VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/31/16)—The Rev. Dr. Alfred J. Fletcher of China, Maine, will begin a 13-month term this summer as acting associate general secretary for Mission Resource Development (MRD) of the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). He begins his service in this role July 25, 2016.
Fletcher will be succeeding the Rev. Dr. Leo S. Thorne, who has filled the Associate General Secretary’s post for the past 10 years. Thorne is retiring on August 31, 2016.
Fletcher’s role will be a cooperative one. During this ABCUSA assignment, he will continue as Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Maine, one of our 33 regions. Fletcher began his executive minister responsibilities there in January 2000.
The Associate General Secretary’s responsibilities include communicating the vision and mission story of the denomination, developing stewardship resources for local congregations, and assisting the program boards and regions in raising mission support.
“Al Fletcher is a passionate American Baptist who will bring a fresh regional perspective to the work of Mission Resource Development,” said Dr. Susan E. Gillies, ABCUSA’s interim general secretary, in making the announcement. “He is an asset. I’m grateful for the partnership with ABC of Maine that makes this transition appointment possible. This time will be one of great blessing for the ABC family.”
“Ministry is always about relationships,” Fletcher said in accepting the new appointment. “The primary relationship is between the individual and Christ. All other relationships flow from that primary relationship. We are people in Christ. We act as people in Christ. We interact as people in Christ. No matter with whom we engage: wife, husband, sister, brother, friend or foe, we relate to others in Christ. It is my hope that whomever and wherever we serve, as American Baptists, we will serve as the hands and feet of Christ.”
Prior to serving as Executive Minister in Maine, Fletcher served 10 years as the Senior Pastor of the West Falmouth Baptist Church, Falmouth, Maine. He also served seven years as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Peabody, Mass., and one year as Interim Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church, Lowell, Mass. Fletcher has served on a variety of committees during his Executive Minister tenure in Maine, most recently as a member of the ABCUSA budget review committee.
Fletcher received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., and his Master of Divinity, Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, South Hamilton, Mass.
He lives in China, Maine, with his wife, Norma. The couple has four adult children and two grandchildren.
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.