American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Thank You, Pastor Frank


At this year's ABCOPAD Pastors Retreat....

Pastor Chris Davis (President Of the ABCOPAD Ministers Council) invited the group to offer words of encouragement and thanksgiving for our Regional Executive Pastor, Rev. Dr. Frank Frischkorn, celebrating 25 years of Regional Ministry. Pastor Frank received a standing ovation, and many took a few minutes to share the impact Pastor Frank’s ministry on their lives.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/30/2019

Small Church / Big Deal


The 2019 Pastors Retreat has gathered at Camp Krislund for the purpose of:

  • Encouraging pastors of the small church to stay obedient, faithful, and see the beauty of the ministry God has given them.
  • Equipping pastors of the small church to boldly and confidently handle the issues unique to the small church.
  • Enveloping pastors of the small church with love, blessing, and inspiration so they can fully embrace the joy of their calling.


Of course, it all begins with friendly smiles.


Pastor Cheryl Filson, Vice-President of the Ministers Council, welcomed the group.


Pastor Frank Frischkorn opened the first session in prayer.


Pastor Chris Vitarelli, our primary speaker, started the opening session of Small Church / Big Deal.


Pastor Chris Davis brought the opening devotion as the group gathered for a time of praise, worship, and teaching.


In fact, the worship was led by a praise band made up of pastors attending the retreat.


Of course, there's always time to enjoy good food...


terrific fellowship...


and great fun!


Of special note -- The Women In Ministry at the Pastors Retreat gathered for a group picture. So grateful for these powerful women of God and great partners in ministry!



by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/30/2019

Bradford Association ABWM Retreat


Recently, the Bradford Baptist Association’s 39th Women’s Retreat was held at Mt. Zion Retreat Center.


ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associate Pastor Sue Wilson Radel taught three sessions on topics related to the theme “Christ’s Peace in a Difficult World”.


The women prayed and sang together, laughed and cried throughout the two day event.


The retreat ended with a beautiful communion service before we parted ways.


Suzette Bates of Federated church, (Tim Robson, pastor), was the organizer for the retreat.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/28/2019

Nothing Wasted


Through the weeks of Lent, Pastor Mike Poindexter [Pleasant Community Church, Warren] preached a series of messages called "Nothing is Wasted." He challenged the congregation to believe that transformation still can happen! ...that God has a plan even when we don't see it!   ----- Look at what happened in the sanctuary, week-after-week :

March 10: To begin the series, and to emphasize the point, those attending were greeted in the sanctuary by a platform that was cluttered with junk. For sure, sometimes life is a mess!


March 17: The “mess” in church changed a bit this week for the series “Nothing is Wasted”. Pastor Mike taught the story of the woman at the well from John 4. He pointed out relational, racial, and romantic brokenness. He also pointed out her response ...salvation and transformation wasn’t just for her. but she shared that with others. (see the water flowing from her bucket!)


March 24: Week 3 in the “Nothing is Wasted” series had folk looking at the story of Thomas. Pastor Mike told how God can use and redeem doubt. That it’s sometimes valuable to linger in doubt. And he challenged the we allow room for doubt, or do we try to fix and change those who are doubting. The “mess” on the platform continues to change.


March 31: This past week focused on the story of the Woman at Bethany from Matthew’s Gospel. Pastor Aaron Reinard talked about how God can make beauty from brokenness.


April  7: The “mess" changed again. Pastor Mike pointed to four stories in scripture of Peter’s fear. He reminded the congregation how fear gets in the way of following fully.


April 14: This past week was a LARGE dramatic change in the pile of mess. Note that everything you see was present last just weren’t looking at it. Pastor Mike told of how sometimes when things get messy we don’t see the potential beauty or what God could possibly do with it.


April 21: Happy Easter! The "Nothing Wasted" series is completed, and the mess underwent a pretty dramatic transformation! The message of the gospel: God can still transform mess into beauty!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/27/2019

Easter Blooms

Across the region, sanctuaries were beautifully prepared to welcome worshipers on Easter Sunday

First Baptist Church, Ford City


First Baptist Church, Tarentum


Franklin Park Baptist Church, Sewickley


Mill Creek Baptist Church, Mill Creek


Olive Branch Baptist Church, Belle Vernon


Pleasant Community Church, Warren


First Baptist Church, Shinglehouse

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/27/2019

FBC Reading Installation


First Baptist Church, Reading, gathered in celebration for the Installation Service of Rev. David Turley as he became the next pastor.

Pastor Turley and his wife Leslie were surrounded by their family from West Virginia for the was a beautiful afternoon of worship as we thanked God for the good things He was doing in the ministry of FBC, Reading.

The First Baptist church facility is home to four other worshiping congregations, and three of the other congregations leaders took part in the service.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/21/2019

Factoryville Cross Walk 2019


First Baptist Church of Factoryville held its annual Cross Walk on Good Friday. Volunteers carried the cross along College Avenue and read the seven last words of Christ along the way. En route they sang "Were You There?"

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/19/2019

Maundy Thursday Monologues


The congregation at New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, gathered on Maundy Thursday to hear several monologues from Jesus' followers.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/19/2019

RISE 2019


The Spring Retreat for Middle/High School Students was held at Camp Ichthus in early April.

The weekend was packed full of activities,worship and great food.

Activities ranged from horseback riding, our 30-foot Challenge Wall and King Swing, and lots of awesome games led by the programming staff!

Tim Fray was the featured speaker. He served as a youth pastor for seven years at Crossroads Church in Pittsburgh, PA. 

A house band lead worship for sessions each day.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/19/2019

Who Knows?


No words.
Beyond explanation.

(at the Central Union Spring Association Meeting)

See What You Missed!

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/8/2019

Servant Leaders in Parchment Valley


A great team of volunteers (about 50 members!) from the ABCOPAD Centre Association made their way to the Parchment Valley Conference Center in West Virginia. Talk about productivity! The team worked for seven busy days!

Completing numerous painting projects... well as caulking and sealing the bunk houses where campers will be staying the season.

A couple members of the team worked on the electrical system at the gym...

...while others readied the restrooms at Hill Hall.

A cleaning crew went to work scrubbing floors, washing the windows, cleaning the carpets, and shoveling out the ashes in the fireplace.

Even more electrical work, painting, cleaning.

Everything is looking and smelling so clean and fresh.


The ABCOPAD Mission Team from the Centre Association had a chance to work outside as the sun came out, creating a warm and refreshing breeze. The team did quite a few outdoor projects including repairing fences, painting in the parking lots and general spring cleaning.

It was great opportunity to serve our sister region [WVBC] and help get their conference and camp facility ready for a new year of ministry where kids make decisions for Jesus and lives are changed.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

Come and Worship at FBC Greensburg


Gathering for worship at the First Baptist Church of Greensburg...

Their former pastor, Rev. Dr. Cliff Hockensmith retired in March. The service was led by lay leaders in the congregation.

The preacher for the day was Rev. Beverly Frank who is pastor of the Emanuel Baptist Church in Donora. She is a daughter of the church.

It was a great Lord's Day both with the weather outside and the Spirit within.


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

Pizza! Pizza!


There was a delicious spaghetti dinner served at the Middlebury Baptist Church. The church family gathered for this annual fundraiser traditionally supporting AB Women’s Mission, including White Cross.

It was great seeing the fellowship hall full of people from the church and community all spending time with one another and enjoying a scrumptious meal.

Dessert? Apparently one is not enough!

And... young servant volunteers waiting the tables! Great job, guys!!!


by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

ShingleHouse of Worship


First Baptist Church Of Shinglehouse (Rev Rusty Horning, Lead Pastor) is a great place to spend Sunday morning.

It's a vibrant and healthy church family.

Cynthia Bell did a great job with the opening encouraging everyone to be joyful Christians. It was awesome seeing so many kids participating.

The adult Sunday School class is studying Chip Ingram’s book Balancing Life’s Demands. There was a lively discussion as everyone was digging into God’s Word.

The choir loft was practically full and the music wonderful for morning worship...

and lots of kids came forward for the children’s messages.

Pastor Rusty has been serving at the church for over 30 years. Simply a wonderful morning being with these partners in ministry and awesome friends.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

Servant Leaders in Tarboro, NC


A great team of ABCOPAD volunteers spent a week in Tarboro, NC, providing disaster relief in response to extensive damage caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018.

Their days were filled with projects ranging from general clean-up...


to electrical...



and flooring...

They were also able to shingle a small roof at another job site.

Thanks to all for a job well done!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 4/7/2019

Wedding Bells


Congratulations to Pastor Gary Eaches and his new bride Jenn. Pastor Gary and Jenn were married on March 29th. Pastor Gary is the lead pastor at the United Baptist Church Of Scranton.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019

ABWM Southeast Spring Gathering


Throughout the AB Women’s gathering at Parkesburg Baptist there was wonderful music and delicious food.

Sue Fitzgerald (FBC Lancaster) led the singing.  It was such a fun day just spending time with so many friends.

Sally Perry (FBC Lancaster) share about the Waters Of Blessings mission project and the Cyberbox mission project that took place in Nicaragau through the ministry of AMOS.

Sue MacDonald (Parkesburg Baptist), having recently returned from a mission trip to Puerto Rico, talks about the disaster recovery work following Hurricane Maria and this year’s AB Women’s project helping the church at Masas rebuild.

The ladies of Parkesburg offered cakes, fruit, pastries, and a great lunch.


Many, many thanks to these ladies who have done so much to raise funds and support for the Mission and Mission Trips of ABCOPAD. All are awesome partners in ministry, being mission advocates in their local congregations.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/7/2019