“I was delighted to hear of the American Baptist Churches (ABCUSA) Board of General Ministries’ choice of Dr. Spitzer for general secretary,” said the Rev. Sharon Koh, International Ministries (IM) CEO / executive director, in response to the news of the Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer’s call yesterday.
“He has been a longstanding friend of IM, and I am looking forward to working closely with this deep thinker who is known for his heart for global mission. May God grant us a season of collegiality and partnership on the National Executive Committee in the years to come.”
The Rev. Dr. Stan Slade, IM associate executive director for Program and global consultant, comments, “I have been blessed to work with Lee on many different projects over the years, especially in the areas of spiritual formation and pastoral care for the servants American Baptists sent to work for God’s reign alongside partners around the world.”
Slade continues, “I have been inspired, too, by the ways that Lee and his colleagues throughout American Baptist Churches in New Jersey [ABCNJ] have both embraced and pursued ‘the beloved community.’ I am excited to see how the Spirit of God will use Lee’s leadership in the Lord’s work of both renewing American Baptists and using us to bless our communities, our nation and our world.”
Spitzer brings a wide range of experience and expertise to his new role as general secretary. Currently, he serves as executive minister for ABCNJ. He has served congregations in New Jersey, Nebraska and Rhode Island. In ABCNJ, he guided a strategic planning and renewal process, provided pastoral leadership, launched new ministries and collaborative efforts, created networks and new partnerships, promoted church growth, fostered a united community and managed financial growth. He continues to speak prophetically into current issues and concerns.
Spitzer’s goal as general secretary is “to lead ABCUSA into a future of spiritual renewal, creative service and church growth, in joyful cooperation with all partners of the American Baptist family,” he states. His efforts will be directed toward strengthening connections with ABC regions, affirming and enhancing diversity within the denomination, reaching out to the next generation of leaders, growing trust and collaboration, strengthening American Baptist identity and providing administrative leadership in areas of stewardship, funding and fiduciary concerns.
Spitzer will begin his service as general secretary on June 1, 2017. He will be preaching on Sunday morning, July 2, 2017, at the American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Oregon.
“IM is grateful for God’s leading in the work of the search committee,” comments Slade. “We look forward to collaboration with Lee and the rest of our sisters and brothers across the denomination as we together seek God’s redeeming transformation—the accomplishment of God’s desire on earth, as it is in heaven.”