About us

Board of directors


CliffordJohnson_150wThe Rev. Dr. Clifford I. Johnson

Board Position: President
Church: Shiloh Baptist Church, Wilmington, Del.
Region: Philadelphia Baptist Association
Committees: Executive, Governance, Finance and Audit

In addition to being president of the board of directors of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), the Rev. Dr. Clifford I. Johnson is pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Wilmington Del.; director of the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board; president of Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corp.; and president of Marion T. Academy charter school. He is a graduate of what is now Palmer Theological Seminary, King of Prussia, Pa. Says Johnson: “It is my goal to provide quality collaborative and engaging leadership to American Baptist Home Mission Societies, enabling the organization to further its work in supporting justice and transforming lives.”


Wendy Hagn

Board Position: Vice President
Church: First Baptist Church, Greenwood, Ind.
Region: American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis
Committees: Executive and Governance (chair)

As director of church relations and strategic partnerships for Franklin (Ind.) College, Wendy Hagn brings her administration and communication skills to the ABHMS board. She was church and community relations director for Baptist Homes of Indiana (now BHI Senior Living) for 10 years. She has been connected to the American Baptist Association of Colleges and Universities since 2008 and had served previously on the American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries board. In the local church, Hagn has served on administrative, stewardship, Christian education and refugee resettlement committees and has been a worship leader, choir member, youth advisor, and domestic and international missions volunteer.



The Rev. Dr. Leon E. Runner

Board Position: Corporate Secretary
Church: Lowville (N.Y.) Baptist Church
Region: American Baptist Churches of New York State
Committees: Executive and Finance

The Rev. Dr. Leon E. Runner has pastored Baptist churches in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York for more than 25 years, focusing on “ministry of reconciliation.” In his current pastorate, he seeks to establish collaborative partnerships with neighboring congregations and social agencies to address the needs of northern New York State’s impoverished rural communities. Additionally, he serves as administrative coordinator for the Nehemiah Leadership Network, which provides professional development for American Baptist pastors in the Northeast and Midwest. Runner earned a B.S. at Cairn University, Langhorne, Pa.; an M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; and a D.Min. at Palmer Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa.



alford-lacey-for-webThe Rev. Dr. Lacey S. Alford

Church: Wheat Street Baptist Church, Atlanta
Region: American Baptist Churches of the South
Committee: Governance

The Rev. Dr. Lacey S. Alford is immediate past president of American Baptist Churches of the South. She served on the General Board and the Board of International Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. She is associate minister of Wheat Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, where she formerly served as minister of Christian Education. She holds a doctorate degree in counseling, a specialist degree in administration and a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Christian Education. As a child, her passion for home mission was ignited by her family, church and community.


The Rev. Yamina Apolinaris

Photograph and biography to come.


The Rev. Dr. Mia Chang

Photograph and biography to come.


The Rev. Corey Fields

Photograph and biography to come.


The Rev. Dr. Conley H. Hughes Jr.

Photograph and biography to come.


Quinton Roman Nose

Photograph and biography to come.



ponton-sanetta-for-webThe Rev. Sanetta Ponton

Church: First Baptist Church, Englewood, N.J.
Region: American Baptist Churches of New Jersey
Committee: Audit

The Rev. Sanetta Ponton is assistant pastor at First Baptist Church, Englewood, N.J., for which she assists in leading worship, preaches twice monthly, teaches weekly adult Bible study, advises the music ministry, counsels congregants and visits the sick. In addition, she is the full-time managing director of academic programs for a law-related college preparatory organization in New York City. Ponton earned a Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., and a Master of Divinity degree at Duke Divinity School, Durham, N.C.


The Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson

Church: Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Region: American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York
Committee: Information to come

The Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson is lead pastor at Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Concord Baptist Church of Christ, which remains on the forefront of justice nearly two centuries after its founding. “I am excited,” Simpson says, “about building this community of believers and watching God move from a congregation in the center of Brooklyn to all parts of the world.” In addition, Simpson is an associate professor of Homiletics at Drew University Theological School, Madison, N.J. He holds a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary, Trotwood, Ohio; an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, New York City; and a B.A. from Dennison University, Granville, Ohio.


The Rev. Jamie P. Washam

Church: First Baptist Church in America, Providence, R.I.
Region: American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island
Committee: Governance

The Rev. Jamie P. Washam pastors First Baptist Church in America, Providence, R.I., where she has served since fall 2015. The church remains committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and Roger Williams’ founding vision of soul liberty. A native Texan, Washam graduated from University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Divinity School. She makes her home with her husband and son in Rhode Island. As an agent of God’s love, she considers it an honor to get paid to do what she would do in her free time anyway.


The Rev. Karen T. Yee

Churches: New Life Christian Fellowship, Castro Valley, Calif., and Iu-Mien Friendship Baptist Church, Richmond, Calif.
Region: American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast
Committee: Finance

Of her ministry as associate pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship, Castro Valley, Calif., the Rev. Karen T. Yee says that she enjoys serving a culturally and economically diverse congregation dedicated to living the gospel and making a difference. As English-speaking pastor at Iu-Mien Friendship Baptist Church, Richmond, Calif., Yee says, “I am excited about re-connecting this church and this ethnic group to the American Baptist family and to moving them toward becoming more involved with the community and social justice issues.” She earned a bachelor’s degree and multiple-subjects credential in graduate education at University of California, Berkeley, and an M.Div. at American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley.