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

ABCUSA General Secretary Asks Presidential Candidates to Focus on Poverty

VALLEY FORGE, PA (10/2/19)—Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), has joined with more than 50 Christian leaders to send a letter to the presidential candidates asking them to produce a short video telling the American people what they “would do as president to offer help and opportunity to hungry […]

Spitzer to Retire December 31, 2019; Letters Invited

As previously announced, Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), will be retiring on December 31, 2019. Spitzer originally took office on June 1, 2017. Submissions of letters or words of appreciation for a “Book of Letters” are invited. The Board of General Ministries of ABCUSA invites submissions of […]

ABCUSA General Secretary Urges Prayers on September 8, 2019, for Kachin Baptist Leader and Members

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/4/19)—On Wednesday, September 4, American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer published a letter to American Baptists, inviting them to be in prayer for Kachin Baptist leader Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, president of the Kachin Baptist Convention of Myanmar, who has been summoned to appear in court on September 9, […]

Burma Refugee Commission Releases Declaration of Concern for Safety of President of the Kachin Baptist Convention of Myanmar

VALLEY FORGE, PA (8/30/19)—The American Baptist Churches Burma Refugee Commission released a Declaration of Concern on August 30, expressing ongoing concern for the safety of the Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, President of the Kachin Baptist Convention of Myanmar who has been summoned to appear in court on September 9, 2019 regarding a lawsuit instigated by […]

American Baptists Called to Prayer; Burma Refugee Commission Representatives Send Letter Expressing Concern to UN Secretary-General and US Government

VALLEY FORGE, PA (8/14/19)—On behalf of the Burma Refugee Commission, American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer, Rev. Sharon Koh, executive director/CEO of International Ministries, and Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, sent letters this week to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, as well as to officials […]

The Collective Conscience of our Country: A Pastoral Letter from ABCUSA General Secretary Lee Spitzer

Read a pastoral letter from General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, published August 5, 2019, below. If you would like download a printable copy, please click here. “The Collective Conscience of our Country” A Pastoral Update from the General Secretary August 5, 2019 Dear ABCUSA Family, TWENTY dead, 26 wounded. NINE dead, 27 wounded. […]

Biennial Youth Conference Brings Over 100 Young People to Virginia Beach

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/8/19)—As American Baptists gathered from across the country to celebrate at the 2019 Biennial Mission Summit in Virginia Beach, God was doing a new thing. Just down the hall from the Grand Ballroom in the Virginia Beach Convention Center, over 100 young people from as far as Wisconsin to those who […]

ABCUSA General Secretary Responds to Refugee and Immigrant Crises

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/28/19)—In response to the ongoing crisis on the southern border of the United States, and to refugee policy in general, ABCUSA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer has added his name to two significant ecumenical letters. The first letter, composed by the Evangelical Immigration Table of the National Association of Evangelicals, says […]

A Pastoral Letter from ABCUSA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer

Read a pastoral letter from General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, written April 29, 2019, below. If you would like download a printable copy, please click here. “Hate and Violence Cannot Defeat Love and Faith” A Pastoral Letter to the American Baptist Family By Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, ABCUSA General Secretary This is […]

ABCUSA Board of General Ministries Endorses National Call for Reflection, Prayer and Reconciliation

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/19/18)—At its recent meeting, November 9-11, 2018, in King of Prussia, Pa., the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) voted to endorse the National Call for Reflection, Prayer and Reconciliation of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). “Through this effort we join other denominations across our […]