From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Asian Ministries Director to Retire

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Wed, 12 Feb 2003 14:17:44 -0500

by Susan Gottshall, American Baptist National Ministries

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 2/12/03)--The Rev. Perla D.
Belo, American Baptist National Ministries' director of Asian Ministries,
has announced plans to retire March 31.

Throughout her 13 years as director of the home mission program Belo has
worked with church pastors and lay leaders from 12 different Asian American
groups at the local, regional and national levels in congregational renewal,
evangelism and church growth. The number of Asian American Baptist churches
grew from about 60 in 1990, when Belo joined National Ministries, to 120

Through the Asian American Baptist Ministers/Seminarians Conference,
initiated by Belo in 1990, she has brought Asian American Baptist leaders
together at regional and national conferences for networking, support and
sharing of ideas.  Belo's last Asian American Baptist Ministers/Seminarians
Conference will be held March 20-23, 2003, in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Belo has worked with Asian American Baptist women as well, cultivating
leadership and fellowship, through the biennial Asian American Baptist
Women's Conference, which she initiated in 1995 along with another National
Ministries' staff member. 

Belo's office has been instrumental in upholding the NEW LIFE 2010 church
planting vision by offering assistance such as seed money for Asian pastors'
salaries.  She also has mentored Asian American seminarians and administered
the International Baptist Seminary Scholarship Fund.

Belo was ordained in 1983 and commissioned as an American Baptist home
missionary in 1990.

Commenting on Belo's service, the Rev. Dr. David C. Laubach, National
Ministries' associate executive director for Congregational and Evangelistic
Ministries, said: "Belo has been an encourager-and the pastoral face of
National Ministries-for a new generation of Asian leaders.  She has taken
evangelism and discipleship very seriously, and she has trained and equipped
Asian pastors and influenced National Ministries in significant ways.  A
special contribution has been her support of Asian women in ministry.  We
wish her the very best in retirement and thank her for her ministry among


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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