General Synod honors legacy of Pension Boards CEO
The ministry of Mike Downs as leader of The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ is winding to a close. Downs concludes his service as president and CEO of the UCC affiliated ministry at the end of General Synod 2015 on June 30. But his work was recognized and celebrated on Friday, June 26, during the second plenary of General Synod.
“What a privilege it has been to serve and to lead,” Downs said. “I thank everyone of you gathered, the leaders of our beloved United Church of Christ, a priesthood of all believers.”
Downs has led The Pension Boards since 2002. The organization offers pension, disability, health, dental, death, and survivor benefits programs to more than 20,000 clergy and lay employees of the UCC.
The Rev. Art Cribbs, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pension Boards said that Downs “has sat in these seats at General Synod, and like us he has sat in the pews at churches… Mike is a person of service.”
Prior to his current role, Downs was the director of the UCC Insurance Board from 1997 through 2002, and was founding vice president of the Cornerstone Fund. A native of Detroit, Downs graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in economics, and spent seven years with the U.S. Marine Corps as a cryptographic technician and served in the Vietnam War.
Brian Bodager has been named to succeed Downs as president and CEO of the Pension Boards.
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