ABHMS honors Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, unveils new learning center

Top: Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III (middle) cuts the ribbon with the help of board member the Rev. Dr. Corey S. Fields (left) and Dr. Jeffrey Haggray.
Bottom: The Rev. Rebecca Irwin-Diehl, center director, addresses those gathered.

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/27/21) – American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) dedicated the new Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III Learning Center—which provides practical mission education for today’s disciples—on Sept. 21 in honor of its executive director emeritus who led the organization for 24 years, the longest continuous leadership tenure in the organization’s history.

Delayed from last year due to the ongoing pandemic, the ceremony hosted around three dozen guests, in accordance with CDC-recommended pandemic protocols, in ABHMS’ Leadership and Mission Building in King of Prussia, Pa. The Learning Center boasts multiple small offices that will be utilized for break-out groups and smaller gatherings as well as a large area for classroom-style learning experiences.

“I am just deeply honored and thankful that ABHMS would choose to recognize me in this way,” said Wright-Riggins in response to the dedication. “My mother was a teacher—the first Black woman to teach in the Compton (Calif.) school district—as well as the first college-educated person in my family, so education has always been important to me. In naming this center after me, ABHMS honors me, honors my wife and her family, and honors my mother on what would have been her 100th birthday.”

In opening remarks, Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, ABHMS executive director, said: “I could cite a list of programs that were launched, expanded or strengthened under Aidsand’s leadership. His name opens doors even now for me, as so many people recognize the impact he had on our American Baptist denomination. We at ABHMS are honored that Dr. Wright-Riggins consented to naming this center for him.”

The Learning Center is the bricks-and-mortar home of the ABHMS Center for Continuous Learning (CCL), a virtual platform committed to equipping leaders as disciples, making disciples into leaders and training God’s people to fulfill their ministry passions through in-person, online and hybrid learning experiences that include webinars, courses, conferences and certificate programs. Although the dedication just took place, programs offered by the CCL have already launched. The Rev. Rebecca Irwin-Diehl is the center’s director.

“The Learning Center is an awesome opportunity to continue educating while building on our roots and legacy,” said the Rev. Dr. Christine Roush, a member of ABHMS’ Learning Center team. “The ability to record talks and presentations, and then distribute them online means that they will be more widely accessible, and you can utilize resources from this learning center anywhere.”

For more information, visit https://ccl.ministrelife.org/.

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.