The ecumenical group Christian Churches Together named a former head of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as its first executive administrator.
The Rev. Richard L. Hamm, who served 10 years as general minister and president of the Disciples, will be the first full-time staffer at the fledgling Christian Churches Together.
"I have always been drawn to the vision of the various parts of the church of Jesus Christ in the United States seeking common ground and working together in all ways possible," Hamm said in a statement.
Composed of 36 churches and denominations, Christian Churches Together was officially organized in 2006 and held its first meeting in February. The group draws members from five Christian "families":
Catholics, evangelicals and Pentecostals, Orthodox, mainline Protestants and racial/ethnic churches. The coalition has placed an early focus on evangelism and reducing poverty.
The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America and a president of Christian Churches Together, said Hamm "was involved with CCT during its formative time and ... understood the necessity of deepening fellowship between leaders of Christian `families' who, in many cases, had little relationship with each other."
Hamm is also founder and president of the Columbia Partnership, a Christian consulting firm. He said that CCT has "an appropriate post-modern model, with its focus on networking, consensus building and action. The prospect of helping to shape and grow such a post-modern organization for the sake of common witness and mission is truly exciting."