In an effort to expand the benefits to UCC congregations, a new leadership model is being introduced and staff transitions are taking place in the United Church of Christ's historic Church Building & Loan Fund.
The Rev. Patrick Duggan of South Hempstead, N.Y. will take over as CB&LF's executive director, and Sheila Kinzer will assume the role of associate director and chief loan officer in early October, said the Rev. Ben Guess, UCC executive of Local Church Ministries.
With the new leadership, the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund is being positioned to remain responsive to the needs of emerging churches in the 21st century, while staying true to its historic legacy. Guess, the CB&LF board president, hopes these changes will lead to new ways of thinking about, promoting, and utilizing the fund in building new churches and improving existing ones in the denomination.
"I have all the confidence that Patrick Duggan brings the type of visionary, big-picture leadership that CB&LF needs to reposition itself for a new era of relevance in our support of emerging congregations, even as I'm equally certain that Sheila Kinzer brings the detailed mortgage experience, excellent customer service and supportive care and attention that these unique congregations need and expect from us," Guess said.
The Church Building & Loan Fund is a 150-year old resource of the UCC, dedicated to assisting new and renewing congregations with the purchase of their first building. Working in partnership with the congregation and conference, it assists with technical and planning assistance, along with loans for site purchases, construction or the purchase of an existing building.
As CB&LF's Executive Director, Duggan will serve as the visionary leader and public presence of the Church Building and Loan Fund, and will work to keep CB&LF's mission, products and services relevant to the ever-emerging needs of new and renewing churches of the 21st century. And Kinzer, as Associate Director-Chief Loan Officer, will oversee day-to-day management of staff and loan operations, as well as customer relations and capital campaign services.
Duggan, who has been pastor of the Congregational Church of South Hempstead UCC the past 17 years, is a social entrepreneur and innovator who has worked in the public and private sectors for more than 25 years. In his new role, Duggan will divide his time between the CB&LF office in Cleveland and his primary residence in South Hempstead, N.Y.
Kinzer, who has been CB&LF's acting director since February 2012, has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and mortgage lending, with 12-plus years as a loan processor with CB&LF and the UCC. Guess said Kinzer has demonstrated a strong commitment to CB&LF's commitment and the congregations it serves.
Guess believes the new model of CB&LF leadership is an innovative way for the church to receive the unique strengths that Patrick and Sheila offer in their important work. "I couldn't be more thrilled that both of them have offered their enthusiastic ‘Yes' to embracing a new approach to CB&LF's leadership," he said. "I know they will complement one another and serve the UCC well as we seek out new creative ways to ensure that churches have places to gather, grow and serve."