NCC installs young Lutheran, veteran Baptist as leaders

November 10, 2011

About the same time the National Council of Churches' governing board, meeting in Chicago, announced with sadness November 9 that it will lose general secretary Michael Kinnamon for medical reasons, it also raised up two talented volunteers.

The NCC inducted a 34-year-old Lutheran, Kathryn Lohre, as president for the next two years, and elected the top executive of the American Baptists, A. Roy Medley, as its president-elect for 2014-15.

The president and president-elect are non-paid posts. The bigger opening to fill will be a successor to Michael Kinnamon.

As Religion News Service has reported, the NCC cut spending on programs and administration from about $6.2 million in 2008 to about $5.4 million last year, according to annual reports. The NCC's income also declined, from about $5.4 million in 2008 to $5.1 million last year.

Lohre and Medley come with good ecumenical and interfaith experience. Lohre was assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard from 2005 until this year, when she became director of ecumenical and interreligious relations in the Chicago-based office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Medley, general secretary of the American Baptist Churches, has been active in a national Baptist-Muslim dialogue and is married to a Lutheran pastor, Patricia Stauffer Medley, who serves Hope Lutheran Church in Freehold, New Jersey.

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