General Secretary to Transition
to New Role

Grantham, Pa – Speaking with regret in his voice, Mark Garis, chair of the General Church Board, announced the resignation of Darrell Winger from the position of general secretary of the BIC Church in North America. The announcement came during the fall meeting of the General Church Board, as they met in Miami, Florida.

Garis explained that Winger will continue as general secretary on a half-time basis through the current biennium, which ends with the 2006 General Conference. Beginning October 1, Winger will also fill a half-time role with The Meeting House (Oakville, Ontario), working in the areas of personnel oversight, administration, and development of community infrastructure.

“Although Darrell has been happy in his ministry as general secretary, he and his wife have become increasingly aware that the amount, duration, and regularity of his time away from home were taking a toll on their family life. He felt that in the long-term interests of all concerned, a decision needed to be made that allowed for clarity, needed care of workload, and forward movement of the General Conference,” Garis stated.

Garis highlighted Winger’s important and timely contributions to the BIC Church, including several key initiatives, most notably the Consultation on Marriage. Darrell also helped shape a team-based model for ministry which Garis said “will serve the church for years to come.”

Moderator Warren Hoffman added his affirmation for Winger’s service, stating that “Darrell’s decision has been difficult for all of us and comes with feelings of disappointment and sadness. I grieve that we could not adequately meet the needs of Darrell’s family in a long-distance partnership that in every other way has been such an enjoyable and productive one.”

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. As Garis explained, “It is the hope of General Church leaders that this ten-month transition plan will allow the work of the 2004–2006 biennium to be completed with a measure of continuity, utilizing the current, capable personnel to fulfill the important responsibilities of the general secretary. This time of transition also provides the search committee with adequate time to search for and appoint a new person to this role.

“Although we will miss his good judgment and wise counsel on a full-time basis, we know that Darrell will continue to serve Christ and the BIC Church with diligence and dedication in the months ahead,” Garis stated. “In the meantime, we pray that God will identify for us the person He has planned to fill this vital role going forward.”

September 19, 2005