American Baptist Churches of Ohio News from our regions around the state.

Rev. Paul Robert Edie Moves to His Eternal Home


Rev. Paul Robert Edie moved to his eternal home on October 3, 2021 at the age of 90. He passed peacefully surrounded by loving family.

He was born 20 June, 1931, in Marion, Indiana, in the home of his maternal grandparents. His growing up years were spent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his youth, he enjoyed bowling, playing baseball, and softball. He went to college in Haviland, Kansas and York, Nebraska. He received his Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, in Dayton, Ohio in 1957.

Paul married Shirley Loraine Hedges, on 30 June, 1953, in Offerle, Kansas. They celebrated 68 years together.

During Paul's senior year at United Theological Seminary, he had a student position as Youth Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church.  His full-time ministry began in Colorado where he pastored rural congregations of the Evangelical United Brethren Church for three years. He was then called back to Ohio to serve, pastoring Colorado Ave. Baptist Church in Dayton, and then Broadview Baptist Church in Cleveland. He then served for 24 years on the state staff of the Ohio Baptist Convention, as an area minister and overseeing Ohio's two campgrounds. He had a deep and personal Christian faith, and his wise counsel was sought out by many, even up to the last few months of his life.

Read more: Rev. Paul Robert Edie Moves to His Eternal Home

Patricia Lee Roberts in the Presence of the Lord


Patricia Lee Roberts' 84-year journey is now complete and she is in the presence of the Lord. Pat is the mother of ABC Ohio Core Services Administrator Leslie Hoskinson. Pat was a devoted Christian who loved the Lord. She was a member of the Linnwood Baptist Church. Serving the Jacksontown community through her employment at the National Trail Country Store brought Pat profound happiness. She enjoyed making homemade deli for over 42 years. The stories our family has heard of her going over and above for many people have been such a blessing to us. She truly patterned selfless giving as the Lord would have us to do.

Pat was the daughter of the late Roscoe D. and Leota (Cook) Womax and was born November 17, 1936. She left this world peacefully for her eternal home Saturday, September 25, 2021 with loved ones by her side.

Read more: Patricia Lee Roberts in the Presence of the Lord

Deborah Rush Passes to Eternal Rest in God


Deborah (Debbie) Kay Rush, wife of Pastor David Rush of Fairpark Community Baptist Church in Marion, passed away on Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

On June 14, 1957, Deborah was born to her late parents Ronald Geckle and Ellen Lee Shaw. She would go onto marry the love of her life Pastor David Rush in 1974 at Grace Baptist Church.

Debbie had a deep connection to her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a member of Fairpark Community Baptist Church where her husband led the congregation. For 20 years she worked as an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance. She was a member of Kiwanis International. Deborah loved her family dearly and was known to some as, “Grandmother Extraordinaire (Nana)”. Besides church and family, she had a passion for traveling. Some of her most memorable destinations were Hawaii, Aruba, the Mediterranean, and Israel. She also enjoyed going on cruises. The Grandkids loved her sausage balls at Christmas time.

Debbie is preceded in death by her parents and her brothers; Steven and David Geckle.

Read more: Deborah Rush Passes to Eternal Rest in God

Former ABC Ohio Pastor Rev. Robert A .Cunningham Passes


In sure and certain hope of the resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Rev. Robert A. Cunningham, 76, died on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Bob was born on September 21, 1944 in Cleveland, OH to William A. and Agnes (Almgren) Cunningham.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1966 with a major in accounting and a minor in American history. He received an MBA from Lake Erie College in 1989 and a diploma from Southern Baptist Theological Seminar Extension in 1997. After a long career as an accountant, Bob was blessed to serve as pastor of The United Church of Geneva, OH before retiring to Arizona in 2012. Bob was a devoted husband to Judy Uher Cunningham for nearly 47 years. After her death in 2017, he moved to Parrish, FL. He and Judy Keyser were married in 2019.

Bob was a lifelong fan of baseball, chiefly his beloved Cleveland Indians. He also loved animals, especially his sweet dog Roxie who died earlier this year and the many pets he and Judy raised throughout the years. Bob loved talking to anyone and everyone, reminiscing about life in Cleveland, and, most importantly, sharing his faith in Jesus Christ.

Bob was an enthusiastic volunteer at Morton Plant Hospital. He was a longtime Mason, most recently a member of Liberty Lodge No. 412 in Bradenton, FL where he served as chaplain. He was an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, FL where he sang in the choir.

Bob is survived by his wife Judy Keyser of Largo, Fl and his brother William Cunningham of Louisville, Kentucky.

Rev. Dr. Hai Vung Lian Goes Home to be with the Lord


Rev. Dr. Hai Vung Lian, age 55, passed away Monday, April 26, 2021 at Doctors Hospital West. He was an ordained American Baptist minister who was the Founding Pastor of Emmanuel Chin Baptist Church, a congregation of more than 750 persons, in Galloway, Ohio. He served on the Board of Regional Ministries for the American Baptist Churches of Ohio. Dr. Hai Vung earned his Master of Divinity Degree and Doctor of Ministry Degree at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton. He was a prolific writer and leader in the Chin community in both the United States and Myanmar. 

He is survived by his wife, Aye Aye Mu Dah Thluai Par and children, Hanah T. Lian, Nathan Lian, Daniel Lian, Syrus Lian, Elisha Lian, Isabella Angel Lian, and Gabriel Lian. Please keep their family in your prayers.