VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/15/14)—Orlando L. Tibbetts, Jr., 94, of Penney Farms, Florida, died on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the Pavilion for Health Care in Penney Farms, Florida. Tibbetts was a former executive minister for American Baptist Churches of Connecticut (ABCCONN).
“Dr. Tibbetts served the American Baptist Churches well for many years, retiring after 11 years of service as Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut. Many of us have at least one book of his on our bookshelves, including the The Minister’s Handbook. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” said Rev. Dr. Judy Allbee, executive minister of ABCCONN.
Tibbetts, Jr., was married to the late Phyllis Mae Jones Tibbetts for 69 years before her death in 2010. During their life together, Orlando and Phyllis served as missionaries in Mexico. They also served pastorates in MA, OH, and RI. Orlando served as the Executive Secretary of the Boston Baptist Bethel City Mission Society and as Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut.
After moving to Penney Farms in 1992, he was very active in many aspects of campus life at the Penney Retirement Community, including cofounder of the Sunshine Band in 1996, serving on the Town Council and as mayor of the Town of Penney Farms. He was always a strong advocate for justice, peace, and freedom for all, as was evident in his writings, sermons, and actions. A prolific writer, he authored 13 books and was always thinking about the next book he was going to write. Orlando and Phyllis dedicated their lives in the service of others.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Orlando L. Tibbetts, Sr. and Ruby Wilkinson Tibbetts, his sister Frances Schelfhaudt and great granddaughter, Courtney Beauchesne. He is survived by his children, Roger Tibbetts (Karen) of Lakewood, OH, Douglas Tibbetts (Jean) of Melrose, MA, Faith T. Benedict (Dexter) of Penn Yan, NY, and Judith Ann Foster (Dwight) of South Windsor, CT; 12 grandchildren and spouses, 29 great-grandchildren, his brother, Richard Tibbetts (Carole) of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and special friends, Jeannette Freyberger and Carol Freehan.
Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 2:00pm at Penney Memorial Church, Penney Farms, Florida. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Penney Memorial Church Commemorative Fund, PO Box 354, Penney Farms, FL 32079.
Arrangements under the care and direction of Helm-Gallager Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 1811 Idlewild Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL, (904)-284-9696, www.helmgallagherfh.com.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.