From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Sundquist to Retire as International Ministries Executive

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Wed, 23 Oct 2002 11:36:52 -0400

American Baptist News Service (10/23/02)--Dr. John A. Sundquist, executive
director of the Board of International Ministries of American Baptist
Churches USA for the past 13 years and a prominent denominational and global
Baptist leader and speaker, will retire Aug. 9, 2003.

While affirming the local church as the fundamental unit of mission
Sundquist has led International Ministries into a new era of relationships
with American Baptist congregations.  During his tenure Sundquist has guided
International Ministries through the development of two decade-long
strategic plans.  With each plan-"A Passion for Mission" (1991-2000) and "Go
Global" (2000-2010)--the 188-year-old mission agency has drawn closer to the
changed realities of churches in the U.S. and focused on the connection
between the life of the local church and the challenge of global mission.

In overseeing the work of some 150 missionaries and relationships with more
than 70 international partners Sundquist has been a tireless interpreter of
Christ's global mission throughout American Baptist Churches USA.
Additionally he has been actively engaged in the work of the Baptist World
Alliance, as vice president and in other capacities, and in Baptist
cooperation in North America, where he has held responsibilities as
president (1984-1988) of the North American Baptist Fellowship.

A well-known preacher and evangelist, Sundquist also has used his gifts for
strategic interventions in international justice issues, most notably to
work for reconciliation in the longstanding civil conflict of the Naga
peoples of Northeast India.

Sundquist came to International Ministries after successfully directing the
Alive in Mission campaign (1985-88), the largest single effort to date to
raise funds for American Baptist mission across the U.S. and around the
world.	Prior to that Sundquist served American Baptists in Ohio as
executive minister (1977-1985), in Michigan as associate executive minister
and area minister for Metro Detroit (1972-1977) and in Minnesota as area
minister for the Twin Cities and Northern Minnesota (1970-72). 

A native of Chicago, he began his ministry as a prison chaplain and has held
pastorates in Minnesota. 

Sundquist holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Bethel College, an M.Div.
degree from Bethel Theological Seminary, a D.Min. degree in Church
Organizational Theory from McCormack Theological Seminary and an honorary
D.D. degree from Alderson Broaddus College.  

He and his wife, Carol, are parents of two adult sons.

Colleagues have shared their appreciation for Sundquist's ministry: 

The Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary, American Baptist Churches
USA: "In the long history of American Baptist International Ministries John
Sundquist will be hailed as one of its most innovative leaders.  During his
tenure American Baptist mission work with international partners has not
only grown but has been on the cutting edge of Protestant mission endeavors.
'Go Global,' International Ministries' current strategic plan, bears his
imprint of innovative 'thinking outside the box.'  I am certain that even in
retirement 1
John will continue to make an invaluable contribution as a missiologist,
international leader in Baptist life, and senior statesman within our
American Baptist family.  We pray God's blessing upon him and our
denomination as we approach this change in his and our denomination's life."

Dr. Kirkpatrick Cohall, president, Board of International Ministries: "I am
sincerely grateful and appreciative for John's years of service with
International Ministries.  John's immense knowledge of what God is doing
around the world has provided the local church with a wealth of inspiration
and understanding of what it means to be involved in cross-cultural

Dr. Marian Boehr, retired American Baptist missionary in India: "John
Sundquist has been a giant in his leadership of International Ministries,
with great vision, courage to change things and the ability to inspire
others to follow because he has a deep faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  As
an American Baptist missionary I grew to respect and appreciate John's
leadership and to love him as a person.  We thank God for him and for his
ministry, which has reached around the world."

The Rev. Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, executive director, National
Ministries: "John Sundquist has held the American Baptist Churches USA close
to his heart for the majority of the time of his service in ordained
ministry, but also has somehow managed to inculcate his expansive vision for
cross-cultural ministry into the very heart of American Baptist domestic and
international mission.	It has been a real privilege for me to serve with
John as both a friend and as National Executive Council colleague for the
last decade.  I am thrilled to know that he will continue living out his
call in new and exciting ways during his retirement.  The Apostle John was
described as a disciple whom Jesus loved.  I confess that I love John
Sundquist as a brother beloved and will deeply miss serving side by side
with him." 

The Rev. Daniel Raleigh, interim executive director, Educational Ministries:
"Although I have only had the opportunity to work directly with John over
the past year I do so much appreciate witnessing his love of his Lord Jesus
and his enthusiastic dedication to not only the mission and ministry of
International Ministries, but also of the entire ABCUSA.  I feel very
privileged to have shared with him in this mission and wish him many, many
joys in his retirement."

The Rev. Sumner Grant, executive director, The Ministers and Missionaries
Benefit Board: "John has distinguished himself as one of the greatest
leaders in American Baptist history.  His passion for the Good News of Jesus
Christ and his ability to motivate persons to embrace the Gospel imperative
is unrivaled."

The Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Weiss, general secretary of American Baptist Churches
USA from 1988-2000: "I congratulate John Sundquist on what will be 14 years
of faithful and energetic leadership of International Ministries.  Moreover,
I celebrate his entire career in the service of American Baptists as a
pastor, prison chaplain, executive minister and denominational leader.	He
is a very hard worker and deserves a long and happy retirement." 

The Rev. Dr. Denton Lotz, general secretary, Baptist World Alliance:
"Baptists around the world are grateful for John Sundquist's concern for
world evangelism combined with a concern for social justice. As vice
president of the Baptist World Alliance and chair of the BWA Congress 2005
Committee he has shown great skill in involving member bodies from all over
the world to work together for Christ and His Kingdom.	The BWA is grateful
for the leadership and fellowship we experience through the outstanding
ministry of our friend John."


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (610)768-2077; fax:

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