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Newsline - Church of the Brethren weekly news update

From Church of the Brethren News Services
Date 09 Mar 1998 09:11:23

Date:      March 9, 1998
Contact:  Nevin Dulabaum
V:  847/742-5100   F:  847/742-6103
E-MAIL:   CoBNews@AOL.Com

NewslineFlash                              March 9, 1998

Judy Mills Reimer, former Church of the Brethren Annual
Conference moderator and former General Board chair from
Goodview, Va., this morning was introduced as the next executive
director of the Church of the Brethren General Board. The
introduction, made by Board chair Chris Bowman to General Board
staff at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin,
Ill., completed the 1 3/4-year-long search for the top
administrator of the denomination's primary coordinator of

Reimer is founding pastor of Smith Mountain Lake Church of the
Brethren, Moneta, Va., serving there since January 1996.
Throughout her life she has been an active participant and leader
in all levels of church life, reaching the pinnacle of Church of
the Brethren service in July 1993 when she was chosen by Annual
Conference delegates to serve as the denomination's top elected
official. After serving a year-long term as moderator-elect, she
was consecrated as moderator at the 1994 Annual Conference for a
one-year term. Reimer also served on the General Board from 1985
until 1990, serving as chair during her final two years.

This morning's formal introduction of Reimer was made at the
official beginning of the General Board's spring meetings.
Following his opening devotions, Bowman announced to those packed
into the General Offices' Room A -- General Board members and
staff, district staff and others -- that the 24-member Board in
closed session Sunday night reached its decision to call Reimer
by consensus, without a negative vote being cast.

"I do feel that this is God's call through this board," Reimer
said in a brief speech following Bowman. "To those of you who are
on the General Board staff, I am thrilled, I am honored, I am
excited to be a General Board employee with you." 

The calling of Reimer to the executive director position
concludes a nationwide search that began in August by the current
Executive Director Search Committee, which culminated Sunday when
the Board selected Reimer during a closed session. The Board's
decision concluded two days of closed-session interviews with
Reimer and one other candidate submitted to it by the search

The General Board's top executive position has not been occupied
by a permanent staff member since Donald Miller retired as
general secretary in December 1996 after a decade of service.
Karen Peterson Miller of Hagerstown, Md., served as interim
general secretary until last July, when the title was changed to
executive director and when the Board failed to call the
candidate submitted to it by the previous Executive Director
Search Committee. Miller subsequently served as interim executive
director throughout the remainder of the year. Joseph Mason of
Greenville, Ohio, assumed the interim executive director position
in January, with a commitment of serving for six months.

Reimer, who is scheduled to be formally installed as the General
Board's chief executive in July at the 212th Church of the
Brethren Annual Conference in Orlando, will be relocating with
her husband, George, to Elgin, Ill. She is expected to assume her
executive director responsibilities following Annual Conference.

In her closing remarks this morning, Reimer issued a challenge
for all to walk with God's newness in tomorrow's challenges,
staying close to God through scriptural study, reflecting Jesus'
teachings in our living. "For we walk by faith, not by sight,"
she said, echoing the theme for this summer's Church of the
Brethren National Youth Conference (II Cor. 5:7).

Reimer earned her Master of Divinity degree from Bethany
Theological Seminary in 1994, and was ordained that May. She
earned her undergraduate degree in 1962 from Emory & Henry
College, Emory, Va., which last year awarded her the William and
Martha Defriece Award for her "outstanding, worthwhile
contribution to civilization or humanity."

As a representative of the church, Reimer has traveled throughout
the United States and to Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Sudan and
Nigeria. She currently serves as volunteer coordinator of the
General Board's Ministry Summer Service, a summertime
internship-like ministry that places young adults in
congregations, camps and districts. 

In addition to her church-related experiences, she and George
have long-time business experience as owners of Harris Office
Furniture in Roanoke, Va., since 1976. Prior to that, Reimer
served as a public school teacher for 11 years. The Reimers are
parents to two sons, Todd and Troy.

The Church of the Brethren, a 142,000-member Protestant
denomination consisting of 23 districts spanning most of the
contiguous United States, is headquartered in Elgin, Ill. It was
formed in 1708 when the Brethren movement began in central
Germany. It is an historic peace church, conscientiously opposed
to all war and intentional about working with peacemaking and
reconciliation ministries. 

                             -- 30 --

Additional information about Judy Mills Reimer, including
photographs and articles she has written for Messenger magazine,
will be today in the News section at 

Higher resolution electronic photos of Reimer are available for
publications seeking to supplement their coverage of this
announcement. For more information, contact Nevin Dulabaum,
manager of the General Board's News and Information Services, at
800 323-8039, ext. 263, or CoBNews@AOL.Com.

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