ABCNJ is currently seeking applications for a region accountant. The American Baptist Churches of New Jersey (ABCNJ), founded in 1830 under its original name of the New Jersey Baptist Convention, has more than 285 member churches and approximately 70,000 members.
It is with the mixed emotions of sadness, affection, respect, deep gratitude and well-wishes that we announce the retirement of Mrs. Linda E. Porter, ABCNJ’s Accountant and Region Office Coordinator. For the past two years Linda has been sharing with us about her desire to retire, and the time has come.
The recent terrorist attacks in England, the apparently politically motivated shooting that took place in Virginia, ongoing debates over how to treat immigrants and visitors to our country, and the struggles of another Baptist denomination to take a clear stand on issues related to white supremacy remind us all that we are living in a violent and divided world that desperately needs to overcome every form of social and political discrimination and search for more just ways to live in harmony.
Following the call of the Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer to the office of General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches, USA, the ABCNJ Council implemented an established succession plan and appointed me as Interim Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor effective June 1, 2017. The transition was swift by any account. Like in the story of Elijah in II Kings, God has acted in the "whirlwind" in the call of Dr. Spitzer as our denomination's General Secretary. But in that "whirlwind” - as God would normally do - God clarifies and discloses the divine will.
The morning of Saturday, June 3, 2017 started with light but steady rain, threatening to derail the tournament at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. By 11 AM, however, the rain had stopped and the clouds slowly cleared away to let the sunshine through. By the time the scheduled 12:30 shotgun start for our friendly competition arrived, the weather was fabulous. Almost no wind, low humidity, and comfortable sunshine throughout the duration!
Church dignitaries and ministry leaders will gather for the 47th Annual Business Meeting and Rally of the Essex Association of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey on Saturday, June 10, from 8 a.m. To 2 p.m. at Bethany Baptist Church, located at 275 West Market Street in Newark, NJ.
The theme for this year's event is "New Beginnings: Growing Where God Has Planted You." The annual program brings together Baptist churches throughout Essex County. The keynote speaker for the occasion will be Rev. William Derek Lee, pastor of Imani Baptist Church of Christ in East Orange, NJ. The workshop leaders include Mrs. Teresa Oniyama, Rev. Dr. Valerie Griffin and Rev. Dr. Terry L. Richardson. The event will also feature health screenings by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
This past year we have focused on immigration, domestic violence, foster and adoption care and community outreach. Under the leadership of Rev. Geraldine Clark, Essex Association Moderator, the association has expanded its commitment to various social issues and community outreach initiatives.
Each year, the Association strives to have new speakers and fresh topics of interest. "The goals of our workshops are to identify potential pitfalls that hinder our spiritual growth with God, church community, family and friends, " said Rev. Clark.
Registration cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 13-19) and free for children 12 and under, which included all conference sessions, breakfast and lunch. The event is sponsored by the Essex Association of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey and supported by New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Razac and Stop N Shop. To register and for more information about the event, please contact Marsha Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever stood under a hot shower after a long day and just experienced the sheer joy of it? That’s how we felt during our recent ministry trip to the Philippines. Only it was a shower of blessings as God kept bringing together the right people at the right time. Here is what our Filipino sisters and brothers said about our time there.
It is with a mixture of profound sadness, deep appreciation for the fourteen years I have had the privilege of serving as ABCNJ's Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor, and in anticipation of God's call upon my future, that I tender my resignation, effective May 31, 2017, in order to begin my service as the General Secretary of ABCUSA on June 1, 2017. Please forgive the brief time for transition, which is necessitated by the upcoming ABCUSA Biennial Mission Summit and other factors.
For the past fourteen years, it has been my honor to serve as the Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. I appreciate all of the invitations you have extended to me to preach, teach, counsel, guide and encourage God’s people throughout our state and beyond! You have supported my ministry in every way. And together our region has accomplished a great deal for the Kingdom of God. We are indeed a healthy and faithful family of churches and pastors, whose impact extends throughout the globe. I have also been privileged to be surrounded by a ministry team that is second to none.
On May 13 Central Baptist of Riverton-Palmyra will be hosting their Third Annual Chili Cook Off to support Cedars of Lebanon 2020. This year two of ABCNJ's finest, Rev. Randy Van Osten of First Baptist Church Pitman and Rev. Chaz Hutchison of Scotch Plains Baptist Church, will be contributing chili to enter the competition. Come out to support a great cause and some of ABCNJ's finest cooks at the same time!
First Baptist Church in Haddonfield was one of many churches throughout our state that hosted or participated in the National Day of Prayer Breakfast movement. The Haddonfield Council of Churches sponsored this event, which was moderated by FBC's Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Michael Feicht. The Haddonfield breakfast sold out, with over 100 attendees.
The breakfast featured presentations from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. Representing the Christian churches, Dr. Spitzer lifted up the role that friendship can play in promoting a more civil and healthy society. Quoting from his book, Making Friends, making Disciples (Judson Press, 2010), he said: "How do we practice inter-faith friendships where convictions and acceptance co-exist? The following principles could help create an environment where convictions can be honestly shared and friendships maintained even when differences persist:
- All people groups and individuals have the right to freely choose and practice their religion without governmental or cultural persecution/sanction, and to convert to another faith if they so wish.
- People of faith have the right to share their religious, philosophical and political convictions through peaceful means, and to engage in serious dialogue with people from other religions as we search for truth about God and mutual understanding. Friends can disagree with one another and still love and respect each other.
- It is never permissible, moral or ethical to employ manipulation, violence, harmful threats or coercion in promoting one’s religion.
- When disagreements surface, we agree to maintain respect towards members of other religions and beliefs.
- When common concerns are identified, people of different religions can work together on those issues without denying their differences in other areas."
On Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 5:00 PM, the ABCNJ Annual Asian American Worship Service was held at First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church in Newark.
First Baptist Church of Allentown, New Jersey has exceeded it’s pledge of $10,000 in just four years with proceeds from our Souper Saturday Event at the end of February this year. Our original pledge was to raise $10,000 between 2014 and 2020. After just four of those seven years our donation to Cedars of Lebanon is now $12,100.69! Not only have we fulfilled our pledge, we've *exceeded* it!