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United Methodist finance leader plans to retire early

By United Methodist News Service
Dec. 17, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

Sandra Lackore announced Dec. 14 that she will retire at the end of this year. A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose.

The chief executive of the finance agency for The United Methodist Church will retire Dec. 31 instead of next June as earlier planned.

Sandra K. Lackore, who is on leave to care for her husband as he battles leukemia, has headed the General Council on Finance and Administration since 1996.

"In the months that Cecil has been ill, it has become abundantly clear to me that I must give my full attention to him," Lackore said in a Dec. 14 statement to her staff. She said her husband, the Rev. Cecil Lackore, is responding to treatment, and she thanked her staff for the time and space to care for him.

A search committee for her successor will begin its work early next year, said Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, president of the council.

In the meantime, said Swenson, the Nashville-based agency will operate under the leadership of its current team structure including the Rev. Terry Bradfield, deputy executive for operations; John Goolsbey, deputy executive for administration; and Marsha Base, associate executive for organizational development.

The council coordinates and administers finances for the 13.5 million-member worldwide church and also safeguards the legal interests and rights of the denomination.

Lackore, 63, announced in September she would retire next June 30 and close out a tenure that includes consolidating the agency from three geographically separate offices to one central location, establishing a foundation to endow churchwide ministries and establishing a denominational insurance company.

She had planned to return to work in January after taking a three-month family leave.

"I deeply appreciate the dedicated service Sandra has given to the church," said Swenson. "She has led GCFA for the past 12 years, but the church has benefited from her leadership for over 30 years."

Lackore was an administrator and treasurer for the New England Annual Conference (formerly Southern New England) when the council's governing board chose her as the first woman to head the agency.

Swenson said the council will celebrate Lackore's service when its board meets next March in Nashville.

News media contact: Marta Aldrich, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.


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