VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/17/16)—The Rev. Dr. Judy G. Allbee, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut (ABCCONN), has announced her retirement effective September 30, 2016. The announcement was made at the ABCCONN Executive Committee meeting on May 10, 2016.
Allbee has served as Executive Minister of the region since January 2005. Prior to this ministry, she served as Area Resource Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky. Allbee spent 10 earlier years in service in Connecticut, beginning her ministry there as pastor of the Main Street Baptist Church in Meriden, and serving concurrently for five years as a part-time area minister for ABCONN before moving to ABC of Indiana and Kentucky.
Interim General Secretary Dr. Susan Gillies said, “Judy has been a gift to American Baptist Churches. She is recognized and appreciated ‘out front,’ but I’ve watched and benefited from the way she quietly offers wise counsel and encouragement behind the scenes. I will miss her. I know the whole ABC family wishes her every good blessing in retirement.”
“Rev. Dr. Judy Allbee has served as Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, with distinction, for 11 years. She has been a pastor’s pastor to many in Connecticut and a stalwart defender of what is just, right and fair in congregations. Her reach is deep and wide in the region, as she attempted to understand and encourage others to fulfill their calling and honor the various traditions – both theologically and ethnically – of the churches and ministries in Connecticut,” said Rev. Bonita Grubbs, chair of the Personnel Committee and region past president.
“Judy’s gifts and talents will be greatly missed by ABC. Not only has ABCCONN benefited from her leadership, but the wider American Baptist family as well, through her work with the Professional Ministries Team, the New England Collaborative, and most recently with the ABC Transformed by the Spirit initiative,” said the Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries.
In addition to positions at the regional level, Allbee served at the denominational level on several teams and committees, including a Professional Ministries Team, the Common Budget Covenant Review Committee, the Women in Ministry Advisory Team, the ABCUSA Stewardship Team, the Board of Interim Ministries, and as Chair of a National Evangelism Team. She also served as a member of the Journey Team from its inception, a team called to shepherd the Transformed by the Spirit initiative originally introduced at the 2011 Biennial in Puerto Rico.
In her letter to the region Executive Committee, Allbee noted, “When I came back to work with you in 2005, I had no idea how God would use me in this position or how God would use us together to further the gospel. It became clear early on that this is a wonderful place to be in ministry and I was so glad to come back to Connecticut after having been away for 13 years. It is a region where I believe God has led us in a variety of partnerships toward the all-consuming and critical work of advancing the call of Christ for this day and time.”
“As I have said many times, ministry today is different than it was even a decade ago,” Allbee said. “What was important then may not be now. What is important now may make a difference in the life of our congregations down the road. The one constant for all of us wherever we are, wherever our church is today, has been Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow as the writer of Hebrews reminds us. And Christ continues to call us to move forward.”
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.