Annual Conference names new leadership, Samuel Sarpiya chosen moderator-elect




Samuel Sarpiya
Photo by Glenn Riegel

Samuel Sarpiya

In election results, Samuel Kefas Sarpiya was chosen as moderator-elect. He will serve alongside moderator Carol Scheppard at the 2017 Annual Conference, and will be moderator of the 2018 Conference.

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Sarpiya, who was born in Nigeria, is pastor of Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren and co-founder of the Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation in Rockford. He has worked as a church planter and community organizer, and is passionate about the connection between peacemaking and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He received early training in the principles of Kingian nonviolence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has drawn from Jesus’ teaching on nonviolence and peace in his work as a pastor. He has impacted the Rockford school systems, has done training for the Rockford police department’s command staff and management in nonviolent principles, and has partnered with Nigerian Brethren and Brethren in the United States in developing a mobile library for use among several camps hosting internally displaced persons across Nigeria. Previously, beginning in 1994, he worked with Urban Frontiers Mission and Youth with a Mission, serving as a missionary around the world. He is a graduate of the University of Jos, Nigeria, earning a degree in social work. He graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary with a master of divinity in conflict transformation. Currently he is a doctoral candidate in semiotics and future studies at George Fox University in Portland Ore.

Following are election results for other positions:

Program and Arrangements Committee: John Shafer of Oakton (Va.) Church of the Brethren.

Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee: Raymond Flagg of Annville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren

Mission and Ministry Board, Area 3: Marcus Harden of Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren; Area 4: Luci Landes of Messiah Church of the Brethren in Kansas City, Mo.; Area 5: Thomas Dowdy of Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles, Calif.

Bethany Theological Seminary, representing the laity: Miller Davis of Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; representing the colleges: Mark A. Clapper of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren

Brethren Benefit Trust board: David L. Shissler of Hershey (Pa.) Spring Creek Church of the Brethren

On Earth Peace board: Beverly Sayers Eikenberry of Manchester Church of the Brethren in N. Manchester, Ind.

Following are board-elected and constituency-elected leaders who were affirmed:

Mission and Ministry Board: Diane Mason of Fairview Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District

On Earth Peace board: Irvin R. Heishman of West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District; Barbara Ann Rohrer of Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Western Plains District

Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees: Cathy Simmons Huffman of Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Virlina District; Louis Harrell Jr. of Manassas Church of the Brethren in Mid-Atlantic District; Karen O. Crim of Beavercreek Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District; David McFadden of Manchester Church of the Brethren in South Central Indiana District


Following are board appointments that were reported to the Conference:

Brethren Benefit Trust board: Eunice Culp of West Goshen Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District; Eric P. Kabler of Moxham Church of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania District; Thomas B. McCracken of York First Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania District


The 2016 Annual Conference News Team includes: writers Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Tyler Roebuck, Monica McFadden; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown; Conference Journal editor Eddie Edmonds; web manager Jan Fischer Bachman; web staff Russ Otto; editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

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