VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/10/19)—The American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) Robert A. Roblee Ministry Building was dedicated on Friday afternoon, November 8. The dedication and celebration service was preceded by an open house for attendees visiting the new home to the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary and the American Baptist Historical Society (financial secretary’s office), located at 1015 West Ninth Avenue, in King of Prussia, Pa.
Following the open house portion of the afternoon, the service began with words of welcome and reflection given by Josué D. Gómez-Menéndez, ABCUSA President.
The service, fittingly named “Together in Christ, United in Mission,” brought together many denominational and regional leaders, staff, and the directors of the Board of General Ministries.
An opening prayer, Teresa of Avila’s “Christ Has No Body,” was read by regional leaders Rev. Steve Bils, Executive Minister, ABC of the Central Pacific Coast; Rev. Dr. Cheryl F. Dudley, Executive Minister, ABC of Metro New York; Rev. Dr. Frank T. Frischkorn, Regional Executive Pastor, ABC of Pennsylvania and Delaware; Rev. David Gregg, Executive Minister, ABC of Metro Chicago; Rev. Miriam Méndez, Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor, ABC of New Jersey; and Rev. Dr. Harry Riggs, II, Executive Minister, ABC of Connecticut.
Words of greeting were brought from representatives of partner organizations, including Rev. Sharon T. Koh, Executive Director/CEO, International Ministries; Rev. Dr. Jeffery Haggray, Executive Director, American Baptist Home Mission Societies and Judson Press; Rev. Dr. Perry J. Hopper, Associate Executive Director and Director of Denominational Relations, Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board; Rev. LaThelma A. Yenn-Batah, Associate Executive Director, American Baptist Women’s Ministries; Rev. Dr. Priscilla E. Eppinger, Executive Director, American Baptist Historical Society and Bob Slechta, Executive Director, American Baptist Men USA; Rev. Perkin F. Simpson, Executive Director, American Baptist Foundation; and Valoria Cheek, President/CEO of the American Baptist Extension Corporation.
ABCUSA General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer offered a reflection based on Genesis 28:10-17, about finding a home in the new Roblee Ministry Building.
Gómez-Menéndez recognized the retirement of Dr. Spitzer, presenting him with a crystal globe and book of letters.
A Building Dedication Litany, which incorporated wording from the litany used in the American Baptist Mission Center dedication service in 1962, was led by Board of General Ministries Directors Rev. James Wolfe, Kurt Kaufman, Rev. Dr. Kay Farley, Bruce Van Der Beek, Rev. Dr. June Totten, Rev. Manuel Luquin, Tasha Wilson, and Dean Parker.
Following a prayer of dedication by Associate General Secretary C. Jeff Woods, the service closed with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Josué D. Gómez-Menéndez, ABCUSA President, Karen Podsiadly, ABCUSA President Elect, Rev. Judy Fackenthal, ABCUSA Past President, and Rev. James O. Wolfe, Vice President Elect. Rev. Judy Fackenthal offered the Benediction, blessing the new ministry building.
Appreciation was expressed for the dedicated work of Architect John Rosecrans of Dimensional Dynamics, Architects and Planners, Inc. and General Contractor Doug Davidson of Superior Contracting Group on the building design and development.
The Robert A. Roblee Ministry Building opened on October 21, 2019. Mail for the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary and American Baptist Historical Society (financial secretary’s office) will continue to be received at the existing PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.
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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.