Connecting with you, GRR Executive Minister Paul Gibson:

ABM Trailer

AB Men Assembling Relief Team to help victims of Hurricane Harvey:
From Van Peters:

"...we have the call to go to Lake Charles.  He would like for us to have a team down there on september the 24th.  Let's get the word out and see how many we have interested.  Once we see how many we have we will get the organization in place by the 21st.  It will be mostly mud out and some tree work.
Jack said there was probably 6 months of work down there!"

Our Executive Minister adds: "This is the latest from ABmen.  As you can see in the note from Van, they are working to put together a team, and they have been assigned Lake Charles.  We will share more as we hear more from both ABmen and ABC of the South.  Right now the best way to give is still through One Great Hour of Sharing, mentioning Hurricane Harvey.

And….keep Florida and the area in your prayers, Irma has just been made a category 5 hurricane (the most dangerous on the scale) and it is on target for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and so many other islands in that area.  We have missionaries and work in many of those areas."

How to help? Pray! Give to One Great Hour of Sharing! 100% of your financial gift will go to those affected. The site has more information and contact information. You may make an online donation by clicking on this direct link at the American Baptist Home Mission Societies site. (Donation will be titled "Hurricane Harvey" and should be present when you open the link; if not, open the "drop down" menu and select "Hurricane Harvey" from the list.)

In the latest edition of the Mainstream, read the latest about our upcoming 50th Annual Gathering taking place in Chesterfield, Missouri on September 29 and 30.

Hotel Rooms for Annual Assembly filling fast!
As of 4:16 p.m. August 28, DoubleTree has only 1 room left for Thursday and 3 rooms left for Friday in our ABCGRR block of rooms.

Hilton Garden Inn (free shuttle) is holding 10 rooms as a courtesy block until September 5th

King Bed with pullout Sofa $139.00 a night
Block code ABR

To make reservations at the Hilton Garden in, either
- Call 866-812-3961 and refer to the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region, or
- Go to Hilton Carden Inn site and type in 'ABR' in the special rate code and the rate will pop up that way

Patty Bilyeu, GRR Associate Minister

Patty Bilyeu Installation Service

You are invited to the installation worship service of The Rev. Patty Bilyeu on Sunday, September 17 at 4:00 p.m. Greenville First Baptist Church will be hosting this service.

Members and pastors of Area II and Area IV churches of the ABC GRR will be participating as we celebrate God's calling and Patty's response to follow God's leading into serving as GRR Associate Minister with primary responsibilities to churches of Areas II and IV. Download worship bulletin.

Lake Springfield Baptist Camp Men's Retreat

October 13, 14

Flyer | Brochure | Bulletin Insert

Mission Church Planting Spotlight 7:

The latest spotlight on your Outrageous Generosity from Paul Gibson features Paul Rollet's and friends' work in Manila, The Philippines.

Please include in Your 2017 Calendar...

Installation of Patty Bilyeu as Area Minister,
Areas II and IV hosted by Greenville FBC on
September 17.

Ministers Conference, September 28

Our 50th Annual Meeting, September 29 -30

Professional Boundaries, October 14

See the GRR calendar listing for more events.

Rex Rogers Installed

Laying on Hands of prayer on Rex Rogers at his installation July 30 2017 hosted by FBC Ottawa Rev. Bunyan Cocar, co-pastor of Dixon First Baptist Church, leads in prayer during the laying on of hands as Rev. Dr. Rex Rogers is installed as Regional Associate Minister serving Areas I and III.

Ottawa First Baptist Church hosted this worship service on Sunday afternoon, July 30. Members and pastors of churches of both areas participated in the worship service and enjoyed the meal that followed. Thank you Ottawa First Baptist and all who organized and participated in this celebration of God's leading.

Pastors, Join in our Pastors Conference!

Karl SlaikeuPastors, 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

"What Is Difficult about
God’s New Thing?"

 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 of Lee discussing initiatives and challenges

Download 50th Annual Assembly Flyer

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.

Services of installation for both Patty and Rex.

Rex Rogers starts service as GRR Associate Minister with Areas I and III on July 1Rex was 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.



***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

Outrageous Generosity Planting Churches throughout the World 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 - It is listed as dangerous - virus infected - by Symantec/Norton. Find the camp at this address:

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,

Concerned About Online Security and Safety?

The internet has given us many tools that we can use to strengthen our faith and ministries. However, be safe and secure when you surf the web, use faceBook and other social media, e-mail, text, etc. In the first of a series of articles, Richard Ricks (web master for the sites of the ABC GRR) lists dangers "out there" that our users will encounter, if they have not yet done so. Follow up articles will be found on the "tech" section of this site.

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?)