VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/26/14)—The Region Board of Managers for the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin unanimously voted to call Rev. Marie Onwubuariri as executive minister at a meeting on March 24. Her service in this position will begin in the summer of 2014.
“Marie brings wonderful gifts and energy to this position. As the president of the Asian American Baptist Caucus, she was instrumental in developing a strong vision for ministry among our Asian churches. She will be a wonderful leader not only for ABC or Wisconsin but also for the denomination as a whole,” said American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary A. Roy Medley.
“The committee was particularly drawn to Marie’s collaborative style of ministry, her pastoral heart, and her aptitude for networking,” said Rev. Jamie Washam, chair of the search committee. “As a region, we sought a leader who would be comfortable navigating a multitude of cultures and ethnicities, and who would advocate for women in ministry. ABC of Wisconsin needed someone with theological, intellectual and administrative depth who would be able to continue our partnership with Central Seminary, at Central Seminary of Wisconsin. In Marie, we found the total package. The ABC of Wisconsin is looks forward to what will come with Marie Onwubuariri.”
“Marie has tremendous leadership skills. I was able to observe her leadership as a recruited small group leader at our recent Mission Table event in at our American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake. Her table group participants were consistently engaged, energized, and contributed mightily to the conversations. I cannot wait to see what will happen in Wisconsin as she brings her leadership repertoire to this new context of ministry,” said C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries, ABCUSA.
Onwubuariri is an ordained American Baptist minister who currently serves as director of Admissions at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, CA, where she earned her Master of Divinity and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry degree. She is immediate past president of the Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches (Asian American Baptist Caucus) and has been involved in various denominational projects, such as the Emerging Theologians Task Force, Xtreme Team Mission Adventure, Asian Ministries, and the Ministers Council. She also is a cross-cultural competency trainer/consultant in ecumenical settings.
To all these ministries, Onwubuariri brings her perspectives as a 1.75 generation Filipina-American raised in very ethnically diverse environments and her experiences in the secular business world, local church lay ministry, pastoral ministry and cross-racial family realities. She lives in San Pablo, CA with her husband, Franklin, children, Anaya and Sol, and beloved dog, Winnie.
Arlo R. Reichter, retiring executive minister of ABC of Wisconsin, stated, “The search committee and board of managers has selected a person with a passion for Christ and great skill to lead the region. She brings a shift in generational outlook, as well as a perspective as a woman in ministry, to the position of executive minister. It is an exciting time for Wisconsin Baptists.”
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.