VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/24/11)—Rev. Dr. Earl D. Trent Jr., an ABCUSA representative to the Church World Service (CWS) Board, was elected as Chairperson of the CWS Board for the 2012-15 quadrennium at a meeting that concluded on October 20 in Elgin, Illinois. Trent, a member of the board since 2005, is senior pastor of Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington D.C.
“Rev. Trent has given exceptional leadership on the board of Church World Service and it is wonderful to see it recognized in this election,” said A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). “We are delighted to be a founding member of Church World Service, one of the world’s leading hunger and relief agencies.“
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Dudley, senior advisor to the executive director & CEO for CWS and former employee of National Ministries (now American Baptist Home Mission Societies) said, “I am excited that an American Baptist was elected the Chairperson of the CWS Board for the 2012-15 term; we haven’t had an American Baptist in this post before. Beyond that, Dr. Trent’s leadership in CWS’s missiological reflection process on the theme ‘Hope and Change in a Fragile World’ during the last four years, as well as the wisdom he contributed to the planning committee that oversaw the CWS 2020 plan which was unanimously passed at the CWS Board’s October 19-20 meeting, has prepared him well for providing leadership during this time of change within CWS.”
CWS 2020, referenced by Dudley, grew out of four years of focused debate, discussion and inquiry with members, partners, donors, and staff, guided by the CWS board of directors. The plan highlights 11 principles affirming the agency’s role as a grassroots leader responding to hunger and its causes.
In a CWS press release outlining the adoption of the CWS 2020 Vision, Trent described the enthusiasm surrounding the approval of the measure, saying, “There is a sense of excitement because we are moving out into something new and as you look at the needs and the challenges you see that CWS is going to be leaner and even more effective in our work as we move in this new direction.”
Trent has served as senior pastor of Florida Ave. Baptist Church since 1995, and is the 41st pastor in the 99 year history of the church. The focus of ministry at the Florida Avenue Baptist Church is on discipleship that makes a difference. Prior to coming to Florida Ave. Baptist Church, he served from 1983-94 as Senior Pastor of the St. Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Trent is a native of East Orange, New Jersey.
Trent is the author of A Challenge to the Black Church, a book of essays; several articles in The Journal of Religious Thought; a study guide to How to Interpret the Bible; and several op-ed articles.
Church World Service, a United States-based global humanitarian agency which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, is comprised of 37 member communions connected in mission with a global ecumenical network of partners and grassroots agencies. CWS and its global partners develop and coordinate programs run by indigenous staff in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The agency also sponsors the popular CROP Hunger Walks held annually in some 2,000 communities in the U.S.
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.