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

One Great Hour of Sharing Gifts Invited Following Hurricanes Ian and Fiona

One Great Hour of Sharing is a tangible expression of love—walking with communities in times of crisis. In late September and early October, we saw major destruction from two Hurricanes, Ian and Fiona. As needs are assessed, gifts are encouraged to One Great Hour of Sharing to aid affected areas. Persons who wish to give to […]

ABC Creation Justice Network Offers New Free On-Demand Training

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/29/22)—The American Baptist Churches Creation Justice Network is excited to offer the ABCUSA Blessed Tomorrow Ambassador Training, a new four hour on-demand training available online, for individuals to complete on their own schedule. The ABC Creation Justice Network worked directly with Blessed Tomorrow staff to create a training that highlights American Baptist […]

Interpreting the Impact of Covid-19 on Congregations Task Force Invites Survey Responses

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/21/22)—American Baptists are invited to respond to a survey from the Interpreting the Impact of Covid-19 on Congregations task force. The deadline for survey responses is Friday, October 21. Take the survey here. Rev. Dr. Frank Frischkorn, chair of the task force, notes: “All our lives have been changed as a result of […]

Update on the Work of the General Secretary Search Committee

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/21/22)—American Baptist Churches USA President and Chair of the General Secretary Search Committee Rev. Dr. James O. Wolfe shares a report of the work of the Search Committee to date: The General Secretary Search Committee began its work with an in-person meeting in Tampa, Florida, January 27-29, 2022. In preparation for the […]

Prayer for Puerto Rico, One Great Hour of Sharing Gifts Invited

Please pray for the people of Puerto Rico who are experiencing the most dramatic flooding on the island since Hurricane Maria. The 2022 Hurricane Fiona has dumped over 25 inches of rain and caused massive flooding. Executive Minister Rev. Edgardo Caraballo lamented, “Currently most of the Island is without electricity service. Since Sunday we activated our […]

ABHMS Ramps up Relief for a Re-Traumatized Puerto Rico; Supports Mitigation of the Jackson, Mississippi, Water Crisis; and Continues Efforts to Help Struggling Kentucky Communities

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/20/22)—In the wake of extreme weather that pummeled Kentucky, then Mississippi, and most recently Puerto Rico, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is responding purposefully. Through the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) fund, ABHMS manages disaster relief donations to provide financial assistance to devastated communities. ABHMS is presently mobilizing support for […]

Rev. Dr. Daniel Cash Called as Executive Minister of ABC of the Dakotas

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/20/22)—The American Baptist Churches of the Dakotas Executive Committee, which served as the Region Executive Search Committee, unanimously voted in August to call the Rev. Dr. Daniel Cash as the region’s new Executive Minister. Cash will begin to serve in this new role on October 17. Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford, American Baptist […]

A Generosity Project Reflection – What is your Congregation’s “Why”?

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. What is […]

The American Baptist Foundation Establishes Mission-Supporting Endowment with Midwestern Couple

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/15/22)—For Perry and Dona Laten of Fremont, Nebraska, being involved in American Baptist mission was their priority. Throughout their more than 50 years of marriage the focus of their energy, as well as their financial support, was evangelistic work in the U.S. and abroad and ministries with children and youth. That is […]

Former Green Lake Conference Center and Lawsonia Inc. President/CEO Ken Giacoletto Dies

VALLEY FORGE, PA (9/7/22)—Ken Giacoletto, former president/CEO of Green Lake Conference Center (GLCC) and Lawsonia Inc., passed away peacefully August 23, 2022, following a two-year cancer journey. He was 77. Giacoletto was born on August 10, 1945, in Milwaukee, WI, son of Paul John and Erma (Velio) Giacoletto. This made him a lifelong Green Bay […]