Past Executive Directors
September 2012-January 2017
(Congratulations on Debora’s recent call to Yale Divinity School. More info on her service pending here.)
September 2008 – September 2012
Joe Kutter served as a pastor of 5 congregations over a span of 39 years in New Jersey, Michigan and Kansas. During the course of his pastoral ministry, he served in a variety of regional and denominational roles including work with both the national and regional Ministers Councils. He “retired” from First Baptist Church of Topeka, KS to accept an invitation to serve first as the “Acting Director” and then the “Director” of the Ministers Council, ABC-USA.
As the Director, he continued to administer, with the brilliant assistance of Sue Sechrist, Together in Ministry (TIM) initiated by the good work of Kate Harvey. In his opinion, the ten years of TIM provided the finest opportunity for clergy wholeness and productivity, perhaps in the history of denominational life.
Assuming office in the wake of a difficult season in our life together, he also worked diligently, travelling extensively, to nurture, build, and restore relationships between Ministers Council and the national and regional groups with whom we are partners in ministry and he continues to cherish the relationships that were formed during those years.
During his tenure, the Ministers Council initiated the first capital campaign in its history for the purpose of enhancing program in the spirit of the TIM process.
Kate Harvey Jacobs served 30 years in ministry with the American Baptist ChurchesUSA, first in pastoring congregations and then completing her work as Executive Director of the Ministers Council from 1995 to 2008.
During that time Kate secured for the Ministers Council two grants totaling nearly $3 million from the Lilly Endowment to fund Together in Ministry. TIM included a web of collegial covenant groups to connect, resource and strengthen pastoral leaders, as well as biennial conferences for pastoral leaders.
Since retirement, Kate lives in TellicoVillage (http://tellicovillage.org/) near Knoxville, TN, and the beautiful SmokyMountains. In her church she preaches on a monthly basis, manages adult education, and has spearheaded distinguished scholar lecture series, featuring John Dominic Crossan in 2013. In the village she has chaired the long range planning committee, serves on the communications and marketing committee, and performs with the Tellico Community Theatre in plays and in readers’ theatre for area schools. Life is good!