Mission Stories

ABHMS partners with Asian American Christian Collaborative to address mental health and well-being

VALLEY FORGE, PA (05/15/2024)—As May is both Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, many organizations across the United States acknowledge the importance of mental health and well-being among AAPI populations. Among them are the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Mental Health America, and Institute for Diversity and Health Equity.… Read More

Triumphs and trials: ‘Pastor-Moms’ balance the divine calls of ministry and motherhood

ALLEY FORGE, PA (05/08/2024)—As ABHMS celebrates Mother’s Day, we look at high and low points of motherhood for “pastor-moms.” As women increasingly respond to the spiritual call to serve, they are faced with the realization that the call is also a type of career, and the familiar question “can you have it all?” also applies to them, if they decide to become mothers. And motherhood is definitely a call, too.… Read More

ABHMS delegation visits Arizona mission partners, reconnects with ministries on Hopi Reservation

VALLEY FORGE, PA (05/01/2024)—At the end of 2023, a delegation from American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) consisting of the Rev. Ben Sullivan, ABHMS’ national coordinator for Native American Ministries, the Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri, director of ABHMS’ Intercultural Ministries, and the Rev. Kerwin Webb, ABHMS’ national coordinator for Justice and Mission Engagement, visited multiple Arizona partners, including Hopi churches that ABHMS helped to establish more than a century ago. The goal of the trip, the first to Arizona since 2020, was to reconnect with the ministries and identify opportunities for new partnerships.… Read More

ABHMS delegation confronts history: Exploring the legacy of Native American boarding schools at Carlisle

VALLEY FORGE, PA (04/30/2024)—On April 8, a delegation composed of Native American pastors and activists, the board of directors of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and select ABHMS staff visited the site of the former Carlisle Industrial Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The visit was part of a broader ABHMS inquiry into possible American Baptist involvement in the running of so-called “boarding schools” for Native American children.… Read More

A glance back: Reliving an electrifying 2024 Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference

VALLEY FORGE, PA (04/26/2024)—Inspired by Colossians 3:16, the theme of the Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) biennial national gathering was “Engaging Intergenerational Faith: Listen. Learn. Live.” Convened in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and also streamed live, the hybrid event offered multiple plenary addresses, prayers and rousing music to hundreds of enthralled conferencegoers over three days beginning April 9.… Read More

Church of the New Covenant creates endowment with ABHMS to support Latino/a ministries

VALLEY FORGE, PA (04/252/2024)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) extends its deep gratitude to the Church of the New Covenant (CNC), Phoenix, Ariz., for its generous $100,000 donation to create The Joel H. Ayala Endowed Latino/a Ministries Fund. This endowment will advance work in three areas critical to the CNC's historical mission: immigration of Latinos, including undocumented persons; Latino/a education, scholarships and stipends; and addressing the needs of Latinos/as with disabilities.… Read More

ABHMS’ national coordinator for intercultural ministries advocates for Puerto Rico at congressional briefing

Valley Forge, PA (04/03/2024)—At a briefing for congressional offices in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2024, the Rev. Abigail Medina-Betancourt, ABHMS' national coordinator for Intercultural Ministries Strategy, spoke to a gathering of congressional staff on the matter of food assistance equity for Puerto Rico. Presently, 85 percent of island residents are food insecure and 60 percent of children there live below the poverty line.… Read More

Campaign supported by ABHMS grant calls for one million Christian gun owners to disarm

VALLEY FORGE, PA (03/27/2024)—In 2023, Marisa Prince and Calvin Lee’s 3-year campaign LAY IT DOWN was awarded an American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHSM) grant that will help the pair encourage one million Christians to lay down their guns. That year the number of guns in America was estimated at 466 million, with 393 million owned by civilians. Race influences the likelihood of being shot and killed with a gun: Black Americans are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white Americans. American women are 16 times more likely than women in other developed nations to be shot and killed. Firearms are the leading cause of death among American children and teens.… Read More

Judson Press celebrates its 200th anniversary

VALLEY FORGE, PA (03/04/2024)—Judson Press has been making an impact on Christian publishing since 1824. In February of that year, its predecessor, the Baptist General Tract Society, was founded in Washington, D.C., as the first tract society in the United States.… Read More

Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames: God is doing something new, but we are looking to the past, and our young people are weary

Isaiah 40 frames my keynote address for the 2024 Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference. In this passage of scripture, the prophet challenges the mindset of God's people, who are now in exile and distraught by the realities of life. Their uncertainty about the future limits their capacity to hope and blocks their vision. The prophet tells the people that God's provision for the future is right in front of them—this is the core of my keynote. Our future is right before us in the younger generation's hopes, dreams and holy imaginations. Yet, we are distracted by leadership models and ideals of the past instead of cultivating and nurturing the people within our communities and congregations.… Read More

Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim: We must nourish intergenerational love in our churches

The theme of the 2024 Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference, “Engaging Intergenerational Faith,” is of vital importance for us today. I do not think the church is focusing enough on intergenerational faith. We know that young people are not engaging with the church, so it has dwindled to a “one-generation” institution. It is crucial that we engage in intergenerational dialogue that requires communication about faith journeys and listening, so I am delighted about this year’s theme.… Read More

‘Risk of Being Woke’: UCC selects Judson Press title for Lenten study series

VALLEY FORCE, PA (02/23/2024)—Judson Press titles are treasured widely! Themes from the Reverend Dr. Curtiss DeYoung’s book “The Risk of Being Woke: Sermonic Reflections for Activists” (Judson Press 2023) have provided a framework for United Church of Christ’s (UCC) Lenten book study series “Join the Movement: Woke Lent 2024.” The book was the focus of the inaugural session of the series on February 8.… Read More

ABHMS Immigration and Refugee Grant recipient Monte Vista Cross Cultural Church improves conditions for asylum seekers

VALLEY FORGE, PA (02/22/2024)—“When a crisis comes, it requires your attention, and it doesn’t let you know beforehand that it’s coming” said Ángel Campos, senior pastor at Monte Vista Cross Cultural Church in Phoenix, when asked in December 2023 to describe the church’s Good Samaritan Project. His church has been helping migrants released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody since 2018. The spike in border crossings and the advent of the Trump administration, widely perceived as hostile to immigration, created an immense logistical challenge for border states. … Read More

Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond: Connection, dialogue and mutual understanding are vital for intergenerational faith

Faith is not a private matter. God works within us and among us, and connecting with each other is essential for building a full and meaningful life. In a season in our culture where we have forgotten how to listen to each other, faith suffers. The theme of Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference 2024, emphasizes intergenerational listening and learning, which gets to the heart of the challenge faith communities face: how can they align their work so as foster connection, dialogue and mutual understanding? The future of the Christian faith depends on them—on us—doing so.… Read More

Rev. Dr. Michael S. Koppel: How we connect with God in and through our bodies is vitally important

As a seminary faculty member at a theological seminary, I help prepare the next generation of clergy and lay people for service in and beyond the church. I focus on the ministry of cultivating caring and meaningful conversation that contributes to healing and empowerment for individuals and communities. I look forward to Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference 2024 as we make connections, share resources, and ignite possibilities for living imaginatively as people of faith in the 21st century. As we together honor differences and celebrate commonalities, we stretch and strengthen one another for God’s service in the world. That’s good stuff!… Read More

Current Middle East conflict and humanitarian crisis fuels Justice Dialogue discussion

Valley Forge, PA (02/15/24)—The December 6, 2023, edition of the Justice Dialogues webinar series hosted by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) provided a platform to discuss the complex situation in Israel/Palestine. Kerry Boyd Anderson, a seasoned political and business risk consultant, production editor for Texas Security Review and columnist for Arab News, delivered a presentation aimed at providing historical context and insights necessary to understand the ongoing Middle East conflict that was triggered by Hamas’ October 6 attack on Israel.… Read More

Rev. Abner Cotto-Bonilla: Putting faith into practice in a communal sense requires an intergenerational presence

Why is it important to a community of faith to have intergenerational engagement? Why is it important to recognize, validate and affirm each component of each generation? Why is faith still one of the most important and key elements for doing ministry? I have tried to look for the answers to these questions in the present and past. It has also helped me to discern what kind of ministry we will have to do in the future.… Read More

ABHMS development grant supports innovative housing project for at-risk youth

Valley Forge, PA (01/31/2024)—Yakima, Wash., is in the lush Yakima Valley, a region well-known for apple orchards and wineries. The city is also infamous for its crime rate, which at 37 crimes per 1000 residents, is one of the highest in the United States. The city is also burdened with a lack of economic opportunities, poverty, high levels of drug abuse and gang activity. Many residents work long hours in the fields and orchards, leaving their children vulnerable to hunger and abuse. Neglected young people are drawn to drugs and gangs. The pandemic has only aggravated these challenges.… Read More

Love the Lord with All Your Mind: Addressing mental well-being in the Asian American community

VALLEY FORGE, PA (01/18/2024)—Suicide was the leading cause of death for Asian Americans ages 15 to 24 in 2019. In 2018, Asian Americans were 60 percent less likely to have received mental health treatment as compared to non-Hispanic whites. Let these numbers sink in.… Read More

ABHMS honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day

VALLEY FORGE, PA (01/14/2024) – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) A Baptist minister, activist, and political philosopher, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most important figure in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. King, a Black church leader and the son of pioneering civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance to fight against Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination in the US, thereby advancing civil rights for African Americans.… Read More

ABHMS supports churches committed to providing anti-racist education

VALLEY FORGE, PA (12/13/2023)—Research shows that not nearly enough parents talk about race and racism with their children, and when they do, they often employ a language of “race evasiveness” (also known as “color-blindness”) which obscures the existence of systemic racism. Many others say that they want to educate their children about racism, but they don’t know how.… Read More

Spotlighting the Center for Continuous Learning

VALLEY FORGE, PA (12/08/2023)—As cultural and other changes take place, the role of clergy shifts. With many shrinking congregations and reduced pastoral staff, ministry leaders are often expected to possess wide-ranging skills not necessarily taught in seminaries, such as financial, fundraising, IT, or management skills. The extra responsibilities put strain on pastors’ lives. This became particularly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many congregations were at a loss about what to do about clergy burnout, while pastors left the profession at an increased rate.… Read More

ABHMS’ Pierce grant supports a new church-based legal clinic for low-income immigrant farmworkers and their families in Cooperstown, N.Y.

VALLEY FORGE, PA (12/08/2023)—June 2021 was a month that saw record numbers of people from Central America, many of them asylum seekers, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Children who arrived without guardians stayed packed in Border Patrol cells for weeks, sleeping on gym mats and foil sheets. The horrific conditions in which people were crammed, awaiting decisions, caused nationwide outrage. After being processed, people were gradually relocated across the country, many of them to New York state.… Read More

October edition of Justice Dialogues focuses on mental health in communities

VALLEY FORGE, PA (12/02/2023)--The October 25 edition of the Justice Dialogues, the American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ social justice-oriented webinar series, was focused on mental health. Dr. George Williams of Pathways to Promise was scheduled to be the featured speaker, but circumstances did not allow him to join.  The virtual event, facilitated by Rev. Kerwin Webb from the Healing & Transforming Communities unit, addressed the issue increasingly recognized as a challenge in the faith community. The dialogue brought together ministry leaders with experience and recommendations for tackling mental health in faith communities.… Read More

Spotlighting ABHMS’ Native American Ministries

VALLEY FORGE, PA (11/22/2023)—During this Native American Heritage Month, American Baptist Home Mission Societies delves into its complex relationship with Native American Baptists. To learn more, we turned to our own ministry resource right here at ABHMS, Rev. Ben Sullivan, who is the ABHMS’ national coordinator for Native American ministries. Rev. Sullivan shared how he found his way into this role, as well as the hopes and challenges for Native American ministries today.… Read More

ABHMS’ Medina Betancourt is recognized for her home mission work in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, the concept of “mission” historically has been understood as international mission, according to the Rev. Abigail Medina Betancourt, national coordinator for Intercultural Engagement at American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). When she started working in the field of “home mission,” people often referred to her work as “social action.” She jokingly mentions that she owns a lot of polos bearing the ABHMS logo, and the words "home mission" have proven to be an effective conversation starter that allows her to explain the distinct differences between ABHMS and its sister American Baptist agency International Ministries.… Read More

Recognizing a pioneer in military chaplaincy on this Veterans’ Day

Retired United States Air Force Chaplain Major General Lorraine Potter’s career has been a series of illustrious milestones and firsts. She graduated from Keuka College, an all-women’s college in Keuka Park, New York, in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and religion. She proceeded to earn a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Seminary. Then, at a time when women in the United States were fighting for equal opportunities and pay, she broke through a stained-glass ceiling by becoming the first clergywoman ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in Rhode Island.… Read More

ABHMS awards second grant to Sympara in support of its community building in the spirit of Christ

In furtherance of its mission to support the empowerment of Christian leaders as well as the healing and transforming of communities, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) earlier this year awarded a grant to Sympara, Inc., the second since 2020. Sympara, a nonprofit, works to repurpose church properties and sacred spaces for the common good.… Read More

For these donors, devotion to parents inspired support of retired pastors and those in need

Every December, Wanda and Richard Bunce’s home transformed into the North Pole.… Read More

ABHMS Grant Supports Innovative Film Produced by “Evangelical Outsiders”

With a $10,000 grant from American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Standing In the Gap Inc. is creating content to build the global Christian Church. As a media development and production entity, the organization’s goal is to change trajectories, especially for young people of color and of faith, through the creation of unifying and edifying media;… Read More

Pastor moves from parish-based to wilderness-based ministry

God can be found in many places—not least of all the wilderness. And not all pastors serve in churches or even as chaplains. Just ask the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Malone. After participating in  American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Co-Creators Incubator, he left the pastorship at First Baptist Church, East Greenwich, R.I., to devote himself full time to taking individuals and groups on backpacking trips via a business he calls Wilderness Journeys.… Read More

ABHMS grant helps strengthen relationship among ABCMNY, Haitian churches

A recent grant from American Baptist Home Mission Societies is helping American Baptist Churches of Metro New York (ABCMNY) strengthen its relationship with the eight Haitian American Baptist churches in New York City.… Read More

One Great Hour of Sharing: Love rebuilds lives impacted by flooding

Almost a category 5 storm, Hurricane Ida made landfall Aug. 29, 2021, near Port Fourchon, La., bringing with it rainfall, 170 mph winds and storm surge. It triggered tornadoes in six states and severe flooding in the Northeast—the latter of which is being addressed, in part, by Bethlehem Baptist Church, Spring House, Pa., which is helping families in Pennsylvania’s Bucks and Montgomery counties.… Read More

ABHMS partnering agency participates in ‘train-the-trainer’ event about finances

Twenty-two employees and volunteers from Corporación Milagros del Amor (CorMA)—an American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Community Outreach Ministries partner in Caguas, Puerto Rico—recently participated in the “Your Money Your Goals” training created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and presented by Abigail Medina Betancourt, ABHMS’ Intercultural Ministries specialist. This “train-the-trainer” event was part of… Read More

One Great Hour of Sharing: Love restores the lives of immigrants

The members of Iglesia Bautista Betesda, Indianapolis, are living 1 Corinthians 13:13—“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”—showing love by helping immigrants who come to the United States, fleeing poverty and violence in their homelands.… Read More

ABHMS plays role in recent Latino Baptist youth gathering in New York

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) played a part when the National Hispanic Caucus held its first Latino youth conference—First National Latino Baptist Youth Gathering—Jan. 14 and 15 at Misión Bautista Hispana de Westchester, White Plains, N.Y.… Read More

Church to host Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Jan. 17

Founded in 2014, the American Baptist-affiliated Dare to Imagine church in East Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, has committed to helping community members “dare to imagine” a better world through the lens of ministry and social justice issues. Under the leadership of Pastor Kevin R. Johnson—known as “Pastor K.J.”—Dare to Imagine has initiated several community outreach projects… Read More

ABHMS leads first mission trip since pandemic’s start

With pre-purchased airline tickets that were set to expire at year’s end, more than a dozen volunteers traveled to Puerto Rico in November 2021 on an American Baptist Home Mission Societies-led (ABHMS)  mission trip. It was the first such trip since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020.… Read More

Eloheh Farm and Seeds reminds us the future is in our hands

Recognizing the need for better nutrition among Indigenous people, American Baptist pastor and Keetoowah Cherokee descendent the Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley and his wife, Edith, of Shoshone/Choctaw heritage, began a word-of-mouth seed company. Eloheh Farm and Seeds, Yamhill, Ore., is a charitable nonprofit, teaching farm and organization. Part of the Woodleys’ Eagle’s Wings Ministry--an American… Read More

ABHMS grant helps Indianapolis church aid Congolese congregation

By awarding two COVID-19 grants to Crooked Creek Baptist Church, Indianapolis, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has helped the small, graying church to support the Congolese refugee congregation that has given it new purpose and new life.… Read More

Murrow Indian Children’s Home ministers to Native American children for more than 100 years

Founded by an American Baptist, Murrow Indian Children’s Home, Muskogee, Okla., has been providing care to Native American children with support from American Baptist Home Mission Societies and its predecessor organizations for more than a century. The mission of the home is to provide a safe, nurturing environment, spiritual foundation and cultural experiences to Native… Read More

ABHMS-awarded grant helps nonprofit organization refine asset-mapping tool

Imagine that your church wants to tackle the problem of food insecurity in its region. One of the first steps would be to investigate and discover places in the area that could help, such as food pantries and school-based meal programs as well as farmers and restaurants with surplus to share. The church might also want to find organizations that could transport the food as well as nutritional experts who could help community members make healthy food choices.… Read More

Grant-funded program means academic success for students

“Just wanted you to know how well Jonathan is doing in math. He went from a 53 to an 83. Thank you for all the help with him.” That kind of text message is music to a tutor’s ears. In this case, it was sent by a parent to Cindy Falk of First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, N.Y.’s Education Lab, supported by a Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund grant awarded by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS).… Read More

‘Worthy of honor’: ABHMS celebrates retirement of five ministry leaders

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) honored five retiring staff members at a Sept. 17 luncheon in its Leadership and Mission Building in King of Prussia, Pa. The honorees—representing a collective 113 years of ministry—were Laura Alden, the Rev. Dr. Eddie Cruz, Susan Gottshall, the Rev. Dr. Marilyn P. Turner-Triplett and the Rev. Cassandra D. Carkuff Williams, Ed.D.… Read More

ABHMS grant results in ‘loads of love’ for men’s shelter

It’s been said that every ministry should lead to another ministry. And in the case of Elizabeth Baptist Church, Bancroft, W.Va., it did.… Read More

ABHMS’ Li attends International Religious Freedom Summit

The Rev. Florence Li, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) national coordinator of Asian Ministries, represented the Burma Refugee Commission (BRC), as a delegate to the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit July 13-15, 2021, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the three-day summit featured an array of… Read More

Children of ABHMS-partnering organization participate in National Day of Social Action

On July 21, children, staff and families of Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools across the nation participated in a National Day of Social Action to raise awareness about social justice issues. Among them was the CDF Freedom School of Rochester, N.Y.’s Cameron Community Ministries, a partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Rizpah’s Children… Read More

Organization helps babies stay healthy by supplying clean diapers

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” — Matthew 19:14 One mother keeps her baby in a wet diaper. Another mother scrapes solid waste from her toddler’s diaper and lines the diaper with paper towel… Read More

Church hosts public 4K, kindergarten classes for 2020-2021 school year

The poem “To a Child” by Christopher Morley (see below) is cited by the Rev. Karen Gygax Rodriguez when she thinks about watching the 4K (pre-K for children aged 4 years) and kindergarten children from Green Lake (Wis.) Public School using the basement of her church, The Federated Church of Green Lake, for their classes.… Read More

ABHMS grant helps children attend child care program

Thanks to a $3,000 grant from American Baptist Home Mission Societies, three children were able to attend First Baptist Child Care Center at First Baptist Church, Alliance, Ohio. “We were able to give $1,000 to three families in our program who all struggle in some way,” writes Samantha Michna, director of the center, which provides… Read More

Church’s Community Outreach Program requires walking by faith

In 2020 and 2021, the Community Outreach Program of First Baptist Church, Painted Post, N.Y., proved to be an exercise in walking by faith. American Baptist Home Mission Societies provided $5,000 in grants to support the project, which offers free take-out meals to the community and provides financial assistance to those in need. … Read More

Program participants learn about practical money matters for home and church

During the recent two-session virtual financial literacy program “Starting the Money Conversation,” approximately 200 individuals were given tools to help them approach people in their churches and communities about practical money matters, such as savings, debt and credit. The program was co-sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… Read More

ABHMS coordinated churches that rebuilt home declared uninhabitable by FEMA

As part of ABHMS’ Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico effort in response to Hurricane Maria, Abigail Medina Betancourt, ABHMS Intercultural Ministries Specialist, planned for volunteers to put a new roof on the home of Santos and Denisse Sepulveda in Loiza. When she visited the home to evaluate the work needed, however, she realized the home needed far more than a roof.… Read More

ABHMS presents ‘Orientation to American Baptist Life’

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) recently offered its part in the annual denomination-wide “Orientation to American Baptist Life,” a series of presentations meant to introduce to the denomination seminarians and pastors serving American Baptist Churches for the first time. To view previous sessions or attend the next three sessions offered by ABHMS partners, go… Read More

ABHMS’ Center for Continuous Learning launches website

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will formally launch its new Center for Continuous Learning (CCL) in September with a ribbon cutting and a full lineup of educational offerings. Meanwhile, for the summer and what is hoped to be the waning days of the pandemic, CCL’s website is launching in June. CCL is a hub… Read More

ABHMS stands with Burma Diaspora population in the United States

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) stands in solidarity with those who are protesting the military coup in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and those who are leaders and members of Burma Diaspora churches in the United States. On April 10, ABHMS’ Rev. Florence Li, national coordinator, ABHMS Asian Ministries, and the Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte,… Read More

Giving and receiving: One pastor’s ministerial journey

It comes as no surprise that people who help and encourage other people were themselves the recipients of help and encouragement at some point in their own lives. Take, for example, the Rev. Dr. Yaliang Zhao, lead pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC), Woburn, Mass., and her relationship to the Rev. Florence Li, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) national coordinator of Asian Ministries.… Read More

ABHMS awards grant to organization that helps asylum seekers

Jonathan Rayo (left) with Kevin Zeledon, both of whom won their asylum cases in 2020.… Read More

American Baptist volunteer group remains connected to those they served in Puerto Rico

When it comes to mission trips, both those who give and those who receive can find that they are blessed by remaining in touch long after the work has been done. Take, for example, the 23 volunteers who decided to keep in touch with the individuals and families they served in Puerto Rico in February… Read More

ABHMS makes the holiday season brighter for those imprisoned

American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Public Witness & Advocacy ministry is helping to make the holiday season brighter for those in prison by making a donation toward Christmas dinners held by Bridges Puentes Prison Ministry, Garner, N.C. A bilingual organization founded in 2014, Bridges Puentes seeks to help men and women overcome barriers to… Read More

Despite pandemic, New York church expands summer lunch program

“God showed up in every aspect of the program,” Karen Jones reported about First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa’s pandemic adaptation of its summer lunch ministry that reached out to children who live with food insecurity. In the face of the global health crisis, the New York congregation’s ministry attracted more volunteers, expanded into two… Read More

ABWM of West Virginia aids Christian Center via White Cross

Clothing, school supplies, postage stamps, camping supplies, hygiene kits, office supplies, sheets, pillows and towels. These items are just a few of those that American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) of West Virginia have been supplying over the years to Weirton (W.Va.) Christian Center … Read More

Student from ABHMS partnering agency garners national media attention

A student from an American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Rizpah’s Children partnering agency has garnered national media attention for his scholastic achievement. Taran Richardson, 18, whose Boy Scouts of America troop meets at the Leadership and Legacy Academy at Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC), Indianapolis, has been featured on the “NBC [TV] Nightly News”… Read More

Pastors, lay leaders participate in ABHMS’ Asian Ministries-sponsored online training

Approximately 80 pastors and lay leaders attended the American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Asian Ministries-sponsored online leaders training and development event via Zoom on the ministrElife platform on July 31 and Aug. 1. “With an emphasis on spiritual formation, intergenerational ministries and leadership development during a time of COVID-19, the event was transformative for… Read More

Dear Coronavirus… Student essays from Zion Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia

In March 2020 it was announced in Petersburg that schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.   That equated to 6 months of children being thrust into a world they have never been in before.   The places they went, the things they used to do, the friends they once had, and… Read More

JOYA Scholars helps underserved youth to succeed

Everyone loves a story about an underdog-turned-successful. And few are as heart warming as those of underserved youth who turn their lives around, ultimately to accomplish great things. A partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Rizpah’s Children ministry, JOYA Scholars, Fullerton, Calif., has been at the center of many of these achievement stories, including one about Carmen Aguilar.… Read More

Executive director of ABHMS partnering organization receives recognition

Loren Friend Farmer was featured in a news segment on WOWK TV Channel 13, Charleston, W.Va., as a nominee in the station’s “Remarkable Women” contest. Farmer is executive director of the Bob Burdette Center, a partner of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Rizpah's Children ministry. “A number of very accomplished women were included as finalists,… Read More

Participants learn about acceptance during final afternoon of ABHMS’ ‘You Are Not Alone’ virtual conference

On the final afternoon of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) three-afternoon virtual conference “You Are Not Alone: A Space for Grace Retreat,” homilist the Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson explored Psalm 121, and presenter the Rev. Dr. Naomi Kohatsu Paget discussed the transforming power of acceptance. Simpson is lead pastor of Concord Baptist Church… Read More

ABHMS presents second afternoon of ‘You Are Not Alone’ virtual conference

Ministers and lay leaders recently participated in the second afternoon of the three-afternoon virtual “You Are Not Alone: A Space for Grace Retreat,” presented by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) on its social networking platform, ministrElife. The purpose of the retreat was to provide renewal to those who are ministering to others yet need… Read More

Mission bytes

Twenty-eight American Baptists from Puerto Rico and across the United States—including Indiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin and Illinois—participated recently in the “Desafíos de una pastoral para el inmigrante/Challenges of Pastoral Care for the Immigrant” meeting via Zoom.… Read More

Judson Press’ Secret Place customers receive prayer via telephone

When customers of The Secret Place—Judson Press’ 81-year-old daily devotional publication—call the publishing organization’s Customer Service department, they receive more than a friendly voice confirming their order. They receive prayer from Loretta Beach, Judson Press customer engagement associate and a minister at Siloam Baptist Church, Norristown, Pa. In addition, Beach asks for permission to share… Read More

More than 600 participate in ABHMS’ first virtual conference

More than 600 clergy, lay leaders, chaplains and spiritual caregivers recently participated in the first “You Are Not Alone: A Space for Grace Retreat,” a three-afternoon online retreat presented by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) on its social networking platform, ministrElife. The purpose of the retreat was to provide respite to those who are… Read More

ABHMS holds first installment of Native American Leadership Training Series

Despite the COVID-19 crisis that was looming in early March, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) held “Developing a Strategic Planning Process for Your Church”—the first installment of its Native American Leadership Training Series—for 11 individuals at Bethany Baptist, a Native American church in Clarkdale, Ariz. The training was to be held in conjunction with… Read More

ABHMS staff member invited to speak to CFPB director

By Jennifer Sanborn Program Director, In Support of Excellence American Baptist Home Mission Societies You have five minutes to describe to a senior government official the economic realities and needed interventions for people in the midst of COVID-19. What do you say? When invited to be one of six nonprofit leaders to speak with the… Read More

Renewed funding means ABHMS’ ISOE program enjoys new emphases

In 2019, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) In Support of Excellence (ISOE) program received a three-year renewal from its funding source, the Lilly Endowment. It’s, therefore, fitting that the financial-literacy program for clergy and lay leaders—which debuted in 2016—is boasting new emphases. In the past, the program tended to focus on clergy compensation—how clergy… Read More

The Camp Fire one year later: Church continues ministry to those affected

A bit more than a year after the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California, First Baptist Church (FBC), Chico, continues to help those affected. At the time of the disaster, the church received $15,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing funds from American Baptist Home Mission Societies… Read More

ABHMS awards close to $2 million in mission dollars in 2019

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) distributed $1,932,000 to 328 partners throughout the United States and Puerto Rico in 2019 to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities. Grants were awarded to ministries that reflect the historic mission of ABHMS since its beginning in 1832: educational scholarships;… Read More

ABHMS helps church provide Christmas party to children in upstate NY

At left: last year's Christmas party at the Neighborhood Transformation Center, Elmira, N.Y.… Read More

Native American youth enjoy 60-year-old camping tradition in Oklahoma

Keeping with a 60-year-old tradition, the Oklahoma Indian American Baptist Association (OIABA) held its annual summer youth camp—known as the Youth Bible Assembly (YBA)—in July. Comprised of 13 churches, OIABA is part of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Native American Ministries. The camp provides Oklahoma Native youth aged 12 to 18 the opportunity to… Read More

ABHMS continues five-decade commitment to socially responsible investing

A founding member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) supported its annual event “Taking a Stand: Corporate Action to Protect Human Rights Defenders” last month. Dave Moore Jr., director of investments, represented ABHMS at the New York City event at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church West Side. ABHMS… Read More

Nebraska flood survivors give thanks for OGHS grants

In February 2019, my husband and I sold our farm equipment and ended our farming operation. Farming is something that both sides of our family had done for generations. This act alone would be enough to break some people. Then came the bomb cyclone—an extratropical cyclone responsible for the blizzard over the Midwestern United States on March 13.… Read More

Follow ABHMS executive director emeritus, colleague on historic pilgrimage this Saturday

American Baptist Home Mission Societies Executive Director Emeritus Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III will be joined by his New Baptist Covenant (NBC) co-executive director, Hannah McMahan King, on a pilgrimage for the 100th anniversary of the Elaine (Ark.) Race Massacre. Check NBC’s Facebook page to watch live video updates throughout Saturday, Sept. 28. Dehumanized by… Read More

Positivity, reading emphasized at Rizpah’s Children partner Freedom School

“Tell me: Who’s in the house tonight?” shouted Shauna Ford, to which 30 children and youth aged 6-13 answered, “Freedom School!”, while forming a circle and moving to the beat that Isaac Boswell banged out on the bottom of an empty orange plastic 5-gallon Home Depot bucket.… Read More

Peace in our land: Toward a world without violence

American Baptist Home Mission Societies' associate executive director of Communications, Susan L. Gottshall, is attending and providing regular updates from the 2019 Global Baptist Peace Conference in Cali, Colombia, July 15-20, where attendees represent approximately 30 countries and six continents.… Read More

Collaborating to provide mattresses to clients of ABHMS partnering organization

The importance of sleep is indisputable—especially as it relates to the developing minds and bodies of children and teens. That’s the reason that Mahoning Valley Baptist Association (MVBA), Youngstown, Ohio, partnered with the Campbell, Ohio-headquartered Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries to provide mattresses to families in the low-income Youngstown metropolitan area. Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries is… Read More

ABHMS encourages attendance at ‘Ending Mass Incarceration’ event

Committed to public witness and advocacy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) encourages American Baptists to attend “Ending Mass Incarceration: Let My People Go,” a national conference to be held June 17-19 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta. The three-day event at this historic American Baptist church—spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—will… Read More

ABHMS provides grant to encourage Asian American women in ministry

Among the ways that American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is doing its part to encourage and undergird Asian American women in ministry is via the Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC).… Read More

‘Beautiful Joe’: teaching compassion for more than a century

Editor’s Note: Animal lovers have embraced the book “Beautiful Joe” for more than a century. The book was published by the American Baptist Publication Society, a predecessor of Judson Press, the publishing ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). A park that honors the book’s namesake and author recently received an award that may… Read More

California church exercises Creation Care by ‘going solar’

Just in time for Earth Day 2019, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, Calif., has taken its pursuit of Creation Care to a new level. Sixty-eight solar panels were recently installed on the sanctuary’s South-facing roof.… Read More

Pastor delivers food on horseback after Hurricane Maria

In 2017, when Hurricane Maria rendered much of Puerto Rico’s roads impassable, stranding residents without supplies, the Rev. Juan Carlos Navarro Centeno, pastor of Segunda Iglesia Bautista de Cidra, was unable to minister in the community via his usual mode of transportation—a wheelchair. But that wasn’t about to stop him.… Read More

ABHMS supports church’s civil rights pilgrimage

At left: The church group with Sarah Collins Rudolph (in dark eyewear)--a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963--and her husband, George Rudolph.… Read More

We wish you a blessed Christmas

In this holiest of seasons, may you and your family find the peace and joy of God’s love promised by that baby in the Bethlehem manger 2,000 years ago. We pray that love fills your lives to the brim and overflows into hope for the new year. Christmas Blessings! — The staff of American Baptist… Read More

D.C. church finds financial footing via ABHMS’ ISOE program

Many churches struggle financially for a variety of reasons. However, CenterPoint Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., illustrates the ways in which churches can find financial footing by implementing strategies from American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “In Support of Excellence” (ISOE) program. Debuting in 2016, ISOE is a financial-empowerment program aimed at pastors and lay leaders.… Read More

ABHMS hosts chaplaincy, pastoral counseling event in Chicago

Approximately 90 seminarians, clergy and spiritual leaders attended American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) one-day Chaplaincy & Specialized Ministry Summit in early October at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago. Those gathered sought information about professional chaplaincy, pastoral counseling and ministry in health care, correctional, educational and other specialized, non-church settings. “We are living in critical times.… Read More

ABHMS personnel attend ICCR panel discussion

In keeping with American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) commitment to socially responsible investing and its role as a founding member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), ABHMS personnel attended ICCR’s “When No One is Watching: Corporate Citizenship in an Age of Deregulation” panel discussion recently at The Riverside Church, New York City.… Read More

Hurricane Harvey one year later: ABHMS addresses spiritual, psychological needs in Texas

After natural disaster strikes, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) consistently responds, partnering with volunteers from across the mainland United States and Puerto Rico to repair and rebuild homes, churches and other facilities. But survivors’ spiritual, emotional and psychological needs are just as important.… Read More

ABHMS awards grant to benefit children

Children in the small town of Reading Center, N.Y., now enjoy safe, new playground equipment, thanks to American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) awarding a grant from the Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund to Reading Community Church. The church’s old playground equipment—aged at least 60 years—was regularly used during a well-attended yearly summer vacation Bible… Read More

Women engage in intercultural learning during recent ABHMS conference

During American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Intercultural Ethnic Women Conference in July, 46 female clergy, lay leaders and seminarians from 17 ethnicities—including 13 leaders from the Kachin Baptist Convention in Myanmar—participated in learning opportunities, engaged in dialogue and strengthened relationships. “It was a wonderful experience just meeting women of different cultures and knowing better… Read More

Three California Bay Area churches become one in mission to Puerto Rico

When volunteers from various churches combine efforts as part of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” initiative, they not only aid residents of the hurricane-ravaged island but also benefit themselves as they become united in faith. That’s just what happened when 24 members of three churches in California’s Bay Area—New… Read More

Returning participant encourages attendance at upcoming Space for Grace: ‘It’s one of those lasting, impactful events that will shape you’

Anyone who has seen American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) website or Space for Grace promotional materials has likely glimpsed a photograph of a woman immersed in worship, singing praises to the Lord with her eyes closed and head tossed back. That woman is the Rev. Nikita McCalister, associate executive minister for Administration, American Baptist… Read More

ABHMS staff member exemplifies resiliency of Puerto Rico’s people

Taking lives, destroying property, causing power outages, and limiting the supply of such necessities as fuel, medicine, food and safe water, Hurricane Maria wrought havoc on Puerto Rico, resulting in a humanitarian crisis. In fact, much of the island remains without electricity, close to a year after the storm. However, one of American Baptist Home… Read More

Reflections on a mission trip to Oklahoma

At left: Members of Brewster (Mass.) Baptist Church participated in ABHMS’ “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing…Muskogee” volunteer effort. … Read More

Sacred resistance: American Baptist ministers advocate for immigration justice

At left: Noé and Victoria Carias with Ada and Melvin Valiente at ABHMS' March “Defending the Undocumented” workshop in Glendale, Calif.… Read More

ABHMS’ Rizpah’s Children helps additional JOYA Scholars reach success

Partnership can make all the difference. Just ask Laura Macias, executive director of JOYA Scholars, a nonprofit organization that will soon expand its reach to inspire the success of additional students in Fullerton, Calif., thanks to its connection to Rizpah’s Children, a ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). “Last year, we had 15… Read More

American Baptist volunteers restore churches in Puerto Rico

As part of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” multi-year initiative, volunteers rolled up their sleeves in April for hands-on work at Mision Bautista de Arroyo and Iglesia Bautista Berea, Yabucoa. “People helped me when I needed it,” says a volunteer. “Now it’s my turn to help others.” Volunteers from… Read More

American Baptists join D.C. rally to end racism

American Baptists were undeterred by scattered showers and 35-mph winds when they joined people of various faith traditions on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 4 for a rally to end racism and to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A group traveled by bus to the rally from American Baptist Churches USA’s (ABCUSA’s) Mission Center in Valley Forge, Pa., while other American Baptists traveled from various ABCUSA regions.… Read More

ABHMS interim director of Chaplaincy serves as RISE mentor

A relationship with a chaplaincy mentee led the Rev. Dr. Patricia Murphy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) interim director of Chaplaincy and Specialized Ministries, to official mentorship of 26 Pennsylvania women via the RISE (Renew, Inspire, Support and Empower) Together Mentorship Network, a joint initiative of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and… Read More

Volunteers rebuild homes in Houston, Beaumont during ABHMS’ ‘Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing…Texas’ effort

Volunteers from Ottowa (Kan.) University; First Baptist Church (FBC), Manhattan; FBC, Salina, Kan.; and St. Paul’s Baptist Church, West Chester, Pa., rebuilt homes and engaged with homeowners in Houston and Beaumont during American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing…Texas” effort March 18-25. They helped to address the devastation wrought when Hurricane Harvey made… Read More

ABHMS honors Women’s History Month

To mark Women’s History Month 2018, American Baptist Home Mission Societies is proud to feature one prominent woman weekly throughout March. Week 4: The Rev. Marie Ho-Lam  The Rev. Marie Ho-Lam was pastor of Chinese Christian Church of Queens, N.Y., for more than two decades before retiring in 2006. Before that, she served at Chinese… Read More

ABHMS honors Black History Month

To mark Black History Month 2018, American Baptist Home Mission Societies is proud to feature one prominent African American per week throughout February.   Week 4: Samuel DeWitt Proctor Samuel DeWitt Proctor (1921-1997) was a celebrated preacher, teacher and mentor. In 1985, Ebony magazine named him one of the top 15 black preachers in America.… Read More

Church’s ABHMS-inspired feeding ministry finds success in partnership

The Bible includes many references to collaboration, not the least of which is found in Ecclesiastes: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil” (4:9, NRSV). And nothing could be more true at First Baptist Church (FBC), Brazil, Ind., where the Rev. Mark Thompson eagerly explains that the church’s… Read More

Asian Women’s Conference attendees donate to Puerto Rico

When convening at the beginning of October, each 2017 Asian Women’s Conference attendee anticipated that she would be supported in her own ministry and nurtured in her own spiritual growth. By the end of the three-day event, the group emerged as a blessing to others—namely, survivors of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. When they learned of American… Read More

Light in the midst of darkness: A Christmas letter from Puerto Rico

  Para una versión en español de esta carta, haga clic aquí. From Josué Gómez-Menéndez Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in every way it could. The biggest natural disaster to tear over our tropical island in many decades, the storm took so much from us. But it also showed us that it’s good to be… Read More

Luz en medio de la oscuridad: Una carta navideña desde Puerto Rico

De parte del Dr. Josué Gómez-Menéndez El huracán María golpeó a Puerto Rico en todas las formas posibles. El desastre natural más grande destruyó nuestra isla tropical después de muchas décadas. La tormenta nos quitó mucho. Pero también nos mostró que es bueno ser parte de una familia, una gran familia que se une a… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: Is God trying to get our attention?

Irma may have spared First Baptist Institutional Church, but its members didn’t fare as well. The hurricane’s winds downed huge trees across St. Petersburg, some of them ending up in members’ front yards. For one 70-something member living on a fixed income, the huge pieces of dead wood in her front yard are a constant reminder of the cleanup issue now being played out between FEMA and insurance companies.… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: On the road to healing Puerto Rico’s people

Maria made landfall as a Category 4 storm with its sustained winds of 155 m.p.h. and torrential rain. The storm attacked the island’s already weakened infrastructure, and Maria’s power was more than the systems could bear. Now those systems that support day-to-day life have been destroyed, and the people of this tropical island are more vulnerable than ever. American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Disaster Response Ministries has been working around the clock to provide relief.… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: In the wake of Maria’s sound and fury

By the time I left Puerto Rico, after just one day, I had tears in my eyes. What’s happening there is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, multi-layered and complex, which calls out with great urgency for help from American Baptist churches, the United States and the rest of the world.… Read More

ABHMS personnel attend annual ICCR event

At ICCR’s annual event on Sept. 28 were the Rev. Dr. Clifford Johnson, president of ABHMS’ board of directors; the Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte, ABHMS senior associate, Strategic Initiatives and Relationships; ICCR 2017 Legacy Award recipient Sister Patricia Daly, OP, corporate responsibility representative for the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, N.J.; Alma Hazboun, ABHMS controller; and Dave… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: Many hands make lighter work

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church an urban congregation of 16,000 members from across Houston and greater suburbs ended up in disaster-response ministry within days of Harvey’s assault on the area. Church staff launched an online platform that matched members who needed help in Harvey’s aftermath with those who could provide it. The church also established a distribution center to provide water, food, clothing, toys, diapers and other items to displaced families and individuals.… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: Pieces of debris, pieces of lives

At first glance, Houston appeared much like most other U.S. cities today. The expressways hummed with traffic; stores were filled with busy shoppers; restaurants boasted their neon lights, tempting hungry Houstonians to succumb to barbecue, gumbo and other Cajun fare. A very different city, however, revealed itself as the day wore on.… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: On the road with ABHMS disaster response

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) takes American Baptists on the road with ABHMS Disaster-response Ministries as it assesses the damage and connects with survivors and others on the ground in hurricane-ravaged areas from Louisiana and Texas to Florida and Puerto Rico. Come along with ABHMS as it takes the first step necessary in helping… Read More

6,100 miles, seven days: A house laid bare

At 79, Harold Monroe is one of 12 American Baptist Men USA (ABMen) volunteers working this week to restore homes in Lake Charles, La., damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Volunteers from American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region are working on a “mud out” project: cutting out sheet rock throughout the house in a band measuring 25 inches from the floor.… Read More

ABHMS staff member extends ministry beyond job

For staff members at American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), ministry often transcends official duties. Take, for example, Sue Peterman, administrative assistant in the organization’s Valley Forge, Pa.-based Communications department. Her own personal initiative resulted in a connection with Samantha Sabers, who, at the time, was an inmate at South Dakota’s Women’s Prison, Pierre. … Read More

Judson Press book elucidates Baptist response to Holocaust

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/1/17)—How did Baptists respond to the rise of the Nazis in Germany and their persecution of the Jewish people throughout Europe? Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, delves into this history and its implications for Christians today in his thoroughly researched and eminently accessible new book,… Read More

ABHMS represented at D.C. ‘Ministers March for Justice’

Four American Baptist Home Mission Societies staff members joined other clergy and leaders of various faith traditions in the “One Thousand Ministers March for Justice” on Monday in the nation’s capital.… Read More

Free … at last?

By Susan Gottshall What I remember most after my visit to Topeka Correctional Facility (TCF) is Deborah.* Her face. Her story. That scar on her chin, is it a memento from her childhood scrapbook of abuse? What about the earlobe scars? Are they reminders of her seven-year relationship with an abusive drug dealer? Deborah’s face,… Read More

ABHMS volunteers return to New Orleans for 12th consecutive year

At left: New Orleans homeowner N’Daria Carter (center) with volunteers from Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, Calif., during "Home Mission: 'Til the Work is Done."… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Brenda Halliburton-Williams

The Rev. Dr. Halliburton-Williams, director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Intercultural Ministries, shares her excitement for the ministry. Q.: What is Intercultural Ministries? A.: We’re looking at Intercultural Ministries in a new way—specifically, how to reach a diverse, global and changing society. One of the challenges is that the new, global mission field is… Read More

In Oklahoma’s sweltering summer, ABHMS volunteers get bitten by ‘mission bug’

Debby Menzel drove for two days from Ohio to get to Muskogee, Okla., for American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ first volunteer work week at Murrow Indian Children’s Home and Bacone College.… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Marilyn Turner-Triplett

The Rev. Dr. Marilyn P. Turner-Triplett, director of Rizpah’s Children at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, explains the ministry. Q.: What is Rizpah’s Children? A.: Rizpah’s Children takes its name from a sermon that I preached about 10 years ago. It comes from the Old Testament book of Second Samuel, chapter 21, and it tells… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Sarah Strosahl-Kagi

Sarah Strosahl-Kagi, director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Emerging Leaders and Scholarship program, explains the ministry’s significance. Q.: What is the Emerging Leaders and Scholarship program? A.: The Emerging Leaders and Scholarship program at ABHMS provides scholarships for American Baptist students and ministers to attend continuing education events and for educational purposes. And… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Kristy Moeller

The Rev. Kristina Moeller, director of Chaplaincy and Specialized Ministries at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, discusses the ministry’s significance. Q.: What services does Chaplaincy and Specialized Ministries provide? A.: We endorse those who are seeking endorsement, especially in support of board certification with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. We connect our chaplains all… Read More

One Great Hour of Sharing helps feeding ministry meet growing needs

Since the Emergency Food Pantry at Cameron Community Ministries, Rochester, N.Y., was founded in 2012, the number of families it served grew from 251 that year to 1,237 in 2013, 1,853 in 2014, and more than 2,000 in 2015. Cameron is an American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Neighborhood Action Program (NAP) Christian center. “Last… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Jamaal Nelson

The Rev. Jamaal Nelson, director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ “In Support of Excellence” shares his excitement about the initiative. Q.: What is In Support of Excellence? A.: In Support of Excellence is a Lilly grant-supported initiative designed to equip pastors and lay leaders in three ways: to support them with financial-literacy best practices;… Read More

National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Lisa Harris-Lee

The Rev. Lisa Harris-Lee, American Baptist Home Mission Societies' (ABHMS) director of Mission Engagement and National Network Initiative, discusses ABHMS' aligned action network strategy. Q.: What is ABHMS' new strategy for doing mission? A.: ABHMS has been exploring new ways of connecting with our historic mission partners as well as emerging ones. We’ve committed to… Read More

ABHMS seeks volunteers for two rebuilding efforts in Rainelle, W.Va.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is seeking volunteers to help rebuild flood-ravaged Rainelle, W.Va., during two efforts planned for June 10-17 and 17-24. Last year, the "Mountain State" experienced record-breaking flooding. For congregants of First Baptist Church (FBC), Rainelle, June 23, 2016, was expected to be just another day of vacation Bible school. To… Read More

Alaska church continues renovations

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Fairbanks, Alaska, is renovating a building to be its permanent home, with support from Dr. Alonzo Patterson Jr., American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) coordinator of Alaska Ministries, and the congregation that he pastors.… Read More

A people of great conviction and faith

Responding to the Civil War’s devastation, The American Baptist Home Mission Society—understanding that true emancipation for recently freed people meant education—founded and supported industrial institutes, academies, colleges and seminaries. In 1862, the same year that Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the Home Mission Society’s board decided “to take immediate steps to supply with Christian… Read More

American Baptists share reasons for marching in D.C.

  Editor's note: The American Baptists who attended this march did not do so as representatives of American Baptist Churches USA. American Baptists were among the estimated half million individuals of all ages, genders, races and ethnicities who participated Jan. 21 in the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Many marchers carried handcrafted signs to… Read More

ABHMS commits to rebuilding flood-ravaged Baton Rouge

When American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) helps communities rebuild after a natural disaster, the organization truly commits. Take, for example, the Baton Rouge area. It was August when unprecedented rainfall caused flooding that affected more than 55,000 homes in Louisiana. Since then, ABHMS-coordinated volunteer teams from Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., and American Baptist Men USA (ABMen USA) of Massachusetts have taken mission trips to the area. Now it’s January, and ABMen USA of West Virginia, Illinois and Massachusetts are serving in Baton Rouge.… Read More

No time for silence

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these words in his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech given at The Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — a year to the day before his assassination. Many criticized King for speaking out against the Vietnam War, saying doing so would detract from and harm his work for civil rights. They said it wasn’t his fight. They said the war was too politically controversial and complex. Historians point to this speech as the beginning of the end, a sure road to his assassination.… Read More

ABHMS ministers to children in Rainelle, W.Va.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is restoring the wonders of childhood this Christmas via the congregation of First Baptist Church (FBC), Rainelle, W.Va. The home mission staff has donated more than 100 new toys to be distributed to the church’s children, whose toys were lost in a historic and deadly flood that impacted regions… Read More

Murrow Indian Children’s Home receives contribution from AT&T

Murrow Indian Children’s Home, Muskogee, Okla., has received a $50,000 donation from AT&T to create a program for those who transition from the home to independent living. Founded by an American Baptist, the home has been providing care to Native American children with support from American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and its predecessor organizations… Read More

Excerpt from Judson Press book featured in exhibit at newly opened museum

The staff at American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) publishing ministry—Judson Press—is both surprised and delighted to learn that a sentence from one of its published reference works features prominently in an exhibition at the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. And, that’s not all. The author himself—the Rev.… Read More

Program lets young adults ‘build’ their futures

At left: A crowd gathers at YouthBuild's latest home.… Read More

Cultivating leaders as instruments of God’s peace

At left: 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.… Read More

China Christian Council interacts with ABHMS during Mission Center visit

Representatives of the China Christian Council recently visited American Baptist Churches USA’s Mission Center, Valley Forge, Pa., to discuss issues facing churches in both China and the United States. The delegation met with personnel from American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), International Ministries and the Office of the General Secretary. “With the fast growing Christian… Read More

AFC-supported program trains missionally minded leaders

Can a declining congregation, with limited finances and no pastoral leadership become once again engaged in community mission? American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin (ABC of WI) believes it can and, thus, has begun to use “Mission From the Gospels,” a missional leadership training program initially developed in Wisconsin in collaboration with American Baptist Home Mission… Read More

Children’s home powwow proves successful

By all accounts, the fifth annual fundraising powwow to benefit American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)-supported Murrow Indian Children’s Home, Muskogee, Okla., was a huge success. The event was held on a recent Saturday on the grounds of neighboring Bacone College, Muskogee. Approximately 275 attendees of all ages enjoyed a silent auction, live auction, raffle… Read More

AFC-supported leadership training makes a difference

Supported by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) through the America for Christ (AFC) Offering, Nehemiah Leadership Network (NLN) is a unique and highly effective ministry that provides leadership development and training for pastors. Now in its 15th year, NLN provides a powerful growth experience to the best and most promising pastors in American Baptist… Read More

ABHMS-supported children’s home stresses education, faith

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. — Proverbs 22:6 Twelve-year-old twins Ezekiel and Emmanuel* epitomize what can happen when formerly homeless, abused or neglected children begin to reside in a nurturing, loving, Christian environment. At age 8, the brothers—both unable to read—came to live at American Baptist Home… Read More

The mass incarceration of people with disabilities in America’s jails, prisons

By Rebecca Vallas America’s four-decade-long experiment with mass incarceration and over-criminalization is widely recognized as a failure. We lock up a greater share of our citizens than any other developed nation, destroying lives and separating families at an annual cost of more than $80 billion. In addition, we do little to prepare individuals behind bars… Read More

Pyschologist: Church can act as healing agent in midst of crisis

By Dr. Sally Quiñones-Rodríguez When I read and hear about recent tragedies—such as the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the assassination of Philando Castile and police killings in Dallas—my memory reverts to other violent acts, such as those at Columbine High School (1999) and Virginia Tech (2007). Each of these acts was orchestrated by… Read More

What would it take to improve police interactions with people with disabilities?

By Curtis Ramsey-Lucas On July 18, the White House convened a forum on disability and criminal justice reform. Ronald Hampton, an advisory board member for the National Association for Police Accountability, was a panelist at the event. A retired police officer with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department with more than 20 years on… Read More

For the healing of a nation: trauma, grief, keys to wholeness

By The Rev. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams In the early 1990s, extending my role as a volunteer chaplain with the Brighton fire and police departments, Rochester, N.Y., I was asked to train in critical incident stress management (CISM), a relatively new initiative for firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services responders. CISM is an intervention… Read More

On listening to one another

By The Rev. G. Travis Norvell The recent killings of police officers, the killings of unarmed black males by police, the killings of those in an Orlando nightclub and the terrorist attacks both at home and abroad have nearly drained the last vestige of hope from all of us. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that churches… Read More

Equality in diversity

By The Rev. Douglas Avilesbernal Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. — 1 Corinthians 12:27, (niv) My wife and I recently had our first child. Because we both work, we had to find childcare for him at least twice a week. Conveniently, the church that… Read More

Preachers: Say something

By The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle The first challenge for being witnesses for Jesus is to see something; the second is the willingness to say something about what we have seen. These two aspects of the work of a witness go hand in hand. Preachers cannot speak prophetically about what is happening in the… Read More

Weeping blood (Genesis 4:1-10)

By the Rev. Wendell Griffen Early on the morning of June 12, 2016, one man re-enacted the Genesis account of Cain and Abel on a massive scale. Armed with a semiautomatic pistol and assault rifle, Omar Mateen shot his way into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. He then massacred 49 persons and wounded scores… Read More

Deafening silence: The ongoing genocide of Native Americans

By The Rev. Dr. Cassandra Williams On Dec., 21, 2013, 18-year-old college student Ma-hi-vist (Red Bird) Touching Cloud Goodblanket was home on winter break when he experienced a mental health episode. Goodblanket’s parents called 911. After police arrived, they refused to allow the parents into their own home. When police emerged from the home, they… Read More

Hope, healing during the ‘worst of times’

By The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle  “It was the worst of times.” This partial reference from the novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens frames my thoughts and prayers today. It was the worst of times in Dallas, Texas, when a black gunman who was determined to “kill white people” unleashed a… Read More

A peace-making offensive

By The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. — Matthew 5:9 This special edition of The Christian Citizen—“Healing Our Land”—is published amid grave troubles across our nation and world. We awaken each day in a country and in a world that is gripped by discord,… Read More

ABHMS continues ‘Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done’ 11 years after hurricanes devastate New Orleans

Rallied by morning prayers, camaraderie and Christian songs, 186 volunteers from 21 American Baptist churches, 17 states and 15 regions across the United States and Puerto Rico braved a week’s worth of heat and humidity recently to minister as the hands and feet of Christ during American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in New Orleans. They worked in homes, community gardens, a playground, a charter school, a horse-rescue ranch, an animal shelter and a food pantry, to name a few.… Read More

New Orleans experiences ABHMS-inspired ‘Youthquake’

A large contingent of those who volunteered during this year’s recent “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in New Orleans are part of Youthquake, a youth and young adult program inspired, in part, by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). Comprised of youth and young adults from 12-14 California churches, Youthquake is the brainchild of the Rev. Katie Choy-Wong, senior pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship, Castro Valley, Calif.… Read More

Iglesia Bautista de Metropolis volunteers offer hope 1,682 miles from home

Location is irrelevant when giving or receiving blessings. Perhaps that’s the reason that members of Iglesia Bautista de Metropolis, Carolina, Puerto Rico, found themselves doing mission 1,682 miles from their island home at the recent “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in New Orleans.… Read More

Minister: ‘I wanted congregation to experience this wonderful mission’

Profoundly affected by her 2015 volunteer experience at “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in New Orleans, the Rev. Carmen Jordan, minister of Mission and Outreach at Pilgrim Baptist Church, Rockford, Ill., returned in 2016 with a group of volunteers from her church.… Read More

Highlights from recent New Orleans rebuilding effort

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. In response, ABHMS has been coordinating "Home Mission: 'Til the Work is Done" in New Orleans since 2006. Highlights from the 2016 effort can be found on the “Home Mission: ‘Til the Work is Done” page.

ABHMS partner organization promotes ‘two-fold reconciliation’

With the divisiveness of today’s world, what’s better than reconciliation? Reconciliation multiplied by two. And two-fold reconciliation is just what American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) partner the New Baptist Covenant (NBC) seeks: reconciliation of diverse Baptist churches with each other and reconciliation among communities plagued by racial disparity. NBC strives to break down barriers… Read More

Journey toward bold

By Rev. Marie Onwubuariri In our contemporary society, including our ministerial culture, busyness seems to be secretly valued, even as we superficially criticize our commitment-packed calendars. Many who have felt the swell for the current state of racial tensions in our nation simply struggle with finding the time to do anything about it. Certainly there… Read More

Individual spirituality at the expense of seeking God’s will for those on the margins

By Rev. Harold Dean Trulear, Ph.D. When I was ordained into the Baptist ministry in 1978, an old preacher told me I’d “better know two things: Hiscox and God’s Word.” Now, American Baptist ordination requires seminary training and a theology paper. Yet, in both cases, a crisis in biblical interpretation, caused by compromise to cultural consensus,… Read More

It’s our time to move

By Rev. Susan Sparks You know how the book of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun? Well, the writers were wrong. Last weekend, I heard about something that was not only new under the sun, but frankly new under any star or planet. Ready? A “stand still” parade. Yup. The parade—including… Read More

It’s safe to murder Negroes in America

By Wayne E. Croft Sr. In less than 48 hours, when the first full week of July was coming to an end and many had celebrated the 240th birthday of America on July 4, two male African American lives were taken. Philando Castile was shot dead by an officer in St Paul, Minn., late on… Read More

Be angry but do not sin

By Rev. Dr. Cheryl F. Dudley So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. ─ Ephesians 4:25-27… Read More

The Minidoka Pilgrimage: An American story for times such as these

"American Citizens," Acrylic, 24 x 34, 2015, by Roger Shimomura By Susan Gottshall The gray baseball cap and blue polo shirt were rather unremarkable, but the white Kleenex spoke a thousand words. Seated a few rows in front of me during the opening session of the Minidoka Pilgrimage, the anonymous everyman sat by himself in… Read More

How you can help: Disaster recovery in West Virginia and Indiana

Severe storms in Indiana and West Virginia June 23-24 have caused significant damage in two American Baptist regions now in need of prayer and relief/recovery efforts. In Indiana, the storm's force destroyed buildings, disrupted utilities and closed roadways in and around Brookston, designated in a state of emergency. Federated Church of Brookston, an American Baptist… Read More

Watch & listen: Board, staff share excitement for mission

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to celebrate its new mission emphasis under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray. The redefined ministry focus on leadership, discipleship and healing transformation of individuals and communities sets the stage for carrying the close-to-two-century legacy of the Home Mission Societies into the 21st century. As ABHMS… Read More

‘Mission From the Gospels’ program aids Cleveland minister in foreign, domestic missional pursuits

When a Cleveland, Ohio-area minister sought a way to bring both foreign and domestic non-Christians to salvation through Christ by bridging religious and cultural divides, she found the solution in “Mission From the Gospels,” a program created by a partnership of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin (ABCofWI).… Read More

ABHMS, partners unite to aid N.Y. community affected by layoffs

As Helen Keller famously said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” That truth is epitomized in American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) recent relief effort in partnership with Lowville (N.Y.) Baptist Church, American Baptist Churches of New York State (ABCNYS), American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) and One Great Hour… Read More

Chaplain (Col.) Sean Lee of the Maryland National Guard reflects on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, Chaplain (Col.) Sean Lee of the Maryland National Guard will find himself at Dulaney Valley Gardens cemetery, as he has for the last 13 years, linking arms with family members of our nation’s fallen soldiers. “When they take my arm, they don’t see me, but what I represent,” Lee said in reflection.… Read More

ABHMS, TABCOM hold annual ‘MissionAdventure’ in New Orleans

With assistance from American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM) held its annual nine-day “MissionAdventure” in New Orleans in April. While ABHMS’ Volunteer Mobilization Ministries provided a stipend and spearheaded registration and leadership, 27 individuals—clergy as well as congregants—from nine TABCOM congregations lent muscle to such activities as painting, cleaning and weeding in an effort to restore areas ravaged by hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005.… Read More

ABHMS signs letter urging candidates to address disability concerns

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has joined more than 100 organizations and individuals of faith in signing a letter that urges political candidates to address disability concerns. In addition, ABHMS encourages American Baptists to sign the letter. Written by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC)—a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities… Read More

American Baptist spends night outdoors to raise awareness for AFC, homelessness

Inspired by American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) America for Christ Offering, Scott Macauley vividly brought homelessness to the attention of a sleepy town 7 miles north of Boston. He recently spent the night in a box on the lawn of First Baptist Church, Melrose, Mass., across the street from city hall and the fire… Read More

ABHMS’ Ramsey-Lucas to be featured in anti-smoking webinar

Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) managing director, Resource Development, will be a featured speaker in the “It Takes Faith: Tips from Former Smokers” campaign webinar to be held 3-4 p.m. EST on April 27. Hosted by Faith United Against Tobacco and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the online learning… Read More

What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you?

ABHMS staff shares thoughts about Dr. King's legacy Enjoy the conversation

Immigrants realize dream of homeownership via ABHMS, One Great Hour of Sharing

Lucy North and her young son, recent immigrants from Africa, will soon realize the dream of a safe, welcoming and affordable home of their own in Lowell, Mass. This scenario was made possible because American Baptist Churches USA, at the request of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, provided a $30,000 One Great Hour of Sharing Development Grant to Greater Lowell American Baptist Churches’ Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.… Read More

ABHMS supports Delaware church’s involvement in community sheltering program

When a major snowstorm hit the East Coast the weekend of Jan. 22-24, causing 11 states from the Carolinas to New York to declare states of emergency, Calvary Baptist Church, Newark, Del., opened its doors to the homeless, thanks, in part, to a grant from American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD) as well… Read More

ABHMS Children in Poverty grant-recipient church operates successful feeding ministry

April 27 is deadline for 2016 grant applications Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis, Md., has been nourishing children and families with healthy food through its “Blessings in a Backpack” ministry since 2009. And American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has been happy to play a part by supporting the ministry though a Justice for Children Initiative… Read More

ABHMS aids Bacone College disaster recovery with One Great Hour of Sharing grant

Bacone College, Muskogee, Okla., is putting to good use a $20,000 Emergency Grant provided by American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Disaster Response ministry from American Baptist Churches USA’s One Great Hour of Sharing funds. Founded in 1880, the American Baptist-related institution suffered damage from torrential rain, gale-force winds and severe flooding during the Christmas season.… Read More

ABHMS, IM, regional executives participate in historic joint trip to Philippines

As part of a delegation of American Baptist leaders engaging for the first time in a cooperative 10-day visit to the Philippines, Victoria Goff, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) national coordinator of Volunteer and Disaster Response Ministries, shared her disaster-response expertise with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC), an American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) sister organization.… Read More

Brian D. McLaren’s Space for Grace Bible study now available at no cost online

Available for the first time on American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) website for viewing at no cost is renowned theologian, speaker and Christian author Brian D. McLaren’s opening Bible study from ABHMS’ critically-acclaimed November 2015 Space for Grace national gathering in Los Angeles. From the privacy of your own home or office or with… Read More

ABHMS plays role in God’s plan begun more than a century ago

  When Sang Fen became a pastor in the Chin state of Burma more than a century ago, neither he nor the American Baptist missionaries that inspired him could have known that God’s plan would come full circle in 21st-century America with Sang Fen’s grandson, Chan Hnin Thui. American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)—related denominationally… Read More

ABHMS, OGHS preserve families, empower immigrants

By partnering with other nonprofit organizations, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) preserves families and helps immigrants achieve the American dream. Take, for example, Esperanza Immigration Legal Services (EILS), Philadelphia, and the Noyola family. By awarding a $10,000 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Domestic Development Grant to EILS on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA, ABHMS played a role in securing the young family’s future.… Read More

MCLE adds direction to Indiana church’s motivation

By the Rev. David Love Until participating in American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE), members of First Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Ind., had been motivated to make a difference in the community but lacked direction. A core group of individuals served occasional meals at the Salvation Army, led quarterly worship services at… Read More

Pastor’s installation offers nod to ABHMS history, growth

ABHMS' Rev. Florence Li with the Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter, senior pastor of Mariners' Temple Baptist Church; the Rev. Dr. Lai Fan Wong, newly installed pastor at New York Chinese Baptist Church; and the Rev. Wanda D. Brown, ministerial team member at Mariners' Temple. The installation of the Rev. Dr. Lai Fan Wong as pastor… Read More

ABHMS’ CiP grant supports role-playing program that bolsters youth

When awarding Justice for Children Initiative Children in Poverty (CiP) grants this year, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will offer special consideration to projects that focus on anti-bullying efforts and cultivate conflict-resolution and nonviolent communication skills among children and/or parents. Applications for CiP grants must be received by or postmarked to ABHMS by April… Read More

ABHMS helps to preserve 57-year-old American Baptist-affiliated venue

Redwood Glen maintenance crew members Andrew Gonsalves and Isaac Coleman inspect a water tank at the camp. Redwood Glen Executive Director Larry Rice and board member Wyman Chinn prepare for a well to be drilled. American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is doing its part to preserve a breathtaking Christian venue in which to conduct… Read More

Passionaries Serving in New Orleans: The late Ward McClendon

Perhaps Ward McClendon’s nicknames—“Mack” and “Uncle Joe”—were a testament to the fact that the long-time New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward resident was greatly loved and admired not only by his community but also the American Baptist volunteers who had been serving alongside him year after year to rebuild the area after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005. A selfless man and inspiration to many, McClendon died as this story was being written.… Read More

ABHMS assists with God’s handiwork in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

A young guest enjoys lunch at Community Missions of Niagara Frontier. A youth volunteer from Henry J. Kalfas Elementary serves lunch at Community Missions of Niagara Frontier. The Rev. Mark Breese leads weekly worship at Community Missions of Niagara Frontier. Community Missions of Niagara Frontier meets needs across the lifespan. The beauty of God’s handiwork… Read More

Passionaries Serving in New Orleans: Shiloh Baptist Church, Wilmington, Del.

Mission outreach to New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward is an intergenerational effort at Shiloh Baptist Church, Wilmington, Del. For the past two years, parishioners ranging in age from 12 to 65 have served during American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done.” And they’ll do it all again this August.… Read More

Rural Illinois church partners with transformational inner-city ministry

By Pastor Brian Romanowski Pastor Brian Romanowski of First Baptist Church (FBC) of Mahomet, Ill., recently shared this story with the Rev. Glynis LaBarre, who leads the Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE) for American Baptist Home Mission Societies. While FBC is part of American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region, it has not participated… Read More

Passionaries Serving in New Orleans: Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore.

“Life-changing.” That’s how Linfield College students describe volunteering with American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) during “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in the Gulf Coast. When students reflect, it’s obvious they’ve emerged from the experience just as—if not more so—positively affected than those they served.… Read More

Passionaries Serving in New Orleans: First Baptist Church of Hanson, Mass., and TABCOM

In this 10th anniversary year of hurricanes Katrina and Rita’s destruction of the Gulf Coast, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) presents “Passionaries Serving in New Orleans,” a series about the volunteers and residents who have been faithfully rebuilding New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward through ABHMS’ “Home Mission: ‘Til the Work is Done.”… Read More

Calling for prayers of healing for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

A lifelong devoted Baptist, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has announced he has been diagnosed with cancer. American Baptist Home Mission Societies calls on Baptists everywhere to add Jimmy Carter and his family to their prayer lists. Carter, who served as 39th president of the United States from 1977-1981, convened leaders of more than 30… Read More

Youth put Mission Summit earnings toward mission trip

When youth at First Baptist Church, Olathe, Kan., were contacted about earning an hourly rate to help Judson Press set up and tear down its bookstore at American Baptist Churches USA’s Mission Summit 2015 in Kansas City in June, they jumped at the opportunity—not to fill their own pockets but to help finance a planned… Read More

My American Story

by Yosh Nakagawa As President Franklin D. Roosevelt predicted, the date of the Empire of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor has, indeed, lived on in infamy. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, declared by Congress in 1994, has certainly helped, along with memorials at the sites of the sunken ships USS Arizona and USS Utah. For… Read More

The forgotten Pearl Harbor story: Video lifts up American Baptist ministry in World War II internment camps

During World War II, thousands of men, women and children of Japanese descent were unjustly imprisoned, by executive order, in U.S. internment camps because of wartime hysteria and fear that they would serve as spies for the country of their heritage. Subjected to harsh living conditions, Japanese immigrants in the camps included parents of American-born… Read More

Remembering the horror and injustice of war, praying for peace

Seventy years ago, the city of Hiroshima, Japan, was obliterated by a single bomb. It was the first time atomic weapons were used in warfare, marking the beginning of the Nuclear Age. By any civilized standards, the destruction of Hiroshima--and a few days later Nagasaki, Japan, as well--represented one of the moral low-points in human… Read More

Children of incarcerated parents find healing at ABHMS-sponsored camps

I want you to know that I pray for you, and everything is going to be alright. Be strong. God is in control. Nine-year-old Juan’s eyes filled with tears when he read those words written to him by Jerome, 13. Although the two don’t know each other, they share an understanding—each has a parent who… Read More

Celebrating contributions of chaplains, pastoral counselors

Laura Miraz, Ph.D., SPHR, Associate Endorser and Director of American Baptist Chaplaincy & Pastoral Counseling Ministries Resources for Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week (Oct. 25-31, 2015) To assist American Baptists in celebrating pastoral and spiritual caregivers, ABHMS offers a variety of additional resources: two bulletin inserts—one featuring a litany by the Rev. Diana Meehan, retired U.S. Navy… Read More

Attendee: ‘Space for Grace’ experience ‘completely unexpected’ but ‘helpful’

The Rev. Dominique Atchison, associate minister of Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., left American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) recent “Space for Grace” gathering in Los Angeles personally strengthened in her walk with God and her relationships with other American Baptists. “I love that they provided space every day for different kinds of people—introverts… Read More

Learning about ‘call’ during ‘Space for Grace’

“God knows who you are and calls you anyway—or in spite of it,” said the Rev. Dr. Adam Bond during his leadership of the Learning Experience “When God Calls Us in the Midst of a Crisis,” presented as part of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ recent Space for Grace gathering in Los Angeles. Assistant professor of Historical Studies and American Baptist liaison at Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, Bond’s session drew participants from as far away as Alaska and spoke especially to those plagued by self-doubt. … Read More

In this Advent season, amid the shadows, comes the light

When I heard the news bulletin about the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., my hand sprinted to the off button on my car radio. Enough already. Turning off the radio, though, doesn’t tune out the unspeakable pain of senseless and merciless taking of human life, even when it’s a continent away from me. The horror… Read More

Meet the ABHMS 2015 Ministry Award recipients

Committed to encouraging life in Christ, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) seeks to affirm and celebrate those who answer the call to discipleship, community and justice, extending the grace of God to others across our nation and world. Therefore, every two years, ABHMS' board of directors seeks nominations for national ministry awards that recognize… Read More