VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/24/12)—The Region Board of American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky (ABC-IN/KY) announced Monday, January 23, that it has called Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford as the executive minister of ABC-IN/KY. Ford will begin serving in this position in mid-March 2012.
Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) said, “Rev. Ford is well known and respected throughout the ABC family. Her unparalleled knowledge of stewardship, her passion for missional churches, her regional ministry experience, and her contagious and collaborative leadership style are well suited to advance the rich tradition of mission and ministry in this region.”
In January, after interviewing Ford, the search committee recommended her to the region board who voted unanimously to call her.
“From the beginning, the process was a very spirit-led one and we have all enjoyed walking with God on the journey”, said Kyle Witmer, past president of ABC-IN/KY and search committee member. “Soozi’s response to one of our questions especially stood out to me. When talking about our American Baptist heritage, she recalled that [our region has] often been pioneers on the frontier of mission and new ministry and adapting to challenges before us.”
With over 30 years of pastoral ministry and leadership in our American Baptist family, Ford is already well connected throughout ABC-IN/KY. She has served for 13 years as the associate executive minister for Mid-American Baptist Churches, where she works with 125 churches in Iowa and Minnesota as they face the challenges of ministering in the 21st century. She serves as stewardship facilitator with American Baptist Churches USA, serving alongside regional staff, churches, pastors, and ecumenical partners to nurture generous disciples to serve as the hands and feet of Christ. She also serves as national coordinator for the ABHMS Missional Church process, and enjoys leading churches and individuals in life-changing international mission encounters.
Ford is a graduate of Ottawa University and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed additional studies at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in the area of ministry and technology. She was ordained by Prairie Baptist Church in 1982.
Marshall Peters, executive minister of Mid-American Baptist Churches, said, “While we will certainly miss Soozi, we celebrate her new call as executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky. We thank Soozi for her years of ministry with us and wish her well in this new endeavor.”
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.