Carmen Fowler LaBerge heads the ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee as its President and Executive Editor of its publications, including The Layman. Her blogs, articles and commentaries are accessible at www.layman.org.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1993 and having served churches in Texas, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, Fowler LaBerge set aside her ordination in 2011 after the denomination began openly ordaining those who do not limit their sexual expression to fidelity in the context of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. Asked about her rationale, she commented, “I could not in good conscience continue as an officer in a denomination that openly ordained those whose behavior so clearly fails to conform to God’s revealed Word in the Scriptures. Ordination in the PCUSA is an act of the whole church. Knowing that if I were present, I could not participate in the laying on of hands of such and ordinand, I concluded that asking to be removed from the ordered ministry was the right step to take.”
A widely known leader among Presbyterian Church (USA) renewal organizations, Fowler LaBerge served as executive director of the Presbyterian Coalition in 2002 and 2003 and co-moderator of the New Wineskins Association of Churches in 2008-2009. She has taught seminars and delivered keynote speeches in dozens of 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 Laberge earned a degree in business administration from the University of Florida (’90) and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (’93). At Princeton she served the seminary and her fellow students as the student body president.
When asked to assess the current realities facing Christians today, Fowler Laberge said, “There is, I believe, a global realignment of the Church under way. That realignment is in evidence not only among Presbyterians, but among Episcopalian/Anglicans and Evangelical Lutherans as well.” She notes that “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.” In those efforts Fowler LaBerge serves in leadership in both the Association for Church Renewal and the newly forming ecumenical consortium of former mainline groups who share a missional DNA and evangelical faith.
Fowler LaBerge resides in Kingston Springs, Tenn. with her husband, Jim. They wed in May 2011. Fowler LaBerge can be reached at email@example.com.
- Carmen S. Fowler called to be PLC president and executive editor
- Carmen Fowler: Her ‘Declaration’ launched her into the renewal ministry
- Carmen’s Speaking Engagements