VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/21/13)—Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), was installed as Chair of the National Council of Churches (NCC) Governing Board on Monday, November 18, 2013, during a service at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Medley has been serving the NCC as president-elect for the past two years, helping to shepherd the council through the election of a new general secretary and a major effort of reorganization. Under the reorganization, the position of president has been changed to Chair of the National Council of Churches Governing Board to clarify the leadership roles of the General Secretary and the new Chair.
“Roy’s passion for justice and his keen concern for people to hear and respond to the Gospel have made him a leader in ecumenical circles and we rejoice in this honor, as the council acknowledges his gifts,” said Ruth Clark, president of ABCUSA. “Knowing he will serve in this role with wisdom and grace, we as his colleagues in American Baptist Churches USA are delighted to celebrate his installation today and grateful that he will continue to serve as our General Secretary during his term.”
James E. Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, has been elected General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches by the NCC Governing Board. Winkler will succeed Peg Birk, who has served as Transitional General Secretary of the Council since July 2012. Birk was named to lead the Council through a transitional period of reorganization following the resignation of General Secretary Michael Kinnamon in 2011 for health reasons. The office of General Secretary/President, formerly General Secretary, is the leading staff position in the NCC.
“The NCC Governing Board will be well-served by the Rev. A. Roy Medley, who brings a contagious passion for the Gospel and a deep commitment to ecumenical life,” said Kathryn Lohre, outgoing president of the NCC and director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
“On Monday, along with the officers and General Secretary/President, we celebrated his installation as chair of the newly-constituted NCC Governing Board, composed of the leaders of the 37 member communions. We look forward to his continued leadership as we live into the new structure and vision for the life of the NCC,” said Lohre.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 37 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
American Baptist Churches USA 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.