VALLEY FORGE, PA (8/10/22)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is pleased to announce the hiring of the Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri as director of Intercultural Ministries. In this role, she will lead a team committed to pursuing ABHMS’ mission of cultivating Christ-centered leaders and disciples who heal and transform communities through ministries of support, education, development, and justice-seeking with intentional engagement of the realities of the cultural diversity of all of God’s people.
“We are very grateful that Marie has joined the ABHMS family,” said Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of ABHMS. “She brings to this vital leadership position a wealth of cross-cultural learning and experience as well as a progressive perspective on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and her commitment to racial justice is proven,” he added.
Through the Intercultural Ministries Team and in partnership with others, Dr. Onwubuariri envisions continuing ABHMS’ historic commitment to ethnic and language-specific communities. “We are a bridge for these communities as they engage with ABHMS and the wider American Baptist family and learn to navigate systems, access resources, and network with key leaders,” she said.
“I not only seek to raise awareness of the gifts and ongoing challenges within these communities,” Dr. Onwubuariri continued, “I also intend to increase the ability of a broad spectrum of leaders and disciples to effectively engage in transformative mission work in an increasingly multicultural United States and Puerto Rico.”
In her new position, Dr. Onwubuariri will supervise the national coordinators for Latino, Asian, Indian, and Haitian ministries. Additionally, she will serve on ABHMS’ Leadership Team.
Dr. Onwubuariri most recently was associate general secretary for Mission Resource Development with the American Baptist Churches USA, where she led efforts to better articulate the organization’s mission narrative and organizational purpose, aligned resources in support of that narrative, and advanced a commitment to anti-racism.
From 2014-2020, Dr. Onwubuariri was regional executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin. There she nurtured a regional commitment to cultural diversity that affirmed the value of and ensured equity for all people through a deep trust in the work of the Triune God.
Dr. Onwubuariri’s work experience also includes a term as director of Admissions at the Berkeley School of Theology (Berkeley, Calif.), serving as pastor and staff at three American Baptist churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, immersion in volunteerism, and in an earlier career, having executive responsibilities in the retail industry in New York City and San Francisco.
A renowned scholar, Dr. Onwubuariri earned both a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry at Berkeley School of Theology, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Binghamton University (Binghamton, N.Y.). Further, she recently authored the article “Reframing Tension for Transformation: Bridge-Crossing | Bridge-Making | Bridge-Being” and co-edited the book “Trouble the Water: A Christian Resource for the Work of Racial Justice.”
In her spare time, Dr. Onwubuariri is a poet, photographer, and pianist. She lives in King of Prussia, Pa., with her husband, Franklin, children, Anaya and Sol, and golden retriever, Athena.
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.