Executive Minister of ABC-IN/KY Announces Retirement

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Executive Minister of ABC-IN/KY Announces Retirement

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/23/21)—The American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky (ABC-IN/KY) announced in January that the Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford will retire from the position of executive minister of the ABC-IN/KY on September 1, 2021.

Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, interim general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) said, “Rev. Ford is deeply respected by all parts of our ABC family. She has served numerous roles among our Regional Executive Ministers Council, served as vice chair of the American Baptist Assembly at Green Lake, mentored pastors and regional staff, and has led by both example and inspiration. She will be greatly missed in this role. We pray God’s blessings upon Rev. Ford in her retirement chapter of ministry.”

Ford’s career includes over 40 years of pastoral ministry and leadership with ABCUSA. She has served since 2012 in the role of executive minister for the ABC-IN/KY, working alongside a gifted staff to serve almost 300 churches in the region.

Her previous ministry experiences include faculty positions with Sterling College (Sterling, Kan.) and Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Shawnee, Kan.); pastoral positions with First Baptist Church (Casper, Wyo.) and Calvary Baptist Church (Cheyenne, Wyo.); regional ministry with Mid-American Baptist Churches (Iowa and Minnesota); and national stewardship ministry with American Baptist Churches USA. International mission experiences have included the opportunity to preach and teach in Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Northeast India, and South Africa.

Ford is a graduate of Ottawa University and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and was ordained by Prairie Baptist Church (Prairie Village, Kan.).

Throughout her ministry journey, Ford has served on numerous teams, task forces, and boards – both local and national. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for Edna Martin Christian Center (Indianapolis, Ind.); the Nehemiah Leadership Network; as Vice Chair of the board for Green Lake Conference Center (Green Lake, Wis.); and on the American Baptist Women in Ministry Advisory Team. Along with Dr. Tom Wiles, she serves as co-chair of the planning team for the 2022 conference, Celebrating Ministering Women: Radical. Redeemed. Ready.

Ford has shared her life with Rev. Homer Ford (pastor of First Baptist Church, Franklin, Ind.) for close to forty years, and together they have two daughters and a son-in-law: Ashley Ford, and Holly and Michael Kelly.

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.