VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/21/17)—The Rev. Paul Light, 85, died Aug. 8 at Hospice West, Grand Junction, Colo. He was former director of Research and Development for American Baptist Home Mission Societies, when it was known as National Ministries. He worked at National Ministries, 1980-1996.
Among the highlights of Light’s work at National Ministries was as key researcher and facilitator for American Baptist input on “Faith Communities Today,” a research project hailed upon its release in early 2000 as the “most comprehensive ever of church life and practice in the United States.” Begun in the mid-1990s, the project surveyed American Baptists and 41 other faith groups. Light was instrumental during the project’s surveying, dissemination and analytical processes. Results were reported at a major media event in New York City.
His previous ministries were as director of Christian education at First Baptist Church, Ann Arbor, Mich., and as American Baptist chaplain at the University of Michigan. He was Protestant chaplain at Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y., where he also taught religion. In addition, he had served at Ogden Baptist Church, Spencer Port, N.Y., and Canterbury (N.H.) Community Church.
Before pursuing ministry, he was a nuclear physicist at Industrial Nucleonics, Columbus, Ohio.
He was married to Bobbie (Willis) Light for 61 years.
Born on May 12, 1932, in Mansfield, Ohio, he was a son of Huett H. Light and Helen (Robinson) light.
He earned a Master of Divinity at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, N.Y. He had also earned a master’s degree at Ohio State and a bachelor’s degree at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
He was active in the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, Kiwanis, Garfield County Democratic Party, Grand River Volunteering Association and Meals on Wheels. He and Bobbie won a humanitarian award in 2009.
Survivors: Wife; son, daughter-in-law and grandson, David, Dory and Kyle of Glenwood Springs, Colo.; son, Drew, of Rifle, Colo.; and daughter and grandson, Diane and Zach (Barry) of Silt, Colo.
Service: A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, at Koinonia Church, 730 25 Road, Grand Junction, Colo. 81505. A reception will follow.
Contributions: To Koinonia Church at the address above.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.