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

American Baptist Women’s Ministries, Shalom Retreat from October 6-8 in Euclid, Ohio

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/26/23)—American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) is proud to share the upcoming Shalom Retreat from October 6-8, 2023, in Euclid, Ohio. The retreat will be at the Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., where Rev. Dr. Christine Smith, the national president, is the senior pastor. This impactful weekend will be an intergenerational experience with […]

ABHMS Receives Generous Donation from Christian Community Credit Union for Maui Wildfire Relief

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/26/23)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) extends heartfelt thanks to the Christian Community Credit Union (CCCU) for a gratefully received $5,000 donation to the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) fund for the survivors of the Maui wildfires. Though authorities revised the number of fatalities downward in mid-September from 115 to […]

October 30 is Deadline for 2023 Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund Grant Applications

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/20/23)—The American Baptist Churches USA Office of the General Secretary welcomes applications for the Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund Grant awards by Monday, October 30, 2023. The grant was established from the remaining assets of the Chestnut Street Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Pa., by the American Baptist Churches USA Office of […]

South Korean Youth Delegation Visits ABHMS

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/1/23)—On August 9, 2023, the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) received a youth delegation from the Korean Baptist Churches of the Republic of Korea (KBCROK). Led by the Rev. Dr. David Hojin Yu and his daughter, Ms. Sharon Yu, the group visited the Leadership and Mission Building (LAMB), ABHMS’ home […]

ABHMS Summer Passionary Institute Brings Together Young People Who Discern Their Call

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/1/2023)—In the spirit of its missional commitment to cultivating leaders and equipping disciples, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) launched its Summer Passionary Institute (SPI) in late May 2023. Over the next ten weeks, members of the inaugural cohort, young adults ages 18–29 hailing from Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, West […]

Call to Response for Those Affected by Hurricane Idalia

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/31/23)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to pray for strength and protection for those affected by Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall August 30 along the Big Bend area of Florida’s Gulf Coast as a high-end Category 3 storm driving record-breaking storm surge. As it traverses the Southeast United States, with […]

ABHMS Hosts Inaugural Scholarship Recipient Meeting to Build Future Partnerships

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/16/23)—The cost of higher education is soaring. Consequently, so too is student debt. Long recognizing these unsettling trends, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has historically helped to support American Baptist students through its scholarship program. This year, ABHMS is redoubling its effort to not only grant scholarships but also build […]

Officers Elected for 2024-2025 Biennium

During the Business Session on Sunday, June 25, 2023 which took place at the 2023 American Baptist Churches Biennial Mission Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the nominated officers were elected and the election slate was passed for 2024-2025 biennium of American Baptist Churches USA. The following officers were elected to serve for the term […]

A Generosity Project Reflection: Money Talks

The Generosity Project is a collaborative effort between ABCUSA, regions, and local congregations. The Generosity Project aims to help pastors re-frame the conversation around stewardship and generosity in their congregations. Bi-monthly blogs help support new growth and understanding as we deepen our ministry and discipleship. The reflection below was provided by Rev. Stacy Emerson. Lynne Twist […]

Rev. Dr. Michael P. L. Friday Called as Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/14/23)—At a specially called Board of Directors meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis in June, Rev. Dr. Michael P.L. Friday was unanimously called as the next Executive Minister for the region. He will begin his service on August 24. Chair of the Search Committee, Rev. Dr. Mark Hetrick, […]