WELCOME to the American Baptist Churches of the South, (ABCOTS) website. ABCOTS is a Maryland non-profit corporation associated as a covenanting Regional organization with the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. See us in Missions, Evangelism and Denominational Work, supporting the local congregations serving the District of Columbia and 15 states throughout the southern United States. Join us in reaching the world for Christ believing and perpetuating His identity, His message and His ministry!
ABCOTS 50th & 51st Annual Sessions: A Virtual Experience
"Strengthening and Caring for Church Environments for Strong Ministry and Missions"
Join Weekly Zoom calls with ABCOTS Executive Minister Dr. Harrison
Tuesdays at 11 AM EST
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 929 6541 9729 Password: 6Qi4WF
April 27, 2021 Zoom meeting: ABHMS Resources
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/7/21) — The Office of the General Secretary announces scholarship opportunities for attendees of the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit – An Online Experience.
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/7/21) The ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary announces scholarship opportunities for attendees of the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit – An Online Experience.
Scholarships for the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit—An Online Experience will be awarded based on expressed need and are offered on a limited basis. This opportunity is available for individuals who register for the event as a Participant. Individuals who register as a voting Delegate for their congregation are not eligible. Only one application per family will be considered. The application deadline is May 30.
If you still are undecided about coming the Biennial Mission Summit, view this video as a personal invitation to come and be a part of the Body of Christ that is the American Baptist family.
To apply, please fill out an application here.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance, and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April.
We are working to set up a dedicated toll-free phone number that can be used to apply for funeral assistance. More information will be available on this page soon.
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:
The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
How to Apply
In April, FEMA will begin accepting applications. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:
An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
How are Funds Received
If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/13/21)— The Planning Team of the “Celebrating Ministering Women: Radical. Redeemed. Ready.” conference, meeting June 15-18, 2022 in Green Lake, Wis., is excited to announce conference leaders for the event. Conference Leaders will include Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Rev. Adalia Gutiérrez Lee, MD, Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque, Rev. Dr. Trinette V. McCray, and Rev. Lauren Lisa Ng. Learn more about these lauded leaders who will each bring a unique view to this celebratory event in June 2022.
“We are excited that this diverse group of strong and qualified leaders is willing to offer their unique perspective and gifts to the conference experience. We look forward to an outstanding event for all who participate from across our American Baptist family,”
Registration is now open for the American Baptist Churches Biennial Mission Summit, meeting online Thursday, June 24 to Saturday, June 26, 2021. Plan now to experience the vitality of our American Baptist family together with other American Baptists from all corners of the United States and the world during our first ever denomination-wide online Biennial Mission Summit! Visit www.americanbaptists2021.com to register.
The 2021 Biennial Mission Summit will feature scheduled programming with keynote speakers that include:
Rev. Dr. Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison Jones on Friday, June 25.
Rev. Dr. Brianna Parker on Saturday, June 26.
Experience engaging workshops, a special comedy presentation, and a selection of Mission Summit Conversations. Interact directly with American Baptist exhibitors and friends in the Virtual Attendee Hub (presented through our partnership with Cvent). Everything is virtual – no need to travel!
Each of the worship sessions, along with eight live workshop sessions on Friday and Saturday afternoons, will be recorded and available later that day for viewing.
All are welcome! Persons who register during the month of March will receive an early registration discount.
Pricing is as follows:
Early 3/1/2021–3/31/2021 | Delegate: $100 | Participant/Household of Two: $100
Regular 4/1/2021–6/24/2021 | Delegate: $125 | Participant/Household of Two: $125
Register as a Delegate if you have been selected by your local church or region to represent them. (Make sure you have your Church ID# or Region ID# when beginning registration – these were sent to each ABC church and Region in early March.) Delegates will vote in the Business Session on Friday, June 25 at 5:00 PM ET. Or, select Participant/Household of Two to attend and participate in all other Biennial Mission Summit events!
Third registration option of Watch Party, designed for 6 or fewer persons at a rate of $399.
Plan now to gather with American Baptist Churches USA for worship, connection, and community and connect with both regular attendees as well as American Baptists who have not attended an in-person event before.
We are excited to imagine a new way of coming together to celebrate, learn, and grow collectively as a representative body of American Baptist Churches USA!
A Note from the Accountant’s Corner
Greetings from the Accountant’s Corner.
By now, hopefully most of you who are reading this have had your 2020 tax returns prepared or are making plans to have them prepared. I will try not to get in the way of those processes.
As many of you know, Congress is in the midst of passing another relief package known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. While most of the provisions in this bill will impact your 2021 tax plans, there is at least one piece of legislation that could impact your 2020 tax filing. For those of you who received Unemployment Benefits in 2020, some or all those benefits may be tax-free if the bill becomes law. For those of you who have already filed, you may want to speak with your tax advisor regarding an amended tax return.
With that said, I like to spend the remainder of my time discussing round 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program, commonly referred to as “PPP.” This subject has major implications for those of you who are self-employed, subcontractors, and/or managing a business or church. Hopefully by now, you all are familiar with this program. In case you are not, here is a brief overview:
The Economic Aid Act rebooted PPP (or PPP2, as some call it) with many of the same parameters as the first program but also several important differences from the original PPP. One of the biggest changes is making PPP funding available to businesses that previously received a PPP loan. Businesses are eligible for a (first or) second PPP loan of up to $2 million, provided they have 300 or fewer employees, have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan, and can show a 25% gross revenue decline in any 2020 quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019. If you are applying for PPP funding for the first time, you are exempt from having to meet the 25% revenue decline provision.
As with PPP1, the costs eligible for loan forgiveness in PPP2 include payroll, rent, covered mortgage interest, and utilities. PPP2 also makes the following line items potentially forgivable: Covered worker protection and facility modification expenditures, including personal protective equipment, to comply with COVID-19 federal health and safety guidelines. Expenditures to suppliers that are essential at the time of purchase to the recipient’s current operations. Covered operating costs such as software and cloud computing services and accounting needs. To be eligible for full loan forgiveness, PPP2 borrowers will have to spend no less than 60% of the funds on payroll (i.e., payments to employees or to the self-employed individual) over a covered period of either eight or 24 weeks — the same parameters as PPP1.PPP2 borrowers may receive a loan amount of up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan or the calendar year, the same as with PPP1, but the maximum loan amount has been cut from $10 million in the first round to the previously mentioned $2 million maximum. PPP borrowers with NAICS codes starting with 72 (hotels and restaurants) can get up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs, again subject to a $2 million maximum.
IF YOU THINK YOU MEET THESE QUALIFICATIONS, YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. THE APPLICATION WINDOW CLOSES ON MARCH 31, 2021. PLEASE ACT NOW! CONTACT YOUR TAX PROFESSIONAL ASAP. DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS IMPORTANT, LOAN-FORGIVING, FUNDING OPPORTUNITY.
For more information on how the PPP program may benefit you, or to address any other tax concerns, please contact me at 443-551-3045. My best to you and your business.
2020-21 Mission Project: ABWOTS Community Outreach
For the past 6 years, American Baptist Women of the South (ABWOTS) Auxiliary Executive Committee Members under the leadership of President Patrecia L. Williams, has adopted a women’s shelter in the city where ABCOTS convened our Annual Session. Our outreach goal has been the provision of tangible items requested by the selected shelter.
For ABCOTS 2020 Annual Session ABWOTS pledged to aid the Caritas Women’s Shelter in Richmond, VA. At that time the shelter was in construction stage, however they assured us they would open and be operational in time for ABCOTS Annual Session in April of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 Annual Session for everyone’s safety was canceled, however, ABWOTS never canceled our commitment to serve Caritas Women’s Shelter.
They officially opened their doors to the community in January 2021.
In February 2021 ABWOTS Executive Committee Members delivered to Caritas 50 hygiene bags consisting of: Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, Comb and Brush, Toothpaste and Toothbrush-full size, 2 Bars of Soap, Deodorant, Shower-caps, Washcloths, Sanitary Napkins, Hand Sanitizer, Face Mask, Socks, and a Journal book and Pen.
Prior to formally releasing the hygiene bags to Caritas staff members, Rev. Anthony Mumford of Mount Calvary Baptist Church of Rockville, MD., offered the following prayer: Jesus Christ said: “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16)
The hygiene bags and their contents were gladly accepted with open arms by Caritas staff.
UNIVERSITY BAPTIST CHURCH, Austin, TX
COPING WITH COVID: COVID-19 BENEVOLENCE ASSISTANCE
Guided by Christ, we build relationships to transform lives and our community through divine love in action. – UBC Vision Statement
In response to the current pandemic, University Baptist Church has expanded its benevolence program to provide financial assistance to those affected by COVID-19. We believe the mission of the church in general, and UBC Austin specifically, is to serve, assist, and encourage the members of the church as well as “to preach the good news, bind up the brokenhearted, free those who are captives, and proclaim the Year of God’s presence” (Isaiah 61:1-2a). With this mission in mind, we are taking action to share God’s love with those who have experienced the loss, trauma, and stress of financial emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are living in the Austin area and have lost income or face unexpected expenses because of the pandemic, we invite you to request assistance with rent, utilities, medical bills, and similar expenses. We can provide up to $500 per applicant. Payments will be made directly to your landlord, utility company, or other creditor.
To apply, please email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your name and contact information
A brief statement about your need
The amount of assistance you are requesting
A copy of the bill or lease showing the name and address where the bill should be paid
Requests will be evaluated confidentially by the UBC COVID-19 Response Team.
May God protect and bless you in these difficult days.
If you know someone in need, we encourage you to forward this information to them.
Also, if you are able, please consider donating to the UBC Benevolence Fund so we can continue helping others. You can mail a check to the church or donate online at ubcaustin.org/donate. Be sure to specify that your contribution is for the Benevolence Fund.
Here is a report on what UBC Austin, TX has done in the past year to assist persons who have been financially affected by the pandemic.
Ron Cockroft, Team Captain
UBC Austin, TX COVID Benevolence Team
Last May the church voted to designate $125,000 for COVID-19 relief in the Austin area. That amount was moved into the Benevolence Fund. As of the end of February, the Benevolence Team has used the funds as follows: ---------------------
$39,000 to assist 58 individuals with rent, utilities, medical, and legal expenses.
$9,000 for Walmart gift cards, of which $6,400 have been distributed at the Micah 6 food pantry and youth drop-in center.
$61,000 to 20 charitable organizations as designated by UBC members. (Note: earlier reports incorrectly stated that 25 organizations received funds. That was a simple miscount. All organizations designated by UBC members received the appropriate funding.)
About $16,000 remains available for additional benevolence requests.
Also, in the past week we have approved about $2500 for individuals.
Paul Taylor, administrator
Virginia Union University is offering a few new graduate programs and of those is the Executive Master of Business Administration in Church Management (EMBA).
Dr. Robin R. Davis, Dean of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at Virginia Union University wants to inform you of one of the most innovative, necessary and timely business graduate programs. The “Newly” launched “Executive Master of Business Administration program in Church Management”. We are extremely proud of this program, because it is the first time where we can really integrate and apply the sophisticated concepts of business to the management processes of the Church organization.
News & Updates
ABC-USA - Latest News
Register Today for the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit
Registration is open for the American Baptist Churches Biennial Mission Summit, meeting online Thursday, June 24 to Saturday, June 26, 2021. Plan now to experience the vitality of our American Baptist family together with other American Baptists from all corners of the United States and the world during our first ever denomination-wide online Biennial Mission Summit! Visit www.americanbaptists2021.com to register.
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/26/21)—The tragic killing that included six Asian women in Atlanta hadn’t happened yet when individuals registered ...Read More
ABCUSA General Secretary Releases Statement Following Atlanta Shootings
VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/19/21)—Interim General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods released a statement on March 19, 2021, following the March ...Read More
ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force
The ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force invites you to learn more about the emerging, discovering, and exploring that it has been working on. The Task Force offers two illustrations, and invites you to learn more about its work here.
VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/31/21)—“Childhood: Silent Victim of the Pandemic” (“La niñez: víctima silente de la pandemia”)—the first installment of periodic ... Read More
A Call to Prayer for Myanmar
We invite you to visit our website for an American Baptist Call to Prayer for the people of Myanmar and the Burma Diaspora resource page. Starting in the month of March, 2021, we ask that you consider setting aside time(s) to lift up prayers individually or collectively, and to also consider ways you can serve as an action of your support in the coming weeks and months.
At this time many students have returned to college or seminary and are faced with paying for tuition, housing, meal plans and other supplies in this challenging economy. Will you help them reduce their financial burden by contributing to the American Baptist Scholarship Fund? For almost 200 years, ABHMS has maintained a fund, generously provided by caring donors like you. We humbly request your gift of any amount to the American Baptist Scholarship Fund, as we support our future leaders through education and empowerment.
E-Giving: abhms.org/SupportOurScholars | Check: “ABHMS Scholarship” in the memo line to: American Baptist Home Mission Societies, 1075 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406
For info about supporting scholarships through an IRA donation or about naming a scholarship, contact Vincent Dent, ABHMS CDO, at email@example.com or 610.768.2420. Give Now