Founder of Alban Institute & Activist for Local Church Growth Loren Mead Dies at 88

The Rev. Loren Benjamin Mead, founder of the Alban Institute and author who stressed the need for local church focus, has died. He was 88 years old.

Mead passed away at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church, Virginia, last Saturday, with his funeral scheduled for May 21 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Paul Mundey, who formerly served on the national staff of the Church of the Brethren and worked alongside Mead, offered his condolences on Facebook, calling Mead “a confidant and a friend.”

“While I served on the national staff of the Church of the Brethren, Loren helped me to design Passing on the Promise, a three year renewal process for congregations — that expanded for use not just with the Church of the Brethren but the Brethren Church and the Mennonite Church, as well,” wrote Mundey.

“So hard to sense his passing, but so thankful for his legacy and all Loren did for the local church. All glory to God!”

Born in Florence, South Carolina, in 1930, Mead was ordained in 1955 and served multiple churches during the 1950s and 1960s, before founding the Alban Institute in 1974 and serving as its first president. The institute served as a resource for churches and tackled such issues as conflict, transition, and mission in congregational and ministerial life.

By the time he stepped down in 1994, the Institute had an estimated 8,500 members. Eventually the entity became the Alban at Duke Divinity School, which “helps leaders connect and learn from one another by sharing practical wisdom, stories of thriving congregations and transformational models of ministry.”

Mead authored multiple books on the issue of helping congregations, including The Once and Future Church (1991), Transforming Congregations for the Future (1994), Five Challenges for the Once and Future Church (1996) and Financial Meltdown in the Mainline? (1998).

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Source: Christian Post