The latest news from many resources for American Baptist Churches.

Ruth "Kathleen" Hughes Passes Into the Arms of Jesus

Ruth "Kathleen" Hughes passed away on November 14, 2022. Kathleen is a former ABC Ohio President. She served most recently as the organist for Faith Fellowship Baptist Church until her retirement at the age of 89. She served in many capacities ministering with her husband Robert in small churches around the state of Ohio.

She was born in Akron, but grew up in Ironton, Ohio. She graduated from Ironton High School in 1946. After working for three years, she enrolled at Denison University as a Music major. Early in her first year, she met Robert Hughes, a senior, and her plans changed. They were married in August, 1950, and moved to Philadelphia while Robert was in seminary. In 1954, they began a life of ministering together in small churches around the state. Wherever they went, Kathleen served as Sunday School teacher, choir director, pianist/organist--wherever the need was. Most recently, she served as organist for Faith Fellowship Baptist Church until retiring at the age of 89.

Read more: Ruth "Kathleen" Hughes Passes Into the Arms of Jesus

Pastor Joseph Edmund Current Called Home to the Lord

Pastor Joseph Edmund Current, age 86, of Greenfield, Ohio, passed away Thursday, November 10, 2022. Pastor Current served as a minister for 66 years, including the past 18 years at the First Baptist Church in Washington Court House, Ohio. 

He was born May 17, 1936 in Greenfield, Ohio, the son of Walter and Ethel (Warner) Current. 

Joe was a 1954 graduate of Edward Lee McClain High School and was a loving husband, father, grandfather, avid fisherman, woodworker, poet, and a lifetime student of the Bible. 

He retired in 1994 after 31 years of teaching and coaching, 2 years at Peebles and the remaining 29 years at the Greenfield Exempted Village School District. 

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Sue (Mann) Current whom he married on September 2, 1956; one daughter, Lori (Chuck) Anderson of Greenfield; one son, Mark (Sherry) Current of Greenfield; four grandchildren, Emily (Joshua) Wiseman of South Salem, Luke (Shanna) Anderson of Minneapolis, MN, Kim (Brian) McNeal of Leesburg, Tabby Penn of Greenfield; five great grandchildren, Abby and Joe Wiseman, Nate (Erica) McNeal, Nick (Jeana) McNeal, Liam Penn; three great great-grandchildren, Eli, Amelia and Olivia McNeal; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by both parents. Please keep the Current family in your prayers.

The Retirement Celebration of Rev. Jane Gibbons

The Retirement Celebration of Rev. Jane Gibbons at Kingwood Center Gardens on Saturday, November 5, 2022!

ABC Ohio Regional Ministers

It is a joy to share our four Regional Ministers for ABC-Ohio. Each began their service on October 1, 2022. October through December 2022 served as a time of orientation and staff development for our new team. Rev. Jane Gibbons has retired and concluded her ministry, after serving 23 years with ABC Ohio on December 31, 2022.

Rev. Dr. James Willis

The Region Board has asked that Rev. Mark Click focus his ministry on the role of the Executive Minister for ABC Ohio. He will no longer be serving in a dual capacity as Executive Minister for Administration & Denominational Relations and Regional Minister for southern Ohio.

Welcome our ABC Ohio Regional Ministers:

Rev. Dr. James Willis – Northwest Regional Minister. Dr. Willis serves as the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Toledo and has served in the Toledo Area Baptist Association and for several years on the Region Board as Vice-President, President and Past-President.

Rev. Kevin Thomas

Rev. Kevin Thomas – Northeast Regional Minister. Rev. Thomas serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canton and has served in the Akron Baptist Association and Ohio Baptist Education Society.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston – Southwest Regional Minister. Dr. Hairston serves as the Senior Pastor of the Living Word Bible Fellowship of Columbus and has served in the Columbus Baptist Association and as Dean of the Ohio Leadership Academy. 

Rev. Dr. Kevin Hairston

Rev. Mark Eaton – Southeast Regional Minister. Rev. Eaton serves as the Senior Pastor of the Porterfield Baptist Church of Little Hocking and serves as the Associate Regional Minister (ARM) for the Marietta Baptist Association.

Rev. Mark Eaton

The Region was blessed to have sixteen excellent ministers apply for the position(s) of Regional Minister. Each candidate was uniquely gifted and qualified to serve, ranging in education and experience. After much thought, consultation and prayer our candidates were selected to serve as Regional Ministers. 

Please pray for Rev. Gibbons as she prepares for the next chapter of life and ministry, the new Regional Ministers, the continued ministry of the Associate Regional Ministers (ARMs), and Rev. Click as everyone transitions in our ministries – Equipping the People of God to Impact the World for Christ.

Thank you for your prayers, support and partnership in ministry, as we work together to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make disciples and impact our world for Christ.