VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/9/17)—On Monday, May 8, the Board of General Ministries met at Springhill Suites in Chicago to elect Reverend Dr. Lee B. Spitzer to the position of General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. Dr. Spitzer’s name was brought forward to the Board of General Ministries by the General Secretary Search Committee. Over the past several months the Search Committee had interviewed numerous candidates. After much prayer, discernment, and deep discussion, the committee identified Dr. Spitzer as the candidate best suited to lead American Baptists forward.
Currently Dr. Spitzer serves as Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches in New Jersey (ABCNJ). He has served congregations in New Jersey, Nebraska, and Rhode Island. Dr. Spitzer brings a wide range of experience and expertise to his new role as General Secretary. In ABCNJ he guided a strategic planning and renewal process, provided pastoral leadership, launched new ministries and collaborative efforts, created networks and new partnerships, promoted church growth, fostered a united community, and managed financial growth. He continues to speak prophetically into current issues and concerns.
Dr. Spitzer has authored Endless Possibilities: Exploring the Journeys of Your Life (1997), the companion Endless Possibilities Course Book (2001), A Summer’s Journey (2001), three articles for the Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (Sage, 2006), and Jesus Christ from Cover to Cover (2006). In his first Judson Press book, Making Friends, Making Disciples (2010), he explores the pivotal role friendship plays in support of the church’s mission to make disciples and evangelize. Dr. Spitzer’s newest Judson Press book, Baptists, Jews, and the Holocaust: The Hand of Sincere Friendship, is scheduled for release in October 2017.
His goal as General Secretary is “to lead ABCUSA into a future of spiritual renewal, creative service, and church growth, in joyful cooperation with all partners of the American Baptist Family.” His efforts as General Secretary will be directed toward strengthening connections with ABC regions, affirming and enhancing our diversity, reaching out to the next generation of leaders, growing trust and collaboration, strengthening our American Baptist identity and providing administrative leadership in areas of stewardship, funding, and fiduciary concerns.
Dr. Spitzer will be preaching on Sunday morning, July 2, at the American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Oregon.
ABCUSA President, Judy Fackenthal, wishes to extend her gratitude to the work and ministry of the General Secretary Search Committee: Wesley Roberts (Committee vice-chair), Robin Crouch, Shirley Fair, Kelly Legg, Charity Matic, Don Ng, Marcia Patton, Charles Revis, Don Robinson, Tom Ross, and John Williams-along with ABC staff member, Marilyn Tyson.
Dr. Spitzer will begin his service as General Secretary on June 1.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.