NBA Celebrates Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick’s New Leadership Role
In January 2015, Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick joined the National Benevolent Association as the Disciples Care Exchange and Affinity Group Director, a joint position within the NBA and Disciples Home Missions (DHM) ministries. Since then, Monica has designed and launched NBA’s initial peer group model, provided leadership in designing and launching the Mental Health and Congregational Care Program, now known as our Mental Health & Wellness Initiative, supported the ongoing work of NBA’s Prison & Jail Ministries and been an integral part in connecting with historic and established Disciples of Christ health and social service agencies. It is this work that has paved the way for her promotion to Vice President of Organizational and Leadership Development, a new position she assumed at the end of 2020.
“Monica started with the NBA, she brings qualities of leadership that are grounded in invitation and welcome, active listening, and strategic vision,” says Mark D. Anderson, NBA President and CEO. “Her tremendous leadership and ability to foster connections and address the concerns of our diverse health and social service partners, peer groups members, and ecumenical partners is truly a gift. The NBA is blessed to have her as part of our staff and for her willingness to say yes to this new role.”
Before joining NBA, Monica served as Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Her time there was spent identifying talented and courageous people discerning calls to service in the church and community. In this role, she listened to their needs and dreams, partnering with them to discover a process for theological education and vocational training, evaluating their fit with the institution, and inviting them into a journey of learning and service.
When Monica joined the NBA staff, the goal of her original position was to network and empower Disciples health and social service ministries, nonprofits, and emerging projects. Her work supporting health and social service leaders and partners; actively engaging new partners; and facilitating gatherings, learning opportunities, and peer groups has served as the catalyst for the programmatic work NBA does today.
Throughout her six years at NBA, Monica has held a variety of titles, but her mission has been the same: to strengthen
NBA’s program areas and accompany Disciples health and social service ministries as they create communities of compassion and care. Her work as a peer group convener has created quiet moments of self-care for ministry leaders, she’s supported nonprofit executive leaders through staff transitions and organizational growth, and she recently led the launch of NBA’s new Community Engagement Program.
“Monica is a wonderful spirit and a strong spiritual leader. She started our Executive Leaders Peer Group meetings with a devotion, reminding us of our calling and keeping us encouraged,” reflects Rev. Kimberly Weir, executive director of Florida Christian Center and member of the 2018-2021 Executive Leaders Peer Learning and Wellness group. “She brought in great resources, contributed her own wisdom, and showed patience and compassion. Our group has strong personalities with strong opinions and ideas. She navigated that beautifully, holding space for all of us to share and engage. She brought us together and kept us together.”
When Monica assumed the role of Associate Vice President of Organization Development in 2019, she became the newest member of the executive leadership team. She will continue to be a member of the executive leadership team in her new role. In this expanded role, Monica leads NBA’s program team in carrying out the organizations strategic plan, supports the programs and activities of NBA’s health and social service partners, and fosters relationships across the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for collaborative opportunities. She is also engaged in Information Technology work, serves on NBA’s equity team and served two terms on the board of NBA’s sister ministry at the UCC, Council For Health & Human Services Ministries (CHHSM).
“I see Rev. Monica as a godly and gifted woman who is honest in her dealings and demonstrates integrity in everything
that she does. I enjoy her genuineness and willingness to listen to even the simplest of concerns,” says Rev. Dr. Elaine Sanford, Executive Director of HER Faith Ministries and NBA Trustee. “Through my work with the NBA and Monica, I have learned that there must be an ‘activist’ component to what we do. HER Faith’s work with NBA’s program team has taught us we must recognize and speak to the systemic challenges that are causal factors for the work that we do. NBA has helped to open these new avenues of thinking and being for HER Faith Ministries. I can truly say that Monica has been a friend, confidante, spiritual guide and peer leader whose contributions have enriched me and my ministry beyond words.”