American Baptists Churches USA has directly started taking responsibility for staffing churches in need of leadership between pastors, as the ministry responsible ended operations this week and its director retired.
Rev. Patricia Hernandez, the part-time director of American Baptist Women in Ministry will take on the duties of Rev. Jamie Munro, Executive Director of Interim Ministries-ABC, who retired on July 31 after serving in that capacity since 2005.
The ministry had been serving the 1.3 million member denomination which has 5,500 local congregations.
"It has been a delight to me to work with a committed staff in Interim Ministries-ABC and with hundreds of ABC ministers, most of them retired, who have given capable and dedicated leadership to churches in transition," said Rev. Munro. "These, and many others who will join them, will continue to provide ABC churches with excellent assistance and high energy during the critical time between pastorates."
Rev. Roy A. Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA said Rev. Munro "will be greatly missed."
"His love of the church and his passion for assisting congregations in the midst of pastoral change have fitted him well for his position. We will miss him, and we wish him well in his retirement," he said.
The Governing Board of the Interim Ministries-ABC announced in April it had decided to close current operations, saying the viability of the self-funded enterprise became unsustainable in today's economic climate.
ABCUSA said in June it is assuming responsibility for interim ministry placements and support.