WASHINGTON (BP)–Jeffrey Haggray, executive director/minister of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, has resigned to accept the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Details of Haggray’s departure will be announced during the convention’s Oct. 26-27 annual meeting at Ft. Foote Baptist Church in Ft. Washington, Md.
Haggray, who has served the D.C. convention since 2001, will be the first African American pastor in the 208-year history of the congregation, according to a press statement released Oct. 13. He also was the first black to lead the D.C. convention.
DCBC President Ella Redfield, pastor of New Creation Baptist Church in Wheaton, Md., praised Haggray’s leadership during his eight-year tenure.
“Dr. Haggray has distinguished himself as a visionary leader, theologian and someone who is passionate about ministry and missions,” Redfield said in the press statement. “He is both inspirational and thought-provoking and has been able to bring people together to move the convention forward in fulfilling our mission.”
When Haggray took the DCBC helm in 2001, churches were taking a special offering to help offset a major downturn in convention income. Under his leadership, convention finances were stabilized and a comprehensive “envisioning” and restructuring process was undertaken that helped re-focus and revitalize the convention, the press statement said. The group also has seen increased participation by ethnic and language congregations.
Haggray said he is leaving his convention office with mixed emotions.
“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to serve such a historic congregation with its rich heritage in this great city that I love,” he said in the statement.
“In announcing my call to First Baptist Church, I have double emotions, given my love for the D.C. Baptist Convention. The past eight years have been a wonderful time serving our congregations, taking on new challenges in missions and working with our congregations,” he said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as executive director/minister of the convention and I am glad that I leave the DCBC in a good position to continue serving churches and fulfilling its mission.”
The 150-church convention is aligned with American Baptist Churches USA, the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Based on a report by Leslie Copeland-Tune, minister for communications, mission interpretation & stewardship development for the District of Columbia Baptist Convention.