SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (ABNS 6/30/11)—The General Board meetings of American Baptist Churches USA came to a close on Wednesday, June 29, which marked the last meeting of the General Board before the amendments to the bylaws take effect on January 1, 2012.
The Board of General Ministries will meet beginning in 2012, which includes: At-Large Directors (33) elected by the Biennial Meeting Delegates, with one from each Region; General Directors (5) elected by the Board of General Ministries; and Ex-Officio Directors (6) (ABCUSA elected officers and Inter-Caucus President) on the Board of General Ministries.
“I am honored and humbled to take office as the next president of the American Baptist Churches USA,” said Ruth Clark, president elect for ABCUSA. “We have been blessed with a heritage of great leadership. My goal is to continue to build on the foundation they have provided to help our denomination grow and prosper as I work with the board and leaders of ABCUSA.”
The final plenary session of the General Board meeting ended with a celebration to close the meetings following Celebrate! 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, recognized outgoing members saying, “General Board members who are retiring, you have shared generously of your time, talents and Christian love as you have served over the years. Sometimes this has been difficult, because of the focus of our deliberations. Sometimes it has been joyful as we celebrated our ministry and mission together. Through it all you have served as you were called.”
Medley also recognized outgoing President Frank Christine, outgoing Vice President Patti Stratton, and Budget Review Officer James R. Ratliff.
“Serving as Vice President of ABCUSA this Biennium has been a joy-filled honor and delight,” said Patti Stratton, vide president of ABCUSA. “I’ve met wonderfully committed lay folk and pastors who have hearts tuned in and turned toward God. My prayers will be with the new slate as they take office. Thank you for allowing me to serve.”
The names of the retiring representatives are as follows:
Ruth Clark (president elect of ABCUSA)
Danica Hernandez Keefe
Kenneth Kenipe, Jr.
Don Ng (vice president elect of ABCUSA)
Wallace C. Smith
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.