VALLEY FORGE, PA (8/25/22)—With thankfulness to God the Board of Directors of the American Baptist Foundation (ABF) is pleased to celebrate its unanimous vote for a new executive director, the Rev. Dr. Christine Roush, who will begin her position on October 1, 2022. Nichole Tillman, ABF’s chair of the board, observes: “For more than two years in the midst of a pandemic the search committee prayerfully and tirelessly worked to identify just the right person for the future era of the Foundation’s ministry as we continue to nurture relationships with our partners and donors to increase American Baptists’ collective witness for our Lord.”
Dr. Roush has vast experience within the American Baptist family including congregational life when she served as administrative pastor and pastor in two Oregon churches, regional ministries on both coasts (Oregon and New York State), institutional mission, being the chief operating officer of the American Baptist mission partner, Rainbow Acres (which empowers persons with developmental challenges), and as the National Coordinator for Discipleship and Faith Formation for the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She also has been a fund development consultant with R.J. Crandall and Associates.
Roush graduated from George Fox (now Portland) Seminary with a doctorate in ministry; her focus was on stewardship and consumerism in the American church—an ideal match for the work of the Foundation. She resides outside of Portland, Oregon with her husband, David. They are blessed with three adult daughters, two grandchildren, and as she says, “One awesome dog.” Her interests include outdoor sports, reading, and cheering on the Oregon Ducks.
Organized in 1985 as a ministry of the American Baptist Churches USA, ABF supports the stewardship of all American Baptist individuals, churches, and organizations by providing gift planning, gift management, endowment fund management, and educational resources in harmony with the mission of our faith family. It seeks to fulfill this vital mission by working with ABF’s partners in ministry—the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist International Ministries, and the Multi-Region Corporation, which includes most of our denomination’s regions that stretch across our nation.
Roush will build on ABF’s “foundation” that has recently been successfully overseen by the interim executive director, Linda Cassel, who will continue to serve as the foundation’s Associate Executive Director of Advisory Services. Cassel’s interim position followed the equally effective ministry of the Rev. Perkin Simpson, who was the executive director from 2011 through 2020. As of the completion of the last full year, 2021, the Foundation had more than $183 million under management, distributed $8.7 million to donors and income beneficiaries, and made final distributions of $5 million to ministries.
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 locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.