American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Factoryville Cross Walk 2019


First Baptist Church of Factoryville held its annual Cross Walk on Good Friday. Volunteers carried the cross along College Ave and read the seven last words of Christ along the way. En route they sang "Were you There?"

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

Maundy Thursday Monologues


The congregation at New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, gathered on Maundy Thursday to hear several monologues from Jesus' followers.


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

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

Who Knows?


No words.
Beyond explanation.

(at the Central Union Spring Association Meeting)

See What You Missed!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/8/2019

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

Come and Worship at FBC Greensburg


Gathering for worship at the First Baptist Church of Greensburg...

Their former pastor, Rev. Dr. Cliff Hockensmith retired in March. The service was led by lay leaders in the congregation.

The preacher for the day was Rev. Beverly Frank who is pastor of the Emanuel Baptist Church in Donora. She is a daughter of the church.

It was a great Lord's Day both with the weather outside and the Spirit within.


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

Pizza! Pizza!


There was a delicious spaghetti dinner served at the Middlebury Baptist Church. The church family gathered for this annual fundraiser traditionally supporting AB Women’s Mission, including White Cross.

It was great seeing the fellowship hall full of people from the church and community all spending time with one another and enjoying a scrumptious meal.

Dessert? Apparently one is not enough!

And... young servant volunteers waiting the tables! Great job, guys!!!


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

ShingleHouse of Worship


First Baptist Church Of Shinglehouse (Rev Rusty Horning, Lead Pastor) is a great place to spend Sunday morning.

It's a vibrant and healthy church family.

Cynthia Bell did a great job with the opening encouraging everyone to be joyful Christians. It was awesome seeing so many kids participating.

The adult Sunday School class is studying Chip Ingram’s book Balancing Life’s Demands. There was a lively discussion as everyone was digging into God’s Word.

The choir loft was practically full and the music wonderful for morning worship...

and lots of kids came forward for the children’s messages.

Pastor Rusty has been serving at the church for over 30 years. Simply a wonderful morning being with these partners in ministry and awesome friends.

by Bud Russell Categories: 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

Wedding Bells


Congratulations to Pastor Gary Eaches and his new bride Jenn. Pastor Gary and Jenn were married on March 29th. Pastor Gary is the lead pastor at the United Baptist Church Of Scranton.

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

ABWM Southeast Spring Gathering


Throughout the AB Women’s gathering at Parkesburg Baptist there was wonderful music and delicious food.

Sue Fitzgerald (FBC Lancaster) led the singing.  It was such a fun day just spending time with so many friends.

Sally Perry (FBC Lancaster) share about the Waters Of Blessings mission project and the Cyberbox mission project that took place in Nicaragau through the ministry of AMOS.

Sue MacDonald (Parkesburg Baptist), having recently returned from a mission trip to Puerto Rico, talks about the disaster recovery work following Hurricane Maria and this year’s AB Women’s project helping the church at Masas rebuild.

The ladies of Parkesburg offered cakes, fruit, pastries, and a great lunch.


Many, many thanks to these ladies who have done so much to raise funds and support for the Mission and Mission Trips of ABCOPAD. All are awesome partners in ministry, being mission advocates in their local congregations.

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

Lent at FBC Malvern

Vision Fellowship at First Baptist Church, Malvern, observed the beginning of Lent with the first of this year’s series of Lenten Luncheons. Initiated in 1984 by Pastor Nathaniel Jones with his wife Virginia, now retired, these luncheons continue to be a favored tradition. Each Wednesday during Lent, volunteers provide homemade soup and accompaniments. (They also provide clean-up!  Let’s not forget that!) 





The church offers not only food, but spiritual nourishment.Pastor Bob Stradling arranges for ministersfrom different churches in the Malvern area to speak each week. Prayer, hymn-singing and special music presentationsadd to the flavor of the luncheons. 




This year Pastor Bob chose The Lord is My Shepherd to be the theme. He featured it in this first luncheon by singing and playing his guitar in a musical version of the 23rd Psalm. Afterward, he delivered a masterful overview of Psalm 23 and its connection to Jesus, thus defining its relevance as the guide for Lent.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 3/12/2019

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

Visiting Immanuel Baptist

Mark Mahserjian Smith writes:


While at Immanuel in Edwardsville, it was fun watching Pastor Jim Quinn use a digital projector for both his children’s message and sermon. Pastor Jim focused on the sanctity of life. During his children’s message Pastor Jim looked at the many women in scripture who prayed to have a child and how God answered their prayers. Pastor Jim continued this theme during his morning message and used technology to share notes with the congregation.


The church has an active Sunday School for both youth and adults. The kids were having fun with their Sunday School lesson and many Valentine’s Day treats while many adults spent the hour digging into the Gospel Of Matthew.


It was great being with so many friends I have met at our Regional Summer Conference and Retreat events. Immanuel Baptist has consistently owned the attendance award at the AB Men’s Retreat, and their award banner hangs proudly in the church.


Many ladies in morning worship told me how much they are looking forward to the Thrive Conference this year. It was great being with these partners in ministry to encourage them.

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




Rev. David Jones lives near Milton, PA, and most recently he has been (1) doing pulpit supply for churches in the Northumberland Baptist Association. Pastor Dave is (2) an RN doing work in home health care, along with (3) being very active in JMeg Ministries, and (4) a radio announcer for WGRC Christian Radio. It was good to catch up with Pastor Dave and hear about (5) the prison ministry he is currently doing in partnership with a Christian musician. Together they provide a concert and an evangelical message for inmates that has been very well received. It was good getting to visit with this partner in ministry.

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

Singin' at the Grand Ole Opry



Rev Paul Aiello (Interim, FBC of Beaver Falls) along with four other members of his Greater Cranberry Men’s Barbershop Chorus traveled to Nashville in January to compete with the 65 member Vocal Seniority (District Chorus) on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. They scored an “outstanding” rating.

by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 2/6/2019

Happy Retirement

Yep! This is what retirement looks like ---


It's Rev. Garry Zuber and his wife Carol. Pastor Garry recently retired from the FBC Troy and East Troy BC. Carol also retired from her job as a teacher in the Troy school district. The Zubers purchased a new home out in the country not far from downtown Troy. 

Pastor Garry continues to serve as one of our ABCOPAD Search Committee Adjuncts and is helping a congregation in the Bradford Baptist Association in a search for a pastor.

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

Love Unlimited Anniversary

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:
I had the great joy of joining Love Unlimited and Pastor Willie Anderson and Co Pastor Dorothy Anderson for the church's 18-year anniversary. I was asked to participate in the ordination of Deacon and Deaconess Daryl and Denise Gray, as well as the anointing of 6 members of the church for the Ministry of Helps. It was a wonderful day of celebration and rejoicing, recognizing all that Jesus has done in and through this church. It was also a blessing to see Deacon Daryl and Deaconess Denise’s family gather around them for this recognition of God call to a ministry of service. Both these friends have an tender servant’s heart.





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

LLC 2019

Across the region, Leadership Learning Communities (LLC) are small groups of pastors gathering together locally to empower each other to have healthy vital relationships personally and professionally.

The Delaware LLC group recently met at the Central Baptist Church. Led by Pastor Jeff Collins (Christ Memorial, Dover), meetings are held at the Central Baptist Church Of Wilmington (Pastor Terrence Keeling). Also Pastor Jeff Evans (New Hope, Broomall) was able to join the group. The team is studying John Piippo’s book the Purpose Driven Church. Following the meeting, the group had lunch and continued the conversation started at the church. 


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

Ordination Service: Rosnibri Abreu


Frank Frischkorn writes:   

I had the joy of sharing in the Ordination of Pastor Rosnibri Abreu at FBC, Bethlehem yesterday afternoon. Senior Pastor Dale Miller led the service with a number of Reading Association leaders participating and many more in attendance.


Pastor Mardy von Harten brought the report of the Association Credentialing team and Pastors Ismael Medina and David Hardin led in prayer during the service. 


An added blessing was having Dr. Luciano Marquez, the leader of Latino Ministries in ABC of New Jersey share the Ordination vows with Pastor Abreu.


Following the service we had a wonderful fellowship dinner to celebrate the blessing of day!

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

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

Kudos to Sue Wilson-Radel

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

It was a joy being in morning worship at the Forest Baptsit Church on Sunday. I had the great privilege to present Pastor Sue Wilson-Radel her ACTS diploma, having completed her education. The congregation applauded and gave Pastor Sue a standing ovation, having fulfilled her commitment to the church to go through the ACTS program.   

Pastor Sue and the church family have grown dramatically since her ministry began at Forest almost 10 years ago. Pastor Sue now serves as the Chair of the ACTS Council and is our ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associate for Women in Ministry. We are grateful for both Pastor Sue and the Forest Baptist Church for their partnership in ministry.


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

Kudos to DOCTOR Bruce Moses

Pastor Bruce is the minister at the Riverview Baptist Church in New Eagle. Pastor Bruce recently completed a doctrinal program and will be graduating with a Doctor of Biblical Studies degree. Congrats to Rev. Dr. Bruce Moses!


by Bud Russell Categories: 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 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

Who's Who

Just a quick look at some of our great ABCOPAD pastors ----


Patrick Parson (FBC, Blossburg), his wife Bianca, and their 6-month-old daughter Selah.


David Brown (Royersford Baptist)


Sue Wilson-Radel (Forest Baptist, Winburne)


Peter C Wilson (Calvary, Williamsport), Rob Rice (Muncy Baptist) and David Klock (Living Bridge)


Herman and Vivian Fountain (FBC, Berwick)


Eleanor Siegrist (Central Baptist, Williamsport)

Corey Fields (Calvary Baptist, Newark), and Christopher Heisey-Terrell (Prospect Park, Prospect Hill)


Gary Joe Eaches (United Baptist, Scranton)


John and Kelly Farrell (Baptist Tabernacle, Wilkes Barre)



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/14/2018

Welsh Christmas Cookies


Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:
Following morning worship at United Baptist Church, Scranton, the church family gathered together for coffee, cookies and fellowship. As Susan and I traveled to the church, I told Susan one of the church’s claims to fame i
s their amazing Welsh cookies. Over the past 4 days the church family baked around 300 dozen cookies they use as a fundraiser. So, during coffee hours we got to enjoy freshly baked Welsh Christmas Cookies and were even given a dozen to take home. Pretty sweet Christmas gift without a doubt.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/14/2018

FBC Reading Anniversary


First Baptist Church, Reading, recently celebrated its 190th Anniversary. Rev David Turley serves as the interim. Rev Dr David Skinner brought an encouraging message to the urban congregation. He shared how an urban pastor needs to keep one arm around the congregation and the other arm around the community. Currently, there are 5 congregations meeting in this sanctuary each Sunday, 3 of them are Spanish speaking. All 5 congregations will come together to celebrate Christmas Eve. Also participating in the worship service were former pastor, Rev Robert Blixt and former interim, Rev Dr Dan MacDonald.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/14/2018

Giving Tuesday November 27


Giving Tuesday --- November 27

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

Teaching at Waynesburg University


Jeff Johnson writes ...

Recently I had the privilege of teaching alongside Pastor Cristy Wise at Wayesburg University where she is a professor in both the religion and communications departments.


I lectured in two morning New(er) Testament Courses showing how the inspired Word of God (the best selling book ever!) speaks across academic disciplines including but limited to Literature, Philosophy, Science, Music, and History. Throughout the evening, I taught the communications class with students majoring in nursing, science, business, journalism, and sports management, showing how personality styles can be used to effectively communicate the Gospel but also really any other topic or theme. I used the Bible and my Got Style? book (now in its third printing) as the basis of the explanations.


by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ 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

Abington Association Prayer and Praise Service


Reverend John Conforti gave the opening prayer. 


Betty Jane Richards shared a message of the forgotten holiday.


Reverend Gary Gilpin shared the song "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" and "My Father Is Greater Than All".  


Pastor Bonnie Resseguie led a responsive reading.


Ron Stock and Reverend John Conforti took the offering.


Reverend David R Barrett gave our final prayer of Praise of Thanksgiving


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/19/2018

FBC Factoryville Harvest Dinner

Members and friends of FBC Factoryville gathered for their Harvest Dinner on November 17th. A program included Pastor Debbie Loessy sharing a message on Psalms of Thanksgiving. Three baskets were also made to give out to families for Thanksgiving.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/19/2018

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

Clarion Association Fall Meeting


East Brady Baptist Church served as the host of the Clarion Baptist Association Fall Meeting. It was great to be with the folks to share about our new Regional Ministry Associate model and hear the good things the LORD is doing in the churches of the Association. 



by Bud Russell Categories: 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

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

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




Talk about autumn's falling leaves. New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, had leaves attached to limbs falling on their roof. Thank you to a small and mighty crew from the congregation who cleaned up some extremely large branches, a big mess, and worked hard so that the gas company could come and make repairs and get them operating again. After a few hours, the gas was on, the heat is on, and the building was ready for services on Sunday.


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

Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction


Kudos to Dr. Michael Friday, Interim Pastor at Union Baptist Church in Swissvale (Pittsburgh). Recently, he published an excellent book about dysfunction in the local church and the conflict it creates: "Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Church Organizations and Their Leaders." 

Dysfunction. Anyone who has sojourned through congregations or denominations would agree that these are not immune to dysfunction. These holy organizations often eschew the standards upheld by secular organizations. It matters not that those “profane” or “worldly” processes accomplish those organizations’ missions and serve humanity well—all within sound ethical boundaries. Consequently, many church organizations deny themselves the best practices of better organized entities. Their leaders think they have nothing to learn from secular leadership theory and practice. They fail to realize that not every leadership or organizational practice portrayed in the Bible is healthy or appropriate for our times. And Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction pursues the conviction that church organizations and their leaders can perform far better than they do. The book explores the causes of anything from mediocrity to dysfunction in church organizations, and outlines several helpful measures that congregations and denominations may embrace to secure organizational and leadership health. This book is a must-have for every pastor, church leader, denominational leader, seminarian, and leadership and organizational dynamics student.

More info HERE.



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

Thriving Leadership Learning Communities


One of our region's LLC gathered at the Bentley Creek Baptist Church. Pastor Dick Sturdevant (Bentley Creek), Pastor Deborah Loessy (FBC Factoryville) and Pastor Micky Cavanaugh (Gillette Baptist Church) were all present on rainy Saturday to spent time encouraging one another as well as discussing the book Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard (an in-depth look at Psalm 23). Pastor Debbie made a delicious beef stew for lunch along with some yummy pound cakes that were perfect for a cold damp day. It was a great time as these pastoral leaders laughed, joked, and engaged in some very insightful discussions of David’s Shepherd Psalm. 

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

FBC Punxsutawney Anniversary


First Baptist Church of Punxsutawney celebrated their 178th anniversary as well as showing their appreciation for their new pastor, Rev. Michael Wilbur. Pastor Mike started at the church in August, having come from Maine. He has been busy getting to know the church family, using technology in Sunday Worship and leading a mid week Bible study (just to name a few tasks) since his arrival.


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

ABCOPAD... IM... and Myanmar


A delegation from International Ministries (IM), also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, joined leaders of the Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC) in a series of meetings with government officials representing the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on October 17, 2018.

Of note --- The woman, front and center, Leslie Turley, and her husband Dave are ABCOPADer's, living out in the Morgantown, PA, area. She is IM's Asian Director and he is the interim at FBC, Reading, so the photo has connections to ABCOPAD. And Reid Trulson, who is the retired IM Director, standing right behind Leslie, is a member at Royersford.

Read more HERE


by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 10/23/2018

2019 Thrive Conference Speaker


The wife of the man who stormed into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, PA, shooting 10 schoolgirls, five of them fatally, will never forget the phone call she got from her husband early that morning.

He said she would never see him again, and she pleaded with him to come home and talk to her, even though she had no idea of the horror he was about to unleash.

The crime stunned the nation, not only because of the brutality against young children, but because it took place in a traditional Christian community whose residents are known for their peaceable ways and avoidance of the modern world.

The gunman was Charles Roberts, a father of three and husband. Roberts, his wife, Marie, and their children lived one mile away from the school.

His then-wife -- who has since remarried -- is now talking about the tragedy that changed so many lives, including her own.

Mark your calendar for the 2019 ABWM Thrive Conference (June 28-29) and hear Marie Monville's incredible story of grace, forgiveness, and hope.

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

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

Ordination Honors


At the ABCOPAD Biennial Leadership Conference, a host of folks received recognition for their years' ordination at the Ministers Council Banquet. It’s 30 years for Mark Mahserjian-Smith. Be sure to congratulate him.

Wow! Apparently, he was ordained when he was only 9!