Pastor–educator nominated as BIC general secretary

Mark Garis, chair of the General Conference Board announces the nomination of Donald F. McNiven to the position of general secretary of the Brethren in Christ Church. “Don McNiven’s skills in team-building, interpersonal relationships, and problem-solving make him a person uniquely qualified for the role of general secretary,” Garis states. “We thank God for His continued faithfulness in guiding this search process.”

McNiven, age 58, serves as pastor of worship arts at Manor BIC (Lancaster, Pa.), where he and his wife, Sue, moved from Toronto in 2002.

The son of a BIC pastor, McNiven became a follower of Christ as a young teen and came to a deeper understanding of God’s call on his life when he was a young adult. He went on to attend Brock University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music, a master’s in administration, and Ontario certification as a principal and as a supervisory officer.

Following university, McNiven pursued a career in education, including the presidency of Niagara Christian Collegiate (NCC), a BIC-affiliated residential high school in Ontario, and considerable involvement with educational organizations such as the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International.

McNiven’s broad experience in ministry and education also led him to serve in various leadership roles at The Peoples Church in Toronto, a unique congregation that supports a significant Christian school, a weekly national TV program, and an unparalleled commitment to world missions. During his time with The Peoples Church, McNiven worked as its school’s headmaster, the congregation’s music pastor, and a member of its pastoral transition team.

McNiven’s ministry to the Manor congregation is the continuation of a commitment to the BIC that began very early in his life. Over the years, he has served in such areas as the Atlantic Conference’s Stewardship Team, both the General and Canadian Conferences’ Boards for Congregational Life, the BIC hymnal committee, and the General Conference Board for Schools and Colleges.

The General Conference Board approved McNiven as the nominee for the position of general secretary in a meeting on February 10, and delegates at General Conference 2006, to be held this summer in Miami, Fla., will vote on the nomination.

Darrell Winger will continue to perform the essential responsibilities of general secretary through the end of July 2006, traveling to the Church Offices in Grantham once a quarter and providing leadership for General Conference planning.

“As a partner with Darrell in leadership, I have been grateful for his consistently gracious interaction, day-to-day wisdom, and timely implementation of team-based ministry, and I am confident that Don will be a worthy successor,” Warren Hoffman, moderator, states. “With his excellent relational skills and multiple giftings, Don is sure to be a major contributor to the realization of our 2010 vision—325 healthy congregations in partnership to impact the world for Jesus Christ.”