OperationOperation Blackhawk Composite Blackhawk

Youth and adults from Area 1 spent 4 days at Blackhawk Baptist Camp in early July working to prepare the facility for the camping season.  They cleaned the cabins, worked on the landscaping, painted showers and new screen doors, cleaned up the trails, and started getting the pool ready.

Lake Springfield Camp Hosts Sr. Day 2017

Downloads: Details | Registration Form | Program | Bulletin Insert

Pastoral Letter from Lee Spitzer, General Secretary, ABC - USA (Download printed edition)

ABCUSA Searching for 2 Associate General Secretaries (Go to abc-usa)

Paul Gibson, Executive Minister, ABCGRRFrom our Executive Minister, Paul Gibson.

WOW, summer is here, and now we are making plans for the fall and winter.  I do hope that you and yours have time to get away and “vacate” for a while this summer, and enjoy family and friends. 

Look below for what we are planning for this fall.

Pastors, Join in our Pastors Conference!

Karl SlaikeuPaul Gibson encourages pastors to experience Karl Slaikeu's presentation - September 28 - the day before the GRR Annual Assembly in Chesterfield (see below).

"Karl is an expert in helping pastors and churches  deal with conflict in a productive way.  

I wish I would have had some of this when I was a younger pastor. 

We feel so strongly about the importance of this, that we are not charging for the conference or the meal following.  We just need to know who will be coming, so let us know."

Join in Our 50th Annual GatheringSite of GRR's 50th Annual Gathering, Doubletree by Hilton, Chesterfield MO

Register online or,
Download Form & mail

Note to Displayers

"God's New Thing - Plan YOU"
 Isaiah 43:18,19 and Isaiah 55:11

    September 29 - 30

Chesterfield, MO's Doubletree Inn by Hilton

Guest Speaker: Dr. Marvin A. McMickle
Marvin is the president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinty School, and has been a pastor for many years

Lee Spitzer, newly named General Secretary of the ABC - USA will join us.
Read his recent pastoral letter.
View an interview of EthicsDaily.com of Lee discussing initiatives and challenges

Download 50th Annual Assembly Flyer

Please include in Your 2017 Calendar...

American Baptist History and Polity, August 18 - 19

Ministers Conference, September 28

Our 50th Annual Meeting, September 29 -30

Professional Boundaries, October 14

Executive Minister Paul Gibson and Associate Minister Muriel Johnson welcome Rex Rogers and Patty Bilyeu to the GRR Ministerial Staff. Rex and Patty officially begin their service in Areas I and III (Rex) and Areas II and IV (Patty) July 1. Read Paul Gibson's introduction of Rex and Patty to their new areas.

On July 1, Patty Bilyeu and Rex Rogers began their positions as our new area ministers.  I am excited for all of us as they begin their work.  They are both wonderful people, and I am so glad that God led us to them, and them to us.

We will be having services of installation for both Patty and Rex in the coming months. 

Rex Rogers starts service as GRR Associate Minister with Areas I and III on July 1Rex will be installed on July 30, 4:00 in the afternoon, at First Baptist in Ottawa

Read Rex's bio.

Rev. Patty Bilyeu begins service as GRR staff for Areas II and IV on July 1Patty will be installed on the afternoon of September 17 at 4:00 p.m. First Baptist of Greenville will host. 

Read Patty's bio.

We will have the specific times for both installations later."


***Lee Spitzer will be joining us during our 50th Annual Gathering in Chesterfield September 28 - 29.

From Paul Gibson, ABCGRR Executive Minister: "I was so glad to hear that Lee Spitzer was just chosen as the new General Secretary of ABCUSA.  Lee has been the executive minister of New Jersey for some years and has done a great job there.  We hope to have him visiting our region sometime in this next year.  You will enjoy getting to know this great servant of God."

More on New General Secretary, ABC - USA:

Catch Dr. Spitzer on his LinkedIn site.

Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer serves as the Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. He has pastored 3 ABC churches and has preached the gospel and taught on spirituality in the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, the Congo, Zambia, Uganda and Haiti.

Lee has written Endless Possibilities: Exploring the Journeys of Your Life (1997) and the companion Endless Possibilities Course Book (2001). In A Summer’s Journey (2001), he chronicled his unique pilgrimage to Israel during a summer of terrorism. He authored three articles on children’s spirituality for the Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (Sage, 2006). Jesus Christ from Cover to Cover (2006) explores the Bible’s Messianic theme.  Lee’s newest book, Making Friends, Making Disciples (Judson Press, 2010), explores the pivotal role friendship plays in support of the church’s mission to make disciples and evangelize.

Outrageous Generosity is our Region's initiative to share resources that God has given us. Our Board of Ministries and Executive Minister have sought out God's counsel as to where these resources need to be shared. Rev. Paul Gibson has recently written a summary that can be quickly read to bring you up to date.

Your Outrageous Generosity Mission

Planting Churches in the Dominican Planting churches in Northeast India Planting Churches in the Dominican Planting Churches in the South Sudan Check out how the Great Rivers Region is helping to plant churches. Click on the red and white circle.

More on the GRR's Outrageous Generosity Mission.


Experience Costa Rica Mission

John Grisham invites you to be part of this mission discovery tour that will be beginning October 30 and wrapping up November 6. Download the itinerary, pray about be being part of this experience, and contact John to get things started.

Here is a video edited by Jim Wiegner of International Ministries of a trip to Costa Rica and El Salvador in 2003.

Executive Minister Paul Gibson Asks for Your Prayers

In addition to praying for the recovery of Paul Rollet (see below), Paul Gibson asked in his column in the GRR newsletter Mainstream's April 12 edition for us to keep campus ministries and camping in prayer. Lake Springfield Baptist Camp and Blackhawk Camp provide great fun and spiritually challenging experience to all who gather at these camps - whatever age.

Both camps sponsor a Sr. Day. Choose the one that is best for you.

Lake Springfield Baptist Camp has scheduled Sr. Day for July 27. (Melissa Gibson will be leading worship and her husband Paul will share a devotional.) Download schedule with registration and more information. (LSBC is also asking for help to prepare the camp for the new camping season. Work days are May 13 and May 20. Download more information.

Blackhawk Camp's Sr. Day date will soon be posted. (Please do not use Blackhawk Camp's old web address - blackhawkcamp.org. It is listed as dangerous - virus infected - by Symantec/Norton. Find the camp at this address: https://www.facebook.com/Blackhawk-Baptist-Camp-107873762625128/

Update on Paul Rollett

Keep praying for Paul Rollet.  Paul RollettPaul is at home in Chatham recovering from injuries that happened from a fall in the Philippines.  The recovery is going well, but slow, and Paul wants to get back to the field.  Keep the prayers coming.

Paul Rollet, missionary in the Philippines, had taken a nasty fall while hiking in a rugged area of the Philippines.  He fell about 10 feet and then rolled another 20 feet.  He suffered some back injuries, a fractured ankle, and many cuts and bruises.  People that were with him said that it was a miracle that he did not suffer any head injuries.  He was transported back to Manilla and underwent surgeries to deal with the most important items.  Those surgeries went well but he has also been dealing with a lot of pain.  His mother Laura left for the Philippines and was by his side a couple of days after the fall.

Funds contributing by way of Paul's funding page are helping to pay for his medical expenses. You may contribute by going to that web site. For the most up-to-date information about Paul's recovery go to the Central Baptist Church FaceBook site.

Check out how the GRR is helping the Rolletts to plant churches in Manila, The Phillipines

Outrageous Generosity

From GRR Executive Minister Paul Gibson:

Dear Pastors, Church Leaders, and Friends of the GRR

By now you may have heard of what our regional board voted during our annual gathering in Effingham.  I wanted to make sure you hear some of the details of that decision.  (Click here for details).  They demonstrated to me that they are Kingdom People, willing to share our blessings with God’s people everywhere.

Bottom-line, over a period of about 5 months our region will have received a little over 1.1 million dollars in gifts.  We will be giving over half of that away to missionaries and projects connected to our region, and to help plant churches overseas. (Read International Ministries news release.)

Our outgoing region board president, Bill Steger, labeled it this way, he called it “outrageous generosity”.  It doesn’t come close to matching what God did for us through His Son, but it does demonstrate that Jesus is our Lord and we are excited to let His love flow through us.

In Christ,

Celebrating Church and Clergy Anniversaries

If you are viewing this page on your desktop or laptop, you may see a scrolling section at the top of the left menu column. Congratulations on these years of ministry! (If on a handheld, this can be seen by clicking on the menu icon just below the stories on this page.)

Also listed, but month by month, are clergy - serving and retired - ordination anniversaries and anniversaries of clergy tenure in the church each is presently serving. Clergy ordination anniversaries may be found on the home page of Pastor's Health section of this site. Clergy tenure anniversaries may be found on both desktop/laptop and mobile devices on the "search for serving pastor" page.

Your GRR Staff celebrate these anniversaries of tenure.

If information in these lists is incorrect, please contact the GRR office to have that information corrected.

The lists are compiled from information GRR churches send in annual reports and from churches' communications with GRR ministerial Staff. Thank you.

Watch this Mission Tour Flashback

1999, Oklahoma. You may find a yourself a bit different. You may see again those who have since been called home.

Try this out:

Discover your personal God-given style of evangelism.
(This questionaire and results are based upon Jeffrey Johnson's Got Style?)