Saturday, October 07, 2006

ABC Insider Selected to Lead International Ministries

Reid Trulson is an ABC insider, and therefore a poor for BIM leadership. (Actually BIM should be referred to by its real name, the American Baptist Foreign Missions Society, and it should be liberated from the Valley Forge yoke if it desires to be effective.) Transformational leadership, not insider leadership is needed for the times, and to assure the conservative majority of the ABC that they would have a voice in the ABC. Here is the announcement of his selection.

ABCUSA: Search Committee Nominates Trulson To Lead International Ministries

From "Jayne, Andy" <>Date Fri, 6 Oct 2006 14:05:27 -0400

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/6/06)-The committee formed to conduct the search for the next Executive Director of American Baptist International Ministries has unanimously chosen Rev. Dr. Reid S. Trulson as its nominee. The announcement of the committee's decision was made today by the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), and the Rev. Ray Schooler, President of the Board of International Ministries (IM).

The action of the committee culminates a six-month search process, which will bring Trulson's nomination to the full ABC General Board and the IM board for election on November 15, 2006. Schooler expressed gratitude for the work of the committee, saying, "The search committee members really gave themselves to this effort. We had a very solid process and a great outcome. We are deeply grateful for God's leading throughout our work, and also very appreciative of the selfless service Roy Medley graciously rendered to the committee."

Medley expressed his own enthusiasm for the nomination of Trulson, saying, "Reid has won the respect of Baptists throughout Europe and the Middle East with whom he has worked closely as a missionary and staff person, as well as the respect of our American Baptist family. He will provide strong leadership to our international mission."

Trulson brings to the executive directorship a great depth and breadth of experience in the life of ABCUSA and IM, having served over twenty years in local church ministry and over eleven years with IM in international mission (five years as a missionary in Europe and six years as a member of the home office staff). During his years in local church ministry, Trulson served on both region and national boards: he was President of the ABC of Wisconsin region board and, during his eight years on the ABC General Board and the Board of IM, Trulson served two terms as the President of the Board of IM.

The grandson of Norwegian immigrants to the U.S., Trulson's interest in cross-cultural mission came early. While a student at Fuller Seminary, he interrupted his studies to spend a year serving with Scripture Union in Ghana, West Africa. Upon returning to seminary, he became deeply involved in the life of Friendship Baptist Church, the oldest African American Baptist church in Pasadena, California. Trulson was ordained at Friendship, and served there as Minister of Christian Education. As the Rev. Dr. James Stinespring, Vice President of the IM Board put it, "Trulson's passion for cross-cultural ministry positions him to make a significant contribution to the internationally diverse mission of the ABCUSA."

Trulson comes to IM at an important time of transition in the life of IM and of the ABCUSA as a whole. For over 192 years, the agency currently known as IM has served as the ABC's instrument for international mission outreach, continually adapting its strategies to changing circumstances. The strategic plan guiding IM's work during the first decade of the twenty-first century, Go Global, combines classic commitments to evangelism, leadership development and holistic ministry to human need, with innovative commitments to partnering with local churches and ABC regions.

Trulson served both on the task force that crafted Go Global in 1998-1999 and on a smaller task force that in 2003 made significant mid-course adjustments to IM's way of pursuing Go Global. Chief among those adjustments has been the introduction of IM's Missionary Partnership Networks (MPN), a highly relational approach to providing for the various elements of missionary support.

Schooler summed up the feelings of the search committee, saying that "Reid has a depth of knowledge and historical perspective not only regarding IM, but the whole ABC. He knows who we are, knows where we've been and has a great vision for our future."

Trulson himself commented that, "The World Mission Conferences that IM conducted this year in West Virginia and Wisconsin reminded us how often we are surprised by God's work in the world and by God's call for us to be part of that work. It is both exciting and a bit overwhelming to see how God is calling IM to serve American Baptists to make a difference in the midst of cultures that are clashing and rapidly changing. The challenges before us in the U.S., Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the world are immense. To be called into service as Executive Director of American Baptist International Ministries at such a time is very humbling. I ask you to join me in prayer that together, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we may be found faithful in making disciples of Jesus Christ and meeting human need to the glory of God...and embracing God's surprises along the way."

The search committee included: Ray Schooler (IM President), Lloyd Beachy, Sampson Birdinground, Rachel Cocar, Manuel Hernandez, Betty Long, James Pollard, James Ratliff and James Stinespring (IM Vice President), assisted by A. Roy Medley (ABC General Secretary), Wendy Rothenberger (Director of Human Resources) and C. Jeff Woods (Associate General Secretary and affirmative action officer to the committee).


Dennis E. McFadden said...

I'm thoroughly confused about Trulson. Some say that they "think" he is evangelical. He holds two degrees from Fuller. Yet, Al Newton (Rochester EM) pastored the same church as Trulson (which is now AWAB; Trulson left a decade ago). What does anyone out there know about Reid?

Dennis E. McFadden said...


One of my sources in the GEC commented on Reid Trulson:

"So far I've heard nothing to indicate that Reid is in sympathy with AWAB. OTH, I've only heard generic affirmations that he's a "good guy", which in the context of the conversations at the time meant he is an evangelical. I vaguely recall one GEC meeting where he spoke his mind and what he said left some lingering doubts in my head. But, I can't recall specifically what he said (or failed to say) at that time. I have no direct confirming information one way or the other."

Another person in the GEC commented:

"I don’t know when Underwood went W&A. However, Underwood has always been more of a social activist church than an evangelical church. It was much larger in attendance when Reid was there."

So, bottom line, he is still a cipher to me. Paper credentials from an "evangelical" institution; experience in a progressive congregation that became AWAB sometime after he left. Hmmmmm.

So where does that leave us? Anybody in the midwest have some information?