PRESS RELEASE – August 31, 2020
The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) is pleased to announce that it has invited Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer to serve as a part-time Senior Consultant and Spiritual Advisor, effective September 1, 2020.
“Dr. Lee Spitzer is a good friend and has been a colleague in leadership for many years,” said Dr. John V. Upton, Jr., BGAV Executive Director. “When he was Executive Minister for ABC of New Jersey we frequently had our executive teams meet to collaborate and share resources. Dr. Spitzer knows the BGAV from years of shared ministry. Having served as ABCUSA General Secretary, Lee brings a broad range of experience and knowledge that will help our churches navigate the post-COVID world, as well as help generate a collaborative strategy called Ascent which will help us re-imagine reaching North America with the Gospel. I am so grateful Lee is willing to be a consultant and spiritual coach for this journey.”
Dr. Spitzer will provide guidance in the formulation and promulgation of Ascent’s vision, mission statement, theological rationale, national strategy, and organizational structure. He will assist executive leadership in implementing Ascent’s national strategy for collaboration in missional engagement.
Approximately half of Dr. Spitzer’s time will be spent on providing consulting in support of Fresh Expressions US, as it develops and strengthens relationships with leaders, congregations, and ministries across the country. Fresh Expressions US National Director, Chris Backert, said, “Since Lee and I met in 2012, I have appreciated his keen understanding of the dynamics of introducing the good news of Jesus Christ to people who have not grown up in the faith. His testimony as a Jewish believer in Jesus, along with ministering in a wide range of settings and interfacing in multiple leadership roles, makes Lee uniquely positioned to help Fresh Expressions deepen its work across the North American continent and around the globe. We are excited to welcome him to the team!”
In retirement, Dr. Spitzer is serving as an affiliate professor of church history at Northern Seminary and as Historian for the Baptist World Alliance. Prior to his retirement, Dr. Spitzer served as the General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA, and the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. He pastored churches in Nebraska, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, and was ordained as an American Baptist minister in 1981.
Dr. Spitzer earned his M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 2016, he received a Ph.D. degree in Theology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the International Baptist Theological Study Centre. His published works include Making Friends, Making Disciples (2010) and Baptists, Jews, and the Holocaust: The Hand of Sincere Friendship (2017).
With the participation of more than 400,000 members in 1,360 churches, the BGAV is a diverse group of people energized by a common passion to advance our Redeemer’s Kingdom.