Greenwaldt leaving GBOD

The Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, top executive of the UMC’s General Board of Discipleship, will retire at the end of the year.

She will have served for 13 years, including an extra year at the request of the agency’s board, which wanted stability coming out of General Conference 2012.

“I am choosing to retire at the end of 2013 because it is the right time in the quadrennium to do so,” Ms. Greenwaldt said.  “A new general secretary will be able to shape the future work of GBOD with the new board of directors in ways that can impact decisions going forward to General Conference in 2016.”

Karen Greenwaldt

Ms. Greenwaldt joined GBOD in 1981, coming from the Central Texas Conference, where she was associate council director as well as an associate pastor and hospital chaplain.

At GBOD, she served as associate general secretary, administrator and team leader of the Disciples Ministries division before she began in the top job on Jan. 1, 2001.

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, new president of the GBOD board, praised Ms. Greenwaldt.

“She has steadfastly led the United Methodist Church’s ministry of equipping disciples to help God change the world,” Bishop Stanovsky said. “She leaves a strong legacy of vision, creativity and compassion.”

Under Ms. Greenwaldt, GBOD helped create the New Church Starts (Path 1) initiative, put a new denominational focus on youth ministries and established an office for making sure episcopal areas in Africa, the Philippines and parts of Europe have church resource materials.

The new church starts team met its goal of training 1,000 church planters who have started some 650 U.S. churches.

Ms. Greenwaldt will also retire next year as a Central Texas Conference elder, and will set up a studio to continue her work as a bead and fabric artist.

“My husband, Russ Harris, and I look forward to volunteering in a variety of ministry circumstances,” she said.

Bishop Stanovsky said she will form a team to choose Ms. Greenwaldt’s replacement. The effort will begin in 2013, with the goal of having someone in place by the first of 2014.

Sam Hodges, Former Managing Editor, UMR

Sam Hodges

Sam Hodges was the managing editor of The United Methodist Reporter from 2011-2013. A formee reporter for the Dallas Morning News and the Charlotte Observer, Sam is a respected voice in United Methodist journalism.

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