Purpose and Culture
We are a small church, bursting with energy, friendship, and a desire to welcome others. As a congregation of the American Baptist Churches in the USA, we value the special gifts of each of our members as we worship, serve, proclaim God’s Good News, and grow together as a family.
We encourage folks to think for themselves and to live as God has called them. At the same time we try to nurture an openness to learning from one another as we pursue our church’s calling together.
DLABC welcomes Pastor Tom Kehr as Interim Pastor.
Pastor Tom is an ordained American Baptist pastor and ABCUSA endorsed chaplain serving at London Correctional Institution. His undergraduate studies were obtained at Penn State University, Master's studies at both Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (on the North Shore of Boston) and Doctoral studies at Central Baptist Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. He completed Clinical Pastoral Education in an internship with Kettering Health Network and with a year-long chaplain residency at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Dayton, OH. He has served as pastor in churches in Maine, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He served for ten years as a hospice chaplain and bereavement manager prior to his service with the incarcerated population for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Pastor Tom and his wife Janny are excited to serve alongside the DLABC church family.
Staff and Leadership
In 1958, the First Baptist Church of Dayton decided to support a new church project somewhere in the South-of-Dayton area. During the months of planning under the sponsoring committee of First Baptist Church, and in conjunction with the American Baptist Mission Society in the field of Church Extension, the Rev. Theodore (Ted) K. Pitt was appointed to serve as the first pastor. The first formal service of Dorothy Lane American Baptist Church was held February 1, 1959 at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium of the Southdale School, Kettering, Ohio.
Under Rev. Pitt’s guidance and leadership the church was organized and grew. The congregation of the First Baptist Church, Dayton underwrote the initial expenses of our church which included the purchase of a parsonage and a lot for the location of the new church. These two properties were later, on March 28, 1960, deeded over to the newly organized Dorothy Lane American Baptist Church. A groundbreaking ceremony was held April 17, 1960, for the original building. A dedication service for the new $125,000 sanctuary was held on April 23, 1961. On May 15, 1960, the charter membership was closed with 109 members. After six years the church became a self-supporting congregation.
In 1965, Rev. C. Roland Marcus assumed the pastorate and remained until December 31, 1996. In his 31 years of service he developed and led an active Adult Sunday School Class, Junior Choir, Baptist Youth Fellowship, Drama Team, and Vacation Bible School.
The educational wing and Fellowship Hall addition was built and dedicated in 1972.
We celebrated our Jubilee Year in 2009 with a 50th Anniversary Dinner and several special events throughout the year.
Pastor Karen Johnson came to lead our congregation from October 2010 through August 2021.
During our 60 plus years there have been numerous building improvements. Some projects were: handicap accessible driveway around church building, new roofs, renovation of sanctuary and fellowship hall, ultra efficient furnaces, and updated main floor restrooms to be handicap accessible and family friendly.
What We Believe
The 1.3-million members and 5,200 congregations of American Baptist Churches USA share with more than 42 million Baptists around the world a common tradition begun in the early 17th century. That tradition has emphasized the Lordship and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, believers’ baptism, the competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture, the importance of the local church, the assurance of freedom in worship and opinion, and the need to be Christ’s witnesses within society.
The following facts are representative of the tradition and practice of American Baptists.
American Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God that serves as the final written authority for living out the Christian faith.
For American Baptists the local church is the fundamental unit of mission in denominational life.
American Baptists partake of two ordinances: believers’ baptism and The Lord’s Supper.
American Baptists believe that the committed individual Christian can and should approach God directly, and that individual gifts of ministry should be shared.
American Baptists take seriously the call to evangelism and missionary work.
American Baptists support religious freedom and respect the expressions of faith of others.
American Baptists acknowledge that God’s family extends beyond our local churches, and that God calls us to cooperative ministries.
American Baptists have been called to be Christ’s witnesses for justice and wholeness within a broken society.
American Baptist Churches USA celebrates the racial, cultural and theological diversity witnessed within its membership.
American Baptists heed the biblical call to renewal and the need for a vital witness in a new millennium.