American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

Regional News Updates

ABCOPAD Spring/Summer Region Update from

President Bryon Luke and Vice President Lori Jennings

Happy Spring ABCOPAD! The renewal that spring and summer brings and the beauty that emerges from the dead brown earth is indeed a blessing 
from God, the Creator! We pray this missive finds you looking around you for all of the goodness in the world. God is at work, and we pray His peace fills your life.

The ABCOPAD Regional Board had their Spring Meeting on May 10, 2024, in Breezewood, PA. This email contains some updates for you to be aware of, all good stuff!

Updates to Region Staffing:

Our ABCOPAD Leadership Team continues to look for creative and innovative ways to support ministry in our Region.

Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Regional Board has extended a call to Rev. Rob Rice and Rev. Kelly Legg to serve as part-time Regional Pastors and take on Regional projects like Pastors retreats, re-envisioning our ACTS Ministry, rebuilding Associations and supervision of our current staff, just to name a few. They will also provide coverage for our Region when our Regional Executive Pastor, Mark Mahserjian-Smith takes a much-needed vacation or is unavailable due to other Executive Pastor responsibilities.

Association Representative in Ministry (ARMs)

In addition, upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Board also approved the creation of the new part-time positions of Association Representative in Ministry (ARMs). Each Association will be assigned at least one ARM, depending on its size/area. The ARM’s responsibility will be to represent ABCOPAD in local churches on Sunday mornings, special events and connecting with new pastors and re-connecting with current pastors in ABCOPAD. When needed and available, they could provide pulpit supply, offering a pastor a Sunday off. Many of our GPS are currently serving churches and are not available on Sunday mornings.

Both the appointment of part-time Regional Pastors and the ARM’s are temporary solutions to creatively bridge the gap and allow connection and work in the Region to reignite or continue our relationships with our local churches while we come up with permanent solutions.

Geographical Pastoral Servants (GPS):

Since 2022, ABCOPAD deployed Geographic Pastoral Servants (GPS) to care for Pastors and Congregations in our Region. GPS will continue to serve our Region with a few changes.

Rev. Dr. Felicia Brock (Pittsburgh)


Rev. Randy Powell (Northwest) 

 Rev. David Hardin (Northeast)
  Rev. Tim Schwartz (North Central)
Rev. Dan McDowell (Southeast)


Rev. Cristy Wise (Southwest)

Grants for ABCOPAD Ministries

During the Spring Grant Cycle, 11 churches or ministries in our Region received the blessing of Release God’s Power grants, 16 churches or ministries received grants from Ministries of Christian Discipleship and 2 churches or ministries received Legacy grants.

Do you have an idea for a ministry or outreach opportunity that you just need a bit of help financially to make happen? ABCOPAD wants to help you! Reach out to your GPS or other ABCOPAD staff to find out how to apply for a grant this fall. Don’t miss the blessing of this opportunity.

Eligibility Requirement: Your congregation must have given to Partners in Ministry (our Regional Offering) last year and are planning on supporting it this year, and must have submitted the Cooperating Church Annual Report for the prior year.

Don't Forget to Register for...

ABCOPAD Women’s Ministries Thrive Retreat at Camp Hebron August 16-18. Space is limited and we are filling up fast!

AB Men’s Retreat at Camp Hebron, September 13-14.

More info on registration is coming soon.

Biennial Leadership Conference:

Renewal for the 21st Century Church - October 17-19, 2024, in Altoona, PA. Take advantage of the Early Bird and/or Group Pricing. Pastors can also take advantage of earning 1.0 CEU for participation in the Biennial sessions, reading the book-5 Congregational Personality Types by Rev. Dr. Michael Beck and submitting a written Reflection Paper.

Have a blessed rest of the spring and summer. Please reach out to us if you have any questions. We thank you for your continued support, prayer and partnership with the ABCOPAD Region.Respectfully and prayerfully submitted:


Bryon Luke, President / ( / 215-206-1738)

Lori Jennings, Vice-President / ( / 610-209-5929)

Click HERE to Dowload a copy of the Spring/Summer Regional Update