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For his faith in Jesus and a lifetime of service, Joe Kutter has pressed on to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, obtaining his eternal reward on May 7, 2020 at age 75 from cancer.
Born in Covington, KY, Joseph Ray Kutter, is the eldest of three children born to James Andrew and Floy Estelle Abernathy Kutter. Moving to Florida at an early age, Joe graduated from Riverview High School in Sarasota in 1963. A die-hard Seminole fan, he graduated from Florida State in 1967 with a degree in history. He enrolled at Crozer Theological Seminary and graduated with his Master of Divinity degree. In 1978 he graduated from Drew University with a Doctor of Ministry degree.
It was at Crozer that he met Peggy Campbell, who captured his heart and shared his life. They were married on September 5, 1969. Together they are the parents of four children and the grandparents of eleven amazing grandchildren.
Ordained on Pentecost Sunday in 1971, Rev. Kutter served five churches during his career. He was the Assistant Pastor of First Baptist Church of Haddonfield, NJ; Pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington in Kearny, NJ; Pastor of Cherry Hill Baptist Church in Dearborn Heights, MI; Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Royal Oak, MI and Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Topeka, KS. He then served as the Executive Director, American Baptist Ministers Council until retirement in 2012. After retirement Dr. Kutter served as Director of Interim Ministries for the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region and Interim Executive Minister for the ABCCR.
Dr. Kutter served 20 years as a Trustee of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and was elected Life Trustee of CRCDS. He served as a member of the General Board of the American Baptist Churches USA; Chaplain to the General Board, ABC-USA; President of the American Baptist Ministers Council and President of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice. He also served on many ABC regional boards and committees and participated in local ecumenical involvements in the communities he served.
Joe will be remembered for his commitment to excellence in ministry and life. He was ever the mentor, helping others find their best selves in life, in relationships, in ministry and in faith.
Joe is survived by Peggy Kutter, his wife of 50 years; by his children and grandchildren: Erin & Dave Masen, Jonathan, Abigail, Anna and Anora; Andrea & Andy Kohl, Conrad, Emmett, Gretchen, and Edison; James & Tracy Kutter, Clara, Julia and Joseph; Josh & Rosie Kutter. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Whitley of Atlanta and his brother and sister-in-law, Ed & Mary Kutter of Tallahassee; many nieces and nephews and a host of friends, colleagues, acquaintances and beneficiaries of a life well lived and ministries that touched people for eternity.
A Celebration of Joe’s Life will take place at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS at a time to be announced.
Memorial gifts may be sent in lieu of flowers to The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Freedom, the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region, The Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.