American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

2016 ABCOPAD Biennial
Leadership Conference

Now it's history... but the events of this year's Biennial Leadership Conference had an impact on so many in attendance! A great keynote speaker, excellent devotional leaders, exciting reports of ministries across the region, wonderful worship... to say nothing of the spirit and fellowship enjoyed by all.

Here are just a few of the photos taken at Altoona. The complete album is available HERE.










by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/31/2016

Broad Street Baptist Church


On Sunday, Jeffrey Johnson and his family spent the morning with the folks at the Broad Street Baptist Church where Pastor Jay Freudenberg is the pastor. He is an early 2000's CLI graduate and has served this church for nearly eight years. Jeff met with key and core leaders of the church during the Sunday School hour to talk about its vision, its future, and its desire as a smaller church to have a bigger impact for Christ in their community. Jeff preached the morning message. The church has a beautiful three-dimensional baptistery.



by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016

Camp Carmel Fall Festival


The Camp Carmel Baptist Camp Fall Gathering was held at the farm of Ralph and Rhonda Gatten south of Pittsburgh. Board members, summer staff, counselors, campers, supporters, and friends gathered for a time of great food, good fun, and wonderful fellowship which included a hayride, corn hole, lots of conversation and catching up, and of course a campfire to wrap up the day with a message by Pastor Gary Schneider of the North Ten Mile Baptist Church. More than a dozen churches were represented at the gathering from both the Ten Mile and Monongahela Baptist Associations. More photos HERE.



Don't forget that the camps in our region are the year long fundraising emphasis and effort of our American Baptist Women. Check out the video concerning camping ministry in ABCOPAD at /Ministries/ABWM/Our-2016-2017-Region-Mission-Project.aspx. Rev. Eric Kraihanzel has made a video to talk about the project. Check it out: 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016

Monongahela Association Meeting


The 184TH Gathering of the Monongahela Baptist Association in the southwest corner of ABCOPAD was held on October 16. The theme for the association's meeting was The Bible, our only authority for what we believe and what we do. Different presentations were made by associational leaders, including Pam Hughes who is our region's ABWomen Coordinator for LoveGift.


Paula Sommerfeldt, the ABW coordinator for Missions spoke about the upcoming disaster relief Mission Trip to Connellsville in November. The message for the day was delivered by Pastor Chris McClaughlin of the Indian Creek Baptist Church in Mill Run.


Jeff did the installation of officers, based on another Baptist principle, "Every Member A Minister". Diane Dean, the association's moderator, closed out the gathering with an impassioned plea for greater participation and doing together what no one association church could do on its own, the very principle of associational life.


A time of good food and good fellowship followed the gathering.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/18/2016

Liberty Baptist Blanchard


On Sunday, Jeff participated "in style" in the 145th Anniversary celebration and annual Homecoming of the Liberty Baptist Church in Blanchard, in north central Pennsylvania. Jeff dressed in 1871 attire, the year the church was founded. Rev. Chris Davis is the pastor.


The leadership presented him a basket of cards and gifts from the church as their Pastor Appreciation. Pastor Chris took their weekly Missions Moment to talk about their new Upward Basketball Ministry which the region helped to fund with a grant.

Pastor Chris' wife Greta promoted the start of the ABW Thrive (study) group in the church.


Special music for the morning was provided by their sanctuary choir and their ad hoc, impromptu bell choir, dubbed appropriately enough, "The Liberty Bells". Rev. Paul LeVan, former pastor now living in Erie shared memories of his time at the church. Jeff provided the morning message and then extended an invitation. The front of the church was filled with people seeking God through their own prayers or asking to join their prayers with those of their pastor. A wonderful luncheon was served afterwards.


Additional photos HERE 


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/17/2016

Parkesburg Installation Service


Frank Frischkorn, Melody and Kevin Walden, and many others participated in the beautiful installation service at Parkesburg Baptist for Rev. Mary Lewis. Dr. Dan MacDonald also shared in the service. Pastor Mary gave a great reflection about how "not normal" the Parkesburg church is... which was entirely complimentary and inspiring. It was a wonderful celebration for a wonderful leader and congregation. Additional photos HERE.




by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/16/2016

East Mahoning Baptist Church
911 Observance


East Mahoning Baptist Church provided an opportunity to remember the events of 911 and honor first responders in the community. Jim Pearson (Interim Pastor) was one of the initial responders in New York City following the attack in 2001. He and the church family had the local fire department present for Sunday morning worship. More photos HERE.




by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016

Pastor Appreciation at Calvary Baptist Allentown


Kevin Walden, Regional Pastor with Pastoral Leaders, had the honor of joining Rev. Mardy Von Harten for worship at Calvary Baptist in Allentown, PA. Pastor Mardy gave a powerful message on Acts 9. The church also presented Mardy and his wife Peggy with gifts for Pastor Appreciation Sunday! Nice!!!




by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016

Love Unlimited in Worship

Here's a glimpse of Love Unlimited in Williamsport, PA. The pastoral leadership have struggled with significant health issues throughout the week. Pastor Willie Anderson is recovering from surgery and Co Pastor Dorothy Anderson ended up in the hospital with respiratory problems. Minister Curly Jet is recovering from orthopedic surgery. Mark Mahserjian-Smith had  the honor supporting the church family by filling the pulpit. Please keep these wonderful pastoral leaders and partners in ministry in your prayers along with the entire church family.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016

Tioga Baptist Association Fall Meeting


The Tioga Baptist Association gathered together at the Middlebury Baptist Church (Pastor Stan Gill) this Sunday. Pastor Stan opened the meeting with an inspirational devotion followed by a time of praise and worship led by Pastor Stan and his wife Susan. Almost every congregation in the association was represented at the meeting. Congregational leaders shared some of the good things taking place in their churches. Judy Husted and Ben Nevin, with North Country Baptist Youth Ministries shared the important work taking place in this camping ministry.

Here are just a few photos from the day. A complete picture album is HERE







by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016

FBC, Aliquippa


Jeff spent Sunday morning and early afternoon with Pastor Howard Irwin and his congregation at First Baptist, Aliquippa. Jeff preached the morning sermon focused on living out vision. Pastor Howard did the children's lesson, focused on the World Mission Offering. After a luncheon, Jeff met with the congregation and their leaders to further discuss the possible merger with a church in their community and to just discuss vision and strategy in order for the church to have the greatest impact on their Woodlawn section of their city. The church, like many if our congregations, is at a critical place in their life to discern what it is God wants them to do and then to do it.





by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 10/12/2016

FBC Pottstown Tower


The tower is a tumbling down!  Demolition on the "Leaning Tower of Pottstown" began in late August.  The church sits on the corner of King & Charlotte Sts.  Charlotte St which runs along the side of the church has been closed most of the summer and yes, the church is being charged.  Our tower problems have been quite the challenge, however, they have also been an opportunity for God to bless us.  The cost of bringing the tower down is estimated at around $200,000.  While we had some money on hand, enough to give the contractor to start the job, we certainly didn't have the money to complete the task. However, God has provided! 

 We have been sharing the need through our website and at every possible opportunity, so the word has gotten around town that we were in need of a helping hand. Christ Episcopal Church in Pottstown heard of our plight and from funds they have on hand gave FBC a gift of $50,000. They have also given us a no interest loan of $40,000.  Thank you God!!!  But the provision doesn't end there!  The chair person of the Tower Fund Raising Committee, Myra Forrest, began thinking, if one of our neighboring churches was willing help, is it possible there would be another?  So the Myra, put together a packet of information to share with First Presbyterian Church.  First Pres gives out grants to the community from Endowment funds earmarked for community use only.  Myra sat down with one of the churches Co-Pastor to find if we would be eligible.  The Co-pastor said she would take the information to the church Session, which was meeting later in the week. When Myra heard back from First Presbyterian she was told they were willing to help us out, but the money wouldn't be coming from the Community Funds, it would becoming from money First Presbyterian had planned on using for their building.  They would be giving us $30,000. (This last bit of news was shared on my first Sunday in the pulpit).  


What Satan meant to use to harm us, has been used to bring a deeper unity to the family here FBC and great glory to God for this is most certainly the work of the Holy Spirit!!!



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/6/2016

FBC York Mission Trip

Team members from FBC York recently returned from a mission trip to Rainelle, WV. They worked hard for five days and were able to get much work done and build good relationships with our sister region to the south.

The team worked in partnership with the West Virginia Baptist Convention on the clean-up and recovery effort for the recent flooding.





by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/5/2016

Penn Hills Baptist Retreat


The 2016 Penn Hills Baptist Church retreat is now history. We had a tremendous group of 39 folks attending this year's gathering at the Whitehall Camp & Conference Center in Emlenton September 30 & October 1-2. The theme was FAITH SHARING from Matthew 28:19-20.

Dr. Jeff Johnson, our ABCOPAD Regional Pastor for Congregations and Evangelism, was our study module presenter as he went through our styles of evangelizing. (That’s Jeff front and center in the picture!) The children’s lessons were taught by Sherri Murray, former director of Fayette County C.E.F. The fellowship was superb, the food absolutely delicious, and everyone had a great time.

by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 10/5/2016