American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Familiar Faces in Portland


The ABCUSA Biennial Mission Summit is underway at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Who's there? Check out some of the familiar faces that Frank Frischkorn has met:

I just started through the Hall of Ministries and ran into Ryan at the AMOS booth! Ryan is a lay leader from the North Hills Community Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, who is volunteering at the booth this week! I got to meet Christy Lafferty as well. 


Great to catch up with my friends from Royersford! Pastor's Alan and Karen Selig and IM staffer Stan Slade....


Here's Roland Shanks. Since leaving West Shore Baptist Church, Camp Hill, over thirteen years ago, Roland has been serving as a pastor in the Northwest.


I met David and Patty Bilyeu this morning. David is a Pastor at the church where Erika Spring (recently recommended for ordination by the Pittsburgh Baptist Association and daughter of Tim and Pauline Spring) serves as an associate in the Great Rivers Region. Patty is a newly called staff member on the Great Rivers Region staff...she officially starts tomorrow. Please pray for her!


A few of our servants from the Office of the General Secretary , Drs. Al Fletcher and Jeff Woods. Al (on the left) is the Interim Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development and Jeff (on the right) serves as the Associate General Secretary for Regional Ministries.


I had the joy of sitting with Thelma Lowthert (First English Baptist Church in Bloomsburg) this evening. Thelma is super excited about the mission trip to Alaska that is coming up the end of August. Hopefully it will be a little cooler than Portland is right now!


I caught up with Pastor George Herrick this afternoon in the Hall of Ministries. George and his wife Gladys are currently serving an Interim in the Living Waters Association of ABC of NYS. 


It was a blessing to share the MMBB Luncheon with Pastor Steve Brotzman and his wife, Annette (Pastor, FBC, Beaver Falls) and Brian Smith, newly endorsed IM missionary to Haiti. Brian and his wife Lynette have their roots at FBC, Cambridge Springs, and are currently in language school out in Bloomington, Indiana to learn Creole.


One of the joys of Mission Summit gatherings are connected with dear friends, and Pastors Jim and Hazel Oldham definitely fit that bill! Jim served with us on regional staff as interim Area Minister in Pittsburgh Baptist Association a number of years ago, and they are enjoying retirement in the Dakotas.


So much fun to share a meal with Pastor Rusty and Michelene Horning! They serve at FBC, Shinglehouse and thoroughly enjoy coming to the Mission Summit!


by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 6/30/2017

Rev Gary Bruland Retirement

On June 25th, the West Shore Baptist Church in Camp Hill held a retirement celebration for Rev. Gary Bruland. Pastor Gary and his wife Esther have been at the church for over 12 years. The congregation thanked both Pastor Gary and Esther for their faithful service and dedication to ministry during morning worship and held a luncheon following the service. A number of people delivered messages of gratitude including Moderator for the church, and ABCOPAD President Doug Hill, and our own Regional Executive Pastor Frank Frischkorn. Special thanks to Pastor Gary and Esther for their partnership in ministry.






by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/30/2017

West Shore Associate Pastor


The West Shore Baptist Church (Harrisburg Association) welcomed into membership their Associate Pastor Greg Kabakjian and his wife Alexis. Pastor Greg and Alexis were married last month. They are special couple and it was easy to see how happy they are being in love and serving Jesus at West Shore. 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/30/2017

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

Beaver Falls Pentecost


Jeff writes:
I spent Pentecost Sunday morning in the town of Beaver Falls, where Rev. Steve Brotzman is pastor of First Baptist Church and former administrator for our Church Leadership Institute. But, I wasn't at First Baptist. Over a half dozen churches (mainline, Pentecostal, independent) in town cancelled their own worship services in their own buildings and gathered in the auditorium in the local high school for a Church service with a capital "C". It was awesome to see cultural, gender, generational, and denominational diversity participating in the service and present for the gathering. Pastor Steve led the prayer time receiving requests and then asking someone in the gathering to commit to intercede for the spoken need for the next week. I provided the morning message and led an invitation at the end where many people responded by coming to pray with the pastors. Communion was then shared. A choir made up of members of the various churches provided special music. A true foretaste of heaven!









by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/5/2017

FBC of Blossburg 150th Anniversary


The First Baptist Church of Blossburg celebrated 150 years of faithful ministry. Lay Leader Ralph Mundis and the other leaders put together a wonderful service of remembrance and challenge. Interim Pastor Jim Shay couldn't be present so retired Pastor John Shypelefski brought the message this morning.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2017

Pittsburgh Baptist Association
Ordination Council


North Hills Community Baptist Church hosted the ordination council called by the Pittsburgh Baptist Association for Miss Erika Spring. Rev. Alan Berg, chair of the association's clergy and church relations council and pastor of the South Hills Community Baptist Church presided. Among a couple dozen supportive folks from her home, North Hills Community, pastors and delegates from nine different churches in the association gathered to question Erika about her theological beliefs, life experiences, and her call to ministry. Among the various things shared, Erika mentioned her desire to eventually become a prison chaplain. Right now she is serving as a children's minister in a church in Indiana. Erika has a real heart for Biblical justice as well as missions, having gone several times to Nicaragua with her home church, partnering with the AMOS ministry with which our region works. Erika's father, Rev. Tim Spring, is pastor of the North Hills Church. When Erika was asked what lessons for ministry she learned from him she shared #1 know your boundaries and know when to say no and #2 have a deep and profound love for people. In the end, those gathered blessed Erika's call and sent word to the word to conduct a formal ordination service which will be held in the near future. Of course, being Baptists, a time of fellowship with food followed the examination. 





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 6/3/2017