VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/8/13)—Dr. Walter L. Parrish II, executive minister of American Baptist Churches Of The South (ABCOTS), announced this spring his impending retirement, effective December 31, 2014.
Parrish announced his retirement in a letter to Dr. James M. Harrison, the current president of ABCOTS. In the letter, Parrish noted hopes that a successor would begin on September 1, 2014, allowing a transition time of orientation and training before his on December 31, 2014.
“Dr. Walter Parrish is only the second regional executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of the South, and has provided important leadership in their formative years. Dr. Parrish has become the senior statesman of the Regional Executive Ministers Council. He is a colleague we will miss, but continue to value,” said Dwight Stinnett, chair of the Regional Executive Ministers Council and executive minister to American Baptist Churches of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region.
“The past 34 years have afforded me an opportunity to know and serve the members in [ABCOTS and ABCUSA],” Parrish wrote. “ABCOTS and ABCUSA have provided me and our family with my most rewarding ministry and loving support for both Carole and me. However, the season has come for me to begin this transition.”
“Dr. Parrish has been a dedicated leader of ABCOTS for many years,” said Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA. “We wish him every blessing as he retires. Finding a new leader will begin a new journey for the region, and we have faith that the future will be blessed for ABCOTS.”
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.