American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Upper Merion BC
Welcomes Pastor Sam


Pastor Sam Geiger was recently called to be the minister at the Upper Merion Baptist Church in King Of Prussia. Pastor Sam is so excited about ministry opportunity. Please keep both Pastor Sam and the church family as they launch into ministry together.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/15/2019

Congrats to Pastor Chris


Rev. Christopher Heiden-Terrell, lead pastor at Prospect Hill Baptist Church, graduated with his MBA from Eastern University.

Pastor Chris not only serves Prospect Hills BC but is also representing Riverside Association on the ABCOPAD Regional Board. Congrats to this partner in ministry. Grateful for the innovative ideas he has bring ministry and business together to share the gospel and be a missional presence in his community.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/15/2019

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

Abington Association Spring Meeting 2019


A wonderful day of worship, fellowship, and inspiration as churches of the Abington Association met at First Baptist Church, Factoryville.


Ruth Gibson Fox, former IM missionary in Northern Thailand, was the featured speaker.


Resources were on display focusing on the culture and people of Mueang Thai.


A  delicious fellowship meal was enjoyed by all.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/9/2019

Ordination Service - George Lammay


The church family at the East Bethlehem Baptist Church family gathered to celebrate the Ordination of their beloved Pastor, George Lammay.


In addition to all of his church family, George was also blessed to have family and coworkers out in full force for this important moment in his life....a blessed day together.


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

Worship at the Lighthouse


A glimpse at the Lighthouse of Faith Church in Canton. ---


Pastor Sean Tymeson (lead minister) and the praise team did a marvelous job preparing the congregation to be in the presence of God and to worship. The service was both energetic and inspiring.


Pastor Sean focused on the scripture text Acts 1:8 and our need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit if we want to be effective disciples of Jesus.


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

Bradford Baptist Association Meeting


The Bradford Baptist Association gathered at the New Albany Baptist Church for their spring meeting.


Rev. Terry VanHorn (lead minister at the church) both hosted and led the opening time of worship that included a time of singing together.


Representatives from FBC Troy, East Troy BC, Gillette BC, East Smithfield Federated BC, New Albany BC, Coryland BC, and Bentley Creek BC were in attendance.


Following a time of worship at the Bradford Baptist Association spring meeting, the group moved to the fellowship hall for their business meeting and a light meal.


After the meeting, everyone returned to the sanctuary, and the evening concluded with Communion and a hymn before everyone departed for their homes.

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

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

Kraihanzel at EU


The Eastern University community kicked off the last day of classes with a special celebration of the seniors. Students, faculty, and staff gathered at Senior Chapel on Walton Terrace to celebrate the class of 2019 with a time of worship, communion, and fellowship. Ben Kraihanzel one of our ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associates for Student Ministries spoke during Chapel at Eastern University.

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

Thank You, Pastor Frank


At this year's ABCOPAD Pastors Retreat....

Pastor Chris Davis (President Of the ABCOPAD Ministers Council) invited the group to offer words of encouragement and thanksgiving for our Regional Executive Pastor, Rev. Dr. Frank Frischkorn, celebrating 25 years of Regional Ministry. Pastor Frank received a standing ovation, and many took a few minutes to share the impact Pastor Frank’s ministry on their lives.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/30/2019

Small Church / Big Deal


The 2019 Pastors Retreat has gathered at Camp Krislund for the purpose of:

  • Encouraging pastors of the small church to stay obedient, faithful, and see the beauty of the ministry God has given them.
  • Equipping pastors of the small church to boldly and confidently handle the issues unique to the small church.
  • Enveloping pastors of the small church with love, blessing, and inspiration so they can fully embrace the joy of their calling.


Of course, it all begins with friendly smiles.


Pastor Cheryl Filson, Vice-President of the Ministers Council, welcomed the group.


Pastor Frank Frischkorn opened the first session in prayer.


Pastor Chris Vitarelli, our primary speaker, started the opening session of Small Church / Big Deal.


Pastor Chris Davis brought the opening devotion as the group gathered for a time of praise, worship, and teaching.


In fact, the worship was led by a praise band made up of pastors attending the retreat.


Of course, there's always time to enjoy good food...


terrific fellowship...


and great fun!


Of special note -- The Women In Ministry at the Pastors Retreat gathered for a group picture. So grateful for these powerful women of God and great partners in ministry!



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/30/2019

Bradford Association ABWM Retreat


Recently, the Bradford Baptist Association’s 39th Women’s Retreat was held at Mt. Zion Retreat Center.


ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associate Pastor Sue Wilson Radel taught three sessions on topics related to the theme “Christ’s Peace in a Difficult World”.


The women prayed and sang together, laughed and cried throughout the two day event.


The retreat ended with a beautiful communion service before we parted ways.


Suzette Bates of Federated church, (Tim Robson, pastor), was the organizer for the retreat.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/28/2019

Nothing Wasted


Through the weeks of Lent, Pastor Mike Poindexter [Pleasant Community Church, Warren] preached a series of messages called "Nothing is Wasted." He challenged the congregation to believe that transformation still can happen! ...that God has a plan even when we don't see it!   ----- Look at what happened in the sanctuary, week-after-week :

March 10: To begin the series, and to emphasize the point, those attending were greeted in the sanctuary by a platform that was cluttered with junk. For sure, sometimes life is a mess!


March 17: The “mess” in church changed a bit this week for the series “Nothing is Wasted”. Pastor Mike taught the story of the woman at the well from John 4. He pointed out relational, racial, and romantic brokenness. He also pointed out her response ...salvation and transformation wasn’t just for her. but she shared that with others. (see the water flowing from her bucket!)


March 24: Week 3 in the “Nothing is Wasted” series had folk looking at the story of Thomas. Pastor Mike told how God can use and redeem doubt. That it’s sometimes valuable to linger in doubt. And he challenged the we allow room for doubt, or do we try to fix and change those who are doubting. The “mess” on the platform continues to change.


March 31: This past week focused on the story of the Woman at Bethany from Matthew’s Gospel. Pastor Aaron Reinard talked about how God can make beauty from brokenness.


April  7: The “mess" changed again. Pastor Mike pointed to four stories in scripture of Peter’s fear. He reminded the congregation how fear gets in the way of following fully.


April 14: This past week was a LARGE dramatic change in the pile of mess. Note that everything you see was present last just weren’t looking at it. Pastor Mike told of how sometimes when things get messy we don’t see the potential beauty or what God could possibly do with it.


April 21: Happy Easter! The "Nothing Wasted" series is completed, and the mess underwent a pretty dramatic transformation! The message of the gospel: God can still transform mess into beauty!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/27/2019

Easter Blooms

Across the region, sanctuaries were beautifully prepared to welcome worshipers on Easter Sunday

First Baptist Church, Ford City


First Baptist Church, Tarentum


Franklin Park Baptist Church, Sewickley


Mill Creek Baptist Church, Mill Creek


Olive Branch Baptist Church, Belle Vernon


Pleasant Community Church, Warren


First Baptist Church, Shinglehouse

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/27/2019

FBC Reading Installation


First Baptist Church, Reading, gathered in celebration for the Installation Service of Rev. David Turley as he became the next pastor.

Pastor Turley and his wife Leslie were surrounded by their family from West Virginia for the was a beautiful afternoon of worship as we thanked God for the good things He was doing in the ministry of FBC, Reading.

The First Baptist church facility is home to four other worshiping congregations, and three of the other congregations leaders took part in the service.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/21/2019

Factoryville Cross Walk 2019


First Baptist Church of Factoryville held its annual Cross Walk on Good Friday. Volunteers carried the cross along College Avenue 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