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Presbyterian World Mission announces transition leadership

Keith and Yates to lead mission ministry during director search

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

Tamron Keith and Rachel Yates.

Tamron Keith and Rachel Yates.

LOUISVILLE – World Mission, a ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), has announced a transition plan effective October 14, when Hunter Farrell leaves his position as director. He has accepted a call to serve as the director of the World Mission Initiative (WMI) of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, which includes teaching mission at the seminary.

PMA interim executive director Tony De La Rosa announced the two current associate directors of World Mission, Tamron Keith and Rachel Yates, will jointly lead the department until a new director is hired. Keith serves as associate director for administration and Yates as associate director for program.

“I am thrilled Tamron and Rachel have accepted this call to greater leadership for the Mission Agency,” said De La Rosa. “Tamron is a consummate professional and a person of deep integrity and Rachel has excellent leadership skills and a passion for God’s global mission. Together they form a solid foundation for moving World Mission forward.”

Prior to his promotion, Keith was World Mission’s director of finance the previous three years. Yates began work with the mission agency in 2013 as a church support associate on the funds development ministry team connecting congregations across the western U.S. with World Mission. She became associate director for program in January.

Keith was born in Harlem, N.Y., and raised in Louisville. He began his professional career at Presbyterian Distribution Services, a ministry of the former General Assembly Mission Council. He joined the Presbyterian Foundation in 1999 and eventually accepted the position of manager of financial controls, and later operations manager, with New Covenant Trust Company (NCTC), a subsidiary of the Foundation. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2007, where he served as senior financial analyst for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Technology Services. He served as interim capital technology project manager before joining World Mission in 2012. Keith has a bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Louisville and is on course to graduate from Indiana University with a master of science in strategic finance this fall. Keith preaches and teaches regularly as an elder and associate pastor at the Refuge in Kentucky Church in Louisville.

Yates spent 23 years at the law firm of Holland & Hart in Denver, Colo., the last 13 years as a partner. She has served as a ruling elder, clerk of session and co-chair of the “Faith in Action” team at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Denver, as well as serving two terms on the Denver Presbytery Council. She continues to co-chair the presbytery’s mission and ministry workgroup. Yates has a bachelor of arts in religious studies from Stanford University and a juris doctorate from the Boston University School of Law.

De La Rosa said he would announce plans on the search for a new executive director for World Mission in the coming weeks, saying, “As the World Mission ministry area of PMA prepares to mark its 180 year of service to the church and the world, the Presbyterian Mission Agency is committed to seeking the right individual to lead us into a new era of global mission engagement. I look forward to announcing specific plans and a timeline for that search process soon.”

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