VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/17/21)—The Rev. Dr. Marilyn P. Turner-Triplett will retire from American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) on May 31 after 20 years of steadfast service. ABHMS celebrates with gratitude the ministry of this faithful servant leader, who has dedicated her gifts to serving as the hands and feet of Christ since 2001.
Turner-Triplett is director of ABHMS’ Healing and Transforming Communities ministry, which includes volunteerism, domestic disaster response, Community Outreach Ministries (COM) and Rizpah’s Children. The COM network is comprised of more than 25 neighborhood centers and other faith-based social service ministries across the United States and Puerto Rico that offer ministries developed to meet specific needs of children and families in their communities. Founded by Turner-Triplett, Rizpah’s Children is a national strategic network of organizations whose mission and vision demonstrate a passion around childhood poverty. Connected as partners by ABHMS, network members seek to radically improve the wellness of children physically, emotionally, spiritually and educationally through long-term, measurable justice-related ministries.
The name Rizpah’s Children comes from a sermon written by Turner-Triplett about Rizpah—a woman who kept the slain bodies of seven children safe from birds and beasts for months on a mountaintop (2nd Samuel 21:1-10). Turner-Triplett’s book “Justice for Rizpah’s Children: Radical Responses to Childhood Poverty,” which was published by Judson Press in November 2018, bears the same name.
Under Dr. Turner-Triplett’s leadership, since its inception in October of 2017, the Rizpah’s Children network has partnered with ABHMS to deliver, STEM- and STEAM-focused summer programs, after school tutoring, mentoring and college prep programs as well as Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools for children living in poverty in rural, urban and suburban locations throughout the country.
With a resolute heart for the well-being of children and youth, Turner-Triplett will continue her efforts on their behalf by developing an after-school and summer program titled the Rizpah’s Children Academy, as a contracted partner with ABHMS.
“ABHMS has been incredibly blessed to have Marilyn serve as a leading voice, strategist and coordinator of various ministry initiatives for community building and healing with diverse partners across the United States and Puerto Rico,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray. “Marilyn is hugely committed to American Baptists and others serving as the presence of Christ, and we will strive to continue her legacy at ABHMS.”
While Turner-Triplett has always been a member of ABHMS’ Leadership Team, she has held different roles. She began her tenure as director of Mission Effectiveness when ABHMS was known as National Ministries. As such, she helped the executive director and board of directors evaluate the effectiveness of National Ministries’ mission. She has also served as ABHMS liaison to the American Baptist Association of Colleges and Universities (ABACU), and the American Baptist Association of Seminary Administrators (ABASA).
In 2005, she was named associate executive director of Program Ministries. In that capacity, she provided supervisory leadership to national coordinators for all Program Ministries, including Evangelism, New Church Planting, Discipleship, Community and Congregational Transformation, Intercultural Strategies, Volunteer Mobilization and Disaster Response, Caring and Prophetic Justice Ministries, and efforts associated with Children in Poverty and Youth Leadership Development.
Ordained in 1999 at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Penllyn, Pa.—lead by her pastor and father in ministry, the Rev. Charles W. Quann—she has provided ministry leadership at Bethlehem in a variety of roles. She earned a D.Min. at Virginia Union University; M.Div., Palmer Theological Seminary, Saint Davids, Pa.; M.S., Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. She also holds an honorary D. Min. from Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi, W.Va. Turner-Triplett is a prolific writer, preacher and teacher; her contributions can be found in various publications.
ABHMS remains committed to the quality of its Healing and Transforming Communities ministry. Dr. Haggray has announced that the Rev. Lisa Harris Lee will assume leadership of the Healing and Transforming Communities Unit in April. It remains an integral facet of ABHMS’ mission to cultivate Christian leaders from all walks of life, equip disciples who broaden the understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, and heal and transform communities across the United States and Puerto Rico with God’s unwavering love.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
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.