VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/13/18)—The National Leadership Council (NLC) of American Baptist Churches USA met April 9-11, 2018 at the Green Lake Conference Center/American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake, Wis.
The NLC meeting began with a farewell dinner for recent/upcoming retirees including John Williams, former Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region, Marcia Patton, former Executive Minister of the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches, Marshall Peters, Executive Minister of the Mid-American Baptist Churches, and Virginia Holmstrom, former Executive Director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.
Harry Riggs, who was introduced as the new Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, said, “The juxtaposition of the laying on of hands to new members in the afternoon, followed by the honoring of retirees in the evening was inspiring. I hope that I can do as well as others in between those two points.”
According to ABCUSA Bylaws, two of the purposes of the NLC are to build and foster relationships among the staff and suggest means of improving the functioning of the denomination. This year’s meeting focused upon those two priorities.
Times of dialogue were held throughout the event with the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary, American Baptist Women’s Ministries, International Ministries, the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, MMBB Financial Services and American Baptist Men. In round table discussion, regional executive ministers shared the uniqueness of their regions, as well as current challenges and hopes for the future and several national leaders provided ministry updates for their organizations. The NLC also began a discussion of ways of promoting and enhancing United Mission.
The NLC heard from Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, who talked about the organization’s initiatives and how to involve American Baptists in different ways at a greater level.
Andy Quient, Acting Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest, and Hawaii, said, “I am happy I came. I am leaving both challenged and inspired. It is good to know that what is on the heart of my region is also on the heart of the ABC.”
Members of the National Leadership Council (NLC) include: the President of the ABCUSA; the General Secretary and three other staff members from the General Secretary’s office; representatives of the National Boards (the respective Executive Director and up to three others); Regional Executive Ministers; and the Executive Directors of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, the Minister’s Council, the American Baptist Assembly, the American Baptist Extension Corporation, the American Baptist Historical Society, the American Baptist Foundation, and American Baptist Men USA.
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.