American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

DR Mission Team 2020


D.R. Team 2020 at the construction site - building a wall for a future medical clinic. Construction team members from FBC, Wellsboro, worked with the Haitian men to build a wall around what will eventually be the F. Ardell Thomas Medical Clinic!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2020

Servant Volunteers in La Paz 2020


FBC Lansdale with folks also from Parkerford and Bethlehem are in LaPaz, Mexico, for a week of service.


Several groups spread out and worked around LaPaz. Several folk went to the seminary and installed a projector...


while others helped with the landscaping.


There were those who helped pour concrete floors in the new dorms for Rancho El Camio.


A crew of volunteers went to the Kids Up stable and worked all day to finish two walls with stucco.


Hard work, yes... But there's also time for great fellowship and food.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2020

Widow's Mite Award


On behalf of American Baptist Churches USA, MMBB Financial Services honors Parkesburg Baptist Church in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania with the 2018 Widow’s Mite Award. MMBB recognizes Parkesburg Baptist Church for the congregation’s dedication and giving to the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO). The RMMO, one of four national ABCUSA offerings, provides financial support to retired ministers, missionaries and their widowed spouses who have served ABCUSA for 15 or more years.

This year’s RMMO theme centers around, Honoring the Service of God’s Servants, a sentiment that celebrates the more than 40-year legacy of the offering. Senior Pastor of Parkesburg Baptist Church, Rev. Mary C. Lewis understands the importance of honoring the RMMO tradition. She remarks, “We are eternally grateful to serve a God who is eternally faithful. Giving to RMMO provides an opportunity to model that example of His faithfulness to show our love and support to those who have served.”

The annual Widow’s Mite award acknowledges churches that demonstrate outstanding leadership and a continued commitment to supporting RMMO. As a mission focused congregation, Parkesburg impacts the lives of so many with their community outreach programs that include food pantry donations, annual mission trips, and volunteering offsite to help local youth and service projects.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/9/2019

Recognized Pulpit Speakers


ABCOPAD staff, in conjunction with our Academy for Christian Training and Service (ACTS), recently offered a 6-week Recognized Pulpit Speaker Training Program. The on-line course provided basic pulpit supply training for those interested in preaching at churches in ABCOPAD. Meet a few of the students --- Dennis Horne, Ed Zinser, and Brett Fallon.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/28/2019

1695 ... and Counting


The youth group and folks from Troy and East Troy Baptist recently donated and packed items for 56 Operation Christmas Child boxes. This makes 1,695 boxes they've have done over 23 years of sending boxes! Thanks to everyone!!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/28/2019

A Crossroads Community Thanksgiving


At Crossroads Community Baptist Church in Erie, Pastor David White and his wife Rev. Katie White led the congregation in a service of thanksgiving.


Also serving at the church is Pastor Mann See Son from Burma.


The congregation was celebrating Thanksgiving with everyone bringing their first fruits to the communion table to share with one another along with sharing with those in need. Church leader Mo explained that Burmans do not celebrate Thanksgiving in their homeland, but during the harvest season they celebrated First Fruits. Everyone would bring from their gardens a portion of their harvest to share with others. Today, while there may not be gardens, everyone brings food to share with one another and anyone in need.


After morning worship the church family enjoyed a delicious fellowship meal including a celebration of November birthdays and anniversaries.


Pastor Dave interacts with these young adults who were laughing and giggling in the midst of the conversation. It was clear Pastor Dave loves these students and they love him.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/27/2019

Circle Activity
at Vision Fellowship


From Vision Fellowship, Malvern ---

At this time of year, the Doris Dickerson Circle participates in Operation Christmas Child by filling shoeboxes with gifts for needy children. Pictured are a few of the early contributions as the project began. By the November 17th collection date, approximately thirty shoeboxes were ready to donate for distribution to girls and boys, ages 2 to 14. Concurrently, the Circle collects items for a local food pantry; donates new toys for the Salvation Army’s community appeal, and fills Christmas gift requests for residents of a nearby nursing home.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/19/2019

Active Shooter Training


The congregation at FBC Pittsburgh hosted an Active Shooter Training gathering. The Pittsburgh Baptist Association along with sister churches from other associations and even a sister church from another denomination attended the workshop with Sergeant Eric Kroll from the Pittsburgh Police presenting.

Sergeant Kroll did a masterful job sharing valuable information on this challenging topic in a non-threatening and interactive format. The class was especially significant, as everyone remembers the Tree of Life Synagogue shoot that took place just one year ago.

Our own ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associate for Protect My Ministry Minister Valerie Black was in attendance as she helped coordinate the event. It was great seeing so many ABCOPAD Churches represented at the training.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2019

Hope Beyond Disappointment


Hope Beyond Disappointment retreat with Marie Monville held today at Parkesburg Baptist Church. There were 110 women present representing 4 Associations (Central Union, Delaware, Reading and Harrisburg) with 16 churches represented.

Marie reminded us that God can bring beauty into our lives beyond the disappointments of this life. (Marie Monville was the wife of Amish Schoolhouse Shooter and author of One Light Still Shines.)

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2019

Hughesville Baptist Church Installation


Hughesville Baptist Church conducted an installation service as they officially welcomed Pastor Debbie Marker. Many clergy and guests from the Northumberland Baptist Association and ABCOPAD joined in the celebration as Pastor Debbie ( a graduate of our ACTS program and a Certified Lay Minister) begins her first call as a lead pastor. Numerous pastoral leaders from the NBA including the pastor of her home church, Pastor Ron Wagner (Montandon BC) participated in the service.

Following the installation service for Pastor Debbie Marker at the Hughesvillle Baptist Church, the congregation held a reception in the Berger Fellowship Hall, providing an opportunity for everyone to greet Pastor Debbie and congratulate her on her call.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2019

Retreat To The Mountains

Women in Ministry gathered for the first retreat of its kind since ABCOPAD was formed. They traveled to Madisonburg Mountain and enjoyed a getaway to Fellowship Lodge at Camp Krislund. It was a time of sharing faith, stories, life and hearts. Most of all, there was laughter, bonding, praying, feasting... and even the shedding of a few tears.


You can be sure another retreat will be planned for the future. Hope that next time you will consider joining us!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/27/2019

Anna Young Receives Ministry Award


American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray has presented the 2019 national-recognition Jitsuo Morikawa ABHMS Healing and Transforming Communities Award to Anna Young, aged 88, the organization’s longest-serving volunteer. He presented her with a plaque and cash award in early September at Lackawanna County Prison, Scranton, Pa., where she has been ministering since 1971. Full story HERE.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/18/2019

New Hope Fall Festival


The Fall Festival at the New Hope Christian Church in Broomall offered lots of fun. It was a great way to bring the community together on a beautiful autumn day.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/8/2019

The Great Message


Recently Jeff Johnson was a guest on "The Great Message" radio program hosted by Rev. Brad Lacey, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Conshohocken and President of the Philadelphia Bible Society. They spent more than a half hour talking about their faith in Christ, the state of the American Church, and the premise of his book, Got Style? (in its tenth year of publication and its third printing!). 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/8/2019

Chili Cook-Off


West Shore Baptist Church in Camp Hill honored the First Responders of their community this evening by hosting a Chili Cook-Off. Twelve competitors vied for the title of “best” Chili and it came down to a taste-off with the Mayor of Camp Hill deciding the winner....congratulations to Eric Born!


It was such a wonderful evening for the church family to say “Thank You” to all those who put their lives on the line to care for us.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/1/2019

Memory Game


At a meeting of the ABWM leadership team, Conference Registrar and Secretary Jodie Vasbinder had the ladies perform a team building exercise with each lady getting a glimpse of a building block configuration and the having to go back to their team to duplicate it from memory. The teams found it challenging to remember the complex design and did great working together to accomplish their mission.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/21/2019

Welcome Rev. Sam Geiger


Upper Merion Baptist Church celebrated the installation of their new pastor -the Reverend Samuel Geiger. Pastor Brad Lacey (FBC, Conshohocken) brought the charge to the pastor and Frank Frischkorn (ABCOPAD Regional Executive Pastor) had the privilege of bringing the charge to the congregation. Pastor Bob Coats, a mentor for Sam for a number of years, led in the prayer of installation.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/16/2019

Souled Out


Cornerstone Fellowship in Coatesville held their annual Souled Out Community Concert / Festival.


Despite an overcast sky, people from the church and community came out to listen to a variety of Christian bands, enjoy delicious food, check out local vendors and just enjoy a fun afternoon together.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/16/2019

The Wizard of Oz - West Shore Style


The West Shore Baptist Church put on a musical drama camp at their church last week with performances on Friday and Saturday.


The week included games and crafts.


Life lessons (Pastor Greg talked with our campers about how we, like Dorothy, are always longing for something or some place else.)


Lots of rehearsal.


And of course, a great show.


Amazing volunteers worked all week (and many weeks prior) to make musical theatre camp a success. 60 kids heard, saw, and experienced the Gospel through this creative ministry.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/4/2019

FBC Milton -- Mission Accomplished

The Student Mission Team from FBC, Milton, offered their hearts and hands at Smoky Mountain Outreach in Tennessee. Check out their work and witness.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/27/2019

East Mahoning Baptist Church VBS


East Mahoning Baptist Church is about to begin its Vacation Bible School.

Don't-cha wish you were young again!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/17/2019

Believers Baptism


Pastor Gary Gilpin baptized nine persons at Aldenville Baptist Church, Prompton, in their new baptismal tank. The tank was dedicated in his honor with a plaque commemorating his 18 years of ministry. Gary is third from left and Deacon Kevin Kromko is on far right (Kevin assisted). The church dug out a baptistery under the platform in 1884 but removed it in 1915 when they dug out a basement under the sanctuary. A baptism held on Easter Sunday was the first baptism in the church building since 1915. Another baptism is planned this summer.


Pastor Randy Powell, lead pastor at the First Baptist Church of Franklin had two baptisms: brothers Matthew and Michael Martz. Matthew is a recent graduate of Rocky Grove High School and about to enter into the United States Air Force. Michael has plenty of HS left to go. FBC was proud to add both of these young men to its fellowship through this tradition and ordinance of the church. Pastor Randy is a member of our ABCOPAD board and a great partner in ministry.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/17/2019

Saturday Night Live


Rev Mark Schollaert leads the folk at the First Baptist Church Of Monongahela for their Saturday night worship service. After words of welcome, Pastor Mark offered a short passage of scripture from the book of Romans letting everyone know on the Eve of Father’s Day what our Heavenly Father has done for us, removing all condemnation from our lives through Jesus. Pastor Mark reminded all of us just how much our Heavenly Father loves us.


The praise team was incredible, with very talented musicians helping us lift our voices in praise and worship. I cannot begin to describe just how rich the singing was as we all lifted our voices, our hearts and our hands to Jesus.


Mark Mahserjian-Smith had the great joy of delivering the evening message, talking about mission and serving as the hands and feet of Jesus.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/15/2019

Installation Marisa White /
Calvary Baptist, Newark



Frank writes:

I had the joy of participating in the Installation service of Pastor Marisa White today at Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, DE. Marisa has been called to serve as the church’s Associate Pastor of Leadership Development alongside Dr. Corey Fields, the church’s Senior Pastor. Following the service we all enjoyed a fellowship luncheon in appreciation of both of the pastors.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/5/2019

Jefferson Baptist 2019 VBS

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words". There's a big story here, as so many kids attend the Vacation Bible School taking place at Jefferson Baptist Church in southwestern ABCOPAD. Great fun! Lots of learning! And lives changed!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/4/2019

Regional Ministry Associates for Student Ministries hold first Zoom Meeting

ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associates For Student Ministries: The ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associates for Student Ministries: Josh Trojak (Christ American BC Spring Grove), Ben Kraihanzel (FBC Bethlehem) and Mandi Pascarella (FBC Waynesburg) hosted the first Student Ministries Zoom gathering. Student ministries leaders along with people passionate about student ministries from across ABCOPAD participated on the video conference. Participants included full time student ministry leaders, part time student ministries leaders, senior pastors, volunteers and more. It was great seeing this community come together to talk about student ministries and support one another in this partnership. The video conference call was posted on our ABCOPAD Youtube Channel: ? Very grateful for our 3 ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associates for Student Ministries who hosted our Zoom Conference Call this evening. Thanks to our newest RMA for Student Ministries (elect), Mandi Pascarella along with Ben Kraihanzel and Pastor Josh Trojak it was great having so many people interested in Student Ministries on the call. Thanks again.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

FBC Pittsburgh Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic

First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh:   A team from the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, led by Rev. Chuck and Ruth Fox, traveled to the Dominican Republic to serve in La Romana alongside Ketly and Vital Pierre our International Missionaries in the DR. The team planned to tackled two projects ... construction of a home for Pastor Santiago, and teacher training sessions for 3 different Christian schools, affiliated with the Baptists in La Romana.

Ruth Fox wrote: What an amazing week...busy, busy, busy...but wonderfully so! Making friends, building partnerships, encouraging others while they encouraged us, worshiping and working in a language unfamiliar to us but given interpretation and understanding through common purpose and love. Many thanks to those who participated financially in supporting our team to go and those who prayerfully supported us while we were there!



by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Logans Valley Forms Search Committee

Mark writes. On Wednesday night, May 29th, I joined the Logan’s Valley Baptist Church Pulpit Committee for their first meeting as they begin searching for their next pastoral leader. Some members of the committee were veterans of the search process having served on search committees in the past while for others this is their maiden voyage into the process.
Often, for those unfamiliar with searching for a pastor, the expectation is the Regional Pastor will bring a pile of resumes, the committee will take 4-6 weeks to review them and then a selection will be made, but this is NOT how the search process works.
Congregations spend time in reflection and build a congregational profile helping identify who the church is and what they are looking for in their next pastoral leader. Then every effort is made to identify pastoral leaders open to move who are a “good match” for the church. In most cases the process can take a year to even two years to find a good match. In the meantime the church is served by an interim minister who helps the congregation in the transition.
Please keep the Logan’s Valley Baptist Church in your prayers as they join many congregations in ABCOPAD currently in the process of searching for their next pastoral leader. Happy to help these partners in ministry in the midst of their search.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Anna Young Receives Healing and Transforming Communities Award

Jeff writes ...

As many of you may have heard by now, one of our own, a fellow ABCOPADer, Anna Young, has been named the recipient of one of the five national awards given out biennially by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Anna will be receiving the "Healing and Transforming Communities Award" given in memorium of the Rev. Dr. Jistuo Morikawa who believed in the whole Gospel, and its holistic application to redeem the whole of the person God created. Anna (just shy of 90) is receiving this award for her nearly FIFTY YEARS of selfless, servant ministry inside the walls of the Lackawanna County Prison. Just recently, she has been joined by one of our ABMen officer, Ron Stock, and Pastor Don Hasselmen, who are conducting a men's Bible Study at the prison. Anna will not be able to attend our ABC Biennial in June in Virginia Beach, so her award will be presented to her by national and regional staff locally, in the Scranton area where she lives, sometime over the summer. You can check out all the award recipients at:…/american-baptist-home-mission-societies…/

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Women's Day at Love Unlimited

Mark writes. On May 19th I joined Love Unlimited in Williamsport for their Women’s Day event. Pastor Dorothy and Pastor Willie Anderson welcomed the ladies of the church who delivered an exciting, action packed program. The sanctuary was full with Love Unlimited members, visitors from other churches along with many community family members and friends. The Love Unlimited Women’s Choir was outstanding along with many other ladies who offered readings, scripture, skits and more. It was a great event including a fellowship meal following the service. It was just fun being present for this day of celebration honoring ladies in Love Unlimited and beyond.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Active Shooter Training in Lackawanna County

Pastor Debbie Loessy (FBC Factoryville) sent these pictures taken during the Active Shooter Training sponsored by Lackawanna County Sheriff's office. A number of our ABCOPAD Churches were present for the training and our ABCOPAD Ministry Associate for Protect My Ministries, Minister Valerie Black was along in attendance. Grateful for these partners in ministry who are learning all they can to keep their congregation's safe in these challenging days.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Aldenville Baptist Forms Search Committee

Mark writes. On May 21st, I joined the Aldenville Baptist Church newly formed Search Committee to begin the process of searching for their next pastoral leader following Pastor Gary Gilpin’s retirement. The group spent time going over the ABPS search process and learning how to build their congregational profile. Pastor Gary has served Aldenville for over 18 years so it has been a while since the congregation had to conduct a pastoral search. Grateful for these partners in ministry who will be taking point as the church family prepares to go through a pastoral transition, celebrating Pastor Gary’s long and fruitful ministry while also looking to the future and their next pastor.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

The Baptist Church of West Chester celebrates Youth Sunday

Youth Sunday. May 19, 2019. God has blessed BCWC with amazing youth! It was a joy to see them lead the worship service! Thank you to all who helped!
  Great pictures of Youth Sunday at the Baptist Church Of West Chester, lead pastor Rev. David Braneky and Part Time Pastor Zach Wooten. Looks like it was a wonderful Sunday with lots of kids involved in worship. 

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Calvary Allentown Celebrates
Rev Mardy von Harten
40th Ordination Anniversary

Jeff writes ...
Sunday May 20th, was another special day in the life of Calvary Baptist, Allentown, but a VERY special in the life of their pastor, Rev. Manfred von Harten. Three baptisms were conducted and a total of five people were received into membership, including the Rukambe's from Zimbabwe. During and after the service, the congregation celebrated the 40Tth anniversary of Pastor Mardy's ordination, given him back in 1979 by the Community Baptist Church in Chaffee, NY. Nearly half of those forty years have been spent serving at Calvary. Congratulations were read from the various congregations Pastor Mardy served through the years. Actually, literally while our region's letter was being read, the Chaffee Church called in to give their congrats live! Pastor Mardy was then surrounded by the leadership of the church asking a continuing blessing on his continuing ministry. Following the sermon, "Living Your Baptism" and the conclusion of the worship service, a reception was held where gifts were given and cake was enjoyed! It was a wonderful day for everyone, not the least of whom were the Harten's ... Pastor Mardy and Peggy. Truly, this church lives out its mission mantra it developed during their co::lab (vision) work a few years back, "Growing Lives by Embracing Everyone in the Love of Christ."

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Mission and Vision at FBC Emporium

Mark writes. On May 18th, I joined Rev Jim Horton and the church family at FBC Emporium for a fellowship dinner and then a meeting to talk about vision and being missional in their community.

We used the Co::lab process to explain the importance of determining a congregation’s Kingdom Concept to do effective mission and outreach. It was great listening to the ministries currently taking place at the church and dreaming about ways to enhance some of those ministries, possibly bring some ministries to a close along with considering new ministries that connect with the community using the church families gifts and passions.

Very much appreciate Pastor Jim, his wife Grace and the church family for their hard work last night and being such great partners in ministry.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

FBC Mansfield Memorial Service for
Rev Ben Nevin


Frank writes: Today (May 18th) the family of faith remembered a wonderful servant of the King—the Rev. Benjamin E. Nevin, Jr., who went home to be with his LORD on April 5, 2019. Rev. Cheryl Filson, Pastor is the FBC of Mansfield led a beautiful service of remembrance that featured beautiful music, a number of touching family reminiscences from Ben’s children as well as words or remembrance from myself, former Pastor Rev. Dr. John Whitfield and dear friend, Rev. Grace Shirk. Following the service the congregation shared a wonderful meal prepared by the church family.


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Baptisms And Honoring Veterans at FBC Berwick

May 19th was quite a big day at FBC, Berwick, as 4 were Baptized and 2 were presented with Quilts of Valor for their years of service in the Military.
Julia Troiani, Mia Daddio, Ashlyn Zanoline and Stanley Hayes were baptized. Pastor Vivian Smith-Fountain, Pastor Rob Rice, and Lay-Pastor in training, Deb Copeland, were doing duty in the Baptismal.

Next on our program was the presentation of Quilts of Valor. Reverend Dr. Herman Fountain and Mr. Dale Rev. Herman were in the Air Force, and Mr. Krothe was in the Navy.

The sermon was given by Pastor Rob Rice, a former pastor at FBC. It was a wonderful worship and praise service, and we enjoyed the company of friends and family of the candidates receiving Baptism. It was a beautiful morning.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2019

Region Board Spring Meeting 2019


Many thanks to the ABCOPAD Regional Board which met in Breezewood, PA.


ABCOPAD Region President Apryl Glunt (Mill Creek BC) welcomed the board members and launched the meeting.


Vice-President Rev. Mark McCallion (Wesleyville Baptist Church) offered a morning devotional and prayer.


The board received reports, including a report from our Regional Treasurer Caryl Casey. Regional Pastor Jeff Johnson also explained our Salary Support Ministry.


It's great having so many boards members and strong partners in ministry together to work on our Regional ministries and missions.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/13/2019

LLC Southwest


The Southwest PA LLC (which includes pastoral leaders from seven different churches across two associations) met for a time of sharing, learning, and encouragement. The day began with a time for catching up on personal and family news as well as in the lives of our congregations and the region. Then David Earnest presented what he had gleaned from the recent Pastors' Retreat themed "Small Church, Big Deal" to complement their ongoing study of the book, "Small Church Essentials".

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/13/2019

New Bern Mission Trip


Volunteers from Moreland Baptist Church and Hepburn Baptist Church partnered with Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders in New Bern, North Carolina. A community of about 30,000 people, it was one of the areas hardest hit by both high winds and torrential flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. The team worked hard rebuilding mucked-out homes.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/8/2019

National Day of Prayer


Trail Life PA 2215 and American Heritage Girls PA 2016 met with the Purchase Line Community to observe the National Day of Prayer at East Mahoning Baptist Church.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/4/2019

RISE 2019


The Spring Retreat for Middle/High School Students was held at Camp Ichthus in early April.

The weekend was packed full of activities,worship and great food.

Activities ranged from horseback riding, our 30-foot Challenge Wall and King Swing, and lots of awesome games led by the programming staff!

Tim Fray was the featured speaker. He served as a youth pastor for seven years at Crossroads Church in Pittsburgh, PA. 

A house band lead worship for sessions each day.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/19/2019

Servant Leaders in Parchment Valley


A great team of volunteers (about 50 members!) from the ABCOPAD Centre Association made their way to the Parchment Valley Conference Center in West Virginia. Talk about productivity! The team worked for seven busy days!

Completing numerous painting projects... well as caulking and sealing the bunk houses where campers will be staying the season.

A couple members of the team worked on the electrical system at the gym...

...while others readied the restrooms at Hill Hall.

A cleaning crew went to work scrubbing floors, washing the windows, cleaning the carpets, and shoveling out the ashes in the fireplace.

Even more electrical work, painting, cleaning.

Everything is looking and smelling so clean and fresh.


The ABCOPAD Mission Team from the Centre Association had a chance to work outside as the sun came out, creating a warm and refreshing breeze. The team did quite a few outdoor projects including repairing fences, painting in the parking lots and general spring cleaning.

It was great opportunity to serve our sister region [WVBC] and help get their conference and camp facility ready for a new year of ministry where kids make decisions for Jesus and lives are changed.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

Servant Leaders in Tarboro, NC


A great team of ABCOPAD volunteers spent a week in Tarboro, NC, providing disaster relief in response to extensive damage caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018.

Their days were filled with projects ranging from general clean-up...


to electrical...



and flooring...

They were also able to shingle a small roof at another job site.

Thanks to all for a job well done!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 4/7/2019

La Paz Mexico 2019



First Baptist Church of Lansdale shared stories and pictures of their recent mission trip to La Paz, Mexico.



"Had a great day today visiting three different churches. We visited Crossroads Church, FBC La Paz and House of God Baptist Church. Pastor Eric preached twice today with the help of a young lady interpreter Amsi."




"We had a fantastic day today. The Lord blessed us with great company and a long days work. We were blessed to help Casa de Dios clean out an foundation behind their church to provide space for kids to play. An amazing day!"


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 2/28/2019

Winter Retreat




Recently FBC, Bethlehem, and Calvary Baptist Church, Allentown, held a winter retreat at Camp Ichthus. Our ABCOPAD Student Ministries Associate Ben Kraihanzel led the retreat and shared these pictures. Rise (A student ministry retreat) will take place in April. Click HERE to see more!


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 2/22/2019

Small Church Essentials


"Small Church Essentials "
Zoom Video Conference Meetings with Karl Vaters
February 19 / March 19
Mark your calendar!



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 2/4/2019

A Working Lunch

Frank Frischkorn had a chance to stop by the Pittsburgh office and spend some time with the best Administrator in the entire world, Denise Veselicky. Our Region is so blessed to have Denise as a member of our ABCOPAD Team. Denise does so much to make ministry possible in coordinating and doing logistics for our many mission teams.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 2/4/2019

North Hills Baptist Grant Awarded

Sue MacDonald and Mark Mahserjian-Smith recently presented Mark Mendicino an ABCOPAD Grant to the North Hills Baptist Church

North Hills applied for a grant to develop a crowd sourcing computer platform to help refugees in the greater Pittsburgh area. The concept is to use crowd sourcing to share needs of immigrants such as food, household items and other resources among those participating in the “crowd” so they can donate whatever is needed. It is an exciting concept linking people with things they want to donate with people new to our country with basic needs.

Mark Mendicino, his wife Amy. and the North Hills Church family are all great partners in ministry!



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Northern Haiti Mission Team 5

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Today our Haiti Mission team did some sight seeing and took a trip to the Citadel and to King Christophe’s Palace. The Citadel is an amazing structure and an important part of Haiti’s history. Constructed at the top of a very steep mountain, it’s purpose was to prevent Napoleon and the French from recapturing Haiti after they won their independence. It is a massive fortress with many canons that could stop ships coming into the harbor as well as repel an attacking army. So much rich history and an architectural wonder.




The initial plan was to hike to the Citadel but that would have taken an entire day. It is a 5mile hike and sections of the road are at nearly a 45 degree angle or steeper. Our partner Fritznel arrange for motorcycles to take us to the base of the mountain and then we took horses to carry us to the top. 




I thought I could skip the horse and hike to the top. A Haitian looked at me and said he would walk with me and bring his horse just in case I changed my mind and wanted horse assistance. About 1/3 of the way up I came to my senses and took him up on his offer. I think the Haitians were taking bets about how far I would go. Hahahahaha. I have never been on a motorcycle or horse on such steep terrain. Very grateful for the help.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Northern Haiti Mission Team 4

Mark Mahserjian=Smith writes:
Morning worship was wonderful as we joined a sanctuary filled with Christian brothers and sisters of Haiti, young and old. The entire front of the sanctuary (first 5 or 6 rows) was filled with kids in their school uniforms. One side of the sanctuary was the children’s choir directed by a little girls who looked about 8 years old. She did an outstanding job. 

The pastor was very personable and spoke from his heart encouraging everyone to be faithful as the follow Jesus. The music was both beautiful and inspiring
After worship the pastor invited us back to him home for refreshments and a chance to visit. Such an amazing morning celebrating our faith in Jesus with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Labadee.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Northern Haiti Mission Team 3

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes;
After our time with the kids, around 11:00 am, we went back to working on the wall that will surround the school. The team moved cement, cinder blocks and stone while the masons laid block. As you can see from the pics, despite the heat and powerful sun we got a lot accomplished. Many of the people of the community came out to help, making the job easier and progress fast. It has been wonderful serving in this community.







by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Northern Haiti Mission Team 2

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:
While the VBS was taking place at the school, another team members started on the construction project to build a new school for older students on a property Pastor Zek purchased. Following lunch the entire team went to work on setting the reinforcement posts for a wall around the school compound. The crew got to work mixing center and using buckets to transport the cement to the posts. In many ways this project reminded me of the rubble homes we built in Grand Goave. We the formed a long bucket line to move the mixed cement to the posts along the wall. One again buckets were flying as bag after bag of concrete along with Sand and gravel were mixed and transported.







by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Northern Haiti Mission Team 1

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:
It was a full day of work at a school just outside of Cap Haitien. A group of us did a modified Vacation Bible School with around 30-40 studen
ts. The children were wonderful to work with as we shared the Creation Story, sang songs and made beaded bracelets. It was a joy sharing Christ’s love with all the kids.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 2/4/2019

Haiti Mission Team 2019

Pastor John Dorean and Jonathan Johnson are leading the ABCOPAD Mission Team to Grand Goave Haiti. They are working on a building project in the neighborhood where they've built several houses. Along with many volunteers, Pastor Cheryl Filson, minister at the First Baptist Church of Mansfield, and her daughter joined the team and is looking into the possibility to bring medical mission teams to the area.








by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/4/2019

2019 Celebrations


Congratulations! Several regional churches will be celebrating significant anniversaries in 2019. Each are to be commended for faithful ministry and witness for a century (or more!). 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/19/2019

Giving Tuesday, December 3


Giving Tuesday --- December 3

When you make a contribution to ABCOPAD - Partners in Ministry on "Giving Tuesday," your donation is DOUBLED through a matching funds campaign by PayPal! Whether you donate $5 or $500, your contribution will make a lasting impact in our work and witness. Every gift counts! Every gift helps!

Be generous!
Thanks for your support!!!

PayPal will match funds with 7 million dollars.
NOTE #1: The window for gifts opens at 8:00 am.
NOTE #2: Matching gifts up to $20k per donor.
NOTE #3: Just click on the link above on Tuesday and select the donate button!

Facebook will match your gift at 100% for as long as the funds last.

It's strongly recommended to give ASAP
on November 27!
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018

A Glimpse of Life at FBC Brookville


Recently, Mark Mahserjian-Smith attended morning worship at FBC Brookville, hoping to catch up with their new pastor... but he was away. Worship leader Bob. Radaker led the service and guest Preacher William Henry did a fine job delivering the message entitled “If I Were A Rich Man”. He looked at the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.


The church dedicated the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. Their goal was 60 boxes but they collect 85 shoe boxes. Great Job.


It was good being with the church family. In 1999 at team from ABCOPAD met at FBC Brookville to explore the possibility of launch a web site. Back then FBC Brookville had a 8 station computer lab in their loft and made it available to a tech team working on creating the first ABCOPAD web page. Later, a Nehemiah Leadership Network group made up of Andrew Shields, Scott Warren, Cory Hartman and I would meet in that loft. I will always value our partnership with this congregation who has been a great partner in ministry for many years.
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018

Serving In Puerto Rico

Sally Perry, a member of our ABCOPAD Disaster Relief Team currently serving in Puerto Rico sent a couple of pictures of the church the team is working on in San Juan. The team will be celebrating Thanksgiving together with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico over the holiday. Please continue to keep the team in your prayers as well as the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from Hurricane Maria. Thank you team for being the hands and feet of Jesus, leaving your families back in ABCOPAD to bring encouragement and support to those in need.













by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018

A Place of Welcome


Pastor David White and the congregation have made Crossroads Community Baptist Church in Erie is a place of welcome.


Crossroads is one of our American Baptist Congregations that welcomes many refugees from Burma who now call Erie home. The older Euro members of the church have done an outstanding job welcoming the many brothers and sisters of Christ from other cultures, offering incredible hospitality and Christian love.


This truly is a church family bond together not by being culturally similar but being one body in Jesus.


At a recent service, Rev. Mann See Son explained how missionary Adoniram Judson shared the gospel in Burma and now many in the church have found a home here in the US as a result of that ministry. 


It was such a joy share our lives and ministry with awesome partners in ministry.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018

Community Reach in Washington PA


Rev Steve Dunlap is the pastor at the First Baptist Church Of Washington, PA. Pastor Steve has been serving the church since 2006 and has witnessed many changes in the ministry in Washington.  

Currently one of the growing edges of ministry is to people in the NA (Narcotics Anonymous). A NA group meets at the church with as many as 200 people attending. To help those in recovery, the church holds its student ministry event on the same night, offering a safe place for kids while their parents attend the meeting. Also a meal is served prior to the meeting so NA members have a place where they feel supported and loved. Just about all the NA members are unchurched or dechurched but have found a safe and welcoming environment at FBC Washington.

In the midst of the opioid crisis, FBC Washington is making a difference!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018

One Body


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes: 

Some of you know, I am reluctant and resistant to have my picture posted on Facebook. My job and calling is to share what others are doing in ministry. Last Sunday while at Crossroads Community Baptist Church in Erie, near the close of the service, Pastor David White asked me to come forward. He had placed a chair at the front of the sanctuary and asked me to sit down. Then he asked Pastor See Son from Burma, Pastor Samuel and his wife from Pakistan, Esther from Sri Lanka, members of the original First Baptist Church of Erie, along with other congregational leaders from other countries a cultures to come forward and pray for me. Tears came to me eyes as these brothers and sisters in Christ prayed for me in their native language. Their prayers and support melted my heart. Thank you Crossroads family for this amazing gift. As a region we are blessed to have congregations filled with cultural diversity, all disciples of Jesus, reflecting what the Kingdom Of God looks like when all his children are united together. 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018



Members of Bethlehem Baptist Church Of Ruff Creek in Oil Creek Association got together for  Kids night and Bible study. It was pizza night and the kids were all super excited to be together.


Rev. David Earnest directed the evening meeting that included filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.




It 's great to see this church family, with kids laughing and playing, adults sharing in fellowship and study, and all enjoying being together in God’s house.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018

Ministry in the Midst of Tragedy


Pastor Mark Schollaert is the lead minister at the First Baptist Church Of Monongahela in the Pittsburgh Association.

Pastor Mark shared some recent opportunities and challenges in pastoral ministry. The mother of the Tree Of Life Synagogue shooter is a member of FBC Monongahela. She is wheelchair bound and struggles with disabilities. Her husband is blind and also disabled. Barb is heartbroken over what happened. Pastor Mark has been present to help this couple as they try to assist law enforcement with the investigation, deal with ferocious reporters and the grief and sadness of this tragedy. Pastor Mark and the church family have been able to use a network of resources to help Barb in the midst of this horrible situation.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018

Meet Michael McCamey


Meet Michael McCamey! Pastor Mike started ministry at First Baptist Crafton in May and has already been hard at work getting to know the congregation as well as doing ministry both in the church and in the community. He shared one of his major priorities is to empower the church family so they will do ministry in the neighborhood. He has been connecting with the local ministerium and will be participating in the ecumenical Thanksgiving service. It's great to have this new partner in ministry.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018

Eric, David, and AMOS


Eric Kraihanzel, Lead Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lansdale, sent these pictures as Dr. David Parajon (International Ministries Missionary to Nicaragua) shared his ministry at AMOS. AMOS stands for A Ministry Of Sharing and providing medical training and care in both Managua and many rural villages throughout Nicaragua.


ABCOPAD has a strong partnership with AMOS having had many of our congregations go on mission trips to Nicaragua including the recent Waters Of Blessing project and the Cyberbox / Library project this year.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018

Christmas Shoeboxes Packed And Shipped


It was a crazy night at East Mahoning Baptist Church. Trail Life and American Heritage Girls had a shoebox packing party. What a blessing with all the energy from both groups! We were able to put the love of Jesus in 115 boxes this evening. To God be the glory! 


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018

Oil Creek ABWM


Recently, the Oil Creek Association ABWM gathered for a retreat at Camp Judson. Pastor Jeff Johnson was the guest speaker presenting “Women Restored. To be anything. To do anything. To go anywhere”.





by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 11/4/2018

IM Commissioning: Brian and Lynette Smith


It was a wonderful day as family and friends gathered for the Commissioning Service for Brian and Lynette Smith. It was great seeing pastoral leaders from churches in the Oil Creek and French Creek Associations, staff members from International Ministries, a staff member from the office of the General Secretary and more. The celebration took place at the First Baptist Church of Cambridge Springs where so many members of our American Baptist Church Family gathered for this dedication of a missionary family going to Haiti.



Following their Commissioning as IM Missionaries, Brian and Lynette Smith were given gifts to recognize this important day including a certificate by Rev Paul Vick, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of BIM...  


and two Haitian Bibles, presented by Herb and Bernice Rogers, retired IM Global Servants of Haiti.


Additionally, Brian and Lynette’s Missionary Partnership Team was commissioned to their ministry of encouragement and support

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018

Matthew 25 Grant Award to BCWC


For more than 40 years The Baptist Church of West Chester, PA, has provided a Saturday morning breakfast each week for the community’s homeless in its college town located near Philadelphia. Between 20 and 50 folks attend each week, according to Dena Colson, the congregation’s treasurer.

The church recently took another step to feed the homeless for which it received a $900 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). “A few years ago, a member of our congregation brought to our attention that no agencies in the community were providing Sunday morning/lunchtime meals for the homeless,” explains Dena Colson, the congregation’s treasurer. “So, we decided we would also begin to offer a lunch/brunch once a month for the homeless, actually open to anyone in the community once a month. We soon figured out we had enough volunteers to offer the Sunday brunch twice a month.”

Read more HERE


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/22/2018

Dr. David Parajon



Dr. David Parajon, our ABC Medical Missionary to Nicaragua will be speaking twice in the area.


Sunday, October 21 at 3:30
James Street Mennonite Church, 323 W. James St. Lancaster, PA


Tuesday, October 30
First Baptist Church. A light supper will be available. HOWEVER, you need to call Sally Perry to RSVP to the dinner and exact time and location. (It may not be at the church, if the turnout is low - it may be moved to a home). That's why RSVP is necessary to 717-626-1488.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/18/2018

Sew Loved Dresses


Volunteers from New Hope Christian Church in Broomall are reaching out to young girls in need. The ladies have completed 42 dresses and have another 20/30 in various stages of completion.



The ladies began creating dresses made from pillowcases!  Fabric is selected which is sturdy and heavy enough that a hand can not be seen through it. They consider the laundering methods, as well, when choosing fabrics.



A new design is made from purchased T-shirts. Skirts are then stitched onto the shirt. The benefit (besides speed of construction) is that they could be given to Muslim girls who must have their shoulders covered. T shirt dresses are made in the smaller sizes because they do not provide modesty for developing girls.



Their current concern is getting the dresses to girls in need. Ideally, they would be carried by someone going to the mission field so as to avoid shipping costs.



Want to help? Along monetary gifts,the group accepts donations of fabric, trim, T shirts, shorts, panties, shoes. AND... If you want to deliver some dresses on a future mission trip, let them know. Contact New Hope Christian Church!




by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/17/2018

New Covenant Anniversary


New Covenant Baptist Church of Pottstown celebrated their 25th Anniversary. Pastor Melody Walden and the congregation enjoyed an anniversary dinner on Saturday evening with former Pastors Jim Sutton bringing remarks and Tom Brokaw bringing the message. Frank Frischkorn had the opportunity to preach on Sunday morning, with a time of fellowship following the service.



Another highlight was the church’s receipt of a certificate of recognition from the American Baptist Historical Society. 



The congregation has a new banner in their sanctuary, reminding members to pray for the ministry of the congregation at 9:15 in the morning and 9:15 on the evening. 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 10/7/2018

Camp Judson News


Meet Rev. Kevin Saxton, Managing Director at Camp Judson. He recently met with the Oil Creek Association to report on last summer's activities when hundreds of kids attending camp, many of whom made commitments to follow Jesus. It was great to hear all the good reports regarding Camp Judson.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 10/4/2018

Huntingdon Prayer Garden


Pastor John Staje sent these pictures taken at the First Regular Baptist Church of Huntingdon. The church dedicated its new prayer garden created in the yard along side the church. The congregation gathered in the prayer garden to commit the space to the Lord, a place where people can find a quiet, peace filled place to pray. The group released butterflies, a very appropriate symbol of transformation and prayers taking wing and heaven bound.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/4/2018

Missionary Commissioning Service


The Smiths







Details HERE 



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/2/2018

World Mission Offering 2018 Resources


Promotional resources are now available.
Click HERE:


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/19/2018

Partners in Ministry at FBC Bethlehem


Pastors Dale Miller and Rosnibri Lantigua  have formed a great partnership at  FBC, Bethlehem. Pastor Lantigua leads a Hispanic congregation that has now made FBC Bethlehem their church home. It was exciting to hear how, when Pastor Rosnibri’s congregation was “locked out” of their previous place of worship, the congregation found a home and a partnership at FBC Bethlehem. Pictured: Dale Miller, Rosnibri Lantigua, and Associate Pastor David Hardin

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/19/2018

Regional Ministry Associates

As a regional family we have been focusing on Tod Bolsinger’s book, Canoeing the Mountains and the challenge of what it means for us as ministries to go ‘off map’ and engage our current culture in new and creative ways for the furtherance of the Gospel. We are all called to live ‘At the Edge’ (the theme for our upcoming Biennial Leadership Conference) and entrust our life and ministry into the hands of the Faithful One as we seek be the hands and feet of Jesus. Just as that challenge is true for local congregations, so it is also true for us as a regional family of churches here in ABCOPAD.

Following significant work by our regional Long Range Task Force, our ABCOPAD Board approved the deployment of a number of Regional Ministry Associates to help us in our efforts to come alongside of local congregations to assist you in being all that God is calling you to be for the Kingdom. These newly called leaders have broadened our own regional Corps of Discovery and we’re excited about the addition of these ministry partners.

Read the details HERE

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/17/2018

Soles 4 Souls



ABCOPAD continues to find ways to help the people of Puerto Rico. The summer our AB Women collected shoes for missionary Katherine Niles to go to Africa however the ladies collected so many shoes, it was impossible to send all that were collected. Many boxes of shoes were taken to our ABCOPAD Pittsburgh office as we prayed about what to do with all these shoes. 


With our AB Women now turning their mission focus to Puerto Rico, we contacted our partners in PR to see if they were in need of shoes. The answer was "YES, please send as many as you can." Our amazing office administrator, Denise Veselicky went to work boxing up shoes to ship to Puerto Rico. Disaster Relief funds were used to cover the shipping cost. 


Recently the shoes arrived in Puerto Rico: ABCOPAD ABWM Mission Coordinator Paula Sommerfeldt wrote:

We have exciting news about some of the shoes that were donated at our 2018 Thrive Conference. These boxes are full of shoes for our brothers, sisters and children in Puerto Rico. Ladies, your gifts are literally traveling around the world.

“Thank You” for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/10/2018

Welcome Abington Baptist Church


A most warm welcome to the Abington Baptist Church into our regional family. Pastor Mark McDowell and the church family recently joined the fellowship of the Central Union Association.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/27/2018

Amazing Time at the 2018 AB Mens Retreat





About 130 men from across Delaware and Pennsylvania attended the 2018 AB Men's Event.  The Keynote Speaker this year was Rev. Chuck Stecker, the Executive Director and Founder of A Chosen Generation.   Pastor Chuck delivered a number of powerful messages challenging the men at the retreat to live out their faith.   Rev. CG Coats led the praise band who helped lead the group in times of worship and song.   Throughout the weekend there were powerful testimonies offered along with stirring devotionals and inspirational special music.   
  One high light of the event was Kylie West (Calvary Baptist Church, Newark DE) receiving the Men of the Year award for his outstanding Christian service and witness. 
  It was an amazing weekend.   You can view pictures and videos on the AB Men's Facebook Page  or on the ABCOPAD Facebook Page.


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/3/2018

2018 Thrive Conference a great success



Check out lots of great pictures on our Google Photo Album 

The AB Women of ABCOPAD gathered together the weekend of July 13th for their annual Thrive Conference.  Well over 200 women and girls attended the event that featured primary speaker Kelley Latta.   The event included amazing music, inspirational devotions, workshops, a comedian, mission speakers and so much more.   There are lots of pictures, video and updates on our ABCOPAD Facebook Page.   Here is the link. 

It was a great conference, inspiring everyone who attended to grow deeper in their faith and their intimacy with God. 



by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/20/2018

Jeff Johnson Speaker at Holy Spirit Conference


Jeff Johnson writes ..
It was one week ago today I wrapped up my presence and participation at the Holy Spirit Renewal Conference at Green Lake. Hard to believe seven days have passed. Time sure flies! The last day of the annual conference saw Dr, Paul Gibson, Executive Minister of Illinois and Missouri and Rev. Pam Wantz, pastor in Dayton, Ohio sharing the morning Bible Study hour. The morning plenary speaker was the keynoter, Francis Anfuso. During the hour before lunch, I attended a Bible StoryTelling workshop. The evening session had a lot of great music, powerful praise, communion, and Francis sharing again for the final time, this time walking us all through I Corinthians 13 but sharing the attributes of love from a divine, God perspective, not a human's attempt at such. It was VERY powerful! After the closing prayer, the praise band played on! It was a truly a renewing experience at the renewal conference! Oh, this week at Green Lake is the annual American Baptist International Missions Conference. I happened to come across a picture of a couple ABCOPADers there, Dan and Sue MacDonald (she is taking the picture) who were having a little down time with friends before calling it a day, a very good day!


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/20/2018

West Shore Baptist Welcomes New Pastor



Frank writes: West Shore Baptist has a new Pastor! Today Doug Hill, Chairman of the Pastoral Search Committee, had the joy of dismissing the search committee and officially welcoming Pastor Kelly Legg as the new Senior Pastor of the congregation . Pastor Kelly then challenged the church family to seek the name that our Creator God has given to each one of us.


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/20/2018

FBC Waynesburg Celebrates 175 Year Anniversary

 More pictures on our Facebook Page

  Frank writes: I had the privilege is speaking last evening at the 175th Anniversary Banquet at the FBC of Waynesburg. The congregation turned out in full force to enjoy an evening of remembrances in looking to the past and encouragements in moving to the future. Church leader Mark Fox led the gathering, with previous pastors Alan Williams, Bruce Blankenship and Stuart Johnson bringing reflections on their time of ministry with the church family. Current Senior Pastor, Ed Peirce, concluded the event with a challenge to look to the future.


Jeff writes ...Sunday morning, Karen and I had the privilege of continuing the 175TH anniversary celebration of the FBC, Waynesburg. Attended a social hour prior to the morning worship during which time I did a first person reenactment of the church's first pastor, Brother James Woods back in 1843. I also later provided the morning message which was followed by an invitation which saw people down front down on their knees seeking the Lord as they have done at this church for 175 years. The church's pastor is Dr. Ed Peirce. He led the morning worship. There was great special music by the children's choir, the adult choir, and a guest soloist. There was a great mixture of both traditional and the contemporary congregational music. The banner by which Karen and I are standing was a quilt rendition of the church's vision that came out of their co::lab work with the region a few years ago and is still being lived out powerfully today ... to God be the glory! I was sorry not to get to see Dr. Dick and Carol Visser, former pastors of the church. Dick was in the hospital over the weekend. I did get to see their one son at the service and sent my own regards and those of our region to the Visser's. Before heading home, Karen and I got to see our son Judson before he headed back into Camp Carmel where he is working throughout the summer. Boy we miss our boy! 1843 was great year for church starts. Five new congregations were begun in Pennsylvania, 37 across the whole country, bringing the total of American Baptist Churches in 1843 to 1006 ... to God be the glory!


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/20/2018

Upward at Liberty Baptist Blanchard Starting Soon


Upward Sports Basketball and Cheerleading Recreational League of Liberty Baptist Church will be holding registration/evaluation sessions for the Fall 2018 Basketball and Cheerleading league soon.  The evaluations will be held on Monday, July 30, 2018 between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as on Saturday, August 11, 2018 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 the church gymnasium in Blanchard. Basketball and Cheerleading is open to all students in Kindergarten thru 8th grade.  Early registration discounts end on July 21, 2018.  For more information please call the church at (570) 962-2214 or visit our website  

Liberty Baptist Church ~ A Place to Belong

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pastor Chris Davis at 570-962-2214 or email at


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/12/2018

Liberty Baptist Back to School Backpack School Supply Giveaway



Free School Supplies, Backpacks, Clothing, and Haircuts for Community Kids

Blanchard, PA, July 10, 2018– Liberty Baptist Church in Blanchard, PA is hosting a Back to School Event on Sunday, July 29, 2018. Community students, pre-school through 12th grade, are invited to attend to receive free backpacks and school supplies to equip them for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. The Back to School – School Supply Give-Away is sponsored by the Board of Christian Education, The American Baptist Women Circle, and the church Social Committee. The event is first-come, first-serve, while school supplies, clothes, haircut timeslots, and backpacks last. There will be enough backpacks to reach 150 students this year.

“We believe our program is just a little bit different from others in our area. Instead of lining the children up and handing them a pre-packed backpack with supplies, we set up our church gym as a store. The students can come in and select their own supplies. In essence, they have an opportunity to ‘shop’ for their supplies just like other kids at their schools. Last year one of the students remarked that they were at ‘ChurchMart,” stated Tammy Weaver, chair of the Social Committee.

This program began in 2016 with the Church and continues to grow with the church serving over one hundred children last year in the community. This year the Church hopes to serve 150 children. The program expanded last year to add free haircuts for children from local barbers and cosmetologists including Megan Kelley of Supercuts in State College to provide a new look to go with the new school supplies. This year the program will also be offering free clothing because of generous donations from Cindy Whitman - Lularoe and the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“The children simply need to arrive with clean, dry hair and we will take care of the rest,” said Kelley. “A fun night for the families of Centre and Clinton county as they come “shop” for some school supplies, new clothes, get a haircut, and have a meal!” said Greta Davis, Project Coordinator.

This year refreshments will also be provided to the children and their families by The American Baptist Women Circle from Liberty Baptist Church.

“There are two fundamental ways to change the life of a child,” stated Liberty Baptist Church Pastor, Chris Davis, “Introduce them to the good news of Jesus Christ, and give them an education. It’s really hard for a kid to be excited about going back to school when they don’t have the tools they need and their family cannot afford to provide them. ”

The doors will open at 6:00 pm and begin with a short program. The children and their families will be released by number corresponding with their arrival to the event so that they can begin to select their own school supplies, backpack, clothing, and get a haircut.

“Our church family has pulled together in a phenomenal way to make sure that area children can start school on equal footing this school year with the supplies that they need. We are excited to share Christ’s love with them and their families through this event.” Stated Brenda Corter, Chairperson of the Board of Christian Education.

Liberty Baptist Church ~ A Place to Belong

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pastor Chris Davis at 570-962-2214 or email at

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/12/2018

Under The Sea VBS at FBC Woodlawn With Resources Now Available


Pastor Howard Irwin, (FBC Woodlawn in Aliquippa, PA) wrote:

Tonight (6/28/2018)  we are wrapping up our week of VBS. We actually write our our own VBS complete with skits etc. Our theme was “under the sea, Jesus and me.”
  However, one of the popular ones out this year is ship wreck. We thought if a church is planning to do that one, we would be glad to share our decorations with them. Most they could keep—there may be a few trees and things we would want back (next year we’re already planning to do a jungle theme). To assemble the whale, you would need a tent to put the decorations around. And To reassemble The ship you’d need to have someone who has some carpentry skills.
  But if any church wants the decorations we will give them for free.  Thanks,  Rev. Howard Irwin
Office:  ‭(724) 375-6653‬



by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/3/2018

Houston Volunteer Mission Team

The ABCOPAD Mission Team serving in Houston, Texas sent these pictures as they consider to serve in Houston. Looks like everyone is hard at work. Pastor Mark Brady wrote: "Had a great day. Attended a house blessing this afternoon. One part of our team worked on the house today and they have considered it complete. It was beautiful." Please continue to pray for the team.







by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/21/2018

Urban Acres


Meet a great partner in ministry. Mike Minor is one of the congregational leaders at Central Baptist Church of Wilmington. Mike has served on mission trips to Haiti. In Delaware, however, Mike is super busy as the gardening / produce season is in high gear. Mike leads Urban Acres in Wilmington, a ministry that includes community gardens and nutritional education. It was fun spending a little time with Mike and hearing about all the good things taking place via Urban Acres.



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/21/2018

Jefferson Baptist Church in Haiti

Jefferson Baptist Church has been leading many recent mission trips to Haiti including the trip this past January. Recently one member of the mission team created a great YouTube video with highlights from the trip.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/21/2018


A $1,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) helped First Baptist Church in Sharon, PA, purchase food this past year for an after-school program the congregation has run since 1991.

“Kids hit the snack table as soon as they come in the door from school, and we provide lots of hot chocolate for them during cold, snowy afternoons,” explains the Rev. Cindy Swogger, First Baptist Church’s pastor. “They enjoy Bible study, games, music, crafts, computers, homework help and chapel. I cook supper for the kids three days a week. It is so gratifying. When we say they can get seconds, look out because they get pretty excited. It is wonderful to feed children who appreciate a home-cooked meal. I just love our kids!” Pastor Cindy explains the initiative welcomes 45-80 children each day depending on after school sports activities, weather and darkness.

Read the whole story HERE


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/9/2018

2018 Bradford Association


The Bradford Association met at FBC, Gillett. Pastor Micky Cavanaugh and the leadership at Gillett made all feel right at home. Moderator Pastor Ed Zinser led the meeting, with Gary Wood giving an update on the ministry of the ABMen disaster relief trailer in Texas and Judy Husted bringing an update on the ministry of North Country Baptist Youth Ministries, blessing us with a few Camp songs on her ukulele. A wonderful lasagna supper was shared following the service in the Fellowship Hall.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/24/2018

Strengthening Your Financial Future


Recently, the American Baptist Foundation (Kris Lutton) and the ABCOPAD Foundation (Sue MacDonald) hosted a Strengthening Your Financial Future workshop at the Central Baptist Church in Williamsport (Rev. Eleanor Siegrist, Pastor). Several churches from the Northumberland Baptist Churches attended the event.


Kris shared the resources the AB Foundation offers both individuals and churches so they can maximize their finances for ministry. One significant fact Kris Lutton shared is the fact that most churches currently hold CD’s that offer very minimal returned. By investing with the AB Foundation their 10 year average for investments is around 5%, a lot better than any CD.


If you want to learn more about the work of the Foundation contact our own Sue MacDonald to learn more.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/14/2018

Global Hymn Sing 2018


On February 25, the congregation at New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, participated in a Global Hymn Sing, organized by Keith Getty. How fun to know that 5000+ churches all over the world were singing the same song ["Jesus Shall Reign"] bringing praise to God! 76 countries and over a million people!! Now that's a concert of praise!



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/6/2018

Volunteer Mission Opportunities


Hoping to make the region website more user friendly, we've redesigned the pages listing volunteer mission opportunities. It's a quick click from the ABCOPAD "Home Page" to "Mission Trips" where there is a menu for domestic and international mission trips scheduled for 2018. At this date there are 22 different trips listed. 

Check it out HERE!
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/20/2018

World Religions and Cults


Pastor Randy Powell and Jeff Johnson went online for a test run of the upcoming Leader/Lay Learning Class being offered in March. The course will be totally online, an hour and a half for four consecutive Tuesday evenings. Check out the details HERE

Handouts will be provided. For those ACTS grads needing continuing ed credits for continued certification, this a course where you can get them. For those wanting to better understand this multi-religious world in which we live, this is the class for everyone. Register today!


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/20/2018

Kudos to Donna Schneff


Kudos to Donna Schneff, our Notes & News designer/editor since its inception in January 1988. That's 30 years! That's 300 issues! THANK YOU!

Mark Mahserjian-Smith (Regional Pastor For Mission & Communications) comments:
"Notes & News has adapted to its environment over the years—having started as a black and white, text driven, hard copy publication—to a color newsletter with graphics and pictures, now available both as a hard copy mailed newsletter, as well as a digital, online publication. Donna has been amazing, helping the Regional Staff keep Notes & News meaningful, relevant and useful all along its storied history."

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2018

Kudos to Donna Schneff


Kudos to Donna Schneff, our Notes & News designer/editor since its inception in January 1988. That's 30 years! That's 300 issues! THANK YOU!

Mark Mahserjian-Smith (Regional Pastor For Mission & Communications) comments:
"Notes & News has adapted to its environment over the years—having started as a black and white, text driven, hard copy publication—to a color newsletter with graphics and pictures, now available both as a hard copy mailed newsletter, as well as a digital, online publication. Donna has been amazing, helping the Regional Staff keep Notes & News meaningful, relevant and useful all along its storied history."

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2018

Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief


In the wake of Hurricane Maria... Last year, local church pastors in Puerto Rico requested help with one possible strategy to address the depression being experienced by families in their churches. The plan was to collect shoebox gifts during the month of December to give to children in Puerto Rico on Three Kings day on January 6th. (Puerto Ricans celebrate the coming of the Magi [Epiphany] by having children open gifts.

ABHMS sent out a dispatch requesting shoebox gifts for children ages 3 - 12. The gifts were to be delivered to the Mission Center in Valley Forge by December 19th. These gifts would be then shipped to PR in time for them to be delivered to local churches for their Three Kings Day celebrations on January 6th. 

Quite a few churches sent Three Kings Day gifts to Puerto Rico and we are hoping they will be distributed soon. For a complete update. please click HERE



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018

Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 3


Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. A great team of workers helped to lay down a new floor in a home that had been destroyed by the hurricane waters. Soon there will be a happy family returning to their home. What a blessing!


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018

Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 2


Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. There were a number of volunteers who were assigned the task of gutting and dry-walling a house that had been ruined by last year's hurricane. They're just being serving others with the heart of Christ!




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018

Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 1


Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. As you can tell from the pictures, they're working on a roofing project. Please continue to keep the team in your prayers as they serve. Y'all be careful up there!







by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018

GraceCrossing Celebrates


It may have been really cold outside, but the fellowship was warm at GraceCrossing in Phoenixville! Pastor Dan McDowell and the church family gathered together despite the cold temperatures to give honor to the King and encourage one another in the process. It was also fun to celebrate the receipt of a grant from the region to help support their growing ministry with young adults in the Phoenixville community.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2018

Rev. David Klock Ordination Service


On December 8th, an Ordination Service was held for Rev David Klock. The celebration took place at the Colonial Park Baptist Church in the Harrisburg Association. The relationships represented at Pastor Dave’s service helped to mark the many milestones in Dave’s faith journey. Pastor Dave’s wife Danae opened the service by singing Be Thou My Vision, and it has great having their kids present for the service. Pastor Dave started ministry as a youth pastor at the Moreland Baptist Church and then was called to student ministry at FBC Bethlehem working along side of Rev Eric Kraihanzel. Later, Dave would become the Associate Pastor at FBC Bethlehem working closely with lead pastor Rev Dale Miller.

Pastor Dave then heard Jesus call him to be a new church planter in ABCOPAD working with Rev. Frank Frischkorn and Rev. Jeff Johnson, bringing to life Living Bridge in Harrisburg. Both Pastor Dave’s dad, Rev Jim Klock, and his father-in-law, Rev. Philip Steele, prayed for Dave during a “laying on of hands.” Pastor Dale Miller delivered a message entitled I’ve Got A Story To Tell; he told of both humorous and sacred moments he had shared with Dave. It was a wonderful celebration of Pastor Dave’s call to ministry and witnessing Dave reach this important milestone. Following the service, a reception was held in the fellowship hall marked by loads of laughter and fun as the story telling continued.



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2018

2017 Southwest LLC


A quick look at the Southwest LLC in southwest PA. Besides their usual time of updating each other about what's going on in their families, they also share about what is happening in their church families. They then spent time together talking about the book of the month, in this case, Why Johnny Can't Preach, which the author says is due to present day preachers lack of good reading and also good composition skills. As they do each month, they all went out to eat, but this time three spouses joined the fellowship.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/3/2017

Nicaragau Cyberbox / Library Project


Mark Mahserjian-Smith joined Pastor Arthur Campbell Reed at the United Baptist Church of Elmira, NY, to promote the 2018 Nicaragau Cyberbox / Library project. 

In 2015 ABCOPAD partnered with ABC New York and AMOS on the 3-year Waters of Blessing project in Nicaragua. Over the last 3 years, there have been 5 mission trips to Nicaragua installing water filters, building and expanding health clinics, doing anemia testing, donating baby layettes and much much more.

This very productive partnership continues with the Cyberbox / Library project.

It was a joy spending time with Pastor Skip (Arthur) and many other Nicaragua Mission Team members. Lindsay Mills is heading up the computer lab portion on the project while our own Sally Perry (FBC Lancaster) is heading up the library. Lindsay was joined by his wish Karen Mills and Eddie Kirkpatrick to promote the project. It was great being with these amazing partners in ministry as we serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in Nicaragua.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/31/2017

Pastors' Retreat Planning Committee


Our ABCOPAD chapter of the Ministers Council met at the ABCUSA Mission Center in King of Prussia. They are already planning our Spring 2018 Pastors Retreat - April 9-11. Leila Martin was our guest. Each year our Region Council grants an excellence in ministry award, and it is named for the late Reverend Craig Martin (Leila’s late husband).

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017

ABW Thrive Mini Conference Lancaster


At the Thrive Mini-Conference, nearly 100 ladies gathered at FBC Lancaster from 5 Associations representing 15 churches! During the morning session, they heard Rev. Luminita  Nichols share her testimony. Rev. Mary Lewis shared in the afternoon. A wonderfully blessed gathering to glorify the Lord and encouraging each other to THRIVE in Jesus!





by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017

Camp Carmel Fall Festival 2017



Folks from southwest PA gathered on the Gatten Family Farm outside of Washington for the annual Camp Carmel Fall Festival. The time together started with a potluck dinner followed by visiting and catching up from the summer. Then games like volleyball were played, always a camp favorite. A hayride was taken. The evening capped off with a slide show of this past summer season and a bonfire with a devotion and the singing of camp songs. Those in attendance were from many churches in both the Ten Mile and Monongahela Associations. 



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017

Harrisburg Assoc Ordination Council



The Harrisburg Association recently convened an Ordination Council for David Klock, Pastor of the Living Bridge church plant in Mechanicsburg. It was held at the Colonial Park Community Baptist church for the congregations of the Harrisburg association. Rev. Dr. Dale Miller and a few members of the church family from First Baptist Church of Bethlehem were also present to support and encourage Dave in this important day in his life. The council was unanimous in its support of Dave for ordination by the church ..... Dave's wife, Danae, and Council Moderator, Pastor Tim Munson, share the moment of the announcement.



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017

Forest Baptist Church Donation



Words can not express our gratitude for the Forest Baptist. Not only did Deacon Alan Arnold and the Deacon board express the churches appreciation for all our ABCOPAD Regional Pastors, but then Deacon Alan presented Mark Mahserjian-Smith with a check for $5000 to support ABCOPAD’s Ministry. The church had been given a bequest following the passing of one of the member of the community, and the church tithed their gift for mission in our Region. It was such a blessing being with these awesome partners in ministry. Thank you so much!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #9


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

There wasn’t a pile there when we started, but as you can see --- there is one now! After moving the truck and trailer, a township crew came by and removed all the debris from the from of the house.


We finished the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. Lyle began breaking up the cast iron tub with a sledgehammer. It has been a very productive day, and homeowner Bob is please with our progress. One thing I’ll say --- It is hot and humid here in Lake Charles. Yikes!



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #8


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

This morning our AB Men’s team at Lake Charles, Louisiana, is helping out Bob and Margery whose house was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. We are continuing the demolition started by a team from Illinois last week. Ken and Lyle are ripping out a kitchen while I demo the bathroom. Not sure what we would do without the tools and equipment on the Disaster Relief Trailer! It is such a blessing having the equipment we need for the job. Thanks to everyone who has donated to this ministry. Special thanks to Lyle and Kenny for making the long trip down both to deliver the trailer and to work. Such great partners in ministry.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #7


Following morning worship at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. I drove to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to join the AB Men doing disaster relief. Two of our ABCOPAD AB Men from Bentley Creek drove almost 24 hours straight to bring down our disaster relief trailer. Special thanks to Lyle and Kenny for making the long trip from north central Pennsylvania to Lake Charles, LA. We connected with Jack Cobb, AB Men’s National Disaster Relief Coordinator, and getting ready for busy day tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #6


Mark Mahserjiah-Smith writes:

On Saturday, Pastor Tim Schwartz and I went to Wharton, TX, to access the damage done by Hurricane Harvey and see if we could help. Wharton is quite away from Houston and it took quite a while to get there. We found quite a bit of flood damage; however, Wharton is a pretty small community, and most of the neighborhood had been very effective in helping one another. Most of the homes had already been cleared out, and families were starting to re-sheetrock their homes. It was great to see neighbors helping neighbors and restoring home and lives. We probably won’t send teams to Wharton, but it was good to check in on the community.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #5

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Late yesterday afternoon Pastor Tim and I stopped by Ross Elementary School in Dickinson. We met with School Principal Kelly Mooney, Assistant Principal, Georgina Benavides and School Counselor Jennifer McCaffrey to explore ways we might be able to help.


Pastor Tim is the president of the PTA at John Adams Elementary School in Scranton and the Principal of John Adams Elementary, Mario Emiliani would like to have his School partner with Ross Elementary to help in whatever ways they can.

Principal Kelly shared how Ross Elementary is trying to care for the needs of their students with about half the students impacted by the flood. Many students had their homes destroyed and are now living with relatives and friends far from school. These students need to be driven to school by their parents who are attempting to maintain some stability for these kids whose lives have been turned upside down by Harvey. The school has been accepting donations of gas cards and giving them to parents to offset the cost of transportation even as these parents start the costly process of rebuilding their houses. 

Principal Kelly also told us literacy is a priority at the school and many of these kids lost their reading books in the flood. She hopes people will donate reading books to give to students so they can continue to learn to read.

Finally both Kelly and Georgina said the school is planning a Family Fun Fest at the end of October where kids and their families could come to school for a fun night could. Kids could come in costume, play games and receive treats. It is currently not safe for kids to be trick or treating with so much debris piles up on the street. The hope is the school will receive donations of gift cards so they can purchase the supplies they need. Principal Mario is excited about the partnership but he recognizes his own School is struggling financially.

We will be looking for ways to partner with Pastor Tim and both schools to assist. Kelly , Georgina and Jennifer kept saying how much they appreciated our presence. After a very challenging four weeks and what has been a challenging year, she said just knowing there are people offering to help makes a huge difference. The encouragement and support touched their hearts.

Please keep Ross Elementary, its staff and students in your prayers. Many children are struggling with depression and sadness having lost so much following Hurricane Harvey.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #4


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Yesterday, Pastor Tim Schwartz and I visited Greg living in Dickinson. Tim and Greg became friends while Tim was serving in Galveston. Greg’s wife, Lauren, and Pastor Tim’s wife, Jennifer, were both expecting while in Galveston, and the families have remained friends following Pastor Tim’s move to Scranton. Greg moved his family following the devastation of Hurricane Ike only to have his new home flooded by Harvey. While Greg and Lauren rebuild, their children are with Lauren’s parents in Chicago. It was good to encourage Greg and talk about recovery efforts in Dickinson.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #3


Mark Mahserjiah-Smith writes:

This afternoon Pastor Tim and I traveled to Galveston to check on possible disaster relief work in this community. We stopped by Primer Inglesia Bautista where teams stayed while doing Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief in 2009. We also had lunch with Joe Enriquez, who’s home was flooded following Hurricane Ike. Joe and his family were spared from damage with Hurricane Harvey but Joe reflected on how important Disaster Relief teams are in the midst of putting your life together after the storm.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #2


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

As Pastor Tim Schwartz and I drove through Dickinson, TX, we encountered street after street of houses in the process of mudding-out. Many houses already had their flood ravaged belongings removed and now drywall, insulation, carpeting, flooring and more were exiting the home. One thing I noticed: While some houses had started the process of recovery there were many other homes that had not. This recovery is going to be long and challenging. The longer a family waits the harder it becomes, however having said that, many people didn’t carry flood insurance and with little support, just don’t have the capacity to begin this very difficult process. Hopefully we can help.



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

MMS Reporting from Louisiana #1

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Yesterday I arrived in Houston Texas around 6:00 pm. Waiting for me at the airport was Pastor Tim Schwartz. Pastor Tim and his wife Pastor Jennifer Schwartz served as Disaster Relief Coordinators in the greater Houston / Galveston area following Hurricane Ike in 2009. Both Pastor Tim and Pastor Jenn are ABCOPAD natives who returned to Pennsylvania a few years ago. Not only is Pastor Jenn a Certified Lay Minister, but she is also a gifted Physical Therapist and was called to head the Physical Therapy program at the University of Scranton. Pastor Tim is a gifted leader who recently concluded interim ministry at FBC Abington in Waverly, PA.

Pastor Tim knows this area well and is praying about once again becoming a Disaster Relief Coordinator for ABHMS as well as assisting ABCOPAD in Disaster Relief Efforts.

After arriving in Houston, Pastor Tim took me to Dickinson, a community just outside of Houston hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. The first picture is of a McDonalds, now closed and beginning the mud-out process.


The next couple of pictures are photos of a shopping center parking lot now being used as a dump site for the neighborhood as everyone removed destroyed appliances, mattresses, furniture, sheet rock, installation and so much of their personal belongings destroyed by Harvey from their homes. Just unbelievable and heartbreaking.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017

Helps Make Summer Lunch Ministry Possible
At Upland Baptist Church

Link to a picture video of this event

During the school year, thousands of low income students eat free or reduced priced meals at school. But when school closes for the summer, and kids don’t receive these meals, they face higher risk of hunger and malnutrition. The Summer Lunch is a federally funded program that provides nourishing meals for children under the age of 18. Upland Baptist Church has been a qualified feeding site for five years.

In 2014, we changed the name of our program to “Summer Lunch and Fun” --- adding a special activity for each day. This summer we ran out program from Monday through Thursday for seven weeks.

Every morning began with an activity period from 11:00 to 11:45. Each Monday the kids gathered on the church lawn to play games like water balloon catch, water relay races, and pool noodle hockey. Tuesday was craft day…paints, glitter, beads, and feathers. Each child got the same ingredients, but every creation ended up being as unique as each child! Kids and adult volunteers got together on Wednesday to play board games. On Thursday, kids were encouraged to choose a book from our library and borrow it for a week. Thursdays also featured a special guest...

  • Volunteers from the Upland Fire Company arrived to tell us about their jobs and show us the equipment they use.
  • Upland’s Mayor Bill Dennon came to explain his job to the kids and make a personal connection with them.
  • Pastor Kevin Walden skillfully led the kids across the Jordan River when he presented a fun Gospel lesson.
  • We were happy to meet the two 8-week-old puppies from the Providence Animal Center in Media. The Providence volunteers also gave the kids a good lesson about pet care and safety.
  • Leon Jordan, a professional percussionist, was sent to us by Musicopia to conduct a “bucket drum” assembly. Drumsticks in hand, each child got to participate in this wonderful program.

We served the kids their boxed lunch from 11:45 to 12:15. Popcorn chicken was the top favorite with barbecue chicken wrap coming in second. Jicama sticks received a big thumbs down.

We started a “Memory Verse Challenge” this summer. The kids put together a book with a page for each Bible verse and illustrated what it meant to them.

We served an average of 20 children each day. Most kids were between 6 and 12 years old. Several teenage girls brought their little preschool siblings every day, too.

Everyone who volunteered this summer agrees that each day was a blessing. By God’s grace, we supplied our neighborhood children with a good meal. We introduced them to new experiences and caring people. Our church was a happy and safe place for them to learn that Jesus loves them --- and so do we!





by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 9/19/2017

Mission Discovery In Honduras

Pastor David Braneky (Baptist Church of West Chester) shared,

I wanted to share these reflections with you from a member of our church who went on a mission trip to Honduras this summer as part of an IM Discovery Team in partnership with a church from Cooperstown, New York. The journal should read that Cynthia Falk is a member of that church in New York, not BCWC, although she is Jim and Betty Layton's daughter and was raised at BCWC so I guess she could be considered our own. 

International Ministries Journal: Go, Be Love in Honduras by Carson Cramer:


Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk from the Baptist Church of West Chester(PA) to be the hands and feet of Christ in Azacualpa for nine days.  A local house had been identified to be the main construction project for the group. They dug trenches, carried rocks, poured cement to make the small house more accessible for its owner, Hilda. The group delivered groceries to local families, served children at the lunch program, co-facilitated VBS sessions and led impromptu games of soccer. The team was housed at the Children's Home where they experienced the challenges of interrupted electricity and flat tire. The many interruptions did not distract them from fulfilling God's purpose. During a day trip into the mountains to see more of the countryside, stand at the border with Guatemala, the group was able to witness some of the problems that plague today's world, including what to do with all the waste being produced. This side trip took them by the dump, a hillside strewn with trash. 

Youtube Clip with pictures from the trip:

    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/19/2017

    Indian Creek Baptist Church
    Campground Ministry



    For thirty five summers Indian Creek Baptist Church has been holding Sunday “Campground Services” at the local “Mill Run Campground”.  It began in 1983 with several of the Deacons and the Choir Director taking turns as speakers from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The Pastor was also recruited as speaker.  The service consisted of singing a song, then an opening prayer, several more songs chosen by the attendees, followed by a 15-20 minute devotional by the speaker.  A closing song and closing prayer. 

    This was all taking place at the end of the water slide with rushing water and a pool gurgling at the bottom. There was a little shelter there where shoes, towels and clothing could be stored and provided some protection from the weather if it was raining. Not the best location, but we all enjoyed being able to have a worship service at the campground. Eight years later, (1991) the camp ground built us a “chapel.” Actually it is a picnic pavilion with a cement floor and folding picnic tables, lights and is more centrally located in the camp ground. Compared to the water slide location it represented a huge step up and we had our “chapel”.

    As the campground has grown (now Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park) so has our ministry. We have had people from all over the world including England, Central America, South America, Europe, and Japan. We have had visitors from a large number of states which include the two hard ones of Alaska, and Hawaii. Our ministry now includes giving out Bibles, various literature, “The Ultimate Question” booklet and “Our Daily Bread” booklet. For the children we give out small toy gifts. The campground provides coffee and hot water for tea or hot chocolate.

    For the past four years, we have also been blessed to have different volunteer speakers from Indian Creek Baptist Church for our campground services. We are blessed to have so many who are willing to tell others of the Good News of Jesus. We have both men and women speakers. The age range for our speakers has been from 11 years of age to 95 years of age. Truly a tribute to our church and community. With God’s help and blessing Indian Creek Baptist will continue this unique service to further His Kingdom for many more years or until Jesus returns.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/4/2017

    IM Discovery Team - Honduras



    Caron Cramers , a member of the Baptist Church of West Chester, shares these reflections on a recent mission trip.

    Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry which Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk (she is the daughter of Jim and Betty Layton). They went to be the hands and feet of Christ for nine days.  

    Here are Caron Cramer's reflections about the summer trip:

    "Go, Be, Love" summarizes what God put on my heart to carry back to "my world" in the United States. I have to say that God was preparing me to hear this message before I went to Honduras. Our pastor preached on the subject and I read, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker which speaks to this very subject. While spending 9 days in Honduras, I had the privilege of witnessing and participating in that way of living. Dilia is an amazing mentor, friend, and servant of our Lord. She lives the gospel of Jesus at the mission site, in the community, and spreads it with love worldwide. I was one of many who were touched and hope to continue to spread Jesus' message to our community in Pennsylvania and beyond. My family and I helped rebuild a woman's home. We worked with kids at schools and with their feeding program, shared God's word, prayed, and delivered food and supplies to the community in the mountain. We loved all whom we met. I opened my arms. and heart to LOVE. I grew up in the church and have been a born again Christian since age 9. Things around me changed, and I wasn't changing the way I should. I was willing to sit in the pews and let people come to worship; come to Jesus. Since my trip to Honduras, I realize that I need to show the Jesus in me. It's time for me to get out of my comfortable pew and be Jesus' helper. To Go, Be, and Love. 

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 8/31/2017

    Upland Baptist Church Summer Ministry


    Kevin Walden was asked by Pastor Brenda Shaw to give the Bible lesson at Upland Baptist's summer ministry program. The kids walk to the church for the program and are also given a free meal. It's a part of a larger community program. The church received an ABCOPAD grant to help with the funding. We talked about Jesus feeding the 5000 (men) and their families today. The blue sparkle table cloth was our "pretend" Sea of Galilee. And yes, we had 5 loaves and 2 (dori) fish. I also pointed out to the kids that this is the only miracle in all four Gospels.






    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 8/21/2017

    2017 Coming Together for New Jersey


    Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey when it hit the East Coast in October 2012. A joint effort of ABHMS and American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, “Coming Together for New Jersey…Rebuild, Renew and Restore” provides another mission opportunity to serve, July 8-15, 2017. Here's a great shot of our volunteer team.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/9/2017

    Logan's Valley Baptist Church
    Community Garden

    Rev Funteller Jackson sent pictures of the Logan's Valley Baptist Church in Bellwood, PA working on the community garden at their church. The team was putting down plastic to prevent weeds from springing up. It was great to see this community mission project moving forward. By the church family offering space in the community for a garden the congregation maintains a connect to the neighborhood. Thanks Pastor Funteller for sharing these photos of the church doing missional outreach!







    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/5/2017

    La Paz Mexico
    Multi-Generational Mission Trip



    This mission trip was designed to create serving opportunities for all ages. Volunteers partnered with two ministries in La Paz, Mexico, to help them as they try to reach the neighboring communities with God's love and a hope for a brighter future.

    Church Plant - One of the churches is Primera Iglesia Bautista de La Paz (FBC La Paz). It is one of the Baptist congregations in the city of La Paz. They are active in many kinds of ministry and have thriving discipleship ministries. We helped FBC, La Paz, with a church plant in the town of Los Planes. The church in Los Planes has outgrown its current structure, which it is renting, and has begun construction on a new structure, on property that it owns. Pastor Juan Carlos is pastor of this church and is eager to complete the new structure so that they can stop paying rent on the first property. 





    Ranch El Camino - Volunteers helped to get the 40-acre camp ready for their summer camp programs. There was construction work, gardening, painting and more! They also spent some time each day in the local community serving families and children with Pastor Juan Jose Murua.... playing sports like baseball, softball, soccer or volleyball.






    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 7/2/2017

    June 2017 Notes & News

    Notes and News
    June 2017

    Growth Points June 2017

    The June edition of Notes & News, Thoughts & Views is now available



    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/16/2017

    FBC Factoryville ABW


    AB Women of First Baptist Church of Factoryville (Abington Association) assembled 170 health kits for Mennonite Community Central to be distributed overseas and overland. Items collected were hand towels, soap, toothbrushes and nailclippers.






    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/29/2017

    2017 Clergy Ethics Course

    Our clergy ethics course was recently held at West Shore Baptist Church in Camp Hill, PA. Pastors Tim Munson and Kevin Walden are teaching the annual course this year. The conversation has been lively and deep! How would you describe the relationship between morals and ethics?


    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/22/2017

    ABCOPAD and Volunteers in Mission


    A team from ABCOPAD met with Rev. Dr. Adalia Gutierrez Lee, International Ministries Area Director of Iberoamerica and Caribbean ministries. Along with Rev. Adalia, Rev. Sandra Dorsainvil and Emily Ferrin, who watch over volunteer mission trips, introduced themselves. Pastor John Dorean from Jefferson Baptist Church and Jonathan Johnson from FBC Waynesburg, seeking to do missionary work in Grand Goave, Haiti, met with this team to share their vision. Our own Frank Frischkorn pulled together the group. It was a great meeting dreaming about future ministry in Haiti. 


    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/9/2017

    Grilled Cheeses and Jesus


    [written by Tom Parkins]

    Calvary, Newark, successfully launched a new mission outreach this past Friday.  "Grilled Cheeses and Jesus".   

    St. Patrick's Day is a huge party day on the University of Delware campus. This year, on a Friday, it was even bigger. Literally on the pathway to and from party time, we hoped to offer a bit of sanity and a touch of God's love. We decided to set up next to the sidewalk and offer free grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ, hot dogs, snacks, sodas, coffee, and hot hot chocolate from 11PM - 2AM. (Bars close at 1 AM). We would also offer free prayers. As it turned out, one of our members actually had a grilled cheese sandwich maker that imprints the face of Jesus! How cool was that!

    We had about 75 students and friends stop by. Only one was terribly tipsy. The students were very appreciative, and many stayed to chat and a few asked for a prayer. We did not preach or push any tracts. We did have church brochures available and made up a little "fun facts" of St. Patrick. One student, after eating a few hot dogs, said, "This is the most awesome thing that ever happened to me." His life must have been somewhat depressing, but I think that this was probably the first time that anybody had randomly done something nice for him.

    A small add-on. A young couple came by "early" in the evening (like midnight is early). It turns out that they were not students, but homeless. They had been evicted from the apartment that day and were on the street that night. They were hoping to connect with friends to find a place to stay. We said a prayer, and they departed. About "closing time," after 2 AM, they returned. No luck. What would they do? To shorten the story, I invited them to stay in the church, gave them some blankets to sleep on the narthex floor. I stayed with them. The next morning, I found a few backpacks, gave them a few bucks, took them to McDonalds, and showed them where the bus stop was. They were most appreciative. When you say that prayer, "Dear God help these people," it is a dangerous prayer. God will use you to help them. I had to lead a bunch of elementary school students in science projects all day Saturday. God gave me the best student helpers ever. I cruised through the day.

    A few pictures. The forecast called for mixed rain and snow, but it never did anything. The wind was very light which made it much more pleasant.



    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/20/2017

    Prayers Welcome!


    Last fall, Calvary, Newark, installed a prayer box on the main side walk in front of the church. Calvary is unique in that they have perhaps a couple thousand passes daily on that sidewalk, mostly University students. The church created a simple card and placed them in a weather resistant box. There's not a high volume of prayer request, but much of what they receive are very serious needs.


    The specific prayer concerns are shared directly with a prayer warriors team. General concerns are shared with the congregation. It is a test of faith to pray for somebody you do not know, and knowing that they will likely never learn the answer to the prayer. Nevertheless... The fervent prayers of the righteous avail much!

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/24/2017

    LLC Southwestern PA

    Jeffrey Johnson met with some of the members of his LLC in southwestern Pennsylvania. They gathered at the home of Pastor Darrell and Joyce Edgar who right before Christmas welcomed a new baby into their lives and into their home, Taleah; their second child. Some of the members of the LLC weren't able to make it to their monthly meeting due to illness, or the need to be with a family in their church. Present were Pastor David Earnest, Pastor Cristy Wise. Pastor Darrell Edgar, and Pastor Chris McClaughlin (not pictured).





    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/12/2017

    West Virginia Toy Drive


    Days after the devastating flooding in West Virginia, where 8 to 10 inches of rain fell back in early summer, it was sad for Jeff to see the piles of gray rubble with brightly colored toys mixed throughout. The toys that weren’t washed away were unsalvageable — either broken or contaminated by polluted water. Most of the parents are without funds. And those who do have money can’t afford to spend it on toys this Christmas.

    To address this reality, this past Saturday morning, Jeff arrived at the historic Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown, southwestern PA. He was there to pick up the donations from a two month long toy drive spearheaded by Angie Lawson, the church’s youth director. 


    Several hundred toys ranging from items for babies up through teenagers were collected from both members of the congregation and kids and their parents of the church sponsored preschool. It took Jeff an hour to do the impossible and pack all these wonderful donations into his rented SUV. Every single one of the donations somehow, some way, somewhere, made it into the four-wheeled sleigh. 




    Jeff then drove three hours south to First Baptist Church of Rainelle, West Virginia where David Bush is the pastor. Rainelle was one of the three hardest hit areas in that state. The church had more than three and a half feet of water in their fellowship hall. The congregation quickly cleaned out and cleaned up this space to then serve as a relief center for their community and surrounding area. Our own ABMen sponsored a two week mission trip here back in August. A number of our churches went down to help.


    Volunteers from the church unloaded the vehicle and put the items out on tables designated for various age groups. Parents came throughout the afternoon to “shop for free” for their children.


    Our region, through funds acquired through a church closure, gave our neighboring West Virginia Baptist Convention a $10,000 gift to continue their flood relief efforts. Mark Mahserjian-Smith is working with Vickie Goff from ABC Home Mission Societies to coordinate mission trips back down to WV for two weeks next June. The Home Mission Societies partnered in this effort with national staff donating over one hundred toys themselves.


    Mr. Rogers said that play is the work of childhood. Jeff added to that quote by saying “… and toys are the tools to get that work done!” Over three hundred toys in total were donated. “This act of love will serve two purposes. One, it will put actual toys under family Christmas trees—if they have them—and into children’s hands. Secondly, it will convey to this sister American Baptist Church and region with whom ABCOPAD has a relationship that they and their community are neither forgotten nor forsaken.” Not only do we ABCOPADers get to be Santa’s Sack for Christmas. We also get to be the hands and heart of Jesus.

    Special thanks goes out to David Thomas, the Budget rental car agent, who provided the SUV at a very special reduced rate to ABCOPAD/ABHMS to make the transport of all the toys possible.


    Complete photo album HERE 


    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/21/2016

    VUU Leadership Summit

    Jeffrey Johnson participated in a Leadership Summit on the campus of Virginia Union University, Samuel Proctor Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Jeff spent the evening, talking with seminarians and pastors about various opportunities for ministerial leadership, primarily focused on chaplaincy. A handful of national executives from the Home Mission Societies were on site to do the same. Karen came along and staffed the Judson Press booktable while editor Rebecca Irwin-Deihl did a workshop on putting your ministry materials into a book. Rev. (Colonel US Army - retired) Kristy Moehler, our ABC endorsing officer, and Dr Jeff Haggray, executive director of ABHMS organized the event.






    Virginia Union University and Seminary is the name given in 1899 to the merger of two older schools, Richmond Theological Institute and Wayland Seminary, each founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies in 1865 shortly after the Union Troops took control of Richmond. The schools were founded for the education of now freed slaves.

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/10/2016

    Disaster Relief -- Connellsville, PA

    An incredible effort by volunteers in Connellsville, PA. The American Baptist Women's Ministries of Pennsylvania and Delaware is partnering with the United Methodist Committee on Relief to help home owners restore their homes and get back on their feet. The Monongahela Baptist Association is providing food and housing for the volunteers. What a witness!

    A few shots here. For a complete photo album, click HERE.










    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/12/2016

    Discover ABCOPAD


    The first Discover ABCOPAD event took place in Dover, Delaware, at the home of Gene and Thelma Schaller. The event was led by ABCOPAD Foundation Director of Development Sue MacDonald and ABCOPAD Regional Executive Pastor Frank Frischkorn. 



    The was our first Discover ABCOPAD event under Sue's leadership, designed to share the ABCOPAD ministry with partners in the Region. It was a very successful event with plenty of time for sharing and encouragement. Watch for a Discover ABCOPAD event coming to your area. [More photo HERE.]



    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/9/2016

    Broad Street Baptist Church


    On Sunday, Jeffrey Johnson and his family spent the morning with the folks at the Broad Street Baptist Church where Pastor Jay Freudenberg is the pastor. He is an early 2000's CLI graduate and has served this church for nearly eight years. Jeff met with key and core leaders of the church during the Sunday School hour to talk about its vision, its future, and its desire as a smaller church to have a bigger impact for Christ in their community. Jeff preached the morning message. The church has a beautiful three-dimensional baptistery.



    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016

    Camp Carmel Fall Festival


    The Camp Carmel Baptist Camp Fall Gathering was held at the farm of Ralph and Rhonda Gatten south of Pittsburgh. Board members, summer staff, counselors, campers, supporters, and friends gathered for a time of great food, good fun, and wonderful fellowship which included a hayride, corn hole, lots of conversation and catching up, and of course a campfire to wrap up the day with a message by Pastor Gary Schneider of the North Ten Mile Baptist Church. More than a dozen churches were represented at the gathering from both the Ten Mile and Monongahela Baptist Associations. More photos HERE.



    Don't forget that the camps in our region are the year long fundraising emphasis and effort of our American Baptist Women. Check out the video concerning camping ministry in ABCOPAD at /Ministries/ABWM/Our-2016-2017-Region-Mission-Project.aspx. Rev. Eric Kraihanzel has made a video to talk about the project. Check it out: 

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016

    Tioga Baptist Association Fall Meeting


    The Tioga Baptist Association gathered together at the Middlebury Baptist Church (Pastor Stan Gill) this Sunday. Pastor Stan opened the meeting with an inspirational devotion followed by a time of praise and worship led by Pastor Stan and his wife Susan. Almost every congregation in the association was represented at the meeting. Congregational leaders shared some of the good things taking place in their churches. Judy Husted and Ben Nevin, with North Country Baptist Youth Ministries shared the important work taking place in this camping ministry.

    Here are just a few photos from the day. A complete picture album is HERE







    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016

    FBC York Mission Trip

    Team members from FBC York recently returned from a mission trip to Rainelle, WV. They worked hard for five days and were able to get much work done and build good relationships with our sister region to the south.

    The team worked in partnership with the West Virginia Baptist Convention on the clean-up and recovery effort for the recent flooding.





    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/5/2016

    WV Flood Relief

    ABCOPAD Churches were part of the hands-on WV Flood Relief efforts out of the Ranielle Baptist Church, including individuals from Hatboro Baptist, WWJD - Waynesburg, Moreland Baptist - Muncy, Wayland Baptist - Meadville, Redeeming Grace - Uniontown, and North Ten Mile Baptist - Amity. MANY other ABCOPAD churches all across the region, across our two states, sent in-kind donations as well as made monetary contributions.

    Workers stayed in the church's Christian Life, Christian Education Center. Homes were gutted. Repairs made. Rebuilding begun.

    Thanks to one and all for being the hands and feet of Jesus there in the devastated area.







    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/26/2016

    Camp Carmel Board



    Monday evening, Jeff Johns, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations, attended the monthly meeting of the Camp Carmel Board. The leaders, representing seven different ABCOPAD churches, gathered to review their summer season. It had been a great one! A few literal bumps and bruises as is to be expected with any outdoor ministry, but the spiritual growth of both the staff and campers was tremendous. God provided in every way for the camp's needs in both staffing and resources. Jeff was asked to attend to provide some guidance concerning how to help staff and counselors have a greater impact and be even more equipped spiritually to minister to the campers. A extensive counselor training is now being planned for next spring before the start of their 2017 season. They are already counting the days ... 46 weeks until their opening next year.


    Jeff also shared that the camp is strategically poised to be a network of churches working together in ways our associations used to be, like the two that founded Camp Carmel more than 60 years ago. This would be true of all our camps in the region. You will remember, just one week ago, Jeff was at the one and same camp, baptizing his son, Judson, who stayed for the week as a Junior Counselor and had the unexpected opportunity on their last night there to share a Biblical message at campfire. 





    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/3/2016

    GraceCrossing Community Church in Phoenixville


    On Sunday, Jeff Johnson, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations, spent the morning and early afternoon with the congregation at GraceCrossing Community Church in Phoenixville. Pastor Steve Crane is doing a great job as their interim. Jeff provided the morning message and at the end of the service the entire front of the church was filled with the folks praying for their own needs and those and those of the church as well. A time of light refreshments followed the worship service and then Jeff conducted a requested Q&A with the church as they move forward in their search process but at the same time also wanting to live out their vision and all the implications of doing so. 





    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 8/3/2016

    2016 ABMen Conference

    It was a great weekend, as men from across the region gathered for the 2016 ABMen's Conference at Shippensburg University. Focused on the theme, “God, Our Ever-Present Help!” Rev. Dr. Larron Jackson was the featured Minister, Teacher, and Motivational Speaker. The weekend included times for Worship, Bible Study, Learning Workshops, and Fellowship. American Baptist Men of Pennsylvania & Delaware has been Forging Relationships for 62 Years! A few highlight photos below. The complete album is available HERE.








    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/2/2016

    Upland Baptist Church Summer Outreach

    Recently, Jeff Johnson participated in the summer outreach program to kids held at the Upland Baptist Church where Rev. Brenda Shaw is the pastor. The program is a partnership of the church, the Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia, and funding by the government's faith based initiatives. The kids come for a book reading, to recite memory verses, do activities, play games, hear a lesson, have a meal, and take advantage of a lending library set up by a former school teacher, Linda Cook, who is also a member of the church's co::lab vision team. Jeff did a book reading, shared with the kids an object lesson, and taught the kids a lesson in origami, a favorite pastime of Jeff's. He even provided each child a Frisbee from ABHMS to take home and enjoy.

    This outreach helps the church realize what they believe God has called them to do that they discerned through their vision work; Loving Others through service. John Kofroth, President of our ABMen is a member of this church and participated in the outreach. 







    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016

    Building Healthy Partnerships

    Amidst regional responsibilities, during parts of the last two days, Jeff has been participating in strategy planning sessions for our American Baptist Home Mission Societies. This was a gathering of national and regional staff, as well as select individuals like millennials,. They were doing together what our region has provided under the auspices of co::lab to assist ABCOPAD churches and organizations in wanting to know what they should be doing and how they should be doing it to have the greatest impact for God's Kingdom. The gathering was convened by Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, the new Executive Director of ABHMS. Besides Jeff, there are a couple different ABCOPADers in the room. 



    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016

    La Paz Mexico Mission Trip 2

    Eric Kraihanzel reports on the second group of volunteers serving in  LaPaz. They had a full day of visiting two different churches. The group first went to Primera Iglesia Bautista for worship and then headed 45 minutes out of LaPaz to Los Planes for worship. This is where they will be helping to build a new church this week. PIB is planting the church and church members along with our group will be helping to put on a roof and run a VBS program. A few feature photos are posted below. The complete album is available HERE.









    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016

    La Paz Mexico Mission Trip 1

    Eric Kraihanzel reports: The mission trip has been fantastic. The ministry opportunities have been outstanding. We have spent a good amount of time with children from the nearby communities. We have had 5 opportunities to share God's word/spend time with children from local schools and the communities near the ranch. Every day we have been working on the ranch/camp to help them get ready for their summer program. The team has had the joy of getting to know the camp staff (Mexicans) and sharing with them in ministry. Here are several highlight photos. The complete album is available HERE.







    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/29/2016

    2016 ABWM Conference

    It was an outstanding time of fellowship, worship, and celebration as women across the region gathered for the annual ABWM Conference. Featuring outstanding speakers, Bible study leaders, musicians, and missionaries, the program emphasized the theme "Thrive!". During the conference, the ABWM leadership presented the ABCOPAD Foundation and ABCOPAD Partners In Ministry with gifts totaling $40,000! Here are just a few photos highlighting the events. A complete album is available HERE.








    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016

    Joseph ... now in person!


    David Earnest, pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Greene County, is taking his role as Joseph VERY seriously going so far as to shave his head to portray the part. Each session Pastor David teaches on Joseph -- as Joseph -- as part of their Egypt based Vacation Bible School.

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 6/7/2016

    ABWM Spring Board Meeting

    What a great day with the ABWM team of PA/DE. As Pastor Jeff Johnson said "everyone on the regional team is giving praise reports!" Great stuff is happening in ABWM so 'stay tuned.' Pastor Jeff gave each of us a "million dollar bill". He said it's because we are each worth a million dollars to him and the ministry in ABCOPAD. We were THRIVING today. God was good to us in many ways!






    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/22/2016
    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/11/2016

    Travels With Jeff



    Last week, Jeff preached twice at the annual session of the ABC churches of the South in Charlotte NC. Jeff was there for the installation of their new executive minister, Dr Harrison, representing both the Home Mission Societies and ABCOPAD.


    Jeff presented Dr Harrison a set of cuff links Jeff made for him from lapel pins on which is their region logo.


    At the ABCOTS annual session, Jeff crossed paths with Dr Pat Hernandez who is the national director of both women in ministry and transitional ministries. Dr Pat was there to conduct a seminar on interim ministry; a training she just did in our region last week for both present and future interim ministers.


    While at ABCOTS' annual session, Jeff also crossed paths with Susan Gillies, Interim General Secretary (middle) and Kristina Moeller (Colonel - Retired), our national endorsing agent for ABC military and institutional chaplains (right).

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/5/2016

    ABCOPAD Interim Ministry Training

    The Interim Ministry training being offered by ABCOPAD, ABC Transitional Ministries and the Center for Congregational Health was launched in April. This level one training is the basic training for all interim pastors.



    Leading the interim ministries training is Les Robinson from the Center for Congregational Health and Larry Swain, former Executive Minister for ABC Ohio and now a consultant for the program are leading the gathering.


    Pat Hernandez, Director of Transition Ministries ABCUSA and Kevin Walden, ABCOPAD Refirement are also among the leaders here to at the event.


    Our own Regional Executive Pastor, Frank Frischkorn is also here at FBC Milton for this unique collaboration bring multiple ministries together for this important training.


    Additional photos of the event can be viewed HERE


    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 4/28/2016

    2016 Nicaragua Mission Trip III

    Last night the team went out to dinner at a local Nicaragua/Mexican restaurant. The mission team and the AMOS staff enjoyed a wonderful feast and time to reflect on our time at Banco de Sikia. Today we will have our l