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Global Ministries board dismisses chief executive

The Rev. R. Randy Day speaks during the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries meeting prior to his dismissal as top executive of church's mission agency.
A UMNS photo by Cassandra Heller.

By Linda Bloom*
Oct. 10, 2007 | STAMFORD, Conn. (UMNS)

Directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries have abruptly dismissed the mission agency's chief executive.

The decision not to re-nominate the Rev. R. Randy Day came Oct. 9 upon recommendation from the board's personnel committee during the board's annual meeting in Stamford. The dismissal was effective that day.

Directors then approved the appointment of an interim chief executive, and retired United Methodist Bishop Felton May immediately filled that role.

Day, who took office Jan. 1, 2003, had led the Board of Global Ministries for nearly five years. He was nominated by a search committee led by Bishop Joel Martinez of San Antonio, currently the board's president, and elected during the October 2002 annual meeting.

In a statement issued Oct. 10 by the Board of Global Ministries, Martinez said the decision "does not diminish our appreciation for the many talents and skills of Randy Day but indicates that directors are looking for a different style of administrative leadership to take us into the future."

Contacted by United Methodist News Service, Day declined comment on the board's decision.

'Energetic service'

Before becoming chief executive, Day had served for two years as the agency's staff executive in charge of evangelism and church growth. He is a clergy member of the denomination's New York Annual (regional) Conference.

At the time he assumed office, the mission agency had suffered through staff layoffs, program cuts and a reduced budget. At this month's meeting, board treasurer Roland Fernandez, reported that operating expenses, both in 2006 and the first eight months of 2007, were the lowest in several years and that an operating surplus — $2.9 million in 2006 — had occurred "for the first time in many years."

The dismissal “does not diminish our appreciation for the many talents and skills of Randy Day but indicates that directors are looking for a different style of administrative leadership to take us into the future.”
–Bishop Joel Martinez

Day had a mission emphasis on children, poverty and global health care and had encouraged the board to look beyond financial constraints to find ways to do mission. At his first board meeting as chief executive in April 2003, Day said he considered global mission partnerships, with congregations, conferences or even other denominations, to be "among our best options for growing the United Methodist investment in mission."

Martinez acknowledged Day's "energetic service" to the board and the fact that he "made many new friends for mission and strengthened mission partnerships around the globe."

May, a former vice president of the Board of Global Ministries, currently is affiliated with Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., where he serves as dean of the Harry R. Kendall Science and Health Mission Center. He also is chairman of the United Methodist Holistic Africa emphasis.

A search committee for a permanent replacement for Day is expected to be named before the annual meeting ends on Oct. 11, according to Martinez.

*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org .

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