United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network names new coordinator

MichaelArbristerMichael Armbrister is the new executive coordinator for the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network, retiring coordinator the Rev. Dr. Bob Wilkins announced. Armbrister’s appointment is effective June 2.

“Michael is an energetic communicator who is deeply motivated to use his leadership and skills to meet human needs in Appalachia through The United Methodist Church and other entities of the region,” said the Rev. Chuck Jack, president of UMAMN.

Armbrister has been executive director of the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission in Marion, Va., since 2012.

The Appalachian Ministry Network partners with annual conferences, districts, local churches and general agencies to develop and support leaders within the UMC in the Appalachian region. The region includes annual conferences in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

Armbrister’s duties at UMAMN will include working in partnership with the network members to develop strategies to implement a Christian response to social justice issues facing individuals and communities throughout Appalachia.

At the Mount Rogers Commission, he supervised operations in community and regional economic development. He provided direct oversight and strategic direction for activities and staff, and managed the Economic Development Administration and Appalachian Regional Commission annual grant programs, grant writing and project development. He managed a staff of 11 employees who work in 20 different jurisdictions and prepared the annual budget (approximately $900,000) and annual work program.

He was also an adjunct professor at Emory and Henry College.

General Board of Higher Education & Ministry

GBHEM is the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church. The work of the Board is preparing global leaders for the church and the world. Every elder, deacon, and licensed local pastor has benefited from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults have found help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their life through our leadership and discernment programs, and through values-centered higher education and collegiate ministries at the 106 UM-related schools, colleges, and universities. United Methodist leaders — both lay and clergy — have benefited from GBHEM’s loans and scholarships programs.

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