Thank You, John, Adrian, and Rachel

Rachel Cocar and John Grisham will end their interim part time GRR Staff positions for area ministry on May 31, 2017.

John continues his liason work with the GRR partnership with Costa Rica. Rex Rogers begins his tenure for the GRR in area ministry with Areas I and III beginning July 1, 2017. Patty Bilyeu begins her tenure with Areas II and IV beginning July 1, 2017. Muriel Johnson continues in area ministry with churches and pastors of Area V.

Adrian Lamkin and Paul Gibson will assist churches and pastors of Area I during June. Paul Gibson will assist Area II during June. Call the office (217) 726 -7366 if you have questions.


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


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.

GRR President Rev. Elaine Bolen Announces New GRR Staff Members.

Rex Rogers will serve Areas I and III. Patty Bilyeu will serve Areas II and IV beginning July 1.

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 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.

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:

Please Be in Prayer....

We got word about a week ago that Paul Rollet had takenPaul Rollett 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.  Since then he has been transported back to Manilla and has undergone some surgeries to deal with the most important items.  Those surgeries have gone well and plans are being made for the next steps.  During this whole time 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. Please keep Paul, his family, and his ministry family in your prayers.

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

Save the date Flyer 2017Annual Assembly 2017 with Marvin McMickle

September 29 - 30
    (Ministers Conference: September 28)

Chesterfield, MO

Click image to download flyer.


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?)