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!
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
Updated Zoom calls guest list
Sept 22 - Dr. Eddie Cruz, Dr. Christine Roush
Oct 20 - Rev Maggie Lewis/Dr. Willard Ashley (CCDM) Addressing Mental Health Concerns
Oct 27 - Dr. Eddie Cruz, Dr. Christine Roush
Nov 3 - Election Day, VOTE! No Discussion
Sept 15 - Rev Maggie Lewis/Dr. Willard Ashley (CCDM)
Dear Pastors and Church Administrators,
Please find attached recommendations and guidelines to Reopening Safefly and welcoming your congregants back to church homes.
In an effort to help your congregations navigate the issues surrounding reopening safely the ABCUSA National Insurance Program, www.abcusa-insurance.com and Church Mutual, have prepared a number of resources for your distribution:
Reopening Safely Guidelines
Recommendations for Safe Return to Worship Checklist
Sample COVID-19 Waiver
Church Mutual Webinar - Returning to Worship Safely
ABCUSA National Insurance Program Webinar - Reopening Safely (May 2020)
ThinkHR - COVID-19 Crisis Response Center
COVID-19 Executive Orders - All States
Jeff Dromeshauser • Program Manager
Sovereign Insurance Group
Visit the “new and improved” In Support of Excellence webpage and pastor leader application:
Applications will be accepted until October 9th. The program provides spiritually-rooted financial education for pastors of congregations and equips them to address money in the personal, pastoral, and prophetic realm. This year the focus is on those who, in our research, experience structural inequity in compensation and, thus, are compromised in their ability to meet daily needs and save for long-term financial goals:
· Women pastors,
· Pastors of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and
· Pastors whose roles have been decreased from full-time.
While all ABCUSA pastoral leaders can apply if they meet the minimum qualifications, these particular populations will be given priority.
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA
Planning Underway for a Virtual - 2021 Biennial Mission Summit Event
The Executive Committee of the American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries, at its meeting on Thursday, September 10, voted to hold a virtual Biennial Mission Summit in 2021 and to seek to hold an in person Biennial Mission Summit in Puerto Rico in 2023. Planning is already underway for the 2021 virtual event!
Anti-Racism Task Force Formation
The Call to Prayer event for anti-racism was held on August 5, 2020 with over 150 participants. (Watch a recording here.) A dozen American Baptists participated in the Call to Prayer by sharing their prayers and reflections on anti-racism. Following the Call to Prayer, ABCUSA President Karen Podsiadly designed an application process for persons interested in serving on the task force. To date, 37 persons have applied to serve on the task force. Due to the great number of applicants, three groups are being formed in addition to a task force. The three subgroups will help to identify anti-racism resources for individuals, congregations, and institutions as their overall work is guided by the task force.
We are excited about the possibilities as we move forward in work on this critical issue.
Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect
As we get closer to our national election and as many Americans have concern that the days ahead will be filled with hostility and hatred which will further divide our country, we encourage you to visit our page for Golden Rule 2020 to learn how you can participate. The initiative, which began a few months ago, encourages people to apply Christian teachings to our political discussions.
The purpose of Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect is to promote the application of the Golden Rule in interactions during this election year. American Baptist Churches USA invites partners and friends to participate in Golden Rule 2020 because it reminds us that the teachings of Jesus are relevant in all areas of life-even our political interactions. It is not easy to practice the Golden Rule-especially in difficult discussions with those who have very different views-but our faith requires us to try.
Multi Region Race and Justice Forum Announced
Three American Baptist regions have announced a weekly Multi Region Race and Justice Forum beginning on September 8, 2020. The forum will meet in the format of a Bible Study for Pastors and Church Leaders every Tuesday from September 8 through October 6 on Zoom. Each week the forum will begin with a session led by Dr. Derwin Gray, which will be followed by Breakout Room Discussions.
The Great Rivers Region of American Baptist Churches, the American Baptist Churches of Indiana/Kentucky, and the American Baptist Churches of Michigan have partnered together to bring this resource to pastors and church leaders. "We will discover, together, how the cross of Christ models for us what reconciliation can and should look like," the region executives note in a letter to interested persons.
For more information about the forum, click here.
The Generosity Project Webinar "Stewardship and Pandemic" Available for Viewing
The American Baptist Churches USA Office of the General Secretary webinar "Stewardship and Pandemic" is now available to view by clicking here.
Or, view the "Stewardship & Pandemic Resources" document shared in this webinar here.
Part of The Generosity Project, an Office of the General Secretary initiative which examines the challenge of stewardship in the 21st century and looks at learning how to re-frame the conversation around stewardship, "Stewardship and Pandemic" explores the dynamics of mission and ministry, and the stewardship that undergirds it, in uncharted territory.
ABCUSA Together: We are American Baptists
Calvary Baptist Church, Towson, MD: Seeking a Senior Pastor
Calvary Baptist is currently seeking a lead Pastor who adheres to doctrines of the American Baptist Church, believes that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and has a hunger for biblical teaching, community outreach, missions, and youth ministry. We would like a candidate who holds a master’s degree in divinity or higher, has previously pastored a church, has experience growing a church and either lives within close proximity, or is willing to relocate to the Towson community or its surrounding areas.
Master of Divinity or equivalent • 5+ years’ experience being the Lead or Senior Pastor of a church • Ordination with the American Baptist Church • Fully supportive of the Calvary Baptist Church mission statement (available at • Subscribes to the Code of Ministerial Ethics developed by the Ministers’ Counsel American Baptist Churches, USA. (https://www.abc-usa.org/transitionministries/memberresources/)
Covid-19 Testing at Olive Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Littleton, NC
Olive Grove hosted Covid-19 testing in the parking lot of the church from August 4th to August 7th . Through a partnership with Vidant Health, one of the most respected health care organizations in the state of North Caroline. This essential testing which screens individuals for the Corona-virus, is one of the most sought after services world wide. The testing was well received by a very grateful community. More than 160 screenings were performed. We thank Vidant Health for the opportunity to service the Littleton and Warren County residents. https://vidantverified.com/
American Baptist Churches USA - Remembers Rep. John Lewis
American Baptist Churches USA remembers Rep. John Lewis, civil rights leader and U.S. representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. Lewis, an American Baptist, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement struggle for racial equality. He was one of the leaders of the Freedom March on Washington in 1963 and the voter registration march in Selma, AL in 1965. He also received the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies in 2003.
Congressman Lewis dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building “The Beloved Community” in America. Inspired by the radio broadcasts of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a young boy, Lewis tirelessly carried on the fight for civil and human rights, and he remained at the vanguard of progressive social movements. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. Congress. Find out more about Lewis here.
“John Lewis was a visionary leader whose experiences propelled him forward as a model for others. His legacy of leadership and commitment to racial justice will live on forever,” said ABCUSA Interim General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods.
We sat down with Lewis in 2014 as a featured speaker in a video produced for American Baptist Churches USA (Inspired, Transformed…American Baptist Churches).
At the time, Lewis reflected on involvement in the civil rights movement and American politics being an extension of his faith:
“From attending segregated public schools in Alabama as a youth to standing on the streets of Washington, D.C., in his 80th year to add his personal presence to the unfinished work of racial equality and social justice in America, Congressman John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers, helped to bend the moral arc of this country toward our living together as a beloved community of hope and love. Representative Lewis exemplified this noble quest with an unwavering commitment to nonviolence and staunch spiritual values. His courageous life bore the outstanding credentials of a wounded but unbowed warrior,” said Rev. Dr. Leo S. Thorne, former Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development with American Baptist Churches USA. Thorne worked with Lewis on the “Inspired, Transformed…American Baptist Churches” video.
He noted that “American Baptist is very progressive. It’s been out there as a headlight and not a taillight. Been pointing the way and leading the way.
Lewis received the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award at the 2003 Biennial Meeting of American Baptist Churches USA in Richmond, Va. from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, for his more than 40 years of work for peace and justice, beginning in the Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement and continuing in the U.S. national political arena. Encouraging American Baptists to pursue ministries of reconciliation, he urged attendees of the event to focus on the challenge of peace, which “is as old as the beginning of time and as new as today’s morning newspaper.”
He was honored by President Barack Obama with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and at the 125th anniversary of his home church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, a month later. Martin Luthe King, Jr. was co-pastor of that congregation in the 1960s.
More recently, Lewis gave the benediction by video at the nation’s National Prayer breakfast on February 6, 2020.
Lewis said the country needed peace, “now more than ever before.” Lewis asked God to bring the country together and prayed Americans would treat each other as “brothers and sisters.”
“We must believe in one another,” he said. “We must never give up on our fellow human beings.”
“My heart carries deep sorrow and overwhelming gratitude as I learn of John Lewis’ passing. What a powerful voice for equity and justice in our nation,” noted Rev. Judy Fackenthal, recent American Baptist Churches USA President, 2016-2017. “I’m sad that his voice will no longer be heard. I’m grateful for all he worked toward and accomplished. It is up to us to carry on what Rep. Lewis and his peers began.”