The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Pastor James W. Allison Passes

Pastor James W. Allison, 89, of New Lexington, Ohio died on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at Genesis Hospital, Zanesville, Ohio. Born June 13, 1931 in Somerset, Kentucky to the late Clyde Lee and Iva Anderson Allison. He graduated from St. Mary's High School; Rio Grande College; and Northern Baptist Seminary. He served as Pastor of Baptist Churches for 50 years; enjoyed carpentry, repairing broken things and yard sales. 

Pastor Allison is survived by his wife of 67 years, Wilda M. Dicke Allison; daughter, Patricia (Dean) Barnes, sons, Bruce (Kathy) Allison and Neal (Karen) Allison; grandchildren, Beth (Troy) Pingle, Tyrus Barnes, Kyle (Sarah) Barnes, Vanessa Allison, Joshua Allison and Anna Allison; great grandchildren, Evan, Trey, Avery and Audrey; brothers, John Allison and Richard Allison. In addition to his parents, preceded in death by brothers, Robert, Donald, Harold and Edward; sister, Darlene; granddaughter, Laura Maye Allison. Please keep the Allison family in your prayers.

Former ABC USA General Secretary Passes

Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Weiss, who served as General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA from 1988 to 2000, died on Saturday, August 22. Prior to serving as General Secretary, Dr. Weiss was Executive Director of the American Baptist Churches USA Board of Educational Ministries from 1983-1988, and previously served as president of American Baptist-related schools, Eastern College in St. Davids, Pa., and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, from 1973-1981.

During his tenure as General Secretary, Weiss emphasized a need for members and organizations within the denomination to understand, appreciate and live out the foundational understandings American Baptists long have espoused. He lifted up the call to commitment to Jesus Christ as God’s gift of salvation, and to evangelism and mission undertaken in Jesus’ name; the affirmation of the local church as the fundamental unit of denominational mission; the need for unwavering support of religious and other freedoms; and the importance of understanding, respect and dialog within the diverse American Baptist family.

Read more: Former ABC USA General Secretary Passes

194th Annual Gathering October 6 in Columbus

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The 2020 Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio is approaching, Tuesday, October 6, 1-4:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North.  Just as many of our schools and colleges are using a hybrid model (both in person and online) to begin the schoolyear, we have planned the Annual Gathering so that people throughout our ABC Ohio family may choose to gather either in person or electronically.  Either way, we invite you to register for the Gathering so that we may adequately prepare for a safe environment at the hotel, and we can be sure of the quorum that will participate in the business meeting portion of the Gathering. There is no registration fee, but ALL participants must register.

We know that some of you will enjoy participating in the Gathering in person.  We will practice social distancing in our room arrangement and program.  Masks will be required for all who attend.  The hotel has assured us that they will take an abundance of precautions to meet safety standards while we are there. 
We also know that many of you will want to be part of the day but will not want to participate in person.  We urge those who are ill, at risk, or have a desire to be cautious, to stay at home and participate with us electronically.  The event will be live-streamed, so you will be able to be part of the afternoon in real time.  More information about the live streaming will be made available closer to the time of the event.

The program will include an address by Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Acting General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA, and a time of worship led by Pastor Benjamin Payne of the First Baptist Church of Seville.  Rev. Dr. Ken Atchison, President of ABC Ohio will present his Presidential Address.  We will also hear virtual greetings from some in the broader American Baptist family.  As is required by our constitution, there will be a brief business meeting.

All participants must register by Friday, September 25.  Please complete one included registration form for each registrant and return it to the ABC Ohio office.  If you will be attending virtually, you will receive instructions by email during the week of September 28 for accessing the live-streamed event.  Delegates who are participating virtually will also receive instructions for the e-mail voting process.
We are looking forward to 2021 as we anticipate being together for a more complete Annual Gathering next year.  You and your congregations remain in our prayers as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.


Rev. Jane Gibbons, Executive Minister for Program and Ministry Development
American Baptist Churches of Ohio

Rev. Mark Click, Executive Minister for Administration and Denominational Relations
American Baptist Churches of Ohio

Sophia Stephenson Joins the Angels

The American Baptist Churches of Ohio extends Christian Sympathy to the family of Sophia Stephenson, who passed away on July 24, and to the First Baptist Church of Delaware.  Mrs. Stephenson was the wife of the late Dr. James “Steve” Stephenson, who served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Delaware from 1947 to 1987.  A memorial service is planned for a later date, and an obituary is not yet available, but the family would like to share this sad news with the ABC Ohio community.  Please join in prayers for the Stephenson family.