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.

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Radical. Redeemed. Ready. Conference Meets June 15-18

The “Radical. Redeemed. Ready.” conference met Wednesday-Saturday, June 15-18, 2022, at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis. “Radical. Redeemed. Ready.” was a celebration of women ministerial leaders through many years of ministry. The event included recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Women in Ministry Project, now known as American Baptist Women […]

Embracing Stewardship: Looking Through the Lens of Love

Join us for a Generosity Project webinar on Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Register here. Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter is the Senior Pastor of the historic Mariners’ Temple Baptist Church in New York City. In this webinar, Dr. Carter will share the inspiring story about how her congregation has learned to embrace […]

In Celebration of Juneteenth

A message from American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods Juneteenth honors the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” is a blend of two words: “June” and “nineteenth.” It is believed to be the oldest African-American holiday, with annual celebrations on June 19th in different parts […]

American Baptist Churches Board of General Ministries Meets in Green Lake, Wisconsin

GREEN LAKE, WI (6/17/22)—The American Baptist Churches Board of General Ministries met June 13-15, 2022, at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis. “The sacred space that is Green Lake was host to the sacred work and worship of the Board of General Ministries as we met for our June meeting. In the […]

American Baptist Churches General Secretary Releases Statement on Clergy Abuse

VALLEY FORGE, PA (6/10/22)—The American Baptist Churches General Secretary released a statement today in response to recent public awareness of allegations of sexual abuse in other Baptist traditions: American Baptist Churches USA acknowledges and recognizes the great harm clergy abuse wreaks within victims, families, and congregations. This experienced harm unfolds for generations and can become […]

July 15 is Deadline for 2022 Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund Grant Applications

VALLEY FORGE, PA (6/9/22)—The American Baptist Churches USA Office of the General Secretary welcomes applications for the Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund Grant awards by July 15, 2022. The theme for 2022 will be “Holistic Health for Refugees and Immigrant Communities.” The grant was established from the remaining assets of the Chestnut Street Baptist […]

Do You Need a Security Grant? Information from Church Mutual Insurance

Nonprofits and houses of worship that feel the organization is at high risk for a terrorist attack may qualify for government funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors a Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which provides grants to organizations that show they need significant security upgrades. Here, Church Mutual shows you how to determine […]

On the Shooting in Laguna Woods, California

Written by Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director American Baptist Home Mission Societies VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/17/22)— The American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) condemns the gun violence at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church (ITPC) in Laguna Woods, California on May 15, 2022, which left church member Dr. John Cheng dead and five others wounded. We commend […]

General Secretary Releases Statement Following Recent Shootings

VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/18/22)—General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods released a statement on May 18, 2022, following recent shootings in California, New York and Wisconsin. Read the statement below. The recent shootings in Orange County, California at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, in Buffalo, New York, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin remind us of the deep and destructive […]

On the Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York

Written by Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director American Baptist Home Mission Societies VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/18/22)—The American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) expresses heartfelt condolences to the victims and family members of those slain during a brazen act of racially motivated violence on May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. We stand in solidarity with […]