ABHMS celebrates ministries of two retiring long-term personnel

Victoria Goff (top) and Marcia Jessen.

VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/6/19)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and its publishing ministry, Judson Press, celebrate the ministry of two employees who are retiring after years of dedicated service. Victoria Goff, national coordinator of Volunteer-mobilization and Disaster-relief Ministries, will retire at the end of April. Marcia Jessen, Judson Press’ curriculum editor, will retire at June’s end. ABHMS expresses thanks to and prays for continued blessings on the ministry endeavors of Goff and Jessen, both of whom have dedicated their gifts to nurturing American Baptists since 1992.

With a heart for recruiting and mentoring youth volunteers, Goff has led ABHMS’ commitment to individuals, churches and other groups striving to be the hands and feet of Christ through volunteer efforts rebuilding communities across the United States and Puerto Rico after natural disaster. Goff has often been among the first boots on the ground in locations of devastation, where she has walked alongside thousands whose lives have been severely impacted.

In addition, Goff is liaison to American Baptist Women’s Ministries and coordinator of Overland White Cross. Her past ABHMS positions have included electronic media coordinator in Communications as well as those with American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries, Research and Development, and Policy Statements and Resolutions.

“For the past 16 years, Vickie has used her expertise, creativity, compassion and hospitality to provide service opportunities to thousands of volunteers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Together, they have made transformational differences in the lives of those who have been devastated by disasters,” says Dr. Marilyn P. Turner-Triplett, director of ABHMS’ Healing and Transforming Communities. “Vickie’s energy and caring heart for others have made her call to the ministry of volunteerism evident to anyone who has been privileged to work with her. She will be greatly missed.”

Recognizing the importance of Bible study in transforming lives, Jessen has demanded high standards of herself in editing Judson Bible Journeys for Adults, a Bible study curriculum written by and for American Baptists. Lifting up American Baptist beliefs, identity and history, she has sought to make the “Journeys” leaders guide the best possible resource for teaching, while ensuring that the student book is the best possible resource for learning.

Jessen was previously production manager for Baptist Leader, a magazine for church leaders, and was part of the planning team for the Encounter Youth Conference in 2004. Other past ABHMS roles have included those with Educational Ministries, Discipleship and Communications.

“In responding faithfully to God’s call on her life, Marcia has helped to prepare a generation of disciples for leadership,” says Laura Alden, Judson Press’ publisher. “Her knowledge of American Baptists as well as her editorial insight and attention to the educational task have ensured that congregations and groups using ‘Journeys’ interact both with Scripture and with their communities.”

ABHMS remains committed to the quality of its Volunteer-mobilization and Disaster-relief Ministries as well as to Judson Bible Journeys for Adults. The ministries are integral facets of ABHMS’ mission to spread the healing Gospel across the United States and Puerto Rico, cultivating Christian leaders from all walks of life, equipping disciples who broaden the understanding of what it means to follow Jesus and working on behalf of freedom, justice and the biblical ideal of Beloved Community.

“We are immensely grateful to God for the remarkable service of Vickie and Marcia to ABHMS and Judson Press for so many years,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray. “Identifying and calling forth new persons that match their expertise and dedication will be a challenge, but for now we celebrate their ministries.”

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

 American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.