NBA Board of Trustees Meets in St. Louis

NBA President and CEO Mark D. Anderson and Board Chair Jackie Compton Bunch, with outgoing trustees Rev. Daphne Gascot Arias and Dr. Kerry Swindle.
NBA President and CEO Mark D. Anderson and Board Chair Jackie Compton Bunch, with outgoing trustees Rev. Daphne Gascot Arias and Dr. Kerry Swindle.

Members of the Board of Trustees for the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met together June 7-9 in St. Louis, MO, for their Spring 2018 in-person meeting.

Events began on Thursday evening, with a tour of the newly installed history timeline and ministry partner art showcased in the NBA offices at Union Avenue Christian Church. Rev. Dani Loving Cartwright, NBA VP of Operations, wrote a special litany to dedicate the installation, closing with:

One: God of all, in whose imagination lives Higgs boson and rainbow skies and purple mountain majesties, we give thanks for the ability see a small piece of Your history here….to learn and be inspired, to study and be intrigued, to compare and be curious… May it provide a brief flicker into the amazing view from which You see the world.
All: Let us “rejoice as we look back over all these years of service, and with great anticipation and celebration, move forward, serving God.”

During Thursday dinner, board members joined with NBA staff for a panel discussion with participants of NBA’s Executive Leaders Peer Group. This cohort recently concluded nearly two years journeying together, with opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and training opportunities; accountability to stay on track with organizational goals; resource sharing; and encouragement and support.

“This was the most rewarding experience I’ve had over these past two years,” said Rev. Elaine Sanford, Executive Director of HER Faith Ministries, an NBA Incubate Partner in Memphis, TN. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.” Mark Palmer, CEO of Woodhaven, historic Disciples agency and NBA Connect Partner in Columbia, MO, truly appreciated the opportunity to have monthly conversations (held virtually via Zoom), as well as in-person gatherings, with senior-level peers. “We were able to share concerns and frustrations. We had difficult conversations and held each other accountable, supporting each other with grace and love, and building trust over the two years.”

In his President’s Report on Friday morning, Mark D. Anderson focused on Proverbs 16:9 (NRSV): “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” He discussed NBA’s progress through the strategic priorities affirmed at the November 2017 meeting, as our staff continues to build detailed work plans supporting these strategic priorities and key initiatives in the areas NBA is called together, and called to care.

During Friday lunch, NBA staff and trustees had the opportunity to hear from Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who serves as an ex-officio member of the NBA Board of Trustees.

“People are craving connections,” said Owens, as she emphasized three important areas of connections for us as Disciples: connection with God, connection with other Christians, and connection across our denomination and communities.

Committee meetings were held Friday morning, followed by the plenary session convening Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with Board Chair Jackie Compton Bunch presiding. Business items included review and revision of key policies and protocols; presentation of the 2017 audit; and approval of the spending rate for the 2019 budget, which will come before the board at the November 2018 meeting.

As of June 30, 2018, four trustees will complete their terms with the NBA Board: Rev. Daphne Gascot Arias, Los Angeles, CA; Ms. Barb Scamman, Seattle, WA; Dr. Kerry Swindle, Tucson, AZ; and Rev. Dr. Cathy Myers Wirt, Portland, OR. Effective July 1, 2018, three new trustees will begin terms of service: Mr. Alex Cooper, Cleburne, TX; Mrs. Ariel Kidwell, Dallas, TX; and Rev. Orlando Scott, Norcross, GA.

We appreciate the leadership and service of the outgoing trustees, and are grateful to welcome the new board members into our shared work across the life of the church!

Board and staff members enjoyed dinner together in St. Louis on Friday evening and closing worship and communion on Saturday morning before traveling home. The NBA Board of Trustees will meet via conference call on August 16, 2018. The next in-person meeting is scheduled for November 8-10, 2018, when NBA board and staff will meet in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, alongside our general ministry partners with the Christian Church Foundation.

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About the National Benevolent Association: As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” For more information, visit