Regional News

Disciples General Minister Nominee Selected

March 6, 2017 Published by Neil Topliffe

This past weekend the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met in Indianapolis and approved a slate of nominees for General Minister and President (6-year term) and moderators of the General Assembly (2-year terms).  The nominees include Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens for General Minister and President; Sue Morris for moderator; Rev. Dr. Belva Brown Jordan for moderator-elect; Rev. Beau Underwood for first vice moderator; and Rev. Dr. Timothy Lee for second vice moderator.

The General Board voted to forward the name of Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens to the 2017 General Assembly as the nominee for General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A Disciple since young adulthood, Hord Owens is currently dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL.

“We saw in Terri that unique combination of pastoral, leadership, active presence in all expressions of the Church and administrative experience that the search committee believed was most needed,” said Search Committee Chair Jackie Bunch. “She has experience as a local pastor, theologian and leader.

“The committee particularly noted her skills in discernment, spiritual discipline and proclamation of the Word, but also as a listener.”

Bunch continued, “The search committee recognized that leading the Church in this day and age requires a certain business acumen as well as a heart for ministry. We see that Terri brings that special mix of academic, executive and pastoral qualities that are required for leading the Disciples through this time in our North American culture. She has a background of bringing together diverse groups for dialogue that will serve the Church well.”

Rev. Owens is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include a theology of reconciliation, cultural intelligence, developing inclusive and multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring of youth and young adults. She is married to Walter Owens, Jr., with whom she will soon celebrate 30 years of marriage. They are the proud parents of an adult son, W. Mitchell Owens, III.

The process calls for election in July by voting representatives in attendance at the Disciples General Assembly in Indianapolis.

To read more information about Rev. Owens, including her vision for the church, or to ask her a question, go to

General Assembly voting representatives also will elect the moderator team for 2017-19. Sue Morris, moderator is from Omaha NE; Rev. Belva Brown Jordan, moderator-elect, Claremont, CA; Rev. Beau Underwood, first vice-moderator, Jefferson City MO; and Rev. Dr. Timothy Lee, second vice-moderator, Fort Worth TX.  Read more about the moderator team at