The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.
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
Dear ABC Ohio;
It is with deep regret and sorrow that we announce the death of our Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones.
Please continue to keep Denise, Candace, Adam and the entire family in prayer during this difficult time.
When funeral arrangements are available we will share them with you.
Rev. James H. Willis, Sr.
President, American Baptist Churches of Ohio
Rev. Dr. Ernest H. Jones made history as the first African-American Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. He was born on October 24, 1961 in Detroit, MI.
Dr. Jones gave his life to Christ as an adolescent, and by the age of 12 was a licensed preacher. For over 40 years, he devoted his life to the Gospel ministry. His pastor, Rev. Dr. Perkins, says at the age of 16 he seemed like a 40 year old in his maturity, wisdom and faith. He was a bridge builder for God.
He earned a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, MA in 1989. In 1994, Dr. Jones became the first African American to assume an executive level position with the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. In 1998, Dr. Jones was called to serve as the Pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016 he became the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Ohio.
For those desiring to show their love for Denise not only through prayer but with a love gift please send to Leslie Hoskinson at the Regional Office.
In lieu of flowers you may give to ABC of Ohio or to the James Cancer Hospital in memory of Rev. Dr. Ernest Jones.
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.
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: