American Baptist Churches of Ohio remembrances.

Mary Belle Jansen Remembered for a Life of Service

One of our own, Mary Belle (Meadows) Jansen, 93, passed away on May 17, 2015. Mary graduated from Ottawa University before leaving Kansas to achieve her Master of Religious Education at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts. Following graduation, she served as Minister of Christian Education for churches in Rochester, N.Y. and Toledo, Ohio. In 1959, she joined the staff of the Department of Christian Education of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio, Granville. While there, she met the love of her life, Bob Jansen, a widower from Akron with three sons. On September 11, 1965, she and Bob married and Mary began an elegant transition to life as a wife and mother to teenaged boys.
 
Over the years, she eagerly and joyfully shared her commitment to Christian service in various leadership roles at Goodyear Heights Baptist Church while serving the larger community through her work with the Akron Area Association of American Baptist Churches as well as the Ohio region. Mary was a faithful participant in ecumenical activities of the Akron Area Association of Churches, which she served as president, the Interfaith Council and the Interfaith Council Givers Program.
 
Mary radiated a strong but soft spoken Christian witness, generously offering comfort, guidance and a helping hand wherever and whenever she was needed. She was devoted to her family - immediate, extended and adopted - and embraced her friends and neighbors equally. She relished her role as the family's news center, and woe be to those who forgot to share their news with her. 
 
Mary requested memorials be made to the Ohio Baptist Education Society Scholarships (ABC-Ohio, 136 Galway Drive North, Granville, OH 43023). With simple acts of kindness, her family will seek to honor her every day.

Rev. Leroy H Weiss Jr Remembered for Faithfulness to God

Rev. Leroy H. Weiss Jr., 71, of Bellevue, died Thursday, May 27, 2015, in the Cleveland Clinic after a short illness. Leroy was born in Harrisburg, Pa., on March 30, 1944. He graduated from Central Dauphin High School in Pennsylvania; Gettysburg College with a BA; William Blackstone, Chicago, with a Bachelor of Laws; and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, West Virginia. His true purpose in life was to be a minister of God’s word, which led him to his present vocation, associate minister at First Baptist Church of Bellevue on Prairie Road. Leroy was a member of First Baptist Church of Bellevue; the Bellevue Ministerial Association. He was a volunteer chaplain at Bellevue Hospital and Firelands Regional Medical Center. He married Barbara Diehr; she preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 2008. He married Rosemary Bauman on Sept. 5, 2011, and she survives. Rev. Weiss will be remembered for his faithfulness and service to God.

Rev. Donald G. Holtzapple Rests with the Lord

Rev. Donald G. Holtzapple, 83, of Mansfield went home to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday morning, July 31, 2014. He was born April 4, 1931 in Elida, Ohio to the late Marian (Montague) and Earl S. Holtzapple. He graduated from Elida High School in 1949 and Wheaton College in 1959. He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Don received Jesus as his savior in Naples, Italy under the Ministry of the Navigators. He graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and served at the Balligomingo Baptist Church in West Conshohocken, PA while in Seminary. He was passionate about sharing God's love with others throughout his life. Don then came to Mansfield and served Diamond Hills Baptist Church for 16 years.While pastoring at Diamond Hills Baptist, he served as Chaplain at Mansfield General Hospital. Rev. Don pastored at many churches throughout the years including serving as Interim Pastor at multiple churches. He retired from First Baptist Church in Defiance after 11 years. He then came back to Mansfield, becoming Pastor Emeritus of Diamond Hills Baptist Church. He also served as Ohio Baptist State Evangelist for 7 years. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Janet Burget and together they raised a wonderful family. Don was an excellent golfer and enjoyed fishing in Canada, spending time with his family and friends, and preaching and teaching God's word. A life well-lived for the Lord!

Rev. Reed Taylor Passes

Rev. G. Reed Taylor, 94 of Hickory Ct. Jefferson died Friday (Jan. 17th) at the Ashtabula County Medical Center. He was born June 6, 1919 in Clarksburg, West Virginia the son of Archie Campbell and Ava Alice (Bassford) Taylor. Rev. Taylor graduated from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV and received his Masters Degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He was a school administrator for Buckeye Local Schools in Ashtabula and was an ordained American Baptist Minister serving the Minister-At-Large Program for many years. During World War II he was an Army Officer in Field Artillery, as an observer on land and air, serving in Europe, receiving the Air Medal, three Oak Leaf Clusters and other citations. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Ashtabula, Ohio. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen, more beautiful than the ear of man has ever heard and more beautiful than the mind of man has ever imagined. 

Ralph Carrico Passes

Ralph E. Carrico, 82, of Ironton, Ohio passed away Sunday, July 21, 2013 at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. Ralph was a deacon and active member of First Baptist Church, Ironton. Ralph not only served in his local church, but he also gave of his time and wisdom to ABC/Ohio where he served in a number of capacities throughout the years. He also served as a member of the Region's Baptist Foundation Trustee Committee.  He prayed for the Region's ministry and expressed appreciation for ABC/Ohio. He is survived by his wife Phyllis also served as President of our board and in many other capacities. Ralph and Phyllis were married in 1951 and were celebrating 62 years of marriage. Our prayers go out to the Carrico family as we thank them for so many years of serving God!