ABHMS bids farewell to cherished employee of 31 years

VALLEY FORGE, PA (11/9/2023)— American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) bid a fond farewell to Danny Ellison, its longtime creative designer, who retires at the end of November. ABHMS staff gathered in person and online at the organization’s King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, headquarters to celebrate Ellison during a joyous luncheon on November 2, 2023. The gathering was filled with thanksgiving prayers, laughter, games, speeches and heartfelt wishes for an enjoyable retirement.

During the 31 years of his career with ABHMS, Ellison created a wide array of magazines, brochures, newsletters, conference displays, bulletin inserts, web pages, special projects and various other mission-support materials. His compelling, award-winning designs consistently conveyed the mission of ABHMS in an exceptionally creative yet down-to-earth manner.

In their speeches, colleagues praised Ellison’s dependability, willingness to help and immense talent. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, ABHMS executive director, said that he has always been impressed by Ellison’s ability to communicate a message plainly and succinctly, citing a verse from Habakkuk 2— “And the LORD answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’”—for emphasis.

Sue Peterman, administrative coordinator for Communications and Marketing at ABHMS, who worked with Ellison for eight years, said, “You have earned your retirement but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. Thank you for being a top-notch teammate and congratulations!”

In a brief thank you speech, Ellison recalled the day in 1992 when he first interviewed for his job. “I was fairly new to the area, and I couldn’t find the building,” he said. “I was 20 minutes late. I thought, there’s no way I am getting this job. Then they told me, now you’re going to have to take a typing test … and I thought again, there’s no way I’m going to get this job. And I’m still here, 31 years later. It’s been an honor; we do a lot of good work here for people who need help. I’m going to miss you all.”

Ellison entertained his colleagues with a lighthearted recap of his retirement plans, which include a lot of home improvements. Other items on his “bucket list”: drawing a cartoon that gets published in The New Yorker and driving from Chicago to Los Angeles on Route 66, with his camera in hand to take pictures of “weird” signs.

Ellison is married to Vicki and has two children and three grandchildren. 

For more information about ABHMS, visit abhms.org.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.