American Baptist Churches of Ohio remembrances.

Former ABC Ohio Pastor and Leader Passes

James Edwin Ohde, 78, of Mount Vernon, passed away on Thursday, January 19, 2017. He was born October 25, 1938 in Cincinnati, to the late Robert and Dorthea (Lauderbaugh) Ohde. Jim was a member of Brandon Baptist Church. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1956 and from Mount Vernon Bible College. Jim served in the Air Force from 1959 – 1963. After serving in the military, he worked at Cooper until he became a minister in 1979. Jim served several congregations in the American Baptist Churches of Ohio including Bryn Zion Baptist Church in Mount Gilead, Clear Fork Baptist Church in Kimbolton, and First Baptist Church of Loudonville. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Ohio Leadership Academy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ohde family and friends.

Rev. Dr. David Stone Remembered

Rev. Dr. David C. Stone, 78 passed away April 9, 2016. David was a Missionary with the American Baptist Home Mission Society, retiring in 2000. David was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Boardman. Before coming to Youngstown, he served with the Weirton Christian Center in Weirton, WV. David earned a B.A. Degree from the University of Minnesota. He then earned a Masters of Divinity and received a Doctorate of Divinity from the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkley, CA. David served on many Boards and committees of the American Baptist Church of Ohio and the Mahoning Valley Baptist Association. David served as Executive Director of Neighborhood Ministries from 1969 to 2000. With a heart full of love for those in need, he developed children and family assistance programs in the Kirwan Homes Housing development in Campbell and started a community center in the Kimmel brook Housing development on Youngstown's east side. He helped to establish youth summer programs throughout the Youngstown area, as well as starting Interfaith Home Maintenance, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing home repair services to low income families. He was a strong advocate for sending children to Christian camp. After his retirement in 2000 he helped establish Neighborhood Ministries' West Side Community Center, provided after school programming for boys on Youngstown's west side. His most important work was not so much professional, but personal and he will be forever known by hundreds of children for encouragement and as a father to the fatherless. 

Rev. Jennifer Easley Passes

Rev. Jennifer Easley, a former ABC/Ohio minister who served on staff at the First Baptist Church of Middletown passed away on July 9, 2015. Rev. Easley had a passon for the earth and physical science. She taught and had a love for protecting the environment. She also often hosted foreign exhange students in her home. We lift up Rev. Easley and her family during this time and praise God for her service!

Loretta Swanson Goes to be with the Lord

Loretta A. Swanson, age 78 passed away Wednesday, June 10, 2015. She worked at the American Baptist Churches of Ohio as the assistant to John Sunquist for over twenty years in Granville, Ohio. She is preceded in death by her husband, Garland Swanson for whom she was married to over 44 years. We praise God for her service for the American Baptist Churches of Ohio.
 

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.