From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Rev. Dorian Mendez-Vaz Joins National Ministries Staff in Children's Ministry Area

From "Jayne, Andy" <>
Date Mon, 20 Nov 2006 13:42:04 -0500

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/20/06)-The Rev. Dorian Mendez-Vaz will join National Ministries on December 11 as national coordinator for Church and Community-based Children's Ministries.

Mendez-Vaz brings to her new position experience in elementary education, as well as guidance and counseling in school and church settings. Adding to her depth are child and family psychological and behavioral counseling experience and work in teenage program development.

Her unique combination of organizational and people skills has put Mendez-Vaz in positions of service that are geared to both administration and human resources. She worked as a research and planning consultant for the United Way of Chicago and directed the United Way of New York City campaign in its public schools. Additionally, she was a teacher, head of the lower school and director of admissions and placement at St. Phillip's Academy, Newark, N.J.

In her work at the Families and Work Institute, New York, N.Y., Mendez-Vaz designed a training program and manual for a national initiative to promote male involvement in the lives of young children. She has also developed and directed a national fellowship program through Columbia University, New York, to advance minorities in early childhood and child health professions.

Associate Executive Director for Program Ministries, Rev. Marilyn Turner, says, "Dorian's extensive experience in ministry, public education, entrepreneurship, community outreach and service will bring significant value to our focus on ministry for leaders of children's ministries." Mendez-Vaz will be responsible for coordinating the Children in Poverty initiative processes, projects and programs, and will forward media development related to the initiative.

"Her passion for reaching the underserved and her unique understanding of family systems will be advantageous in our initiative to make a difference in the lives of children impacted by poverty," says Turner.

She has served as a youth pastor, a minister for congregational care and pastoral counseling, and an associate minister for Women's Ministry and Bible Study at several churches. Most recently, she served Union Baptist Church, Montclair, N.J., as associate minister for "Within Her Reach," a seed ministry for girls and young women she developed to be used internationally.

Mendez-Vaz says she sees God's hand at work in her appointment: "I have a passionate belief in the biblical proclamation that children are a heritage from God and an award from the Lord. Seeing to the wholeness of our children, particularly those who may be marginalized, is a Christ centered expectancy, so I embrace the opportunity to be part of the American Baptist Churches USA Children in Poverty initiative through National Ministries."

Ordained through American Baptist Churches USA, Mendez-Vaz holds her master of divinity from Drew University Theological School and her master of education in psychological services from Springfield College. She also has a master's in religious studies from the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Andrew C. Jayne American Baptist Churches, USA Mission Resource Development

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