Pa. treasurer to oversee United Methodist finances
By Marta W. Aldrich*
July 9, 2008 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
The agency overseeing the finances of The United Methodist Church has
elected a church treasurer from Eastern Pennsylvania as its new chief
Moses Kumar, 54, of Jeffersonville, Pa., was elected as the sixth
general secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration
on July 8 during a special session of its board. He officially begins
his tenure on Sept. 1.
He will be responsible for overseeing the Nashville-based agency that
coordinates and administers finances for the 11.5 million-member
worldwide denomination, as well as safeguarding its legal interests and
Kumar replaces Sandra Lackore, who retired at the close of 2007 after heading the council for 12 years.
With more than 32 years of ministry experience, Kumar has served the
past eight years as treasurer and executive director of administrative
ministries for the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference. He previously
worked at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., where he was
vice president for finance and operations.
"I firmly believe that God has called me and provided me with a path to
this time and place of global ministry," Kumar said in a prepared
statement. "As general secretary of GCFA, I will fully engage my
leadership talents to guide the council in fulfilling its ministry of
“I firmly believe that God has called me and provided me with a path to this time and place of global ministry.”
A native of Chennai
(Madras), India, Kumar joins the council at a time when the denomination
is placing new emphasis on its global connections and is considering
significant changes to its worldwide structure. The United Methodist
Church is growing in Africa and the Philippines, while its U.S.
membership has shrunk to 7.9 million.
"Moses brings a global perspective and an annual conference
understanding of the work of GCFA," said Bishop Mary Ann Swenson,
president of the council. "… Moses' collegial style, faith perspective
and commitment to The United Methodist Church make him a great
leadership fit for the future of our denomination."
Bishop Marcus Matthews, who presides over the church's Philadelphia
Area, said he has admired Kumar's work as conference treasurer and his
"persistence in finding ways to help churches facilitate their
ministries." He credited Kumar's commitment to stewardship for helping
the conference pay 100 percent of its apportionments in 2007, for the
first time in 20 years. Apportionments are contributions requested of
U.S. annual conferences to support denominational ministries and
"He is also very committed to mission and has a clear understanding of
the directions coming out of the general church for making disciples of
Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," Matthews said.
Out of 19 applicants, Kumar was recommended to the council by a search
committee working with the Center for Non-Profit Management in
"The depth and breadth of experience within the applicant pool was
impressive and supported a robust and thorough discernment process,"
Kumar holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Madras Christian College
in India and a master of business administration from Eastern University
in St. Davids, Pa.
He and his wife, Felicia, have two grown daughters, Poornima and Penny.
*Aldrich is news editor of United Methodist News Service. This story was
based, in part, on a news release by the General Council on Finance and