LENOIR, N.C. – The Rev. Carmen S. Fowler will head the ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee as president and executive editor, beginning March 2, 2009. Fowler is currently serving as associate pastor of the Providence Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head, S.C., where she has developed and administered the program ministries of the 800-plus member congregation since 2003.
“We are extremely excited to report the news. We believe that the Lord has brought Carmen to us ‘for such a time as this,’ said Stephen Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of the Lay Committee, recalling the Lord’s call to Esther at a critical time in Israel’s life. “Christians who embrace the Reformed faith are confronted by a culture – and often a culturally compromised church – that is indifferent and even hostile to that faith,” said Brown.
“Yet, signs of Reformation are stirring among God’s people,” he continued. “We see those signs most clearly emerging among a Biblically informed laity. Today’s Reformation is not a top-down program spawned by denominational hierarchies but a movement of the Holy Spirit led by people in the pews. The Lord has blessed Carmen with gifts that inspire and equip lay leadership.”
A widely known leader among Presbyterian Church (USA) renewal organizations, Fowler served as executive director of the Presbyterian Coalition in 2002 and 2003 and is now co-moderator of the New Wineskins Association of Churches. She has taught seminars and delivered keynote speeches in 15 states, Israel and Malawi. Her pastoral experience spans the spectrum from the 5,600-member First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Fla., to the 100- member Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church in the mountains of northeast Georgia. Fowler earned a degree in business administration from the University of Florida and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
“There is, I believe, a global realignment of the Church under way,” Fowler said in her partnership discussions with the Lay Committee. “God is drawing together those who are not ashamed of the Gospel, those who submit their lives to the authority of the Scriptures, those who understand the calling of the church to be the Great Commission and are willing to live it out at risk of their own lives. We are privileged not only to ‘see’ what God is doing in our generation, but also to participate in it. Equipping the saints for the work of God’s mission is a worthy calling. Partnering with others around the world who share our passion is a great joy.”
The Rev. Parker T. Williamson, editor emeritus of the Lay Committee, welcomed news of Fowler’s new call. “The Lay Committee has become a leading publisher of news and analysis among several denominations in the USA, with readers in 23 countries abroad. With Carmen, the committee will not only continue to inform God’s people, but also equip them for discipleship as well. Under her tutelage, thousands of lay people will be encouraged and led to assume vital leadership roles in the emerging Reformation of Christ’s church.”