VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/12/12)—The Governing Board of Interim Ministries-ABC has determined to cease operations during this year. At its regular meeting March 27-29, 2012, the Governing Board carefully weighed a variety of options for the future. After a lengthy and prayerful discussion, the Board regretfully determined to begin the process of closing Interim Ministries-ABC’s current operations by the fourth quarter of this calendar year. Non-sustainable funding, declining assignments to ABC churches, and the staggering challenges of raising new funds in today’s economy were the primary reasons behind this decision.
Rev. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, reflected on the announcement, saying, “The closing of Interim Ministries marks the end of an innovative and storied ministry in ABC life. Throughout its history, thousands of churches have been served well during the pastoral transition. Unfortunately, the economics of such a self-funded enterprise in a congregational system could no longer be sustained in this prolonged economic downturn. We give our thanks to Jamie Munro, Rhonda Cushman, Howard Washburn, and Ken Blazier for their excellent leadership of Interim Ministries-ABC.”
Chair of the Interim Ministries-ABC Governing Board Tanya Shelton said, “Given the longstanding impact of this ministry on our congregations, and its importance to our denomination, this was a difficult decision. Current members of the Board acknowledge the work of current and former interim pastors and board members, as well as IM-ABC staff, with sincere appreciation for their service to this ministry. As we move forward with this process, we will be in regular communication regarding next steps. Many thanks for your ongoing prayers for our churches in transition and for our interim pastors.”
Rev. Dr. Jamie Munro, executive director of Interim Ministries-ABC, said, “It has been a delight to me to work with a committed staff in Interim Ministries-ABC and with hundreds of ABC ministers, most of them retired, who have given capable and dedicated leadership to churches in transition. These, and many others who will join them, will continue to provide ABC churches with excellent assistance and high energy during the critical time between pastorates.”
The Governing Board and staff will pursue efforts to see that interim ministry itself will remain visible and vital among ABC regions and congregations.
Interim Ministries-ABC is an Associated Ministry Organization of American Baptist Churches USA. Interim Ministries-ABC partners with state and regional staff to provide intentional interim leadership for churches, enabling the congregation to use the in-between time to become more vital and healthy.
American Baptist Churches USA 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.