VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/01/06)-The Rev. Dr. Cheryl H. Wade, associate general secretary and treasurer of American Baptist Churches USA since January 1993, will resign those positions as of December 31, 2006, to become director of philanthropy for the Kendal Corporation and executive director of Kendal Charitable Funds.
Wade has held a wide variety of vital national administrative and financial responsibilities for American Baptist Churches USA, which includes approximately 5,600 churches and 1.5 million members.
As associate general secretary she has consulted regularly with the general secretary regarding denomination-wide issues of ministry, ecclesiology, governance, strategic planning, and theology. She functions as the chief operating officer, responsible for the daily management of staff of the Office of the General Secretary, and is the chief staff person for the denomination's Representative Process, which includes the General Board, the governing body of the denomination.
Wade staffs the General Board Executive Committee and the Budget Review Committee, and serves on General Executive Council (the denomination's chief staff council) and its Executive Committee.
Because of her efforts, the General Board in recent years has refocused its traditional approach to denominational business to include significant time for "Worshipful Work" and the pursuit of common ground and consensus.
As treasurer, Wade functions as chief financial officer for denomination, responsible for the collection, distribution and accounting for denomination-wide giving of approximately $45,000,000 annually. She is responsible for the operation of the American Baptist Churches USA Mission Center in Valley Forge, Pa., and chairs both the Building Management Council for that property and the Treasurers' Council at the national offices.
She has consulted with the denomination's 34 regions as requested on financial and other management matters, and was the primary staff person guiding the GEC process that revised the Common Budget Covenant, an agreement among the 39 covenanting partner organizations on the raising and disbursing of common giving from churches.
Wade led staff in developing the General Secretary Circles program, which provides individual donors with levels of opportunities for annual gifts to the denomination. She has served as chief staff liaison for three feasibility studies, and has worked with the consulting firm McConkey Johnston recently to improve the fundraising capacity of the Office of the General Secretary, the national boards, and regions of ABCUSA. Under her leadership the Donor Development Advisory Council for ABCUSA was inaugurated.
Wade took on responsibilities as the denomination's ecumenical officer in 1997 and has continued to provide American Baptist representation with ecumenical partners. In 1998 she was elected to a seven-year term on the Central Committee of World Council of Churches, where she has served on the Budget and Finance Committee. She also has represented the ABCUSA in World Council work on the Finance Committee for the 9 th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and as a member of Board of Directors of U.S. Conference of World Council of Churches, among other positions.
At the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A Wade chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Executive Board, the Administration and Finance Committee, and the General Secretary's Advisory Committee.
She also has been involved in the work of the Baptist World Alliance, serving on its General Assembly from 2000 to 2003.
Ordained in 1978 at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago, Wade has done extensive preaching and public speaking at national and regional gatherings of the denomination and at local churches.
Among many other responsibilities and accomplishments, Wade implemented the redesign of space at the American Baptist Mission Center and negotiated and implemented the merger of the Congregational Profile System and the Mission Receipts Disbursement System into a single nationwide, region-based data system.
Prior to her ministry at American Baptist Churches USA in Valley Forge, Pa., Wade served from 1990 to 1993 as treasurer of The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board of American Baptist Churches USA in New York. In that position she was responsible for assets totaling $1.4 billion, working with the Finance Committee to implement investment policy decisions and managing relationships with ten different asset managers, among many other responsibilities. She previously had served as assistant treasurer, special representative, and field representative.
Wade was associate pastor of the North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago from 1980 to 1983. In that ministry she performed preaching, teaching, and pastoral duties for a large multicultural urban congregation.
Prior to that she had been director of guidance and counseling and taught at the Latin School of Chicago and was co-coordinator of the Middle School of The Anne Wright School in Tacoma, Wash.
Wade is an active member of Second Baptist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia, where she has served on the Trustees and Missions boards, among many responsibilities.
She has been active in community outreach through a number of organizations: BuildaBridge International, a nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to bringing hope and healing to vulnerable children, families, and communities; Summerbridge of Germantown, Inc., an academic enrichment program for educationally and economically disadvantaged middle school students; and Northwest Interfaith Movement, an interfaith alliance of 36 congregations in Northwest Philadelphia to build a more just and sensitive community through advocacy and service.
Wade holds an M.B.A. degree in Non-Profit Management and Finance from Columbia University; the M.Div. degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary; and the B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary.
She received an honorary doctorate from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999 and was the recipient of the Joann Martin Award for Public and Non-Profit Management granted by Columbia University in 1987.
Wade began her national work with ABCUSA in 1993 under the leadership of General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Weiss. She also served with Interim General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Robert H. Roberts from 2000 to 2002 prior to the election of current General Secretary the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley.
In her new responsibilities, Wade will lead in the development of a system-wide philanthropy strategy for the Kendal Corporation, a nonprofit organization committed to care for the aging based on the principles of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
"Working in this ministry has been a joy for me," Wade said. "It has been a privilege to work with wonderful leaders, especially our general secretary. But 14 years is a long time, and this new opportunity has come to me as a gift. I will dearly miss the everyday challenges of ministry for Christ in this great denomination, as well as the fellowship of special colleagues, but I also look forward to an exciting new ministry with older adults."
"Cheryl Wade has blessed us with a multitude of gifts in ministry, administration, and stewardship--all supported by boundless energy and an exemplary commitment to ABCUSA life and health," General Secretary Medley said. "We will miss her deeply as a leader, colleague, pastor, counselor, motivator and friend, but we know that God has called her to a wonderful new opportunity for service in the name of Christ."
Medley noted that the process to determine an acting treasurer to serve through this important time of transition was proceeding well: "We hope to be able to announce soon the name of the qualified and committed individual who will assume these fundamentally significant responsibilities."
Andrew C. Jayne American Baptist Churches, USA Mission Resource Development http://www.abc-usa.org/