American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Welcome to Memorial Baptist Church, Johnstown




Recently, Mark Mahserjian-Smith (ABCOPAD Interim Regional Executive Pastor) had dinner with the new minister at Memorial Baptist Church in Johnstown, PA. It was fun meeting Rev. Wayne Ayer and his wife, Amber, as well as their three children. Pastor Wayne gave me a tour of this historic church in Johnstown and then we had dinner at Pizza Hut. This is a wonderful ministry family and exciting things are coming to Memorial Baptist.


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/31/2015

ReFit and Redeeming Grace


It happened over this past weekend, during the Camp Carmel Winter Retreat in western ABCOPAD. Pastor Darrell Edgar, senior pastor of the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Smithfield, PA, presented a $750 check to Pastor Dana Wiles, lead pastor of Redeeming Grace Church in Uniontown, PA.

The check was made possible through the generous giving of American Baptist Women under a program they call ReFit Funds. The check is facilitated by our own Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, national and regional director of new church planting.

Redeeming Grace Church was birthed out of Mount Moriah in 2013. They moved out of a local hotel's conference room and into this new space on their one year anniversary, back in the fall of 2014. Their vision as a new church is to reach 20-somethings for Christ.




by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/31/2015

Prom Dress Giveaway


First Baptist Church, Norristown (Rev. Kelly Legg, Pastor) held their Prom Dress Giveaway. On Friday night, despite the snow, 78 young ladies found dresses for this year's prom. This is such an exciting ministry! It was so great seeing so many ladies find their perfect dress for their upcoming prom event. The smiles and joy on their faces was easy to see as church volunteers assisted each girl and shared Christ's love in a very tangible way.


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/23/2015

Wilda Mae Hutt Resource Center


The Central Baptist Church of Wilmington as they dedicated the Wilda Mae Hutt Resource Center at the church. It was a fantastic day of celebration with great music from the choir, vision from Rev. Keeling, words of encouragement from community members, and more. Members of Mrs. Wilda Hutt's family were present. Mark Mahserjian-Smith (ABCOPAD Regional Executive Pastor) had the honor of delivering the sermon. It was an awesome day.

More photos are available HERE.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/23/2015

A Baptismal Story


That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.    ----- Romans 6:3-5


Pastor Doug Stratton, pastor of Hatboro Baptist Church, reports that there was a beautiful celebration of new life and two young women passed through the waters of baptism to declare their faith in Jesus Christ. Their testimony was clear, Jesus had saved them and Jesus was leading them.


Being able to preside over that was wonderful, but even more exciting was the fact that each of these invited family and friends to witness their testimony! They were eager for their peers to know that they were taking this step. It was not a private act, it was not decided for them. It was their decision to follow Jesus obediently into the waters of baptism and to share that testimony with everyone who would come.


Are you eager for your friends and neighbors and family to know your testimony? Do your friends know that you are a follower of Jesus? I am not asking if they know you go to church, do they know you are living for Jesus?


That is the testimony that changes everything. Might you share the good news that Jesus can give you a full life each and every day!


See the live video HERE!


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/19/2015

Building Healthy Partnerships with Churches


This past Sunday, Jeff Johnson spent the morning and early afternoon with Pastor Marty von Harten and the folks of Calvary Baptist, Allentown. Jeff attended one of their adult classes which uses "The Wired Word" online Sunday School curriculum. Each lesson takes an item from the news the week before and examines it in light of the Bible and our faith. He preached the morning message, giving an invitation for people to come forward for a need in their own life or one in the life of someone they care about. The front of the church was filled.

A light lunch was served, and then Jeff did a co::lab presentation so as to educate the whole congregation in what the church had committed to. At the end of the session, several people came to the pastor and offered to be on the larger, church-based team. It was exciting!

Jeff went to the church, as well, to thank them for their generous giving to missions across the board, here at home and abroad, not the least of which is the America For Christ offering and Partners In Ministry, both which support ministry right here in our ABCOPAD region.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 3/18/2015

March Haiti Mission Team... heart-2-heart


Our ABCOPAD Volunteer Haiti Mission Team continues to serve in Jesus' name! During the closing days of their labors, the team worked at the Heart-2-Heart orphanage, touching many lives with the love of Christ. Blessings were shared, both given and received!

You can see a new album of updated pictures at Photobucket.


by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 3/17/2015

March Haiti Mission Team... at work!


Our ABCOPAD Volunteer Haiti Mission Team arrived safely in Grand Goave! The first hours were spent getting acquainted with one another, the community, and the work. And then, there are the essential "rules" every volunteer learns. You can check out the album with a lot more pictures at Photobucket.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 3/13/2015

FBC York Retreat


On Saturday night the Retreat for First Baptist Church, York, PA, did its own version of "Minute-to-Win-It." The group had a blast playing a variety of games in friendly and fun competition.


On Sunday, the York Retreat concluded with worship. The morning included a close look at being missionary, recognizing God's Presence in the world. The praise and worship was awesome, and Communion was celebrated together.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/10/2015

North Hills Retreat


Kevin Walden, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Pastoral Leaders, had the honor and privilege to speak for the North Hills Community Baptist Church's retreat this weekend! The conversation centered around fellowship and relationships. We learned about managing relationships, and why they wear is out; we learned about our friendship circles; and we learned about sharing our faith stories. What a joy to share the weekend with these wonderful folks!

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/10/2015

Greater Faith Baptist Church Celebrates


Mark Mahserjian-Smith, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor for Mission and Communication joined the folk at Greater Faith Baptist Church as they celebrated their 3rd Anniversary. Pastor Delonte Reeves, Sr. is the pastoral leader of this new congregation coming out of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Coatesville. Rev. Dr. Randall Harris delivered the message entitled Wounded Hands. It was a great day of celebration for this new congregation. 

More pictures at Photobucket.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/10/2015

Bizzy with Izzy


Eric Kraihanzel had a wonderful time on Sunday morning at Calvary Baptist Church, Allentown. It was great to see Izzy Vasquez, the youth pastor, and the teens at Calvary.


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/10/2015

Congratulations! CLI Certification


Kevin Walden, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Pastoral Leaders, was honored to help present Sue Petrill with her Permanent Lay Minister Certification at FBC of Jeannette, PA, God bless you, Sue, as you continue to serve the Lord!

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 3/10/2015

Jeffrey Johnson's Jersey Jaunt


This past Saturday, Jeff Johnson, our ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations, visited with our sisters and brothers to the east, in ABC New Jersey. He served as the keynote speaker for the plenary sessions of the annual COAL (Church Officers and Leaders) training event. Every year the event is held, one weekend in the southern part of the Garden State and a second weekend in the northern part of the state.

There were learning tracks for diacontate, trustees, Christian educators, and missions committee members. After speaking at the plenary, Jeff led the Pastors' Academy, focused on the four elements of 21st century discipleship — based on 1st century principles — as articulated in his article in a 2014 issue of The Christian Citizen.

In spite of two days of bad winter weather, hundreds turned out for the event. So many came that the venue had to be moved from a chapel at the host church, Shiloh Baptist in Trenton, to their main auditorium. And guess what..... Jeff will do it all over again next weekend!

ABCOPAD has a great relationship with ABCNJ, partnering together in many ways with shared mission trips, pastors' conferences, and joint ministry such as this. Be sure to pray for their staff under the leadership of their Executive Minister, Dr. Lee Spitzer, as you continue to pray for our staff.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 3/10/2015