Support our siblings affected by disaster, hunger and oppression through One Great Hour of Sharing.

APCE swears in its new president, PC(USA) pastor the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Campbell

The pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, plans to tap into her Wonder Woman power source

by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn Campbell, the new president of the Association of Partners in Christian Education, addresses people gathered for the national event in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday. (Photo by Beth Waltemath)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — At the annual corporation lunch for the Association of Partners in Christian Education on Thursday, the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Campbell was sworn in as president along with other new officers: Tori Smit (president-elect), and Deb DeMeester and Jim Monnett (Co-Treasurers).

APCE is currently comprised of 10 volunteer ministry teams and councils exclusive of task forces and special committees, an organizational structure represented to members in the form of a tree. Members of the executive committee serve three-year terms.

Campbell is in the second year of her term, having been installed as president-elect last year at the APCE annual conference in Chicago, an event that she later told the crowd prompted a former APCE president to comment off-stage, “I don’t know how you’re going to do this with a full-time job and two young children at home.” Since 2020, Campbell has served as pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Caroline, a Matthew 25 congregation.

On stage this year, Campbell was given two symbols of the APCE presidency: a gavel and the lamp of learning. She placed these on the podium before addressing the body of more than 500 registered participants and pulled out another object of significance: a toddler-friendly figurine of Wonder Woman. She told the crowd without prompting from her mother that her three-year-old child was fond of calling her by that name.

The three-year-old child of APCE’s new president frequently calls her mother “Wonder Woman.” (Photo by Beth Waltemath)

Campbell demurred any actual comparisons with the superhero and warned APCE members against setting their expectations of her presidency inhumanely high. “I am not Wonder Woman, although I will say, no one has seen her and me in the same room at the same time,” said Campbell, allowing for the slim possibility that she could very well fill the superheroine’s boots.

With the $111,000 deficit presented earlier in the same business meeting and a desire to diversify and expand APCE’s membership, Campbell and the rest of APCE’s leadership have their work cut out for them. However, Campbell noted that the real power behind Wonder Woman and her heroic colleagues was that they have a league of heroes behind them.

“I know as a room full of educators, volunteer or paid, ordained or not, we are here for each other, and we need to stick together in a world that needs to hear about the love of God, the salvation of Jesus Christ and the grace of the Holy Spirit,” Campbell said.

Campbell continued her rallying cry by picking up the imagery of 2023’s conference theme of grace: “We need to be here for each other, and we need to extend love and grace to each other — and then remind each other that we need to extend that same grace back to ourselves.”

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

Categories: , ,
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Ministries: , ,