LOUISVILLE Jan Opdyke, the west coast associate director for the Presbyterian Church USAs Mission Initiative has been named acting director of the five-year, $40 million campaign. Opdyke will assume the post left vacant by Ron Lundeen who resigned to join the faculty at Hartford Theological Seminary.
The Missions Initiative was approved by the 2002 PCUSA General Assembly and launched in early 2003 to raise money for overseas missionaries, new church development and church redevelopment. So far, Mission Initiative: Joining Hearts and Hands has raised about $8 million.
Lundeen initially hired Opdyke to head up fundraising in the western U.S. last February. On August 25, the MIJHH steering committee approved Opdykes appointment.
"Jan Opdyke brings not only solid funds development experience but excellent management and administrative skills, having managed her own business for many years. I am delighted that she has accepted the responsibility of acting director and
look forward to working with her, said the General Assembly Council executive director John Detterick.
MIJHH steering committee co-chair Bill Saul said, "We are so fortunate to have somebody with Jan's ability and dedication to the Church, and to the project, who is willing, capable, and available to fill in during this interim period. I don't believe that I've ever worked with anyone that is more capable or dedicated that Jan Opdyke. She is truly a diamond."
Opdyke, a California native, had worked with Lundeen in the development office of San Francisco Theological Seminary where she is completing a degree program. In addition to heading the MIJHH, Opdyke works part-time at the Community Presbyterian Church in Redlands.
"I am grateful that at every turn in my life there has been a Presbyterian congregation, ready and willing to nurture me and my family," Opdyke said. "I have experienced the transforming and redeeming Gospel of Jesus Christ first hand. It is my hope that through this campaign we will extend the heart of Christ and the hand of fellowship nationally and internationally."
The next steering committee meeting is Nov. 10-11 in Louisville.