American Baptist International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce new officers and directors on the IM Board of Directors. They began their terms on January 1, 2014.
Rev. Dr. Reginald Mills, retired pastor and longtime leader in American Baptist life, and Mercy Johnson, a missionary kid who grew up in India and currently is active in American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), have become President and Vice President respectively. Also joining the IM Board of Directors are Rev. Wendy Bernhard, retired IM missionary, and Rev. Dr. Jenny Quey, senior pastor of the Community Baptist Church of San Mateo, California. Rev. Paul A. Vick, retired attorney with deep roots in ABC life, will continue to serve as Board Treasurer.
Dr. Mills served as a pastor of American Baptist churches for 33 years, served on the Board of Directors of the ABC of Indiana and Kentucky and of the Great Rivers Region, and retired from the Central Baptist Church of Springfield, Illinois, in 2012. He served on the General Board of the ABCUSA, and on the Board of Directors of IM in the 1990s and again from 2007-2011. In 2012, he was elected Vice President of the reorganized IM Board of Directors and was appointed chair of the Board Development Committee. Mills also served as chair of the 2013 ABCUSA Mission Summit/Biennial in Overland Park, Kansas.
Mills shared, “God long ago created in me a deep interest in the global mission of Jesus as lived out through IM. I have been privileged to participate in mission work groups in rural Haiti and Nicaragua, and as a pastor have encouraged multiple mission work groups in the U.S. and Central America. IM global personnel and staff are among the finest of God’s servants. They deserve our prayers, our volunteer service, and our financial support.” Mills recently represented IM in Myanmar at the 200th anniversary celebration of missionaries Ann & Adoniram Judson’s arrival in (then) Burma.
Mills and his wife Judi have three children and four grandchildren. His avocations include spending time with his grandchildren, fishing, and watching Major League Baseball. He remains active in his local church and community, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois.
Mercy Johnson lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon where she is a member of the First Baptist Church. Johnson previously served on the Board of General Ministries of ABCUSA and on the Board American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast. Mercy is the sister of IM missionary Dan Johnson, sister of IM missionary in Lebanon, Daniel Chetti, and grew up as a missionary kid whose parents served under Canadian Baptist appointment. “My parents served in India, and I was born on the mission field — mission is in my blood,” Johnson noted. “All of my growing up years and college life I received heavy exposure to a constant parade of missionaries, from every country in the world, who were on R&R at the ‘Mission Guest House’ in Calcutta, next door to our home. The concept of ‘go ye into all the world’ was constantly before me. In my college days I was President of Evangelical Union and was involved in campus evangelism.”
“That passion for sharing the gospel within my community and the outside world continues today. I am currently involved in missions in my local body and the community. For the past 10 years I have been serving as a ‘Mentor’ for our local ‘MOPS’ (Mothers of Preschoolers) hosted at our church. Apart from Mentoring ministry, I am currently involved in marriage and family counseling in our community.”
Rev. Wendy Bernhard retired in 2013 after 30 years as an American Baptist missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she worked in theological education and youth ministries. She is a member of Greater Life Church in Elko, Nevada. In retirement she is leading a book discussion group on “Narnia for Adults” at Great Basin College in Elko, and is active in Toastmasters, a bowling league, and the local senior citizens center. In 2013 she visited churches in ten states to thank them for their faithful support of her career in the Congo and encourage them to transfer their support to other ABC missionaries.
As a member of the IM Board of Directors, Wendy looks forward to internationalizing her call to global missions. “I want to learn more about the work of our missionaries and partners in every country, and work with them to attain the goal of discipling the nations in a holistic way,” she says.
Rev. Dr. Jenny Quey is senior pastor of the Community Baptist Church of San Mateo, California. Quey previously served on the boards of the New Church Planting Ministries of ABCUSA and Growing Healthy Churches (previously known as American Baptist Churches of the West).
Quey was born and raised in Hong Kong. “I was deeply touched by God’s amazing love through all the missionaries sent by the Lord to China and Hong Kong. Their sacrificial love and faithfulness in Christ not only helped lead me to Christ but also set a wonderful example for me to share Christ’s gospel with others. I feel I ‘owe the debt of the gospel.’ I was called to carry out the Great Commission and bring God’s love to all the people in the world with my life.”
Quey has been participating in mission work in China and Belize. Currently, she is serving on the boards of both the Worldwide Bible Society and Tien Dao Gospel Center in order to share God’s gospel through literature around the world. By serving on the IM Board of Directors, she hopes to demonstrate Christ’s love and bring positive changes to others. She also communicates the gospel message through a weekly TV show, “Live Splendidly,” which is also available online worldwide.
Rev. Paul A. Vick retired from active legal practice in December 2007 and joined the IM Board of Directors in 2008. During his professional career, Vick served in several capacities with faith-based and other not for profit organizations and was legal counsel for the ABC of Rochester/Genesee Region for over 25 years. In 2005 he was elected to the Board of Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School (CRDS) and currently serves as co-chair of the Finance and Property Committee. Vick was awarded the Distinguished Alumni award in the spring of 2013. In 2011 he was elected Acting Treasurer and subsequently Treasurer of the IM Board of Directors.
For Vick, his election as a Director was like a “homecoming.” His roots run deep in ABC life. His paternal grandparents were charter members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Rochester and his grandfather served as clerk of the Ordination Council for the Region for nearly 35 years. His parents were missionaries to China and, along with his brother, lost their lives on route to their first mission assignment. In a very real sense, ABC became a central part of Vick’s family. He gives thanks to God for this opportunity to serve.
American Baptist International Ministries is celebrating 200 years of ministry in 2014. Organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America, it began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
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.