Get to Know Larry Mason
Interim Executive Minister, ABCGRR

Read about his journey in the July 7 edition of the Mainstream.

Logo of Note God's New Thing 2015 Annual GatheringGRR Annual Gathering -
October 2 - 3



Larry Mason welcomes new GRR President Bill Steger






Dr. Larry Mason, Interim Executive Minister of the ABCGRR, presents the GRR pin to the incoming President of the GRR. Rev. Bill Steger, Sr. Pastor of Oak Park Avenue Baptist Church of Berwyn IL is a native of the Chicago Area. He recently graduated from the D. Min. Program of Northern Seminary. His focus of study was on community ministry.

More pictures and descriptions will be posted soon.

2015 Ministers Conference:

New Hope of Faithful Churches with Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey JonesJeff started his presentation Thursday afternoon - following a great welcome and introduction by GRR Interim Executive Minister, Larry Mason - with an emphasis of affirmation of the hope that churches have when it is of God. The 2015 Ministers Conference was on the campus of The Chateau Bloomington (Illinois) Hotel and Conference Center.

Seminar registration included a copy of "facing decline, Finding Hope: New Possibilities for Faithful Churches," Jones' most recent book.

Thank you, Ted Marrinan and Brian Romanowski for setting up the room and giving technical - AV and computer/projector - support for Dr. Jones.

Missed Giving Away Your Books? If you missed your opportunity at the Annual Assembly this past weekend, click here to get more information about how to contact the Used Book Depository of Montgomery Community Church.

Third Baptist Church, St. Louis Installs Pastor

Third Baptist Church installed Dr. Tommy Simons as their new pastor on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Regional Associate Minister, Rev. Muriel Johnson welcomes Dr. Simons to the ABC GRRRev. Muriel L. Johnson welcomes Dr. Simons to ABC of the Great Rivers Region and presents him with a "Green Lake" stole.

Installation service participantsParticipating in the service of installation and joining Dr. Simons for this picture were (from left to right): Rev. Veronica Richardson, pastor of Southern Union Missionary Baptist Church & Area V moderator; Dr. Simons; Jim Wiegner, Development officer ABC-USA International Ministries; Rev. Dr. F. Delano Benson, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church; and Rev. Muriel L Johnson, Regional Associate Minister GRR, Areas IV and V.

Belvidere First Baptist Installs Pastor

Rev. Rachel Cocar (far left), ABC GRR staff person serving Area I preached the installation sermon as the church installed David Love as their new pastor. Vince MacFadden (second from left), chair of the search committee delivered the charge to the church and to the pastor.  The Belvidere First Baptist Lays hands on new pastor David Love during installation service of September 27search committee joined together in prayer with a laying on of hands on David and his wife, Nelda (center).  A potluck reception followed. 

Macomb FBC dedicates new buildingFirst Baptist Church of Macomb Dedicates New Building

On Sunday, September 20, the congregation held a time of worship of God recounting God's work and leading on the journey of mission and ministry that is partly symbolized in their new building. Pastors Wally Holt and Claudia McCain joined with many musicians, children, and leaders of the congregation who have prayed, led, worked, and given for this day to come. A few of these have been captured in the montage above. Adrian Lamkin and Larry Mason of the GRR worshipped with the congregation.

Their former

Macomb FBC former building



and new building
Macomb FBC New Building



Their new address:
1515 S. Candy Lane
IL  61455

Aurora First Baptist Church Ordains Associate Pastor

John Withum and Tim BaltzSenior Pastor Tim Baltz (at right) led John Withum in his vows of ordination on Sunday September 13, 2015. Pastor Baltz also preached the ordination sermon. He challenged the entire congregation to be mindful of the ways God is calling each one to serve. 

Rev. David Carpenter, John's Uncle from West Virginia, led all clergy present to gather around John to pray.  College friend, Rev. Nathan Mack delivered words of welcome to ministry and Rev. Rachel Cocar welcomed John to ministry on behalf of the GRR ABC.  After a joyful worship service, John was celebrated by a luncheon in the church fellowship hall.

MMBB Retirement Seminar

Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Lindner Center located on the campus of Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard, IL. To register, click here.

Questions: Contact Paul Weers by e-mail or phone: (212) 870 - 8066 or toll free at (800) 986 - 6222 extension 8066

Christy Engel, ABC IM Global Consultant for Health speaks at Peoria IL FBCKristy Engel, International Ministries Global Consultant for Health shared her mission stories - including an account of her intense training and the dangerous service God led her through by pulling on her "heart strings" for the people of Africa stricken with Ebola. The Mission Board invited her and neighboring churches to dinner and sharing time on Wednesday, August 12. In addition to members of Peoria FBC, members and pastors of neighboring American Baptist Churches participated including Farmington FBC and East Peoria FBC. Kristy transitioned in 2012 from 12 years of service to the peoples of the nations of Hispaniola to become International Ministries Global Consultant for Health. In this role she uses her nursing training to back up medical missionaries and consults with our mission partners and missionaries around the world. She is one of several American Baptist missionaries who churches of the GRR have focused their support of prayer and giving. Nutrition, she mentioned, is one of the primary challenges to health. She noted that nutritionists are looking for many ways to overcome this. Lately, one plant, "moringa", has been attracting nutritionists attention as a food source.

Visit her International Ministries web page. Let God lead you discover how you can pray for her and support her financially. Then grow as you follow through. Thank you Peoria FBC! Thank you, Kristy!

Introverted Evangelist?

Not as oxymoronic as you may think. Read more.