VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/15/13)—At the June 2013 meeting of the ABC of Wisconsin Board of Managers, Rev. Dr. Arlo R. Reichter, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin, presented a letter stating his intention to retire effective February 28, 2014. This will conclude 13 years for Reichter in this ministry position.
“Arlo has provided a strong, reflective voice in American Baptist Churches for a long time, and we will miss that voice. His compassion for the Church and for ABC showed and he constantly sought ways to strengthen both,” said Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA).
Since March 2001, Reichter has served as the executive minister of the ABC of Wisconsin. He guided the development of a new regional vision, a capital campaign for camping ministry and the development of a seminary extension. He serves on the ABC Regional Executive Ministers Council, ABC National Leadership Council, Multi-Region Corporation, and the board of Housing Ministries of American Baptists in Wisconsin. He has served on the boards of the American Baptist Homes of the Midwest (2009-2012, the Baptist Theological Union at the University of Chicago (2002-2012), American Baptist Assembly (2005-2011), Wisconsin Council of Churches and Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
Reichter received degrees from Sioux Falls College (B.A., philosophy), the American Baptist Seminary of the West (M.Div.), The University of Southern California (M.L.A.), and the Jesuit School of Theology (D.Min.).
From 1971—77 he served as an Associate Minister and from 1977—1983 as Co-Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles.
In 1983 he was named Vice President of Program at the American Baptist Assembly where he led in the expansion of programming adding such programs as: Elderhostel, Winter Youth Event and Chautauqua. He aided in the development of the National Hispanic Pastors Conference, the Minister-at-Large Conference and the ABC Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors Conference. He participated in the formation of the American Baptist Camp and Conference Council and the National Continuing Education Team.
In October 1993, prior to becoming executive minister of the ABC of Wisconsin, he became Senior Minister of the First Baptist Church of Anderson, Indiana, where he aided in the designing, building and funding of a complete new church facility. He was elected President of the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky in October 2000.
Dr. Reichter has written numerous articles in the field of Christian Education and youth ministry, was the primary author of The Group Retreat Book (Group Books, 1983), and has written several quarters of curriculum for Judson Press as well as materials for AB Boys & Young Men. He writes and edits monthly publications for the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin. He serves as Assistant Professor–Adjunct with Central Baptist Theological Seminary/Wisconsin in Baptist studies and Ministry Praxis.
Upon his retirement announcement, Reichter noted, “I wish to express my deep appreciation for the respect and support I have been shown during these years. This is a special region where we respect our diversity and affirm our unity as together we seek ‘to make the gospel known throughout the territory.’”
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.