Haiti Mission Trip Scheduled January 2014

by Lynne Punnett

Your Michigan Region of American Baptist Churches is sponsoring another short-term mission trip to Haiti and 1-2 people from any of our Michigan churches are welcome to come together to make this year’s team. 12-14 people will travel from Detroit to Cap-Haitien, in north Haiti January 10-18, 2014. The project will be construction related, but all levels of skill are welcome including no construction experience at all. Be aware, however, that the work will be strenuous with humidity and temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s so being in good health is required.

Sowing Seeds of Ministry

Materials for the 2013 Sowing Seeds of Ministry Region Offering have been mailed out to churches. If your church has not yet received materials, please call the Region office (800.632.2953) or click to download resources:

2013 Bulletin Inserts:

Genesis the Church, Royal Oak

Beacon of Hope (FBC), Saginaw 

ABC-MI Leadership

2013 Clip Art



or 800.632.2953 ext. 221.

IM Endorses a New Development Worker for Service in Cambodia

VALLEY FORGE, PA – JUNE 26, 2013: Jennifer “Jeni” Pedzinski  from Niles, Michigan has been endorsed for service as a development worker by American Baptist International Ministries (IM). She will serve in Sobhan Village near Phnom Penh, Cambodia with IM partner Jumpah, a Christian economic and community development initiative.  The announcement was made at the 2013 American Baptist Churches Mission Summit in Overland Park, Kansas on June 22, 2013 to a gathering of over 2,400.

Pedzinski grew up attending IM’s World Mission Conferences  in Green Lake, Wisconsin
and at a young age felt God beginning to call her toward missionary service. Since then, she has sought to prepare herself for cross-cultural life and ministry through focused education and international experience.  Pedzinski served as IM’s first Mission Apprentice (September 2012 – June 2013) and is enrolled in a dual-degree program at Eastern University and Palmer Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Dr. Billie Beverly New Peer Leader


By Rev. Dr. David Swink

Welcome to the Rev. Dr. Billie Beverly to the position of a Ministry Leadership Group Peer Leader. She comes to this position with a wealth of experience in pastoral leadership. Dr. Beverly was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Detroit. She has her Masters of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Seminary. She has an M.A. from Marygrove College. She has a D.Min. from Graduate Theological Foundation. And she recently completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. She has served as Chaplain in the Beaumont Hospital system and in Children's Hospital of Detroit. Currently, she is a Chaplain in the St. John's Hospital system.

ABC-MI Announces New Contract Consultants

East Lansing -- The American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC-MI) welcome three new contractconsultants to the team of current contract consultants. Each begins their work March 1, 2013.

The Reverend Laura Lee Strawser will offer consulting services in the area of Women in Ministry (WIM).Specifically, her work will involve contacting, encouraging, and resourcing the more than forty WIMserving as pastors, co-pastors, associate pastors, chaplains, interim ministers, and youth ministers acrossMichigan. In addition to working a few hours each week as a contract consultant, Rev. Strawser serves asSenior Minister of the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Saginaw. She previously served thecongregations of First Baptist Church of Owosso and First Baptist Church of Birmingham. “I am excited towelcome Rev. Laura Lee Strawser to the ABC-MI Contract Consulting Team. She brings a wealth ofexperience and passion for supporting women in ministry across Michigan,” states Dr. Michael Williams,ABC-MI Executive Minister. Rev. Strawser has been involved in Region life having served several yearson the Executive Committee as Vice-President, President, and Immediate Past President. She currentlyserves on the ABC-MI Ministers Council Executive Committee.

Mrs. Lara Heise Installed as Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at First Baptist Church, Midland

First Baptist Church of Midland has formally installed Lara Heise as Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at First Baptist Church of Midland on Sunday, January 13. She was welcomed to the Midland community by the Rev. Wallace Mayton III, Associate Pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church. 

The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Williams, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan, addressed the congregation with words of encouragement and guidance as the church moves into a new pastoral relationship. 

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