VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/18/14)—American Baptist International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce that Leslie Turley has accepted the invitation to become Area Director for Southeast Asia and Japan. The current Area Director, Rev. Stan Murray, plans to retire in the 2015. Leslie will begin in her new role on July 1, 2015.
Leslie Turley and her husband David have been serving as IM missionaries in Japan (mainland) and Okinawa since 1991. “Leslie served as a Christian school administrator, teacher, counselor and mission trip coordinator. She has also done leadership training,” noted Murray. “She shared Christ through it all.”
Turley is currently engaged in the Master’s program in Global Leadership at Fuller Seminary and plans to pursue ordination in 2014.
“I could not be more pleased that Leslie feels called to be my successor,” said Murray. “God led in discerning this call in Leslie and I believe God has been ‘growing her’ into this leadership position for some time now.”
David Turley, who served in Japan with Leslie for the past 23 years, supports the new role. He said, “It is Leslie’s time to shine and I support her fully. It was hard for me to think about leaving this ministry [in Japan], but now that Leslie has accepted this offer, I can leave with joy and peace in my heart.” David will be departing from active missionary service to re-enter local church pastoral ministry.
“It is clear that the Holy Spirit has equipped Leslie with spiritual gifts, skills and experience that have uniquely prepared her for this ministry,” said Reid Trulson, executive director for IM. “I am delighted that she has embraced God’s call to enter this work of ministering to fellow servants of the Lord in Southeast Asia and Japan.”
The Turleys are returning to the U.S. in July 2014 for their planned three-month US/Puerto Rico Assignment. From October 2014 through June 2015, Leslie will be a missionary on special assignment as “Area Director Designee.”
Those will be very full months of preparation for her Area Director ministry. The work of the Area Directors is based out of IM’s home office in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The Turleys plan to initially locate in West Virginia prior to moving to the Valley Forge area next year.
IM requests prayer for the Turleys. “That Leslie and her family really have a sense of God’s peace especially when they transition from West Virginia to moving to the Valley Forge area,” said Murray.
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 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.