American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Christmas at Montandon Baptist Church


Pastor Ron Wagner led the worship service  titled as "Advent As Told By Mary". Children sang the first verse of "Silent Night" and the congregation joined in the following verses. An a cappella solo of "Noel" and "What Child Is This" was sung by Kaylie Savidge. She is the young lady in the blue dress on the group photo. Luminaries were lit in the front and side walks of the church.






by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 12/27/2016

Exton Community Baptist @ Advent

Like many churches, Exton Community Baptist Church uses an Advent wreath and candles to mark the approach of Christmas. Pictured: the Yohannan family participating in the candle-lighting on the 3rd Sunday of Advent.


by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 12/22/2016
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/22/2016

West Virginia Toy Drive


Days after the devastating flooding in West Virginia, where 8 to 10 inches of rain fell back in early summer, it was sad for Jeff to see the piles of gray rubble with brightly colored toys mixed throughout. The toys that weren’t washed away were unsalvageable — either broken or contaminated by polluted water. Most of the parents are without funds. And those who do have money can’t afford to spend it on toys this Christmas.

To address this reality, this past Saturday morning, Jeff arrived at the historic Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown, southwestern PA. He was there to pick up the donations from a two month long toy drive spearheaded by Angie Lawson, the church’s youth director. 


Several hundred toys ranging from items for babies up through teenagers were collected from both members of the congregation and kids and their parents of the church sponsored preschool. It took Jeff an hour to do the impossible and pack all these wonderful donations into his rented SUV. Every single one of the donations somehow, some way, somewhere, made it into the four-wheeled sleigh. 




Jeff then drove three hours south to First Baptist Church of Rainelle, West Virginia where David Bush is the pastor. Rainelle was one of the three hardest hit areas in that state. The church had more than three and a half feet of water in their fellowship hall. The congregation quickly cleaned out and cleaned up this space to then serve as a relief center for their community and surrounding area. Our own ABMen sponsored a two week mission trip here back in August. A number of our churches went down to help.


Volunteers from the church unloaded the vehicle and put the items out on tables designated for various age groups. Parents came throughout the afternoon to “shop for free” for their children.


Our region, through funds acquired through a church closure, gave our neighboring West Virginia Baptist Convention a $10,000 gift to continue their flood relief efforts. Mark Mahserjian-Smith is working with Vickie Goff from ABC Home Mission Societies to coordinate mission trips back down to WV for two weeks next June. The Home Mission Societies partnered in this effort with national staff donating over one hundred toys themselves.


Mr. Rogers said that play is the work of childhood. Jeff added to that quote by saying “… and toys are the tools to get that work done!” Over three hundred toys in total were donated. “This act of love will serve two purposes. One, it will put actual toys under family Christmas trees—if they have them—and into children’s hands. Secondly, it will convey to this sister American Baptist Church and region with whom ABCOPAD has a relationship that they and their community are neither forgotten nor forsaken.” Not only do we ABCOPADers get to be Santa’s Sack for Christmas. We also get to be the hands and heart of Jesus.

Special thanks goes out to David Thomas, the Budget rental car agent, who provided the SUV at a very special reduced rate to ABCOPAD/ABHMS to make the transport of all the toys possible.


Complete photo album HERE 


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/21/2016

FBC, Sharon, Christmas Program

At First Baptist Church, Sharon, the kids from the after school program did a Christmas Program called Joy to the World.  They sang Christmas songs and explained the story of Christmas in their own words and through scripture.  Here are some pictures of the Program and the families that enjoyed Cookies and punch after the show!









by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/20/2016

Lancaster Area
Retired Pastors Christmas Luncheon

Retired Pastoral Leaders living in the Lancaster Area gathered together at the Shady Maple for a Christmas Luncheon. It was so wonderful spending time with these dear friends. Most of the Regional Pastors were able to be present for the get-together. Delicious meal and amazing fellowship.




During the celebration a number of people shared.


Rev Paul Fitzgerald did an awesome monologue as Jesse the inn keeper.


 Pastors Kevin and Melody Walden sang an exciting duet.


Rev Grace Lawrence-Shirk shared so interesting facts about Santa


and both Rev Dan MacDonald and Rev Frank Frischkorn prayed.



It was a wonderful afternoon at Shady Maple.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/16/2016

Christmas at New Albany Baptist Church

A few photos from New Albany Baptist Church. The sanctuary was all decorated for the holiday season, as the choir performed its Christmas cantata, Beautiful Star, a collection of traditional and contemporary Southern Gospel Christmas favorites. The sanctuary was full, with 105 in attendance (the most in recent history!); and 80 stayed for the catered luncheon that followed.







by Bud Russell Categories: Region Life ~ Date: 12/13/2016

VUU Leadership Summit

Jeffrey Johnson participated in a Leadership Summit on the campus of Virginia Union University, Samuel Proctor Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Jeff spent the evening, talking with seminarians and pastors about various opportunities for ministerial leadership, primarily focused on chaplaincy. A handful of national executives from the Home Mission Societies were on site to do the same. Karen came along and staffed the Judson Press booktable while editor Rebecca Irwin-Deihl did a workshop on putting your ministry materials into a book. Rev. (Colonel US Army - retired) Kristy Moehler, our ABC endorsing officer, and Dr Jeff Haggray, executive director of ABHMS organized the event.






Virginia Union University and Seminary is the name given in 1899 to the merger of two older schools, Richmond Theological Institute and Wayland Seminary, each founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies in 1865 shortly after the Union Troops took control of Richmond. The schools were founded for the education of now freed slaves.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/10/2016

New Hope -- Live Nativity

It's become an annual event at New Hope Christian Church in Broomall, PA. This year's live nativity was enjoyed by a rather large crowd of spectators.  Pleasant weather and a cup of hot cocoa made for a most pleasant evening. Following the outdoor program, guests were welcomed indoors to view a large collection of creches on display in the sanctuary.









by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/7/2016