Join us at the All Church Worship, Sunday, Oct. 2.
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American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Mrs. Gwendolyn Vaughn, beloved wife of Rev. Dr. Sammy Vaughn, passed away Wednesday morning, September 28. We join with St. James Baptist Church, Woonsocket, where Mrs. Vaughn has been First Lady for 27 years, in our prayers for Dr. Vaughn and the entire family. Sammy and Gwendolyn have been married for more than 63 years. They are the parents of three sons and one daughter. They also have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A visitation is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 6:00-9:00 pm, at St. James Baptist Church in Woonsocket (340 South Main Street, Woonsocket, RI).  The memorial service is scheduled for Friday, October 7, 10:00am, also at St. James Baptist Church.  The memorial service will be followed by internment at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.

All-Church Worship Gathering
Sunday, October 2 at 3:00 pm
Wakefield Baptist Church, 236 Main Street, Wakefield, RI


This annual event has become a highlight of our shared times together as the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island.  Our Worship Gathering will be hosted by Wakefield Baptist Church (236 Main, Wakefield) at 3:00pm. The worship time will feature Rev. Dr. Vincent Thompson, Senior Pastor of Community Baptist Church, Newport, as our annual preacher.  Rev. Dr. Thompson will be joined in worship leadership by his congregation’s choir, as well as the host church’s choir, Canonicus summer camp counselor staff, and many others.

One of the highlights of our service will be an opportunity for each and every church to offer one of their ministries to God. The planning team is asking that each church bring a small item that is representative of one of their ministries within their community. For example: if you have clothing ministry, you may bring a single item of clothing; if you have a food pantry, you may bring a can of food; if you have a feeding ministry, you may bring a serving spoon; if you have a prayer shawl ministry, you may bring a knitted/crocheted piece; etc.  

In addition to the great music, powerful preaching and times of dedication and prayer, we will be celebrating the ministry of our local congregations and pastors by recognizing those churches who are celebrating a significant anniversary and pastors who are celebrating an anniversary of their ordination.

Calling All Retired Ministers!

As a minister, now retired, the Together in Ministry Group: Spiritual Formation in the Senior Years invites you to join them each third Thursday of the month throughout the year.  The purpose of this group is to help us stay in contact with the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island, our Region offices, and our colleagues, as well as give support to one another as we adjust to changes in our life and continue to nurture ourselves spiritually.  Our fall program begins October 20.   Over the following weeks, we will be reading and discussing the book, The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister.  In it she invites us to "embrace older age as a natural part of life that is both active and contemplative, productive and reflective and deeply rewarding."  Books will be available at the meeting on Thursday, October 20 at Lawrence (the main building).   Questions?  Call Donna Maggi-401-364-6518 or Carlos Mooney - 508-222-5070.
Upcoming Events
Oct 2
   3 pm - All Church Worship at Wakefield Baptist Church

Oct 4
    1 pm - Baptist Historical Center at Canonicus

Oct 6
    1 pm - SCOM at Canonicus
    5 pm - Operations Team at Mark Sjoberg Office

Oct 10
    Region Office Closed for Columbus Day

Oct 13
    10 am - Recruitment Committee at Canonicus
     7 pm - Board of Ministries at North Scituate Baptist Church

Oct 14-15
     Missionworks in Leominster, MA

Oct 17
     11:30 am - Social Justice Team at RI Hospital
     7 pm - RIBES at First Baptist, East Greenwich

Oct 20
     10 am - Retired Minister's TIM at Canonicus

Oct 30
     3 pm - Ordination of Rev. Ebony Grissom at East Greenwich Baptist Church
     4 pm - Installation of Rev. Justin Lester at Congdon Street Baptist Church, Providence

Nov 3
     8 am - Heroes of Faith Breakfast at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet

Nov 5
     Baptist Heritage Weekend

Nov 7
     Noon - Lunch with Dr. Susan Gillies, ABC-USA General Secretary at Meadowwood

Nov 8
Noon - Theological Circle at FBC, East Greenwich

Nov 10
     Noon- Elder Luncheon at Meadowwood

Nov 17
     10 am - Retired Ministers TIM at Canonicus

Nov 21
     7 pm - Baptist Home Board at FBC, East Greenwich

Nov 29
     4:30 pm - Investment Committee at Church of the Master

Dec 5
     6:30 pm - ABWM RI Exec Committee at Phillips Memorial

Dec 12
     7 pm - Board of Ministries at Norwood Baptist
Social Witness Team Raises Awareness of Predatory Lending

Payday lenders purposefully trap families in cycles of debt they cannot escape - making it impossible to pay the bills or keep food on the table for their children by imposing outrageous interest rates of 300% (APR) or more.  Those who can least afford it are TARGETED by this Industry and enter in to a cycle of debt that has no end.

We are to love our neighbors - not exploit their financial vulnerability.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the federal entity that oversees the Payday Lending Industry and there are proposals in place to regulate Payday Lending.

The rules proposed by the CFPB will rein in the worst Payday lending abuses. But the Payday industry is fighting to keep its unfair and abusive practices going. WE NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE HELP by telling the CFPB what you think about Payday lending.  Your voice could be the difference that protects the God-given dignity of our families and ends the debt trap once and for all. All of our comments are needed today!

You can be assured that the Payday Lending Industry is flooding the CFPB with "positive" comments.  We need to present the REAL story to the CFPB

Here is how you can immediately, and easily, help (Note: Deadline is October 7, October 3 for Clergy sign-on letter).  Please take a few minutes to take action today:
  1. Your comment is needed! Submit a comment here. Be sure to include a personal note to the CFPB on why this issue matters and then help circulate this link to friends, family and your congregation.  Every comment counts!
  2. Nation Wide Sign On Letter for organizations. If you represent an organization, congregation or small business please sign and help circulate our nationwide sign on letter. We have a goal of getting 500 groups to sign on by October 3rd, and we need you to do it! 
Pastors please announce or add the website to your bulletins. Hopefully, we can drive more people to make comments before October 7th. Remember, we are fighting for a strong, nationwide rule to stop the payday loan debt trap. We need to be moving forward to get rid of abusive, usurious loan products, and ensuring a fair marketplace for everyone.
Communication is Key . . .
The Region Office is always working to update and upgrade our communications network. At the present time we have three main ways to communicate with you and your congregations: the weekly E-notes, our Facebook page, and periodic pastors’ e-mails. 
You can help us extend our reach and effectiveness by:
  1. Letting us know if you are not receiving any of these three items
  2.  Providing e-mail addresses of any and all church members who would like to receive the weekly  E-notes, and
  3.  “Like” us (American Baptist Churches of RI) on Facebook.  You can do this right now by simply clicking “here

Baptist Heritage Weekend
Saturday, November 5

In a day when religion is often a dynamic factor in the politics of towns, states and nations, we Baptists claim a radical heritage, one that should be of benefit to all societies, namely the freedom of conscience and the critical division between the authority of faith and the authority of government. The RI Baptist Heritage Center is offering a very exciting and timely event: Directing Traffic at the Intersection of Church & State.

Our guest and speaker will be Brent Walker, widely respected, retiring executive for the Baptist Joint Committee. The Heritage Weekend will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 529 Charles St. Providence from 9am-3pm on Saturday Nov. 5. 

Mr. Walker will speak and answer questions in the morning. At noon a luncheon honoring Mr. Walker will include many notable guests including Sen. Reed. John McNiff will appear as Roger Williams.

The weekend continues as Mr. Walker will preach at First Baptist Church in America (75 North Main Street, Providnce) at 11:00 a.m.

For registration forms: Charles Hartman, 508.336.0799 or the Baptist state offices. Registration closes Oct. 21. Cost (9/5) is $25 per person or $15 for luncheon only. Please register early for this very special event.

Download the flyer.


The MissionWorks Conference is rapidly approaching. This premier event is a shared ministry of The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts and the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island. Held annually at the conveniently located DoubleTree by Hilton in Leominster, MA, MissionWorks connects us with God’ Mission both at home and around the world.  This year’s conference theme: Walk With Me. I am Listening. What is Your Story? will encourage us to engage in meaningful conversations about God’s Mission in the World.

Key speakers at this year’s MissionWork’s include Rev. Sharon Koh, the newly elected Executive Director of International Ministries of ABCUSA. Rev. Koh will share her vision and her passion for world mission endeavors as we partner with American Baptists around the globe.  In addition (as if that were not enough!) the closing speaker at this year’s event is our own, Rev. Jabulani McCalister, senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Providence.

You can download a reproducible brochure here.  Use copies of this brochure to encourage your fellow church members to join you in attending this year’s MissionWorks.  For registration, use the attached form.

Pastors Don't Miss These Continuing Education Opportunities

Our sister Region, American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, invite all the ABC pastors of Rhode Island to join them in these two continuing education opportunities:

Healthy Boundaries for Clergy

                October 6, 8:30-4:30
               West Harford, CT

Interim Ministry Training, Overview and Best Practices

                October 27, 9:30 to 3:00
                West Hartford, CT

Ready for Some Hockey?

American Baptist Churches are invited to join the fun Friday, October 14, as the Providence Bruins battle the Albany Devils (surely Baptists can support battling the “Devils”!) at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Download the attached flyer for a special deal on tickets and give-aways.

Canonicus Seeking Hospitality Coordinator

The American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island is seeking an individual to serve as Hospitality Coordinator for the conferencing clients at Canonicus Camp and Conference Center. This is a part-time position which focuses on serving client needs while they are guests at the Conference Center. Download the complete job description. Interested individuals may contact Colleen Tollhurst, Reservations and Office Manager, at


Facilities Manager

American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI) is looking for a gifted person to join our team.  This person should have three to five years experience in the care and maintenance of buildings and grounds with general carpentry, plumbing, mechanical and electrical skills.  This is a full time salaried position with primary responsibilities for managing the maintenance of ABCORI properties (308 acres plus rentals), including natural resources, buildings and grounds, care and maintenance of the physical plant, vehicles and equipment on a year round basis. 

General work hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 pm.  Monday through Friday and weekends as needed (excluding winter months due to snow removal).  Resumes should be mailed to the attention of Rev. Nikita McCalister, Associate Executive for Administration,  54 Exeter Road, Exeter, RI 02822, or emailed to 

See job description.

Regional Staff in the Churches

  • Oct. 2          Norwood Baptist Church
  • Oct 9           Memorial Baptist Church, Seekonk
  • Oct. 16        Central Baptist Church, Westerly
  • Oct. 30        Community Church of Providence
  • Oct. 30        Congdon Street Baptist Church
  • Nov. 6          FBC, East Greenwich
  • Nov. 20.       Central Baptist, Jamestown

Pray For Our Churches in Pastoral Transitions

  • Chepachet Union Baptist Church, Chepachet
  • Church of the Master, Providence
  • First Baptist Church, North Kingstown
  • Foster Center Baptist Church, Foster
  • Spring Green Baptist Church, Warwick
  • Georgiaville Baptist Church, Smithfield
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hope

From Our Churches

The Church of the Master
Community Breakfast for the Homeless and Needy

With help from teams of volunteers from our partnering churches -- Georgiaville Baptist Church, North Scituate Baptist, Phillips Memorial Baptist and Warwick Central Baptist as well as students from St. Andrew's and many individuals -- we are able to provide a breakfast buffet for 150-200 folks each Saturday.  Youth groups from Bethany Baptist and North Foster Baptist have also participated.  We also are able to provide opportunities for students and others needing to complete community service requirements.

There is an emergency food pantry as well as a clothing room. For more information or to volunteer, please call the church at 861-5568 or Joyce Kennedy at 353-1476.

Memorial Baptist Church
Saturday, Oct 1, 3:00-4:30 PM

On Saturday, October 1st between 3:00pm - 4:30pm the Memorial Baptist Church will be hosting "Victory Café." Victory Café will be exploring with those in attendance the question "What on earth am I doing here?" These sessions will be held at Seekonk Public Library, 410 Newman Avenue, Seekonk.

Phenix Baptist Church (2 Fairview Avenue, West Warwick)
Fall Yard/Rummage Sale and Bake Sale
Saturday, October 8, 8 am - 1 pm

Clothing, household items, toys, books, etc. and baked goods. All are welcome.

Norwood Baptist Church (48 Budlong Ave., Warwick)
64th Annual Turkey Supper
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Our traditional harvest supper served buffet style includes: rolls, sliced roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, whipped potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, cranberry sauce, coffee, tea, milk, juice and pie. Adults, $10.00; Kids ages 3-10, $4

Hurry! Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please choose from the 4:30 pm or 6:30 pm seating. To place your reservations, please call 401--941-7040, 48 Budlong Ave. Warwick, R I02888 Or   More info.


Installation Banquet
Saturday, October 29, 6:00pm
Radisson Hotel, Post Road, Warwick

Rev. and Mrs. Congdon St. Baptist Church welcomes our new pastor Rev. Justin R. Lester and his wife Courtney. We are planning a installation banquet October 29, 2016 Radisson Hotel Post Rd. Warwick, RI, 6pm to 9pm.  Tickets are $45 adult and $20 under 13 years old. You may also write a welcome in our installation booklet.

Please contact Deacon Dennis Price 401-935-8955. Thank you.



From Our Partners

Bryant University Seeking Protestant Chaplain

Reporting to the Executive Director, PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Protestant Chaplain is part of the Campus Ministry, works collaboratively with other staff of the PwC CDI team, and facilitates Protestant ministry to the campus community through outreach, community building, and facilitation of programs, services, and events.  The Protestant Chaplain also contributes to an interfaith environment and works in collaboration with the other chaplains to serve Bryant.

For complete job description click here.

Contact us

by calling the main number of our offices at Canonicus (401) 294-6318 and follow the simple prompts to ring any individual or office, or by calling an individual directly.

Rev. Dr. Tom Wiles, Exec. Minister                                     (401) 522-9733
Rev. Nikita McCalister, Assoc. Exec. for Administration      (401) 522-9730
Deb Guilmain, Director of Camping Ministries                    (401) 522-9732
Colleen Tolhurst, Reservations and Office Manager           (401) 522-9729

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