Lee Spitzer

ABCUSA > Lee Spitzer

Since accepting the call to serve as the General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA in June 2017, Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer has cast a vision calling for the American Baptist family to unify around the historic Baptist movement’s core convictions and mission, and to enter into a new era of church growth, evangelism, prophetic witness and creative service in cooperation with our national and regional partners. He thoroughly enjoys the ethnic and racial diversity of our American Baptist family, which includes approximately 5,000 churches and 1.3 million members.

Prior to his new call, Dr. Spitzer served as Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey for 14 years. He encouraged the region to journey as a Christ-centered, mission focused and pastoral (loving) community of churches. From this vision, many new ministries were developed. Dr. Spitzer brings to his new position decades of pastoral experience; he was pastor of First Baptist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, the Seaview Baptist Church in Linwood, New Jersey, and the First Baptist Church in East Providence, Rhode Island. He was ordained as an American Baptist minister in 1981. His Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees are from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and in 2016, he was awarded a PhD degree in Theology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the International Baptist Theological Study Centre.

Judson Press has published two books by Dr. Spitzer. Making Friends, Making Disciples (2010) explores how relationships impact our lives and the discipleship and evangelism ministries of churches. His newest book, Baptists, Jews and the Holocaust: the Hand of Sincere Friendship (2017), reveals how Baptists in the United States responded to Nazism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

Dr. Spitzer has written other scholarly articles and books, including Endless Possibilities: Exploring the Journeys of Your Life (1997) and the companion Endless Possibilities Course Book (2001). In A Summer’s Journey (2001), he chronicled his unique pilgrimage to Israel during a summer of terrorism and turmoil. He authored three articles on children’s spirituality for the Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (2006), and a chapter on “Friendship” in Learning to Lead (2012), edited by Dr. Willard Ashley. In 2017, LERBAN (the publishing ministry of the Convenção Batista Nacional, Brazil), published a Portuguese language adaptation of Endless Possibilities, entitled, Possibilidades Sem Fim.

Dr. Spitzer has been married for forty-one years and has two children, Joshua and Larisa, and one grandson, Restyn Joshua Skinner. His wife, Lois, is an associate professor at Stockton University. Both Lee and Lois were born into Jewish homes and converted to Christianity as teenagers in the early 1970s. They enjoy sharing with Christians about the Jewish foundations of Christianity.

Posted Articles

Anti-Racism Task Force Formation

Anti-Racism Task Force Update September 17, 2020 The Call to Prayer event for anti-racism was held on August 5, 2020 with over 150 participants. A dozen American Baptists participated in the Call to Prayer by sharing their prayers and reflections on anti-racism. Those who shared their reflections showed great commitment on that day. One person […]

ABHMS Awards More Than $100,000 in COVID One Great Hour of Sharing Recovery Grants

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/14/20)—Since May 2020, ABHMS has awarded $132,841 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) funds for COVID-19 recovery efforts in the United States and Puerto Rico. Sixty-one organizations have received grants for communities in need. “The state of emergency we are experiencing because of COVID-19 remains critical,” says the Rev. Rothangliani […]

Update Regarding American Baptist Churches 2021 Biennial Mission Summit Event

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/11/20)—The Executive Committee of the American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries, at its meeting on Thursday, September 10, voted to hold a virtual Biennial Mission Summit in 2021 and to seek to hold an in person Biennial Mission Summit in Puerto Rico in 2023. A letter from the Executive Committee […]

Multi Region Race and Justice Forum Announced

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/2/20)—Three American Baptist regions have announced a weekly Multi Region Race and Justice Forum beginning on September 8, 2020. The forum will meet in the format of a Bible Study for Pastors and Church Leaders every Tuesday from September 8 through October 6 on Zoom. Each week the forum will begin with […]

Former American Baptist Churches General Secretary Daniel E. Weiss Remembered

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/27/20)—Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Weiss, who served as General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA from 1988 to 2000, died on Saturday, August 22. Prior to serving as General Secretary, Dr. Weiss was Executive Director of the American Baptist Churches USA Board of Educational Ministries from 1983-1988, and previously served as […]

Sept. 27 Virtual ‘Carve the Tree’ Event to Memorialize Kevin D. Rose

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/3/20)—A virtual live-streamed “Carve the Tree” event will be held 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, to memorialize Kevin D. Rose, who was a past president of Educational Ministries, today a part of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). Co-pastor at Cumberland (Ind.) First Baptist Church (FBC), Rose is being honored by […]

ABHMS Seeks Applicants for 2021 ‘In Support of Excellence’ Cohort

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/1/20)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is seeking American Baptist pastors to apply to its 2021 “In Support of Excellence” (ISOE) pastors financial-empowerment cohort to begin meeting in January 2021. The application deadline is Oct. 9, 2020. ABHMS has chosen to partner with pastors of excellence in populations identified in research as […]

ABHMS Connects with American Baptists in the Midst of Disaster Recovery

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/4/20)—Since Aug. 10, forces of nature have caused extensive loss among American Baptists and the communities where they live and serve. Calling for our prayers and active response are dangerous winds and rain in the Midwest, which severely impacted parts of Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana; fires in western states, […]

ABHMS’ Latino Ministries to Co-Sponsor Monthly Online Workshops; Racism Theme Planned for Sept. 25

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/17/20)—As the first of their new monthly “Conversaciones Latinas Contemporáneas” (“Contemporary Latino Conversations”), American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Latino Ministries and the Hispanic National Caucus will offer the “Naked Inequality: Racism from a Latino Perspective” online workshop at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept. 25. “The polarization experienced in our […]

IM Donors Respond with Medical Supplies During COVID-19

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/28/20)—With over 120 personnel serving in 30 countries, International Ministries (IM) reviews briefings and updates from multiple sources daily. IM’s continual alertness has enabled it to prepare for and respond to the emerging needs of its personnel and those to whom they minister, including during the on-going COVID-19 crisis. In late […]