Alan Robinson named national director of BIC U.S.
mechanicsburg, Pa. (february 26, 2013)—On behalf of the General Conference Board (GCB), chairperson Bill Strausbaugh is pleased to announce that the election of Dr. Alan Robinson as national director of the Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S., has been confirmed by delegates of the 2012 General Conference.
On February 18, an electronic ballot was emailed to the 286 U.S. delegates of the 2012 General Conference. Voting closed at 12pm (Eastern Standard Time) on February 25. Of the delegates who voted, an overwhelming majority confirmed Alan’s election. This confirmation vote brings to a close a search process that began in August 2012.
“I am eager to welcome Alan to this new role in service to the General Conference and our Lord,” says Bill. “In addition to his warm personality, Alan’s experiences clearly demonstrate his ability to think strategically, reason doctrinally, care pastorally, lead effectively, and communicate articulately. This combination helped the General Conference Board feel confident in presenting Alan’s name for confirmation by the delegates to General Conference 2012.”
Alan Robinson, who has served as senior pastor at Carlisle (Pa.) BIC since 1999, will begin his five-year term as national director on August 1. The role, which is new in both title and responsibilities for the denomination, will cover the core duties of the former general secretary and moderator positions, including serving as the most visible leader of BIC U.S., interacting with affiliate groups, guiding the Church’s denominational ministries, and leading members of Leadership Council.
In response to news of his confirmation, Alan shares, “I am honored to have received the support of the search committee, the General Conference Board, and now of the delegates from the 2012 General Conference. My theology and philosophy of ministry, gifting, and leadership is very much collegial and collaborative. I, therefore, take very seriously the input and advice of my sisters and brothers, and I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve in this way.”
Looking at the transitions ahead over the coming months, Alan acknowledges that they will not be without some difficulty. “For the last 14 years Sharon and I—and our two, now adult, daughters—have been incredibly blessed to be a part of the Carlisle congregation,” he remarks. “Our hearts are certainly experiencing a sense of loss as we consider no longer serving in this congregation as we have done in these 14 years. I want to finish well in my current role by helping the Carlisle congregation to remain focused on the mission of God.”
Yet, he says, he remains committed to preparing himself for his new role: “There are many organizational issues and decisions that will need to be made, and I want to get up to speed as quickly as possible. I am looking forward to attending all of the upcoming Regional Conference meetings. As mentioned earlier, my preferred leadership style is one of collegial and collaborative conversation and decision-making. To that end, I will work hard to get to know our Church family and to invite the family to get to know me better. While I have my own views and ideas, I looking forward to hearing God speak through the multiple and diverse voices of the Church.”
Alan also expresses thanks to many who have supported him throughout this time of discernment, including the General Church leader search committee and the General Conference Board, particularly GCB chair Bill Strausbaugh. He also voices appreciation for Warren Hoffman, who has served as moderator since 1998, saying, “When I first met Warren while interviewing for the pastoral position at the Carlisle church, I told him that my sense of call was to the Carlisle church not to the Brethren in Christ. Warren graciously responded that part of his role would be to help me to come to a place of call and commitment to the family not just to a local congregation. He has done this well over these 14 years, and the position that I now find myself in is due, in no small part, to his friendship, support, leadership, and encouragement.”
Warren’s term as moderator will conclude on July 31, 2013, with continuing service to BIC U.S. thru July 31, 2014. “I am glad for the opportunity to work with Alan over the coming months,” says Warren. “I have observed his wise leadership at the Carlisle Church, as well as on the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine, and the Equipping for Ministry teams. As my brother embarks upon this new endeavor, I’m asking the Lord to bless him and the Church with fresh encouragement and unity in the Spirit.”
As the August 1 start date for Alan nears, the GCB will be working closely with all parties—including the Carlisle BIC church board and the General Conference offices—to ensure as smooth and helpful a transition as possible.
GCB elects new General Church leader; vote on confirmation to come 2.3.2013
General Church leader search page