The United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) announced June 7, 2016 that General Secretary Erin M. Hawkins will resign effective September 30, 2016.
Hawkins, who joined the Religion and Race staff in 2000 and became chief executive officer in 2007, will become the Executive Director of Connectional Ministries in the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
During her tenure, Hawkins and the GCORR staff have broadened the agency’s work to include challenging inter-tribal conflict in the Congo, addressing intersections of injustice, and pushing church leaders to build and nurture successful congregations that reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people.
Bishop Minerva Carcaño, president of the GCORR board, praised Hawkins as extraordinary leader at the helm of GCORR noting that her work at GCORR has had a transformative impact on the life of the entire United Methodist Church. “General Secretary Hawkins has taken the ministry of the General Commission on Religion and Race to the next level, cementing our role as an important partner in the conversation of how we [the church] can live as a worldwide connection,” Carcaño said.
M. Garlinda Burton, a United Methodist deaconess, who retired in 2012 as General Secretary of the denomination’s General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, will serve as GCORR’s interim General Secretary. Burton, who lives in Nashville, is executive director of the Nashville Freedom School Partnership, a project of the Children’s Defense Fund, a children’s advocacy agency in Washington, D.C.
Of her tenure at the Commission, Hawkins said, “Leading GCORR has been one of the great blessings of my life. The board, staff, and annual conference leaders that I have had the opportunity to serve with over the years have been essential partners in advancing the work of intercultural competency, institutional equity, and vital conversations in the church. I love The United Methodist Church deeply and I am thankful to have had the privilege to lead and serve the church through GCORR. I know that the future holds great things for GCORR and this ministry.”
A search for a new general secretary will begin this fall.