This meeting marks the second time that the Board of General Ministries is meeting following the denomination bylaws changes in June, 2011.
“I have not been to Green Lake for 7 years, and it is wonderful to come back to the GLCC, also known as the American Baptist Assembly, and make an American Baptist presence known,” said Don Ng, vice president of ABCUSA. “I am so glad we are able to gather as the Board of General Ministries and to value and appreciate how almost every one of these buildings, rooms, exhibit areas, etc are named after an American Baptist leader. These are the saints we have either grown up with, have learned from, have worked in ministry with. Wherever we meet or sit and connect at Green Lake, we are affirming our Baptist heritage.”
ABCUSA President Ruth Clark opened the first plenary session on Monday afternoon. Clark is serving for the current Biennium, January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013. Along with Clark, Rev. Don Ng is serving as vice president and James R. Ratliff continues to serve as budget review officer.
After opening the meeting, Clark welcomed the new At-Large Directors as nominated to the Board of General Ministries, Rev. Camille Brown from the Cleveland Baptist Association, Ms. Koreen Villers from the West Virginia Baptist Convention, and the new General Director to the BGM, Mr. Mo Khan. Khan, Brown and Villers were elected during the meeting.
In the evening session of the BGM, Clark said, “We need to remind ourselves that we are not about being a legislative body as much as we are about kingdom work. Sometimes we need to do things in a different way.”
Rev. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA, gave the Board an update about the Transformed by the Spirit initiative. “There are wonderful things that are happening in our denominational life,” Medley said. “One of the great gifts of Transformed by the Spirit is bringing back the belief that God is not through with us. God still has work to do,” said Medley. “Transformed by the Spirit is changing the conversation in this denomination.”
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.