynote Speaker was Dr. William D. Shiell, President of Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois and our mission speakers were Emerson and Ivy Wu, American Baptist International Missionaries. 

See a few scenes from a wonderful week: