News, June/July 2018

© Daniel J. Kasztelan / Friends United Meeting

Kellum to begin as FUM General Secretary

Kelly Kellum will begin his tenure as general secretary of Friends United Meeting on July 1 in Kisumu, Kenya. Friends United Meeting (FUM), based in Richmond, Ind., is a Christ-centered organization serving 37 yearly meetings and associations in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. Kellum’s primary location will be the FUM offices in Richmond, but he will also travel to all the programs around the world that FUM supports. Kellum replaces Colin Saxton, who had served as general secretary since 2011.

Kellum was called to be general secretary in March by the FUM board. Ron Bryan, clerk of FUM, said at the time, “It would be hard to find anyone as well-prepared to lead an organization as diverse as Friends United Meeting. Kelly’s wide background, including his upbringing in Africa and his broad experience in many Yearly Meetings and in Friends United Meeting makes him an exciting choice, and we’re glad that God has led him to this work at this time.”

Kellum was raised in Burundi, Africa, where his parents were missionaries with Mid-America Yearly Meeting. He is a graduate of Friends University and Asbury Theological Seminary. He served as a pastoral minister among Friends for 20 years, most recently in North Carolina, and as presiding clerk of FUM for one three-year period and on the Executive Committee of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Section of the Americas. Most recently, Kellum had been working as a stewardship consultant with Everence Financial Services.

“Many discerning Friends had encouraged me to take on this position,” Kellum said. “Spirit started weaving things together.” Kellum sees how a range of previous experiences and leadings have prepared him to serve as the FUM general secretary. He specifically cites his “third-culture perspective” as being helpful in guiding the “multicultural global community that is FUM.” He is “looking for opportunities to help FUM spiritually position itself into the calling that it has received.”

Kellum is also interested in connecting with Quakers outside of FUM. Beyond continued support for dually affiliated FUM yearly meetings, Kellum hopes to create meaningful dialogues between Friends in different traditions. Kellum calls himself a huge supporter of the efforts of FWCC.

For this position, Kellum will move from High Point, N.C., to Richmond, Ind., with his wife, Kathy Kellum. The Kellums have been attending High Point Meeting where Kathy is pastoral minister.


© Susanna Tanner

Marshall retires as Earlham School of Religion Dean

Jay Marshall, dean of Earlham School of Religion and vice president of Earlham, will retire from his position June 30. Earlham School of Religion (ESR) is a Christian graduate theological school in the Quaker tradition, a graduate division of Earlham College, in Richmond, Ind.

Marshall dedicated his professional energies to ESR for 20 years. Under his leadership, ESR created a vibrant distance-learning program that now attracts students from across the country and the world. He strengthened the school’s international connections, particularly in Africa and Latin America. Marshall also led efforts to form a strong relationship with ESR’s sister seminary, Church of the Brethren’s Bethany Seminary, located on the same campus. Recently, Marshall has served as a leader in ESR’s entrepreneurial ministries projects, including the disbursement of an “Innovation Grant” now available to seminary students, and an annual Quaker leadership conference.

Marshall is proud of having been a part of ESR’s legacy and found it exciting to work with an organization that is “nimble and open to growth.” As opportunities for seminary graduates in traditional church structures are declining, he built an innovative entrepreneurial grounding for ESR students. “Many Friends experience calls to ministry,” Marshall said. “This program provides a cohort, accountability, and set of skills that encourages them to move forward in their ministry.”

Marshall is unsure as of yet what the future may hold for him. “It may be my retirement or my
transition. Time will tell.”

“During my first year as president, I have appreciated Jay’s thoughtful counsel and steadfast commitment to this institution,” stated Earlham College President Alan Price. “I sincerely thank Jay for all that he has done for ESR, and I wish him well as he enters the next chapter.”

President Price will lead a national search to identify Marshall’s successor.


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