ABCCONN Remembers: Obituaries 

ABCCONN is saddened to announce the loss of Jennifer Johnson and Lowell Hart Fewster. We cherish their legacies and impact on the organization and send sincere condolences to their loved ones. Memorial and burial information can be accessed below. 

Jennifer Johnson (1945-2020)

Jennifer Jean Johnson, wife of Alvin David Johnson, Jr, and mother to Timothy (Johnette) and Amy, passed away peacefully holding the hand of her beloved husband of 51 years.  She walked gracefully through a three year illness and went to be with her Lord on May 27, 2020. 

Jennifer led a wonderful and blessed life full of love and service to others.  She loved her family, her friends, her church community, and travelling.  She especially enjoyed spending time with her four beautiful granddaughters: Caly, Aubri, Mckenna and Vivi.

Born in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, daughter of Jerrold and Ruby Chambers Anderson and sister to Jill, she grew up in Aurora, Colorado graduating from Aurora Central High School and University of Northern Colorado.  She received a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University.  She taught elementary education for over 30 years in Baltimore County Maryland, Aurora Colorado and North Haven Connecticut.  She was a devoted and well respected teacher that changed the lives of hundreds of students at Clintonville School, Center School and Ridge Road Elementary School.    

As a life long American Baptist she was an active member of the First Baptist Church in New Haven and was very involved and committed to missions and civil immigration policies.  She became family to many refugees resettling into the area.  She will continue to be an inspiration to a large and diverse community including fellow church members, ABCCONN and the wider American Baptist Community, fellow teachers and students. 

Jennifer was the dearest and best wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend, teacher, and her sense of good cheer and her faithfulness live on in so many.

 Gifts in her name may be contributed to First Baptist Church, New Haven designated for Refugee Resettlement.  Contributions may be made by mail at 205 Edwards Street, New Haven, 06511 or online at

Please consider sharing memories, photos and videos online at or mail to 208 Mountain Road, Cheshire, CT 06410. 

A Memorial Service will take place on September 12 at First Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.  


Lowell Hart Fewster (1939 - 2020)

Lowell Hart Fewster, 81, died on May 28, at his home at Seabury in Bloomfield, CT, surrounded by his family. Lowell was born April 18, 1939, in Rochester, NY, to J. Donald and Alma Fewster (Hart). His journey continued to Princeton, NJ; Yola, Nigeria; Hartford, CT; and Madison, WI, with return trips to some. A lifelong learner, Lowell earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, Bachelor of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and masters and doctorate degrees in Higher Education Administration from the University of Rochester. Passions throughout his life were his faith, peace and justice issues, and his hobby of photography. As an American Baptist Minister, Lowell pursued four distinct careers: pastor, campus minister, seminary administrator, and regional church leader. Lowell prepared for ministry in Rochester at Colgate Rochester Divinity School where he met his wife, Julie (Palmquist), a fellow divinity school student. In 1966, he was called as pastor of the Blue Hills Baptist Church in Hartford. In 1969, Lowell became a campus minister at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While in Madison, Jonathan (1970) and Sarah (1973) were born. Lowell returned to Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1976 as assistant to the president and later vice president for administration. In 1991, Lowell was called as executive minister for the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, based in Hartford, retiring in 2004. Lowell was in one of the first U.S. Peace Corps contingents in Nigeria, serving in the early 1960s. Upon graduation from Princeton and a year at Harvard Divinity School considering a career in ministry, Lowell was unsure what direction he should take. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, he charted a new path in the Peace Corps, teaching secondary students for two years in Yola, Nigeria, helping to educate future leaders of a young nation. He was immensely proud that one of his students later founded American University of Nigeria. A talented photographer, Lowell started "making" pictures at age 6, on a second-hand 1917 box camera. He soon moved to other models and continued documenting his life and family trips. He built darkrooms in his Madison, WI, Rochester, NY, and Windsor, CT homes. In retirement, photography became a central focus, including travelling on international photographic expeditions to Guatemala, China, and Morocco, among other countries, and pursuing his interest in photographing disappearing barns in New England and across the country. Lowell organized multiple exhibits of his work, including photos of Connecticut River Valley barns, Cuba, Morocco, and Hartford's Colt Armory neighborhood. Lowell's photographs are featured in an award-winning book, "Preserving Old Barns" by John C. Porter and Francis E. Gilman. Lowell is survived by his wife of 54 years, Julie; his son, Jonathan and his wife Victoria Carter of Seattle, WA; his daughter Sarah White and her husband Robert of Queens, NY; his grandchildren Daniel and Annabelle, and two sisters Phyllis Rosser of Manhattan, NY, and Janet Bandur of Woodland Hills, CA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Foodshare ( or Fotokids ( In the coming weeks, First Church in Windsor ( will host an online service celebrating Lowell's life.

Now Accepting Applications for the Position of Office Administrator (ABCCONN)-Closing July 5th

The American Baptist Churches of Connecticut is pleased to announce the acceptance of applications for the position of Office Administrator. The position of Office Administrator is twenty-five (25) hours per week. The successful applicant will have a high level of initiative and be skilled in the use of a variety of technologies.  If interested, a full job description is on the ABCCONN’s website. Please send all resumes and cover letters to ABCCONN’s Chair of Personnel, Sandra Hadland. 

Reopening Our Houses of Worship

Please click here to view the latest newsletter re Reopening Our Houses of Worship. 

Conversation Guide to Reopening Your Church Building

American Baptist Churches, USA

Conversation Guide to Reopening Your Church Building

As local, state and governmental leaders begin to announce plans for reopening the country, it seems wise for pastors and church leaders to begin holding conversations and making preparations for reopening our places of worship.  It is important to recognize that safety concerns will require our worship and ministry to be conducted differently as we return to a new reality. Gathering guidelines from officials may be implemented in stages and may be different from one county to the next. Advance preparation may be the key to keeping persons safe when we return to our activities. This guide is designed to help you ponder various points of consideration as your church implements new methods, policies and procedures. It specifically focuses on two core areas, the physical and the personal.

Click here to learn more.


ABCCONN’S 2020 LAY MINISTRY INSTITUTE: In light of global pandemic, the 2020 Lay Ministry Institute has been cancelled.

We look forward to to resuming in 2021.

Time-Sensitive Financial Relief for ABCCONN Churches – Federally Funded CARES Payroll Protection Plan (PPP)

ABCCONN Churches are encouraged to make an application for federal funds under the Payroll Protection Plan, a part of the CARES Act recently approved by Congress and signed by the President.

Eligibility and Requirements 

Churches and other non-profits are eligible under this program.

Churches would be eligible for a loan of approximately 2.5 times the monthly payroll. The loan would be through a participating Bank of your choosing.

Using the Quarterly 941 forms, your church can determine the potential amount of your church loan.

This is a first come, first serve program. It is important that your church file an application quickly.


What can the loan be used for? Payroll Costs (This is the prime reason for this program), Utilities, or Group health benefits If this is a loan, what is the interest and how long do we have to pay it back? It will depend on your bank. No guarantee or collateral is required. Is there Loan Forgiveness? Any monies spent for payroll during the eight-week period after the loan is originated (starts) are forgiven. Also, utility payments made prior to 2/15/20 are eligible for forgiveness. Is there a down-side to this application? Your church would have to make every effort to retain the number of current staff.

For additional information please click here.

Further assistance is available by calling the ABCCONN office during normal business hours at 860-521-5421. Please follow the prompts to be connected with the Executive Minister. 

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