Twenty-six members of the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers, representatives of national organizations, and the chairs of the examining boards of 16 of the Fellowship’s districts met in Lititz, PA, March 27-29 for an historic “Certification Summit” discussion of licensure and ordination.
The meeting was called, organized, and led by Dr. Jerry Young, who has been working as a contracted research and development director for the AGBM. Subdividing into four discussion groups, the participants worked through some 44 discussion questions, bringing summary reports to the entire group.
A number of subjects were discussed, including the potential adoption at the upcoming Celebrate06 conference of new constitution and bylaws for the AGBM, the ratification of a board of directors, and steps leading to the engagement of a part-time director for the association.
A major portion of the discussion at Lititz revolved around initiatives to broaden the categories of membership in the AGBM beyond licensed and ordained ministers. Specifically, Grace Brethren North American Missions is now training a number of church planters, and part of the discussion was the credentialing and creation of categories for membership for these church planters and other church workers who do not follow the traditional path of licensure and ordination.
Participants in the Lititz meeting included Terry Daniels, Greg Howell, Norris Mason, Steve Taylor, Tim Boal, Jerry Young, John Schumacher, Ken Bickel, Chip Heim, Mike Govey, Jay Fretz, Dan Pritchett, Keith Shearer, Terry White, Don Eshelman, Howard Johnson, Robert MacMillan, Larry Orme, Dan White, Joel Richards, Randy Weekley, Kevin Pinkerton, Steve Shipley, Charles Thornton, Robert Wagner, and Tom Avey.
The AGBM will have four meetings at Celebrate06 in which to conclude the discussions and take actions, along with the regular AGBM activities that incl
ude introduction of new members, honoring member with the Lifetime Achievement, Pastor of the Year, and Excellence in Ministry awards, and more.
Input or suggestions prior to the conference meetings should be sent to Jerry Young at JRYoung06@aol.com, sent to him at 62679 Northwood Road in Tucson, AZ 85739 or phoned to him at (717) 682-1216.