VALLEY FORGE, PA (8/22/22)—At Saturday’s meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis Board, Rev. Joan Friesen submitted her notice to retire on July 1, 2023. Friesen has been Executive Minister of the region since November 1, 2009.
American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary C. Jeff Woods said, “Rev. Friesen’s leadership with the Regional Executive Ministers Council was exemplary. Her ‘churches helping churches’ regional theme carried over to the Executive Ministers as she modeled and promoted healthy relationships among this group. Her advocacy for Burma as well as her anti-racism work also continue to advance the work of our Burma Refugee Commission and our Anti-Racism Convening Table. Her presence and leadership will be missed.”
Under Friesen’s leadership region membership has grown from 31 churches to 42, including a greater reflection of the refugee and immigrant communities present in Indianapolis. Friesen’s work with congregations has included development of mission, vision, and community outreach strategies, guiding pastoral search processes, and supporting pastors and leaders.
Nationally Friesen has served as a member of the American Baptist Churches Professional Ministries Team, the Burma Refugee Commission, the Anti-Racism Task Force, and two terms as President of the Regional Executive Minister’s Council.
As she shared with the Board, “I am confident my successor will be blessed in the ways I have been and much more. God has great things in store for American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis.”
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.