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General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe Announces Her Retirement from Church and Society (Church & Society)

October 19, 2022

Washington D.C. – The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) today announced that General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe has informed the Board of her intention to retire from the agency at the end of 2022, after eight years in the role.

As an ordained United Methodist elder and a full clergy member of the South Carolina Annual Conference, Rev. Dr. Henry-Crowe will soon reach the mandatory retirement age for all ordained ministers in the denomination and has reached the mandatory retirement age for persons in the office of General Secretary for the agency.

“As chief executive of the General Board of Church and Society, Dr. Henry-Crowe has significantly improved and expanded the impact of UMC and our Social Principles all over the world,” said Bishop Sally Dyck, GBCS Board President and UMC Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops. “She has led the agency to center its priorities for matters of justice and peace, working tirelessly in the United Methodist connectional life, leading efforts at the United Nations and advocating with ecumenical faith partners at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill.”

Dr. Henry-Crowe is an ordained UMC minister for nearly five decades and was also elected to two terms as a member of the denomination’s Judicial Council. She served as President of the Judiciary for four years.

“Serving the ministries of the UMC in a variety of capacities for more than 48 years has far exceeded any hopes and dreams that I could have imagined when I was ordained into the Church’s ministry by Bishop James Thomas and Bishop Ed Tullis in 1974,” said Dr. Henry-Crowe. “It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as the leader of GBCS. I am proud of the organization we are today and the impact we have, working with thousands of people, groups and networks to advance the cause of social justice on behalf of the church. We have the collective efforts of a dedicated Board of directors, a remarkably talented staff and a highly supportive UMC constituency, who have inspired us to think creatively and explore new directions. I could not be more excited about what’s next for this remarkable organization.”

Retiring from her appointment on December 31, 2022, the Board approved a Transition Plan naming Mr. John Hill as the Interim General Secretary until a new General Secretary is elected. Hill has served on staff of GBCS for 20 years and the last four as Deputy General Secretary. Under the GBCS bylaws and the UMC Book of Discipline, the Board will proceed with a formal search for a successor in the coming months.

“Mr. Hill comes extraordinarily qualified to serve in the capacity of Interim General Secretary,” said Bishop Dyck. “His expertise working on Capitol Hill as well as his trusted voice within the UMC and with ecumenical partners, makes him exceptionally prepared to lead the agency with vision, courage and imagination.”

According to Bishop Dyck, after Dr. Henry-Crowe’s retirement, she will serve as a consultant continuing to offer her gifts in the service of GBCS to further strengthen the agency’s presence and witness in advance of the 2024 General Conference.”