Following his death Aug. 1 in Maryville, Tenn., former IBSA director of worship Allen Mashbern was remembered for his kindness, musical talent, and commitment to training the next generation of church musicians.
Mashbern, 70, joined the IBSA staff in 1986, after serving as minister of music to churches in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. At IBSA, he coordinated training for church musicians, camps for children and teens, and Illinois’ All State Youth Choir. He retired after 20 years of service to Illinois Baptist churches.
Mashbern earned music degrees from Memphis State University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where he received a Doctor of Music Arts. He was a member of The CenturyMen, a Dove- and Grammy-nominated men’s chorus, and edited hymns for the Southern Baptist Hymnal. “He had perfect pitch and was a wonderful tenor—the kind of person I can’t sing around because it made it so clear how off I am,” said IBSA’s Debbie Muller, who served as Mashbern’s ministry assistant.
“He was so sweet and caring about everyone he worked with. Children’s Music Camp, Youth Music Camp, and the All State Youth Choir were very important to him. He loved teaching students ways to worship God.”
He is survived by his wife, Jeannie; daughter, Tina (John) Cowsert; grandson, Matthew John Cowsert; granddaughter, Anna Elizabeth Cowsert; three sisters; and many cousins, nephews, and nieces.
William Ellsworth | 1932-2018
Long-time Illinois Baptist pastor William “Bill” Ellsworth died Aug. 16 at the age of 86. A Navy veteran of the Korean War era, he was called into full-time ministry in 1974. He served as minister of music and youth at several churches in Metro East and southern Illinois, and sang with the Singing Churchmen and Singing Illinoisans. Ellsworth eventually served as a pastor and missionary to the Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
He later pastored several churches in the Metro East region, and in “retirement,” served as interim pastor whenever called.
“I love the way that Bill Ellsworth loved the local church, and gave himself to it over and over, in numerous settings, even after retirement,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “He and his dear wife, Marge, have been my personal friends and prayer partners for years, and I will miss Bill with a smile, knowing how much he is enjoying heaven, and continuing to love Jesus.”
Ellsworth is survived by his wife, Marge; daughters Terry (Harold) Hughes and Marjean (Mark) Shofner; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Sept. 8 at FBC Fairview Heights at 11 a.m. Visitation will be 9:30-10:30 a.m.