American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

co::lab & FBC, Monongahela

Over the weekend, Jeff Johnson visited the First Baptist Church of Monongahela, in the southwest corner of our region. FBC has been part of the year long co::lab experience; working on vision to take their church to the next level of impact for Christ in their community.

As part of the community's Light Up Night for the holidays, the church held a live nativity experience in their parking lot. Over 500 people came through! The event was put on pretty much cost free through a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses.




Jeff went to the church, as well, to check out a change they made starting this fall. They flipped their worship service to be the first thing they do on Sunday morning. It is followed by Connection Groups which have replaced the traditional Sunday School and spill over into gatherings held throughout the week in various locations throughout their town. With the change, their worship attendance has increased by 10%, and more people are staying to study the Word than have in the past.


Their worship service is blended with both traditional and contemporary songs. Their praise band is huge with everything from the traditional keyboard, guitar, and drums, but also includes a flutist, full percussion section, as well as a man playing the harmonica. There was even a young man in the church who plays the hammered dulcimer. The various generations in the praise band, from teens to senior saints, was awesome to see.
Oh... and the church uses online giving as a donation option. 10% of their weekly offerings come through this means. This is a church on the move for God!
Mark Schollaert is the pastor; and Ken Kirby, one of our CLI/ACTS grads, is the lay minister in the church.


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2015

Exton Community Baptist Church
Welcomes Dear Friends


Rev. Kadin Williams, ECBC pastor (left),  with Dr. Don Ng,
who will retire on December 31 this year as President of ABCUSA.


Exton Community Baptist Church welcomed the Rev. Dr. Don Ng and his wife Joy, former members of the church. Dr. Ng spoke with fondness and gratitude about the family's seventeen years in ECBC as he recalled the spiritual development of their children who grew up in this church.


Of course, members and friends gather for a time of fellowship after the worship service every Sunday morning. It is an opportunity to connect with each other while enjoying light refreshments provided by host volunteers. We love to have our visitors and newcomers stay after church for this get-together so that we can greet them personally.




by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/16/2015

Clarion Association Meeting


Following a morning preaching and an afternoon consult at one of our federated churches, East Side Church in Sharon, PA (dually aligned American Baptist and Disciples of Christ), Jeff Johnson (ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations) headed a couple hours east to attend the fall gathering of the Clarion Association which focused on missions.

George Prinkey shared about his 2015 mission trip to Nicaragua, a joint venture by ABCOPAD and ABC New York. George referenced his ACTS education as well as his view that missions takes place right here at home, as George is now volunteering at a youth center in Brookville. He also shared about the importance of the White Cross which our ABWomen do; he personally saw the bandages they provide to our medical missionaries, the Parajóns, in Managua, Nicaragua. He was very passionate about what he shared. He said the trip changed him to desire less and appreciate simple things more. He had people proverbially "eating out of his hand," until he shared that in Nicaragua he saw spiders the size of a hand :-) George plans to return to Nicaragua next April and, hopefully, June as well.

Maybe you would like to join him? Contact Mark Mahserjian-Smith or Denise Veselicky for more information.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/9/2015

WELCOME Macedonia Baptist Church

Let's welcome the newest congregation to the join the Harrisburg Association and ABCOPAD:

The Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church

Pastor Rodney Smalls and Macedonia missionary Baptist church are now members of the Harrisburg Association. It was great having Frank Frischkorn, Mark Mahserjian-Smith, David Klock, Gary Firster and Tim Munson represent the association. From Macedonia, Deacon Emmanuel Marshall and deaconess Cassandra Scott represented the church. It was such an exciting evening.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2015

Grace Crossing Community Church

Apparently, the spirited worship at Grace Crossing Community Church [Phoenixville] raised the roof! Needed repairs in progress.





by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2015

Logan's Valley Baptist Church

Here are a few pictures from one of our region congregations ---  

Recently, Mark Mahserjian-Smith Mark had the great joy of preaching at the Logan's Valley Baptist Church in Bellwood. It was fun attending Sunday School as well as delivering the morning message. Back in August, Rev Tim Flanagan conclude his ministry at the church. Soon the congregation will have an interim pastor as the search committee continues its work.






by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2015

Laurel Association Fall Meeting

The 2015 Fall Laurel Baptist Association meeting was held at First Baptist Church of Greensburg, PA. It was a full schedule for the afternoon, including a brief time of business followed by praise and worship, interpretive dance by the Pizzazz Christian Dance Academy located in Greensburg, as well as a full concert by the Irwin Male Chorus.

Each church that was present shared a praise report about something exciting that is happening in their congregation, along with an item for prayer. Prior to dinner moderator Mark Brady, Pastor at the East Mahoney Baptist Church, led us in prayer for all the prayer concerns offered. The meeting ended with a great fellowship meal hosted by the church family at First Baptist of Greensburg.




by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2015

Treasures And Trash


Recently, a few of our regional pastors spent several days at the home of Carol and Barry Bicking, working on closing the ABCOPAD Office once maintained at their home. They went through filing cabinets removing unnecessary materials that had accumulated over the past 30 plus years. A time consuming task... to say the least... going through all the files, culling out important documents while discarding material that is no longer needed and has no historic value.


In the end, there was close to a 1/2 ton of paper that accumulated that was then shredded. You can see some of the neat things we discovered while cleaning including: 

the pen used to sign the office documents creating our Region...


a map of our congregations in 1962... 


and several fun pics of people you might remember.




We saved over 5 large file boxes with valuable historic documents and pictures.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 11/5/2015

Word and Witness



The week the ABHMS Passionary "Word and Witness" website was written by Jeff Johnson, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations. Each week of the year, a different staffer with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies takes responsibility for the devotional message.


Check it out at:



Each day includes a scripture, a quote, a brief thought, and a closing prayer. Today is on sharing our faith with others as others shared their faith with us.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2015