VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/14/23)—At a specially called Board of Directors meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis in June, Rev. Dr. Michael P.L. Friday was unanimously called as the next Executive Minister for the region. He will begin his service on August 24.
Chair of the Search Committee, Rev. Dr. Mark Hetrick, shared with the Board, “In introducing Dr. Friday to you, I can do no better than to share with you the opening paragraph of the cover letter he submitted to us with his application for this position:”
It is my joy to offer myself for your consideration as your next Executive Minister. My first – and strongest – sense of identity with your Region is our mutual and cherished embrace of diversity as a powerful expression of the beauty and expansive presence and love of God in Jesus Christ. As an immigrant myself, and a person of color, I find immediate resonance with the diverse nature of your Region, and with the implicit and dual call to not only be the hands and feet of Jesus, but also – in this current American climate – to be the example of neighbor-love, mercy, and justice, that Jesus illustrated in that celebrated story of a Samaritan minority and a Jew.
Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford, interim associate general secretary for Regional Ministries, said, “Dr. Michael Friday has cross-cultural experience as a pastor, transitional pastor, and church consultant, and has pursued graduate education in the areas of theology and organizational leadership. The experience, skills, and knowledge gained have uniquely prepared him to lead the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis in the next chapter of their ministry and mission together.”
A native of Trinidad, Rev. Dr. Friday has lived in the United States since 2001, and he and his wife currently reside in Bristol, Conn. He pastored large and small churches in Trinidad/Tobago and Jamaica, while also serving as national administrator for the Baptist Union of Trinidad and Tobago. In the United States, he has pastored churches in Connecticut and Nebraska, while earning a second master’s degree and a doctor of ministry degree.
Since 2015, Dr. Friday has been a Transitional Ministry specialist with Transition Ministries, ABCUSA, working with congregations of diverse sizes and backgrounds in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Dr. Friday also serves as Congregational and Organizational Leadership Consultant to the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, and has been a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Transformational Leadership since 2020. He is also the current President of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, after first serving a term as their Vice President.
An American Baptist by choice, Dr. Friday has substantial experience in congregations as large as 1100 and as small as 45. His postgraduate education in theology and organizational leadership provides churches and regions with a unique blend of skills and resources for living and growing as God’s people in our world today. The question he posed to the Search Committee (and to all churches and regions with whom he works) is this: “What do you have to offer a ‘fractured society’ like America is today?”
“Dr. Friday has the skills, abilities, and spirit to help our region write its next chapter. His loving and personable relationship style will help our very diverse region continue to reflect God’s kingdom in the Greater Indianapolis area,” said Board president Jane Seigel.
Dr. Friday follows Rev. Joan Friesen who concluded her service as Executive Minister of the region on July 1.
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.