The Rev. Dr. Jerome King Del Pino, general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, announced Thursday during the fall meeting of the Board that after considerable deliberation and prayer, he will retire Oct. 15.
Bishop Marcus Matthews, president of GBHEM, said John Lesesne, the agency's treasurer and chief financial officer, will serve as interim general secretary while the Board's Search Committee completes the search for a new general secretary.
"We thank Dr. Del Pino for his service to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and wish him well. We ask that Board members, staff, and the church pray for us during this time of transition," Matthews said.
Del Pino said the Board has faced many challenges during his nine-year tenure, but added that he believes "we have made significant progress in implementing our Strategic Plan and in establishing leadership development as a critical need in our church today."
Bishop Matthews assured the Board that both he and the Personnel and Policies Committee will work closely with Lesesne to see that the important leadership development work of the agency continues uninterrupted during the search for a new general secretary.
The Board has contracted with the Novak Consulting Group to assist with the search for a new general secretary with the goal of presenting a candidate to the Board by March 2011.
The Board's Personnel and Policies Committee, chaired by the Rev. Ramon Evangelista, will serve as the search committee.
Del Pino, an elder in the New England Annual Conference, was elected general secretary of GBHEM in 2001 and is now coming to the conclusion of his third and final term. Prior to joining the Board, Del Pino served as superintendent of the Metropolitan Boston/South District from 1997 to 2001.
Lesesne, the interim general secretary, joined GBHEM in August 2007 after 20 years at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a non-profit educational institution in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he served 15 years as director of financial operations.