American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Springfield Baptist AWANA Christmas Tree

Mark,  The Springfield Baptist AWANA children generously gave hats, gloves and scarves for children who don’t have warm weather clothing.  They collected them and decorated this Christmas Tree with this love offering.


Rev. Wylie W. Johnson, D.Min.
Pastor, the Springfield Baptist Church

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/19/2014

Best Holiday Gift Article By Jeff Johnson

By Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Johnson

 Those who do the Lord’s work are always “on duty,” as exemplified by the recent 25th wedding anniversary getaway of Dr. Jeffrey A. Johnson, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) national coordinator of Evangelism and New Church Planting, and his wife, Karen. After sightseeing at a national historic site, the couple ate at a franchise restaurant, where they received perhaps the best Christmas gift of all—connection with a stranger that yielded the promise of a life transformed in Christ.

Our server didn't have a name on her apron. It simply read “Rising Star.” Affirming my guess that she hadn’t worked at the restaurant long enough to earn a personalized apron, she confided that she is limited to serving at the restaurant only a few days weekly because of another full-time job. When my wife, Karen, asked if we could pray for her as part of our mealtime prayer, she broke into tears, explaining that she and her husband were separated and that she and her young son were struggling to make it on their own. Required to work Thanksgiving week, she was apart from her son during his vacation from school. Although sad, she was grateful for our listening to and praying for her. She came by our table several times to thank us.

End of story? NOT!

The next morning, Karen and I paused to shop on our way to a tourist destination. While wandering through the aisles, I bumped into our server. Amazed, I flagged Karen to join us. Our server told us that she felt great after our encounter the night before and that she had shared with her family about our praying for her. She went as far as to call her ex-husband to tell him that a couple “from out of nowhere” was praying for the family. Karen and our server cried before exchanging contact information. After Karen and I made our purchases, our server caught us on the way out of the store to again share how much the connection meant to her. Another round of tears followed. Our server hugged both of us several times.

End of story? NOT!

 As Karen and I drove to the tourist attraction, Karen received this text: “You have changed my thoughts of late. I am going to save your number. What a wonderful blessing God has given me in meeting both of you. It is clear that God cares about my circumstances. He is not a distant, hands-off type. He cares about what I face. God’s silence has not meant that He has abandoned us. God is raising up solutions to my pain, although it may take some time. I found Him this morning in both of you. I want so much to have a closer relationship with God. I pray that I will, and that today is the beginning of a life change.” We replied by asking her to text us each Sunday about specific issues in her life for which we can pray.

End of story? NOT!

Running into our server at the store was more for Karen and me than for our server. The evening before, Karen and I did not immediately act on a prompting from the Lord to do something extra for our server. God provided us with a second chance to obey, and we did so without hesitation. Karen and I are the ones who were blessed.

End of story? NOT!

It is clear that this experience will be ongoing for all involved!

In addition to his role as ABHMS national coordinator of Evangelismand New Church Planting, Dr.Jeffrey A. Johnson is author of “Got Style? Personality-based Evangelism” (Judson Press, 2009).

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/18/2014

Central Baptist Williamsport 2014 Christmas Pageant


Pastor Jean Johnson shared:  

  Dear Mark,  
I thought perhaps you would like to see these pictures from the Christmas pageant at Central Baptist, Williamsport. We have been having some great successes.


  My favorite picture is the one of the children in costume kneeling and standing around the manger. Some of their expressions are precious. After church, pizza and gifts, we took the children Christmas caroling. Chuck Siegrist accompanied us as we sang. He also accompanied the music for the pageant.

All in all a great weekend.  Blessings,  Jean Johnson


More Pictures on the Central Baptist Facebook Page 


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/17/2014

FBC Franklin and Mustard Seed Ministry


  Pastor Randy Powell (FBC Franklin) send this update and pictures of Mustard Seed Ministry.

Pastor Randy reported:  On November 13th we had a meeting in Crawford County with their Human Services Dept. and a bunch of pastors/lay leaders that they've invited to hear about what has been going on here in Venango County, hopefully it'll inspire some of them to start down the path toward a cooperative outreach effort.  

We calculated our total man-hours of volunteer time for the first 300 Mustard Seed Missions client referrals, the number exceed 6,000 hours, the county was pretty excited to have data like that for their commissioners to hear about. They've also decided to fund us with a 20k per year grant to help with overhead expenses (that should cover 2/3 or more of them, big help) because they can justify that those dollars are being multiplied at least four-fold to help people locally.

Some of the pictures are of the Elk st. project, the others I just gleaned from past work sites including our group of teens from the Episcopal Churches of Ohio (near Cleveland) that have come here the past two summers for a work week.  If you ever need any more pictures, we take new ones all the time.  

Pastor Randy Powell
First Baptist Church of Franklin
1041 Liberty St. Franklin, PA 16323


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/14/2014

Clinton Center Baptist Church Christmas Tea


Debbie Loessy (Director of Development for the ABCOPAD Foundation) wrote

  I had the honor of speaking at the ladies Christmas tea at Clinton Center Baptist Church (Pastor Don Hickey) Here are a few pictures taken during the event.  It was a great fellowship. We talked about the season of advent and blessings from above. Hope all is well.


More Pictures on Photobucket


by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/14/2014

New Albany Baptist Honors Rev Terry Van Horn

Mark, Thank you so much for the Certificate and Letter honoring our Pastor at New Albany Baptist Church, Rev. Terry Van Horn.  We held a "surprise" celebration on November 9, 2014. (It was only a surprise for Terry).  We recognized and honored for five years at New Albany Baptist and for 35 years as an ordained minister of Jesus Christ. About 75 people attended the special service and catered luncheon that followed. Several members of Terry's family were in attendance.  Our youth choir presented special music for the service. Everyone had a wonderful time. Gary  (more pictures on our ABCOPAD Facebook Page )




by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/14/2014

Crossroads Community Erie Celebrate Sweet December


Crossroads Community Baptist Church of Erie held its annual Sweet December Christmas celebration  Pastors David and Katie White minister at the church that has become home to many Burmese refugees now living in Erie.  Pastor David in his initial invitation wrote:

Please join us for our Christmas Celebration and Dinner next Wednesday, December 10th, starting at 6:00 p.m. or there abouts.  Bring a dish to share and enjoy a meal of a wonderful variety of food followed by the distribution of gifts to our friends from Burma which is made possible by your partnership in ministry.   Please bring along others from your church that have special interest in this ministry.

You can check out pictures and a recap of the event on their Facebook Page.  Crossroads Community Baptist Church Facebook




by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/12/2014

West Hills Ministries Busy in December


 West Hills Ministries has been busy in December with numerous connections in the Sharon Community.  This after school program included.

Dec. 2:  Sharon's Night of Lights
Dec. 9:  Children's Christmas Closet
Dec. 9:  Christmas Sr. Citizen Luncheon
Dec. 10 & 11:  West Hills Ministry Children's Musical

The West Hills After School Program is a Sharon, PA cooperative ministry.  Our own FBC Sharon provides significant leadership.  Pastors Cindy Swogger, Josh Trojak, John Trojak and the church family at FBC Sharon play a major role in making this exciting ministry possible.  Learn more via the West Hills Ministry Facebook Page.



by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/12/2014

Abington Baptist Association New Officers


  Above is a picture of the new officers of the Abington Baptist Association: from Left to Right, Pastor Ken Knapp, First Baptist Church of the Abington, Vice Moderator; Betty Jane Richards, Trinity Baptist Church, Treasurer; Valerie Black, Shiloh, Secretary; and Ron Stock, First Baptist Church of Factoryville, Moderator. Photo compliments of Pastor Tim Schwartz.

The officers were voted into office at our annual meeting on November 9, 2014.

During the Association meeting, I shared some information on Ministers Council and the ABCOPAD Foundation and Pastor Tim Schwartz shared about his ministry and how he can be a resource person for the pastors and the churches in the Abington Baptist Association.

We planned our calendar for the upcoming year.

Pastor Debbie Loessy
Clifford Baptist Church 
Director of Development for the ABCOPAD Foundation

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/1/2014

Springfield Baptist Says Farewell To Rev Bob Davalt

  The congregation of Springfield Baptist bid farewell to Youth Pastor Rev. Robert E. Davalt, II, whose last Sunday was November 16th.  
  The church recognized Bob & his wife Dena during worship, giving them farewell gifts and then inviting the congregation to a luncheon in their honor.
  The Youth Group also held a wonderful farewell that evening attended by 45 teens and leaders. The Davalts have ministered at Springfield Baptist for the past 6 ½ years.
 Pastor Bob officially becomes the new Pastor of Parkerford Baptist Church on December 1st.


Rev. Wylie W. Johnson, D.Min.
Pastor, the Springfield Baptist Church

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/1/2014