Clare J. Chapman, deputy general secretary and general counsel of the National Council of Churches (NCC), on Jan. 20 was named interim general secretary by the council’s governing board.
Chapman, who had been carrying out the duties of general secretary since the Dec. 31, 2011 departure of Michael Kinnamon, will serve as interim until the board decides on the next steps for filling the office permanently.
“Clare has been entrusted by God with gifts that will serve the council well at this transitional time, and we are grateful for her willingness to serve,” said NCC President Kathryn Mary Lohre.
Lohre noted that Chapman served as NCC interim general secretary from Sept. 1, 2007, when former General Secretary Bob Edgar became president and CEO of Common Cause, until Jan. 1, 2008, when Kinnamon assumed office. Kinnamon announced last November that he was resigning due to health reasons.
Before joining the NCC staff in January 2007, Chapman served on several NCC committees, commissions and task forces. For more than two decades, she was on the staff of the United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns as its associate general secretary for program and administration.
Chapman has extensive ecumenical and interfaith experience. She has been an advisor to one United Methodist delegation to the World Council of Churches, and delegate to another. She was a member of the first official United Methodist delegation to the Vatican for discussions on Christian unity.
The NCC represents 37 member communions from Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches that include 45 million people in more than 100,000 congregations.