VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/17/11)—Rev. Patricia P. Hernandez will begin work on Monday, May 23, 2011, as the new national director for American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM). As national director, she will implement the ABWIM strategic priorities that include building mutually beneficial partnerships with ABC entities, developing a team of volunteer coordinators, and working with the ABWIM advisory committee on matters of strategy and support. She will be officially introduced at the ABWIM Biennial Breakfast on June 24, 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“I am delighted to extend a call to Pat to fill this significant role in ABC life,” said Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. “Pat’s spirituality and gifts for leadership and her work among the churches in ABC/Michigan will be a great blessing to the churches as she works to enable all of us to accept the gifts of God for ministry leadership in women.”
Hernandez comes to the position after serving as a consultant for Leadership Development with the American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC Michigan) since 2004. Prior to this, she was associate region minister to ABC of Michigan. She served as pastor at Picture Rocks Baptist Church in Picture Rocks, PA, and at Lincoln Baptist Church in Macedon, New York. She has held other ministerial leadership roles positions with other organizations.
Hernandez was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Troy, New York. She graduated with her Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School.
“Patricia Hernandez has remarkable gifts and experience that are a perfect fit for such a time as this,” said Mary Armacost Hulst, past president of American Baptist Churches USA and chair of the ABWIM search committee. “The added bonus is that those gifts are wrapped in her enthusiasm and joy for this work, as well as a tenacious, yet gracious spirit. She will be a blessing to God and to Women in Ministry.”
An ABWIM Advisory Committee will be in place to work with Hernandez as she takes on the role of national director. The Advisory Committee will consult with Pat on matters of strategy and support.
The purpose of the office of American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM) is to educate churches towards greater openness to women clergy, to advocate for the equal partnership of women and men in ministerial leadership, to cultivate the leadership of women entering ministry and to celebrate the gifts of women in ministry.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.